Monday, October 03, 2011


First, let me start by saying that I loved General Conference. For those unfamiliar with General Conference, this is a time where we are invited to listen to the words of a prophet of God, and those who serve with him.This conference takes two days, and I am always buoyed up with the knowledge that God has not forgotten His people, and that because of His perfect love, He has given us a prophet on the earth today.
I was struck with many emotions at the same time as I listened to Elder Neil L. Andersen's talk, on Saturday afternoon. As a woman I have enjoyed the luxury of pregnancy, I have longed for more children through the battle of infertility, and I have been blessed with motherhood through the magnificent blessing of two adoptions.

And yet, unexpectedly, infertility sometimes stings. As I listened, I was homesick for pregnancy, which is not a feeling I have been plagued with since we adopted Henry, three years ago. Strangely enough, as Elder Andersen talked about the bearing of children, infertility sunk its teeth in and held on tight leaving bite marks that stung for a few minutes.

I kept hoping for peace as I allowed my heart to listen intently for anything to grasp on to.

As I have contemplated the glorious gift of bearing children, I have felt my heart led to the Book of Mormon, a book which I know testifies of Christ just as does the Bible. In the Book of Mormon we read the prophet Alma's words "and now, as ye are adesirous to come into the bfold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;" (Mosiah 18:8)

Peace filled my heart as I watched the way in which the Lord used the word bear in this context, and in three different contexts of my life.
When I was pregnant, my husband helped bear my burdens by succumbing to hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and chicken three meals a day for nine months. I loved being pregnant, and I didn't know my first might be the only personal pregnancy I was given.  As I have gone through infertility, our marriage has been strengthened, and our burden has been borne by our families and friends through prayer, fasting, and constant support. In the miracle of adoption, I have seen the Lord's use of bearing in a different way. To bear does not just mean to give birth or produce. To bear also means:  

To hold up; support
To carry from one place to another; transport
To carry in mind; harbor

To transmit at large; relate
To have as a quality; exhibit
To carry (oneself) in a specified way; conduct
To be accountable for; assume
To have tolerance for; endure
To offer; render

As I have thought about the gift of bearing children, and those who have not been blessed with pregnancy, or children as of yet, I have felt strongly that there are miraculous ways in which we can take part in the Lord's plan for us to bear. 

As I listened to Elder Andersen's talk, I was filled with such peace; a peace I know comes from a loving Father in Heaven.

As to personal bearing:
In my own life I have been able to assume this sacred responsibility by means of supporting, transporting, harboring,relating, exhibiting, conducting, assuming, enduring, and rendering.

I have been able to hold up and support all of my children, regardless of the way they entered our family. I have been able to render love and compassion to others children.  In these ways, I have borne children. As we entered the world of infertility coupled with the miracle of adoption, I was able to harbor small glimpses of hope that our family was not done and that the Lord had not forgotten my family. In this way, I have been allowed the privilege of bearing. Twice, we have been blessed with responsibility of caring for beautiful birth mothers and assuming the responsibility for the beautiful children they entrusted to our care. In this way, I have been offered the responsibility of bearing.

Truly, I have been given many opportunities to bear.
I believe that  the Lord has provided ways and intends for each of us to bear children in the way He sees fit. To those who bear children through pregnancy, and to those bear children through adoption, or to those who are bearing the hope that they will someday have children, or to those who bear all the qualities of motherhood even without the blessing of a house full of kids, I believe our obedience is looked upon kindly by the Creator of the Universe. I believe that through righteous living we will not be denied any of the promises we desire.

Yes, infertility can sting.
But, I know that the Lord crosses the galaxy to do what He wants us to do : bear