Friday, October 3, 2008

But undaunted still he trusted...

As Joseph Smith knelt to pray in the sacred grove, his heart was full of hope. He prayed in faith fully prepared to act on the answers he knew would come. Before he received the glorious vision, something interesting happened. He was "seized upon by some power which totally overcame me". In fact, the darkness was so thick, it seemed to him "as if I were doomed to sudden destruction." For most people, let alone a 14 year old boy, this would have been too much to bear.

I can relate to these feelings of Joseph Smith. There are times I have felt complete darkness gather around me. Perhaps not literal darkness like Joseph may have experienced, but spiritual darkness. I have felt the power of Satan as he has led me down the path of my addiction. I have felt near destruction, as if there was no hope for my soul.

What has been my reaction? Often I have felt sorry for myself. Wondering why this is happening to me. I have wanted to give up. There has even been anger that the Lord has abandoned me in my time of great need. The thought has been in my head "Lord, I have asked and asked for relief from this addiction, why am I still in darkness?"

Compare my thoughts to those of the Prophet Joseph Smith. "Exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me...". Joseph didn't feel sorry for himself. He didn't wallow in self pity or think "I can't ever do this, why am I trying." He turned to the Lord even more fully than before. He let his only thought be upon the Lord, knowing that whatever power had him in his grasp, God could save him. He cried to God until the very moment he felt he would be destroyed. At that moment of total despair, inches from losing everything, the light came and the word was changed forever.

What a lesson for me. Will I choose to give up when change doesn't come easily? Will I choose to feel sorry for myself when the buffetings of Satan come? Will I choose to turn away from the Lord just when I need him the most? Or will I face my trials and temptations by crying out to the Lord with every piece of my soul? I will commit to turn to him during every darkness and every trial until my own "pillar of light" appears. It is in darkness and struggle that I need him the most. Someday, perhaps it can be said of me as of Joseph..."But undaunted still he trusted, in his Heavenly Fathers care."

No comments: