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Living by the scriptures

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.

Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

2 Corinthians 12:9-12

After teaching 20 years, I was forced to retire. My chronic back pain had driven me to an early retirement. About the only place that was comfortable for me was on the carpeted floor. I had already had two back surgeries without much relief.

My prayer to Heavenly Father was for a complete recovery. I forgot "thy will be done." In my painful anguish all I could envision was complete relief from my excruciating pain.

I had been given blessings but I felt no respite to my satisfaction.

In my desperation, I sat down and wrote a letter to each of my children and tried my best to explain why I had taken my life. I quietly tucked the letters in a box in the closet where surely they would be found after my demise.

Enduring to the end is fine, I thought, if you do not experience daily chronic pain. Now all I had to do was think of a "clean" way to end my life.

As I entered the shower, I began to sing. All of a sudden I realized I had not sung in weeks. I felt an exhilarating joy as the water hit my face. Later as I studied, I came upon this scripture. Never had a scripture meant so much to me at this time.

My mode of praying changed from, "Please, Heavenly Father, heal me," to "Heavenly Father, grant me strength to bear the pain and not murmur."

Am I pain-free? No, but I am able to sleep and endure the pain much better than before. My faith has increased greatly. Through my trials, I have learned that faith does indeed precede the miracle.

Our prophets always encourage us to read, study and ponder the scriptures. I am eternally grateful for following that counsel. Failure to do so may have jeopardized my quest for eternal glory.

— Dora E. Paulson, Corpus Christi, Texas.

"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response articles. 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: