I taught a lesson in our Relief Society meeting today. You may remember my post on April 21st about being surrounded by heroes. I think about that experience often and wanted to address it again in my lesson, but this time from a different angle.
I’ve been asking myself how everyone copes with difficult challenges and trials so gracefully. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve been sent to earth with the gifts and talents needed to overcome even the most difficult problems. I sat down this week and made a list of my family members and the spiritual gifts that they seem to have brought into our family. I came up with a list of things like this: Confidence, Understanding, Sensitivity, Capacity to Learn, Teachable, Wise, Calm, Discerning, Outgoing, Graceful, Interested, Happy, Content, an Influence for Good among friends, Ability to Discern Evil, Strong Intellect, Ability to Lead Others, Strong Will, Ability to Serve with Joy, a Good Memory, An Open Heart, and a Playful and Fun Personality. All of these gifts bless our family at different times and in different ways.
I’ve also been thinking about how silent the problems around us can be. We may never know about the heartaches or troubles or burdens our neighbors carry. When we see their smiling faces, we assume all is well. Perhaps this is because as a culture, we try hard not to dwell on those problems or whine about them. The truth is, I think most people do a pretty remarkable job coping and dealing with their problems silently. We focus on our strengths. We recognize our spiritual gifts and we have faith.
This reminds me of Elder Jeffrey Holland’s comments last April when he spoke about Faith and being believing. He said, “In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. . . . When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. . . . The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know. . . . When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your ‘unbelief.’ That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account [the man who asked Jesus to heal his daughter]: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.”
I believe dealing with our challenges and problems according to our abilities and gifts is a way of expressing our faith. Especially if that faith is still the size of a tiny seed.
See Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, April 2013 General Conference: