In the October 2006 general conference, Elder Stanley G. Ellis declared, "The Lord trusts us." Now, 11 years later during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference, he asked, "Do we trust Him?"
Speaking on Oct. 1, one day after being released and made an emeritus General Authority, Elder Ellis asked, "Do we trust His commandments to be for our good? … Even in the midst of trials, challenges and hard times, do we still trust Him?" He said that some of the best lessons he learned came during the hardest times.
"Hard makes us stronger, humbles us, gives us a chance to prove ourselves," said Elder Ellis.
"The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise. One of the earliest covenants we make with the Lord is to live the law of sacrifice. Sacrifice by definition involves giving up something desirable. With experience we realize it is a small price to pay in relation to the blessings that follow," he said.
One of the purposes of this life is to be proven. "Hard is part of the gospel plan," Elder Ellis said.
"At one point some Book of Mormon people suffered great persecutions and much affliction. How did they react? 'They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation' (Helaman 3:34-35)."
As a financial consultant in Houston, Texas, Elder Ellis used to work with multi-millionaires who had created successful businesses due to hard work, but they wanted to make things easier for their children. He said, "They did not want their children to suffer as they had. In other words, they would deprive their children of the very thing that had made them successful."
The question "Do we trust Him?" may be better stated as, "Do we have the faith to trust Him?"
"Will we exercise the faith necessary to keep His commandments so that He can bless us both temporally and spiritually?" Elder Ellis asked. "And will we continue faithful to the end so that He can receive us into His presence?"
While the world is dangerous, the Lord has commanded His people to not act out of a spirit of fear. "The Lord has taught me that discouragement and fear are tools of the adversary. The Lord's answer to hard times is to go forward with faith," Elder Ellis said.
Everyone has hard trials, he said. "Regardless of the issue, hard can be good for those who will move forward with faith and trust the Lord and His plan."