The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore... Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible... It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors... to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown.
When God restores our spiritual sight through the mystery of evil, we are then able to see the work of God displayed with in the framework of our most difficult question. With tears of joy we bend before him.
In summary, for the Christian, evil is real, this world is real, and time is real. Jesus recognized all three realities with reference to the blind man. He pointed out that this world has built into it the component of time. And upon the anvil of time beats the hammer of eternity until time ultimately reflects the values of the etermnal and willl be shed as a sheel, from within which ultimate truths will be freely embraced. When we enter that stage, we will find out that the real anvil was eternity, that time provided the hammers, and that God’s glory and purpose will be what remains.
For a moment, think back about your favorite fairy tale. In that story the main character may be a princess or a peasant; she might be a mermaid or a milkmaid, a ruler or a servant. You will find one thing all have in common: they must overcome adversity.
Cinderella has to endure her wicked stepmother and evil stepsisters. She is compelled to suffer long hours of servitude and ridicule.
In “Beauty and the Beast,” Belle becomes a captive to a frightful-looking beast in order to save her father. She sacrifices her home and family, all she holds dear, to spend several months in the beast’s castle.
In the tale “Rumpelstiltskin,” a poor miller promises the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold. The king immediately sends for her and locks her in a room with a mound of straw and a spinning wheel. Later in the story she faces the danger of losing her firstborn child unless she can guess the name of the magical creature who helped her in this impossible task.
In each of these stories, Cinderella, Belle, and the miller’s daughter have to experience sadness and trial before they can reach their “happily ever after.” Think about it. Has there ever been a person who did not have to go through his or her own dark valley of temptation, trial, and sorrow?
Sandwiched between their “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” they all had to experience great adversity. Why must all experience sadness and tragedy? Why could we not simply live in bliss and peace, each day filled with wonder, joy, and love?
The scriptures tell us there must be opposition in all things, for without it we could not discern the sweet from the bitter. Would the marathon runner feel the triumph of finishing the race had she not felt the pain of the hours of pushing against her limits? Would the pianist feel the joy of mastering an intricate sonata without the painstaking hours of practice?
In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps to develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.
Visions of a Personal Nature
I ask, is there a reason for men and women being exposed more constantly and more powerfully, to the power of the enemy, by having visions than by not having them? There is and it is simply this - God never bestows upon his people, or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial to prove them, to prove that individual, or that people, to see whether they will keep their covenants with him, and keep in remembrance what he has shown them. Then, the greater the vision, the greater the display of the power of the enemy.
On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.
Being driven from city to city... is nothing compared to the danger of becoming rich and being hailed by outsiders as a first-class community.
I believe that He cares more about the shoulder than about the wheel—that wheel is how we are moved to come home to Him. The wheel, the work, is a blessing to us. This is important. The work is a blessing.
On that cold February day when the frozen ground was broken to start the work, Brigham Young spoke with characteristically poignant humor as he told the recent converts attending the ground dedication to not
be discouraged because they had not had all the privileges that many of the older members had had, of being robbed, and driven and mobbed and plundered of everything they had on earth, for he would promise all who would remain faithful, that they . . . should be proved in all things.
How deeply do we love him? Does our love depend on favorable environments? Is it diminished or strengthened by our experiences? Is our love for him evident by our behavior and our attitude? Charity, or love forChrist, sustains us in every need and influences us in every decision.