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Living with hope and optimism

Doesn't it take trust to say to God, 'Thy will be done'

PROVO, Utah — Speaking during BYU Campus Education Week, Mary Ellen Edmunds related the tender account of a cousin suffering from cancer. A mother of six children, "she wanted to live. There was fasting and prayer and her name in the temple and pleading with the Lord on the part of everybody."

Chelsie Brown, left, and Chelsea Santa Cruz of Tacoma, Wash., take a break during the 2004 BYU Campus Education Week. The first Education Week was held in January 1922.
Chelsie Brown, left, and Chelsea Santa Cruz of Tacoma, Wash., take a break during the 2004 BYU Campus Education Week. The first Education Week was held in January 1922. Photo: Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver

Her cousin did not survive, said Sister Edmunds, a former member of the Relief Society general board and a member of the Church Educational System Special Faculty.

"What was the difference?" she asked. "Why wasn't she healed" when others are healed?

Continuing, Sister Edmunds, who addressed a crowd on "The Gift of Prayer," spoke of Alma, the son of Alma, and the wicked sons of Lehi. In those Book of Mormon accounts, Alma's son, after the prayers of his father, repented and became a righteous man. Whereas, despite the prayers and pleadings of Lehi, he saw his sons remains wicked.

"Lehi prayed for his sons. Did God love Alma more than Lehi? Of course not," Sister Edmunds declared, saying the accounts bring tears to her eyes. "Was Alma senior more faithful than Lehi? No. Did he pray harder?"

No, Sister Edmunds emphasized. "The conclusion I came to is there are things we just don't understand, but doesn't it take a lot of trust to say to God, 'Thy will be done.' Doesn't it take trust that He knows what He's doing?"

Attendees at a session of BYU Campus Education Week are among more than 22,000 who traveled to BYU this year.
Attendees at a session of BYU Campus Education Week are among more than 22,000 who traveled to BYU this year. Photo: Photo by Julie Dockstader Heaps

Referring to miracles, Sister Edmunds spoke of the importance of being sensitive to others when prayers are answered with what seems to be a miracle, for many other prayers are not answered in the same way. In sharing such accounts, she said, "Be tender with each other."

"It's in our extremity that we turn to Him with our whole heart," Sister Edmunds added. "I wish it were more often in our joy and the happy things that come. I wish I turned to Him in those times to say, 'Thank you so very much.' "

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