Barbara Murray tried “burning her bridges” during a time when she doubted her spiritual conviction of the gospel. She remembers telling an LDS friend that she felt as though she had just been through a “terrible divorce” from the Church. She wanted nothing more to do with it.
Meanwhile, friends from her ward kept in contact with telephone calls and notes in the mail. “All the letters that I received at home were so sweet and tender. ‘We miss you, Barbara. When you’re ready to come back, please let me know and I will come and get you,’” she remembers reading in one letter. “I felt totally loved.”
She clung to her testimony of certain gospel principles, and with time, her doubts were resolved. She knew she had to go back to her ward. But could other members accept her after she had turned her back on the Church?
“It was like coming home,” she recalls, smiling. “I was embraced and loved, and there were tears from my sisters.” Her friends accepted her without reservations, she says.
A fourth-generation Latter-day Saint, Richard had become less active before the car accident that nearly killed him in 1987.During the months of treatment and hospital stays, Richard pondered why he had lived through the accident. Life became sweeter as he began reading the scriptures again and turned to the gospel. His family, and service to others, became more important than selfish interests. He began to move back toward activity.
She told Richard recently that she sees something different about him now. He senses this difference in an inner peace that he believes comes from living the gospel and sharing the love he feels from the Lord and from others.