Wednesday, May 25, 2011


     We all have trials in our lives. They will bend us to our breaking point and sometimes beyond the point. Sometimes times the trials are just tough. Maybe even you are sometimes punished for the cruel dealings of others. For example the Prophet Joseph Smith was unjustly incarcerated into jail in 1839, ironically named Liberty. Jeffrey R Holland tells the story.

     "Liberty Jail, one of the more forbidding structures in that region, was considered escape proof, and it probably was. Surrounded by stone walls four feet thick, the floor-to-ceiling height in the dungeon was barely six feet. Inasmuch as some of the men, including the Prophet Joseph, were over six feet tall, this meant that when standing they were constantly in a stooped position. When they lay down, it was mostly upon the rough, bare stones of the prison floor covered here and there by a bit of loose, dirty straw or an occasional dirty straw mat.
    "The food given to the prisoners was coarse and sometimes contaminated, so filthy that one of them said they “could not eat it until [they] were driven to it by hunger.”  On as many as four occasions poison was administered to them in their food, making them so violently ill that for days they alternated between vomiting and a kind of delirium, not really caring whether they lived or died.
     "In the Joseph’s letters, he spoke of the jail being a “hell, surrounded with demons … where we are compelled to hear nothing but blasphemous oaths, and witness a scene of blasphemy, and drunkenness and hypocrisy, and debaucheries of every description.”  “We have … not blankets sufficient to keep us warm; and when we have a fire, we are obliged to have almost a constant smoke,” he said.  “Our souls have been bowed down”  and “my nerve trembles from long confinement,” Joseph wrote. “Pen, or tongue, or angels,” [can] not adequately describe “the malice of hell” that he suffered there.  All of this occurred during what, by some accounts, was considered the coldest winter on record in the state of Missouri."
      In Joseph's words, he wrote, "O God, where art thou?... O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions... Let thine anger be kindled against our enemies... Remember thy suffering saints, O our God" He was at the breaking point. He light at the end of the tunnel was getting farther away.
     But then receives this revelation, the spark of light that brings knowledge to his mind. This is not only for his comfort in his trialing time but to comfort all the suffering saints. "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." D&C 121:7-8
     Let me tell you today that we are going to have hard times but all we need to do is hold on and endure the trials well. I pray that we will always remember the promise that was given to all. That we may "sunshine in our soul" because we who who our God is while we are in our own Liberty.

1 comment:

  1. That is exactly what I needed to hear today. One of my sister's is going through a really hard time, but I know that she is doing what is right and will make it through this trial. Thanks Elder Owen for reminding me that trials are but a small moment in our lives.