Is feeling “Unworthy” a Blessing?

My oldest daughter Jenifer was born three months early, weighing only two and a half pounds! We couldn’t take her home from the hospital until she weighed four pounds, which seemed like an eternity. My second daughter Laura was born just two days before Jenifer turned one and weighed eight pounds. I had my hands full with two small babies but it was mostly fun. One thing difficult was that Laura was colicky and it was hard getting her to sleep at nights.

It was my Dad’s birthday and he loved cinnamon rolls so I made some for him. We got home from my parents house pretty late. I put the kids to bed and went to bed myself. Laura started crying so I got up to see what she needed. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing helped her. I stayed up with her till almost four, but finally just left her crying in her crib and went to bed. When I woke up at 8:00 am I knew something was wrong because Laura always woke up before 7:00. I ran into her room and to my horror, she was dead!

Neither my husband nor I had ever been through anything like this before. The Paramedics who came said she probably died from SIDS. For days everything was a blur but I remember a few things very clearly. My parents and my little brother came as well as the Bishop. And then a few days later I remember running into a teenager from our Ward who occasionally babysat. She said, “Where is Laura?” I remember thinking “How do you tell a teenager that your baby is dead?” I also remember that the whole thing was very hard for my Grandma, who had also lost a baby at about the same age.

I learned that death is not negotiable and life goes on. A few weeks later I went to see my Bishop to get a Temple Recommend. We talked about Laura’s death and he promised me that if I was worthy, I would get to raise her in the Millennium. He also promised me that if I was worthy, Laura would appear to me when I was in the Temple. As the day approached to go to Salt Lake I was filled with nervous anticipation as well as excitement. After Laura’s death I had become consumed with guilt because I had left her to cry in her crib. I desperately wanted to tell her how much I loved her and that I was sorry for leaving her alone to die. Even though this happened over 27 years ago, this pain is still so strong that it brings tears to my eyes as I write this.

The day came for us to go through the Temple. Laura did not appear to me. I knew the reason why! My Bishop had told me that she would appear to me IF I was worthy. I knew she didn’t come to me because I was unworthy! The pain that this added to a life already full of pain was unbearable. I didn’t speak of it to anyone. Every LDS person I knew was worthy and I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t. How could I tell anyone else my feelings? No one else was unworthy like me.

Twenty-seven years later I still wish my daughter hadn’t died. But looking back, I trust God’s promise that everything will work out for my good. I now know that my feelings of unworthiness when Laura didn’t appear to me in the Temple were a blessing! This major event in my life became one very heavy weight added to many hundreds telling me how unworthy I was! These weights led me to seek a solution outside of myself.

Now, I know the truth! Without Jesus, every single person is unworthy! But in Mormonism, there is this façade that you can somehow be worthy based upon your own actions. When you meet with your Bishop to get a Temple Recommend, you are asked a handful of questions to determine your worthiness. But simply read the Sermon on the Mount to see that these questions are very different from the ones Jesus would ask to determine your worthiness. Along with many other questions, He would ask you if you were as worthy as Heavenly Father!

Have you ever wondered why Jesus would command us to be as perfect as God Himself? Unless you are one hundred percent perfect, you won’t dwell eternally with God the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit! Jesus wants you to know that you can never be as perfect as Heavenly Father. The purpose of God’s laws, His commands; is to show you how unworthy you are. When you look honestly into the mirror of His laws, you see just how sinful you are. Jesus wants you to know just how much you need a Savior, so you will turn to Him and be saved! This is what led me to truly know my Savior. (Galatians 3:21-24/Romans 7:7-8/Romans 3:19-20).

If you feel unworthy, realize what a blessing it is! Then, turn to your Savior who was worthy for you! Trust me, you will devote your whole life to this Savior who made you worthy!! Once you do this you won’t have to pretend to others that you are worthy. Christ came to save the unworthy and through Him, you have been made worthy forever! (Hebrews 10:10-14)

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