Here's what I said:
In this months ensign, the 1st presidency’s message was titled: "He Is Risen, a Prophets Testimony." I was asked to speak on any section in this message. When first given the topic, I was actually kind of taken back. I pray I can eloquently express my thoughts of finding happiness and peace during trial.
“In certain situations, as in great suffering and illness, death comes as an angel of mercy. But for the most part, we think of it as the enemy of human happiness.”
I have two, very personal examples to share.
Last weekend I was in Seattle, attending my grandpa’s funeral. He was in his mid 80’s, and he has been quite miserable the past decade, so when hearing of his death, I was happy for him. He is now out of his tired, old body and with family and friends on the other side. He lived a long life, played a lot of pranks, climbed a lot of mountains, skied a lot of mountains, was a good father and grandfather. His funeral was actually fun! Friends and family from all over came and talked about my grandpa, a lot of laughing and smiling happened, it truly was a celebration of his life. I miss him, but like President Monson stated: death can come “as an angel of mercy”. In his case, that is how many of us viewed it.
When I was eight, my mom was diagnosed with stage four melanoma, skin cancer. This type, and stage of cancer is extremely aggressive, the doctors told her she would live a maximum of three months. A few weeks before my twelfth birthday my mom died. I am now at the age where she has been dead longer than she has been alive in my life. When she died I was 11, my sister was 7, my brother 5. We were so young, my dad with out his sweet heart, us with out a mother. It was not fair, and her death could very easily looked at as an “enemy of human happiness”.
Quoting President Monson: “The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth. ‘I am the resurrection, and the life,’ spoke the Master. ‘He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’
This reassurance—yes, even holy confirmation—of life beyond the grave could well provide the peace promised by the Savior when He assured His disciples: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’
My parents taught me this truth. They taught me about Christ, and his atonement. That no matter how painful, and dark it may feel, Christ can give you peace. I was so young when my mom died, I didn’t know if there was a certain way of asking, or praying, but I remember just sitting on my bed, feeling so empty, alone, and just missing my mom so bad. I sat there and said a prayer in my mind, “Please Heavenly Father, please make me happy again.”
I wasn’t instantly cheery, or stopped missing my mom, but I felt a strong feeling that everything was going to be ok. And knowing that, gave me peace. It was ok to be sad, and to miss her, but I knew Heavenly Father had a plan for our whole family. And I was happy again.
We can do this no matter how big or small a trial is, wether it is a loved one who has died, or over coming a sin, or perhaps like me just a year ago: my husband is all of a sudden unemployed, Just short of a year of this happening already, I am pregnant with my third baby (we had three under three!), we were already so tight on our budget that losing a job we were forced to make the move out of our sweet house in Charlotte NC to move in with friends here because we felt like it was the right thing to do. One day we went for a walk at crystal bridges, we stopped at one of the streams so the girls could throw rocks in the water. I sat in a shady spot with tears in my eyes and told heavenly Father: "I cant do this any more. I cant take this uncertainty any more, we need stability, I want to know where my baby was going to be born, let a lone where we are going to live. Please take this from me." I sat there watching my sweet girls playing in the water with Chad and peace came to me again. It would all be ok. Be patient, and it will all be ok.
A few weeks later, Chad got a job at Walmart in the accounting department, we got an adorable little house to rent, Lily got a scholarship to a great preschool, My sweet Magnolia June was born in November and a few months later we bought our first home. Everything wasn’t just ok, it was wonderful.
When we hand our pain, sorrow, fears, worries, sins over to Christ, we will find peace. We will have joy. I know Heavenly Father want us to be happy, and I know this is how we find happiness even in hard times. Through Christ.