Home / Testimonies / Barbara A. Heise

As a youth, I wondered why so many people in the world were constantly searching for something which seemed extremely elusive. I came to realize that they were seeking happiness. Most of our movies, music, novels, historical facts, and even conversations have a foundation on this search for happiness. Few people found happiness and if they did it was based on people, places, or things which gave them only momentary happiness.

Then, as a teen, as I pondered, I noticed that when I was serving others I was happy. When I prayed, I felt the Spirit, and was happy. After marrying and having a child, we strongly felt that we should bring up our daughter with some type of religious background. As we investigated many churches both Christian and non-Christian, none felt right . . . something was missing. Then, the Lord sent people to talk to us about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). A member of the Church came to my husband’s place of business in Los Angeles to talk to him about food storage. At the same time, a coworker and I talked about our desire to find a church, and we found out that she had an LDS babysitter. So we arranged to have a dinner at my coworker’s home and invite the babysitter and her husband so they could teach us more about the Church. Through a series of events, missionaries finally came and taught us the fullness of the Gospel. We joined the Church, which remains, to this day, the best decision we ever made.

We continued to grow in the Gospel, diligently desiring to learn. Challenges came: poverty, the birth of a baby with a handicap, my husband becoming disabled, my trying to go to nurs¬ing school, working as the sole support of our family, and the death of two sons. As a registered nurse and then as a family nurse practitioner, educator, and researcher, I spoke with many people of all ages who were frantically searching for happiness. More challenges came in my life: the death of a younger sister and my husband. With every challenge I continued to seek and follow the Savior, Jesus Christ. I was taught about unconditional love, survival, obedience, and submissiveness to the will of the Lord, and that the Lord loves us and is always near to lift us up. Even during difficult times, I found peace and happiness through the Lord’s sustaining influence.

True happiness, eternal happiness, comes through following eternal principles found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have come to know through the many experiences, challenges, and blessings that I have been given that Jesus Christ lives! He can do what He said He could do because He is who He said He was . . . Jesus, The Christ!

The Savior knows each of us individually—He knows our names! He loves us individually. He saves us individually. He gave His perfect life for us. He wants us to succeed and come Home, and He will never stop reaching after us. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

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Barbara A. Heise, Ph.D., APRN, BC, is an assistant professor of nursing at Brigham Young University.

After receiving her B.S. in nursing from Missouri Southern State College (in Joplin), she went on to earn an M.S., also in nursing, from the State University of New York in Binghamton. Later, she received specialized training at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, in psychiatric/mental health clinical nursing. Finally, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, writing her dissertation on “Patterns and Outcomes of Health Care Use among At-Risk Alcohol Drinkers.”

Prior to joining the BYU faculty, Dr. Heise worked for various clinics, medical centers, and government agencies in Missouri, New York, and Virginia. Her research has focused on gerontology in the United States and Australia, mental health care for minorities and the rural poor, the care of adolescent cancer survivors, and the treatment of substance abuse.

Posted July 2010