A Vale of Tears

Men of a spiritual propensity have correctly characterized this life as “a vale of tears.” Whether it comes to us soon or late, each of us will one day face our personal Gethsemane. Shall we then turn our backs on Him who will never turn His back on us? Sadly, some there be that choose such a course.

Or shall we follow the course set by Him who pleaded that if there were another way, that He not drink the bitter cup? Our pleading then will be in emulation of Him, and with tenderness of soul and heart a-breaking we will utter the words, “Father, I grieve, and my grief cannot be contained, nonetheless not my will but thine be done, and to Thee be the glory forever!”

Having accepted His will, we stumble onward, holding within ourselves our grief by day, and soaking with tears our pillow by nighttime. And then when our grief is palpable and oft times more than we think we can bear, there comes a voice to our mind, “you shall be comforted.” Think you that the comfort will come now because Heaven has decreed it so? Nay, for mark you well that Heaven operates on a different timetable than on puny man’s reckoning!

Through trials and tears, we remember that the Savior descended below all things in His incomparable suffering in our behalf, as He bore the burden of our sins. Indeed He “poured out His soul unto death,” (1) literally dying of a broken heart in His love for us.

Thus it is that unto him or her who willingly submits to the Lord, comfort will come only after the tears have served their purpose, having filled the sufferer’s soul with humility and tender compassion, for He has in mind the sanctification of the soul, in keeping with His decree that, “whom I love I chasten.” Then and only then will he “bind up the brokenhearted…” (2) and bestow upon them that which is “sweet above all that is sweet…and pure above all that is pure.” (3)

“When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow, For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless, And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee, And sanctify to thee they deepest distress

When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie, My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply. The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume, Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes; That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”

(How Firm a Foundation)

(1)Isaiah 53:12 (2) Isaiah 61:1 (3) Alma 32:42, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ