News Story

Immigrant Mothers Use Faith to Overcome Trials

Immigrant mothers in Canada who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rely on their faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ to sustain them. Moving to a new country is one of the biggest stressors that can occur in one’s life. Some of the challenges these immigrant women face are learning a new language, navigating cultural differences, living far from extended family and ensuring their children’s basic needs are met.

Many of these women say they are willing to undergo any hardships necessary to make a better life for their children. Laura Alcala, a Church member in Toronto, emigrated from Mexico City two years ago. She says it was one of the hardest decisions she has ever made. She explains, “I came to Canada with only two of my three daughters. I left my eldest daughter behind, who was pregnant with my first grandchild. I left trusting in my Saviour that one day I would be able to meet my grandson.”

During this difficult time, Alcala relied on her faith in Jesus Christ for support. She recounts, “Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, I wouldn’t have had the physical and spiritual strength to go forward. The gospel is the perfect antidote for my soul, because despite my difficulties, I’m happy.”

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explains, “When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, . . . and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening — or not happening — in our lives” (“Joy and Spiritual Survival,” Oct. 2016 general conference).

For many immigrant women, Canada offers opportunities for economic and educational advancement, improved health care and, in some cases, an escape from abuse. One immigrant mother who fled abuse explains, “With fasting and prayer and the support of my parents ... I was able to make this difficult decision in my life [to move]. It’s love that motivates us to act, and the responsibility that we have as mothers before God to care for His spirit children.”

Latter-day Saint women understand that “whatever the conditions in their lives, women in the Church seek to strengthen those around them” (“Women in the Church”). Arlete Maria Da Silva, a single Church member from Brazil, came to Canada by herself seeking an opportunity to pursue her dreams of owning a home and her own business. In her loneliest times, she has sought motherly ways to serve others, especially young women. She credits her faith in Jesus Christ for sustaining and supporting her.

These immigrant women continue in a long legacy of virtuous women who have been “wanderers in a strange land” (Alma 13:23), all the while trusting in God to deliver. Mother Eve left the Garden of Eden seeking to fulfill the commandments (see Moses 4), Naomi left Bethlehem to escape famine (see Ruth 1:1–2) and Sariah left Jerusalem seeking the promised land (see 1 Nephi 2:2, 4–5). Each sought blessings for her family.

Elder Michael R. Murray, Area Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with responsibility for British Columbia, offers these thoughts for Mother’s Day: “Throughout history, it is mothers who instinctively seek a better day — always for their children. Perhaps Jesus Christ had them in mind when He said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ (Hebrews 13:5). Better days, borne of hope and faith in Christ, are always just around the corner.”

Contributed by Fashion Chavez Rabe

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