You have an all-encompassing true source of power available to help you reach the purpose of your creation. This is the power of God, exercising a subtle and loving influence in the lives of His children, lifting you and keeping you aloft. It is manifested as the Light of Christ, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The Latin source of the word comforter--com fortis--means "together strong." As the Holy Ghost visits your own spirit, you become stronger than you are by yourself. When you receive the Holy Ghost, you receive strength, power, peace, and comfort.
If you need a transfusion of spiritual strength, then just ask for it. We call that prayer. Prayer is powerful spiritual medicine. The instructions for its use are found in the scriptures.
One of our sacred hymns carries this message:
Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray? …
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?
Oh, how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day.
So, when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray
(“Did You Think to Pray?” Hymns, 1985, no. 140).
Some frustrations we must endure without really solving the problem. Some things that ought to be put in order are not put in order because we cannot control them. Things we cannot solve, we must survive.
If you resent someone for something he has done—or failed to do—forget it.
Too often the things we carry are petty, even stupid. If you are still upset after all these years because Aunt Clara didn’t come to your wedding reception, why don’t you grow up and forget it?
If you brood constantly over a loss or a past mistake, look ahead—settle it.
We call that forgiveness. Forgiveness is powerful spiritual medicine. To extend forgiveness, that soothing balm, to those who have offended you is to heal. And, more difficult yet, when the need is there, forgive yourself!
I repeat, “John, leave it alone. Mary, leave it alone.”
Purge and cleanse and soothe your soul and your heart and your mind and that of others.
A cloud will then be lifted, a beam cast from your eye. There will come that peace which surpasseth understanding.
The Lord said, “Peace I leave with 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 14:27).
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:15–18).
Believe in God our Eternal Father, He who is greatest of all, who stands ever ready to help us and who has the power to do so. Believe in Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of mankind, the worker of miracles, the greatest who ever walked the earth, the Intercessor with our Father. Believe in the power of the Holy Ghost to lead, to inspire, to comfort, to protect. Believe in the Prophet Joseph, as an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in ushering in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Believe in the sacred word of God, the Holy Bible, with its treasury of inspiration and sacred truth; in the Book of Mormon as a testimony of the living Christ. Believe in the Church as the organization that the God of Heaven established for the blessing of His sons and daughters of all generations of time.
Believe in yourselves as sons and daughters of God—men and women with unlimited potential to do good in the world. Believe in personal virtue. There is no substitute for it anywhere under the heavens. Believe in your power to discipline yourselves against the evils that could destroy you.
We also learn that we risk divine displeasure when we cease to comfort and start to accuse. The Prophet Joseph Smith warned that those who see suffering come upon others must “judge not.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 162–63.)
From the failure of Job’s comforters, we further learn that the only abiding comfort must come from the Comforter. Job doesn’t need a carefully argued treatise solving the philosophical problem of evil. He needs a renewed witness that God has not forsaken him.
To our human witness as comforters, testifying of the ultimate goodness of God, must be added the witness of the Spirit that the Lord keeps company with the afflicted—that he loves us still, even now, in our desperation. Only the Lord can confirm his continuing love, through the voice of the only unfailing comforter—His Comforter.
Repeatedly, he cries out for an encounter with the Lord. He doesn’t want theology, he wants theophany. Job begs God to come into the dock so that he might prove his own innocence. (See Job 16:21; Job 23:3–4; Job 31:35.) Job vows to entrust his life into the hands of God, who prefers honesty to hypocrisy: “Let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will. …
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
“He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” (Job 13:13, 15–16.)
We sense Job’s powerful integrity and genuine depth of feeling for the Lord—qualities seemingly absent from his coldly “correct” friends. Yet we also sense a measure of pride, even arrogance, that he, Job, a mere man, was prosecuting a case against the Almighty. No wonder Job stands condemned by the Lord in the final chapters of the book as one “that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge.” (Job 38:2.)
But while Job is condemned for attempting to instruct the Lord (see Job 40:2), he is also approved in the end. His comforters, by contrast, are only condemned. The Lord says: “My wrath is kindled against thee [Eliphaz], and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.” (Job 42:7.)
How has Job spoken the thing that is right? Perhaps it has been his speeches of repentance. Or perhaps it has been his refusal to pretend he understood what he didn’t understand; he has kept his integrity. He has steadfastly looked to the Lord for answers, pleading for revelation rather than accepting the pat human answers of his comforters.
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