Elder Andersen Teaches the Church Protects Faith
All who experience mortality will face life's “fiery trial,” taught Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve during the Saturday afternoon session of conference.
Such trials have the potential to destroy one's trust in God and weaken spiritual resolve. So how can one remain “steadfast and immovable“ during such trials of faith?
“You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith,” he said. “You exercise faith in Christ, you pray, ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments and you serve others.”
Never, he warned, step away from the Church while facing a trial of faith. “Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes to view.”
It is within the sanctuary of the Church that faith is protected.
“When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God,” he counseled. “There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large that we can't overcome it together.”
Elder Andersen spoke of the many single adults in the Church who are well beyond their early adult years. Their present lives are different than they had anticipated, but they keep the law of chastity. Others in the Church deal with feelings of same-sex attraction but, again, choose to obey the Lord's commandments. For them, the Savior has promised: “My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you” (John 14:27).
Some face trials of faith when they are confronted by others who want to discredit the Church and destroy faith. Some question their faith when they find a statement made by a Church leader decades ago that seems incongruent with Church doctrine.
“There is an important principle that governs the doctrine of the Church,” he said. “The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk. True principles are taught frequently and by many. Our doctrine is not difficult to find.”
The leaders of the Church, he added, are honest but imperfect men.
By definition, trials will be trying. “There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants, or from the household of God.”
Elder Andersen testified that when members remain faithful during their fiery trials, they are spiritually refined and strengthened in steel-like fashion.
“With faith, comes trials of faith, bringing increased faith,” he said. “The Lord's comforting assurance to the Prophet Joseph Smith is the very same promise He makes to you in your trial of faith: 'Hold on...fear not...for God shall be with you forever and ever'” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:9).