Less than four months after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, the leaders were subject to intense persecution. Partial seclusion had become necessary. During this trying period the following was revealed to Joseph Smith:
"Behold, thou wast called and chosen to write the Book of Mormon, and to my ministry; and I have lifted thee up out of thine afflictions, and have counseled thee, that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies, and thou hast been delivered from the powers of Satan and from darkness! . . ."Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days." (D&C 24:1, 8.)
In his address at the April 1991 general conference, Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve said: "The words
For, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days' were the Lord's voice of gladness to His beloved prophet. His message to Joseph Smith and to us is,You can do it, and I will help you.' "
Elder Ashton spoke of a newspaper report of the devastating effects of a fire that gutted a low-cost housing apartment. "Many people were rushed out into the street for safety," he recounted. "They watched their living quarters and other earthly possessions go up in fire and smoke. One elderly gentleman who had escaped the holocaust was interviewed. When he was asked,
What were you able to save?' he responded with,Only the things that you see, my clothing.' His next comment was touching and significant. It was simply, `Thank God there were no serious injuries or casualties.'
"What did we hear from this tragedy? A voice of gladness from someone who could have been bitter and angry with the situation but chose to share a mature sense of values. He was bigger than that which had happened. He saw beyond the present and gave appreciation and hope for conditions and people in the future.
"Disappointments, death, losses, or failures are real and difficult to manage but should never cause us to have barbed tongues, lasting resentment, or negative attitudes. The gospel encourages us to develop the capacity to learn from the past and present and see the opportunities that can be ours in the days to come."