I started my journey to become a Registered Nurse at the age of 39. I had four children and a supportive husband. Our youngest child had started Grade 1, and I was faced with the decision of what I would do with my time now that all our children were in school full-time. My husband suggested nursing because he knew I enjoyed taking care of people. I took it to the Lord and felt compelled to apply. I was accepted into the nursing program.
Time and time again over the next four years, Heavenly Father blessed me to be able to juggle my responsibilities as wife, mother, student and active Church member. I took to heart the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 82:10: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” I made a promise to Heavenly Father that I would not do any schoolwork on Sundays, and I would fulfill my callings in the Church and as a wife and mother. I promised to read my scriptures and continue keeping the commandments. It was tempted to study on a Sunday evening when I had a big test on a Monday. But I didn’t. My classmates couldn’t believe I could survive without coffee.
But I did. The Lord kept His end of the promise as I kept mine (Doctrine & Covenants 19:16-17).
I was frequently blessed when studying. I had less time to devote to my studies because of my responsibilities and my decision not to study on Sundays, but Heavenly Father blessed me to be effective with my time. When I had a big test or was starting an essay, I prayed for His help. Heavenly Father didn’t let me down. I was blessed to remember things I needed to know for exams and assignments. I often felt the spirit prompting me when I worked with patients in the hospital and the community. Heavenly Father loves all His children and let me feel that love for people I was assisting. My family and I were blessed with good health throughout my time in school. My husband and children took on added responsibilities by cooking meals, doing laundry, and cleaning the house. They were a blessing to me. I was also fortunate to do my final clinical rotation and my final preceptorship in my hometown, which was a huge blessing to my family and me. It made our life easier. Another blessing from the Lord.
At the end of March of 2018, I completed all the requirements to receive my nursing degree. The only thing standing in my way of becoming a Registered Nurse was the licensing test called the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). I was nervous about NCLEX from day one of nursing school. This assessment was the culmination of all my learning in the last four years. It is a very difficult test, and not everyone passes. I dedicated the month of April to studying. When I began, I quickly became overwhelmed with all the material I had to review.
One day at the beginning of my studying, I was reading my scriptures. I was tearful because I was thinking of all the material I had to cover. In Ether, I read the story of the Brother of Jared’s struggle to build the barges. He needs light in the barges to travel to the promised land. He inquires of the Lord, and Heavenly Father tells him to come up with a solution. The Brother of Jared fashions stones and takes them to the Lord. He asks the Lord to touch the stones so they may be lighted. I felt like the Brother of Jared. I had a big task ahead of me, and I didn’t know how to do it. It was as if Heavenly Father was saying to me, “What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” (Ether 2:23)
It was an answer to prayer. I told Heavenly Father that I would prepare the stones and that I needed Him to touch them and make them lighted. I would study the best I could, but I needed Him to bless my efforts so I could remember what I had studied for the test. I needed Him to light my knowledge so I could pass the test. Every time throughout the next month when I started to panic because there was so much information to review and remember, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to bless my efforts.
In this time, I also came across Ether 12:27,
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
This scripture also comforted me when I felt anxious about the test. I was weak, but through the grace of Jesus Christ, I could be made strong. Jesus Christ can make up the difference of my weakness. If I was humble, my weakness could become strength.
A couple of days before I was to write the test, my husband gave me a blessing. It was a beautiful blessing of comfort. I could once again feel Heavenly Father’s love for me. I knew that Heavenly Father was listening to my prayers and that He cared about me. He wanted me to be a nurse, and He was going to help me just as He had done throughout the last four years. Many members of my family and ward offered to pray for me. I gladly took them up on their offer. Their prayers made me feel stronger.
Finally, it was time to take the test. I had planned to cram in as much studying as I could the night before, but I felt prompted to go to the temple. At first, I thought I didn’t have time. Suddenly, I realized that there was no better place to go to offer my stones for Heavenly Father to light. I took a family name and did a session at the temple.
It was an amazing experience. I felt very close to my ancestor whose work I was doing. I felt she would be a special cheerleader for me the next day. I could also feel my Heavenly Father’s love and concern for me. I felt light and peace in the temple. Heavenly Father had accepted my offering of stones, and I knew He would bless me.
On the morning of the test, I felt calm. I offered a prayer and began. I was nervous, but I could think clearly. The test was hard, very hard. My brain was sore when I was done, but I felt that abiding peace throughout.
I was informed that I had to wait five to seven days to get my scores. I anxiously endured each one of those days. Finally on the morning of the seventh day, I received my results. I passed!
Heavenly Father had given light to my petitions for stones of knowledge. I can now move forward caring for Heavenly Father’s children as a Registered Nurse. I have a testimony that when we keep our promises to the Lord, He pours out blessings upon us.