How unfairly the consequences of sin are distributed among its participants. Some seem to sin and move on without obvious consequences, and others face burdens and grief that can last a life time. Sexual immorality can be especially inequitable, especially when pregnancy is the result. The choices then are all so painful.
Eve Burch’s personal account, “A Greater Love” (June 2006 Ensign, pp. 59-60) offers the touching insight of an adopted child who later had a reunion with her birthmother. The happy reunion was an unusual event, but wonderful that it occurred. Divine kindness was evident in the events that led to this reunion.
Here is an excerpt:
One afternoon at work, I finally convinced myself to make the phone call. I spoke with two sweet-sounding people who could not emphasize enough how happy they were that I had called. They briefly told me about their family and the circumstances surrounding my birth. Their daughter, Karen, had become pregnant as a high school senior, with no option of being happily married. They asked about me and my life. They requested my home phone number and told me they would have Karen call me that evening. So I went home after work quite anxious about the telephone call I was to receive.
Karen called me as promised. We spent what seemed like an eternity on the phone together. Like her parents, she wanted to know all about me, my family, and the life I had led. She was thrilled to know that I was active in the Church, had served a full-time mission, and had been married in the temple just that year. She shared with me how difficult it had been to place me for adoption and the struggles and uncertainties she had experienced since that day, wondering if she had made the right choice. She wanted to emphasize that she did not let me go because she didn’t want me or love me. She had felt strongly that I was meant to be someone else’s baby.
At that point, I did what I had always promised myself I would do if I were ever given the opportunity. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart for the decision she had made and for giving me a loving, active Latter-day Saint family. I told her that, through her sacrifice, she had allowed me to have everything I valued in my life.
Karen did not respond. At first, I was uncertain if I had said something wrong. Then I realized she was sobbing. It took a few minutes, but she was then able to share with me a special experience. In the years since my birth, she had often felt worried and anxious about me and would sometimes get depressed. During one of these periods she received a blessing of comfort from a family friend. He said many things in the blessing, but one promise stood out. She was told that at some future time, either in this life or in the life to come, we would meet again and I would thank her for the choice and sacrifice she had made. Our conversation that night was a direct fulfillment of that promise.
Even though Karen and I were miles apart, the Spirit bore witness to both of us that her choice and my growing up in the family I did were all in accordance with Heavenly Father’s plan.
How grateful I am to those who found strength to do the right thing after a serious mistake. I am even more grateful for those who continually strive to do the right thing in the first place. But in either case, or any case, no matter where we are, God can reach down and guide us miraculously and help us find joy, comfort, and purpose in spite of our past mistakes. This is what the Atonement does: it brings healing and joy, with abundant evidence of the divine that was previously unseen.