Throughout history, there have always been difficult seasons. Today, we’re collectively facing serious adversity caused by COVID-19. We’ve heard it again and again: these are unprecedented times. Many of us are worried about our health and the well-being of our loved ones. We’ve all felt the economic and emotional effects caused by this virus. It seems that nothing is normal. And missionary service and temple work have been interrupted. Many people are feeling overwhelmed with the task of modifying routines at home.
Facing an uncertain future can cause feelings of anxiety or even panic—you’ve probably been feeling this. But in the midst of all this chaos, there is hope! Despite the uncertainty and changes, the essentials and fundamentals of the gospel have not changed:
Formal church meetings and gatherings may have been temporarily canceled or limited, but gospel living has not! We can continue to worship, minister, and practice the gospel in our homes.
God is still in His heavens.
His Son, Jesus Christ, still stands at the head of this work. He understands the world’s struggles as well as our own personal struggles. He has promised, “I will not leave you comfortless” (John 14:18). He sends the Holy Ghost to be with us.1
God has called prophets, seers, and revelators. And through them, He has put into place exactly what we need to weather this storm.2 Think about the new home-centered curriculum, along with other adjustments, that has helped us prepare for this time and to live and minister in higher and holier ways.3 These recent changes are not coincidences—they were put in place by an all-knowing and loving God.
Despite the chaos, and with these things in mind, we can refocus on the heart of the gospel, which includes faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But how can we exercise that faith? From the beginning, the Lord has allowed His disciples to endure challenges without having all the answers. Our roots of faith go deeper when we have to exercise agency and move forward in the face of uncertainty. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reiterated this, saying, “You don’t know everything, but you know enough!”4
The story of Nephi and his brothers trying to obtain the brass plates is a great example of this. They knew what they needed to do: get the plates! They even had a good idea of why. They just didn’t know how to do it. After failing twice (see 1 Nephi 3:10–27), Nephi could no longer rely on his own capacities. Rather than giving up, he tried one more time. Notice the direct application of Nephi’s words to our situation today:
“I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
“Nevertheless I went forth” (1 Nephi 4:6–7).
Despite the many question marks in our lives, if we “go forth” like Nephi, trusting in God and following His prophets and focusing on faith, He will guide and shape us. At some point in this process, our problematic question marks will become foundational exclamation points.
Let us increase our faith in Jesus Christ, our trust in His servants, and our love for one another as we face the future. This time of worldwide distress and difficulty can become sacred ground for us to come closer to Him. As we do so, His sweet peace will fill our souls, even amid turmoil, and we will find the strength and answers we need.