The "pleasing word of God" — found in the scriptures and in the messages of Church leaders — brings hope and comfort amid the darkness of affliction.
That was the message shared by Elder Francisco J. Viñas of the Seventy.
Life's many afflictions can prompt one to ask, as Joseph Smith once did, "O God, where art thou?" (Doctrine and Covenants 121:1).
"In those difficult moments in our lives," he said, "the pleasing word of God that heals the wounded souls brings the following message of comfort to our heart and mind: 'Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine affliction shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.' " (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8).
"The pleasing word of God" fills one with hope, knowing that those who keep the faith during times of tribulation will enjoy their reward in the kingdom of heaven, said Elder Viñas.
A lack of repentance, he added, causes pain and suffering because a punishment was affixed and a just law given, bringing about remorse of conscience. "The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that we are the ones who condemn ourselves, and that is the torment of disappointment in our mind that makes it as intense as a burning lake of fire and brimstone."
Relief comes from the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and takes effect when one exercises faith, repents and obeys His commandments.
Elder Viñas declared the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy, observing the ordinance of the sacrament and avoiding the "vanities of the world."
"The pleasing word of God invites us to use the power of the Atonement of Christ to apply it to ourselves and become reconciled with His will — and not with the will of the devil and the flesh — so we, through His grace, can be saved," he said.
"The pleasing word of God," he added, shows the need for continuous repentance to keep the influence of the Holy Ghost for as long as possible.
"With the influence of the Holy Ghost, we will not be offended, nor will we offend others; we will feel happier and our minds will be cleaner. Our love for others will increase. We will be more willing to forgive and spread happiness to those around us."