Monday, April 20, 2015

[personal story - Elder Christofferson]

Elder D. Todd Christofferson is one of the Twelve Apostles in our Church today. He became an Apostle in April 2008. This is what his biography states about his work experience: 

"Prior to his call to serve as a full-time General Authority of the Church, Elder Christofferson was associate general counsel of Nations Bank Corporation (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previously, he was senior vice president and general counsel for Commerce Union Bank of Tennessee in Nashville, where he was also active in community affairs and interfaith organizations. From 1975 to 1980, Elder Christofferson practiced law in Washington, D.C., after serving as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica (1972-74)."

I just read an article written by Elder Christofferson in the New Era (a magazine geared towards the youth of our Church). I love it when the Church leaders share personal experiences as sometimes us Church members tend to think of them as having special lives with no troubles and trials. I'm pretty sure all of them had had many, many trials. Here is what Elder Christofferson shares in the April 2015 New Era:

"Some time before I was called as a General Authority, I faced a personal economic challenge that persisted for several years. At times this challenge threatened the welfare of my family and me, and I thought we might be facing financial ruin. I prayed for some miraculous intervention to deliver us. Although I offered that prayer many times with great sincerity and earnest desire, the answer in the end was “No.” Finally I learned to pray as the Savior did: “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). I sought the Lord’s help with each tiny step along the way to a final resolution.
There were times when I had exhausted all my resources, when I had nowhere or no one to turn to at that moment. More than once I fell down before my Heavenly Father, begging in tears for His help. And He did help. Sometimes it was nothing more than a sense of peace, a feeling of assurance that things would work out. I might not see how or what the path would be, but He gave me to know that, directly or indirectly, He would open a way. Circumstances might change, a new and helpful idea might come to mind, some unanticipated income or other resource might appear at just the right time. Somehow there was a resolution.
Though I suffered then, as I look back now, I am grateful that there was not a quick solution to my problem. The fact that I was forced to turn to God for help almost daily over an extended period of years taught me truly how to pray and get answers to prayer and taught me in a very practical way to have faith in God. I came to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father in a way and to a degree that might not have happened otherwise or that might have taken me much longer to achieve. I learned that daily bread is a precious commodity. I learned that manna today can be as real as the physical manna of biblical history. I learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart. I learned to walk with Him day by day."
The article is all about how we should look to God each day. How we can manage our trials by dealing with them little bit at a time with God's help. Elder Christofferson also shares this story about his mother:

"In the 1950s my mother survived radical cancer surgery, but difficult as that was, the surgery was followed by dozens of painful radiation treatments in what would now be considered rather primitive medical conditions. She recalls that her mother taught her something during that time that has helped her ever since: “I was so sick and weak, and I said to her one day, ‘Oh, Mother, I can’t stand having 16 more of those treatments.’ She said, ‘Can you go today?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, honey, that’s all you have to do today.’ It has helped me many times when I remember to take one day or one thing at a time.”

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