Saturday, February 26, 2022

President Howard W. Hunter on faith in God during adversity and disappointment

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"At various times in our lives, probably at repeated times in our lives, we do have to acknowledge that God knows what we do not know and sees what we do not see. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord' (Isa. 55:8).
"If you have troubles at home with children who stray, if you suffer financial reverses and emotional strain that threaten your homes and your happiness, if you must face the loss of life or health, may peace be unto your soul. We will not be tempted beyond our ability to withstand. Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him, as we sing in one of our favorite hymns:
"When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
 My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
 The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
 Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

 ('How Firm a Foundation,' Hymns, 1985, no. 85)
"May God bless us in the ups and downs of life, in the opening and closing of doors."
- Howard W. Hunter, "The Opening and Closing of Doors," Ensign, Nov. 1987, 54
Click here to read the full talk

"God knows what we do not know." Why is that so hard for us sometimes to remember? When we are confronted by trials or challenges, we too often forget that God is still in charge and has not forgotten us. President Hunter reminds us that we don't have to deal with any of these situations in a spiritual vacuum:
  • Children who stray
  • Personal financial reverses and the resulting emotional strain
  • Loss of life or of health
We could add many more of life's challenges to that list, and the answer would be the same: "Our detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow path to Him." That seems a bit ironic, that a detour could be part of the straight path. But we must always trust that God is in charge and will ultimately bring all things to good on our behalf, if we trust in him and his all-sufficient grace.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
November 14, 2015

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