“The Lord’s Concern for Us,” Ensign, August 2017
When my bishop asked if I would accept a calling as Young Women president, I wanted to say no. I felt inadequate to preside over the young women. But three months after I had accepted, I was heartbroken to learn that our ward boundaries were changing and I would be released.
I prayed to know why the Lord would allow me to come to love the young women only to say goodbye so soon. My answer came unexpectedly during a ward council meeting.
Council members had been asked to share stories at stake conference about helping members of our ward, but I was concerned that some people might feel like ward projects. After I had voiced my concern, however, the Spirit told me that Heavenly Father is concerned about all His children.
Some years ago my husband and I were the focus of a ward council, and we knew it. I returned to activation after our first child was born, but my husband did not. For years, stake presidencies, bishoprics, and home teachers tried to help us.
Then we moved into a new ward. A patient and loving bishop and a home teacher became my husband’s friends. This time my husband was receptive to the Spirit. He was prompted to read the Book of Mormon, and he started going to church. Slowly he regained a testimony. I will never forget the beautiful day our family was sealed in the temple.
It wasn’t until I was called as Young Women president and had the opportunity to serve on a ward council that my eyes were opened to what it means to be the focus of a ward council. I learned that ward councils focus on certain people not because they care about numbers but because they, and the Lord, care about individuals. When we serve in our callings, the Lord fills us with His love for those we serve.
Thinking back to when my family was the focus of ward councils, I realized that we were not just the ward’s concern—we were the Lord’s concern. They cared about us because He cares about us.
The truth is, we are all the Lord’s concern. Out of love, He has designed a plan to strengthen us and, if necessary, activate us—a plan often carried out by people like the bishop and home teacher who helped my husband.