- Many of the trials and hardships we encounter in life are severe and appear to have lasting consequences. Many listening to this conference are experiencing situations of a most serious nature at this very moment.
Elder Cook states that trials are part of the eternal Plan of Happiness that God has created for us.
- One of the essential doctrines illuminated by the Restoration is that there must be opposition in all things for righteousness to be brought to pass. This life is not always easy, nor was it meant to be; it is a time of testing and proving.
He relates several examples from modern day and the pioneer days of great people so have overcome adversity. He goes on to state:
- The challenges we face today are in their own way comparable to challenges of the past. The recent economic crisis has caused significant concern throughout the world. Employment and financial problems are not unusual. Many people have physical and mental health challenges. Others deal with marital problems or wayward children. Some have lost loved ones. Addictions and inappropriate or harmful propensities cause heartache. Whatever the source of the trials, they cause significant pain and suffering for individuals and those who love them.
- We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development. We also know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. It is also true that every cloud we see doesn’t result in rain. Regardless of the challenges, trials, and hardships we endure, the reassuring doctrine of the Atonement wrought by Jesus Christ includes Alma’s teaching that the Savior would take upon Him our infirmities and “succor his people according to their infirmities.”
Throughout our lives, we can gain guidance and insights from the scriptures on how to overcome our challenges.
- One of the great blessings of the scriptures is that they warn us of challenges that are unexpected but often occur. We would do well to be prepared for them. One form of preparation is to keep the commandments.
Living our lives in a way that invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost will give us the strength and ability to handle our trials better.
- Clearly, having the blessings of the Spirit—the ministration of the Holy Ghost—is an essential element to truly prosper in the land and to be prepared. Regardless of our trials, with the abundance we have today, we would be ungrateful if we did not appreciate our blessings. Despite the obvious nature of the hardships the pioneers were experiencing, President Brigham Young talked about the significance of gratitude. He stated, “I do not know of any, excepting the unpardonable sin, that is greater than the sin of ingratitude.”
Gratitude through our trials will give us an eternal perspective. We will be able to handle the trials with greater acceptance if we understand that God is in charge and that we are here to gain experiences and trials to make us better disciples of Jesus Christ. Of gratitude, Elder Cook states:
- Our foremost gratitude should be for the Savior and His Atonement.
Elder Cook concludes with his testimony:
- I testify that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all of the trials and hardships that any of us will encounter in this life. At times when we may feel to say, “Hope you know, I had a hard time,” we can be assured that He is there and we are safe in His loving arms.
We all have trials in life. Some trials are big and some are small. All trials test our faith and reliance on the Savior. It is my hope that we will see the big picture of what our trials are for and endure through them. If we do, we will have a greater respect and understanding of our role in Heavenly Fathers plan. All things give us experience and we should look at our experiences as a way of making us better eternal beings.