I tried to talk myself out of this Sunday message. It seemed too heavy, too difficult. But I continually returned to this same message, and I felt, time and again, that it was meant for today.
I watched a video by Jeffrey R. Holland some months ago, and in that video Elder Holland discusses that the cost of salvation is not cheap. That suffering, in many forms, is preparatory to salvation. Part of me rebelled against that very thought — that pain must be a part of our growth process. “Why?” my heart questioned. “Why must pain be a part of the refining process?”
I am sure that there have been or will be times in all of our lives when we relate to Joseph Smith, and cry out to God, “O God, where are thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place? How long shall thy hand be stayed..?” (D&C 121: 1-2) In times of trial, it often feels that God allows too much pain for us to bear.
And, then the response to prayer Joseph Smith received in Liberty Jail: “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” (D&C 122:7)
I know that there is a Balm in Gilead. I know that the Savior, Jesus, Christ will bind and heal our wounds as we reach out to Him. God has spoken: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” (D&C 84:88). We are never alone.
Thank you, President Eyring.