Your sorrow shall be turned into joy

Jesus Christ is the exemplar and ideal in providing sustenance, declared Elder Jeffrey R. Holland at the October 1989 general conference. Then a member of the Seventy and now a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Holland spoke of the ultimate arm of strength and the Savior's endurance which endures all things.

"At no time did He demonstrate that unfailing devotion more clearly than during the final moments of His earthly life, hours when He might well have wished that others could have been sustaining Him," Elder Holland said.

Only the Savior knew what lay immediately ahead as the Passover supper was being prepared, Elder Holland noted. He then spoke of how the Savior washed the Apostles' feet (See John 13:3-17), setting aside His own anguish in order that He might yet once more serve and strengthen them. "It does not matter that no one washed His feet," Elder Holland said. "In transcendent humility He would continue to teach and to cleanse them. He would to the final hour — and beyond — be their sustaining servant. As John wrote, who was there and watched the wonder of it all, 'Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.' (John 13:1.)

"So it had been, and so it was to be — through the night, and through the pain, and forever. He would always be their strength, and no anguish in His own soul would ever keep Him from that sustaining role.

"In the moonlit silence of that Near Eastern night, every acute pain, every heartfelt grief, every crushing wrong and human hurt experienced by every man, woman, and child in the human family was to be heaped upon His weary shoulders. But in such a moment, when someone might have said it to Him, He rather says to us, 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.' (John 14:27.)

" 'Ye shall be sorrowful,' he said — sad, lonely frightened, and sometimes even persecuted, 'but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. . . . Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.'" (John 16:20, 33; italics added.)

Elder Holland added: "How can He speak that way? Of good cheer and joy? On a night like this? With the pain He knew was just ahead? But those are the blessings He always brought, and that is how He always spoke — to the very end."