Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tom's Talk

Thomas’ Talk

Each person's success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on his or her responses to the trials of life.

There's a story in the June 1984 Friends called, "The Trials of Billy Fischer" that talks about one of Billys' trials, and how he overcame it.

Billy and his family lived many, many years ago. Billy was the only member of the church in his tiny school. He felt that the schoolmaster was even stricter on him than the rest of the kids. He asked his mom if it was because he was a Mormon. His mom replied:

“Now, Billy,” she had started, with a gentle wisdom that the boy often stood in awe of, “the Lord doesn’t backhand a good person, but He just might bless him with a little trial and tribulation every now and again to keep him meek and humble. Like the bumps on the road between our place and town, there’s just enough of them to keep a body watchful.”

“I do believe,” she had continued, “that if the righteous could stack all their hard times under them, they could rise almost to heaven. I suspect a rose without a thorn is only half a rose, honey. And if the rain can make the flowers grow, why not the rest of us too?”

One day, Billy's mom sent him on an errand to the store. It was a 5 mile walk, and he hooked up a little wagon harness to his dog to carry the supplies home. When he was about 1/2 way home, a bully from school named Silas stopped him and started being mean. He cut the straps on the dogs harness, and threatened to beat up Billy if he didn't give him the answers to the test tomorrow at school.

Billy didn't know what to do. He didn't want to be beat up. But he also knew that cheating was wrong.

The next day in school, Silas slipped Billy a note during class. It said to write the answers on the paper, then pass it back. Billy wrote this on the paper:

“I won’t give you any answers. It’s just not right. I’ll meet you out back after school. I know what you are going to do to me. I can’t stop you. But I won’t let you do it without fighting back." and passed it back to Silas

Billy was afraid, but knew that he had done the right thing. When school was over, and everyone was leaving, Billys teacher held him after class. He had found the note in the trash, and commended Billy for his choices. He said he was proud of Billy, especially since he knew what was waiting for him after school.

Billy left school, and was met by Silas. Silas was confused that Billy hadn't given him what he had wanted. Everyone else always did.

"Aren't you afraid?" asked Silas

"My ma says that the time comes when a body has to face up to his fears. So here I am", said Billy.

Silas decided not to beat up Billy, and instead asked if they could walk home from school together, since they both lived in the same direction. Billy had made a friend instead of an enemy.

Mosiah 23:21-22 says:

Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.

Nevertheless—whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with this people.

When we have trials or hard times, we can learn many things from them. We grow stronger. We grow smarter. We grow closer to Heavenly Father when we lean on him.

Our response to adversity and trials should always be constant, — trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. The prophet Alma taught in Alma 36:3

"Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day"

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.

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