“The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing and climbing a mountain with faith.”

art by Eva Timothy

Joseph F. Smith’s family was hesitant to share the news of his daughter-in-law, Ida’s, passing. She had died in childbirth just months after her husband, Hyrum, had died unexpectedly from a ruptured appendix.

Joseph F. Smith had been sick for five months—rarely seen by the public. He was very close to passing, himself.

He had already witnessed so much death, why did he need to hear of more…

His father was martyred.

His mother died when he was thirteen.

Thirteen of his children died before him.

Millions of people were dying in World War 1.

Spanish Influenza was spreading fast and killing many—Utah’s shut down was only days away.

He wrote of his son, Hyrum’s, death, “My soul is rent asunder. My heart is broken, and flutters for life! O my sweet son, my joy, my hope! I love him still.”

Nevertheless, the day after Ida’s passing, they hesitantly took the newborn orphan to Joseph. Joseph was surprisingly calm as he blessed the child and gave him the name “Hyrum.”

Not long afterwards, he sat in his room, pondering Christ’s atonement and reading his scriptures.

It was in this context that his vision of what happens after death, now found in D&C 138, came to him.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that this man, who had seen so much death, was privileged with this vision.

His leaning on the Lord through the trials prepared him. God made the trials “work together for his good,” and our good too. (D&C 90:24)

Katherine Mackenett has said, “Now, every time I witness a strong person, I want to know, what darkness did you conquer in your story? Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.”

What are our trials preparing us for?

Truly, something grand if we only remember to look up.

God makes mountains out of valleys—and He can do it in your life too.

Source: Saints, volume 3 “A Vision from the Spirit World.” (Volume 3 is not out yet, but I found the excerpt online)

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