When I heard Elder Paul V. Johnson speak at the Sunday Morning Session of the April 2011 conference, I was hooked! I hung onto every word. Why? He spoke to my heart. And, I think he spoke to the heart of many, many people. In fact, I know he did. I have heard snippets of his address quoted in various places in the short two months since he gave it. So, today, I share the snippets that spoke directly to me and caused me to pause and consider how they can help me perceive and respond differently…snippets that are so very awe-inspiring. If you have not read his talk, here it is. It really is a MUST READ.
Here are the snippets…
First, the very fact that it is titled “More Than Conquerors Through Him That Loved Us” intrigues me since sometimes I feel I need a little more “umphf”, power, courage, or strength to conquer the uphill battles I am given. How great it would be to be considered “more than a conqueror”!!
Second, he used one of my favorite scriptures and one of my favorite quotes (that always gets encourages “points”):
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” (Romans 8:35, 37).
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire,” (Orson F. Whitney).
Third, I loved, loved, loved the words he used to describe some of our earthly experiences. They described some of my earthly experiences so perfectly:
excruciating, betrayal, difficult, pain, humiliation, heartbreak, and grievous
Fourth, his words of comfort, peace, and understanding were incredible…
“…some of the trials we face in life can be excruciating…affliction is part of our mortal experience…Fortunately, this earth life is the perfect setting to face–and pass–these tests”
“At times it may seem that our trials are focused on areas of our lives and parts of our souls with which we seem least able to cope. Since personal growth is an intended outcome of these challenges, it should come as no surprise that the trials can be very personal—almost laser guided to our particular needs or weaknesses.”
“The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of Saints by burning away the dross in their lives and leaving behind pure gold (see Isaiah 48:10; 1 Nephi 20:10) . Even very rich ore needs refining to remove impurities.”
“The only way to see the views is to make the climb”
“A pattern in the scriptures and in life shows that many times the darkest, most dangerous tests immediately precede remarkable events and tremendous growth…Time after time we see marvelous blessings on the heels of great trials.”
“Many times a particular challenge helps prepare us for something vitally important.”
“Not one of the trials and tribulations we face is beyond our limits, because we have access to help from the Lord. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us,” (see Philippians 4:13).
Read it…you won’t be disappointed.