Cast Off Thine Afflictions04249_000_003
Just a few months before I turned 14, I broke my leg. I was in a full-leg cast for two weeks and a shorter cast that came to my knee for four more. Because of my injury, I went to the last two weeks of school on crutches, and I couldn’t go on the girls’ camp backpacking trip or our family boating trip. I needed help getting in and out of the car, and my siblings weren’t very happy that I always needed the front seat so I would have room for my cast. Overall, I was miserable. I couldn’t walk, run, or play with my friends, and I was tired and in pain much of the time.
One day I was in the car with my mom and my brother. We were on the way home from running several errands. We stopped at one more store so my mom could quickly pick something up. She and my brother went into the store, and I opted to stay in the car. It wasn’t worth it to get out my crutches for such a quick trip. I had felt dejected all that day. I felt like I couldn’t do anything for myself except sit around. I couldn’t have any fun, and I felt like a burden to everybody around me.
At the peak of feeling sorry for myself, I noticed a copy of the Book of Mormon in a pocket of the car door. The missionaries had asked us to keep this copy in the car so we would have it handy to give away if the opportunity came. I pulled the book out and opened it to a random page. As I looked down, my eyes focused on the first few verses of 2 Nephi 2. As I read, I felt like these words in the second verse were written for me, for this very moment: “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain” (2 Nephi 2:2). In a moment when I felt afflicted and miserable, Heavenly Father spoke to me through the Book of Mormon and told me that He cared about me and that everything was going to be OK.
When my mom and brother returned to the car, I was smiling. They probably noticed the change, but I felt too quiet and peaceful inside to explain everything to them. I put the Book of Mormon back in its place, but I kept looking at it and remembering the words of Lehi that had brought me so much comfort. I also kept smiling. I couldn’t help but think that the missionaries’ request for our family to keep a copy of the Book of Mormon in our car wasn’t just for investigators.
At home, I pulled out my personal scriptures. I turned to 2 Nephi 2:2 and marked in red the words that had comforted me. A couple of months later I could walk and run just fine because my leg was healed. Of course, other trials came into my life later on. Many times when I feel alone and miserable, I remember how I felt that day waiting in the car. I still often turn to the passage marked in red in my scriptures, and I always find comfort there.
Photograph by John Luke