Here is an observation from President Lee that is eloquent and deeper than it first appears:
I was at Manti, Utah, some years ago. As we came out of the Saturday night leadership meeting, there was a heavy snowstorm. As we drove to the home of the stake president, he stopped his car and turned back to the temple hill. There the lighted temple was standing majestically. We sat there in silence for a few moments, inspired by the sight of that beautiful, sacred place. He said, “You know, Brother Lee, that temple is never more beautiful than in times of a dense fog or in times of a heavy, severe storm.”
Just so, never is the gospel of Jesus Christ more beautiful than in times of intense need, or in times of a severe storm within us as individuals, or in times of confusion and turmoil.
–thus President Lee. We will all experience hardship in life, because we all need to. But notice that one of the things President Lee mentions does not require hardship. Three do: internal “severe storm,”confusion, and turmoil. But intense need does not have to come from being on the brink of some disaster. Need comes from the gap between your desires and your reality. One can have intense need simply because one desires wonderful things. Divine things.
President Lee agrees:
I come now to the closing moments of this session when I have time for some sobered reflections. Somehow I have had the feeling that during the expressions here, whenever my name has been mentioned, they were talking of somebody other than myself. And I really think that is so, because one cannot go through the experience that I have gone through these last three days and be the same as before. I am different than I was before Friday morning.
I cannot go back to where I was because of the love and faith and confidence that you, the people of the Lord, have reposed in me. So you have been talking of somebody else. You have been talking of somebody that you want me to become, which I hopefully pray God I may, with his help, become.
You do not have to reprobate yourself to experience the great gap between you and what God has to offer you. You do not even have to feel sad. From my own experience, I know that it can be a joyful thing. This intense need is happiness. Like C.S. Lewis said about Desire, the experience of the great gulf between you and what God plans for you is itself an experience of God.
If we seek, we find.
More Posts from the October 1972 Sunday Afternoon session of General Conference
- I cannot go back by Marilyn Nielson
- Michelle Linford’s Post by Michelle Linford
- A Little Weird is the Best Case Scenario by Nathaniel Givens