Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's a Safetysuit Kind of Day... (Extra Long Post, Beware)

To be more specific, it's a Life Left To Go kind of day--If you haven't heard it listen to it here.

I woke up late this morning and for some reason I still decided to straighten my hair (which I haven't done in a reeeeally long time), and of course it took way longer than it should have. I am happy to see that my hair is slowly coming back from the dead--quite literally. I have spent basically all summer with curly hair so it was a nice change to see it straight. For those of you who are curious, you are in trouble because (1) I am at school and I would look like a goof smiling at my computer for a picture, and (2) I already tried that and I'm wearing a black blazer--and my hair is black...

Anyway, I just wanted to jot down a few things that have absolutely nothing to do with above. I am taking a Women in the Scriptures class for institute with Sister Terry... For those of you who don't know her, you are 100% missing out. She is the most inspirational woman in this world, if she wasn't as humble as she is I'm sure they could have included her as one of the great women we talk about. Yesterday sister Terry taught us about Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph Smith's mother, and all the inspiring qualities she had. To tell you the truth, I was already having an emotional day (more like emotional week...), but I cried the whole freaking class. We talked about her strength, her faith, her support of Joseph. Her husband was equally as amazing, he had several visions that helped him prepare for what was to come. Joseph Smith Sr. even dreamt about the tree of life when Joseph was 6 years old! Lucy, the most inspirational journal writer ever, made record of it and many other experiences. What did I learn from all this? Well, first, I need to write more, not just about the good and the bad but everything in between. Second, I need to work on my faith... a lot. Last, being a good mother and wife is hard work, but there will never be anything more enjoyable than the blessing of being married forever and raising kids.

To get a glimpse of just how incredible this woman's faith was, sister Terry read from History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, I was so intrigued that I bought the book... Here is the story that we read in class: 

(Lucy's experience of the surgery performed on Joseph's leg)

"His leg soon began to swell and he continued to suffer the greatest agony for the space of two weeks longer. During this period I carried him much of the time in my arms in order to mitigate his suffering as much as possible; in consequence of which I was taken very ill myself. The anxiety of mind that I experienced, together with physical over-exertion, was too much for my constitution and my nature sank under it. Hyrum, who was rather remarkable for his tenderness and sympathy, now desired that he might take my place. As he was a good, trusty boy, we let him do so, and, in order to make the task as easy for him as possible, we laid Joseph upon a low bed and Hyrum sat beside him, almost day and night for some considerable length of time, holding the affected part of his leg in his hands and pressing it between them, so that his afflicted brother might be enabled to endure the pain which was so excruciating that he was scarcely able to bear it...

"The surgeon was called again, and he this time enlarged the wound, cutting the leg even to the bone. It commenced healing the second time, and as soon as it began to heal it also began to swell again, which swelling continued to rise till we deemed it wisdom to call a council of surgeons; and when they met in consultation they decided that amputation was the only remedy. Soon after coming to this conclusion, they rode up to the door and were invited into a room apart from the one in which Joseph lay. They being seated, I addressed them thus: 'Gentlemen, what can you do to save my boy's leg?' They answered, 'We can do nothing; we have cut it open to the bone and find it so affected that we consider his leg incurable and that amputation is absolutely necessary in order to save his life.' This was like a thunderbolt to me. I appealed to the principal surgeon, saying, 'Dr. Stone, can you not make another trial? Can you not, by cutting around the bone, take out the diseased part, and perhaps that which is sound will heal over, and by this means you will save his leg? You will not, you must not, take off his leg, until you try once more. I will not consent to let you enter his room until you make me this promise.'

"After consulting a short time with each other, they agreed to do as I had requested, then went to see my suffering son. One of the doctors, on approaching his bed, said, 'My poor boy, we have come again.' 'Yes,' said Joseph, 'I see you have; but you have not come to take off my leg, have you, sir?' 'No,' replied the surgeon, 'it is your mother's request that we make one more effort, and that is what we have now come for.' 

"The principal surgeon, after a moment's conversation, ordered cords to be brought to bind Joseph fast to a bedstead; but to this Joseph objected. The doctor, however, insisted that he must be confined, upon which Joseph said very decidedly, 'No, doctor, I will not be bound, for I can bear the operation much better if I have my liberty.' 

"'Then,' said Dr. Stone, 'Will you drink some brandy?' 'No,' said Joseph, 'not one drop.' 

"'Will you take some wine?' rejoined the doctor. 'You must take something, or you can never endure the severe operation to which you must be subjected.' 

"'No,' exclaimed Joseph, 'I will not touch one particle of liquor, neither will I be tied down; but I will tell you what I will do—I will have my father sit on the bed and hold me in his arms, and then I will do whatever is necessary in order to have the bone taken out.' Looking at me, he said, 'Mother, I want you to leave the room, for I know you cannot bear to see me suffer so; father can stand it, but you have carried me so much, and watched over me so long, you are almost worn out.' Then looking up into my face, his eyes swimming in tears, he continued. 'Now, mother, promise me that you will not stay, will you? The Lord will help me, and I shall get through with it.' 

"To this request I consented, and getting a number of folded sheets, and laying them under his leg, I retired, going several hundred yards from the house in order to be out of hearing. 

"The surgeons commenced operating by boring into the bone of his leg, first on one side of the bone where it was affected, then on the other side, after which they broke it off with a pair of forceps or pincers. They thus took away large pieces of the bone. When they broke off the first piece, Joseph screamed out so loudly, that I could not forbear running to him. On my entering the room, he cried out, 'Oh, mother, go back, go back; I do not want you to come in—I will try to tough it out, if you will go away.'

"When the third piece was taken away, I burst into the room again—and oh, my God! What a spectacle for a mother's eye! The wound torn open, the blood still gushing from it, and the bed literally covered with blood. Joseph was pale as a corpse, and large drops of sweat were rolling down his face, whilst upon every feature was depicted the utmost agony! 

"I was immediately forced from the room, and detained until the operation was completed; but when the act was accomplished, Joseph put upon a clean bed, the room cleared of every appearance of blood, and the instruments which were used in the operation removed, I was permitted again to enter...

"Having passed through about a year of sickness and distress, health again returned to our family, and we most assuredly realized the blessing; and indeed, we felt to acknowledge the hand of God, more in preserving our lives through such a tremendous scene of affliction, than if we had, during this time, seen nothing but health and prosperity."

What a wonderful lesson this was. This woman's great faith was reflected in her children. Joseph, being so young, was so incredibly faithful. This, young yet trusting, side of the prophet is one we rarely get to see... This woman taught her children well, so much so that they trusted the Lord with all their heart--like she did. I pray that I can be a fraction of what this lovely woman was; if we all strive for this kind of love and faith we can change lives.

I am so grateful for this gospel, for the opportunity to become better than I was yesterday. I am grateful for the examples of great women, like Lucy, that have brought children to this earth and changed our lives...

1 comment:

  1. I totally love that band (/song), and I totally love that book. And I totally love you, Kathy! Sorry if it's been a rough week :( But it's true what Lucy said: more difficult struggles lead to greater faith, and, might I add, greater joy when things go right again. Those who have to fight for something great appreciate it that much more, always. Oh I just love that Lucy Mack!!