Facing challenges of life

Change attitude

Receive help from others

Trust in Lord

"Many of us face significant challenges," said Elder Val R. Christensen of the Seventy Saturday afternoon.

"Even the great Prophet Enoch experienced sadness when he viewed the wickedness of the world," said Elder Christensen, who gave his first general conference address since being sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy last April.

Quoting from the Pearl of Great Price, Elder Christensen said, " `And as Enoch saw this he had bitterness of soul and wept over his brethren and said unto the heavens: I will refuse to be comforted; but the Lord said unto Enoch, lift up your heart and be glad and look.' " (Moses 7:44.)

Elder Christensen suggested three steps to overcoming discouragement: change attitudes toward the problem, receive help from others and develop a more powerful and complete trust in the Lord.

Speaking of the first step, Elder Christensen said, "By looking at a problem in a different way, it may be possible to reduce discouragement."

He related the pioneer experience of Zina Young, who, after suffering the death of parents, crop failure and sickness, she was encouraged with a spiritual experience that changed her attitude.

"While attempting to seek divine help, she heard her mother's voice: Zina, any sailor can steer on a smooth sea. When rocks appear, sail around them.' A prayer came quickly:Oh Father in Heaven, help me to be a good sailor that my heart shall not break on the rocks of grief.'

"It is often difficult to change circumstances, but a positive attitude can help lift discouragement," Elder Christensen said.

The next important point, continued Elder Christensen, is "to be willing to ask for help from those around you. Sometimes help comes from unexpected sources."

He related an experience of befriending an older man in Chicago while standing in line at the airport. The man had been praying for a companion to fly with him to Salt Lake City where he would attend the temple.

"After some minutes, we were on our way and had a wonderful talk as we flew toward Utah," said Elder Christensen. "Upon arrival, we left the plane quickly. I made sure he knew where he was going and said good-bye.

"Some weeks later, I received this card in the mail: `Dear Brother Christensen . . . When I met you in Chicago, it was a prayer answered. I never travel anywhere. I wanted to be with someone. I have thought of you many times. I really enjoyed myself in Salt Lake City at the temple. Hope to see you someday.

"I wasn't planning to be useful that day," Elder Christensen said, "but I'm grateful for this brother who sought for extra help and I was nearby to assist."

Of the third step, Elder Christensen said developing trust in the Lord requires placing "a little more patience in the process and a greater amount of faith in the Lord." Then "our challenges will find their way toward successful conclusions."

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