My daughter called to say that she had left her husband. We talked and I told her to get hold of her Relief Society President. She told me that she really didn’t have a very good relationship with the ladies of her Ward. She did not feel accepted and understood.
I understood how she was feeling. At the time I was going through my divorce I felt very alone. Suddenly I was the “odd man out,” not married not single. I found it hard to attend Church, but I forced myself so that my kids could feel a continuity.
Then my ex-husband passed away. I sold our home and bought a condo in Orem. We wanted a new start, that house had too many ghosts. In our new ward there were very few single parents. It was a mix of some very well off families and some single parents and single sisters, but mostly families. We still felt out of place. I remembered going to Church took all the determination I could muster. I imagined it would be the same for my daughter. It would have been very easy to just quite going. I didn’t think anyone would care. But I once heard someone say that it you had faith that the gospel was true it was your responsibility to not let anyone offend you to the point of leaving the Church. People are people, but the gospel is true. So I held up my head and I went to Church. There were many times not a single person spoke to me or smiled. I tried to be friendly and gradually I began to feel accepted.
Eventually I did remarry and it was amazing how much more accepted you felt. As Jim and I sat in Sacrament meeting one day I was thinking about my daughter and these words came into my mind. So this is my attempt to express my feelings with a hope that it might give my daughter the courage to press forward.
Head held high she walks in to join the congregation
No one smiles
No one nods
She feels invisible
She takes a seat towards the back
against the wall
She doesn’t want to attract attention.
It is time to start the meeting
A family slides into the bench in front of her
Their little girl leans over the back of the bench and smiles
then is quickly silenced by her Mother.
She sings the opening hymn
Her spirit swells with the music.
The little girl smiles at her again.
She bows her head in prayer.
Peace comes over her soul
She holds her head high
She knows her Father in Heaven is watching over her.
She is strong and resolute
She knows she is not alone in her Heavenly Father’s Kingdom.