Even though losing a beloved family member is part of our mortal experience, that loss is often overwhelmingly difficult to bear. We wonder why God would take such a treasured person from us, and we sometimes question our own faith. It is in these circumstances that the plan of salvation is such a comfort, giving us hope in the hereafter and assurance that we will be with our loved ones again.
Dorcus Marumo was raised in a religious family, and her mother taught her to treasure the Bible and its teachings. But it was when the missionaries introduced her to the Book of Mormon that she began to find answers to her questions. She testifies, “I love the Book of Mormon for the positive impact it has on my life. It has helped me understand the Bible and has brought me closer to my Heavenly Father.”
That closeness to Heavenly Father was a great blessing for Dorcus when her second daughter, Oreabetse Lerato, suddenly fell ill when she was only 15 months old. As Dorcus recounts, “I took her to the emergency room the morning of July 24th 2013, thinking maybe she had a fever. When I arrived at the hospital, the nurse immediately grabbed her out of my hands and took her straight to the emergency room. I heard her calling the doctors, ‘Code red! Code red!’ But I was just focused on filling out the hospital forms and didn’t think the code red was for my daughter. I was told to wait in next room while my daughter was being examined. I didn’t even realize she was not crying anymore in the next room. I just kept thinking, ‘She’s ok. It’s just a fever.’ I was really surprised when the doctors came to me and told me that they had tried everything to save her but she had had Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The doctors took me to the room where her tiny body was lying, and I was left alone to say my goodbye to her and to call my family members. I remember that I immediately prayed to the Lord to give me strength, and to keep myself calm, I kept repeating the words out loud, ‘The plan of salvation… the plan of happiness.’”
Dorcus remembers, “Oreabetse was a bundle of joy. She was full of excitement and laughter, a gorgeous girl who was so hyper she demanded more than 110% from me. She was here for a short time, but she touched so many people’s lives.'
It was extremely difficult to tell Oreabetse Lerato’s six-year-old sister, Olesego, that her little sister had passed away, but they were surprised at her reaction. “She told me and my husband not to cry because Ora was with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She knew her sister was happy where she was.”
Several months after losing Ora, Dorcus was driving to work when all of a sudden she was overwhelmed with the reality that her daughter was no longer here on earth. In her words, “I was devastated, confused, crying. As soon as I got to the office, I opened the Book of Mormon and read in Alma, ‘The soul shall be restored to the body and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored…to their proper and perfect frame.’ Then I read D&C 19:38, ‘Pray always, and I will pour my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing.’ I immediately felt the Lord’s presence. I knew I was not alone. I remembered that I was sealed to my family and that I will be with Ora again.”
Now when Dorcas begins to feel discouraged, she remembers, “Living the gospel does not exempt you from pain and suffering. Even when you are living the gospel the best way you know, challenges will still come. However, I know that I am not alone.”
With Job in the Bible, she proclaims, “I have seen the hand of the Lord in my afflictions….I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth!” (Job 19:25)