I struggled through my teenage years with depression and terrible feelings of being alone and forgotten in the world. When these times of darkness descended upon me, I found great solace in “Mother nature.” My family lived on a mountain side that overlooked the Great Salt Lake valley. There were no homes higher on the mountain, and when the despair began seeping into me I’d climbed the mountain to a special spot I called my nest. From the nest I watched cars traveling along I-15 that appeared to be the size of ants. I’d see our big white church with its steeple reaching heavenward and orderly rows of homes that were now the size of doll furniture. Once in a while I could make out a tiny speck of movement that must be a person, but usually people weren’t part of what I could see. This change in perspective and the sheer beauty of the valley and mountain and lake encouraged and uplifted me. Many, many a time I sat in that nest and soaked in the feelings until I felt good enough to return home. Because of that, all of my life I’ve considered nature my solace, my nurturer, my rescue from despair.
A few months ago I was in the temple and began to think about those long ago times when I sought solace in the “nest.” As memory after memory passed through my mind, I began to pray and thank my Heavenly Father for the beauty of His creations and for the way nature had saved me. As I prayed those words, a voice suddenly came into my mind saying, “It wasn’t nature that comforted you. It was me.”
Tears welled in my eyes and spilled onto my cheeks as the realization hit me that all those years when I felt so alone and so forgotten, I wasn’t. God healed my broken heart. He calmed my troubled soul. He nurtured me.