Thursday, January 12, 2017

President Howard W. Hunter on perspective and comfort in life's challenges

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"'For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, ...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad' (2 Ne. 2:11).
"I have taken great comfort over the years in this explanation of some of life's pain and disappointment. I take even greater comfort that the greatest of men and women, including the Son of God, have faced such opposition in order to better understand the contrast between righteousness and wickedness, holiness and misery, good and bad. From out of the dark, damp confinement of Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned that if we are called to pass through tribulation, it is for our growth and experience and will ultimately be counted for our good (see D&C 122:5-8).
"Where one door shuts, another opens, even for a prophet in prison. We are not always wise enough nor experienced enough to judge adequately all of the possible entries and exits. The mansion that God prepares for each of his beloved children may have only certain hallways and banisters, special carpets and curtains that he would have us pass on our way to possess it....
"At various times in our lives, probably at repeated times in our lives, we do have to acknowledge that God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see."
- Howard W. Hunter, "The Opening and Closing of Doors," Ensign, Nov 1987, p. 54
Click here to read the full article

Do we find it comforting when opposition is encountered in life? President Hunter did! When you see opposition, the implication is that there is the potential for great righteousness, holiness, and good to be brought to pass. Like Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, we can learn that passing through tribulation means a chance for growth and experience that can bring good to our lives. That requires a complete and solid perspective of God's plan and our place in it.

The final sentence is a great key: peace and comfort come as we recognize and remember that "God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see." That kind of faith can carry us through all the challenges and opposition we encounter.

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