Monday, April 16, 2012

Acadia speaks on Adversity

My granddaughter, Acadia, spoke in church Sunday.  She lives in Washington State and  I live in California, so I didn't get to hear her.   She did kindly share her talk with me via email.  She said some things about which I sometimes need to be reminded and I suppose other people do, too.  I asked and she gave permission for me to share it.  Here it is:

Good morning! For those who don’t know me, my name is Acadia R____, and today I’ve been asked to talk on Elder Carlos H. Amando’s talk “Overcoming Adversity” from the November 1989 Ensign.

He starts off by stating an experience he had in Mexico. One of his former companions called him and told him that his eldest son had suddenly died in an accident. Elder Amando then went on by saying “Those who have gone through this kind of trial recognize that there are tragedies that are so difficult we cannot understand them. 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.”

 D and C 122:7 says: And if thou should’st be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

 Christ has suffered all the pains and afflictions of the world; he has gone through each and every one of our adversities.  And because of that he is the only one that can fully help and understand what each of us is going through.

A great story of overcoming adversity is the story of the surfer, Bethany Hamilton. She lost her left arm in a shark attack. Everyone thought that she wouldn’t be able to surf again, but continued to hope that she might. And sometimes she doubted herself as well. But she tried again and again till she got it. She’s now a professional surfer, even though she only has one arm.

In Brother Brad Wilcox’s book The Continuous Atonement he recalls a night when he  asked his wife, Debi, a question. He asked “When does life even out? Why does it always feel like a roller coaster with so many highs and lows all in the same day? I wish life would just level out.” Being a nurse, she replied “Brad, when you get hooked up to the heart monitor, you don’t want to see a straight line. That’s bad news.  It’s the up and down lines that let you know you are alive.” He then goes on to say “The highs and lows let us know we are participating and not just observing, learning and not just existing.”

When we are faced with trials and adversity we have the opportunity to learn. Like a saying goes “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”  

Proverbs 24:10 says: If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

In his talk Elder Amando recalls another experience he’s had. He says:

“ I remember a lesson I learned many years ago when my father died. He died suddenly, leaving my mother a widow with fifteen children …one morning as we were traveling downtown on a bus, she began to feel her loneliness. I noticed it, but also knew that I couldn’t give her the comfort she needed. She cried in silence, but with dignity. A lady passenger came up and said: “You seem to be very sad.” My mother answered, “I have just lost my husband.” Then the lady asked, “Do you have children?” and my mother answered, “I have fifteen children, and each one of them has some trait that reminds me of their father. So I am constantly reminded of him.”
When she heard this, the woman said: “You are truly blessed, because you only lost your husband. I lost my husband, too, and my two daughters in an automobile accident, and I am living alone. So I do understand your pain and sorrow.” Then she added, “Only God can help us overcome trials like this.”
He then goes on and says: Those who suffer great adversity and sorrow and go on to serve their fellowmen, develop a great capacity to understand others.

I’d like to leave you with my testimony: I know this church is true and I know that even though times get hard we can also pray to Heavenly Father and find comfort in him. I also know that Heavenly Father won’t give us anything we can’t handle.
And I say these things In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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