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Turning Trials into Temples

Revelation can come at any time in our lives—even the hardest times—if we stay close to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

I was preparing to go on my mission when the COVID-19 pandemic started. My life was turned upside down in a matter of days, and I was miserable as I considered how my plans had fallen apart. I spent more time than ever before in my life praying to God and asking him to help me understand why everything was going so wrong.

"Every experience can become a redemptive experience if we remain bonded to our Father in Heaven through that difficulty." —Jeffrey R. Holland

Photo by Gelatin

I can imagine that what I felt was a little what the Prophet Joseph Smith felt during the winter of 1838. Shivering through one of the coldest winters on record at that point, the Prophet Joseph Smith and several other Church leaders were imprisoned in Liberty Jail. They were living in miserable conditions, and the other Saints were being persecuted and driven from their homes. This was hardly an ideal time to be receiving revelation from God. But from that horrific trial came some of the most profound revelations that are still quoted in the Church today—Doctrine and Covenants 121–123

Joseph Smith’s experience was recounted in a BYU devotional titled “Lessons from Liberty Jail” by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. But instead of focusing on the trials that Joseph and the others experienced, Elder Holland highlights the sanctifying process of receiving revelation during the most difficult times in our lives. Through this process, our trials become temples. Revelation is not something that comes only when life is going smoothly. As Elder Holland says, “You can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experience with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced.”

I felt I was facing “insurmountable odds and opposition” during the early stages of the pandemic. But it was in these moments where I was at my lowest that I felt the most peace and love—more than ever before in my life, in fact. I had opened my soul to him, and he had entered, turning my spiritual Liberty Jail into a temple of revelation and hope.

Read Jeffrey R. Holland’s full speech “Lessons from Liberty Jail” to learn more about how our trials can become sacred experiences.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Adi Marshall, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

To learn how Jesus Christ can help us through the dark times in our lives, see Thierry K. Mutombo’s address “Ye Shall Be Free.”

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