Life Lessons and Strength from Emma Smith

Saturday, April 6

4-6By Cathy Loving of Independence, Missouri, USA

God is calling for a prophetic community to emerge… that is characterized by uncommon devotion to the compassion and peace of God revealed in Jesus Christ…

—Doctrine and Covenants163:11a

Most mentors are living people who guide and encourage us along life’s journey. But because I am not like most people and have a passion for history, it is fitting my path is a bit different. My unexpected mentor is Emma Smith. Her accidental entrance into my life became a powerful and healing experience.

Leaders asked me to portray Emma Smith for the 2005 Bicentennial and Heritage Reunion in Nauvoo, Illinois. My first reaction was to say “no.” I feared I might fail to present her the way she deserved. The “Elect Lady” intimidated me, both then and now.

I eventually agreed to the challenge, trusting God would guide me. At that reunion, Emma taught me more than I could imagine about myself and my faith. She continues to teach me about God’s lasting love when I prepare and portray her at reunions, camps, or special events.

It is a delight when I have the opportunity at camps and reunions to share with the young children. Their imaginations are creative, and they easily pull me into Emma’s stories. During those moments I catch myself strengthened by the acceptance she had for all, the satisfaction she found in daily life, and her constant trust in God to comfort her.

I never will understand the deep sorrow and struggles Emma experienced. But she continues to show me how to accept God’s love graciously and to understand my own faith journey. My mustard seed of faith is slowly taking root and maturing, thanks to Emma’s story. Through it I am guided when I doubt and am reminded to pray continuously for guidance. Because of her example, my fears drift away, and I’m overcome with peace. Emma’s lesson and steady trust in God help me take tiny steps of faith to become the person God calls me to be.

There have been moments of great doubt in my life, but God guides me—just as God guided Emma—one step at a time.

Prayer for Peace
May we be grateful for the church leaders of the past, God. May we be mindful of our present leaders and hold them up in our prayers.

Spiritual Practice: Praying for Leadership of the Church
An important spiritual practice for disciples is praying for members of the body of Christ, particularly those who carry leadership responsibilities. Ask God to guide your awareness to persons who lead the community of faith at congregational, mission center, and World Church levels. See or sense these people and ask for insight into any particular physical, emotional, or spiritual needs they may have. Pray for God’s outpouring of grace on each servant leader who comes to mind.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will pray for the church’s leaders around the world.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  6 April 2013

    Kathy, your name alone would indicate your connection with church history and I just want to say I appreciated your story. Brian and I were inspired by the history stories shared by Barbara Walden at the Arizona Winter Reunion and have signed on to take the Historic Sites Tour in October. Thanks for sharing. Vera

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