Having Hope During Trials

“Gratefully hope is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and hope can also be part of your life,” states Elder Anthony D. Perkins. His talk “Remember Thy Suffering Saints O Our God“, describes four principles of hope we can apply in our lives.

1. Suffering Is Not a Sign of God’s Displeasure

Heavenly Father’s plan included trials and suffering. We understood this in our pre-mortal existence. We are here to be tested and some tests are meant to refine our souls.

I believe my greatest trial was my addiction. I have referenced it several times in this blog, but I don’t think I’ve stated how much it really affected me. It plagued my thoughts, warped my vision of reality, caused me to think about things in a way that was detrimental to my self-esteem. The addiction lasted over 17 years. In that time, I had good moments and horrible moments. I had felt the Spirit on occasion but also felt as if God didn’t care about me. I wondered why I was subjected to this addiction, what had I done to deserve this? Why would God allow this to happen to me? Why couldn’t I be stronger and overcome it?

I realize now that this was one of those refining fires I needed to become a better person. I also realize that this didn’t happen to me because God hated me. This was part of the plan to make me stronger, to rely on God and not my own strength, to “understand that after tribulations come the blessings of our Father in Heaven” (My Patriarchal Blessing). He did bless me after helping me overcome the addiction.

“Refined souls can bear others’ burdens with true empathy and compassion. Refined souls who have come ‘out of great tribulation’ are prepared to joyfully live in God’s presence forever, and ‘God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.’” Having gone through this refinement, I can honestly testify that I am better prepared to live in God’s presence and that the tears I cried during the years of my addiction were wiped away so that I could behold God’s love clearly.

2. God Is Aware of Your Suffering

There are moments in life where we can feel as if God has left us alone. That is never the case! If we turn to Him, we will find Him right there ready to help, we will feel His love.

Cheryl and I tried for five years to have biological children. We worked with medical professionals and tried everything we could to have that blessing. We were blessed when it appeared that in-vitro fertilization had worked. Cheryl was pregnant! We rejoiced the day that news came in. A couple of months in and Cheryl felt something had changed. She went to the doctor and found out that we had lost the baby. It was devastating.

During this time, we had also started the process of adopting a child. We had gone through the setup and gotten all the paperwork done. When we found out we were pregnant, we didn’t notify the agency, nor put a hold on things. We wanted to be sure the pregnancy held and didn’t want to delay the possibility of adoption.

One week after we lost the pregnancy, we got a call from the agency. We went into their office and were informed that we were chosen to adopt a child. He would be born about two months later. We were thrilled, amazed, and in awe that God was aware of our suffering and had provided a means to comfort us and let us know that He still cared. It was the start of five adoptions that have brought us much joy.

3. The Offer of His Power

“Jesus Christ offers His enabling power to help you have strength to endure your suffering well.” There are times when we rely too much on “the arm of flesh” (2 Nephi 4:34). As I stated above, there was a time when I thought that I had to be stronger and do more before God would help me. That is a falsehood Satan would have us believe. God’s power is there to help us always, we just have to ask Him for it.

Elder Perkins asks “How can you draw upon the power that Jesus Christ offers to succor you and strengthen you in times of suffering?” The answer? By keeping our covenants. During times of trial, this can be hard. We must have faith in His power to help us stay on the covenant path. Trials and suffering are not reasons to break our covenants.

4. Choose to Find Joy Each Day

In the midst of trials, it is often difficult to find joy. I have found that it is easier to find joy in the little things. The scent of fresh air, the accomplishment of making the bed, smiling at a joke. Anything that can produce a spark of joy should be celebrated. One thing that helps me find joy in the midst of a trial is to read my Patriarchal Blessing. I quoted part of it above. Every time I read it, I feel God’s love for me and that brings me joy. I read the promises within it and the way that God understands me and know that even though things are hard, God has said it will be worth it.


We are here to be tried and tested, proved if you will to see if we will follow God’s plan (Abraham 3:25). This means that there will be times when we suffer. It is during these times of trial that we must retain our hope that God is not displeased with us, is aware of our suffering, offers His power to help, and encourages us to choose to find joy each day. If we will do this, we will be like the people of Alma where “the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease” (Mosiah 24:15). I have seen it in my life and the lives of others.

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