First, I'll share a few notes from Elder Holland from Sunday nights CES fireside! It was so interesting and moving. Here it goes:
We all have a liberty jail experience in our lives. Hardships, persecutions etc. But those hardships and persecutions were necessary, they are school teachers. In fact, those of us who are being instructed right now, those lessons will be teaching all of our posterity for generations to come. Elder Holland gave us 3 lessons learned from a liberty jail experience or if you haven't had one yet, then the lessons learned by Joseph at liberty jail.
1) Everyone, including the righteous are called upon to face trying times, as individuals, families, communities and countries. The question is how long darkness and damage will remain? We must not succumb to the fear that He does not hear us. It is imperative to know He is right there with us. He is there, when we weep, He and the angels weep with us. We HAVE to endure, have to persist, keep pleading, know that God knows. He is our Father, we are his children. So when unkind, unmerited things are done to us in some cases by so-called friends, know that in that dismal dungeon, peace by unto thy soul--thy experience be but for a moment.
2) Just because difficult, seemingly unkind things happen to us, it does not mean we are unrighteous.
Falsely accused Joseph had to remember the Savior was too.
Each of us, at sometime in our lives, the pathway has to lead us through Gethsemane.
We cannot expect that we are not going to get some of that. Savior suffered entirely innocently, the Prophets also have. If you are having a bad day you have a lot of company. Don't go looking for trouble, trouble has a way of finding us.
The Savior has been where you have been sooooooo BE BELIEVING!
3) Wanting to return an eye for an eye, to be vengeful. Remember this:
The powers of heaven cannot be controlled or handled except upon righteousness. It must be done with persuasion, gentleness, with love unfeigned, without guile. Be calm, charitable, forgiving, disciplined and live the gospel at all times.
The real test is when things aren't going well-how we handle it.
It's a hard thing to do when we are offended. But this is where we practice Christian behavior.
The Spirit has a hard time getting through to a heart that is full of hate, revenge, vengeful and self-pity.
But the Spirit has instant access to a heart that is charitable, long-suffering and kind.
Cheerfully do all things,
Stand Still to see,
For His arm to be revealed.
Read Doctrine & Covenants 121-123. What a blessing it was to hear these words, but that was not all, Elder Holland pronounced an Apostolic Blessing to all of us within the sound of his voice and who attended:
God loves you, He does hear you.
Brethren: Worthy to live the Priesthood, think, talk and act like He does.
Sisters: We cherish you, God cherishes you, flag of faith has been carried by the sisters. Torch of faith, beautiful living, love you and honor you. May every righteous desire of your heart be answered upon your head.
God, heaven, brethren of the church loves you.
The future is in your hands.
Remember, He is closet when we are experiencing the most difficult times.