Monday, September 1, 2014

Personal Peace

Talk of the week. August 25, 2014
Hello, my dear friends and family,
Another week has passed in beautiful Peru. Transfers are the August 26th and I am still going to be in Caraz with my dear companion from Argentina. We have been together for almost 6 weeks and she is a joy to be with. I have learned a lot from each of my companions and I feel I am learning more from her than she is from me. She is the third hermana I have had the privilege of training, and I will treasure her friendship forever. She is already a strength and blessing to the mission, and the people of Peru, and to me.
Here is the talk of the week.. Another great one sent to us from the President of the mission. He has taught us to not only read them, but to pray, asking Heavenly Father to teach us the eternal lessons that He wants us to learn from these men He has chosen to lead us. We, as we study these weekly talks sent to us, look up the scriptural references and then we discuss it as a companionship which helps us to see it thru another's eyes. I hope it strengthens and helps you as much as it does us. I am grateful for the peace that has been given me in knowing that I am where I am supposed to be; that I am doing and teaching the truth; and that we are all children of our Heavenly Father and He loves us. The Savior lives and this is Their work. Please read and pray about this talk. It contains truths that will help each of us in our daily lives. Remember I love you and the gospel is true.
Until next week, con mucho amor,
Hermana Mardi Hyer

Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace.
Recent experiences have caused me to reflect on the doctrine of peace and especially the role of Jesus Christ in helping each of us obtain lasting personal peace.

Two events in the past few months have touched me deeply. First, I spoke at the funeral for Emilie Parker, a precious six-year-old who lost her life along with 25 others, including 19 young children, in a tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. I mourned with her family and recognized that many had been deprived of peace. I found strength and faith in her parents, Robert and Alissa Parker.

Second, I met with thousands of faithful members of the Church in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan.1 This French-speaking, West-African country has endured economic hardship, a military coup, and two recent civil wars concluding in 2011. Yet I felt a special peace in their presence.

Events often occur that rob us of peace and heighten our sense of vulnerability.

Who can forget the evil attacks of September 11, 2001, on various U.S. locations? Such events remind us how quickly our feelings of peace and safety can be destroyed.

Our oldest son and his wife, who were expecting their first child, lived three blocks from the World Trade Center in New York City when the first plane crashed into the North Tower. They went to the roof of their apartment building and were horrified as they watched what they thought was some kind of terrible accident. Then they witnessed the second plane crash into the South Tower. They immediately realized that this was no accident and believed lower Manhattan was under attack. When the South Tower collapsed, their apartment building was engulfed in the dust cloud that rained down over lower Manhattan.

Confused about what they had witnessed and concerned about further attacks, they made their way to a safer area and then to the Manhattan stake Church building at Lincoln Center. When they arrived, they found that dozens of other members in lower Manhattan had made the same decision to gather at the stake center. They called to let us know where they were. I was relieved that they were safe but not surprised at their location. Modern revelation teaches that the stakes of Zion are a defense and “a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth.”2

They could not return to their apartment for over a week and were devastated by the loss of innocent lives, but they suffered no permanent damage.

In contemplating these events, I have been impressed with the doctrinal difference between universal or world peace and personal peace.3

At the birth of the Savior, a multitude of the heavenly host praised God and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”4

However, it has been poignantly noted that even in this eternally significant period following the birth of the Son of God, Herod the king carried out the slaughter of innocent infants in Bethlehem.5

Agency is essential to the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others. The very War in Heaven was waged over our moral agency and is essential to understanding the Savior’s earthly ministry.

As recited in the 10th chapter of Matthew, the Savior instructed the Twelve and acknowledged that His mission would not achieve universal peace in this mortal life. The Apostles were told to leave peace upon the worthy houses they visited but warned that they would be “in the midst of wolves … [and] hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”6 A significant pronouncement is made in verse 34: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth.”7 It is clear that universal peace did not exist on the earth during Christ’s mortal ministry, and it does not now.

In the Lord’s preface to the Doctrine and Covenants, a number of very important principles are taught. With respect to those who do not repent, His Spirit (the Spirit of Christ), which is given to every person who comes into the world,8 “shall not always strive with man.”9 Also, “peace shall be taken from the earth.”10 Prophets have declared that peace has indeed been taken from the earth.11 Lucifer has not yet been bound and exercises power in this dominion.12

The heavenly aspiration of good people everywhere has and always will be for peace in the world. We must never give up on achieving this goal. But, President Joseph F. Smith taught, “There never can come to the world that spirit of peace and love … until mankind will receive God’s truth and God’s message … , and acknowledge his power and authority which is divine.”13

We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness. This peace is a promised gift of the Savior’s mission and atoning sacrifice.

This principle is succinctly captured in the Doctrine and Covenants: “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.”14

President John Taylor taught that peace is not only desirable, but “it is the gift of God.”15

The peace to which I am referring is not just a temporary tranquility. It is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment.16

President Heber J. Grant described the Savior’s peace this way: “His peace will ease our suffering, bind up our broken hearts, blot out our hates, engender in our breasts a love of fellow men that will suffuse our souls with calm and happiness.”17 In my meetings with Emilie Parker’s parents, I saw that the Savior’s peace has eased their suffering and is helping to bind up their broken hearts. It is notable that immediately after the shooting, Brother Parker expressed forgiveness to the perpetrator. As President Grant said, the Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates.” Judgment is the Lord’s.

The Ivory Coast Saints, during the period of civil war in their country, found peace by focusing on living the gospel of Jesus Christ, with particular emphasis on family history and temple work for their ancestors.18

We all long for peace. Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies. The Lord’s answer to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brings solace to the heart:

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”19

Remember, “God is not the author of confusion, but [the author] of peace.”20 For those who reject God, there is no peace. We all participated in the councils of heaven that provided for moral agency, knowing that there would be mortal pain and even unspeakable tragedy because of the abuse of agency. We understood that this could leave us angry, bewildered, defenseless, and vulnerable. But we also knew that the Savior’s Atonement would overcome and compensate for all of the unfairness of mortal life and bring us peace. Elder Marion D. Hanks had a framed statement on his wall by Ugo Betti: “To believe in God is to know that all the rules will be fair, and that there will be wonderful surprises.”21

What are the sources of peace? Many search for peace in worldly ways, which never have and never will succeed. Peace is not found by attaining great wealth, power, or prominence.22 Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment, or leisure. None of these can, even when attained in abundance, create any lasting happiness or peace.

Emma Lou Thayne’s beloved hymn asks the appropriate questions: “Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace when other sources cease to make me whole?”23 The answer is the Savior, who is the source and author of peace. He is the “Prince of Peace.”24

How do we stay close to the Savior? Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace.25 After King Benjamin delivered his stirring message concerning the Atonement of Christ, the multitude fell to the earth. “The Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ.”26Repentance and living righteously allow for peace of conscience, which is essential for contentment.27 When there has been a major transgression, confession is required to bring peace.28 Perhaps there is nothing to compare with the peace that comes from a sin-wracked soul unloading his or her burdens on the Lord and claiming the blessings of the Atonement. As another favorite Church hymn puts it, “I’ll drop my burden at his feet and bear a song away.”29

My heart rejoices when I realize that in our day tens of thousands of young men, young women, and senior missionaries have accepted the call to be emissaries of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. They are taking the restored gospel of peace to the world, one person and one family at a time—a work of righteousness to bring this peace to Heavenly Father’s children.

The Church is a refuge where followers of Christ attain peace. Some young people in the world say they are spiritual but not religious. Feeling spiritual is a good first step. However, it is in the Church that we are fellowshipped, taught, and nourished by the good word of God. More importantly, it is priesthood authority in the Church that provides for sacred ordinances and covenants that bind families together and qualify each of us to return to God the Father and Jesus Christ in the celestial kingdom. These ordinances bring peace because they are covenants with the Lord.

Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world. Those who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses also feel this peace. One experience preeminent in my mind is the Suva Fiji Temple open house and dedication. There had been political upheaval resulting in rebels burning and looting downtown Suva, occupying the houses of Parliament and holding legislators hostage. The country was under martial law. The Fiji military gave the Church limited permission to assemble people for the open house and a very small group for the dedication. The members as a whole were uninvited due to concerns for their safety. It was the only temple dedication since the original Nauvoo Temple that was held under very difficult circumstances.

One person invited to the open house was a lovely Hindu woman of Indian descent, a member of Parliament who was initially held hostage but was released because she was female.

In the celestial room, free from the turmoil of the world, she dissolved in tears as she expressed feelings of peace that overwhelmed her. She felt the Holy Ghost comforting and bearing witness of the sacred nature of the temple.

The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, the Savior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the “Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost” and then uttered these important words: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”30 Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”31

Eliza R. Snow penned this concept beautifully:
Lift up your hearts in praise to God;
Let your rejoicings never cease.
Though tribulations rage abroad,
Christ says, “In me ye shall have peace.”32

I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. Two conferences were held in Abidjan on Sunday, February 10, 2013; 9,693 were in attendance—619 of whom were not yet members of the Church. Total Church membership in the Ivory Coast is approximately 19,000.
2. Doctrine and Covenants 115:6.
3. The word peace has different meanings. In classical Greek it refers to cessation, discontinuance, or absence of hostilities between rival forces. In Hebrew the word has a more comprehensive meaning and sometimes is just a form of greeting. Peace is also a “state of existence that comes to man only upon the terms and conditions set by God” (Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Oct. 1966, 14–17).
4. Luke 2:14; emphasis added.
5. See Matthew 2:16; see also Ross Douthat, “The Loss of the Innocents,” New York Times, Dec. 16, 2012, 12.
6. Matthew 10:16, 22.
7. Matthew 10:34.
8. See Doctrine and Covenants 84:46.
9. Doctrine and Covenants 1:33.
10. Doctrine and Covenants 1:35.
11. President Woodruff declared this in 1894 and again in 1896. See The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, ed. G. Homer Durham (1946), 251–52; see also Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1967, 79–82.
12. See Joseph Fielding Smith, The Predicted Judgments, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year (Mar. 21, 1967), 5–6. However, as Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated, “We can have inner peace even though peace has been taken from the earth … [and] ‘all things [are] in commotion’” (“Behold, the Enemy Is Combined,” Ensign, May 1993, 79).
13. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 400.
14. Doctrine and Covenants 59:23.
15. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 151.
16. From the ancient Greeks to our own day, these words—happiness and contentment—have been parsed, dissected, and grappled with not only as to their meaning but also the guidance they give to our lives. See David Malouf, The Happy Life: The Search for Contentment in the Modern World (2011). See also a review of Mr. Malouf’s book, in R. Jay Magill Jr., “How to Live Well,” Wall Street Journal, Jan. 26–27, 2013, C6.
17. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant (2002), 226.
18. “Three of the five Ivory Coast stakes are among the top 25 in the Church in the percentage of adults [submitting] family names for temple ordinances,” and the Cocody Cote d’Ivoire Stake is the highest (C. Terry Warner and Susan Warner, “Apostle Visits Ivory Coast, Is ‘Impressed with Exceptional Spirit,’” Church News, Mar. 3, 2013, 4, 14). In the wake of the civil war and the closest temple being 12 hours away by bus in Accra, Ghana, this is marvelous evidence of faith and has resulted in personal and family peace.
19. Doctrine and Covenants 121:7–8. President Harold B. Lee taught, “So, we must be refined; we must be tested in order to prove the strength and power that are in us” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee [2000], 208).
20. 1 Corinthians 14:33.
21. In Marion D. Hanks, “A Loving, Communicating God,” Ensign, Nov. 1992, 63.
22. See Jeffrey R. Holland, For Times of Trouble (2012), 79. Elder Holland teaches that “true poverty may do more to destroy the human spirit than any other condition except sin itself.” But the righteous use of money can enhance peace.
23. “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” Hymns, no. 129.
24. Isaiah 9:6.
25. John Greenleaf Whittier put it simply: “Heed how thou livest. Do not act by day which from the night shall drive thy peace away” (“Conduct [From the Mahabharata],” in The Complete Poetical Works of John Greenleaf Whittier [1802], 484).
26. Mosiah 4:3; emphasis added; see also Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1967, 79–82
27. Conscience is a moral compass pointing us toward peace. It is activated by at least two sources: the Light of Christ, a glorious birthright from our Heavenly Father (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–13;93:2), and the gift of the Holy Ghost (see Doctrine and Covenants 39:6)
28. “Two sets of forgiveness are required to bring peace to the transgressor—one from the proper authorities of the Lord’s Church, and one from the Lord himself. [See Mosiah 26:29.]” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball [2006], 41).
29. “How Gentle God’s Commands,” Hymns, no. 125.
30. John 14:26–
31. John 16:33.
32. “Though Deepening Trials,” Hymns, no. 122.
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August 11, 2014 The Spirit of Revelation and The Challenge

The Spirit of Revelation and The Challenge

Mis Queridos Familia y amigos, my dear family and friends,
Hola! Well, another week has gone by in lovely Caraz and the work is progressing..which means we are working tons with the marvelous members, walking a lot..because that is what you do in rural Peru or in Peru period, and We are constantly praying, because that is what we also do, and we have faith.  Faith precedes the miracle.. That would be a great name of a book.. :) oh yeah!!! It is the name of a great book. :) I hope and pray all is well and that you, each one of you, are being challenged in great ways that will strengthen your devotion to the Lord and your love for Him and our Heavenly Father. That is why we are here on overcome our challenges and trials thru faith, prayers, hard work, and true miracles from the Lord. I believe in miracles. I have seen them on my mission and I know our prayers are heard and answered. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
My mission president, President Archibald was over the institute and seminary programs in the Arkansas area and has worked for the church in this capacity for many years. He is great and I could go on and on..another post.. But what he loves to do is send us inspirational talks by our church leaders and asks, instructs us to incorporate them into our lives and into the lives of those we teach. I have sent a few home via email and then challenge my family to do likewise.
Here is the homework and challenge. I invite you to read this talk and then get down on your knees and ask Heavenly Father if He loves you. I promise you that you will receive an answer to your prayers. No matter what other roles you have in society,, sister, brother, dad, boss, teacher, student..whatever role you have..the first and eternal one you have/ had/ will have forever is that of HIS CHILD and HE LOVES YOU and wants you to know that. So I challenge you to read this talk by Elder Bednar and accept his challenge..  Enjoy!!
With todo mi corazón...with all my heart...I love and miss you all, but am grateful for this opportunity to serve in this humble way.
Hermana Mardi Hyer

The Spirit of Revelation

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The spirit of revelation is real—and can and does function in our individual lives and in the Church.
I express gratitude for the inspiration that attended the selection of the hymn that will follow my remarks, “Have I Done Any Good?” (Hymns, no. 223). I get the hint.

I invite you to consider two experiences most of us have had with light.

The first experience occurred as we entered a dark room and turned on a light switch. Remember how in an instant a bright flood of illumination filled the room and caused the darkness to disappear. What previously had been unseen and uncertain became clear and recognizable. This experience was characterized by immediate and intense recognition of light.

The second experience took place as we watched night turn into morning. Do you recall the slow and almost imperceptible increase in light on the horizon? In contrast to turning on a light in a dark room, the light from the rising sun did not immediately burst forth. Rather, gradually and steadily the intensity of the light increased, and the darkness of night was replaced by the radiance of morning. Eventually, the sun did dawn over the skyline. But the visual evidence of the sun’s impending arrival was apparent hours before the sun actually appeared over the horizon. This experience was characterized by subtle and gradual discernment of light.

From these two ordinary experiences with light, we can learn much about the spirit of revelation. I pray the Holy Ghost will inspire and instruct us as we now focus upon the spirit of revelation and basic patterns whereby revelation is received.

The Spirit of Revelation
Revelation is communication from God to His children on the earth and one of the great blessings associated with the gift and constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “The Holy Ghost is a revelator,” and “no man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 132).

The spirit of revelation is available to every person who receives by proper priesthood authority the saving ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost—and who is acting in faith to fulfill the priesthood injunction to “receive the Holy Ghost.” This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery gained valuable experience with the spirit of revelation as they translated the Book of Mormon. These brethren learned they could receive whatever knowledge was necessary to complete their work if they asked in faith, with an honest heart, believing they would receive. And over time they increasingly understood the spirit of revelation typically functions as thoughts and feelings that come into our minds and hearts by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 8:1–2; 100:5–8.) As the Lord instructed them: “Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground. Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it” (D&C 8:3–4).

I emphasize the phrase “apply unto it” in relation to the spirit of revelation. In the scriptures, the influence of the Holy Ghost frequently is described as “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12; 1 Nephi 17:45; see also 3 Nephi 11:3) and a “voice of perfect mildness” (Helaman 5:30). Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors. These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit. Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously “apply unto it,” even the spirit of revelation, in our personal lives and families.

Patterns of Revelation
Revelations are conveyed in a variety of ways, including, for example, dreams, visions, conversations with heavenly messengers, and inspiration. Some revelations are received immediately and intensely; some are recognized gradually and subtly. The two experiences with light I described help us to better understand these two basic patterns of revelation.

A light turned on in a dark room is like receiving a message from God quickly, completely, and all at once. Many of us have experienced this pattern of revelation as we have been given answers to sincere prayers or been provided with needed direction or protection, according to God’s will and timing. Descriptions of such immediate and intense manifestations are found in the scriptures, recounted in Church history, and evidenced in our own lives. Indeed, these mighty miracles do occur. However, this pattern of revelation tends to be more rare than common.

The gradual increase of light radiating from the rising sun is like receiving a message from God “line upon line, precept upon precept” (2 Nephi 28:30). Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently “distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven” (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare and is evident in the experiences of Nephi as he tried several different approaches before successfully obtaining the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). Ultimately, he was led by the Spirit to Jerusalem, “not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do” (1 Nephi 4:6). And he did not learn how to build a ship of curious workmanship all at one time; rather, Nephi was shown by the Lord “from time to time after what manner [he] should work the timbers of the ship” (1 Nephi 18:1).

Both the history of the Church and our personal lives are replete with examples of the Lord’s pattern for receiving revelation “line upon line, precept upon precept.” For example, the fundamental truths of the restored gospel were not delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith all at once in the Sacred Grove. These priceless treasures were revealed as circumstances warranted and as the timing was right.

President Joseph F. Smith explained how this pattern of revelation occurred in his life: “As a boy … I would frequently … ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line … , until He made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. He did not have to send an angel from the heavens to do this, nor did He have to speak with the trump of an archangel. By the whisperings of the still small voice of the spirit of the living God, He gave to me the testimony I possess. And by this principle and power He will give to all the children of men a knowledge of the truth that will stay with them, and it will make them to know the truth, as God knows it, and to do the will of the Father as Christ does it. And no amount of marvelous manifestations will ever accomplish this” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40–41).

We as members of the Church tend to emphasize marvelous and dramatic spiritual manifestations so much that we may fail to appreciate and may even overlook the customary pattern by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes His work. The very “simpleness of the way” (1 Nephi 17:41) of receiving small and incremental spiritual impressions that over time and in totality constitute a desired answer or the direction we need may cause us to look “beyond the mark” (Jacob 4:14).

I have talked with many individuals who question the strength of their personal testimony and underestimate their spiritual capacity because they do not receive frequent, miraculous, or strong impressions. Perhaps as we consider the experiences of Joseph in the Sacred Grove, of Saul on the road to Damascus, and of Alma the Younger, we come to believe something is wrong with or lacking in us if we fall short in our lives of these well-known and spiritually striking examples. If you have had similar thoughts or doubts, please know that you are quite normal. Just keep pressing forward obediently and with faith in the Savior. As you do so, you “cannot go amiss” (D&C 80:3).

President Joseph F. Smith counseled: “Show me Latter-day Saints who have to feed upon miracles, signs and visions in order to keep them steadfast in the Church, and I will show you members … who are not in good standing before God, and who are walking in slippery paths. It is not by marvelous manifestations unto us that we shall be established in the truth, but it is by humility and faithful obedience to the commandments and laws of God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40).

Another common experience with light helps us learn an additional truth about the “line upon line, precept upon precept” pattern of revelation. Sometimes the sun rises on a morning that is cloudy or foggy. Because of the overcast conditions, perceiving the light is more difficult, and identifying the precise moment when the sun rises over the horizon is not possible. But on such a morning we nonetheless have sufficient light to recognize a new day and to conduct our affairs.

In a similar way, we many times receive revelation without recognizing precisely how or when we are receiving revelation. An important episode from Church history illustrates this principle.

In the spring of 1829, Oliver Cowdery was a schoolteacher in Palmyra, New York. As he learned about Joseph Smith and the work of translating the Book of Mormon, Oliver felt impressed to offer his assistance to the young prophet. Consequently, he traveled to Harmony, Pennsylvania, and became Joseph’s scribe. The timing of his arrival and the help he provided were vital to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

The Savior subsequently revealed to Oliver that as often as he had prayed for guidance, he had received direction from the Spirit of the Lord. “If it had not been so,” the Lord declared, “thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time. Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth” (D&C 6:14–15).

Thus, Oliver received a revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith informing him that he had been receiving revelation. Apparently Oliver had not recognized how and when he had been receiving direction from God and needed this instruction to increase his understanding about the spirit of revelation. In essence, Oliver had been walking in the light as the sun was rising on a cloudy morning.

In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best, to act and not be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26), and to trust in Him. We may not see angels, hear heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions. We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps. And we can speak with the assurance that God will inspire our utterances. This is in part the meaning of the scripture that declares, “Then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45).

As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you and your family.

I declare my apostolic witness that the Father and the Son live. The spirit of revelation is real—and can and does function in our individual lives and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I testify of these truths in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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Over the River and Thru the Woods to a Baptism We Go...

Hola Todos! We had a wonderful experience this week. The Elders had a beautiful baptism and the Sister wanted to have it in the lake so it was allowed. We are coming out of winter into spring and so the water temperature of the lake was cold. We are in Caraz and the weather averages 50-60 degrees, so I am not sure how cold it was. But it was beautiful!!!
To get there ... We had to walk and walk and walk to the baptism..over the river and thru the woods, past the animal, and to the site to the baptism we go. It was a beautiful site and how beautiful she looked. The people swimming stopped and perched on a rock while we took some pictures and then we had the service. I have more pictures, but I share them when I get home.
I am amazed at the simpleness and yet beauty and sacredness of this gospel ordinance. Whether it is done in a lovely chapel, or an inflatable pool, or the ocean, or in this case, the majestic beauty of the outdoors with the mountains of Peru surrounding us; the Spirit of this sacred ordinance is the same!!! Why?!!! Because it is done thru and by the sacred power of those who hold and bear the Priesthood of our Lord and Savior. I felt the sacredness of the moment and felt the Spirit tell me that this is His Work and His Glory and that we are truly preforming a marvelous work and a wonder upon this earth. The time is hastening, and the marvelous people of Peru are true descendants of the Book of Mormon and now is their time to accept and grow in this gospel. How blessed I am, even with the long walks and hills we climb, to bring the truth to them. My life will never be the same and I am grateful for this opportunity to share this with them.
The peace and beauty on that young sister's face will live in my cherished memories of this magnificent place called Peru. They are a humble and wonderful people and have treated me like one of their own. I am so blessed.
Please know that I love you and you are in my prayers. Please me..I would love to hear from you. ( a plug from her mom..she is like all missionaries towards the end of her mission...scarce on time and letters from friends and family.:)
Please pray for the people of Peru. There are miracles happening here, and please pray. I know that
Heavenly Father and our Savior hears and answers our prayers. Our Savior knows us and suffered and lived for us. He changes lives, and He has seen it all, and been thru it all..even as an innocent, perfect being. The agony He must have felt was surely overcome by the joy He feels as we accept His Gospel and live our lives as He lived His. He is our great example. The scriptures are true and shows us how we can be like Him. Search His scriptures and pray. You, we all will be blessed. He lives. This is my testimony. He lives and loves, us. Use the Power of Prayer in your lives. I testify prayer works. You are in my prayers.
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Hyer

Gratitude and Peru

Hola!!!! Todos!!! Hello everyone!!!!
Happy Labor Day to everyone. It is a beautiful day in Peru. i have been in an area called Caraz, Peru which greatly reminds me of my beautiful Cache Valley in Utah. I am 8 hours at least by bus from Lima, Peru. I am grateful for being here and for the opportunity to share with them the gospel of Our Savior and Lord. My testimony has grown tremendously and I want others to know how very important that it is to read and pray about the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He wants us to accept His gospel and He wants us to do all we can to return to him and Heavenly Father. The Gospel is true. Todays' hurts are but a moment in our eternities. Here is a talk by Elder Uchtdorf that tells about gratitude much better than I. It is true. i bear witness to it and I pray that this talk will provide peace to you all. I love you all and please know that you are in my prayers. I pray for you and yours always, because I love you. Always!!!!
El evangelio es verdad y La Iglesia de Jesucristo de Los Santos De Los Ultimos Dias es verdad. Take care of yourselves. Until next week. My mom is going to post a lot of older posts that she has yet to do. Enjoy the moments. See you in November, until then, I will pray for the strength and devotion of many so that I can finish the way I want and need to. There are so many to touch and bring the Gospel to. I know We, my companion and I can only do this with the support of the Heavenly Father and our Savior and all you who love and care about us. Please pray for the people of Caraz and Peru, that they will be ready to listen and hear these truths as we bring it to them.
Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Hyer
Grateful in Any Circumstances

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Over the years, I have had the sacred opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul. In these moments, I have listened to my beloved brothers and sisters and grieved with them over their burdens. I have pondered what to say to them, and I have struggled to know how to comfort and support them in their trials.
Often their grief is caused by what seems to them as an ending. Some are facing the end of a cherished relationship, such as the death of a loved one or estrangement from a family member. Others feel they are facing the end of hope—the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness. Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, what they once knew to be true.
Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift.
It can happen to anyone. No one is immune.
We Can Be Grateful
Everyone’s situation is different, and the details of each life are unique. Nevertheless, I have learned that there is something that would take away the bitterness that may come into our lives. There is one thing we can do to make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.
We can be grateful!
It might sound contrary to the wisdom of the world to suggest that one who is burdened with sorrow should give thanks to God. But those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.
As disciples of Christ, we are commanded to “thank the Lord [our] God in all things,”1 to “sing unto the Lord with thanksgiving,”2 and to “let [our] heart be full of thanks unto God.”3
Why does God command us to be grateful?
All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness.
Being Grateful for Things
But some might say, “What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?”
Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently “count our blessings”—and anyone who has tried this knows there are many—but I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease. In fact, most of the scriptural references do not speak of gratitude for things but rather suggest an overall spirit or attitude of gratitude.
It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach?
Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? In other words, I’m suggesting that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances—whatever they may be.
There is an old story of a waiter who asked a customer whether he had enjoyed the meal. The guest replied that everything was fine, but it would have been better if they had served more bread. The next day, when the man returned, the waiter doubled the amount of bread, giving him four slices instead of two, but still the man was not happy. The next day, the waiter doubled the bread again, without success.
On the fourth day, the waiter was really determined to make the man happy. And so he took a nine-foot-long (3-m) loaf of bread, cut it in half, and with a smile, served that to the customer. The waiter could scarcely wait for the man’s reaction.
After the meal, the man looked up and said, “Good as always. But I see you’re back to giving only two slices of bread.”
Being Grateful in Our Circumstances
My dear brothers and sisters, the choice is ours. We can choose to limit our gratitude, based on the blessings we feel we lack. Or we can choose to be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered. When his brothers tied him up on the ship—which he had built to take them to the promised land—his ankles and wrists were so sore “they had swollen exceedingly,” and a violent storm threatened to swallow him up in the depths of the sea. “Nevertheless,” Nephi said, “I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.”4
We can choose to be like Job, who seemed to have everything but then lost it all. Yet Job responded by saying, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return … : the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”5
We can choose to be like the Mormon pioneers, who maintained a spirit of gratitude during their slow and painful trek toward the Great Salt Lake, even singing and dancing and glorying in the goodness of God.6 Many of us would have been inclined to withdraw, complain, and agonize about the difficulty of the journey.
We can choose to be like the Prophet Joseph Smith, who, while a prisoner in miserable conditions in Liberty Jail, penned these inspired words: “Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”7
We can choose to be grateful, no matter what.
This type of gratitude transcends whatever is happening around us. It surpasses disappointment, discouragement, and despair. It blooms just as beautifully in the icy landscape of winter as it does in the pleasant warmth of summer.
When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ’s Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven’s embrace.
We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances. It does mean that through the eyes of faith we look beyond our present-day challenges.
This is not a gratitude of the lips but of the soul. It is a gratitude that heals the heart and expands the mind.
Gratitude as an Act of Faith
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. It requires that we trust God and hope for things we may not see but which are true.8 By being grateful, we follow the example of our beloved Savior, who said, “Not my will, but thine, be done.”9
True gratitude is an expression of hope and testimony. It comes from acknowledging that we do not always understand the trials of life but trusting that one day we will.
In any circumstance, our sense of gratitude is nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know: that our Father has given His children the great plan of happiness; that through the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ, we can live forever with our loved ones; that in the end, we will have glorious, perfect, and immortal bodies, unburdened by sickness or disability; and that our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy, “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.”10
It must have been this kind of testimony that transformed the Savior’s Apostles from fearful, doubting men into fearless, joyful emissaries of the Master. In the hours following His Crucifixion, they were consumed with despair and grief, unable to understand what had just happened. But one event changed all of that. Their Lord appeared to them and declared, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.”11
When the Apostles recognized the risen Christ—when they experienced the glorious Resurrection of their beloved Savior—they became different men. Nothing could keep them from fulfilling their mission. They accepted with courage and determination the torture, humiliation, and even death that would come to them because of their testimony.12 They were not deterred from praising and serving their Lord. They changed the lives of people everywhere. They changed the world.
You do not need to see the Savior, as the Apostles did, to experience the same transformation. Your testimony of Christ, born of the Holy Ghost, can help you look past the disappointing endings in mortality and see the bright future that the Redeemer of the world has prepared.
We Are Not Made for Endings
In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless13 and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
Those Who Are Grateful Will Be Made Glorious
Brothers and sisters, have we not reason to be filled with gratitude, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Do we need any greater reason to let our hearts “be full of thanks unto God”?14
“Have we not great reason to rejoice?”15
How blessed we are if we recognize God’s handiwork in the marvelous tapestry of life. Gratitude to our Father in Heaven broadens our perception and clears our vision. It inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues.16
The Lord has given us His promise that those “who [receive] all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto [them], even an hundred fold, yea, more.”17
May we “live in thanksgiving daily”18—especially during the seemingly unexplainable endings that are part of mortality. May we allow our souls to expand in thankfulness toward our merciful Heavenly Father. May we ever and constantly raise our voices and show by word and deed our gratitude to our Father in Heaven and to His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. For this I pray, and leave you my testimony and blessing, in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ, amen.

1.   Doctrine and Covenants 59:7; see also Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Mosiah 26:39; Alma 7:23; Doctrine and Covenants 98:1.
2.   Psalm 147:7.
3.   Alma 37:37.
4.  See 1 Nephi 18:10–16.
5.   Job 1:21.
6.  For examples of pioneers who maintained a cheerful attitude despite intense difficulty, see Andrew D. Olsen, The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers (2006), 10, 366–67.
7.   Doctrine and Covenants 123:17.
8.  See Alma 32:21.
9.   Luke 22:42.
10.   Luke 6:38.
11.   Luke 24:39.
12.  See Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 12:10.
13.  See Moses 1:3.
14.   Alma 37:37.
15.   Alma 26:13.
16.  See Marcus Tullius Cicero, Oratio Pro Cnæo Plancio, XXXIII, section 80; quoted in Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Thanksgiving Daily,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 8
17.   Doctrine and Covenants 78:19; emphasis added
18.   Alma 34:38.

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Agradecidos en cualquier circunstancia

Segundo Consejero de la Primera Presidencia

¿No tenemos razón para estar llenos de gratitud, a pesar de las circunstancias en las que nos encontremos?
A lo largo de los años, he tenido la sagrada oportunidad de reunirme con muchas personas cuyos pesares parecen haberles llegado hasta lo más profundo del alma. En esos momentos, he escuchado a mis amados hermanos y hermanas, y me he afligido con ellos por sus tribulaciones. He pensado en lo que podría decirles y me he esforzado por saber cómo consolarlos y apoyarlos en sus pruebas.
A veces, su angustia es el resultado de lo que para ellos parece ser un final; algunos se enfrentan al fin de una preciada relación, como la muerte de un ser querido o el distanciamiento de un familiar; otros piensan que afrontan el fin de la esperanza: la esperanza de casarse, de tener hijos, o de superar una enfermedad; otros quizás se enfrenten al fin de su fe, a medida que las voces confusas y conflictivas del mundo los tientan a dudar, e incluso a abandonar, lo que una vez supieron que era verdadero.
Tarde o temprano, creo que todos pasamos por tiempos en los que nuestro mundo parece venirse abajo, dejándonos solos, frustrados y a la deriva.
Le puede pasar a cualquier persona; nadie es inmune a ello.
Podemos ser agradecidos
La situación de cada persona es diferente, y los detalles de cada vida son únicos; no obstante, he aprendido que hay algo que quitaría la amargura que experimentemos en la vida. Hay algo que podemos hacer a fin de que nuestra vida sea más dulce, feliz y hasta gloriosa.
¡Podemos ser agradecidos!
Tal vez suene contrario a la sabiduría del mundo sugerir que la persona que esté llena de pesares le deba dar gracias a Dios. Sin embargo, aquellos que dejan a un lado la botella de la amargura y en vez de ello alzan la copa de la gratitud pueden encontrar una bebida purificante de sanación, paz y entendimiento.
Como discípulos de Cristo, se nos manda dar “las gracias al Señor [nuestro] Dios en todas las cosas”1, cantar “a Jehová con acción de gracias”2, y hacer que “rebose [nuestro] corazón de gratitud a Dios”3.
¿Por qué nos manda Dios que seamos agradecidos?
Todos los mandamientos del Señor se nos dan para poner bendiciones a nuestro alcance. Los mandamientos son oportunidades de ejercer nuestro albedrío y de recibir bendiciones. Nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial sabe que el elegir cultivar un espíritu de gratitud nos brindará verdadero gozo y gran felicidad.
Estén agradecidos por cosas
Pero algunos quizás se pregunten: “¿Qué es por lo que debo estar agradecido cuando mi mundo se viene abajo?”.
Tal vez el concentrarnos en qué es aquello por lo cual estamos agradecidos sea la manera equivocada de abordar el tema. Es difícil cultivar un espíritu de gratitud si nuestro agradecimiento sólo es proporcional al número de bendiciones que podamos contar. Es cierto que es importante “contar nuestras bendiciones” con frecuencia —y cualquiera que lo haya tratado sabe que son muchas— pero no creo que el Señor espere que seamos menos agradecidos en tiempos de dificultades que en tiempos de abundancia y comodidad. De hecho, en la mayoría de los pasajes de las Escrituras no se habla de estar agradecidos por las cosas, sino más bien se sugiere un espíritu o actitud general de gratitud.
Es fácil estar agradecido por cosas cuando la vida parece marchar sin problemas; pero, ¿qué ocurre con las ocasiones en las que lo que deseamos parece ser algo inalcanzable?
Permítanme proponer que consideremos la gratitud como una disposición, un modo de vida que es independiente de nuestra situación actual. En otras palabras, lo que quiero decir es que en vez de estar “agradecidos por cosas”, nos concentremos en estar “agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias”, cualesquiera que sean.
Hay una antigua anécdota de un mesero que le preguntó a un cliente si le había gustado la comida. Éste contestó que todo estuvo bien, pero que habría estado mejor si le hubieran servido más pan. Al día siguiente, cuando el hombre regresó, el mesero le dio el doble de pan, dándole cuatro rebanadas en vez de dos, pero aun así, el hombre no estuvo satisfecho. Al día siguiente, el mesero volvió a ponerle el doble de pan, pero sin ningún éxito.
El cuarto día, el mesero estaba resuelto a que ese hombre estuviese contento, de modo que tomó una hogaza de pan de tres metros de largo, la cortó a la mitad y, con una sonrisa, se la sirvió al cliente. El mesero casi no podía esperar ver su reacción.
Después de la comida, el hombre levantó la vista y dijo: “Delicioso, como siempre, pero veo que otra vez sólo dan dos porciones de pan”.
Ser agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias
Mis queridos hermanos y hermanas, la decisión es nuestra; podemos decidir limitar nuestra gratitud, basándonos en las bendiciones que pensamos que nos faltan, o podemos decidir ser como Nefi, cuyo corazón agradecido nunca flaqueó. Cuando sus hermanos lo ataron en el barco —que él había construido para llevarlos a la tierra prometida— los tobillos y las muñecas le dolían bastante y se le “habían hinchado mucho”; además, una fuerte tempestad amenazaba tragarlo en las profundidades del mar. Nefi dijo: “No obstante, acudía a mi Dios y lo alababa todo el día; y no murmuré contra el Señor a causa de mis aflicciones”4.
Podemos escoger ser como Job, quien parecía tenerlo todo pero después lo perdió por completo; no obstante, Job respondió diciendo: “Desnudo salí del vientre de mi madre y desnudo volveré… Jehová dio y Jehová quitó: ¡Bendito sea el nombre de Jehová!”5.
Podemos escoger ser como los pioneros mormones, quienes mantuvieron un espíritu de gratitud durante la lenta y penosa travesía hacia el Gran Lago Salado, incluso cantando, bailando y gloriándose por la bondad de Dios6. Muchos de nosotros habríamos tenido la inclinación a alejarnos, quejarnos y a desesperarnos por la dificultad del trayecto.
Podemos escoger ser como el profeta José Smith, que mientras estaba encarcelado en deplorables condiciones en la cárcel de Liberty, escribió estas inspiradas palabras: “…muy queridos hermanos, hagamos con buen ánimo cuanta cosa esté a nuestro alcance; y entonces podremos permanecer tranquilos, con la más completa seguridad, para ver la salvación de Dios y que se revele su brazo”7.
Podemos escoger ser agradecidos, pase lo que pase.
Este tipo de gratitud trasciende cualquier cosa que suceda a nuestro alrededor; supera la desilusión, el desaliento y la desesperación; florece con la misma hermosura en el helado panorama del invierno, así como en el agradable calor del verano.
Cuando somos agradecidos a Dios en nuestras circunstancias, podemos sentir una serena paz en medio de la tribulación; en la angustia, podemos elevar nuestro corazón en alabanza; en el dolor, podemos regocijarnos en la expiación de Cristo; en el frío del amargo dolor, podemos sentir la cercanía y la calidez del abrazo de los cielos.
A veces pensamos que el ser agradecido es lo que hacemos después de que se resuelven nuestros problemas, pero ésa es una perspectiva sumamente estrecha. ¿Cuánto pasamos por alto en la vida cuando esperamos ver el arco iris antes de darle gracias a Dios por la lluvia?
El ser agradecido en tiempos de aflicción no significa que estamos complacidos con nuestras circunstancias; lo que sí significa es que mediante los ojos de la fe podemos ver más allá de nuestras dificultades actuales.
Ésta no es una gratitud que proviene de los labios, sino del alma; es gratitud que sana el corazón y ensancha la mente.
La gratitud es un acto de fe
El ser agradecidos en nuestras circunstancias es un acto de fe en Dios que requiere que confiemos en Él y que tengamos esperanza en cosas que no se ven pero que son verdaderas8. Si somos agradecidos, seguimos el ejemplo de nuestro amado Salvador, quien dijo: “…pero no se haga mi voluntad, sino la tuya”9.
La gratitud verdadera es una expresión de esperanza y testimonio que se recibe al reconocer que no siempre entendemos las pruebas de la vida, pero que confiamos en que algún día lo haremos.
En cualquier circunstancia, nuestro sentido de gratitud se nutre con las muchas sagradas verdades que sí sabemos: que nuestro Padre ha dado a Sus hijos el gran plan de felicidad; que mediante la expiación de Su Hijo Jesucristo podemos vivir para siempre con nuestros seres queridos; que al final, tendremos cuerpos gloriosos, perfectos e inmortales, libres de enfermedades o discapacidades; y que nuestras lágrimas de tristeza y pérdida serán reemplazadas con una abundancia de felicidad y gozo, “medida buena, apretada, remecida y rebosante”10.
Esa clase de testimonio es lo que debió transformar a los apóstoles del Salvador de hombres tímidos e inciertos a emisarios intrépidos y dichosos del Maestro. Horas después de Su crucifixión, a los apóstoles los consumía la desesperación y la angustia, ya que no podían comprender lo que acababa de ocurrir; pero un hecho cambió todo eso. Su Señor se les apareció y declaró: “Mirad mis manos y mis pies, que yo mismo soy”11.
Cuando los apóstoles reconocieron al Cristo resucitado —cuando asimilaron la gloriosa resurrección de su amado Salvador— se convirtieron en hombres diferentes; nada podía impedirles cumplir su misión; aceptaron con valor y determinación la tortura, la humillación e incluso la muerte a las que estarían sujetos a causa de su testimonio12. No había nada que los disuadiera de alabar y de servir a su Señor; ellos cambiaron la vida de la gente de todas partes; cambiaron el mundo.
No es necesario que ustedes vean al Salvador, como lo hicieron los apóstoles, para pasar por esa misma transformación. El testimonio que tengan de Cristo, proveniente del Espíritu Santo, puede ayudarlos a pasar por alto los finales desalentadores de la mortalidad y ver el futuro brillante que el Redentor del mundo ha preparado.
No somos creados para los finales
En vista de lo que sabemos acerca de nuestro destino eterno, es comprensible que siempre que afrontamos los amargos finales de la vida éstos nos parecen inaceptables. Es como si algo en nuestro interior se opusiera a ellos.
¿Por qué razón? Porque somos creados de material eterno. Somos seres eternos, hijos del Dios Todopoderoso, cuyo nombre es Sin Fin13 y quien promete innumerables bendiciones eternas. Los finales no son nuestro destino.
Cuanto más aprendemos sobre el evangelio de Jesucristo, más nos damos cuenta de que los finales aquí en la tierra no lo son en realidad; son simplemente interrupciones, pausas temporales que un día parecerán pequeñas comparadas con el gozo eterno que les espera a los fieles.
Cuán agradecido estoy a mi Padre Celestial porque en Su plan no hay verdaderos finales, sólo comienzos eternos.
Los que sean agradecidos serán glorificados
Hermanos y hermanas, ¿no tenemos razón para estar llenos de gratitud, a pesar de las circunstancias en las que nos encontremos?
¿Necesitamos una razón más grandiosa para permitir que “[rebose nuestro] corazón de gratitud a Dios”?14.
“¿[No] tenemos mucha razón para regocijarnos?”15.
¡Qué bendecidos somos si reconocemos la mano de Dios en el maravilloso tapiz de la vida! La gratitud a nuestro Padre Celestial ensancha nuestra percepción y aclara nuestra vista; inspira humildad y fomenta la compasión hacia nuestro prójimo y hacia todas las creaciones de Dios. La gratitud es un elemento que promueve todos los atributos cristianos. El corazón agradecido es el padre de todas las virtudes16.
El Señor nos ha dado Su promesa de que aquél “que reciba todas las cosas con gratitud será glorificado; y le serán añadidas las cosas de esta tierra, hasta cien tantos, sí, y más”17.
Ruego que “[vivamos] cada día en acción de gracias”18especialmente durante los finales aparentemente inexplicables que son parte de la vida terrenal. Que permitamos que nuestra alma se ensanche en agradecimiento hacia nuestro misericordioso Padre Celestial. Que siempre y constantemente elevemos nuestras voces y demostremos, en palabras y con hechos, nuestra gratitud a nuestro Padre Celestial y a Su Amado Hijo Jesucristo. Ruego por ello, y les dejo mi testimonio y bendición; en el nombre de nuestro Maestro Jesucristo. Amén.

1.  Doctrina y Convenios 59:7; véase también Efesios 5:20; 1 Tesalonicenses 5:18; Mosíah 26:39; Alma 7:23; Doctrina y Convenios 98:1.
2.  Salmos 147:7.
3.  Alma 37:37.
4. Véase 1 Nefi 18:10–16.
5.  Job 1:21.
6. Para ejemplos de pioneros que mantuvieron una actitud alegre a pesar de las intensas dificultades, véase de Andrew D. Olsen, The Price We Paid: The Extraordinary Story of the Willie and Martin Handcart Pioneers, 2006, págs. 10, 366–367.
7.  Doctrina y Convenios 123:17.
8. Véase Alma 32:21.
9.  Lucas 22:42.
10.  Lucas 6:38.
11.  Lucas 24:39.
12. Véase Romanos 5:3; 2 Corintios 4:17; 12:10.
13. Véase Moisés 1:3.
14.  Alma 37:37.
15.  Alma 26:13.
16. Véase de Marco Tulio Cicerón, Oratio Pro Cnæo Plancio, XXXIII, sección 80; citado en Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Live in Thanksgiving Daily”, Ensign, septiembre de 2001, pág. 8.
17.  Doctrina y Convenios 78:19; cursiva agregada.
18.  Alma 34:38.
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