Sunday, June 6, 2010

GC Recap #26 - The Rock of Our Redeemer

Elder Wilford W. Andersen, Of the Seventy spoke of our faith and righteousness anchoring us when trials come our way. First off I must say, with a name like that, you've got to be called to the Seventy right? Ok.....I love the way he begins this talk by saying, "Years ago I visited Nauvoo, Illinois, with my family. There the early Saints had come seeking refuge. Many had lost their homes and their farms, and some had lost their loved ones to the growing persecution. In Nauvoo they gathered and built a new and beautiful city. But the persecution was relentless, and by 1846 they were once again forced to leave their homes—this time in the middle of winter. They lined up their wagons on Parley Street, awaiting their turn to cross the frozen waters of the Mississippi River into an unknown future.

"As we stood on Parley Street reflecting upon their desperate conditions, my eyes were drawn to a series of wooden signs nailed to fence posts upon which were etched quotes from the diaries of these suffering Saints. As we read each quote, to our amazement what we found in their words was not desperation and discouragement but confidence and commitment and even joy. They were filled with hope, the hope that is reflected by this quote from the diary of Sarah DeArmon Rich, February 1846: “To start out on such a journey in the winter . . . would seem like walking into the jaws of death but we had faith . . . [and] we felt to rejoice that the day of our deliverance had come.”

"These early Saints were indeed homeless, but they were not hopeless. Their hearts were broken, but their spirits were strong. They had learned a profound and important lesson. They had learned that hope, with its attendant blessings of peace and joy, does not depend upon circumstance. They had discovered that the true source of hope is faith—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His infinite Atonement, the one sure foundation upon which to build our lives"

He then says, "Hope comes from faith in Jesus Christ. He has already overcome the world and has promised that He will wipe away our tears if we will only turn to Him and believe and follow.

"Some who at this very moment feel desperate or discouraged may wonder how they can possibly regain hope. If you are one of those, remember that hope comes as a result of faith. If we would build our hope, we must build our faith."

As I read these words, "When we strive to keep the commandments of God, repenting of our sins and promising our best efforts to follow the Savior, we begin to grow in confidence that through the Atonement everything will be all right. Those feelings are confirmed by the Holy Ghost, who drives from us what our pioneer mothers and fathers called “our useless cares.” In spite of our trials, we are filled with a sense of well-being and feel to sing with them that indeed “all is well.”" I was truly touched. Lately I have been experiencing a mighty trail of my own, One that has lasted far longer than I can remember others lasting. Isn't it interesting that we have the choice as to how we want to see these trails. Am I one to continually "sing all is well"? I am afraid I haven't been. There have been many nights of tears and questions that seamed at the time unanswered. I definitely need to work on drawing near to Him when all seams lost, to continue to sing and rejoice.

He ends so beautifully by saying, "I speak to all who suffer, to all who mourn, to all who now face or who will yet face trials and challenges in this life. My message is to all who are worried or afraid or discouraged. My message is but an echo, a reminder of the constant comforting counsel from a loving Father to His children since the world began.

“Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”

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