Special Lessons

General Conference Countdown Day 14 of 37:  Get your Study Schedule here.

Hello everyone! I hope you are still reading and participating in our Conference Countdown Challenge 37/37! I apologize that I have been off-line for a while. There have been some challenges and heartaches in my personal life over the past several days.

Today’s reading is especially timely, not only in light of my personal circumstances, but also in light of recent tragedies in the news. Particularly, yesterday’s commemoration of the horrific September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and this morning’s violent attack on the American Embassy in Libya, leaving four dead, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. My prayers go out to all of those affected by this violence.

Elder Rasband

On Sunday April 2, 2012 Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the LDS Presidency of the Seventy gave a Conference talk entitled “Special Lessons“. He begins by sharing a personal story of a grandson born with serious physical limitations.

“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. . . A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames.”

Elder Rasband broadened his topic to address all kinds of suffering that we could face in this life.

“Some might ask when faced with such suffering, how could Almighty God let this happen? And then that seemingly inevitable question, why did this happen to me? Why must we experience disease and events that disable or call precious family members home early or extend their years in pain? Why the heartaches?

Elder Rasband explains that it is part of God’s Plan for this life to be a “training ground for eternity”. As such, for reasons that cannot always be known, we must endure suffering, and learn to walk by faith.

“Trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality. With faith in Him, we draw upon the power of Christ’s Atonement at those times when questions abound and answers are few.”

There is great comfort in knowing that no one is singled out and given a continually perfect and joyful life. We all face challenges. 

Although each of us must face heartache, illness, adversities and unexpected trials in this life, we have been given powerful promises by our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. …

“My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:18, 27.

~

Watch Elder Rasband’s Entire Conference Talk

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I am personally thankful for the comforting words of Elder Rasband’s talk. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that I have faced some unexpected challenges in the past few days.

  • First, there have been three deaths in my family; after 10 long years of fighting and suffering, Mr. MoSop’s sweet Aunt succumbed to cancer. Then, my beloved Grandparents passed away only 20 days apart, which was a bitter-sweet experience.
  • Just yesterday, I was injured in an auto-accident due to a distracted driver. Thankfully, my injuries are not life-threatening. My body is very sore, but my spirit is very grateful. I am recovering well.

Each of these experiences has been a unique learning experience. I have spent a lot of time lately pondering the frailty and brevity of our mortal life. I have been reminded of the importance of spending time with our loved ones, treasuring each moment we have together, and saying “I love you” as often as possible. Most of all, I am grateful for the peace of the Atonement of Christ.

As painful as it is to lose someone that we love, I know  that death is only a temporary separation. As frustrating as it is to have unexpected trials happen to us, especially due the cruelty or negligence of others, there is one thing we can always expect - we are not alone.

  • God is aware of us. He knows our pain, and our special needs. He has a plan for each of us, individually.
  • Jesus has compassion on us. He has felt our pain. He can teach us how to carry our burdens, because he has already done so.

I pray that we can look around us for opportunities to reach out to those who are suffering. There is joy in helping bear one another’s burdens, and looking forward to a “brighter day”. – MoSop

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