Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. - Heb. 5:8
My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. - Heb. 12:5.
"Let us remember - trials are an evidence of a Father's love. They are given as a blessing to His children. They are given as opportunities for growth," said Bishop H. Burke Peterson, then first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, in his address at the October 1974 general conference.
"Now, how do we approach [trials]? How do we overcome them? How are we magnified by them? There seems to be a reason why we lose our composure in adversity - why we think we can no longer cope with what we're faced with here in this life. There is a reason why we give up, why we `fall apart at the seams' so to speak. The reason may be so simple that we lose sight of it.
"Could it be it's because we begin to lose contact with our greatest source of strength - our Father in heaven? He is the key to our enjoying sweetness in adversity - in gaining strength from our trials - He and He alone.
"As a reassurance to us, let us read from the New Testament: `There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.' (1 Cor. 10:13.)
"Did you get the significance of that scriptural promise - we will have no temptation or trial beyond our ability to overcome - He will provide a way for us to rise above - whatever it may be.
"May I suggest the best way I know to keep close to the source of this great strength is through prayer. No man can stand alone in his struggle through life. Sometimes in discouragement our prayers, at best, become occasional or maybe not at all. Sometimes we forget or just don't care. Brigham Young once said, `Prayer keeps man from sin, and sin keeps man from prayer.'
"Some may be thinking that because they have a Word of Wisdom problem or because they have been dishonest or immoral - because they have not prayed for years - because of any reasons they now feel unworthy - they may say,
It's too late, I've made so many mistakes - so why even try?' To these we say,For your own sake, give yourself another chance.' "
Bishop Peterson said trials, even after prayer, will still remain, but with the companionship of the Spirit, "our approach to trials will change frustrations and heartaches to blessings."
"Just for a moment, think with me. Forget the trials you now have. Remember back to those trials you had last year, five years ago, ten years ago. What did you gain? What did you learn? Aren't you better prepared now because of them?
"I testify He is ready and waiting to help us. For our own good we must take the first step and this step is prayer."