Viewpoint: Trust in the Strength of the Lord

Contributed By From the Church News

  • 2 August 2013

The prophet Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were well into old age when they were told Sarah would bear a son. When Sarah laughed, the Lord asked, "Is any thing too hard for the Lord?" 

“In the strength of the Lord and through His grace, I know that you and I can be blessed to accomplish all things.”
—Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve

Latter-day prophets have repeatedly assured members of the Church that despite increasing wickedness, we need not fear because God is at the helm and we can trust in His strength. “I know it and you know it,” President Ezra Taft Benson, then of the Quorum of the Twelve, said during his April 1954 general conference address. “Surely no group of people in all the world has greater evidence of that fact than do the Latter-day Saints. Even during the days of persecution and hardship, the Lord has continually encouraged us to trust in him, to keep his commandments, to do that which is right and then be unafraid.

“We live in a world of fear today. Fear seems to be almost everywhere present. But there is no place for fear among the Latter-day Saints, among men and women who keep the commandments, who place their trust in the Almighty, who are not afraid to get down on their knees and pray to our Heavenly Father.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley said during his October 1983 general conference address that the Lord is weaving a tapestry according to His own grand design.

“We have no need to fear. We have no need to worry. We have no need to speculate. …

“The Almighty is blessing his church and his people. He is watching over them. He neither slumbers nor sleeps as he guides, directs, and moves in his own ‘mysterious way His wonders to perform’” (“He Slumbers Not, nor Sleeps”).

President Thomas S. Monson said during his April 1997 general conference address that “our Heavenly Father knows who we are, His sons and His daughters. He wants to bring into our lives the blessings for which we qualify, and He can do it. He can accomplish anything” (“They Will Come”).

In the biblical account, Abraham and Sarah had been married for many years but were still not blessed with children. The Lord had promised Abraham that through his descendants the nations of the earth would be blessed. With Sarah still childless, Abraham inquired of the Lord, who told him He would bless Sarah “and give thee a son also of her” (Genesis 17:16).

When Abraham was about 100 years old and Sarah about 90, three holy men told Abraham that Sarah was expecting a baby. “Lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son,” they said.

“Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

 “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

 “And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

 “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:10–14).

The Lord promised Abraham that his seed would be a great nation and would be as numerous as the stars and the sand. Jacob, Abraham’s grandson who was later named Israel, was the father of the tribes of Israel.

“And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

“Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Genesis 18:17–19).

The lesson learned so long ago by Abraham and Sarah—that nothing is too hard for the Lord—has been repeated again and again over time.

One example can be seen today on the campus of BYU–Idaho.

On the evening of June 20, 2000, the president of Ricks College, David A. Bednar, and several colleagues worked late in the school’s executive offices preparing for the arrival of President Gordon B. Hinckley the next morning. A historic announcement was forthcoming that “Ricks College would become a baccalaureate-degree-granting institution and take on the name of Brigham Young University–Idaho. As an administrative team we were just beginning to realize the monumental nature of the responsibility and challenges that were before us,” recounted Elder Bednar, now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, during his October 2004 general conference address.

“As we walked out of the building that night, one of my colleagues asked, ‘President, are you scared?’ As best as I can recall, I answered something like this: ‘If I thought we had to execute this transition relying exclusively upon our own experience and our own judgment, then I would be terrified. But we will have help from heaven. Because we know who is in charge and that we are not alone, then no, I am not scared.’ And we who serve at BYU–Idaho unitedly testify that there has been help from heaven, miracles have occurred, revelations have been received, doors have been opened, and we have been greatly blessed as individuals and as an institution” (“In the Strength of the Lord”).

Since 2000, the school has moved from a two-year junior college into a four-year university with an international reach and an enrollment nearing 24,000.

The school’s focus on students and teaching (over faculty and research), a year-round schedule, innovations in online learning (including the use of remote online instructors), and a program for distance education called Pathway have been praised across the globe.

On the evening of June 20, 2000, Elder Bednar knew that heaven would help the university become what the Lord wanted it to become.

The same is true for each one of us.

At the conclusion of his 2004 general conference address, Elder Bednar said, “In the strength of the Lord and through His grace, I know that you and I can be blessed to accomplish all things.”