This week I was doing a more in-depth study of 3 Nephi 22. I’ve always liked the chapter because of the beautiful symbolism and the message of hope it brings. We all have moments where we’re afraid because of mistakes we’ve made or things other people have done or just the state of the world in general. It can be hard to see how everything will end in “happily ever after.” That’s why I love the words of Isaiah the Christ quotes in this chapter:
7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.
8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.
The truth is we’ve almost all done something to make the Lord hide His face from us. However, the central truth of this chapter is that God loves us. He remembers the covenant that He’s made to always watch over us and protect us. If we remember our side of the covenant, He will make sure things turn out OK. I like what Elder Holland has to say about this:
...the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life. Indeed it is only with that reassurance burning in our soul that we can have the confidence to keep trying to improve, keep seeking forgiveness for our sins, and keep extending that grace to our neighbor.
President George Q. Cannon once taught: “No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. … He will [always] stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them.”