Bishop Davies Teaches “Trials Are Chances for Growth”
By Ryan McDonald, Church News staff writer
The question “Does the Lord give us challenges in life that are intended to impede our progress?” was the basis for remarks Bishop Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, delivered at a campus devotional held at BYU–Idaho on Tuesday, May 14.
“No, the Lord does not give us challenges or any conditions that are intended to impede our eternal progress,” Bishop Davies said. In the pre-earth life, “we learned and acknowledged in that sacred setting that the conditions of mortality and life would include various naturally occurring challenges and conditions.”
Some people, Bishop Davies said, might wonder how these challenges can be overcome. To respond, he shared the words of President Thomas S. Monson: “Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return.”
Prayer, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the words of the prophets as contained in the scriptures are tools that have been given to obtain “comfort, direction, and strength.” These tools, Bishop Davies said, “will give us understanding and direction in dealing with every aspect of our lives.”
Life’s challenges, Bishop Davies said, come in a variety of settings and are resolved in a variety of ways. Sometimes relief comes quickly, while at other times it may come much more slowly. In these instances, Bishop Davies said, “when all appears lost, that is one of the times when we can and should pray with all of our heart that the Lord will help us. … In our personal search for support and assistance, there is One, even Jesus Christ, who is there and is capable in every way to help us.”
“My dear young brothers and sisters,” Bishop Davies said, “you have an incredible future. Open your minds to the future, to the mysteries of God. Many of you will be called to do things that may surprise you. When you face challenges and trials, rather than feeling sorry for yourselves, ask these questions: ‘What can I learn from this experience? How will this strengthen me and help me to be better prepared for the future?’ In many instances, these challenges may also place us in a position to serve and give service to others.”