My Soul is Exceeding Sorrowful

Some times are simply more difficult than others. Wouldn’t it be nice though, if every single day, every waking moment, can be as beautiful and as wonderful as the last? Wouldn’t it be great if all our problems were swept away and we would never have to face any trials throughout our entire existence here on earth? Some reader might think to themselves, ‘you know what, Eric? That would be nice.’ Well, my answer to the questions posted above is a simple yet bold no.

I think hardships and trials are necessary. Without hunger, the joys of nourishment would go unappreciated. Without pain, we would not know how it feels to relax. Without trials, we would not know what it means to be free from them. Now, this doesn’t mean we should try to get into such trials or starve ourselves just so we can feel the joys of nourishment and so on. What I am trying to communicate is that, yes, trials are headed your way. You are going to experience the death of a loved one, the feeling of hunger, and, if we are lucky, the pains of age. It’s out of our control. It’s going to happen.

So what are we to do about it? The answer is faith, hope, and patience (I might of well have just said the Gospel of Jesus Christ). We hope that God will bring us out of our trials by showing faith through obedience to the commandments and faith through the works that He has given us. Christ taught us to love, to be patient, and to follow His commandments. “That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34). When we do these things, we start to understand and get through our burdensome trials. Yann Martel (the author of Life of Pi) once wrote “We must all pass through the garden of Gethsemane.” Christ suffered greatly in that sacred garden. He suffered pains that were very we could never understand. He said “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”. So sorrowful, in fact, that he had asked his Apostles to “tarry ye here, and watch with me.”  (Matthew 26:38-39). He suffered so greatly, that in the Record of Matthew, He says “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”. In other words, He did not want to suffer such anguish in such a manner. It was so terrible, that in the Gospel of Luke, it describes Christ’s “sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). So much, that “appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him”. (Luke 22:43).
Brothers and sisters, we will face trials where our “soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matthew 26:38). I pray that we will have the strength and the courage to call upon God and overcome these trials, whether they are the tragedies of sin, or the temptations of the devil, or simply the call of a bad day or a bad time. Have faith in God and know that all will be well. Let us hope, that like Christ, whose image we were created in, that we can be like Him, and obey the Will of the Father as He did. (Matthew 26:39, 42).

With that, I leave with a poem created by William Clayton.

  1. Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
    But with joy wend your way.
    Though hard to you this journey may appear,
    Grace shall be as your day.
    ‘Tis better far for us to strive
    Our useless cares from us to drive;
    Do this, and joy your hearts will swell–
    All is well! All is well!

  2. Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
    ‘Tis not so; all is right.
    Why should we think to earn a great reward
    If we now shun the fight?
    Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
    Our God will never us forsake;
    And soon we’ll have this tale to tell–
    All is well! All is well!

  3. We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
    Far away in the West,
    Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
    There the Saints will be blessed.
    We’ll make the air with music ring,
    Shout praises to our God and King;
    Above the rest these words we’ll tell–
    All is well! All is well!

  4. And should we die before our journey’s through,
    Happy day! All is well!
    We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
    With the just we shall dwell!
    But if our lives are spared again
    To see the Saints their rest obtain,
    Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell–
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