In recent years, I have frequently heard General Authorities suggest that the time will come when we will face increased persecution for our faith.
That’s a deeply sobering thought. We can increasingly see efforts to kick religious voices out of the public sphere and to label people of faith as bigots. Even adecade ago it would have been hard to imagine the rapid secularization of society.
President Eyring compared the challenges we will face to those endured by the people of Alma. This is an interesting comparison since they were compelled to hide their faith and prevented from external worship of God. So that is a rather troubling comparison But even if things got that bad, President Eyring offered words of inspiration and comfort:
The times we will pass through will have in them hard trials, as they did for the people of Alma under the cruel Amulon, who put burdens on their backs too heavy for them to bear:
“And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”
You and I are witnesses that whenever we have kept our covenants with God, especially when it was hard, He has heard our prayers of thanks for what He has already done for us and has answered our prayer for strength to endure faithfully. And more than once He has made us cheerful as well as strong.
Even if we are required to go through great trials and persecution, God will be with us always and he will help us bear the trials cheerfully.