When all is finished and one has endured all things with faith in Jesus Christ, “we have the promise that ‘God shall wipe away all [the] tears from [our] eyes,’” Elder Evan A. Schmutz declared during the Sunday afternoon conference session, citing Revelation 7:17 and Revelation 21:4).
Elder Schmutz, General Authority Seventy, said, “While it seems that painful trials fall unevenly on us, we can be assured that, to one degree or another, we all suffer and struggle. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide us to a greater understanding why this must be so.”
Without the eye of faith and an understanding of eternal truth, he said, misery and suffering in mortality can obscure or eclipse the eternal joy of the Father’s eternal plan of happiness. “There is no other way to receive the fullness of joy.”
“God invites us to respond with faith to our own unique afflictions in order that we may reap blessings and gain knowledge that can be learned in no other way,” he said.
“Many of us have pleaded with God to remove the cause of our suffering,” Elder Schmutz observed, “and when the relief we seek has not come, we have been tempted to think He is not listening. I testify that even in those moments, He hears our prayers, has a reason for allowing our afflictions to continue, and will help us bear them.”
Elder Schmutz said that in laboring through tribulation, “it can be difficult to see our trials as signposts on our personal trail of discipleship. But whether we find ourselves at times in the dark valley of despair or on the high road of happiness, learning from and feeling compassion for the sufferings of others can be a blessing.”
Sharing the tragic story of a Church member in the Philippines who lost his wife and five children in a fire, Elder Schmutz said, “I am concerned that the enormity of his loss may cause many to think their own sorrows and sufferings are of little consequence in comparison.”
He asked listeners not to compare but to apply eternal principles in dealing with their own afflictions.
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