Through Christ `we can overcome every challenge'

Faithful women have learned they could "do all things through Christ" (Phillip. 4:13), said Virginia U. Jensen May 1 during the closing session of Women's Conference at BYU.

First counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, Sister Jensen described the extensive rock garden in her backyard. "Sisters, we live in a world filled with rocks of all sizes. It was created that way by divine design, as a proving ground for our faith and a vital step in our eternal progression. One of the great tasks of our mortal life is to learn that, through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, we can climb every rock, or overcome every challenge that we encounter."Some challenges in life are self-chosen, she explained. For example, she spoke of the challenges of motherhood and of the problems inherent in rewarding professions of those who are single.

"Another mortal reality is that we will encounter in our earthly sojourn some climbs that we would not have chosen for ourselves, over rocks that leave our hands and knees scraped and bleeding. This will happen even to faithful, tithe-paying, temple-attending, scripture-reading, homemaking-meeting-supporting, 100-percent-visiting-teaching, Latter-day Saint women."

These trials, she explained, include such things as losing a loved one.

Sister Jensen counseled those listening to study the sermons and parables of Jesus Christ that "provide elegantly simple instructions that we might compare to a mountain climber's tools . . . . We can distill from the New Testament a selection of these tools to carry in our spiritual backpack as we hike the steep and rocky, as well as the smooth trails of our earthly excursion."

She then described some of those spiritual tools:

Seek God's peace. "God's peace transcends worldly peace, for it is not based on conditions which are subject to change unexpectedly."

Trust in the Lord. "By remembering and trusting the Divine One who wishes to shape us in His image, we gain courage to overcome the obstacles we encounter in life and receive a promise of exaltation. . . ."

Forgive an enemy. "Forgiveness is a cleansing act that softens our heart and frees us from the past, allowing us to focus on the present - the only time in which we can take action."

Give thanks. "Searching for the beauty in our lives, finding it, and giving sincere thanks is invigorating and a refreshing exercise for the soul."

Feed my lambs.

"If we could thrust aside the veil and get even an inkling of who we were before we came to earth, we would be that much closer to knowing ourselves as Christ knows us."

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