(December 15, 2015)
It is interesting to see the juxtaposition of Joseph Smith’s view of suffering and adversity in this Section and contrast it to the way that he felt just over three years earlier (as found in Section 121). Whereas before, he was overwhelmed by his adversity, by this point he had acquired a strength sufficient to handle it with relative ease. He couldn’t always glory in his afflictions, but to the extent he could at this point it is encouraging.
When I find myself facing what seems to be overwhelming adversity, it oftentimes feels like it is a permanent state of affairs. And, to be honest, that might actually be accurate – after all, it was for Joseph. But in addition to that truth, there is also the truth that I often forget – the Lord strengthens us through times of affliction. While my adversity may not be over in three years, is it possible that – like Joseph – I could be strengthened such that no matter the adversity I am able to handle it with ease and confidence? I think it not only possible but likely, based upon what I have seen and the changes that I have made.