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I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Supporting Angels

I just witnessed something amazing. For those of you who are LDS you know that it is conference weekend. Two weekends out of the year the members of the Church watch and listen as we are instructed by the general leaders of the Church: the prophet, his counselors and many other men and women of spiritual greatness. It can either be long and boring or a feast beyond compare- depending on what you bring to it.

On Saturdays, the pull to “do” competes with the pull to “listen”. I generally choose chores to do while I watch conference on my computer with gratitude in my heart for byu.tv that allows me to do this.

I admit I was distractedly listening until I heard something strange coming from the speakers. An extra muffling was annoying me, I couldn’t clearly hear Brother Wirthlin’s message and it was one I had been recently pondering. I went back to my computer to see that the problem was not technical, but rather human. I watched with a prayer in my heart as Brother Wirthlin’s strength began seeping out of his legs and body as he struggled to complete his message. Then, a beautiful thing happened. As my prayers and I’m sure the prayers of many others were extended in his behalf he received strength. No, he did not suddenly overcome his human frailties; his strength came from the very thing he was addressing: service. As he spoke, Brother Nelson quietly came up behind Brother Wirthlin, compassionately gripping his arm with one hand and his waist with the other, patiently waiting for Brother Wirthlin to finish his own service. What a beautiful spoken and unspoken message.

Now this witness of the beauty of life and the gospel came shortly after another small miracle. I’d taken the last few minutes before conference began to cruise through some of my favorite blogs. Enter my sweet friend Tristi. Her message: Turning our lives, our trials over to God. I needed it badly as I am struggling with a serious problem right now and pondering how I can best do that very thing.

The two experiences worked together to create another beautiful miracle. It was an image of myself going forward, trying my best, sometimes very poorly by the world’s standards, to serve in the best ways I know how. I wasn’t alone. As I learn each day in my own weak way to plead for help and support with things that are beyond my control there are others silently supporting me. Sometimes I can see them, most of the time their presence and comfort come from beyond my natural sight. How many angels stand behind me as I struggle to stay on my feet? How many times have I looked at my own frail arms and given up in despair, ignoring the strength that was being lent to me by my Heavenly Father?

How difficult is it to stop struggling and start seeking out peace and trust? Very. I’m hoping the blessings of this day stay with me for many. I need that confirming peace as I go forward with many aspects of my life.

Someday I hope to give someone else that kind of hope in the gospel through the things that I write. I believe this is one of the major reasons the gift of words is mine. I am human and weak. Yet, I want my words to leave the page and reach out gentle hands on someone’s arm or waist supporting them when they need it the most and opening their eyes to strength they can not see. That is why I write: to inspire and bless. May the Lord continue to quietly support me in my feeble efforts.


Josi said...

You are amazingly supportive of the people around you, Alison. I'm still in awe of the way you rallied at last year's conference, after taking off work/family and paying your own way. You were constantly helping out with something. Hugs and prayers for your current struggle, and if you need a shoulder, I'd be honored to be your Nelson :-) Love ya girl. Beautiful post.

Boice Box said...

Great blog! That was such a touching experience. I love that it was the doctor/apostle who saw a need and quietly went to take care of it. It was so tender and loving. What a great visual exclamation mark to Elder Wirthlin's sermon on service.


Julie Wright said...

That was absolutely beautiful. thanks for sharing. And if you need anything, I'm only an email away.

Alison Palmer said...

I'm always amazed at the awesomeness of my friends. Thank you for your loving support!

Judaloo said...


I just discovered your blog and can already see I will be checking it frequently for something encouraging and uplifting. This post said something--not sure what, exactly--that I really needed to hear today. You amaze me, and I love seeing a fellow writer suceed! You are such a terrific person, and I hardly even know ya. I can just imagine how much better it would be if I knew ya better. Looking forward to that!

Judy Leonard

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And oh, so timely, even now, 9 days later.