Friday, May 17, 2019

President Ezra Taft Benson on finding hope in times of challenge

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"To press on in noble endeavors, even while surrounded by a cloud of depression, will eventually bring you out on top into the sunshine. Even our master Jesus the Christ, while facing that supreme test of being temporarily left alone by our Father during the crucifixion, continued performing his labors for the children of men, and then shortly thereafter he was glorified and received a fullness of joy. While you are going through your trial, you can recall your past victories and count the blessings that you do have with a sure hope of greater ones to follow if you are faithful. And you can have that certain knowledge that in due time God will wipe away all tears and that 'eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.' (1 Cor. 2:9.)"
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Do Not Despair," General Conference October 1974
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This was one of my favorite talks by Elder Benson; well worth reviewing the whole thing. He encourages us to maintain a perspective of hope and gratitude in spite of the challenges and difficulties of life—"even while surrounded by a cloud of depression." Pressing on through the clouds eventually leads to sunshine:

Three important strategies for success, in surviving times of challenge, are:

  • Remembering past achievements
  • Recognizing current blessings
  • Holding to promises for the future, knowing that "in due time God will wipe away all tears"

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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