I was lucky enough to attend sacrament meeting recently at the single adult ward congregation where my husband has the good fortune to serve as bishop. One of the young men bore a testimony that really touched me. He began by relating a childhood filled with crisis and tragedy, including a narrow escape as his family home burned to the ground in a southern state. This loss forced him to leave dear friends and familiar surroundings to relocate with his mother and siblings to his grandmother’s small apartment in California. Shortly after their arrival, his grandmother was evicted. Homeless once more, his family had no alternative but to split up and reside with various friends and neighbors in the area.
This young man spoke with quiet emotion, but his aspect was one of peace and hope. As he and his siblings were shuffled from house to house in an attempt to accommodate them, he stayed for a period of time with a family that belonged to the Mormon church. The unique spirit in their home made him want to know more about what they believed and how they lived. Months later, sharing his desire to join the Church with his mother, he learned that she, his grandma, and several other family members were Latter-day Saints themselves but had not been involved with the Church for over 30 years. Not only did he end up getting baptized, but his whole family followed him back into activity!
What intrigued me most of all was this speaker’s observation that the very worst times in his life had given birth to the very best blessings. He quoted from Hyrum Smith’s conversation with his brother, the prophet Joseph Smith, shortly before the two of them were martyred for their faith. Assessing the wisdom of returning to Carthage, Hyrum’s faithfulness to the Lord and willingness to die for His cause were evident. “Let’s go back and put our trust in God…” he said. “The Lord is in it. If we live or have to die, we will be reconciled to our fate.”
Hyrum trusted God. He was certain the Lord knew what He was doing. Clearly, the faithful young man in my husband’s ward is certain of the same thing. I am grateful that he shared his humble heart, refined and tempered by a fire both literal and spiritual, with all of us.
When the blaze of that refining fire touches me or my loved ones, I intend to remind myself that “The Lord is in it.”
And then I will watch my heart for the blessings.