Each of us faces challenges—whether it is the strain of trying to meet financial obligations, the struggle to find an eternal companion or build a secure marriage and rear faithful children, or the unexpected loneliness of divorce or widowhood. Part of our mortal experience, in fact, is to have trials (see 2 Ne. 2:11–12).
But we need not face adversity alone. President Gordon B. Hinckley entreats us to develop a “simple faith, an unquestioning conviction, that the God of Heaven in his power will make all things right and bring to pass his eternal purposes in the lives of his children” (“The Faith of the Pioneers,” Ensign, July 1984, 6).
Mervyl Meyer, from South Africa, received this great gift when her mother died at the age of 93. As an only child, Mervyl felt her mother’s loss deeply. She realized that her mother’s death was a blessed release from the pain and frustration of advanced age, but she longed for her mother’s companionship.
One Saturday morning as Mervyl prepared her garden for spring planting, she reviewed in her mind the Relief Society lesson she would be teaching on Sunday. The lesson was about the paradisiacal glory the earth would enjoy during the Millennium. Although she had prayed about the lesson—and the promise it held for her mother’s resurrection—her heart was heavy with the thought of her mother’s body buried deep in the dark ground. She feared she would never see her mother again.
But as she worked, she was touched by the Spirit. “I pondered the scriptures of the lesson. It came to me that the earth in which I worked was the same earth that sheltered my mother’s mortal remains. As I put my hands into the rich brown soil, I received an intimate assurance of the renewal of all life, of the Resurrection. I felt at peace and now look forward to the day when I will see my mother restored, without the pain or the afflictions of her last months on earth.”
The Lord will strengthen us in our trials—if we seek his help and open our hearts and minds to the influence of his Spirit. One of the surest ways to do that is to extend kindness to others. Acts of service soften our hearts and focus our minds on the Spirit’s guidance. Partaking of the sacrament renews those covenants that allow the Spirit to be with us. Patriarchal and priesthood blessings provide perspective and insight. We can find sweet friendship and compassion by associating with the sisters in Relief Society. Beautiful music and inspired literature can console and strengthen us.
Each of these actions, combined with attention to doing God’s will, can invite the Lord into our lives. When that happens, we can truly say, “Trusting my all to thy tender care, and knowing thou lovest me, I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere” (Hymns, no. 270). As we so trust him, we have his promise: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).
How can living basic gospel principles, such as faith, help us meet our personal challenges?
In what ways might we help others who are facing trials receive comfort and peace?