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Living by the scriptures

I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days. — 1 Nephi 1:1

How many times have we all read 1 Nephi 1:1? It is a beautiful verse, with a great deal of meaning to anyone who has been born of goodly parents. However, not until preparing for my 19-year-old daughter to have brain tumor surgery did I see another significance to that scripture.

Our daughter Andrea had a brain tumor the size of an egg that needed to be removed. Even though we had seven months to prepare mentally and spiritually as a family, there were times that we felt afraid.

On one of those occasions, during a bishop's interview, we were discussing afflictions and trials. He had me open the scriptures to 1 Nephi 1:1 and read, ". . . and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days," and then had me examine the meaning of "affliction" in the reference section below. True knowledge literally swept through my whole being when I read that afflictions were a "blessing" and gift of God.

A 19-year-old girl learned at a very young age, along with her family, how great a blessing affliction could be. I reported in a letter to our missionary son, "What has been incredible about this whole experience is the love and support we have received from everyone in the ward, friends and family. There is truly power in many prayers. Before and after the surgery, we felt like we had this warm, soft blanket tucked completely around us, protecting us from any fear or darkness. We had such a peaceful feeling that everything would be OK. The Holy Ghost was there to comfort us."

Exactly one month later, Andrea returned to college with only a scar hidden in her hair to prove to others that she'd had brain surgery that summer!

— Joyce Rigby Garner, Centerville, Utah

"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response features. Was there a time when a particular scripture touched you, when it offered comfort, guidance and much-needed support? If so, please describe your experience in 250-300 words, giving the scripture reference and telling how it affected you. Send your submission to Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2524. Internet E-mail: [email protected]