“Now When Our Hearts Were Depressed, the Lord Comforted Us”

Bryan Richards

It is only after their 14-year journey, that we learn from Ammon how downtrodden they were prior to beginning their mission. Alone, out in the wilderness, away from home and family, they might have wondered if they were wasting their time. The words of their detractors may have come rushing back into their minds. Certainly, they had reason to think they were going to fail. They even had thought of turning back.

Interestingly, the Lord often allows us to sink pretty low before he comforts us. So it was with the Prophet in Liberty Jail (DC 121), so it was with Ammon and company, and so it is with us in our trials. Yet, the Lord is always there to pick us up when we cannot go any further. The author had an experience which demonstrates the Lord’s great mercy for his depressed and downtrodden servants.

As a missionary in the Orient, I was serving in a recently opened rural community. In this town, things shut down quite early. Late on a cold January night, it was too late to knock on doors, so we walked the streets without anywhere to go, without anyone to teach. My companion was a greenie, and it was my intent to set an example to him that every hour of proselyting time should be used wisely. But I was too tired to go on. The work had been slow and the strain on me mentally, physically, and spiritually had been all I could endure. Just as my strength was beginning to fail, the Spirit whispered, “the Father knows how to give good gifts to his children (Matt 7:11).” At that instant, I looked to my left where I saw an old investigator working behind the counter in his store. He invited us into his store, where he and a friend had been talking. We began discussing religion with his friend and were able to give him a Book of Mormon. I was so relieved that we had a place to go and that the Lord had not forgotten us. This may seem to have been a small blessing, but it wasn’t to me. It was a gift from God! I have ever been grateful for the warmth and comfort that filled my heart on that cold January night.

Ezra Taft Benson

“There are times when you simply have to righteously hang on and outlast the devil until his depressive spirit leaves you. As the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: ’thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if you endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high’ (DC 121:7-8). To press on in noble endeavors, even while surrounded by a cloud of depression, will eventually bring you out on top into the sunshine.” (Ensign, Nov. 1974 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 290)

Jeffrey R. Holland

“[An experience of Gordon B. Hinckley on his mission to England] ”Elder Hinckley found some of that discouragement common to missionaries facing new circumstances in a new land. He was not well physically, and as he went to his first street meeting…he recalls: ’I was terrified. I stepped up on that little stand and looked at that crowd of people that had gathered… They looked rather menacing and mean, but I somehow stumbled through whatever I had to say.’ Down in spirit and facing no success in missionary endeavors, Gordon wrote a letter to his father, saying: ’I am wasting my time and your money. I don’t see any point in my staying here.’ In due course a gentle but terse reply came from his father. That letter read: ’Dear Gordon. I have your letter [of such and such a date]. I have only one suggestion. Forget yourself and go to work, With love, Your Father.’ President Hinckley says of that moment, ’I pondered his response and then the next morning in our scripture class we read that great statement of the Lord: ’For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it’ (Mark 8:35). That simple statement, that promise, touched me. I got on my knees and made a covenant with the Lord that I would try to forget myself and go to work.’" (Ensign, June 1995, p. 8 as taken from Latter-day Commentary on the Book of Mormon compiled by K. Douglas Bassett, p. 290-1)