Probably no one knows it better than Louise Lake, confined to a wheelchair for over thirty-five years as a victim of spinal and bulbar polio. The fact that she is even alive testifies to her courage, intelligence, and sheer willpower. Twice given up for dead, she told students she sometimes has to spend hours just getting up in the morning and preparing for bed at night.
Isn’t a body a burden on the spirit under such circumstances? Louise’s answer, given to the student body at Ricks College as she accepted the Exemplary Womanhood Award in 1976, gives us another perspective.
“I love my body. Why do I love my body so much? Because I have disciplined this flesh, and in times when normally it would have said, ‘Oh I can’t, this is too much, too difficult,’ I have said to my flesh, ‘Arise, you will get out of bed, you will prepare this, you will do that, you will attend this.’ And so the spirit has told the struggling flesh what to do and together they have mastered some of those situations. The flesh has been obedient and has come along to the spirit’s self-discipline.
“Do you think I’d want another body? No! This flesh has been trained and under inconvenience it has met challenges. I am so grateful for the … beautiful teaching of the resurrection that I may arise … with this same flesh perfected, cleansed, strengthened, ready because it has mastered some difficult things.”
From Fit Is More Than Not Fat, June 1978 Ensign by Phyllis C. Jacobson and Barbara Vance