Faith is a bird that feels the dawn breaking, and sings while it is still dark.
"In February 1846 the Latter-day Saints were forced to leave their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois. Several months after arriving in Mount Pisgah, Lorenzo was called to preside over the settlement. “By this time,” he later recorded, “the Saints in Pisgah were in a very destitute condition, not only for food and clothing, but also for teams and wagons to proceed on their journey. Several families were entirely out of provision, and dependent on the charity of their neighbors, who, in most cases, were illy prepared to exercise that virtue. But, above all this, a sweeping sickness had visited the settlement, when there were not sufficient well ones to nurse the sick; and death followed in the wake, and fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters and dearest friends fell victims to the destroyer, and were buried with little ceremony, and some destitute of proper burial clothes. Thus were sorrow and mourning added to destitution.”
“Every man and woman who serves the Lord, no matter how faithful they may be, have their dark hours; but if they have lived faithfully, light will burst upon them and relief will be furnished.”
Lorenzo knew this trials first had, he experienced the hunger, the bitter cold, he saw his friends and even his daughter Leonora die. He help buried the departed. He watched family struggle to move forward, he cried and suffered too. And yet, this is what his sister said of him...“With an indomitable energy—a mind fruitful in expedients, and a firmness of purpose that never yielded to discouragement, he proved himself equal to an emergency which would have terrified men of ordinary abilities.”
Trials and tribulations help us improve spiritually and prepare for celestial glory
There is no other way in which the Saints can make spiritual improvement and be prepared for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom than through tribulation. It is the process by which knowledge is increased and peace will ultimately be established universally. It [has] been said that if all our surroundings were peaceful and prosperous now, we would become indifferent. It would be a condition that would be all that would be desired by a good many natures; they would not stretch out after the things of eternity.6
"mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give. Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive." D&C 67:2-3
"Fear not, little children, for you are mine" D&C50:41
Moroni Chapter 9 --
As elder Holland once eloquently said “Expecting life to be easy because you are a good person is like expecting a bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian.” and while this may seem funny and obvious, it is a common misconception we have. We think if we do good things, life will be easier. But we are forgetting that the goal is not to have an easy life. It never was.
Mormon and Moroni are perfect examples of faith that never yeilded to discouragement. They spent their entire lives leading the Nephites, serving them, and trying to save them, but in the end the entire Nephite civalization was wiped out. After all of this destruction and loss, after a lifetime of trials and endless effort that ended in destruction, what testimony did Moroni leave to the world?
15 And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a god who can do ano miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.
21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, awhatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this bpromise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. aDoubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and bcome unto the Lord with all your cheart, and dwork out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.
16 Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous aworks of God?
As we remain faithful, the Lord strengthens us to overcome temptations and endure trials. Many of you may have severe trials, that your faith may become more perfect, your confidence be increased, your knowledge of the powers of heaven be augmented; and this before your redemption takes place. If a stormy cloud sweep over the horizon … ; if the cup of bitter suffering be offered, and you compelled to partake; Satan let loose to go among you, with all his seductive powers of deceivings and cunning craftiness; the strong relentless arm of persecution lifted against you;—then, in that hour, lift up your heads and rejoice that you are accounted worthy to suffer thus with Jesus, the Saints, and holy prophets; and know that the period of your redemption has approached.
Looking back on difficult times, we see that our trials have helped us draw nearer to God. I know that your lives have not been all sunshine; you have doubtless passed through many a trial, and perhaps have come up through much tribulation; but by continued integrity you will soon emerge from the shadows into the glorious sunshine of the celestial world
As our faith sees us through the trials in life, we will step out of the shadows and back into the glorious sunshine, proclaiming to the world as did Moroni of old, that our God is every a God of light, ever a God of miracles.