“Finding My Way through Mists of Darkness,” Ensign, January 2016, 77
A few years back I went through an especially dark season of my life. I faced many difficult challenges, and I felt depressed and overwhelmed by heavy burdens.
At church one Sunday, I looked around at all the happy families singing hymns and tasting of the love of God. I wanted to feel the same way, but something felt physically wrong with me.
I had felt the Spirit in the past, but I had been unable to for some time. As in Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, I felt as if I were completely surrounded by mists of darkness—I couldn’t even see the tree (see 1 Nephi 8:2–24).
When the sacrament prayers began, I closed my eyes and reached out to Heavenly Father, pleading for assurance of His love. I asked Him why I couldn’t taste of the fruit of the tree of life.
As I pondered Lehi’s dream, I had a piercing realization. “Why haven’t I remembered this before?” I thought. Traveling through mists of darkness is a completely normal part of God’s plan. He allows us to experience difficulties from time to time so that we can completely depend on Him and His Son. The key is to cling to the iron rod. I still saw myself in mists of darkness, but I had hope.
As this impression left my mind, I felt a sweet reassurance from the Holy Ghost that my trials would pass. The Spirit testified that Heavenly Father was there. I wiped the tears from my eyes, grateful that I had been able to feel the Spirit again.
I began to immerse myself in the scriptures. I still had many dark days, but I had faith that if I clung to the iron rod—the word of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25)—I would be freed from the mists of darkness. I’m not sure how long it took, but one day I could at last taste of God’s love again. It was like warm sunshine after a long winter.
As I have struggled off and on with life’s challenges, I have remembered my promise to cling tightly to the iron rod by studying the scriptures and the words of the prophets. I know that when the mists of darkness come, I have the tools necessary to see my way through them and the promise of a warm reception on the other side.