Elder Quentin L. Cook
October 2008 General Conference
What it’s about:
Elder Cook spoke about trials, how they are ever-present in our lives, and how they become contributors to our growth. He discussed forgiveness and gratitude, especially being grateful for the atonement of Christ.
“One of the essential doctrines illuminated by the Restoration is that there must be opposition in all things for righteousness to be brought to pass. This life is not always easy, nor was it meant to be; it is a time of testing and proving.”
“Whatever the source of the trials, they cause significant pain and suffering for individuals and those who love them. We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development. We also know that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. It is also true that every cloud we see doesn’t result in rain.”
“Regardless of our trials, with the abundance we have today, we would be ungrateful if we did not appreciate our blessings. […]Our foremost gratitude should be for the Savior and His Atonement. […]I testify that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all of the trials and hardships that any of us will encounter in this life. At times when we may feel to say, ‘Hope you know, I had a hard time,’ we can be assured that He is there and we are safe in His loving arms.”
What it means to me:
Quotes #1 & 2: I found that these statements are very inspirational and clear reminders of what our trials are all about; their purpose and the reality that sometimes things just happen because they happen (good things happen to bad people, bad things happen to good people). I appreciate it when messages from the brethren are simple and applicable, as this was.
Quote #3: He shared a story of two women in the church brought together by a tragic automobile accident that left them both longing for loved ones lost. I learned from this story that where forgiveness is found, there is love… with love, there is healing… and with healing, one is better able to find things to be grateful for amongst even the most challenging trials. The woman who lost her husband in the accident that was caused by the other woman’s son, had an amazingly loving and forgiving heart. She said, “Through this trial, I have felt the love of my Father in Heaven and my Savior in greater abundance than I had ever felt before.” Just as was counseled by Elder Cook, this woman found blessings through all of her pain and grief. I have a thought… Christ understands all our pain and sorrows because he has experienced them firsthand, and is there with us ready to help carry our burdens if we will let Him in. If we follow Elder Cook’s further counsel to remember to be grateful for the atonement, which allows Christ to share in our burdens, then we are inviting Him to walk beside us often. Someone once said, “familiarity breeds love”… so in enduring the frequent trials that come with this mortal experience, ensuring that we have Christ by our side helping us carry them, we will come to know Him better because we are in His presence more. Feels kinda good.