“What’s the best thing that has ever happened in your life, except for being baptized in this Church?”
“What’s the worst thing that has ever happened in your life?”
These two questions were the opening of Sister Audrey in her Relief Society teaching this afternoon.
She put us all into thinking about them. I had a hard time identifying the best thing, but I could easily pull out some worst things.
Sister Davis said the best thing was her marriage in temple with her husband. They have been married for 42 years. I’m sure that is one of the best things in her life. Being able to go to church every Sunday is the best thing in Sister June’s life. Giving birth to children is one of most ‘popular’ answer.
Most of the sisters regarded the passing away of their parents as the worst thing in their life. I too think my mother’s death as the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. It was very hard on me to accept it, but I must say the best thing in that was I could take care of my mother in her last days in this life. I was at her side when she stopped breathing.
I suppose there is something good in everything that is bad. Every cloud has a silver lining. There is always a blessing in disguise.
Sister Audrey continued her lesson referring to an article on the Jan 2010 issue of the Ensign magazine, Hold on a Little Longer By President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. I had read this article before, but I did not feel such strong spiritual inspiration as I heard the lesson from Sister Audrey.
As we compared our life with those of the saints in the Church’s early history, especially during the Kirtland Temple construction time, as mentioned in the article, we found out that we too, are facing with persecution and financial downturn. The saints in the olden days pulled through it, and how grateful we are for their perseverance and determination, so that we could enjoy the sweet fruit of the restoration.“In Kirtland the Lord bestowed some of the most remarkable heavenly manifestations and spiritual gifts this world has ever experienced. Sixty-five sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were received in Kirtland and surrounding areas—revelations that brought new light and knowledge about topics such as the Second Coming, caring for the needy, the plan of salvation, priesthood authority, the Word of Wisdom, tithing, the temple, and the law of consecration.
It was a period of unparalleled spiritual growth. Indeed, the Spirit of God like a fire was burning. Moses, Elijah, and many other heavenly beings appeared during this time, including our Heavenly Father and His Son, the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.”
Lorenzo Snow (1814–1901) was living in Kirtland during that period was quoted saying, “One would have imagined that after receiving these wonderful manifestations no temptation could have overthrown the Saints.”
Great spiritual experiences do not make us exempt from opposition and trials.
I remember when our chapel in Kota Kinabalu was first dedicated, the members were at their paramount. Those who were there, some have left the church, some have become inactive, some hold on to it. Of course, some more new members have joined the church over the years.
If ever you are tempted to become discouraged or to lose faith, remember those faithful Saints who remained true in Kirtland. Hold on a little longer. You can do this! You are part of a special generation. You were prepared and preserved to live at this important time in the existence of our beautiful planet earth. You have a celestial pedigree and therefore have all the necessary talents to make your life an eternal success story.
The Lord has blessed you with a testimony of the truth. You have felt His influence and witnessed His power. And if you continue to seek Him, He will continue to grant you sacred experiences. With these and other spiritual gifts, you will be able not only to change your own life for the better but also to bless your homes, wards or branches, communities, cities, states, and nations with your goodness.
It may be hard to see that at times, but hold on a little longer, for “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” and wait for Him (1 Corinthians 2:9; see also D&C 76:10; 133:45).
When I used to jog in the park, sometimes I could not jog for too long a distance. My strategy was to tell myself, I would jog a little longer, and then I would rest. When I reached the supposed distance, I told myself again, maybe I could jog a few more metres. And then I reached another point and when I looked back, I had come that far.
It is the same strategy when I was faced with adversity. I would tell myself, I could only take in this much, when I did, I would say to myself again, maybe I could bear with it a little longer. I realized, my patience was increased, adversities seemed more bearable.
Our faith grows a little stronger each time we hold on a little longer, until we have come a long way and look back, and be amazed with our endurance and growth.