“The Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and 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” - Elder David A. Bednar

Friday, May 20, 2011

Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

My husband is currently finishing his thesis - so most of the child care and house work falls in my lap. We're also living with my in-laws while we buy our first home - and to help out I cook 3 nights a week and clean.

One night I felt very overworked and under-appreciated. I'd been cleaning/organizing all day while caring for my (demanding) children.

While making dinner with my fussy 3 month old on my hip the utter exhaustion that only a sleep deprived mom of young children knows hit me and I was spent - emotionally and physically.

I had made a resolution to not complain anymore about anything. Complaining doesn't help. So I was keeping my mouth shut and wishing someone would offer a hand or notice my hard work or something!

While standing at the stove, in walked my mother-in-law, who as a kindergarten teacher that had just taken her students to the zoo in the rain, had also had a very long day. She put her arm around me and whispered "Do you know you're worth your weight in gold?" and gave me a little squeeze.

Wow. Just a few simple words and everything changed. My attitude improved, my exhaustion dissipated, and I felt loved and appreciated - by both my mother-in-law and a loving Heavenly Father who knew exactly what I needed to hear and sent someone to say it.

I was left alone in the kitchen to finish dinner, my heart was full, and my eyes wet.

Something so simple made a huge impact.

story submitted by
Barbara S.
Kaysville, Utah

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Picture of Profound Worth

The tender mercy I share has become my measuring stick for when to know I've done all I could and now it's time to give my burden to the Lord.

When I was 17 a classmate and I traveled together from our small town to Ogden for the State Wrestling tournament. Our school was pretty good and expected to take state that year. The excitement was in the air as many others from my school were also traveling out and getting hotel rooms. It was no secret how some of them planned to celebrate the occasion. It just so happened that my girlfriend had relatives close by so we stayed there to save money.

Now the fact that this girl and I were even friends, according to our peers, was "odd." The reason we were oddly matched is because, at the time, I was considered a "goody-goody" type, and she was a "party-girl" type, as she called herself. I wasn't bothered by what others thought about our friendship because I had a secret plan to help her see a new way of life.

Once we arrived at her family’s we got ready, then headed to the tournament. My girlfriend made an unexpected turn off the freeway and drove in another direction from the Event Center. "We are just going to make a quick stop first." She said. As we pulled into a hotel parking lot, my heart fell hard and fast. My secret plan for my girlfriend somehow jumped tracks to another plan entirely! I felt trapped.

My pleas to wait in the car for her return were seemingly unheard. I finally agreed to her promise for a brief “hello” and showing face, then leaving.

I felt a heaviness of heart as I entered and looked around the room. I recognized everyone; most of us had grown up together since grade school. I liked most all of them, it made me sad to see their behavior. Immediately, behind that thought was that of the girls from my young women's class at church. I’d been made president of the class and knew they'd be disappointed to hear that I was at this party. I found my friend and informed her I'd be in the car.

A few there with her asked that we get a picture before we left. Amazingly everyone stopped and collected together to get a picture, with me. I told them I would only be in the picture if they promised to put all the beer cans down first, which they did, I thought. The picture was snapped, followed by an eruption of laughter. I whipped around to see that many had only held the beer behind their backs but brought them out for the picture. I was surrounded by it, and I knew they had a plan for the picture.

As a note: my friend didn't plan for that to happen, and, today, she is a stalwart member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. At that moment I felt utterly betrayed and was inconsolable as she followed me from the room. I told her over and over, the girls from my ward would never understand if they saw that picture. I was devastated, and knew of nothing believable I'd be able to say to recover from this.

That night I knelt and recounted the story to my Heavenly Father. I expressed deep sorrow for being in that room and the damage that picture would do. I asked Heavenly Father to please forgive me and somehow prevent that picture from being seen.

Two weeks later, my girlfriend rushed up to me in the hallway at school. Out of breath, she, and another girl from the party, told me they'd been looking all over for me, and thrust a stack of pictures into my hand. As I looked I could tell they were the pictures from the party.

I thumbed through them very slowly, and then came to one that was a complete blur; nothing at all recognizable, but it was the only one of the stack that way. "What's this one?" I asked, holding up the blurry one. "THAT one is the only one of all of them that didn't turn out!" my girlfriend replied, "It's the group picture we took with you!"

In that very moment, I was completely aware, Heavenly Father was mindful of ME; that of all the millions of His children on the earth at that time, I mattered to Him, and HE, through my Savior, Jesus Christ had extended a tender mercy to Sonja.

story submitted by
Sonja S.
Hyrum, Utah

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Little Miracles

I had made my 2 cute sister-in-law’s vow to buy red shoes before the end of the year 2011, this was December 2010. A silly goal, but nonetheless important for any young single lady.

I just so happened to take one of my s-i-l to the DI...and would you believe it? Red heels, her exact size...$3.

The next week I just happened to be browsing DSW and found some really awesome heels that looked just like the ones I pictured for my other s-i-l. So I had her check them out online. They were $40, but totally worth it—right?

She had to work the next day, so she gave me two twenties and I ran to DSW to buy them for her. When I got to the register...they said they were 40% off, plus with some other random discount, and I had a $5 gift card...so they were only $14.

They both wore their new heels to a fancy Christmas party that same month! It’s the little miracles in life isn’t it?

story submitted by
Natalie S.
Farmington, Utah

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Other Angels

My mom died a week before I turned 17, my junior year of high school. Although it was a difficult time, and to this day is something I think regularly of, the Lord blessed me.

A dear friend and member of the bishopric, Brother Brady, gave me a blessing. In it, I was promised that I would not miss out on the blessings that having a mom around bring...that there would be others that would fill the needs of my mother{not replace}.

Well, a year passed and I was engaged! I was thrilled, but I thought again of my talented mother. She would have been able to sew bridesmaids dresses, make the wedding cake and help me plan a glorious wedding...and I am cheap--frugal, so I didn’t want to pay exurbanite amounts for this either!

Well, my future mother-in-law was a seamstress, and sewed 6 beautiful bridesmaids dresses.

My cousin saw me at a family get-together and asked if there was anything she could do to help. I jokingly said, “can you make my cake?” She smiled and said “yes—I would love to, I am making Becky’s {my other cousin} too”.

My wedding was beautiful...and the weather was PERFECT {that’s where my mom really helped out}!

There have been innumerable times in my adult life that I have missed my mom being “here”...but equally the amount of times that I have been blessed and touched by other angels.

story submitted by
Natalie S.
Farmington, Utah

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Small Price Tag

I grew up very poor. So after graduation I completely set off on my own and was financially independent in every way. Three years later when my handsome husband returned from his mission I knew it was only a matter of time before we got engaged (although he hadn't figured it out yet).

Knowing that I would be paying for my wedding by myself I was always on the lookout. One day I was window shopping downtown and saw a "bridal gown clearance" sale sign. So, like any girl - I had to look!

Not expecting to find or buy anything that day I perused the racks. Stuffed in between a wall of other dresses was my 99 dollar gown. My style. My size. Huge puffy skirt. Loved it! Especially for that price tag. And since it was the only one left I couldn't leave it.

So I gratefully bought it - knowing that the Lord had blessed me that day. A huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders for a small price tag. A miracle for a poor working college girl with a wedding on the horizon.

story submitted by
Barbara S.
Kaysville, Utah

Friday, May 6, 2011


My husband and I had just moved into a new apartment that had washer/dryer hookups on a Saturday! Yay! And we were expecting our first child in a couple months. We had been working regularly, built a small savings, and had the money to buy a washer and dryer!

On Sunday, we went to church and saw a family that was in our ward previously, that had moved a month before us. The first thing that Larry asked us when greeting us was “do you by chance need a washer and dryer? The house we moved into came with a set, but we already have some”.

I was flabbergasted! Yes--we needed them! But we could have paid for them! This is the benefit of paying tithing.

story submitted by
Natalie S.
Farmington, Utah

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Something Small

The Lord has helped us in so many ways. Every day there is some tender mercy I have witnessed. One that recently happened in our family is a small one but that brought comfort to our sweet little boy.

We put him to bed and did our regular routine and he fell asleep only to wake up an hour later just really crying. I went in and comforted him and he fell asleep again and then woke up a little while later, this happened several times. I was so worried because this is not like him.

We discovered his back molers growing in, we gave him some numbing medicine and Tylenol and nothing would work he was getting more restless and was acting like he was in terrible pain. He couldn't fall asleep and was just screaming.

My husband then gave him a blessing using the priesthood and right after the blessing he fell asleep soundly in my arms and slept the rest of the night. It was something small to help us out with a teething issue but really it strengthened our testimonies that He does love us and He wants to show us that love.
How grateful I am for His love.

story submitted by
Shauna W.
Smithfield, Utah

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Two Dollar Halloween

When I was young my mom was a single mom trying to make ends meet for her two little girls. Halloween rolled around and my mom had to come up with some creative ideas on how to make our Halloween costumes for our dress up day at school and trick-or-treating. She had very, very little money - about $2 and some change she could use to buy fabric to make our costumes.

She stepped into the fabric store where she walked up to two sales ladies in the entry way and asked "what fabric can I buy with this amount of money? I'm wanting to make costumes for my two girls".

The kind sales ladies having compassion on my sweet mom showed her some fabric that would work well for princess costumes, accepted her money, and gave her probably three times more fabric than they should have.

My mom made my sister and I beautiful costumes that year! I was Sleeping Beauty and my sister Michele was Minnie Mouse. We love those costumes the most to this day. :) I even wore mine in my second grade picture. hahaha. A Forever Memory.

Heavenly Father knows what's important to us and truly blesses us with our needs as well as our wants. He loves us. And those small things that are important to us are important to Him.

story submitted by
Brooke W.
Kaysville, UT

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Thrift Gift

A few summers ago, my son was in desperate need of sandals.

We had just shut down our business and I just couldn’t justify spending money on sandals that would only last him a few short months.

I prayed and then went to the DI (a local thrift store).

As I walked to the shoe aisle, I noticed there were only 3 pairs of boys’ sandals all in a row together. I thought to myself {what are the chances that one of those is a size 12?} Sure enough!

The Lord had answered my prayer with a $2 price tag! They were Columbia sandals and they looked great all summer!

story submitted by
Natalie S.
Farmington, Utah

Friday, April 29, 2011

90 Minute Oratorio

About 2 years ago, I was to participate in a performance of the oratorio "Joseph Smith, the Prophet." I didn't have a big part, but it was still a challenging choral part, and we had been rehearsing for months for this show. Then, 2 days before the performance, I completely lost my voice. I had to lip-synch my way through the final rehearsal.

I was so sad about this! I had been working so hard, and I was so excited to use my talent to glorify the Lord in this way. I received a blessing, and I prayed and prayed, and I fasted the entire day of the performance. I knew that it wouldn't really have an effect on the show if I had to just stand there and fake my way through the whole thing. And it's not like it would have affected my testimony in any way if these prayers didn't get answered the way I wanted them to be. But I really, really wanted to be able to sing this beautiful music!

Even on the way to the performance that evening, I still couldn't talk above a raspy whisper. I just figured I would have to stand on the stage and pretend, and be content to listen to the music and feel the Spirit there. But I am my Father in Heaven's daughter, and He saw how much I wanted something, and it was a good and worthy thing, and He delights in giving us gifts and making us happy whenever possible!

So when the show started, I decided just to try out my voice and see what happened. And I then proceeded to enjoy exactly 90 minutes of having my voice back! I was singing the very highest soprano part, and there were a few of those grand high notes that I simply could not make come out of my mouth. But I was able to sing almost every other note in the performance!

Immediately after the show, my voice disappeared again, and it was actually worse after that. It was a couple more days before I could speak again. But I know that Heavenly Father gave me a huge gift that night. It wasn't earth-shattering, it wouldn't have been a big deal to anyone else if I had had to "sit that one out," but it was a big deal to me, so it was a big deal to Him.

Rob Gardner, the composer of "Joseph Smith, the Prophet" took the words to one of our more under-used hymns and put them to his own music in his show. I absolutely love his composition, and this is now my very favorite hymn. I sing it to myself when I am lonely, when I have a bad day, or when I have a sad or worldly thought I want to get out of my head. And I think that the words to this hymn express perfectly how I feel about the Lord's tender mercies in my life:

Savior, Redeemer of My Soul
Savior, Redeemer of my soul,

Whose mighty Hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous power hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup.
What tongue my gratitude can tell?
Oh, gracious God of Israel!

Never can I repay Thee, Lord,
But I can love Thee, Thy pure Word.
Hath it not been my one delight?
My joy by day? My dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect Thy Will.

O'er rule mine acts to serve Thine ends,
Change frowning foes to smiling friends,
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with Thee.
Make me more worthy of Thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

story submitted by
Erin J.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not Too Far From Home

I recently moved about 1,000 miles away from my family and friends. For the most part, it's been great! My husband and I love where we're at and we've met some great people here too. But some days are harder than others.

On one of those days I was having a rough time. I was missing my friends a lot and feeling like we hadn't met very many people here yet. I was talking to my husband about how I was feeling. At that exact moment he got a text from a ward member asking if we had plans that night and if not, did we want to come over?

Such a small thing, but I felt like at that moment God knew who I was and He knew what I was going through. We have been blessed to have such great ward members who have reached out to us and made us feel welcome here!

story submitted by
Heather A.
Le Mars, Iowa

Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake

My sixth birthday was coming up and at that time my mom was a single mom trying to make ends meet for her two little girls. Although, I never felt deprived and really had no idea of us ever wanting/needing anything, my mom told me this sweet story when I was in high school.

I remember my sixth birthday cake, it was one of my VERY favorites. I was so excited for this birthday. I remember my mom had a few of the neighborhood friends come over to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey and musical chairs.

My mom told me she didn't know how she was going to afford to make me a birthday cake. I don't remember all the details but there happened to be a cereal box she had with an easy birthday cake recipe on the back. With that particular type of cereal she was able to make me a super colorful/fun for a six year old birthday cake.

She mentioned feeling so grateful for that tender mercy at that tough time in her life.

story submitted by
Brooke W.
Kaysville, Utah

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Perfect White Dress

When my youngest daughter, Barbara, got baptized our family was fairly destitute and just making ends meet financially. So I set off with an impossible task at hand.

I wanted so badly to find a special baptism dress for Barbara. The only money I had to spend was a five dollar bill. Not knowing where to go or what I might find - I set off in faith hoping that I'd be able to find the perfect dress.

I drove to Ogden and started looking through the stores. I went across the street to a little store just north of the New Gate Mall and when I walked in there it was. Three dresses on a rack near the front door - one of which was the perfect size, and on sale for only five dollars.

It was white with a big full skirt - just what my little girl wanted. A skirt that she could dance in. It was a great blessing to me to find it at the very price that I could afford. I've always thought of it as a tender mercy.

story submitted by
Barbara F.
Logan, Utah

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Submit Your Story

Ever watch the news and get discouraged? There seems to be so much heartache in this world. The Tender Mercies Project is proof that the Lord's hand is in our lives daily - guiding us. And if we're looking - we'll notice blessings we didn't even know were there!

Have a tender mercy to share? Please do! No tender mercy is too small! Please email your story (and pictures if applicable) to barb.tendermerciesproject@gmail.com - thanks!