More than once we may have used D&C 121 as an excuse for our own “pity party”. But reading this week’s lesson, we may read it differently. Joseph wasn’t having a pity party, although he had every right to one. He was praying for others, the Saints as a whole! His heart was drawn out in prayer for others in the midst of his own awful circumstances, hurting for them.
The really beautiful thing is that God answers him so personally, comforts him individually – before addressing the subject of his prayers. Joseph thinking of others, but God showed Joseph He was thinking of him.
We’ve all seen how that works in real life the last few months. For example, a dear friend suffering the loss of her daughter, is so often found pouring her heart out for the pain and hurt of others around her. Yet being with her is to feel peace, she walks with angels and God is answering her privately, sacredly and so personally. He sends her what she individually needs as she ministers to others.
Joseph and Emma were examples of that in letters they exchanged while Joseph was captive in Liberty Jail. From her own place of pain she expresses her devotion, “… I still live and am yet willing to suffer more if it is the will of kind Heaven that I should for your sake.”
And Joseph shares his, “… My Dear Emma I think of you and the children continually. … I would gladly walk from here to you barefoot, and bareheaded, and half naked, to see you and think it great pleasure, and never count it toil.”
Our homes can be a place where we practice our best efforts at loving and ministering, even as we suffer ourselves. God’s comfort to Joseph is also for us, “… peace be unto thy soul [this] shall be but a small moment; … if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”
Art: Addie Payne Morgan