Ocean waves at sunset.

Stormy Days and Mountain Waves: Finding Strength

We were created to withstand and overcome even our most challenging trials.

Have you ever asked the question, “How could God let this happen?” 

I have. I was 17 and struggling with severe depression, and I couldn’t understand why God didn’t just take it away and help me feel normal again.

"I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea." Ether 2:24.
PHOTO BY ANDREW BUI

Then I came across some verses in Ether 2 that I had read many times before, though they had never seemed meaningful to me until that moment. This chapter tells the story of the Jaredites preparing to set sail for a long journey over churning seas to reach the promised land. In verse 24, the Lord says, “Ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you.” 

These words struck me. I definitely felt like I was stuck in the midst of a dark, turbulent sea with mountain waves dashing upon me. But what was significant to me was that God was comparing the Jaredites to a whale. Aren’t whales intended to be in the midst of the sea? Aren’t they supposed to be buried beneath mountain waves? They were created to be in their element in even the fiercest storms.

That is when God helped me to realize that he created me to be stronger than my trials—and even more than that, to be in my element as I faced them.

Even with this realization, the depression I was battling didn’t disappear all at once. But the insights I gained from Ether 2 empowered me to keep moving forward with faith that eventually, God would “bring [me] up again out of the depths of the sea” (Ether 2:24). 

Read more about the Jaredites’ journey to the promised land in Ether chapter 2.

Source: ChurchofJesusChrist.org

—Ashlyn Pells, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATURE IMAGE BY TIM MARSHALL

Find more insights 

Watch the video “Bearing Our Burdens with Hope” to learn from Elder David A. Bednar about how our trials can give us traction to move forward.

Read President Russell M. Nelson’s conference talk “Joy and Spiritual Survival” to find out how a change of focus can bring joy even in difficult circumstances.

Check out the video “Mountains to Climb” to hear President Henry B. Eyring’s perspective on enduring and overcoming even the hardest times.

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