Bruce C. Hafen, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy for the Mormon Church, shared the following:
“[Several years ago I watched] a close friend my age decline physically from multiple sclerosis. I had seen him gradually lose his ability to walk, to stand, and then to sit. During the stage when he was fully bedridden, his wife passed away from cancer. His family wheeled him into her funeral on a mobile bed. . . . ("Reason, Faith, and the Things of Eternity,“ Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute Speech, March 21, 2008.)"
In bumping along the roadway of mortality, I‘ve learned that every one of us struggles with trials and tests, some of them physical and just as dramatic and sobering as the above.
For others, the trials fall under the categories of marriage; children; finances; living with the consequences of our sins; the death of a loved one; or being in the world but not of the world. The category of heartache may vary, but the reality of difficulties is certain.
What do we do with our inevitable trials? I don’t know the detailed answers for each of you. But I know One who does.
Remember John the Baptist? His mission was unique and awesome: prepare the way for the Messiah, making a people ready to receive the Son of God. John taught with power and baptized many.
In the face of John’s valiant efforts, an account in Matthew 11 is a little perplexing. The Baptist had spent a year imprisoned by King Herod, whom John had publicly criticized for his unlawful marriage.
“Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
“And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
“Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
“The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them” (Matthew 11:2-5).
What’s going on? Why would John, the great Preparer of the Way, send two of his disciples to ask Jesus if he were the promised Messiah? After all, this was a man who had been filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb. Was his testimony slipping, or was he jealous of Christ’s growing ministry and his own waning one?
The imprisoned prophet hoped this encounter with Christ would persuade his followers to forsake him and follow Jesus. John knew what a personal experience with the Savior could do.
Allow me to point you to Christ. Why? For the same reason John sent the people to Christ: seeing the Master and hearing his teachings lead us to the greater light we all desperately need, whether we are enduring the daily dullness of life or battling through excruciating periods of personal adversity
Where will we find this Christ we must all seek? In the scriptures. In the words of Latter-day prophets. In the promptings of the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost which come as answers to prayers. Christ will be found there. I know that, because I find Him there, and with the finding, my burdens become easier to bear.
Go find him.