We had a new Elder's Quorum Presidency called and when they announced who it would be, I immediately felt the spirit confirm that these were the men for the current job and that I would immediately sustain them. I don't know that I've noticed that before.
Tonight, instead of watching my Colts hammer the Ravens, I decided to re-read a talk that I know has had an impact on our family's (Jim and Chris Clark) life. That talk is from Elder Holland and is entitled "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence." I'd forgotten just how good a talk it is (full text can be found here). If you don't mind, I'd like to include a few snippets that really stuck as I read through it tonight.
There is a lesson in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision which virtually every Latter-day Saint has had occasion to experience, or one day soon will. It is the plain and very sobering truth that before great moments, certainly before great spiritual moments, there can come adversity, opposition, and darkness.Now, regarding revelation:
I wish to encourage every one of us regarding the opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose.
...we cannot sign on for a battle of such eternal significance and everlasting consequence without knowing it will be a fight—a good fight and a winning fight, but a fight nevertheless.
Call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions.” Then this tremendous counsel, which is at the heart of my counsel to you: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Sure it is tough... That is the way it has always been, Paul says, but don’t draw back. Don’t panic and retreat. Don’t lose your confidence. Don’t forget how you once felt. Don’t distrust the experience you had. That tenacity is what saved Moses and Joseph Smith when the adversary confronted them, and it is what will save you.
This opposition turns up almost any place something good has happened. It can happen when you are trying to get an education. It can hit you after your first month in your new mission field. It certainly happens in matters of love and marriage. It can occur in situations related to your family, Church callings, or career.
Like Moses in that vision, there may come after the fact some competing doubts and confusion, but it will pale when you measure it against the real thing. Remember the real thing...The adversary has power to hedge up the way, to marshal Pharaoh’s forces and dog our escape right to the water’s edge, but he can’t produce the real thing.It seems like many of us have made and will make huge decisions in our lives. Dad once enrolled in Graduate School with no viable employment and tons of kids at home. Brent and Chelsey recently made a big career decision. Adam and Amy are facing a decision on whether moving would be appropriate. Jen and I are considering employment elsewhere that would pull us away from our parents (note: that's not why we're considering employment elsewhere...). I'm sure Lance and Nancy will eventually be making a decision regarding starting a family. And the list goes on and on...
For a moment in Moses’ confrontation with the adversary, “Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell.” That’s when you see it—when you are afraid.
With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet.
Fighting through darkness and despair and pleading for the light is what opened this dispensation. It is what keeps it going, and it is what will keep you going.
Hopefully, we can all rely on the principles shared by Elder Holland as we make these decisions by the Spirit, and then stick to them once the doubts start crawling in.
Sorry this is so long.