As life’s trials rock us, we can feel peace and love through songs of the heart. I came to know this truth more clearly than ever before as I grieved my mother’s death.
The choice to serve a mission can be a hard decision for many young adults. I left on my mission with many uncertainties, trusting that the Lord would guide me. The time had come to leave everything behind. I hugged my parents and said goodbye, not knowing what the future would hold.
A few weeks passed, and I grew to know immense joy as a missionary. I felt greater love and peace than I had ever known. I felt somewhat invincible. That is, until my world turned upside down. Emails and letters from my family seemed to become more sparse, and the tone of news from home darkened. My mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse.
I still vividly remember the day that my sweet mother passed from this frail existence. I was afforded the opportunity to travel home and arrived at her bedside only a few moments after she was gone. It was like an out-of-body experience; disparity filled my thoughts. I knew, though, that I had to be a strength to my family and use the skills and habits I had just begun to develop, to bless and help them. Over the next few days, we made funeral arrangements and spent many hours talking and mourning together.
It was decided that my brother and I would deliver the eulogy. On the day of my mother’s funeral, we spoke in loving memory of a woman who left a special mark on thousands throughout her lifetime. At the end of our speaking, we felt impressed to sing the hymn “Be Still, My Soul.” The words of the third verse are as follows:
Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
It was the first time I truly came to understand the meaning of Doctrine and Covenants 25:12: “The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” The feeling of loss left my soul, and an inner peace I had never before experienced rested upon me. It wasn’t permanent, and it didn’t change the fact that I would experience grief for an unknown period of time going forward. But I knew that God loved me and was with me. I went on to complete my mission, and to this day, when I struggle, the words of that hymn and many others come to my mind and help my soul to be still.
Source: LDS Hymnbook
—Colin Wylie, Mormon Insights contributor
feature image by arnaud mesureur
Find more insights
Read “Comprehending Death,” a Mormon Insights article by Karee Brown about losing a good friend.