Allison Mitton and Chad Hymas spoke about using trials to better oneself during a Friday session of the 2016 Women’s Conference.
Mitton, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, always knew that she wanted to be a mother. To her and her husband’s surprise, they were going to have triplets. The three children were born three months early. Two boys and a girl; Abby, McKay and Alexander.
After spending several months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the three babies went home. Unfortunately, Alex and McKay were diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia.
“Although I had a reason for tears everyday, I had peace everyday as well,” says Mitton, referring to her happiness from having the three babies in the home.
Alex and McKay began to fall behind in their motor skills. The two boys were eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Mitton was told Alex and McKay would never walk, talk, sit up or take care of themselves in any way.
“Why is all this happening? Does God really love me?” Mitton found herself asking during this difficult time of her life.
During 2009-2010, Alex was in and out of the hospital again. A couple weeks shy of his 17th birthday, Alex died on May 13, 2014. The experience of losing her child left Mitton with feelings of overwhelming despair.
She found comfort in constant scripture study. Mitton told the audience that even though it is hard, joy and beauty are born from trials. She told the audience that Isaiah 61:1-3 helped her find joy.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek … to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
Mitton said with a continual habit of reading the scriptures, peace will always come. She applies these teachings to her daily life and feels she is doing her part to ready and study the gospel diligently.
“Being able to do good things isn’t as important as being good,” Mitton said.
Mitton was followed by Chad Hymas, a quadriplegic who broke his neck in a farming accident.
Hymas made it a point not to talk about the details of his accident because he wanted more to focus on the things he has learned since then.
While in the hospital, Hymas told the audience, his father visited him and gave him the good news and the bad news. Good news; he was still alive. Bad news; he was paralyzed. Hymas didn’t want to accept the news.
“The number one weakness when approached with adversity is pride,” says Hymas after explaining this encounter with his father.
His father wanted him to change his attitude and be teachable. He wanted him to be better than he was before the accident. Hymas went on to explain how hard this concept was for him to grasp because of how much his life was about to change.
Hymas referred to Matthew 5:16 when explaining how he was able to get through this trial.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Hymas unexpectedly asked the audience to pull out their phones and asked them to compose a text to someone they admire.
“Hey insert name here. At BYU Women’s Conference. Talking about discipleship. Think[ing] of you now!”
He urged the audience to send it, explaining that how we demonstrate love to others is how we become disciples. Hymas said we must proactively be looking to serve people without being asked to do so.
He concluded the session by asking the participants to remember what they have heard and to know that they can become better disciples through hardships.
“The Lord is making something out of me that I’d never dreamed of,” concluded Hymas.