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Last Saturday I was able to talk to some of the women in my family during a Mother/Daughter activity about our shared ancestor, my great-grandma Erma Taysom Hinckley.
When Erma was about 13.5 years old, her mother died, leaving Erma to take care of her remaining family. They consisted of her father, older brother Verl, and two younger sisters. Erma's father became distant, especially as he began dating again. He didn't notice when Erma and her younger sisters where in need of basic clothing iteams. Erma didn't have patterns for dresses, so she made them for herself and her sisters they same way she made doll clothes. Because of this she was self-conscious. She had to learn how to keep house by trial and error, being criticized by her neighbors and sometimes her older brother and father if the laundry was blue instead of white, or if the collars weren't starched well enough. For the summer after her mother died, it was left to Erma to cook, clean, sew, mend, and wash, until the school year started and her father finally hired on some help. After days of hard work, Erma would fall into bed exhausted and cry herself to sleep each night. This pattern continued for some time until Erma realized that the grief was taking control- she could no longer go on. She could choose to remain in darkness and grief, or she could choose to be healed through the atonement of Jesus Christ. This was a hard choice; she certainly had reason to feel sad. And yet, after her evaluation of her life, Erma chose The Light. She prayed for God's help. The Holy Ghost told her what to do. She ran out of her room and snatched the hymnbook from off the piano. Returning to her room, she got back in bed and sang song after song, 'till she fell asleep with the book in her hands. This she repeated to keep from crying. And it helped. Her situation didn't improve; all throughout her teen and young adult years she would continue to face trials. But she had learned to look to The Light. He would always see her through.
How do you look to The Light?