"He Hath Borne Our Griefs, and Carried Our Sorrows"

by Ellie Hancock

When Phebe Woodruff joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she did so alone. Soon after Phebe’s conversion, at the age of 27 years, she moved to Kirtland, Ohio, without any family or friends. An insight to Phebe’s hardships is given in a record of her patriarchal blessing. “Thou hast suffered in former days by being deprived of friends unto whom thou couldst unbosom thy mind; thou hast sorrowed in the night season and in solitary places, no one knew thy sorrow or saw thy tears but God thy Father be comforted for thy troubles are over and God will pour out his blessings to thee.”1

The comfort that Phebe was given in her blessing is reminiscent of Isaiah 53:4. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” Christ was there with Phebe as she wept tears of rejection in dark and hidden places. When no one else understood Phebe’s pain, the Savior knew how she felt. Under the authority of  her blessing, Phebe was given many promises including motherhood, companionship, service in the temple, and friendship with members of the covenant. The fulfillment of most, if not all, of these blessings is seen throughout the dedicated life of service that she lived in the Church and with her family. We, like Phebe, will face bitter trials in life in which we feel alone, abandoned, and forgotten. However, because of Jesus Christ and His all-encompassing atoning sacrifice, we will never be alone as we allow the Savior into our lives to comfort us and heal our afflictions.

[1] Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, April 15, 1837, Wilford Woodruff Papers, accessed September 13, 2022, wilfordwoodruffpapers.org.