I've been stalling getting this posted...probably because it's such a trying challenge that we have had to deal with recently... I've been feeling like I needed to get this documented. A few weeks ago our Stake President asked me to speak in Our Stake Conference and talk about what had been going on. So I decided I'd just put parts of my talk on here. I hope it's not to personal. During this whole ordeal I really didn't do a very good job of taking pictures. Believe it or not, these pictures were when it was fairly mild. When he was doing really bad I had my hands too full to take pictures of it. Now I wish I had some though! Here we go.....
President Monson taught, “Perhaps when we meet our maker we will not be asked how many positions you have held, but rather how many people did you help. You can never love the Lord until you serve him by serving his people.” There were so many acts of Service bestowed on our behalf during this whole ordeal that when I think about it I am overwhelmed with gratitude; it is impossible to adequately express it. I didn’t realize how hard it is to accept service. I was amazed at the kindness we received and how many people were truly inspired to act on their promptings. We have true examples of Unselfish Service all around us!
Elder Oaks goes on to say, “As children of God, knowing of His great love and His ultimate knowledge of what is best for our eternal welfare, we trust in Him. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and faith means trust.”
If we look at the history of the Church one of the most challenging times for the Saints and for the Prophet Joseph Smith was during the winter months of 1838-39 while he was imprisoned in the Liberty Jail. The conditions were horrific, they couldn’t stand up straight because the ceiling was only 6 ft tall and many of the men were taller than that. The floor was bare stones, sometimes covered with a little dirt and maybe some straw. The food was awful. They would only eat it when they were driven by hunger. It was sometimes contaminated and would make them extremely sick. And they were in there during what is recorded as one of the coldest winters in the state of Missouri. Elder Holland said that “Pen, or tongue, or angels,” could not adequately describe “the malice of hell” that he suffered there.” Brigham H. Roberts of the seventy and Elder Neal A. Maxwell have referred to this “Prison” actually as a Temple-Prison. Even though the Liberty Jail didn’t resemble a Temple in the sense of cleanliness, peace, beauty it was a place where Joseph Smith was able to receive sacred revelations from our Father in Heaven. They can be found in D&C 121-123. Elder Holland said. “So in what sense could Liberty Jail be called a “temple,” and what does such a title tell us about God’s love and teachings, including where and when that love and those teachings are made manifest? In precisely this sense: that you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in any situation you are in. Indeed, you can have sacred, revelatory, profoundly instructive experiences with the Lord in the most miserable experiences of your life—in the worst settings, while enduring the most painful injustices, when facing the most insurmountable odds and opposition you have ever faced. In one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, every one of us is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not be our fault... ...These difficult lessons teach us that man’s extremity is God’s opportunity, and if we will be humble and faithful, if we will be believing and not curse God for our problems, He can turn the unfair and inhumane and debilitating prisons of our lives into temples—or at least into a circumstance that can bring comfort and revelation, divine companionship and peace.”