Thursday, October 19, 2017

President James E. Faust on the Savior's message of hope and deliverance

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"The Divine Shepherd has a message of hope, strength, and deliverance for all. If there were no night, we would not appreciate the day, nor could we see the stars and the vastness of the heavens. We must partake of the bitter with the sweet. There is a divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day. They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless.
"When we pluck the roses, we find we often cannot avoid the thorns which spring from the same stem.
"Out of the refiner’s fire can come a glorious deliverance. It can be a noble and lasting rebirth. The price to become acquainted with God will have been paid. There can come a sacred peace. There will be a reawakening of dormant, inner resources. A comfortable cloak of righteousness will be drawn around us to protect us and to keep us warm spiritually. Self-pity will vanish as our blessings are counted."
- James E. Faust, "The Refiner's Fire," General Conference, April 1979
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The gospel of Jesus Christ truly does provide "a message of hope, strength, and deliverance for all." There is hope for the eventual resolution of all concerns and trials; strength to endure while we prepare, and deliverance from evil and from suffering.

But yet, the challenges are part of the plan, as President Faust points out. They enable us to appreciate the blessings of God more fully. Our adversities are often part of His hand in our lives as well, as "They prepare, they purge, they purify, and thus they bless." It takes faith to comprehend that great truth.

And this is the great promise of the gospel of Jesus Christ: there is "a glorious deliverance" that will surely come. What a sacred blessing to have this hope within!

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

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