Monday, November 17, 2008

Terror, Triumph and the Wedding Feast

Three years and one day after September 11th 2001. Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to the students of BYU. I must have listened to this talk 10 times within the past week. It brings me so much comfort! I really needed these words!! You can read the full talk or download it free at this link, I highly recommend it:
God Bless You!!!

"…we cannot and must not be paralyzed just because that event and the events surrounding it are out there ahead of us somewhere. We cannot stop living life. Indeed, we should live life more fully than we have ever lived it before….First, we must never, in any age or circumstance, let fear and the father of fear (Satan himself) divert us from our faith and faithful living….Just be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and He knows your need.

God expects you to have enough faith and determination and enough trust in Him to keep moving, keep living, keep rejoicing. In fact, He expects you not simply to face the future (that sounds pretty grim and stoic); He expects you to embrace and shape the future—to love it and rejoice in it and delight in your opportunities.God is anxiously waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as He always has. But He can’t if you don’t pray, and He can’t if you don’t dream. In short, He can’t if you don’t believe.

If you recall, this revelation came as the Saints who were gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution—were at the very height of their persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes. Hostility, even hatred, followed them from county to county as they sought refuge. These frightened Saints lost land, livestock, clothing, furniture, crops, and a host of personal possessions. Threats of death were heard every day. I suppose, at its worst, this was the most difficult and dangerous time—may I say “terror-filled”—that the Church had ever known. Later on names like Haun’s Mill and Liberty Jail would take their place in our vocabulary forever.Yet in that frightening time the Lord said to His people:Let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.Zion shall not be moved out of her place, notwithstanding her children are scattered.They that remain, and are pure in heart, shall return, and come to their inheritances, they and their children, with songs of everlasting joy, to build up the waste places of Zion—And all these things that the prophets might be fulfilled. [D&C 101:16–19]

The other verse I refer to is from the Savior, spoken to His disciples as He faced His crucifixion and as they faced fear, disarray, and persecution. Talk about troubled times! In His last collective counsel to them in mortality, and knowing full well what lay ahead for Him and for them, He said: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Is there a happy future for you and your posterity in these latter days? Absolutely! Most assuredly you have a beautiful future. All wedding feasts are happy occasions. Will there be difficult times when those ominous latter-day warnings and prophecies are fulfilled? Of course there will. There always have been. Be prepared. Will those who have built upon the great rock of Christ withstand such winds, such hail, and the mighty shafts in the whirlwind? You know that they will. You have it on good word. You have it on His word! That “rock upon which ye are built . . . is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men [and women] build they cannot fall” (see Helaman 5:12).

I leave an apostolic blessing on each one of you individually within the sound of my voice that you will live with confidence, optimism, faith, and devotion. I bless you that you will be serious about life’s challenges but not frightened or discouraged. I bless you to feel the joy of the Saints in the latter days—never crippling anxiety or destructive despair. Indeed, the only concern I would have us entertain is a very personal one: How can we live more fully, more faithfully, so that all the blessings of this great dispensation can be showered upon each one of us and upon those whose lives we touch?"-Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


Tony said...

This is great...Ill have to have my mom read this!

Alicia said...

Sounds Great! Hope things are going well at home.