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Much has transpired since day of fasting

To the editor:

On April 4, 2020, a plea was made by President Russell M. Nelson of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to people around the world to overlook their differences and join together on Saturday, April 10, in fasting and prayer, asking God for help in dealing with the coronavirus that was rapidly spreading across the globe. And although many who heard of that request weren’t members of said church and didn’t revere President Nelson as their own spiritual leader, a great number of people nevertheless believed in the power that unity and combined faith could bring at such a troubled time, and took part in that fast.

I remember wondering many times, back then, what life would be like in a few months and a year down the road, and now here we are. It’s been just over a year since life as we knew it was put on hold, somewhat, due to COVID-19, and no one has escaped the effects of that. Luckily not all of the changes have been bad, as some people have found blessings in such things as more family time together and fewer outside activities pulling them in so many different directions, but the “new abnormal” has also been very challenging and in some cases devastating. Loss of employment or health, and particularly the loss of loved ones, has upended the lives of far too many this past year. Add to that natural disasters, political and racial turmoil, random violence and domestic abuse, and it’s easy to understand why many individuals feel helpless or have become disillusioned or depressed.

Despite the negative aspects of the past year, however, many people have become our heroes in a sense, such as healthcare workers who’ve stayed on their feet and at their posts through long hours and while jeopardizing their own health; teachers and church leaders who’ve found innovative ways to help their students and congregants; workers who’ve worn face masks for hours on end, sanitizing and re-sanitizing work spaces and solving problems while still treating others warmly; parents who’ve made many adjustments to their own lives and helped their children make them, as well; ordinary people who’ve reached out to comfort, help, and share with others; and of course all those who worked tirelessly to create the safe and effective vaccines we now have to combat the virus.

We’re not out of the woods yet, of course, but we’ve come a long way. And for anyone interested in reading some touching personal stories related to fasting, prayer, and pulling together in hard times, I’d recommend checking out the Facebook group Worldwide Unified or their book, “Hope is not Quarantined,” which can be purchased through Amazon.

Dena Rock


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