We were supposed to be filled with joy, but our hearts were heavy and our arms were empty. Debra Caelia Carter arrived on her due date, April 26, 2010, but she was stillborn.
As we walked into our home, I carried the tiny pink blanket we had used to hold and cuddle Debra at the hospital. When I sat on the couch, overcome with emotion, our two-year-old son approached the empty blanket and whispered, “Hello, baby sister. I love you.”
Tears streamed down my face, and I turned away. As I did so, I saw the words of a poster from the Friend magazine hanging on the wall: “Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance.”1
I began to pour out my heart to God in silent, fervent prayer. As I did so, I felt the Holy Ghost whisper, “Read your Book of Mormon again.” I had just finished reading it, but the feeling was distinct and the impression clear.
Arising early the following morning, I began reading the Book of Mormon. I used pencils and markers to highlight every passage about faith, prayer, hope, Jesus Christ’s attributes, preaching the gospel, and hearkening to the Lord’s voice. I knew that I must do what Nephi, Enos, Moroni, and other Book of Mormon prophets had done when they suffered trials. And I must do it with the same love for the Savior that filled their lives during difficult times.
During these daily, personal scripture study hours, I felt the Lord’s arms encircling me in His love, and I felt the power of His atoning sacrifice for all. The Spirit spoke to me, a peace covered me, and answers came to my fervent prayers. Pondering the words I read gave me strength as I grieved.
One day the Spirit filled me with joy as I read these words:
“I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation. …
“Little children … are all alive in [God] because of his mercy. …
“For behold that all little children are alive in Christ” (Moroni 8:17, 19, 22; emphasis added).
I felt as if I could see my daughter alive in Christ—smiling and happy and encircled in His arms. From that moment on I felt the power to endure, and I felt a new hope ignite in my soul for my family. I knew that if we would hold fast to the Atonement, the scriptures, the words of the living prophets, and each other through our temple covenants, we would be reunited as a family eternally.
I love the Book of Mormon, which clearly testifies of Jesus Christ, what He did and does for us, and what we must do to be like Him. The Book of Mormon brings light to my life and fills up my heart with hope in Christ.