Call Upon He Who Understands


Over the course of my lifetime I have had the privilege of privately meeting with thousands of saints. Some of those interviews have been with members whose lives have been going “wonderfully”, at least in that moment in time. But I have also been privy to hear thousands of stories of heartache and sorrow. Some of that sorrow has been brought on by the individual’s own actions. However,  more often, I have listened to individual accounts of tragic things that have happened to outstanding people through no fault of their own. At that moment in time, they are willing to open up and pour out their souls in hope of relief and counsel. When serving as a priesthood leader I have diligently tried to be sympathetic and even empathetic when listening. Yet I have come to understand that even with inspiration and the deepest of good intentions, I have often not been able to grasp the complete depth of the problems that some face.

I have often felt that the specific problems that each of us face here on earth, are of the scope that “no other man can fully understand,” as recorded in the scriptures.  Our pain and sufferings are very individual because the “end, the width, the height and depth, and the misery thereof” are straightway shut up to everyone else. Meaning, in an interview one can only expose to another a “slice” of what they are really dealing with. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t do us any good to approach priesthood leaders with our problems. We can receive tremendous advice, counsel, and inspired blessings at their hands. But, the depths of our problems are difficult to explain in a one hour interview, or for that matter, in ten or twenty-one hour interviews. No, there is only one who is qualified to know the “end, the width, the height, depth, and the misery” of our problems, and that is Jesus Christ. Because, He has “descended” below us all! He really has felt the same pain and reached the same “misery” index of all who have ever lived.

That is the reason that we should, in our extremities, call upon Him who can completely understand our afflictions. It is He who can either heal us, or give us the strength to carry on amidst our trials. This requires of us not only faith in Him who is our redeemer, but also action on our part. The healing balm we so diligently desire for our wounds is found in sincere supplication, and then application of the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is one thing to know the source of potential comfort, but it is quite another to apply it in our lives. As we apply the principles of prayer, combined with obedience to gospel commandments, we take part in the healing that comes through our Savior. Richard G. Scott spoke these comforting words:

“No one can help you without faith and effort on your part. Your personal growth requires that. Don’t look for a life virtually free from discomfort, pain, pressure, challenge, or grief, for those are the tools a loving Father uses to stimulate our personal growth and understanding. As the scriptures repeatedly affirm, you will be helped as you exercise faith in Jesus Christ. That faith is demonstrated by a willingness to trust His promises given through His prophets and in His scriptures, which contain His own words. You may not fully understand how to do this yet, but trust that He will help you use your agency to open the doors for His healing to occur. Faith in Christ means we trust Him; we trust His teachings. That leads to hope, and hope brings charity, the pure love of Christ—that peaceful feeling that comes when we sense His concern, His love, and His capacity to cure us or to ease our burdens with His healing power.” (“To Be Healed”, GC, April 1994)

May we all call upon he who understands like no other, the Savior of the word, even Jesus Christ!


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