Keeping up with schedules of five school children and three pre-schoolers always proved challenging. However, in this particiular week, it seemed the unexpected was even more prevalent than usual. Emergency trips to the Doctor; helping with school assignments; soothing hurt knees and hurt feelings; cleaning up messier than normal messes; many important not-to-be-ignored telephone calls; my much valued helpmate being called by his work to be away from home for the entire week..............these were a few of the barriers that delayed my preparations to be able to teach a spiritual class in our church women's group, called Relief Society.
When the morning of that day arrived, I was panicked, and wondered if I should even go teach because I was so unprepared. As I knelt to pray before getting dressed for the meeting, I pleaded with my Heavenly Father to help me teach this very important lesson, which was on forgiveness. I told Him that I really had wanted to study and prepare for it, but that I felt I had nothing to offer these ladies since I hadn't been able to hardly even look at the scriptures and other materials available to me.
A great peaceful relief came over me, and I knew that it would be OK. Even though I had no idea HOW it could be OK, I had learned by then that I could trust in that peace which signified to me that my prayer had been heard.
By the time I had walked up to the podium to begin my lesson, my faith began to waver somewhat, as I had not had one idea or inspiration as to how to even introduce this subject!
For some reason, I felt the prompting to begin by asking questions....I don't remember exactly what they were, but as a result of one of those questions, one lady raised her hand and said, "You know, there is such a fine line between love and hate." Miraculously, with only a split second of hesitation, my mouth opened and thoughts/words came forth. The words I heard were obviously not MY words or MY thoughts! I had heard this idea before, but never given it any thought. Until that moment, I had not considered this subject!
I listened carefully to the words, though, because I knew they were truth. My first unexpected comment was "Satan would like for us to believe that, because it is HIS doctrine rather than true doctrine." I continued the comments for about 2 minutes, I believe. I began to have the thought, "What on earth am I going to say or do when this is over?"
I do not remember what the answer to that question was, but I do remember that the whole lesson went so well, and that the revelation we had each heard sparked much good participation. I had only been home for about half an hour after church that day when I got a phone call. It was a sister that I did not know, who was visiting that day in my class. She was crying. She said over and over, "Thank you, thank you. What you said today gave me some perfect answers to my prayers. I needed so badly to hear that about hate and love. I can't tell you the relief and peace I have now."
I never saw that lady again. But I knew the words given to me that morning were especially for her......and for me. The concept I learned that day has served me so well in many, many times in my life. I know that my Heavenly Father wanted me to know about that, and looking back on events in my life since then, I know that He lovingly prepared me for those times, as well as answering this sister's prayers.