Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dieter F. Uchtdorf on God's help in the challenges of life

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"We know that sometimes it can be difficult to keep our heads above water. In fact, in our world of change, challenges, and checklists, sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to avoid feeling overwhelmed by emotions of suffering and sorrow.
"I am not suggesting that we can simply flip a switch and stop the negative feelings that distress us. This isn't a pep talk or an attempt to encourage those sinking in quicksand to imagine instead they are relaxing on a beach. I recognize that in all of our lives there are real concerns. I know there are hearts here today that harbor deep sorrows. Others wrestle with fears that trouble the soul. For some, loneliness is their secret trial.
"These things are not insignificant....
"I have a simple faith. I believe that as you are faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, as you draw closer to Him in faith, hope, and charity, things will work together for your good (see D&C 90:24). I believe that as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father—as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others—God will encircle you in the arms of His love (see D&C 6:20). Discouragement, inadequacy, and weariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," Ensign, Nov. 2008, pp. 117-18
Click here to read the full talk

Almost all of us feel overwhelmed from time to time, by the demands of our lives or the busy-ness of our activities, if not by "emotions of suffering and sorrow." But Pres. Uchtdorf acknowledges that in the more challenging times of discouragement, it's not trivial to turn the mood around. We may deal with trials of sorrow, fear, or loneliness, and "these things are not insignificant." You can't just "flip a switch" and make it all better. But you can follow the Lord's counsel:

So Pres. Uchtdorf's formula includes 1) diligent obedience to the commandments, 2) drawing closer to the Lord through faith, hope, and charity, 3) to "immerse yourselves" in God's work, which includes creating beauty and sharing true compassion — THEN we will feel the deep protection of His love and care, and ultimately the relief from suffering and concerns.

What a sweet promise!  I testify that it is true and real.

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