One of my favorite quotes of President Russell M. Nelson is: “If you think the Church has been fully restored, you're just seeing the beginning. There is much more to come. …Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It's going to be exciting” (“Latter-day Saint Prophet, Wife, Apostle Share Insights of Global Ministry,” Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Oct. 30, 2018).
It is definitely exciting to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to be guided by ongoing revelation. We should listen carefully and faithfully to the words of the Lord’s prophet for Christ has revealed, “his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth” (Doctrine and Covenants 21:5).
Reflecting on Family and Individual Blessings
For the Boehme family, the beginning of 2012 brought the birth of our sixth child—sweet Hannah.
Near the end of that same year our oldest son, Will, turned 12 and received the Aaronic priesthood. Shortly before his ordination, we heard President Thomas S. Monson declare: “Effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of 19 … We affirm that missionary work is a priesthood duty—and we encourage all young men who are worthy and who are physically able and mentally capable to respond to the call to serve” (“Welcome to Conference,” Ensign, Nov. 2012).
This change concerning missionary service was especially significant for Will. He always had a great desire to serve a mission; however, these prophetic changes kept the goal of serving a mission continually in the forefront of his mind and heart. For the next six years, he strived to live worthy to serve the Lord and received his mission call shortly after graduating from high school.
In October 2018, another great blessing came to our family when President Nelson announced “a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship” (“Opening Remarks,” Ensign, Nov. 2018, 8). Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, went on to explain that the 2019 Sunday Meeting schedule would be shortened to two hours and that “Family and individual gospel study at home will be significantly enhanced by a harmonized curriculum and a new Come, Follow Me resource for individuals and families” (“Deep and Lasting Conversion to Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 2018, 10).
In 2019 as we consistently, faithfully, and at times imperfectly studied the scriptures and the Come, Follow Me lessons, each member of our family has drawn closer to Christ. By obediently implementing these prophetic revelations from God, it has turned our home into a spiritual fortress against the evils of the world. As Elder Ronald A. Rasband, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has promised, “When we live the gospel of Jesus Christ, when we draw upon the Savior’s Atonement and press forward with faith, not fear, we are fortified against the wiles of the adversary” (“Build a Fortress of Spirituality and Protection,” Ensign, May 2019, 108).
We believe our very hearts were being prepared to face the challenges that lay ahead. The strength of our family fortress was about to be tested.
Facing a Family Trauma
On July 20, 2019, while pitching at a family friendly softball tournament, the ball came right off the bat, hit me in the face, and knocked me to the ground. The pain was excruciating. I was choking on blood, and my teeth felt strange. As family and friends gathered around me, I realized that I was in a critical situation.
Within seconds my brother-in-law called for consecrated oil. It was placed on my head, and my husband gave me a priesthood blessing. He blessed me that the bleeding would slow and that the hands of the doctors and surgeons would be guided to help me have a full recovery.
After the ambulance left the hospital, people gathered around the scene where the accident happened and offered a prayer for me.
After arriving at the ER, an x-ray confirmed that I had fractured my lower jaw and sinus. An on-call and skilled plastic surgeon proceeded to stitch up my face and lips for three and a half hours. I was then taken to oral surgeons who worked tirelessly for four hours, trying to splint my lower jaw and secure my teeth. I would have my jaw wired closed in a clenched position, be unable to speak for the first 10 days, and be on a liquid diet for a minimum of a month while the bones healed.
Just before the ambulance arrived, I noticed my 15 year-old son, Ethan. I remember worrying that he was scared. But he seemed calm. He later told me that as he saw me being rushed to the hospital, he had received a powerful witness from the Holy Ghost: “Mom, I had no doubt. I knew you would be okay!”
This trauma took place 25 days before our oldest son Will was to enter the Mission Training Center. In fact, six days after my accident, Will went through the temple for the first time. In addition to completing all of his mission preparations, he lovingly watched over and took care of his siblings. He felt that a special gift of the accident was, “For those few weeks before my mission, my family was all that mattered to me!”
Fortified by Christ’s Grace
In the days that followed, my husband and I watched in awe as we received blessings of physical healing, loving ministering, answered prayers, and a great tethering of our family to Christ. I was personally blessed with an enlarged capacity to hear the voice and feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I was given an entire month to practice patience and apply my faith until it became very natural to me to hear and do daily what the Spirit whispered. These spiritual blessings came to each member of our family, “[our] testimony of Jesus Christ [became our] personal fortress, the security for [our] soul(s)” (Ronald A. Rasband, 'Build a Fortress of Spirituality and Protection' , Ensign, May 2019, 108).
Now that my son has embarked on his full-time mission for the Lord, I have faith that when challenges come as a missionary, he will be like the stripling warriors and say, “we do not doubt our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48).
Our family was truly blessed by the ongoing revelations provided by living prophets. Our son was inspired to prepare to serve as a missionary. Our family has been fortified by the inspired home-centered, Church-supported changes. We clung to each other and to our faith in the Savior. He watched over every family member. I testify that out of suffering we have emerged stronger.
I have literally felt my Savior’s grace rescue me. I want to be an instrument in His hands to share His light. I know the Lord needs each of us to build up his kingdom and prepare our families for the Second Coming of the Savior.