Sister Sue L. Clark
Sue Clark was born and raised in Waterflow, New Mexico. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 1970 where she majored in child development and family relations.
President and Sister Clark are the parents of 7 children and the grandparents of 23 grandchildren.
September 16, 2014
I love the start of a new semester. Hope and anticipation are in the air! President Clark and I are blessed to be here and also feel the surge of hope in this new beginning.
All of us need and yearn for acceptance and love. It is a basic need. We especially want to feel it from people we care about who are good and who inspire us to be and to do good. That kind of love instills in us a sense of self-worth and confidence. And so, President Clark and I want you to feel our love and know of our desires for your success in school and in your eternal progression. We don't get to know very many of you individually; but the Lord has blessed us in this work at BYU-Idaho to love you, and we feel His love for you. We hope that you are confident of the Lord's love for you.
You can seek for evidence of the Lord's love in your lives. Learning of the Savior, studying the scriptures, serving in the church, keeping the commandments . . . anything that draws you near to Him helps you to feel His love. That evidence often comes in the form of what the scriptures call "the tender mercies of the Lord."1
As Elder David A. Bednar has taught:
Tender mercies are . . . individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ.2
The tender mercies of the Lord are available to all of us . . . the Redeemer of Israel is eager to bestow such gifts upon us.3
Today I want to share with you an experience our daughter had in the spring of 2013 that was a tender mercy from the Lord in her life. That was a very difficult time for her when she faced many significant challenges with her family and her children. One day, feeling frustrated and discouraged, she knelt in prayer. I will read what she wrote about what happened.
I sought to be fully open and humble--even if it meant hearing I had somehow strayed from what He desired for me and my children. I wept as I prayed and promised my Father in Heaven that I would do what He needed of me--whatever that was. As I knelt there, the noise of my children playing downstairs perked my ears. This brought me peace. And then a memory entered my mind. It was the memory of another prayer offered in another moment of despair some months ago, before my youngest was born, when in the darkness of my bedroom, in the middle of the night, I fell to my knees by the side of my bed seeking comfort and strength. A voice had whispered to my mind that night, and through the memory of it, whispered again on this afternoon: I trust you. You are their mother. I gave them to you.
Comforted by this memory, I offered a brief prayer of gratitude. This answer to my prayer was enough. I knew that I had done what was right for my children, and I knew my Father in Heaven was watching over me.
Just as I was getting up from my knees, Kira, my oldest, knocked on my door and excitedly asked me to come outside to see something. She had found something while walking up our front steps on arriving home from softball practice. She urged me to be quiet as I came out onto the front porch and started down the stairs. She pointed into the bushes to the left of the stairs. At first I couldn't see what she was pointing at. But then a robin flew out of the bush and perched on the other side of the railing. The robin was upset and chirping at me. As I looked where she had flown from, I could see why. There, nestled in the bushes, was a beautifully constructed nest with two of the most brilliant blue eggs I had ever seen resting inside. As I showed my other children the nest, mother robin continued her chirping, never moving from her perch just a few branches away. I went inside to get my phone so I could take a picture. On returning, I realized she was still there watching, protecting, and never wavering.
We checked on the robin with her eggs daily for a couple of weeks. She stopped chirping so wildly at us; but each time we approached, she flew to a nearby branch and watched as we snapped pictures of her nest with the eggs. On Mother's Day I woke up early, anxious to check on the nest, and found that overnight those beautiful blue eggs had hatched! There, in the nest, were two beautiful little baby birds. The not-so-subtle symbolism of the timing of their hatching was not lost on me. It was a beautifully symbolic gift, a sweet tender mercy from my Father in Heaven that reinforced His message to me in answer to my prayers: I trust you. You are their mother. I gave them to you.4
I bear you my witness that the Lord's tender mercies are all around us. When we keep the commandments and draw near to the Lord, we feel His love and recognize His blessings. It is my prayer that we will open our hearts to the love of the Lord and recognize His tender mercies in our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
11 Nephi 1:202 Elder David A. Bednar, "The Tender Mercies of the Lord," Ensign, May 20053 Ibid. 4 Erin Clark, Personal Journal, Spring 2013