I came across “Are You the Woman I Think You Are?” by Sheri Dew at the October 1997 General Conference somewhat randomly. (If you want the whole talk, it can be found here.) I’d been searching for a spot where Sister Dew talked about her relationship with her grandmother. In this episode of Mormon Conversations, she talks about how a grandmother has the opportunity to form a special bond with her grandchildren that sometimes a mother can’t even do. I’d been thinking about that a bit the last few weeks and then, last Sunday at church with Grandma and Grandpa, LJ just wanted to sit in Grandma’s lap and he made it very well known to everyone around. He went over and quietly sat in her lap. (For reference, he does not sit in my lap unless he has a 103 degree fever.) Eventually, he fell asleep there and just looked so peaceful. Later that evening, he was upset and struggling to go to sleep. Grandma went down and laid down with him which calmed him down and helped him finally go to sleep. I think that LJ and Grandma will have a special (and important) relationship. I am grateful for such a great mother-in-law who I know will be such a force for good in the lives of my young boys.
This talk by Sheri Dew describes an experience that demonstrates just the importance of those interactions between grandmother and grandchild.
I’ll never forget an interchange she and I had one night as we drove home from yet another meeting. It began when I blurted out a question that flashed through my eight-year-old mind: “Grandma, what if the gospel isn’t true and we’ve been going to all of these meetings for nothing?” Charming little eight-year-old, wasn’t I? “Sheri, you don’t need to worry about that,” she answered, “because I know that the gospel is true.”
I challenged her: “How can you know for sure?”
Several seconds passed before she said slowly, “I know for sure that the gospel is true because the Holy Ghost has told me that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that this is His Church.” She paused and then she added something I will never forget: “And, Sheri, He’ll tell you too, and when He does, your life can never be the same again.”
I still vividly remember what happened next. A sensation unlike any I had ever experienced charged through my body, and then I began to cry. Though I didn’t understand the reason for my outburst, I’m sure Grandma realized exactly what was happening—that the Spirit was bearing witness to me that what she had said was true.
As I got further into the talk, I discovered other messages that touched me in regards to “coming unto Christ”.
There are no disclaimers or exceptions in His invitation. We are the ones who determine whether or not we will come unto Him. The drawing near, seeking, asking, and knocking are up to us. And the more we know about the Lord—meaning the more we experience His mercy, devotion, and willingness to guide us even when we may not feel worthy of His direction—the more confident we become that He will respond to our petitions.
As we increase our interaction with Him, we learn for ourselves that He will never betray us, never turn away, never change His criteria for coming unto Him. His attention is riveted on us, His brothers and sisters.
There are many ways to draw near, seek, ask, and knock. If, for example, your prayers offered to Heavenly Father in the name of Christ have become a little casual, would you recommit yourself to meaningful prayer, offered in unrushed solitude and with a repentant heart? If you have not yet come to appreciate the peace and the power of temple worship, would you partake of the ordinances of the house of the Lord as often as your circumstances allow? If you have not yet found that immersion in the scriptures increases your sensitivity to the Spirit, would you consider incorporating the word of God into your life more consistently? Tonight would be a wonderful time to begin.