Saturday, March 12, 2011

Of quaking countries and hearts

After hearing of the Japan quake yesterday, and also due to my recent reading of the Afghan history-based novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, I found myself mourning the state of the earth. Then I did my daily reading of a General Conference talk. As I recently finished all the talks in the October 2010 General Conference, Jerry suggested I read the talks from conference a year ago. The one I read after feeling my heart go out to all the suffering in the world is President Boyd K. Packer's talk entitled "The Power of the Priesthood." This paragraph in it seemed to jump out at me:

We live in a day of “wars [and] rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places.” As prophesied, “the whole earth [is] in commotion” and “Satan is abroad in the land.” He seeks to destroy all that is good and righteous. He is Lucifer, who was cast out of the presence of God. Against all of that, we have very positive feelings about what lies ahead.

Positive feelings! Against all the suffering on earth? I felt instant warming of my heart that I did not have to feel down about the Japan quake, or Afghan tragedies, or any other aspect of life's challenges. God is fully aware of the suffering on earth, and yet He doesn't go around with his head hanging. Heavenly Father is joyful because He knows the end result is tears will be wiped from all faces.

I think it is also interesting that recently General Authorities visited the Pacific saints and those in Japan and Korea. To me, the timing of their visits and messages are evidence of their prophetic calling. I remember while I was serving as a full time missionary in Canada, Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the United States. One man we tracted into said, "If you have prophets on the earth today, why didn't they warn the people about Hurricane Katrina?" Of course, the testimony I gave seemed not to have swayed that man to believe our message, since he was in a contentious mood...but I have since then thought a lot about how much preparation the prophets do give us, the entire world, for help to overcome any challenges that arise if we will only listen and apply their teachings.

We are now less than one month away from another worldwide General Conference, in which living prophets and apostles will speak the words God wants all people to hear. I hope everyone will begin now to prepare their ears and hearts for that conference and make it a priority to listen. I promise as you do, the turmoil of the world will have no power to take peace from your heart.


Valerie said...

Wonderful post, Courtney!

Sarah Walker said...

This post really touched me :) Thanks for writing it.