These past few weeks have been pretty difficult for me. I know everyone's life is difficult, and things go wrong, and that people have their down times. And what happened isn't really important, other than it has been a struggle to see the bright side of life for a few weeks. The passing of Greg Gray really through me for a loop, and it turns out that I'm not nearly as tough or prepared in other aspects of my life that I'd like to pretend I am. But it is also true that the Good Lord knows me better than I know myself, and knows that I have things to work on. I've been a big baby in a lot of ways. I'm sorry for that. I'm not going to go into detail either, besides to say that I've felt betrayed and confused. I'm sorry for the lack of detail, but I appreciate the prayers and positive thoughts!
Through these experiences, I've realized and remembered that I have the greatest friends in the world. Sometimes I don't think it's possible to realize the kind of friends that you have until you feel like you don't have any allies.
When Joseph Smith was going through his experience in Liberty Jail, sometimes referred to as a "Prison Temple" (because of the revelations received there), the Prophet was worried. And troubled. And felt alone.
The Prophet was in jail on trumped up charges, in a room that didn't allow him to stand at full height, poisoned food, attempts to feed him human flesh, and his wife had just had a child. His people were being driven out of the state at the point of gun and bayonet. He had reason to worry and to ask God "where art thou? And where is the pavillion that covereth thy hiding place?" And seemingly pleading his case, reminding the Lord what the Prophet had endured for Him, and that the Prophet had done nothing to deserve this treatment, acknowledging the power the Lord had, he asked:
D&C 121:2 How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea thy pure eye, behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries?
3 Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened toward them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them?
In all the tender love of a Father, and with a sweetness almost unparallelled in scripture, the Lord replied:
D&C 121:7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.
9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.
The Lord, in His knowledge that the Prophet needed to go through this in his eternal tutelage, and knowing that the Liberty Jail experience was difficult and potentially deadly, reminded Joseph that the Lord had given him true friends, that would not leave him.
The Lord has referred to his disciples as His friends on many occasions in the scriptures, and saying that "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13) He also said that "I will call you friends, for you are my friends." (D&C 93:45) That is a promise. The Savior laid down his life as our Friend, Brother, Savior, and Redeemer. He is still our "kind, wise Heavenly Friend."
The Lord has also said that He will not "leave us comfortless, I will come to you." Promising help "Not as the world giveth, giveth I unto you," but an Eternal perspective and peace that cannot be purchased. No amount of money can buy peace of mind. Only obedience and application of the principles the gospel.
President Ezra Taft Benson has said that:
"Men and Women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision,quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles,lift their spirits, multiply their blessings,increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace." Ezra Taft Benson
I've been reminded of that in the past week. Friends have come, as well as peace. They have come hand in hand, both through just being around friends, and the love that have come (in my mind) as directed by the arms of the Savior.
There are too many people to mention, but I have been greatly appreciative of the text messages, facebook messages, and e-mails from concerned friends and family. To them, I say, I'm doing great. After all, "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." I've had my night or two of sorrow, and am now more focused and happy than I have been in months.
I love you all. You've done more for me than I can say.