14 November 2008

Strangers in a Strange Land, Part 5

Quoting Elder Holland again from the October 2008 General Conference:
"In the course of life all of us spend time in 'dark and dreary' places, wildernesses, circumstances of sorrow or fear or discouragement. Our present day is filled with global distress over financial crises, energy problems, terrorist attacks, and natural calamities. These translate into individual and family concerns not only about homes in which to live and food available to eat but also about the ultimate safety and well-being of our children and the latter-day prophecies about our planet. More serious than these—and sometimes related to them—are matters of ethical, moral, and spiritual decay seen in populations large and small, at home and abroad. But I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself. Matthew records in his gospel that after Satan had tempted Christ in the wilderness 'angels came and ministered unto him' (Matt. 4:11). Even the Son of God, a God Himself, had need for heavenly comfort during His sojourn in mortality. And so such ministrations will be to the righteous until the end of time."
We should remember that the Savior suffered more than any other person. As the Lord told Joseph Smith in his great sufferings: "The Son of Man hath descended below them [your sufferings] all. Art thou greater than he?" (D&C 122:8). Also, "He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth" (D&C 88:6). We can take strength in knowing that the Savior suffered the things we suffer - He suffered more than we will ever suffer - and knows and understands each of us. He comforts us in our trials. He cries with us when we are sad or hurt or afraid. As we wander in wildernesses, often in darkness, the Lord is there for us. We need but exercise faith to find Him who will guide us to the Promised Land. In the words of the poet:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So, I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me toward the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.
(Minnie Louise Haskins. From “The Gate of the Year,” in James Dalton Morrison, ed., Masterpieces of Religious Verse (1948), 92.)

I pray that we may follow the Lord so we can return home and not forever wander in strange lands. He is there for us always, especially in times when we seem to be strangers in a strange land - tired, lonely, and lost in the wilderness. The Lord will lift us and guide us home.

1 comment:

yieldingmyheart said...

I love your thought about the comfort and ministrations the Savior needed after he was tempted. The Savior may have been perfect, but he was subject to the same fears, struggles and difficulties we have to face. And he had the same help available we have.

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