Notes taken during a talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
One of our senior mission couples has a daughter that was in a fireside given by Elder Jeffrey Holland in March. These are her notes as she took them in abbreviated paragraphs. They are posted not to represent the entire talk nor to interpret the intent of the talk but to indicate some wonderful thoughts of an Apostle of the Lord - I believe you will enjoy this as much as we have.
The thought that because you're a good person means that bad things won't happen to you is like expecting a bull not to charge you because you're a vegetarian.
In Elie Wiesel's "Night" - "he watched the sun going down behind his mother's face."
Night is going to come into our lives. Sometimes they go on and on and on. Welcome to life. Welcome to mortality. Welcome to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This talk will focus on what to do when the sun goes down, when you keep waking up and it's 3 am - this isn't intended for everyone but it is for you.
Remember God loves broken things. He loves broken dreams, desires, hopes, and promises. Hang on through all the brokenness of things, because God can fix it. It takes broken seeds to grow.
We shouted for joy - what was all the shouting about? You remember as long as you live that the first principle of the gospel is for you to have faith and live the way you say you believe. We live by faith.
Did you ever think about the first person who was told to sow seeds? They were told to take everything they have and throw it away and that it would return to them multiplied. But first they had to throw everything they had away!
Above all else, God loves broken hearts.
Children of God are always under the covenant to sacrifice. The angel said to Adam, "Why are you sacrificing?" and he said "I don't know." We say that too. Why are you sacrificing this? "I don't know - I don't want to." But he tells him it is in similitude of the Savior's sacrifice. Why are you sacrificing? Because that is what we came here to do.
Don't flee your chance to sacrifice. When it's your turn to place your gift on the altar, you make your sacrifice. Hang on like Adam and Eve had to hang on. Believe that you get this sacrifice back.
That is the meaning of resurrection, that is why it is often called restoration.
Place it on the altar and trust you will be healed and you will get it back. It wasn't perfect, but it was yours and you loved it and you knew all the pieces of it and now it is shattered. Don't miss your chance to make your sacred sacrifice. It is in similitude of the tears the Savior shed.
Long suffering. We're all for it in general, but we don't want it to be long, and we don't want to suffer. The road to salvation is always through Gethsemane. Or else I don't know what else discipleship means - we didn't just sign on for the good and fun times.
Virgil said: "Endure - and save yourself for days of happiness ahead."
You've had blessings more than you've had trials. You will learn first that you are stronger than you thought you were and second you have the seed of divinity within you.
You will know who you are and who He is. We are cavalier and capricious about the atonement. Okay, I guess we aren't, but I don't think we take it seriously enough.
We say we are children of God, but how do we think we are going to get there unless we live a life that will create that?
It seems that much of what God does all day long is forgive people. So how good are you at practicing that?
Do we think we are just going to stand up on resurrection morning after a lifetime of fun and say, "Okay, Lord, where is my world? I'm ready!"
We become ready by tasting a small part of what He tasted. He himself said, "if there is any other way, let this cup pass from me." We become like He is by facing our own Gethsemane, and not shrinking, as he did not shrink. By submitting, as he submitted. That is the only way we get there.
We say we want to be like the Savior, but we don't really want to be like the Savior and live the kind of life he lived, full of sorrow and pain and suffering He didn't deserve. I don't know any other way to get there. If you know one, tell me, and I will change my talk.
"He being reviled, reviled not."
Finally I promise we come up the other side of that valley and the sun begins to rise.
The one thing in these trials that you must never say. That I forbid you from saying is "I guess God doesn't love me." This is sacrilegious and blasphemous because of what he has done for you. You can say you don't love God but never say he doesn't love you.
Told the story of the Lord asleep on a boat. It must have been one heck of a storm for Peter, James and John to be worried. They grew up on that lake. They woke him up and said, in one of the scripture's great ironies, "Carest thou not that we perish?" I like to imagine the look He must have given them at that moment. He is compassionate, so it was just a look. But Really?
But he arose and said, "Peace be still. Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?
Don't you think He can fix it? He can fix it. He will fix it.
Spring arrives right on schedule. That's when you learn who you are. Anyone can sail a ship through calm seas. The Savior wants disciples who can weather storms.