Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Howard W. Hunter on finding God's help in the challenges of our lives

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"Sometimes we may feel that our spiritual edge has grown dull. On some very trying days, we may even feel that God has forgotten us, has left us alone in our confusion and concern. But that feeling is no more justified for the older ones among us than it is for the younger and less experienced. God knows and loves us all. We are, every one of us, his daughters and his sons, and whatever life's lessons may have brought us, the promise is still true: 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.' (James 1:5.) ...
"There may be so very much our Father in Heaven would like to give us—young, old, or middle-aged—if we would but seek his presence regularly through such avenues as scripture study and earnest prayer. Of course, developing spirituality and attuning ourselves to the highest influences of godliness is not an easy matter. It takes time and frequently involves a struggle....
"In the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have help from on high. 'Be of good cheer,' the Lord says, 'for I will lead you along.' (D&C 78:18.) 'I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy.' (D&C 11:13.)
"I testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ. God does live and imparts to us his Spirit. In facing life's problems and meeting life's tasks, may we all claim that gift from God, our Father, and find spiritual joy."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Blessed From on High," Ensign, November 1988, p. 59-61
Click here to read the full talk

I like the description of having our "spiritual edge... grown dull" — that feeling that we're just not doing as well as we could be, and not getting the help and support that makes so much difference. The more extreme situation is when we "feel that God has forgotten us" so there is no spiritual edge at all.

President Hunter reassures us that God loves us and is eager to come to our help as we ask in faith. This is the key: when He has much to give us in blessings and support, we just need to "seek his presence regularly":

Such a sweet reassurance, that God really does live and will bless us with His influence in "facing life's problems and meeting life's tasks."  We can call claim "spiritual joy" every day if we are willing to do this.

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