I am truly amazed & my faith is strengthened as I see the power of the human spirit to overcome, & even thrive in the midst of seemingly insurmountable trials. I see friends and neighbors who struggle daily and are brought through trials by exercising faith.
I love the scripture in Luke 22: 31-32. Jesus is talking to his disciples, but to all of us as well, when He says, “Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat: But, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: & when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
What a comfort it is to know that our Savior is praying for us. In His Wisdom, He also recognized the power in each of us to pray and care for each other. Our trials can make us stronger and qualify us to perform the second part of this scripture which is to strengthen our brethren (and sisters). This is what I see in our Relief Society. I see my friends and neighbors reach out to each other in times of trial and support and love one another. I am so grateful for the sisters in this ward who constantly strengthen me. My faith is increased, and I know I can make it through difficult trials because of your examples of faith…another tender mercy from the Lord.
The above quote is something that Melanie actually wrote for a ward relief society publication in 2007. It illustrates the gospel foundation that has sustained her throughout her faith-promoting, as well as “faith-requiring” experiences of the past year. The love and support of her fellow sisters and friends that she refers to has also held true and firm. Charity never faileth.
Melanie had forgotten she had even submitted this particular message, until it was brought to her attention recently by Relief Society President, Julie Woffinden. Maybe we should all look back in our journals to see what personal wisdom we can continue to draw from and how our experiences prepare (or foreshadow) us for future opportunities and adversity.