I sit and sing the opening hymn in Relief Society, watching Sherlene, the smiling chorister, as she moves her arms in time with the music. Around the room, sister’s voices sound like a choir of angels and the spirit of the melody touches my heart. Before I may have rushed through the words in the hymn book, but today I listened more carefully. I hear the beauty of the music because of Sherlene.
Other then occasionally seeing Sherlene in the hallway of the church, I knew very little about her. She was a pretty woman in her late thirties, usually on task helping the bishop collect attendance rolls from the classrooms. A week earlier, she had bore her testimony in Relief Society. Her smile caught my attention, only next to the enthusiasm in her voice when she spoke.
“I’ve been deaf since birth,” Sherlene said “but because of loving parents and excellent schooling, I learned to read lips.”
I was shocked. This woman, so poised and articulate with the courage to speak in front of a room full of people was deaf?
“For many years, I was angry at God because of my disability. I wanted to be like other girls. I didn’t want to be teased at school. Through prayer, I’ve come to accept I will never hear and I do my best to love and serve those around me.”
Sherlene went on to explain the complications of her birth, how she wasn’t breathing when she was born and her mother had been told her baby would die.
“But my mother knew I would be alright and she knew she would take me home.”
Sherlene picked up the hymn book on the podium and held it close to her heart. “A few months ago, the bishop asked if I would be the chorister in Relief Society. I can’t hear the music and I don’t know the melody of the hymns. Surely, there was someone who could better handle the responsibilities of the calling, but I knew the Lord’s promise, that if we accept any calling given to us, He will help us accomplish it.”
I sat in my chair, humbled by what Sherlene had said? How brave she was? How many tasks had I been asked of the Lord, only to feel inadequate, complain or not follow through?
After hearing her testimony, the hymns I sing in church, with their beautiful words accompanied with heavenly melody are a reminder to me that with the Lord, anything is possible. Thanks to Sherlene, for sharing a testimony I needed to hear.