Mar 30, 2014

I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee

I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee
by President Thomas S. Monson

All of us go through trials and hard times.  President Monson says,
"It may be safely assumed that no person has ever lived entirely free of suffering and sorrow. . ."
Everyone, including the righteous, will be called upon to face trying times. . .death, illness, unemployment, wayward children, divorce, addictions, etc.  
"When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to ask the question "Why me?"  At times there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no sunrise to end the night's darkness.  We feel encompassed by the disappointment of shattered dreams and the despair of vanished hopes. . .We fell abandoned, heartbroken, alone.  We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism.  We become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.  The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. . . SHALL I FALTER, OR SHALL I FINISH?"

There have been many hard things I've had to go through in my own life, and things I'm still going through today.  There were many times where I pleaded to Heavenly Father to please make them go away.  I don't want to do this anymore.  This isn't fair!  I can't do this, it's too hard.  During the really trying times, I try to remember three things:

1.  Trials and challenges are part of Heavenly Father's plan for us:
D&C 136:31 - "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion."
President Monson's wise words remind us that
"Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow, and become stronger as we face and survive the trials which we must pass. We know that there will be times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits.  However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before. . .Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life."

2. Christ is always there.
"Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, He is with us."
"Only the Master knows the depths of our trials, our pain, and our suffering.  He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity.
Christ want to help us finish this race of life.  He doesn't want us to falter.  He wants us to become the best person possible.  He knows in order for us to become the best, we will have to go through hard, uncomfortable, sometimes scary experiences.  He wants to be there for us, to help us through.
His invitation to us is to
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
-Matthew 11:28-30
It is up to us to keep Him close, and to let him comfort us and give us the peace we are seeking.

3. It is ultimately up to us how we will endure our trials.
Let me illustrate with one of my favorite poems:

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know.
So I got tired, I got fed up,
and there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
when one must fight, and one must climb.
When one must rise and take a stand,
or leave their butt prints in the sand."
Are we walking by faith through our trials?  Are we allowing them to make us better? more Christ-like? Our testimonies stronger?  Or are we allowing our trials to make us bitter?  Angry? Ornery

We know that Heavenly Father has promised us that he will not Fail us, nor Forsake us (Joshua 1:5).  But it is our choice if we choose to fail and forsake ourselves.

Next Week's Talk:
by Elder L. Tom Perry