We are here to learn. We didn’t just happen into existence—we chose to be here, to experience life with all its joy and difficulty. We knew it would be challenging, but we also knew it would be worth it. Of course, this doesn’t make it any easier when we lose a job, a home, or a loved one.
We can find comfort where we first experienced it.
Sometimes it can be hard to understand God’s infinite love and mercy. It can also be hard to understand why we may have to go through times so difficult that we feel like we can’t make it through another day. But we can rely on the knowledge that God has created an incredible plan for us. We first learned about and supported this plan in our premortal existence, and we can take comfort from it now. As Elder Holland reminds us: “Deep in our souls is an echo—a memory—that tells us why we came to earth. We accepted our Heavenly Father’s plan first and foremost because we wanted to be like Him. … Our souls were created to grow, and we were stirred then and now to make the journey” (“Making Your Life a Soul-Stirring Journey of Personal Growth”). These are times to ponder and pray about God’s plan—a plan that encompasses all humanity but is also profoundly personal to each of us.
How can we prepare?
Every time we read about and ponder the life of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us, we gather together more hope. When we pray for understanding and guidance, we stock our spiritual shelves. And every time we are patient with and forgiving of others, we store up mercy for ourselves.
As we put our faith and trust in God, we begin to better understand our own purpose and our abilities. God trusts us to make the best decisions we are capable of, and He fills in the rest.
How can we help others prepare?
In the Old Testament, Joseph foresaw seven years of abundance and seven years of famine in Egypt. Like Joseph’s storehouses, we too can store enough spirituality to help lift others. We can provide service for someone who’s lost a job or a loved one; we can support a friend or family member struggling with depression or anxiety; we can help a neighbor buy groceries or pay their rent until they can get back on their feet. We can also be there to join in prayer and add our faith to theirs. There is great power when children of God come together. As Elder Holland teaches, this is a time for us to try to share the gospel the way the Savior did. “This is a chance to join the disciples, to go into the highways and byways with Jesus, looking for the one who may be lost. This is a chance to climb the Mount of Beatitudes with the multitudes and sit by the shore of Galilee with the throng. This is a chance for all of us to touch the hem of the Master’s clothing and be healed” (“Making Your Life a Soul-Stirring Journey of Personal Growth”).