Despite his challenges, Job's message is hopeful

While many people speak of the trials of Job, the story of this great man "in the land of Uz" is one of hope. In a general conference address in April 1952, Elder Clifford E. Young, an Assistant to the Twelve, spoke of "seeing beyond the shadows" as one faces trials and challenges.

Elder Young said: "Sometimes the shadows overwhelm us, but behind them all comes the sun, with its glory . . . and it radiates into our souls the reality of God, the consciousness of His great blessings, and the assurance that He is our Father, and that we are His children."Job the prophet taught this lesson forcibly. Probably no man suffered more than he. All of his friends had deserted him; he had lost his crops; he had lost his flocks and his herds; and even his own children had gone. Then when someone said to him that there was nothing left for him to do but to curse God and die, there came to him a consciousness of the reality of God. And he said, `Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! For I know that my redeemer liveth.'

"He knew notwithstanding all these things, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: `And though after my skin [that is, after the way of the flesh; after all of these tribulations] worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.' (Job 19:23-27.)

"Seeing beyond the shadows - what a blessed faith it is, my brethren and sisters that we can do that, that we can adjust ourselves to the problems of life as they come."

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Council of the Twelve spoke of Job's example of perseverance. At general conference in October 1987, Elder Wirthlin said:

"I do not know of anything that members of the Church need more than they need the conviction and perseverance of Job. He was a just man who feared God and avoided evil. . . .

"Remaining faithful to the Lord through his indescribable sorrow and suffering, Job was able to say, Blessed be the name of the Lord.' (Job 1:21.)Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. . . . He also shall be my salvation. . . . For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth . . . yet in my flesh shall I see God.' " (Job 13:15-16; 19:25-26.)

Elder Wirthlin said the result of Job's perseverance is told in the conclusion of the story. The Lord blessed Job with a family, good health and great possessions. "He continued his course, despite unrelenting opposition, until he saw the Lord."

Elder Wirthlin said few will face obstacles and oppositions like those encountered by Job and other great people who have accomplished much despite adversities. "However," Elder Wirthlin said, "we each have our own challenges and trials to overcome as we strive to keep on the right course. Often the most important trials are those we must face and subdue privately within our own hearts."

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