So…like many of you out there, I’m enjoying this General Conference. I’ve loved all of the talks so far. I know – we all love all the talks, and there is so much we learn from every single one.
There was something that Elder Richard C. Edgley said near the end of his talk (at 6:50.)
Here is the exact quote:
“I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain, but because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountain of doubt and despair replaced with optimism and hope. Because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. Because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountin of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude.”
These statements touched my soul as I have seen each of these “mountains” also removed in my life.
Because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountain of doubt and despair replaced with optimism and hope.
- I’m sure that we have all experienced our own moments of trial, doubt, and maybe even despair. One of the most difficult struggles in my life was the realization that my first marriage was a lie, and that my spouse wasn’t living up to his covenants. It was difficult, as I was under the impression that we were both committed to the gospel. Everything seemed to fall apart.
I remember that I felt true despair – I wasn’t sure what would happen. Everything seemed to be impossible. My bishop stated, “You are in the gates of your own Gethsemane.” It was true. and I cried a lot.
But, as I held fast to the Lord and my covenants, my despair – even in the midst of the trial, was turned to a glimmer of hope. I felt assured that the Lord knew my situation and petition. Even though there seemed to be no solutions in sight, the road seemed dark, steep, and rocky, the assurance of the Lord lit my path with optimism. I didn’t know when the Lord would lift the heavy burden that I carried, but I knew that he would. I felt securely confident in him.
And, over time, well before I was married again, well before I felt any real “benefits,” of such a trial, I found that the mountain of despair was removed. The Lord blessed me. Even amidst trial, I could find hope.
Because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness.
- Of course, I’ve also witnessed this in my life. I’ve sinned many times. Whenever I’ve been humble enough to truly repent, I’ve felt the weight of such sin, which often feels like a mountain, moved. There is so much peace in such a feeling.
What’s even more amazing, when we repent, not only is the mountain of sin removed, but it is replaced with amazing blessings. It’s not like the mountain is removed, and then, there is just some desolate gap in our lives.
Sure, there are scars. We can remember the shame of such sin. But when we repent, we also notice the blessings the Lord pours on us for such repentance.
I had an experience where I struggled, committed a few sins, and repented. I felt happy that the sin was removed. Life was normal again. Later on, I received the greatest blessing of my life. I knew that it was because I had repented that I was able to receive this blessing. I felt like the woman who washed Christ’s feet with her tears, wiped his feet with her hair, and anointed his feet with ointment. (See Luke 7:36-50.) I knew that nothing that I had done, in and of myself, was worthy of such forgiveness and blessings. I had only been blessed because of the love and mercy of the savior.
What an overwhelming feeling. In the place of the mountain of sin, when we apply faith, can be a beautiful garden.
Because of faith, I have personally witnessed a mountin of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude
- A mountain of pain…sounds kind of horrible.
Again, I think we all experience these “mountains.”
Pain…Sometimes, the mountain of pain is physical. (Have you ever had a kidney stone!? Talk about a mountain of pain – even though it can be as tiny of a grain of sand…) Sometimes the mountain of pain is emotional or spiritual. Sometimes, the mountain of pain comes from completely uncontrolable circumstances. Sometimes, the pain comes from the sins of others. Sometimes, the pain comes from our own unrighteous decisions. No matter how we face this mountain, we experience it in our lives. Such pain – no matter it’s type or its cause can be crushing – nearly to the point of devastation.
I’ve felt both the pain, and the removal of pain. Bishop Edgley described its replacement perfectly. In the place of such pain, I’m consumed with gratitude because of the peace and hope I enjoy.
One of the best blessings in my life came as the mountains of sin and despair were also being removed in my life. This blessing – my husband. He continues to be a source of gratitude in my life. Being married to a righteous man is such an overwhelming blessing. It is through such blessings that I know that there is a Savior who is merciful and loves me.
I hope that we all can experience the removal of such mountains. I know that we will have to remove many mountains – time and time again. If we’re using the mountain analogy, we don’t just have 1 or 2 or 3 mountains that must be removed. Usually, there’s a whole mountain range! But, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it can be done.
I’m grateful for conference, and how the messages of these righteous men and women always touch my heart in a way that brings peace, confidence in the Lord, and a desire to do better.