Sister Susan Gong, wife of Elder Gerrit W. Gong, invited attendees of a recent virtual Washington, D.C. Stake Relief Society conference to write a short psalm of their own to express gratitude to the Lord during these unprecedented and difficult times for many. The conference theme was based on Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” The invitation to write a personal psalm was a powerful reminder that “the Lord thy God is with thee” in the past, in the present and in the future. Sister Gong suggested these five simple steps:
1. Begin your psalm with “Praise ye the Lord…”
2. Next sentence or phrase begin with “For He hath…”
3. Add “And…”
4. Next sentence begin with “The Lord, He is my…”
5. Close your psalm with “And I will…”
One Relief Society sister wrote, “Praise ye the Lord, my Redeemer and friend. For He hath sustained me through heavy trials and given me hope for eternal glory. The Lord, He is my light, my constant companion and my joy. And I will lean on Him and bring His pure love and truth to others.”
Several sisters shared their psalm in the “chat” function on the Zoom webinar, and a few are reprinted with permission:
Praise ye the Lord; for He hath ministered to and watched over me. The Lord, He is my confidant and friend. And I will look to Him for healing, guidance, and support every day of my life.
Praise ye the Lord; for He hath rescued me from a secular life without an ultimate purpose and led me with the Spirit to His gospel and His Church. The Lord, He is my very patient leader and example. And I will try harder to follow His example.
Praise ye the Lord, for He hath given me beautiful people to love; for He hath blessed me with a full life surrounded by so much love. He is my Redeemer, my greatest friend, my perfect example, and I will gladly recognize His hand in all things.
Praise ye the Lord; For He hath protected my children and guided me out of sorrow. The Lord, He is my Salvation and Solace. In His name I will comfort those in need of comfort and mourn with those who mourn.
Praise ye the Lord, for He hath come to me when I was alone, and no one was there for me, not even myself. And He hath sent angels to rescue me, and His Spirit to comfort me. The Lord, He is my Light. He is the love for me that I have not had for myself. And I will not let go of His hand, no matter how dark and terrible the path. And He will save me now and until the end.
Sister Gong highlighted the comforting messages in Psalms 46 and 23 in her unifying and hope filled message to Relief Society sisters who reside in an area that draws people from around the world. Within the boundaries of the Washington, D.C. Stake are some 177 foreign embassies and one of the most ethnically diverse school districts in the United States.