M. Russell Ballard
(Adapted from an October 1992 conference address. See Ensign, November 1992, page 31.)
Lift up your hearts and rejoice (D&C 27:15).

The Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. We must never lose hope! If we keep His commandments, come what may, we will be all right.

Recently I had the privilege of performing the temple sealing ordinances for a wonderful family. It was a beautiful occasion, as such ceremonies almost always are. But if you had known the father of this family several years earlier, you would have understood what a miracle was taking place in the House of the Lord that day. In simple terms, this is what he told me:

“I started to go downhill with my first drink of alcohol. After that, it was easier to take other drugs. In order to take drugs, you must become a good liar. You learn to do whatever it takes to hide your bad acts from others.

“I watched friends die from drugs and suicide. Many others are still in prison. Had it not been for the small flicker of testimony instilled in me by my mother when I was a child, to know that Heavenly Father could still love me, I doubt if I would be telling you this today.

“I have learned that no matter how lost you feel, no matter how many things you have done wrong, there can be forgiveness and peace. The farther one drifts from the Lord, the harder it is to return to Him and His teachings. But once I opened my heart and called out in prayer to Heavenly Father to help me in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, I came to know the power of repentance and the blessings of obedience to God’s commandments.”

I wish that you could have been with us in the temple that day to feel the joy that filled the hearts of his family and me in that sealing room. May we all find the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philip. 4:7), as did this man and his family as they rejoiced together in the House of the Lord.

[illustration] Illustrated by Paul Mann