After spending weeks as a missionary punching bag, I stopped fighting and got down on my knees to call for backup.
I bit back my words as the three of us walked to our apartment. The tension between us was palpable and strangled any patience I still maintained. I was training one missionary companion while helping my other companion, who had recently begun her mission, learn the language and customs of Argentina.
Over the past four weeks, I had been stretched thin—my trainee threw pointed comments at our third companion, and I dashed between them to take the metaphorical hits. After spending weeks as a missionary punching bag, I was anxious to stop fighting.
As soon as we reached our apartment I retreated into the bedroom, closing the door before sinking to my knees. My prayer was more of a plea than a conversation. I expressed to Heavenly Father, however ineloquently, that I couldn’t take this anymore—I didn’t feel strong enough to hold this trio together. As I knelt and pleaded with God for help, I felt his arms embrace me, as though he were physically in the room with me.
During my prayer, I remembered a principle that Elder Dallin H. Oaks explains in his talk “Give Thanks in All Things,” that “through [my] afflictions” I would become what God desired me to become—if not immediately, then over time.
Looking back on this experience, I realize it was one of the times I was closest to God. God had helped me in my afflictions, just like he’d helped his people in the Book of Mormon. I recently read the scripture Alma 36:2, which says that the Lord delivered his people “in their afflictions.” I had read Amulek’s rebuke to Zeezrom many times, which declares the Lord “should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins” (Helaman 5:10), but I had never connected this story to Alma’s reminder of God visiting us in our afflictions.
Suddenly, I realized that in my moments of affliction God didn’t wait to save me but was constantly there to offer his help. God will deliver you in your afflictions, just as he delivered me during a difficult time on my mission. All you have to do is pray for his help.
For more information on being grateful during and for trials, read President Dallin H. Oaks’ talk “Give Thanks in All Things.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Mallory Lynn Dickson, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read “Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease,” by Elder David A. Bednar, who talks about how our burdens help us to rely on the Savior.
Read Mosiah 24, in which the Lord lightens the people’s burdens and delivers them from bondage.
Watch the Mormon Message “The Refiner’s Fire” to learn how to trust the Lord during trials.