Have you ever struggled in your search for truth and peace in your life?
While I have experienced the exhilaration of the soaring peaks and majestic vistas of spiritual clarity, there have also been weeks, months, and even years of darkened valleys and black craggy ravines.
I know what it is like to live with constant hopelessness and despair, all while feeling utterly and completely alone. When flames of faith that once seemed to burn so brightly start to sputter and smoke.
So if that’s where you now find yourself, please know this: You are not alone, even if all evidence seems to point to the contrary. You are never alone.
President Eyring had this to say on the subject:
All of us have had our faith tested by precious blessings delayed, vicious attacks of those who wanted to destroy our faith, temptations to sin, and selfish interests that reduced our efforts to cultivate and soften the spiritual depths of our hearts.
Those who are saddened by the loss of the joy they once had are the blessed ones. Some do not see the withering of faith within themselves. Satan is clever. He tells those he wishes to be miserable that the joy they once felt was childish self-delusion.
Yet while we might struggle through dark times and trials of faith, there is hope to be found in our Savior. His words speak to us through the scriptures and the voices of His apostles and prophets. Like the Savior’s parable of the sower, He broadcasts seed far and wide to all that have ears to hear. Our choice is whether or not we will allow it to grow within our hearts.
Again from President Erying:
Today my message to us all is that there will be a precious opportunity in the next few days to choose to have our hearts softened and to receive and nourish the seed. The seed is the word of God, and it will be poured out on all of us who listen, watch, and read the proceedings of this conference.
Light and truth flows from General Conference. I have found peace and hope from studying the discourses from conferences past, and I have already been uplifted and strengthened from listening to our most recent sessions last weekend. There is a power in coupling your scripture study with the words of modern scripture.
As we do this and listen closely to the gently whisperings of the Spirit, I can also testify as President Eyring, that we will find our hearts softened, our faith strengthened, and our capacity to love the Lord increased.
As hope begins to trickle slowly back into a darkened life, the light can start to take root– but only if we choose to. Sometimes this choice is complicated by clinical depression and other conditions that can (in my personal experience) make spiritual sight and sound extremely difficult to discern. If this describes you, then I plead with you to reach out for help. Keep holding on. The light will come, eventually.
I love how President Eyring encourages each of us to deepen our study of Conference as well as our weekly and personal worship with prayer. Mighty prayer changes us in very real ways. When our prayers stop being as President Gordon B. Hinckley described, “as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries,” then real relationships can be developed. Real devotion can occur. Real communion takes place.
When we approach our personal devotional study with mighty prayer, we will receive by the Spirit a personal message intended especially for us from our Savior, through the testimony of others. I’ve experienced this so many times, and yet I stand all amazed each and every time it happens.
Come unto Him. Pour your heart out to Him. Feast upon His words and pray for those whose messages you will be listening to each Sunday. When you take a proactive approach toward personal worship, the rewards are ten-fold.
And with those rewards of inspiration and closeness to the Spirit, we are more able to move forward in life and succor those around us. With Him, we can till and enrich the ground. With Him, we can help remove rocks and thorns. With Him, we can help the seed take root.
What impressions struck you from President Eyring’s talk?
How will you implement the principles he discussed in your own life?
Next week we’ll be discussing “A Child’s Guiding Gift,” by Mary R. Durham.
New to General Conference Book Club? Check out the details and full schedule here.