“11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.”
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?
2. In ev’ry condition–in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea–
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.
3. 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, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.
6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.
7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!
Read or summarize “I Was Able to Let Go of My Sorrow” by Juan Zhu. If you feel prompted, share a time when a stormy season in your life turned out to be a blessing.
The author is from Taiwan.
When my friends Brother Chen and his wife were baptized into our ward, I was overjoyed. A year after their baptism, they were sealed in the temple, and their son who had passed away before they joined the Church was sealed to them. It was wonderful to see the Chens grow in the gospel.
Then Brother Chen was killed in a car accident the next year. Following the accident, his death seemed to always be on my mind and often haunted my dreams. I woke up in tears and asked over and over again, “Why? Why does the Lord allow this kind of tragedy to happen? Why does such a thing have to happen to this beautiful family?” One day, when I was struggling with these questions, I picked up a lesson manual and read these words from President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985):
“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective. …
“Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?”
At that moment, I decided to let go of my sorrow and look into the promised and possible future. I saw in my mind’s eye Brother Chen happily reunited with his family. That sight brought me peace. I know that Heavenly Father will give us the wisdom and courage to face adversities.
If you feel prompted, share a time when a stormy season in your life turned out to be a blessing.
*For Teenagers And Adults*
Read and summarize “Saints for All Seasons” by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. If you feel prompted, share a time when a stormy season in your life turned out to be a blessing.
I have childhood memories of a part of the world that could serve as a picture postcard for the changing seasons of the year. Each passing month was glorious and wonderful. During a perfect winter day, pristine snow blanketed the mountains and city streets. Spring brought cleansing rains and the explosion of green-dressed life. The lazy skies of summer served as a pleasant blue canvas for the blaze of a bright sun. And spectacular autumn transformed nature into brilliant shades of orange, yellow, and red. As a child, I loved each season, and to this day, I love the character and uniqueness of each one.
We have seasons in our lives as well. Some are warm and pleasant. Others are not. Some of the days in our lives are as beautiful as pictures in a calendar. And yet there are days and circumstances that cause heartache and may bring into our lives deep feelings of despair, resentment, and bitterness.
I am sure at one time or another we have all thought it would be nice to take up residence in a land filled only with days of picture-perfect seasons and avoid the unpleasant times in between.
But this is not possible. Nor is it desirable.
As I look over my own life, it is apparent that many of the times of greatest growth have come to me while passing through stormy seasons.
Our all-wise Heavenly Father knew that for His children to grow into the beings they were designed to become, they would need to experience seasons of adversity during their sojourn in mortality. The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi said that without opposition, “righteousness could not be brought to pass” (2 Nephi 2:11). Indeed, it is life’s bitterness that allows us to recognize, contrast, and appreciate its sweetness (see D&C 29:39; Moses 6:55).
President Brigham Young put it this way: “All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered … to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.”1
The question is not whether we will experience seasons of adversity but how we will weather the storms. Our great opportunity during the ever-changing seasons of life is to hold fast to the faithful word of God, for His counsel is designed not only to help us weather the storms of life but also to guide us past them. Our Heavenly Father has given His word through His prophets—precious knowledge designed to lead us through the challenges of difficult seasons toward the unspeakable joy and brilliant light of eternal life. It is an important part of our life’s experience to develop the strength, courage, and integrity to hold fast to truth and righteousness despite the buffeting we may experience.
Those who have entered the waters of baptism and received the gift of the Holy Ghost have set their feet on the path of discipleship and are charged to follow steadily and faithfully in the footsteps of our Savior.
The Savior taught that the sun rises “on the evil and on the good, and … rain [falls] on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Sometimes we cannot understand why difficult, even unfair, things happen in life. But as followers of Christ, we trust that if we “search diligently, pray always, and be believing, … all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly” (D&C 90:24; emphasis added).
As members of His Church, as Saints, we serve joyfully and willingly in all weather and in all seasons. And as we do so, our hearts become filled with hallowed faith, healing hope, and heavenly charity.
Still, we will have to pass through all seasons—both pleasant and painful. But no matter the season, as followers of Jesus the Christ, we will rest our hope upon Him as we walk toward His light.
In short, we are Saints of God, determined to learn of Him, to love Him, and to love our fellowman. We are pilgrims on the blessed road of discipleship, and we will walk steadfastly toward our heavenly goal.
Therefore, let us be Saints in spring, summer, fall, and winter. Let us be Saints for all seasons.
If you feel prompted, share a time when a stormy season in your life turned out to be a blessing.
Dulce De Leche or Pull-Apart Bread
Dulce De Leche
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pour sweetened condensed milk into a shallow baking dish, such as a pie plate. Cover very tightly with foil making sure all sides are covered and sealed. Place baking dish in a larger pan, such as a roasting pan. Fill larger pan with hot water until water level reaches about half way up the baking dish. Cook for about 60 minutes and then check. Color should be a rich caramel brown. Continue cooking if necessary, checking every 15 minutes. Can take up to 90 minutes or more to reach proper level of doneness. When a medium caramel color is reached, remove from oven and let cool. Whisk until smooth, store in fridge.
- Try it as a fruit dip, spread on bread, crackers, or cookies, on top of ice cream, as a filling for cupcakes, swirled into frosting or hot chocolate, or simply straight off the spoon. It’s especially good with cold, crisp apple slices.
- Crock Pot Instructions: Place 1-3 sealed cans of sweetened condensed milk in slow cooker. Place enough water in slow cooker to completely cover cans by 1 inch. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Let cans cool completely before opening.
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
- 2 c. whole milk
- 1/2 c. canola oil
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon)
- 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 scant tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 8 oz. powdered sugar
- 4 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Enough milk to make a glaze to desired consistency
- In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and oil. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat. If you’ve got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain.
- When the milk has cooled to around 105-115 degrees, remove from ice and sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.
- Mix remaining 1/2 c. flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to 24 hours.
- Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set it aside.
- When you’re ready to use the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 18 inches wide by 9 inches tall. Spread with 6 tablespoons of melted or softened butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and an even sprinkling of cinnamon.
- Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into 6 3″ strips. Stack the strips 3 strips high (so you have 2 piles). Cut each of the stacks into 3 3″ squares. Place the squares, cut side up (not the flat, sugared side) into the prepared pan, being careful not to stuff too much dough into the pan. Any leftover dough can be baked in mini pans or muffin tins.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the loaf. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- While the loaf is rising, preheat oven to 350.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes (or until baked through). If you don’t want your fire alarm to go off, place a baking sheet on the rack below the loaf pan. If the loaf is getting too brown on top, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the loaf while it finishes baking.
- Remove from oven and cool completely.
- Whisk together glaze ingredients until smooth and desired consistency is reached. Place the glaze in a Ziploc bag and snip a small corner off the bag. Drizzle over the loaf.
(From Our Best Bites )
- The First Presidency has taught, “Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns” (Hymns, ix). As you discuss this message, consider singing with those you teach one of these hymns or another song about enduring adversity: “How Firm a Foundation” (no. 85); “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (no. 108); or “Let Us All Press On” (no. 243).
- Find a way to serve those around you.
- Play a game of charades based on your favorite seasonal events or words!