Sunday, March 2, 2008


A little over ten years ago I was in the Missionary Training Center getting ready to go to the former East Germany. On one particular morning (6 am), I woke up groggy and stiff while my 'roommates' were dancing and shouting and carrying on. When I grumbled or something, they commented very smugly that I was clearly not "a morning person."

That didn't help.

I left to go collect myself. I went over to the stairwell that had a large window where I usually went to practice my singing (good echoes). It was still a dark purple morning and I began singing "I Need Thee Every Hour." As I finished, I saw one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. Against the dark sky, a thin group of clouds suddenly lit up a brilliant rosy pink. Its brilliance overcame the fact that those aren't my usual colors. I stayed watching it for about 5 minutes until the effect faded away with the gradual lightening of the sky.

Then I started thinking about it. In the part of town I could see from our upper floor, no lights were on. Most everyone there was still asleep. There might have been only two or three other people in all the world who got to see that particular glorious shining, and I was one of them. It felt very much like the hand of God reaching out to tell me it's alright, to calm my soul, and help me find peace. Whenever I am reminded of Elder Bednar's talk on tender mercies, that's the first image that always comes to mind.

I've been thinking about that the last couple days. It's been a very difficult few months, and I've needed to reach out and rely more and more on God to reassure me in those things I cannot see or control. And on those days when I manage to reach out in faith without fear, the reassurances of the Spirit seem particularly beautiful. Like a beacon of hope against a darkened sky. They testify that the day will dawn and give me the strength to go on just a little bit farther. No matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come.

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