No crown of thorns, no cruel cross
Could make our great Redeemer shun.
He counted his own will but naught,
And said, “Thy will, O Lord, be done.”
(Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done)
We sang those words in the temple Friday evening before our temple shift. I had almost not made it. My stress level was high and serving as an ordinance worker wasn’t something I wanted to really do anymore. But as I sang these words, my heart was touched. I could feel some of my stresses melting off my shoulders. I wanted some of my trials to go away, yet the example of Jesus as told in this song started to give me a new perspective.
No matter how difficult the Atonement was going to be or how much pain the Savior would have to suffer, the Lord’s statement was always the same: “Thy will be done.” Jesus understood that afflictions and trials are part of all of our lives, and He wanted to bear them for us, not so that we wouldn’t have to go through them. But so that he could succor us as we went through them. The Lord cares a lot more about changing me, than changing my circumstances.
Peace is not found in the absence of storms, it is found in the presence of Jesus
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good acheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was aafraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.Matthew 14: 24-32
Notice how Jesus didn’t calm the sea until after Peter walked on water? It was in the storm that Peter was saved
The Lord didn’t save Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego from the Fire, he saved them in the Fire.
17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not aserve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
19 ¶ Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.
20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.
25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no ahurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.Daneil 3:17-25
The Lord didn’t save Daniel from the Lions Den, He saved him in the Lions Den.
16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.
22 My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.Daniel 6: 16 22
Even while you are in bondage
Many times we want the Lord to stop our trails or remove the storms from our lives. But we are not always healed from pain and sickness we came here to experience. Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve has said, “Sometimes we are ‘healed’ by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us.”
Another amazing example of this in the book of Mormon. When Alma’s people were in slavery, the Lord didn’t immediately release them. Rather he gave them strength so that they their burdens were made light, even though their trials and circumstances remained the same.
13: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.Mosiah 24: 13-15
Trials are why we came
Linda S Reeves shared “I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, “Was that all that was required?” I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of that love our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally. What will it matter… what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God with our Father and Savior?” (Worthy of Our Promised Blessings)
Apostle Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.”
God is trying to build you into something amazing
Brigham Young shared “Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation (DBY, 345).”
Elder Richard G. Scott taught that “the Lord is intent on [our] personal growth and development. … Progress is accelerated when [we] willingly allow Him to lead [us] through every growth experience [we] encounter. … If [we] question [every unpleasant challenge], … [we] make it harder for the Lord to bless [us].” But if we center our hearts and minds on the Lord’s will, we will gain more happiness in the journey and more fulfillment in life. (Finding Joy in Life)