Overcoming adversity was the topic of the Saturday afternoon address by Elder Carlos H. Amado, who was sustained last April to the Second Quorum of the Seventy.
He spoke of a former missionary companion whose son died in a traffic accident. Although the young man's parents understood the plan of salvation and the family was sealed for eternity, the physical separation affected them."Those who have gone through this kind of trial recognize that there are tragedies that are so difficult we cannot understand them," said Elder Amado.
"We do not have an answer in this life for every adversity. When trials come, it is time to turn our souls to God, who is the author of life and the only source of comfort."
He told of the wife of a friend who suffered her third miscarriage. The day she left the hospital, she heard of another sister from her stake who was going through the same experience. Full of trust in the Lord, she went to visit the sister and give her support. "She changed her own tragedy into a blessing of comfort for others," said Elder Amado.
He recounted a lesson he learned many years ago when his father died, leaving his mother a widow with 15 children. Elder Amado said that as his mother wept on a bus one day, he knew he couldn't comfort her. Another passenger, whose husband and two daughters had died in a traffic accident, told her, "Only God can help us overcome trials like this."
Elder Amado said Christ has suffered more than anyone else, and "He knows the intensity of our afflictions. There is no suffering we have that He did not undergo in Gethsemane and on Calvary. That is why He understands and can help us."
Elder Amado further declared, "The greatest tragedy that can happen to a person is not the loss of his possessions, or his intellect, or his mortal life, but rather to lose eternal life, which is the free gift of God.
"The scriptures are a witness of the various prophets - ordinary people with extraordinary callings - who faced great tribulations and opposition. Father Lehi was commanded to abandon his gold, his silver, and his country. The sons of Mosiah had to renounce the throne. Job lost his lands, his cattle, and even his children, while Abinadi, Stephen, and Christ's apostles were killed in His service.
"For some, the true trial of our faith is to remain faithful, without murmuring against the Lord when we lose earthly position, family members, or even when we are required to give our very lives."
Elder Amado said is it not important to know the trials that may be required during mortal life. "What is essential," he said, "is our attitude in facing these trials and the lessons and experiences that we learn from them. These will help to refine our understanding and increase our spirituality."