Jun 15, 2014

Spiritual Whirlwinds

Spiritual Whirlwinds
by Elder Neil L. Andersen

In this life, we are all going to experience difficult things, or 'whirlwinds' as Elder Andersen calls them.
"Not all the whirlwinds in life are of your own making.  Some come because of wrong choices of others, and some come just because this is mortality."
"The worst whirlwinds are the temptations of the adversary.  Sin has always been part of the world, but it has never be so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable."

Since life's whirlwind are inevitably going to come, we need to prepare ourselves for them.  Elder Andersen gives us three ideas:

1.  Build your life's foundation on Christ. "Remember. . . it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, . . . his shafts in the whirlwind,. . . when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power. . . to drag you down. . . because of the rock upon which ye are built."

Last year my family had a huge, terrible whirlwind thrown their way when our oldest chose to get involved in some pretty bad things.  The shock, disappointment, and heartache were almost too much for me to handle.  I felt like I was constantly drowning.  I didn't know what do do. So I did the only thing I could, I turned to God.  He comforted me, and helped me through.  He taught me to hold on and to love my son even though he had turned away from almost everything we had taught him.  

Elder Andersen touched on this when he said, "The Savior taught us to love not only our friends but also those who disagree with us- and even those who repudiate us."

Luckily I had built my foundation on the Rock, my Redeemer, and when the storm came I was able to stand strong, and not fall.   Through this experience, I learned how important follow the commandments is.  There is safety (and freedom) in following the commandments of the Lord and His servants.  The things they ask us to do are not to punish us, or to keep us from having a good time, they are to protect us and keep us safe from the powers of the Adversary. 

In this talk, Elder Andersen quotes Harold B. Lee who said: 
"The only safety we have as members of this church is to. . . learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet. . . .There will be some things that take patience and faith.  You man not like what comes. . .It may contradict your political views. . .you social life.  But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. . . and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you. . . ' (D&C 21:6)"

Harold B Lee also said:
“The trouble with us today, there are too many of us who put question marks instead of periods after what the Lord says. I want you to think about that. We shouldn't be concerned about why He said something, or whether or not it can be made so. Just trust the Lord. We don't try to find the answers or explanations. We shouldn't try to spend time explaining what the Lord didn't see fit to explain. We spend useless time.” 

Build your foundation on Christ.  Follow His commandments- no questions asked.

2. "Another powerful protection from the whirlwinds of life is the Book of Mormon"

I love the Book of Mormon!  Last year when the hard times came I found myself turning to the Book of Mormon for comfort and it's promised power, and I was always delivered.

(For more information on the power and promised made from reading the Book of Mormon read President Benson Talk "The Book of Mormon - Keystone of Our Religion" HERE.)

3.His third suggestion is to "Stand in holy places, and be not moved"  (D&C 87:8)
Go to the Temple- and go often!!!!
We live at a time when temples dot the earth.  "The Lord has given [this] generation greater access to His holy temples than any other generation in the history of the world."

"There is a tangible feeling of holiness in the temple.  The peace of the Savior subdues the swirling whirlwinds of the world."

We can also Stand in Holy Places when we turn away from the negative influences of friends, media, etc, and when we choose to engage in uplifting activities rather than degrading ones.

"The way you feel in the temple is a pattern for how you want to feel in your life."
If an activities does not make you feel this way, don't do it!

These are your days!
"Do not let the whirlwinds drag you down.  These are your days - to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

-Build more firmly your foundation upon the rock of your Redeemer

- Treasure more completely His incomparable life and teachings.

-Follow more diligently His example and His commandments.

-Embrace more deeply His love, His mercy and grace, and the powerful gifts of the Atonement.

"As you do, I promise you that you will see the whirlwinds for what they are- tests, temptations, distractions, or challenges to help you grow."

"Challenges will come to you, but as you trust in God, they will strengthen your faith."

"In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around a young sapling, forces inside the tree do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return."

"You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree.  You are His son or His daughter.  He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life.

Through my whirlwind last year, I know this to be true.  I am a stronger person than I was before.  My testimony and faith have grown immensely.  God did not leave me to face the storm alone.  He was always there.  And with His help, my "roots" have grown stronger and deeper than I ever thought possible.

"I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you." (John 14:18)
I too know this to be true.

Next Week's Talk:
by President Henry B. Eyring

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