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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Relief from Trial

I am so grateful that the Atonement covers the “suffering pains and affliction and temptations of every kind;….” and that “he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy…, the he may know how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12). There is a principle in these verses that sometimes we miss, or don’t understand. We take upon ourselves the infirmities of others that our bowels may be filled with mercy. “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matt 5:7). What a beautiful promise! We also learn how to succour and to have our bowels filled with mercy.

As we walk through life, we influence many people don’t we? We model what they see every day. A slightly dishonest act, and unkind word, a loss of temper, an impatient reply, a profane outburst, a white lie, a thoughtless act – all provide the image of what we really are. The reverse is also true. Every sweet and tender act we perform – our happy and buoyant spirit; the way we treat our children, spouse, family, friends; the daily service we perform – all provide the beholder with an image of us.

It’s a wonderful goal in life to improve our personal life, to strengthen our virtues, to overcome our weaknesses, and to be ever growing upward to Christ’s standards. There is a consequence for good or bad in everything we do. More than likely there will be at least one more trial in life, one more opportunity left to prove who we really are and what kind of impact we have had on others. President Harold B. Lee stated that we would be tested every month of our lives. As we are able to modify our perspective of “tests” when they come, we meet them knowing that we will be the beneficiaries in some way.

Someone once said: “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” And sometimes we feel alone when adversity comes. We might even see those who we thought were dear friends avoid or abandon us, therefore, we may suffer in silence and endure alone. Oliver Goldsmith said: “The greatest object in the universe, is a good person struggling with adversity; yet there is still greater, which is the good person that comes to relieve it. (‘The Vicar of Wakefield’.)

The wonderful and comforting thing about the Atonement is that we need not feel that we suffer alone or that we are ever abandoned if we live right. The Saviour has felt all of our pains, worries, sufferings, trials, and will never leave us. He did more good than any other. He exemplified greater humility, more tenderness, and deeper charity than anyone who ever lived. He alone understands the fullness of the trials we face, and He alone will stand to comfort, bless and abide with us in our darkest hours. He is the light of the world, and may we look forward to another day in which we can worship Him, by remembering him and by loving each other.
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