Our Guide, Solace, and Stay
February 2021

“Our Guide, Solace, and Stay,” Liahona, February 2021

Our Guide, Solace, and Stay

From a Brigham Young University devotional, “Ask God: Our Solace, Guide, and Stay,” delivered on February 4, 2020. For the full address, go to speeches.byu.edu.

There is no need to muddle through life alone. We can have heaven’s help.

Sister Cordon visiting with young adults

Photograph by Alyssa Dahneke/BYU Photo

Two hundred years ago, a young man read a promise in the scriptures. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Where do we turn for answers? What is our source of comfort and solace? Who is our steadfast guide and stay as we face the challenges of life? As it was for Joseph Smith, our answer is to “ask of God.” He is our Father. He will be our guide, solace, and stay if we go to Him in prayer—one of the greatest of all the privileges given to the sons and daughters of God.1

Our Guide

As we consistently go to Heavenly Father in prayer, He will guide us. Our Savior taught us the pattern for prayer. We call upon Heavenly Father, offer thanks to Him, ask for blessings, and close in the name of Jesus Christ.

Recently, I was overcome with a sense of awe. I thought, “Who am I to address God?” But He is my Father and I am His daughter. I know He longs to hear from me as much as I yearn to commune with Him.

Once we humbly call upon God, we thank Him for our blessings. There is a power that comes as we are generous with our gratitude. But are we willing to express gratitude in all things?

Expressing gratitude when we are hurt or upset can be hard, but if we hope to gain the full power of this portion of prayer, we may need to open our hearts more fully. What if we offered thanks for those situations that bring us frustration, sorrow, or anguish? As we sincerely thank God in and through our trials, we invite Him to help us see our trials and ourselves in a different way. Thanking Him rather than asking for something to be taken away helps us accept His effort to mold us into who we are meant to become. Gratitude allows us to see a flow of blessings deeper and broader than we could ever comprehend otherwise.2

Having expressed gratitude, we have the privilege to ask for blessings “that God is eager to bestow, according to His will and timing.”3

Some of you may be thinking, “I have prayed, but the Lord doesn’t answer.” I too have questions and concerns that I repeatedly bring to God. At some point we all have to “wait upon the Lord” (Psalm 37:9). The answer may be there but not as we expected. It may be a matter of timing, so we just need to continue to ponder and wrestle.

We close our prayer in the name of the Savior. I love that we begin by acknowledging our relationship to our Heavenly Father and close by recognizing Jesus Christ and His role in our lives. This puts our gratitude and asking in the context of the divine plan of happiness.

Our Solace

Solace is defined as comfort in times of sadness or distress. “The Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name” (Helaman 3:27).

Our Father in Heaven wants His children to counsel with Him about what is important to them. If it matters to us, it matters to Him because we matter to Him. Every prayer strengthens our relationship with Heavenly Father and helps us discover one of the true gifts of prayer—knowing we are not alone when the world literally brings us to our knees.

Many of us have experienced what the prophet Helaman warned his sons about when he said: “Remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, … when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down … because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation” (Helaman 5:12).

Life sent me a hurricane of sorrow in December 2016. Our oldest grandchild, Derek, stopped breathing, and his parents rushed him to the hospital. With a measure of confidence, I asked Heavenly Father to bless little Derek. As I was praying, the Spirit gently impressed on my mind, “Little Derek has returned home to heaven.”


Photograph courtesy of Cordon family

Wait, what? Despite my reeling shock, an instant “peace of God” (Philippians 4:7) came to my heart and mind.

The week after Derek’s passing, I was scheduled to do ministering visits at a children’s hospital. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t think I could walk back into those medical sights, sounds, and smells. But as I checked in, a sweet peace came over me. The Lord knew my willingness even though I was hurting, and He orchestrated an extra dose of love for me. I was guided to visit a young child fighting cancer. He had written on his whiteboard: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

To this day, that scripture is a reminder that Heavenly Father knows and loves me. I still have a hole in my heart for Derek—and will until I see him again. But until then, I gain solace in the Lord and keep moving forward.

Whatever your mighty “shafts in the whirlwind” (Helaman 5:12) may be, come to Him. He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows you. He delights to bless you, and He will carry you. You can trust Him. You will find rest in Him.

Our Stay

God will be our stay, our steadfast source of strength, if we choose to walk with Him. Yet we sometimes cease to pray. We allow a close relationship to become distant and less connected.

At the time of the Tower of Babel, the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord to save the language of His people, and the Lord responded. Then the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord again, asking that He not confound the language of his friends. In both instances “the Lord had compassion upon [them]” (Ether 1:37).

With these prayers answered, the brother of Jared turned again to the Lord, asking where He would have the people go. The Lord promised to meet them in the valley of Nimrod “because this long time ye have cried unto me.” As promised, the Lord came and talked to the brother of Jared. (See Ether 1:38–39, 42–43; 2:1, 4.)

Line upon line, step by step, Jared and his brother were “directed continually by the hand of the Lord” (Ether 2:6). They made it through the wilderness to the seashore, where they stayed for four years. Certainly they had understood and practiced the power of prayer throughout their journey, but at one point the Lord had to chasten the brother of Jared because “he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord” (Ether 2:14).

Did the brother of Jared simply forget to seek the Lord’s daily guidance? Did he feel that he had things under control and did not need God? Did his prayers become less sincere or more routine? The example of the brother of Jared brings us hope because he repented. After this, his faithfulness allowed him to see God face to face (see Ether 3:13–14).

Ask of God

My dear friends, there is no need to muddle through life alone. We can have heaven’s help. Through prayer we will come to understand who we are and how much we are loved. We will know what steps to take to move forward and how to bless those around us. Our trust, confidence, and humility will increase. I testify of the knowledge and miracles that come from communion with our Heavenly Father.

Ask of God. Continue to make intentional, purposeful, heartfelt prayer a constant in your life. Allow God to be your guide, solace, and stay.