Leaving Adversity Behind By Elder David S. Baxter Of the Seventy

(This morning I was looking for something I could share on this blog and I ran a crossed this perfect article that really struck a note with me, that could be so helpful to people in many different situations.  It is so very interesting how life plays itself out in our personal lives sometimes.  Little did I realize this morning when I found the Article how much I would need to read over the information again in the afternoon of this same day, for my person life.  Something happened in the afternoon that, first off was hard to believe, and second so very difficult to deal with.)

(I hope you enjoy, and get some of the meat from the Article to chew and on to work on your rough spots in your personal life as well, or to realize it is here for you when you need it.  I sincerely hope the parts of this Article I share on this Blog  help’s someone out there.)

Leaving Adversity Behind         By Elder David S. Baxter  Of the Seventy

“One of the great hymns…penne d by Parley P. Pratt, (one of the verses):

The clouds of error disappear

Before the rays of truth  divine;..

The glory bursting from afar

Wide o’er the nations soon will shine 1.

“…the Apostle Paul also uses the analogy of light in explaining how he could testify that “we are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but no forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

He explains his escape from the brink of it all this way: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give  the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ).

Most of us at some time in our lives feel the chill winds of adversity.  Storms brew, winds blow, rains  fall, floods rise.  It may seem that there is no end in sight, that we simply face a future of uncertainty and doubt, trial and tribulation.

As well as experiencing periodic thunderstorms, we can experience horrific hurricanes and tempests of turmoil, which can destroy our confidence and shake our sense of self-worth.  All that we hold dear can suddenly feel so ephemeral, (lasting only 1 day, or lasting for a very short time) slipping through our fingers.  Major life changes can knock us off balance, disrupting our sense of equilibrium.

Perhaps an unexpected lay-off  has led to long-term unemployment, lack of financial freedom has cut choice, or mortgage meltdown has left us in monetary misery.  Perhaps anticipated retirement after a long, busy and productive career has brought a sense of  loss.  Perhaps sudden sickness or devastating disability has left us feeling “boxed in,” helpless, hopeless, and uncertain.  In such circumstances, fear can come additional easily, while faith can be hard to sustain.

I know all of this  for myself.  While recovering from surgery to remove two sizeable brain tumors, I experienced periods of melancholy and dismay from the emotional and mental impact of it all. I discovered that I was not as invincible as I once thought I was.  Medication did not help, and a relapse or two brought additional despondency.  I began to feel sorry for myself.

Decide to Be Happy

Then some wonderful things begin to happen.  …Late one night as I shared my gloomy feelings with our youngest son, he said “Well, Dad, I have always thought that happiness is a decision.”  He is right.

I found myself increasingly expressing gratitude for all the blessings I still enjoyed.  I discovered for  myself that “this kind [of trial] goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:21).

I felt the strength, refreshing power, and love of the Savior.  With Paul, I rejoice in the knowledge that tribulation, distress, and peril could not separate me from the love of the Christ (see Romans 8:35).

Fortunately, the hopeful and certain truth is that no matter what, we can find strength and encouragement.  Our burdens can become lighten even if they do not suddenly go away.  We can emerge on the other side of the darkest abyss, stronger and more resolute, better men and better woman.

Having been proven in the crucible of affliction, we will have cultivated a character that is able to face and withstand future life shocks. As a result, we can use our experiences to lift and empathize with others.  Our own example of personal perseverance can give hope to others and inspire our families.  We become more fit for the future.

While adversity may be slow to leave us, we can choose to leave it any time.  The Lord’s promise to us is as it was to Alma and his people in the midst of horrendous persecution;

“Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs” (Mosiah 24: 13-14).

Furthermore, the  Lord has confirmed, “I will not leave you comfortless:  I will come to you” (John 14:18).

Seek Heavenly Help

Heavenly help may not be obvious.  We may not immediately see or know that some other burdens that would have come our way have been lifted, diverted from our door.

The Lord assures: “Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you.  I am  in your midst and ye cannot see me” (D&C 38:7).

Of course, we may need to be supremely patient with others and ourselves; it often takes time for everything to work out.  Even if at times our faith seems no bigger than mustard seed, as we move forward, Providence will move with us.  If we seek heavens help, we will receive it—perhaps even in unexpected ways.

We can find the wherewithal to be thankful for what we have, rather than mourn what we have lost.  Interestingly, we often hear that same sentiment expressed by those who have lost all their worldly possessions in a natural disaster, such as a wildfire, flood, or hurricane.  In virtually every case, they say, “At least we still have what is really important.”   The testimony of Paul is encouraging: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.  “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

As has been written, “All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” 2.

Whatever our circumstances, there will come a time when we can leave adversity behind and, with the Lord’s help emerge from the darkness into an abundance light.

Notes

1.. “The Morning Breaks, “ Hymns, no.1.

2. Preach My Gospel: A to Guide to Missionary Service  (2004), 52.

14 thoughts on “Leaving Adversity Behind By Elder David S. Baxter Of the Seventy

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