Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mountains to Climb

Many of you have commented and asked how I was able to walk this trial and journey. This was nothing I walked alone. I followed where my Savior led me and was his student throughout this journey. As I was studying tonight, I came across this talk that was a huge strength to me this last year. (Mountains to Climb by Elder Eyring) As I read it again, I was reminded of the lessons that were taught herein. I will paraphrase his talk while inserting my own lessons and experiences.

"If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing."

Many of you, as am I, are now passing through physical, mental, and emotional trials that could cause each of us to cry out “When I have tried all my life to be good, why has this happened to me?”

As I myself asked this question in the beginning, I was guided to the scriptures where the Lord answered that question for the Prophet Joseph Smith in his prison cell:

“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

“Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”

There seems to me no better answer to the question of why trials come and what we are to do than the words of the Lord Himself, who passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine.

I learned well that the only way to face and rise above these challenges is to believe that there really is a "balm of Gilead" that The Lord has promised. He repeatedly promised us, "I will not forsake thee."

In each moment of my trial, when the pain, heaviness of the weight of the trial, or my endurance grew faint, when I could muster up no more strength on my own, I would kneel down or cry out to my Savior for strength and comfort. It was in those moments that I learned that my Savior, my Redeemer, would hear my cries and he would indeed comfort me. He never did forsake me.

As Elder Eyring stated, "I cannot promise an end to your adversity in this life. I cannot assure you that your trials will seem to you to be only for a moment."

I know well the feelings of hoping for this trial to end, to be taken from me, for my burdens to be eased. I have lived the feelings of uncertainty that I was missing something or that I was not understanding what was required of me. But I bear witness that in those moments of doubt and despair my Redeemer came to me, he sent his spirit to comfort my soul, he surrounded me with his peace and he eased my pains with his love. The trial was not taken from me but I was strengthened so I could carry the trials that were heaped upon my back.

As I read further in his talk, I loved and clung to these promises that were made, "If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word."

I have felt the encompassing love of our Savior as he never left me alone. As promised, the Savior sent angels to bear me up and help me to bear my burdens. He gave me added strength, he helped me to endure what I could not endure alone, and he carried me when I had no strength left inside me.

I know the road ahead is still rocky. I have not yet reached the top of my mountain. But I am assured that as I continue to walk and continue to climb that my Redeemer, my Savior, and my friend will keep his promises. I know his angels will be on my left and on my right to bear me up. He will not leave me comfortless but will send me his peace and his love. I will continue to be healed by the balm of Gilead. I will go where he leads and follow him to the end.

For I know his peace, his love and his promises are sure. I have been blessed to feel his loving arms wrap around me in my own moments of despair. In those moments, his words of comfort, peace and reassurance have kept me going.

As I continue to climb my own mountain of trials, I am comforted by his promise that he will strengthen me to bear the burdens and trials that are placed before me. I hold fast to the promise that all these things shall give me experience and be for my good. I find comfort that my Savior always keeps his word. He promises not to leave us comfortless.

I add my own witness that as Elder Eyring taught, I have found that the hardest times in life, as well as the easiest, can be a blessing.

The road has not been easy but the blessings have come. The experiences I have faced have definitely been for my own good. The Lord has sent angels to bear me up. He has comforted me. He indeed has kept his word.

My forever gratitude to my Savior for carrying me and loving me. He is my strength. He is my light. He is my hope. He is my peace. What comfort this sweet sentence gives. I know that my Redeemer lives!

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