Wednesday, July 19, 2017

President Joseph Fielding Smith on finding peace through life's trials

Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) was the son of Joseph F. Smith, 6th president of the Church, and grandson of Hyrum Smith, brother of the Prophet Joseph. He was called as an apostle in 1910, and served as the 10th president of the Church from 1970 until his death in 1972 at age 95.
"If we shall search diligently, pray always, be believing, and walk uprightly, we have the Lord’s promise that all things shall work together for our good [see D&C 90:24]. This is not a promise that we shall be free from the trials and problems of life, for this probationary state is designed to give us experience and difficult and conflicting situations.
"Life never was intended to be easy, but the Lord has promised that he will cause all trials and difficulties to result in our good. He will give us strength and ability to overcome the world and to stand firm in the faith despite all opposition. It is a promise that we shall have peace in our hearts despite the tumults and troubles of the world. And above all, it is a promise that when this life is over, we shall qualify for eternal peace in the presence of Him whose face we have sought, whose laws we have kept, and whom we have chosen to serve."
- Joseph Fielding Smith, “President Joseph Fielding Smith Speaks on the New MIA Theme,” New Era, Sept. 1971, 40
Click here to read the full article

Sometimes, we have difficulty seeing that "all things" are "work[ing] together for our good" in the midst of trials and challenges. We strive to do the things the Lord asked, but still the difficulties continue. Often, the problem is that we try to set our own timetable for trials to end; but the Lord may have things for us to learn. President Smith reminds us that trials are needed as a part of life, and that ultimately they will result in our good if we are willing to trust God and His timing:

We can "have peace in our hearts" even in the midst of difficulties, knowing that God is in charge and that ultimately all will be made right. Truly, that is the peace "which passeth all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). How important it is to learn to trust in Him and His timing for our learning experiences! That has to be one of the greatest purposes of this mortal experience.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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