The more I learn and the closer I come to my Heavenly Father, the more clearly I can see how short-sighted and selfish my fear and lack of faith is. I don’t ever doubt that Heavenly Father is there or that Jesus really did live and die for me and for each of us. Sometimes, though, I seem to be afraid to pass through hard times or see my family suffer. I wonder if a wrong decision has lead to difficulties instead of trusting that Heavenly Father is letting me learn and progress. I still find it hard to be calm and know that eternally everything will be during occasional trials. Am I the only one? Right now I am feeling peaceful and hopeful even with the economic problems that are affecting the world, my friends and my family. But how long will I remain optimistic if things get worse? What can I do to continue to feel Heavenly Father’s peace?
I just read the BEST talk. You have got to read it. I included the link at the end of my post. There is no way for me to include all the good parts here without just copying and pasting the whole thing. I will talk about a few parts, but read it! It is from a CES fireside from Elder Holland, but adapted for the Ensign. After reading this, I am anxious to read two of his books that I’ve seen—Broken Things to Mend and Trusting Jesus.
The very first sentence in the article says so much and is just a classic to me. “The soul that comes unto Christ dwells within a personal fortress, a veritable palace of perfect peace.” If we want that peace, we need to know Christ and make Him a part of our life. We need to follow Him and do as He did.
“The Lord has probably spoken enough such comforting words to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter.”
How much we have to learn! We have the fullness of the gospel, but we don’t all always seem to let that fullness seep into our souls completely. We believe parts of it, but misunderstand or only have partial faith in other important aspects. Otherwise, why would there be so many of us that are unhappy and discouraged? Trials are part of this life and we all have them, but Heavenly Father never leaves us alone in those trials. It is up to us if we are to come unto Christ and allow his love and peace to fill us even in difficult times.
“Consider, for example, the Savior's benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering the world has ever known or ever will know, he said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
“I submit to you that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: As concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help, or should feel his or her interest were unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments.”
This thought made me so sad. When I am troubled by my trials or fear the unknown future, I am actually saying to my loving Heavenly Father, “I don’t trust You. I don’t believe that You are taking care of me. I don’t believe that this will be for my benefit and that You would rescue me from this if it wouldn’t help me eternally.” Just as Elder Holland mentions his feelings of being a parent and wanting his children to trust him, I know that I would feel hurt if one of my children didn’t trust me enough to know that everything I do for them is because I think it is for their good. Of course, I am not perfect and too often make mistakes as a mother, but our Heavenly Father does not make mistakes. He loves us and Elder Holland speaks of that perfect love.
Elder Holland also speaks of Jesus healing so many people during His ministry as the scriptures give testimony to.
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:36–38).
I don’t think I have ever paid attention to this phrase. Jesus knows of our sickness, our pain, our emotional sufferings. He wants to help us feel better, but instead of doing it alone, He wishes for more people to help Him heal, teach and succor His people, not because He can’t do it alone, but because of how we progress when we serve others. Are we being His labourers in the harvest? It takes time and energy, but how can we become more like Him if we do not act more like Him and do what He did?
Elder Holland’s talk is wonderful for anyone in any situation. I hope you will take the time to read it and leave your comments here. There are so many powerful quotes!
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “‘Come unto Me’,” Ensign, Apr 1998, 16