Trusting in the Lord’s timetable during trials

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The waiting game — it may be one of the most difficult things to swallow during our sojourn in mortality.

Yesterday, Women’s Conference participants had the opportunity to listen to the uplifting words of Michelle Brown and Janie Penfield who spoke on the issue of “Trusting in the Lord’s Timetable” in the JSB Auditorium. Both women spoke of the crucibles in their lives that have given them first-hand experience in trusting in Heavenly Father’s will for their lives.

Michelle Brown, mother of four, chose to inspire her listeners by telling her own story. After her husband tragically fell on the ice following a hockey game 17 months ago, the lives of Michelle and her children were changed forever. A prolonged stay in the hospital,  followed by a stroke and eventually her husband’s death, tried Michelle’s faith in the Lord’s timing and the plan that He had for her life.

Looking for reason in the Lord’s timetable, Brown said that she knew that “the Lord doesn’t take a man from His family for trivial reasons.”

Her son, Parker, who had been serving a mission in the Dominican Republic at the time, also faced the difficult task of trusting in the Lord’s timetable as he was absent from his family during this difficult time. Ultimately, a blessing from his mission president and personal prayer gave him the strength to finish his mission. He attended the conference on Thursday having only been home from the mission field two days.

She told the audience that in this trying time, her family was brought closer together by reaching out and serving others. She encouraged the audience to find those activities that bring your family close during times when the reasons for the Lord’s timetable are not evident.

“Don’t miss an opportunity to be a servant,” she said.

Equally inspiring were the words of Women’s Conference Committee Member Janie Penfield. Penfield reflected on Elder Maxwell’s description of trials in our lives as “the cell of our circumstance.” She gave five key choices we always have regardless of our circumstances.

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Michelle Brown speaks during one of the sessions of Women's Conference on Thursday at the Joseph Smith Building.
Penfield told the sisters their first choice is to put the Lord first. She noted even with the Lord’s greatest blessings promised to us, the most difficult trial for us as mortals is then “waiting for eventually … to actually come.”

According to Penfield, putting the Lord first allows sisters to tune their lives to the spirit and to find guidance from the Lord.

Penfield said the choice to be a disciple of Christ also presents itself during times of uncertainty.

“Trials allow us to put the Savior first, but do we?” she asked. “We too must wait upon, and trust in the Lord.”

Relating her experiences in training for a triathlon, she told the sisters the choice to build our faith during times of trial is like building muscle. By building our faith, we can find spiritual strength to sustain us in times of mortal exhaustion.

The last two choices Sister Penfield shared with the participants are the choices to be comforted and to be patient.

“The  world has big plans for us, and it calls to us every day… but as women of God, we must be so much more,” she said. “He has a plan for us, which is far better than we imagined.”

 

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