In recalling events for the manuscript, I remembered a dream telling me when Michael would be born. One night in about my sixth or seventh month, my doctor appeared in a dream and said, Your baby will be born September 9. That was all there was to the dream.
I didnt know the time of conception and wondered when he was due. Michael was born September 9 at 11:35 p.m. Another 25 minutes and it would have been a false prophecy, but God knows down to the last second whats going to happen. How I marveled at the power of Revelation.
The years of 1960-61 were hard to forget, for just after Michaels death we were both tried with adultery and then I conceived Susan Marie. In preparation for the coming event, we moved from the apartment to rent a house about two blocks away. I was so thrilled to have more than two rooms that my heart sang. We had been in the house only about two weeks and one afternoon I invited my two youngest brothers, Greg and Mark, to come over for a visit. They played on the front porch for a while, and their visit was short, but I was so happy to have them come over. That evening as I walked into the kitchen, I felt the most creepy feeling. Fear came through the back doorway at me and I thought Satan was standing just outside it. I hurried out of the kitchen. The next morning the landlord came hustling through the front door.
Where are they? he angrily demanded.
Who? I responded in total bewilderment.
Those boys you are baby-sitting. he boomed, and went searching from room to room. I told you that you cant have any kind of a business in this house. The neighbors told me you are running a baby-sitting business. Where are they?
I told him I didnt know what he was talking about. I was stunned. But nothing I could say would convince him that my little brothers were just there for a visit that day. If only hed known I hadnt seen them for weeks and probably wouldnt get to again for that long because of the alienation in the family, but there is no reasoning with someone in a Satanic rage. His wife came in and was so apologetic. I think she believed us, but to no avail. He said to move out, so we moved out. My heart sagged. Then I understood that forewarning I had the night before. Satan was there in the neighborhood.
We moved and were in the next house just a short time before I ended up in the hospital. Susan was born premature, breach. I just couldnt carry her through the stress we lived under. My weight was continually under 100 pounds, even when I delivered.
My Silent Beauty
Its all over now, everything is fine. You can go home to get some rest, the doctor told Gene.
Gene stuck his head in the hospital room door, Im going now. I guess everything will be okay. Four and ½ pounds isnt very big but she seems to be breathing normally. Im going to leave early in the morning. Your mother will take care of everything.
Okay, I love you, I said, and he left for home to get some sleep.
September 29, 1961, a day I can never forget. As I delivered Susan, our furniture was being packed and shipped off to Michigan. Gene worked in accounting for General Mills and was transferred by his company to run the Feed Division. Susans birth came unexpectedly, about three months early. I lay in the hospital bed contemplating a two week stay at my mothers without Gene. Then I would take Melissa and Susan, and join him in Michigan. How grateful I was that he was going to settle the furniture for me and have the house ready when we arrived. Oh, I thought how I will miss him these next two weeks, and Lord, thank you for giving me such a loving companion.
At home, Gene had just fallen asleep when the phone startled him.
Hello...yes. He sobered. Ill be right there! Gene dropped the phone in place, hurriedly dressed and ran out the door.
When the doctor entered my room that night I saw trouble on her face. Youd better send for your ministers, she said. Ive already called your husband.
The elders came and as they prayed over her tiny body, the Lord told them that she would be taken home. And then they came in to administer to me. I listened carefully for hope, but I heard only, Lord, we ask You to grant unto her grace that she might be able to accept Your will in this. I knew her fate was already decided. Eight hours after her birth, our number four sparrow fell and was carried home. And I cried. I lay in my hospital bed too hurt to think.
Gene didnt leave, and somehow we got through the next few days. Susan was buried in a graveside service in a tiny white casket. The pink baby rosebud spray her grandmother sent was bigger than the casket. I will always love my mother for sending those roses to my baby. Words are inadequate to express how I felt when I saw them. (Thanks, Mom.)
They opened the casket for me to see her for the second and last time before I will meet her as a young lady on the great Resurrection Day. She was precious4 1/2 pounds perfectly formed, the picture of health. She had the tiniest fingers and fingernails. Her eyelashes were so delicate one would be afraid to touch them for fear of breaking them. Such a beauty she would have been with that curly, strawberry blonde hair. Deep were the wounds of my heart as I viewed Susan, my Silent Beauty.
The love and strength of my companion and the Lord carried me for a long time after that, for trials such as never before wrought upon my mind and body. The testing of my spiritual strength had only begun. The pain of premature births and then the death of the babies caused deep depression. The loss of three children, Melissas illness and the deafness that followed, plus the scorn of those around us was very heavy. Yet His promises are sure. God said He would not let us have more at one time than we could bear. I was almost at the breaking point. There is a story that describes how I felt. It is such profound truth that I believe this is an actual experience of a man who had a hard road to walk. It's titled, Footprints.
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he saw two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonged to him, the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of his life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand and he noticed that many times along the path of his life there was only one set of footprints and he also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. That really bothered him and he questioned the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way, but I've noticed that during the most troublesome times of my life, there's only one set of footprints. I don't understand why at those times of my life when I needed you the most, you would leave me."
The Lord replied, "My precious child, I love you and would never leave you. During your times of trials and sufferings--when you see only one set of footprints--it was then that I carried you." Anonymous
After the funeral, Gene kissed me good-by and left for Michigan. Part of me went with him and I sank in spirit. I went home with my mother to recuperate at her house. Never had I been so low. My trust had been complete, my faith unwavering, yet how could I deny what common sense was telling me? Everything looked black. Carnal sense told me to give up my beliefs. Deny my convictions. Things would be much easier if we would walk away from our beliefs. People said we were on the wrong path because our lives were not smooth. God was not blessing us, they said.
The scripture, Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding,1 was written in my heart, yet we seemed to be cursed. I was confused. That night I lay looking out the window at the twinkling stars, just thinking. I remembered a dream in which I had been told Michael would be a prophet for the Lord, and yet I saw him die before he even had a chance to hear Gods name. What did this mean? Where and when could he be a prophet? There must be a work beyond the grave, I thought. That would explain to me the scripture that to him who overcame (temptations of this world), the Lord would make him ruler over His kingdoms; the ten cities parable.2 I came to believe that there is work for those who overcome Satans temptationsthat they will be workers and prophets for the Lordthat there has to be more than just this life to work. Sister Emma Burton was told this life is only preparatory. I knew that Michael and Susan would be in Celestial glory 3 because Jesus had paid for the original sin on the cross. This understanding had given me comfort at their deaths, but still knowing those things, I was under such depression that doubt began to creep in, and I let it take root.
Whether it was Satan or just my own insecurities, I cant say, but for the first time, thoughts went through my head that were dangerous because I was starting to lose faith. Maybe you are crazy. Everybody says you are. . . no one has dreams and visions nowadays. . .God does not talk to people today. . .who are you? How can all those people be wrong and you be right? The majority have to be right, dont they?
Negative thoughts pierced my heart and as I drifted off, not knowing really what was truth anymore, I was at the point of no return without divine intervention. Like Peter, who felt he had all faith in the Master, even to walk on water and then began to sink, I too, was sinking beneath the waves of human trials. Only my Lord Jesus could save me, and as He said to Peter, Come, so He called to me that night and lifted me from the depths of despair.
1. Proverbs 3:5
2. Reign with Christ a Thousand Years - Saints who overcome will reign (rule) with Jesus for 1,000 years. They will be given cities on earth to govern. (Rev. 20:4, 2:26-27, Luke 19:17, Matt. 25:21)
3.Celestial Glory - this is the highest level man can attain. It is the right to live with God and Christ. These people will be the rulers of nations on earth during the thousand years. Celestial glory will be judged at the Glory Coming of Christ. (Rev. 2:26-29, D&C 28:3b, D&C 76:5e-h) See Blessing of Babies - Original Sin Forgiven