Everyone has and will have worries and challenges, but they become less of a burden when we embrace life joyfully and full of faith, the president of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Tuesday.
Speaking at a Brigham Young University devotional, President Howard W. Hunter said his message to students was to "fear not, little flock" and rejoice in the great blessings of life."Life is wonderful, even in the hard times, and there is happiness, joy and peace at stops all along the way, and endless portions of them at the end of the road," he said.
He encouraged students to study the scriptures regularly, pray fervently and obey the voice of the Spirit and the prophets. "Do all that you can to help others. You will find great happiness in such a course. Some glorious day all your worries will be turned to joys.
"Sure, there are plenty of things to worry about - some of them very serious things - but that is why we speak in gospel terms of faith, and hope, and charity."
It is possible to rejoice in life by emphasizing blessings and opportunities while minimizing disappointments and worries, President Hunter said.
"If our lives and our faith are centered upon Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand if our lives are not centered on the Saviour and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right."
The revelations of God are the "standard by which we must live our lives and by which we must measure every decision and every deed," he said. "Accordingly, when you have worries and challenges, face them by turning to the scriptures and the prophets."
When facing academic worries, remember that education is a way to learn and grow, President Hunter said. "The Lord will help you in your school work if you give your own very best academic effort and try to live worthy of his help."
Financial worries may also cause some concern, but the path that leads to Christ often leads through poverty, he said. Those who do not struggle financially may find their greatest challenge to be one of prosperity.
"Whatever your financial circumstances may be, there are some principles that apply to you," he said. "Pay a full tithe and be generous in your other offerings. Acknowledge that whatever wealth you have, great or small, monetary or otherwise, belongs to the Lord and is to be used as he directs."
Living with roommates is another trying aspect of student life, he said. "If you are inclined to be troubled about roommates or spouses, try to worry less about your own welfare and more about that of others. If charity is what every apartment needs - and what home doesn't - you be the one to initiate and encourage it."
Many students also worry about courtship, marriage and starting a family, but President Hunter said, "Try not to let what you don't have blind you to that which you do have. If you worry too much about marriage, it can canker the very possibility of it."
Struggling with health problems is also a challenge, he said, but for those who have faith and a positive outlook, illness and disease will be less of a burden.
"Whatever your burden is, you will find the strength you need in Christ," he said. "He is with us from start to finish, and as such is more than a spectator in our lives. He knows perfectly every problem through which we pass because he chose to bear the full weight of all our troubles and our pains."