The Comfort Of Fellow-Mourners


The world in which we live has such beauty, and can bring such joy to our souls. Yet, this same beautiful world can not only show us, but also give us such pain. On those occasions, sometimes it seems, it would be better to be blind, than to see the pain and suffering that comes to us and to our loved ones.

A few years ago my wife and I found out about the sudden death of a grandchild of some good friends of ours. Just two months old, the little baby girl unexpectedly died from SIDS. Our friends left town to be by the side of their grieving son and daughter-in-law. I can’t imagine the pain involved for all parties concerned. A few weeks later I saw the grandmother at church for the first time since the tragedy. As I went to offer my condolences I could see her eyes well up with tears. I gave her a hug and felt helpless as to what to say. Fortunately my wife was right behind me and as they embraced, they both shed tears of sorrow. As I was teaching a class, I left them together as they shared strong feelings of the moment.

Some fifteen or twenty minutes later my wife came into my class. As she sat down it was clear she couldn’t maintain her emotions and she started to cry. I was reminded of the promise from the Savior, “Blessed are those that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) While I know that the “comforter” of which the Savior spoke is His spirit, I believe that those that “mourn” receive tremendous comfort from others.

The great prophet, Alma, laid a challenge to those who would call themselves the followers of Christ. He preached:

“…and now as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort…” (Mosiah 18: 8-9)

While “wishing we were blind” when ugly things happen might save us from some of life’s pain, it really wouldn’t be in accordance with the principles of the gospel. So instead of “wishing we were blind” we should keep our eyes wide open, so that we can “mourn with those that mourn” and others can “mourn” with us in our time of need.

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