There is direction for deliverance in troubled world

Turn to God

Reaffirm faith- Reassert hope

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Seventy noted in his Saturday morning address that life in every era has had its troubles, and no one today is anxious to be transported back to such times as the days of the Dark Ages, or the Hundred Years' War or Black Plague.

But, he observed, as people face heightened anxiety and fear it seems that the contemporary "Black Plague" is discouragement, depression and despair.

Elder Holland said some of the world's suffering is in silence, in the sorrow of a lonely life, but some of it has more violent expression. "In too many cities, drive-by shootings are becoming as common as drive-through laundries and too many youngsters are packing a gun to school the way they used to pack a lunch."

Elder Holland suggested direction for deliverance: "In words of one syllable, we need to turn to God. We need to reaffirm our faith and we need to reassert our hope. Where necessary we need to repent, and certainly we need to pray. It is the absence of spiritual fidelity that has led us to the moral disarray in the twilight of the Twentieth Century. We have sown the wind of religious skepticism and we are reaping the whirlwind of existential despair.

"My testimony today is of the angels and ministers of grace who will always defend us if . . . we take care of . . . sacred things,' welook to God and live.' (Alma 38:47.) More prayer and humility, more faith and forgiveness, more repentance and revelation and reinforcement from heaven - these are where we seek remedy and deliverance for `feverish and delirious humanity.' "

He related how Alma entreated Helaman to put his trust in God, testifying that God had supported him [AlmaT in trials, troubles and afflictions of every kind, and had delivered him. (Alma 36:27.) Elder Holland testified that the Lord "will deliver all the rest of us, too . . . if we will but take care of sacred things,' if we willlook to God and live.' "

A hush fell over the Tabernacle congregation as Elder Holland spoke of the faith and insight of Katie Lewis, a 4-year-old neighbor. Katie's older brother is battling leukemia. Katie's parents fasted and prayed, and repeatedly went to the temple. As her mother returned home one day from the temple, weary and worried, Katie handed her a crumpled sheaf of papers. The child said, " They are the scriptures, and do you know what they say? . . . They sayTrust Jesus.' "

Elder Holland related that the mother said she felt near-tangible arms of peace encircle her weary soul and a divine stillness calm her troubled heart.

"In a world of discouragement, sorrow and over much sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, when humanity is feverish with no worldly physicians in sight, I too say, `Trust Jesus,' " Elder Holland said. "Let Him still the tempest and ride upon the storm. Believe that He can lift mankind from its bed of affliction, in time and in eternity."

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