- “Agghhh! I have four final exams next week!”
- “I’m so scared! Cheerleading tryouts for next year are in three days!”
- “I really like her, but she lives a lower set of moral standards, and I am preparing for a mission.”
- “I don’t know how much longer I can hold out — my friends really want me to join them in drinking.”
- “How am I going to pay all my bills this month?”
- “How do I help my brother (son, daughter, mom, friend — fill in the blank with someone you love who is currently going through difficulty) get through this tough time?”
- “How will I pay all these medical bills?
- “How can I fulfill my obligations when I am so busy?”
- “How can I measure up to the other women in the ward?” / “How do I stack up against the other guys in the ward?”
- “This job is not working out. What do I do?”
- “I have so many problems. How can I deal with them?”
The questions and worries that beset us begin when we are young. They don’t go away; they merely change in nature. The list can go on and on — and those pressures and problems can pull the rug out from under us if we let them.
Fully trusting in the Lord is the only way to face up to the temptations, frustrations, and concerns as we follow our mortal path. Truth be told, we cannot deal with most of our problems. But when we approach them with the Lord’s help we can relax, knowing that it will all work out with His help.
Elder Richard G. Scott once taught:
The world is like a jungle, with dangers that can harm or mutilate your body, enslave or destroy your mind, or decimate your morality. It was intended that life be a challenge, not so that you would fail, but that you might succeed through overcoming.
You face on every hand difficult but vitally important decisions. There is an array of temptations, destructive influences, and camouflaged dangers, the likes of which no previous generation has faced. I am persuaded that today no one, no matter how gifted, strong, or intelligent, will avoid serious problems without seeking the help of the Lord …
Trust in the Lord. He knows what He is doing. He already knows of your problems. And He is willing for you to ask for help ( Ensign , May 1989, “Trust in the Lord”).
It has only been with heavenly help that I have gotten through some tough situations and worrisome concerns. I believe it is the same for you. Often, the words of one of our hymns has come to my mind,
Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not dismayed,
For I am Thy God and will still give Thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand (“How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, # 85).
The more time we waste wallowing in our misery or making matters worse by worrying, the less time we have to spend on going to the Source of making things better. The problems don’t go away. But our ability to deal with them increases and our worry quotient goes way down. Clear minds are better able to think through things. Open hearts can allow answers to come. Sunnier dispositions push away the clouds of depression or acute distress that block the very heavenly help we need.
President Ezra Taft Benson said this:
We have no cause to worry. Live the gospel, keep the commandments. Attend to your prayers night and morning … Maintain the standard of the Church. Try and live calmly and cheerfully. The Lord has said, ‘Ask and ye shall receive’ (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 342).
Just as a machete would come in handy while cutting a trail through a jungle, so the blessings of prayer, obedience, and trust in the Lord can help us cut a path through the sometimes jungle-like journey of mortality. We will need some good, strong spiritual muscles, and those muscles will gain strength as we exercise them. But the machete will work as long as we swing it, and the path will clear as we faithfully move forward.
Young or old, fears and worries will diminish according to our trust in our Lord. He knows what He is doing. And He trusts us to do our part! All of those problems that we must deal with are easier when we keep our chin up and our eyes fixed on heavenly goals. It’s the only way, because it’s a jungle out there!