Jane was the heart of my BYU singles ward. She had that rare ability to be lovingly inclusive making even those who sought out the shadows to feel part of the ward. I learned to rely on her to make me aware of those who were suffering silently. Through her assistance, I was able to reach out to those who were on the edge of disaster.
One evening, as I prepared for my interviews, I noticed Jane’s name on the list. This didn’t alarm me as I had an open door policy when it came to interviews. Many ward members came simply to talk about school, relationships, and future plans.
When Jane entered my office, I could tell something was wrong, very wrong. She sat on the chair across from me and slowly her head bowed until it was resting on my desk. Then she began to sob uncontrollably.
Back when she was 15, she committed a sin that she felt is unpardonable. She knew she should have confessed her misdeed to her parents and to her bishop. She wanted to. But she was too afraid. Not because of embarrassment. Rather, because she did not what to hear what she already knew to be true. She knew she was lost and had no chance to live with God again.
As I searched for a way to give her hope, my mind was opened and God allowed me to glimpse beyond the veil to see who Jane really was.
I could see Jane in the pre-mortal life, as a valiant supporter of the Father’s plan. I saw her pleading with her brothers and sisters who had chosen to follow Satan. They rebuffed her and ridiculed her for believing in Christ’s role as Savior.
In spite of their taunts, Jane stood tall among the disciples of Christ. She was one of the noble and great ones.
As this fleeting glimpse into Jane’s past faded, I could hear God saying: “Tell Jane she is forgiven. Remind her that Jesus willingly suffered from all her sins.”
When I told Jane what I had experienced and explained that she was totally forgiven, it was as if the burdens of the world were lifted from off her shoulders. Soon she was sitting upright in the chair beaming with a hope that she had lost so many years ago.
Once she felt the undeniable and overpowering love God had for her, she became a new person, a person willing to love herself so that she was better able to love God and love her neighbors.