While listening through General Conference talks this week, one message stood out to me in it’s application to this moment in our lives.  Elder Ricardo P. Giménez of the Seventy delivered a message entitled, “Finding Refuge from the Storms of Life.”  In his talk, he eloquently describes how life has moments that are smooth and peaceful, and is also peppered with moments of challenges and “storms that push our ability to endure.”

Although moments such as these may lead to feelings of despair or fear, Elder Giménez cites President Nelson’s reminder that “Faith is the antidote for fear.”  He also reminds us of Helaman’s words—that by building our foundation “upon the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ, the Son of God…[the devil] shall have no power over [us].” (Hel. 5:12).  With faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we can endure any storm we are faced with.

I have experienced a wonderful life, and have endured plenty of storms along the way.  My storms have been ones of stress, emotional burden, financial challenges and physical ailments, just to name a few.  I have experienced moments of fear, and have also learned and grown immensely from these challenges—particularly in times that I have turned my worries over to my Savior.  Through Him, I have “felt to sing the song of redeeming love,” and I know that as I keep my faith burning strong, I “can…feel so now.” (Alma 5:26, emphasis added).

Brothers and sisters, as we face challenges in life—including some that may beset us at this current time, I implore you to reflect on the words of Elder Giménez as he testifies, “As we face the storms of life, I know that if we make our best effort and rely upon Jesus Christ and His Atonement as our refuge, we will be blessed with the relief, comfort, strength, temperance, and peace that we are seeking, with certainty in our hearts that at the end of our time here on earth, we will hear the words of the Master: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:21).

We, as a bishopric, love you all deeply, and look forward to the day that we can all gather together again in the Lord’s house and worship side by side.  I too know that our Savior is aware of our pains and trials, and that of even greater importance, He knows precisely what we need to grow and learn from our personal challenges.  I am grateful for the knowledge of His love, and pray that you will feel that love in your lives whatever you may be facing.  In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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