Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Still My Soul

The Prophet Joseph Smith suffered many trials and tribulations in His lifetime as He worked to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. Many people persecuted him and his followers. Eventually, he was murdered. While suffering in liberty jail, after being falsely accused, The Lord comforted him saying:

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" D&C 121:7-8

Life isn't always easy. Many times, we are impacted by events in our lives, or we feel effects of others. Sometimes, things that happen may have no apparent reason. Sometimes, God is just testing us to see how we handle the pressure. All in all, life is full of ups and downs. Mission life is fairly similar; there is a lot expected from missionaries that can often be hard to manage. Trials come in abundance, and testing of our moral character is rigorous. Performance is expected from our Heavenly Father, and so we need to put in the effort. It's not always easy, but it is worth it.

Patience: A Christlike Attribute

Patience is something I have learnt throughout my life, especially since coming on my mission. "Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God's will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully." -Preach My Gospel P.120 "Patience"

 I had an experience in October 2013, where I learnt a lot about being patient and waiting for God to answer my prayers. Throughout my school years, I didn't have terribly many close friends. I was different. I had standards that others didn't want to keep to because it wasn't 'cool'. I didn't swear, drink, smoke, do drugs, have sex, or hurt other people. I had been taught by my parents that it was more important to stay true to what I believed, than to give into peer pressure. Because of this difference, I didn't open up as much.

During the early years of high school, I met the one person who understood me and loved me no matter what. He was always there to cheer me up when I was down, and just be a friend or someone to talk to when I needed it. This new part of my life helped me overcome the many challenges that followed.

Early in 2013, He started getting sick. After the symptoms got worse, and his lymph-nodes swelled up, we knew something was wrong and he got tests and biopsy's done. The result was leukemia. This was a devastating blow, but we felt it could be overcome. Over the coming months, it fluctuated. Medication would help slightly, but not too much. Finally, one Monday in October, I got the phone call that He had gone down hill and didn't have long left.

That afternoon, I was able to be with Him as he lost his battle with cancer. This moment was a turning point for me. Why would God do this? Why would He take away something that meant so much to me? What do I do now? Where do I turn?

As all of this started to sink in, the battle with depression and anxiety started to set in. It wasn't something I had imagined would happen so early in my life. But nevertheless, it did and I had to deal with it. Throughout my life, my parents had taught me something that helped me get past my negative feelings. That was prayer. As I prayed, I could feel the love of my Heavenly Father comfort me and help me through that difficult time. He never took it away, but He always helped. He taught me to have patience in my trials and that as we have faith in God and His plan for us, everything will turn out right in the end.

Since this event, I have learnt many important lessons about patience, and how we can endure through the trials that we all face in life; as long as we face it with faith and hope of a better day.

What's the Purpose?

We often wonder what the purpose of trials are in our lives. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does something like this happen to me? In The Book of Mormon, we learn: 

"Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people." Mosiah 23:21-22.

Heavenly Father knows us and know's what we need. He wants to help us succeed and become like Him. In order for this to happen, we must be shaped and molded, tested and tried; as we get through these tests, we can see how we have grown and learnt from our experience. He expects us to put our faith forward and put our trust in Him to overcome these trials.

Faith is the critical element when facing these trials. As we put our faith forward, and Trust in the Lord. We can see the miracles that come, and the blessings that appear in our lives. As we recognize that God is our loving Heavenly Father, and that He only wants to help us, we can see how important it is to move forward in faith.

What now..?

If there is one thing that I have learnt through my trials, it is that God is always mindful of our situation. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He loves us unconditionally and recognizes our weaknesses. He wants to help us and see us succeed. He loves us enough to cut us down, so He can build us into something better.

Elder Holland said: "I testify of the holy Resurrection, that unspeakable cornerstone gift in the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ! With the Apostle Paul, I testify that that which was sown in corruption will one day be raised in in corruption and that which was sown in weakness will ultimately be raised in power."

I know that God lives, and that He loves you. I know that one day, all that is wrong and unfair in life, will be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every test, every trial, every broken heart. It is all for our eternal benefit. God so loved the world that He have His only Begotten Son. That whoso believeth in Him, shall have eternal life. I testify this is true.