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Only a Matter of Time

Only a Matter of Time

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.

Barbara attended other churches for a while, seeking a spiritual base and the kind of fellowship she had known in her ward. But “it really was sort of lonely out there,” she recalls. At another church one day, she heard a group criticizing Latter-day Saints. Despite her own doubts, Barbara knew the criticisms were untrue. So she stopped going to any church, feeling she and her family could worship at home.
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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.

The love of other members helped draw him in. That love was demonstrated graphically when circumstances forced his family to move shortly after he had back surgery. He had been told not to lift anything. Men from his priesthood quorum, alerted by the missionaries (who were frequent visitors to the family), showed up “six deep” to help. They allowed Richard to touch nothing, and the move was completed in one trip. The experience was gratifying to Richard, and it was both touching and surprising for his wife, who is not a member of the Church.

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.