My hope is to give encouragement when life seems especially difficult and uncertain. For some of you, that time is now. If not, such a time will come. That is not a gloomy view. It is realistic??yet optimistic??because of God?s purpose in the Creation of this world. That purpose was to give His children the opportunity to prove themselves able and willing to choose the right when it is hard. In so doing, their natures would be changed and they could become more like Him.
At her [Eyring's Mother's] funeral the last speaker was Elder Spencer W. Kimball. After saying something of her trials and her faithfulness, he said essentially this: ?Some of you may wonder why Mildred had to suffer so much and so long. I will tell you why. It was because the Lord wanted to polish her a little more.?
They went on to say: ?We feel disposed to go forward and unite our energies for the upbuilding of the Kingdom, and establishing the Priesthood in their fullness and glory. The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet [Daniel] [see Daniel 2:34?35, 44?45]; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur.?2
We as a people will become more united amid increasing conflict. We will be gathered in the spiritual strength of groups and families filled with gospel light. Even an unbelieving world will recognize The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and realize the power of God upon it. Faithful and brave disciples will fearlessly, humbly, and openly take upon them the name of Christ in their everyday lives.
A feeling of light will stay with us even as the world around us becomes darker. Joseph Smith is an example of how to grow in such spiritual power. He showed us that the prayer of faith is the key to revelation from God. He prayed in faith, believing that God the Father would answer his prayer. He prayed in faith, believing that only through Jesus Christ could he be freed from the guilt he felt for his sins. And he prayed in faith, believing that he needed to find the true Church of Jesus Christ to gain that forgiveness. Throughout his prophetic ministry, Joseph Smith used prayers of faith to obtain continuous revelation. As we face today?s challenges and those yet to come, we too will need to practice the same pattern. President Brigham Young said, ?I do not know any other way for the Latter-day Saints than for every breath to be virtually a prayer for God to guide and direct his people.?5
Satan?s attempt to thwart the beginning of the Restoration was so severe because Joseph?s prayer was so important. You and I will have smaller parts to play in the ongoing Restoration. Yet the enemy of the Restoration will try to stop us from praying. The example of Joseph?s faith and his determination can strengthen us in our resolve. This is one of many reasons why my prayers include thanks to Heavenly Father for the Prophet Joseph.
My hope is to give encouragement when life seems especially difficult and uncertain. For some of you, that time is now. If not, such a time will come. That is not a gloomy view. It is realistic??yet optimistic??because of God?s purpose in the Creation of this world. That purpose was to give His children the opportunity to prove themselves able and willing to choose the right when it is hard. In so doing, their natures would be changed and they could become more like Him. He knew that would require unshakable faith in Him.
You might reasonably wonder why a loving and all-powerful God allows our mortal test to be so hard. It is because He knows that we must grow in spiritual cleanliness and stature to be able to live in His presence in families forever. To make that possible, Heavenly Father gave us a Savior and the power to choose for ourselves by faith to keep His commandments and to repent and so come unto Him.
As you live worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord can direct you to safety even when you cannot see the way. For me, He has most often shown the next step or two to take. Rarely has He given me a glimpse of the distant future, but even those infrequent glimpses guide what I choose to do in daily life.