Many members of the Church have fears and challenges that interfere with their lives and prevent them from progressing. Personal determination and effort in overcoming these challenges are important, but they are often not sufficient. Thankfully, through the mercy of the Savior and the power of the Holy Ghost, we can receive the additional help we need to overcome our weaknesses.
Duduzile Ndlovu was born in Zimbabwe and joined the Church in 1990. When she was growing up, school exams were so stressful that they invariably triggered migraine headaches. As she recalls, “These huge headaches would blind my eyes and make me so sick that I had to be taken home. And of course, I never passed my exams. Everyone in my family was always worried on exam day.”
Several years after Duduzile moved to South Africa, she got an opportunity to enroll in an adult center to finish high school. Studying the material was fine, but when exam day approached, she could feel the fear begin. She reports, “I told my family and Church members about the headaches, and they helped me fast for three days before writing my exams.
“When I got to the hall to write my exam, though, I felt the headache start. I prayed fervently, and when I opened the exam pad to start writing, the headache went away. For the first time in my life, I finished an exam.”
The series of seven exams continued for a week, and Duduzile’s family kept fasting and praying for her. Even the Primary children in her ward said they were praying for her. Finally, the day of her last exam, Accounting, arrived. She brought four tested pens with her, just in case one didn’t work, but to her great dismay, as she began to write, none of the four worked. She asked the test moderator for another pen, but the one he provided didn’t work, either. She recalls, “Tears started running down my cheeks. I didn’t know what to do. I prayed for help and then began to write with a pencil, even though it was written on the examination paper that we must use black or blue ink. I used a pencil on the first three questions, and then one of the pens decided to work, and I finished off the rest of my questions with a pen. I couldn’t go back because time was up.
“I had to wait three months to get my exam results back, and I was scared to go pick them up because of that last exam. But I built up my courage and picked them up. I got the surprise of my life when I saw that I had passed all seven exams. Then I saw the Accounting exam results. I had received an A!”
Duduzile testifies, “First God had blessed my headache to go away, and then He had helped me excel in accounting. God is there. He is listening, and He watches over us. I will never give up, because I have Him to thank. He sends good people to help us when we are in need. I am not lucky, but I am blessed for sure.”
Whether our weaknesses be physical, mental, or emotional, Heavenly Father loves His children and will bless them. He wants us to work hard to solve our problems, but as He reminds us in Ether 12:27, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me.” And in 2Nephi 25:23, “…it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”