Two years ago Maren and I attended Women's Conference at BYU in May. We were lucky enough to hear this talk by Betsy Nagel entitled "A New Song--Faith is Spoken Here" Maren and I loved this talk so much I got online after to find a copy and was able to get it. Betsy Nagel told 3 stories and I will print them all in time. Margaret in this story was with our friends the Hoffmans in Mexico City when they were there. Oh, what beautiful people love the Lord!
1. Express gratitude – learn to see the Lord’s hand in all things . Learning to recognize the hand of the Lord in the many good things of our lives will help to increase our faith in Him.
My friend Margaret and her husband had planned for years to serve several missions. They sold their house in New Orleans last May and retired early so that they could go while they were healthy and young. They were in the MTC and watched the reports about Katrina on TV, feeling very fortunate that they had dodged a big bullet. As soon as they arrived in Mexico City, Margaret had trouble with shortness of breath. "You’re moving from sea level to this high altitude. It will take a little while to acclimate." After 7 weeks of not getting better, the area doctor decided she ought to come back to the US for some tests. She was quickly diagnosed with stage four lung cancer.
I had the opportunity to visit with her several times in December and January. With each visit she assured me that her life was in the Lord’s hands and he would do for her what was best. When I questioned the fact that her pre-mission physicals didn’t turn up the problem, she said to me, "That is just one of the blessings in this whole thing. If they had found the cancer earlier, we wouldn’t have been able to go on a mission. Instead, we were blessed with a wonderful seven week mission."
On another occasion she said, "There are only blessings in life. The Lord blesses us with opportunities every day. It is up to us to use them well." I attended her funeral on Valentine’s Day, knowing that Margaret left a legacy of faith for her family, enhanced by her gratitude for the Lord’s hand in her life.
In Exodus we read, "The pillar of the cloud was darkness to the Egyptians, but it gave light by night to the Israelites." (Ex 14:20 – JST) If we are looking for the light, it is there and we can find it - no matter the circumstance. As we express gratitude, and even thank him for the trials themselves, we can find a hymn of thanks to sing.