Objective: To learn to grow in compassion, humility, courage, and faith through life’s struggles.
Drusilla Dorris Hendricks was among the Saints who were living in Missouri in 1838 when mob violence broke out. Drusilla’s husband was shot and paralyzed from the neck down. She drove back the mobs and nursed him, but his condition grew worse.
During this time, she wrote, “The conflict began in my mind: ‘Your folks told you your husband would be killed [if you joined the Mormons] and are you not sorry you did not listen to them?’ I said, ‘No I am not’. … After that a third person spoke. It was a still, small voice this time, saying, ‘Hold on, for the Lord will provide.’ I said I would for I would trust in Him and not grumble.” (Ensign, Apr. 1979, p. 55.)
Though the trials we face may not be the same as Drusilla’s, we will all experience some hardship and suffering. “Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression,” President Ezra Taft Benson has said. (Ensign, Oct. 1986, p. 2.)
Our trials need not overcome us. In fact, they can teach us humility, faith, courage, and compassion, and can ultimately help us develop charity, the pure love of Christ, which “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, [and] endureth all things.” (1 Cor. 13:7; see also Moro. 7:45.)
President Spencer W. Kimball knew the importance of enduring in the face of trials—in his case, serious health problems. “Being human, we would expel from our lives sorrow, distress, physical pain, and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort,” he said. “But if we closed the doors upon such, we might be evicting our greatest friends and benefactors.” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, p. 168.)
It takes great faith to endure and trust in the Lord. But we can learn about endurance from Alma’s words: “As much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions, and ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” (Alma 38:5.)
Sarah Morgan (the name has been changed) learned to trust in the Lord after her young daughter was abused by an acquaintance and had to endure a nightmare of drawn-out legal processes, during which the little girl herself had to testify in court.
Sarah’s family felt invaded and exposed. “I found it hard to keep up with my normal family and Church responsibilities,” she said, “and I sometimes felt myself being pulled down into a frightening pit of confusion and depression.”
The Lord blessed Sarah’s family with friends to help them through that difficult period. He also blessed Sarah in another way. During that time, her baby kept waking up at night—something none of her other children had done. Later, she felt the Spirit whisper that the Lord had made the baby wakeful so that Sarah would not lie awake night after night worrying and agonizing. Caring for the baby had taken her mind off the family’s problems.
To have charity and trust in the Lord in the face of trials can be a challenge. To aid us, we can remember President Benson’s words: “Let your minds be filled with the goal of being like the Lord, and you will crowd out depressing thoughts as you anxiously seek to know him and do his will.” (Ensign, Oct. 1986, p. 5.)
Discuss how suffering can humble us and help us become more Christlike.
You or the sister you visit may wish to share an experience when growth occurred as a result of a particular trial.
(See Family Home Evening Resource Book, pp. 138, 143, 173–74 for related materials.)