Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on dealing with life's challenges

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (born December 3, 1940) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"If your prayers don’t always seem answered, take heart. One greater than you or President Kimball cried, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.… My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?' (Matt. 27:46.) If sometimes the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Inconvenient Messiah," BYU Devotional, 2 February 1982; see Ensign February 1984, pp. 68-73
Click here to read the full talk

This is one of my favorite, most thought-provoking talks by Elder Holland. He teaches that the Messiah's message, and His path of discipleship, were not (and are not) convenient or easy; they require sacrifice and discipline. This principle applies in many ways.

It applies to the process of prayer. It takes work and effort to develop real communication with God. Elder Holland shared the particularly poignant example from the life of Spencer W. Kimball, describing his struggles in personal prayer following his call to the apostleship. Then came this thought:

Sometimes, life is hard. Sometimes, just trying harder doesn't solve the problems right away. Life is sometimes inconvenient! But Elder Holland encourages us to remember, in those times, to "take heart": patience, persistence, faith, endurance, trust, hope—those are eternal and divine principles.

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

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