"Is our faith focused on simply wanting to be relieved of pain and suffering, or is it firmly centered on God the Father and His holy plan and in Jesus the Christ and His Atonement?"
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
Prayer is how we communicate with God and we can never forget that. The scriptures teach that "If ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray" (2 Nephi 32:8). Prayer is from God and anything that teaches otherwise is not.
We were not created to be sorrowful or hopeless. He wants us to have joy and that is possible through the all encompassing love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This is the promise to all who follow Him.
God sent us to earth with two beautiful, priceless gifts. Agency, the right to choose our own path and the promise that Jehovah, Jesus Christ, would atone for any and all mistakes – paving a way back to Heaven
One of the most memorable and inspiring things I've ever heard was from a former Stake President speaking to the youth. He said this, "It doesn't matter who you were or what you have done, from this very moment you can choose to be different. To do better."
I don't think it's always easy for us to choose happiness, but I DO think that we can try just a little harder to be just a little better about choosing to look for the good. It's out there. Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, and His gifts are in abundance. Especially this Christmas season, I challenge all of us to look at our lives with a softer lens and remember to choose gratitude, choose happiness, and choose love.
God has been clear from the beginning that he is unchangeable and does not turn a blind eye to sin. We, as members of the church, need to hold fast to those things we have already known to be true.
It is much easier to have faith when things are going mostly as planned. A hiccup here and there doesn’t derail us too much. We keep going. But what happens when you have a trial that very literally knocks the wind out of you?
Many times throughout life, we find ourselves facing storms of grand proportions. These may not be literal storms or weather events, but rather storms created through trials and heartache we experience.