This was one of the talks I really enjoyed from conference and remembered and so I was pleased when it was the one chosen for me to give the lesson on. The only thing is, as far as scriptural references, it's very sparse which made preparing the lesson quite difficult.
The title of the talk comes from something Elder Wirthlin's mother told him when he felt times were tough. It reminded me very much of something Maxwell Smart would say on Get Smart after the Chief had just told him that his newest mission would put him in all sorts of harm, that he may not make it out alive or physically well. Maxwell would respond to the Chief's warning with "And loving it!"
So the beginning of my lesson included that humorous bit as well as the next part as Elder Wirthlin shared four lessons he had learned in helping him to "love it". They are:
- Learn to laugh.
- Seek for the eternal.
- The Principle of Compensation.
- Trust in the Father and the Son.
The humor of my lesson was lengthened when talking about learning to laugh. I shared some experiences from my mission where I felt that the Lord was showing me his sense of humor and the other Elders in my class shared their laughter filled experiences.
Next, the tone of the class became somewhat more serious when talking about seeking for the eternal. I emphasized how the Lord had told the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. in prison, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."
The mood of the class was still a bit jovial because of some clowns in the class, but I felt that was OK. At least my lesson wasn't boring.
Well, then the biggest curve-ball ever thrown in Elders Quorum History happened.
I got to the Principle of Compensation which essentially is that that which the Lord takes away will be returned to us 100-fold, maybe not in this life, but it will be returned. A new Elder in the ward, a man who I think is too old to be there (the age limit is 45 years), who looked rather distinguished with his gray perfectly quaffed hair raised his hand. He said he had a question about that principle and it was this: he had recently lost his wife because she had taken her own life and he had lost his job. How was the Principle of Compensation going to work for him?
I honestly told him I didn't know, but I felt that his compensation, particularly where his wife was concerned, most likely wouldn't be seen until after this life. It was then that thankfully the other Elders came to my aide and shared with him their thoughts. They mainly said that because his wife had made the decisions that she had, it shouldn't prevent him from carrying on, that yes, he should be sad, but all in all, he has his own salvation to think of and he should do everything to trust in the Lord that things would go for his good.
I was glad that was said because the last lesson was "Trust in the Father and the Son". Elder Wirthlin put it so well when he said, "The Lord Jesus Christ is our parnter, helper and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in."
"He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong."
It seemed to me that the answers of the Elders and this statement seemed to calm this new guy.
I was very glad that to have had that opportunity as it showed me that things in my life really are nowhere as bad as they could be.
And really, it is better to just face any obstacle with the attitude that it's all for my learning and betterment, so I should just love it!