There are some General Conference talks that just stay with me, even years after they are given. Elder Holland’s masterful talk: “An High Priest of Good Things to Come” is one of them. I can still remember listening to it in our little apartment back in 1999. I cried through most of the talk. I still cry when I read it. I cried again tonight as I reviewed his talk again.
Yes, I’ll admit that I’m an emotional person by nature, but there’s more going on here. These apostolic words are a cherished reminder to me of the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of what faith and hope can feel like if I will look to the Savior and lean on God for strength.
I can still hear Elder Holland, testifying of God’s love and the power and peace available through the Savior’s Atonement, and also imploring us to be believing.
[I]t is not without a recognition of life’s tempests but fully and directly because of them that I testify of God’s love and the Savior’s power to calm the storm. Always remember in that biblical story that He was out there on the water also, that He faced the worst of it right along with the newest and youngest and most fearful. Only one who has fought against those ominous waves is justified in telling us—as well as the sea—to “be still.” 8 Only one who has taken the full brunt of such adversity could ever be justified in telling us in such times to “be of good cheer.” 9 Such counsel is not a jaunty pep talk about the power of positive thinking, though positive thinking is much needed in the world. No, Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them. But even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!
I also appreciated how Elder Holland reminds us of the need for eternal perspective and enduring well the trials that may come. He reminds us that, “Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come” [emphasis his].
Which one of us doesn’t sometimes need someone cheering us on as Elder Holland did? “‘Don’t give up…. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead…. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.'”
Hear him retell the story that served as a metaphor for his message of hope and faith in this new video, “Good Things to Come.”