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Professor of nursing Beth Luthy spoke at Tuesday’s BYU Devotional about having faith even during times of suffering.

To begin her devotional, Luthy invited attendees to go on a journey with her by remembering a time they were surviving a difficult trial. The pain and suffering of our trials are a part of what Jesus felt when he entered the inhospitable conditions of the Garden of Gethsemane to suffer for all mankind, she taught. Jesus submitted himself to the Father’s will even though it meant he would suffer.

So, Luthy asked, “How can we have the faith and strength to follow the Savior’s example, willingly submitting to our Father’s will, even when we are in the throes of despair?” She shared two tips.

Understanding the purpose of suffering

In order to submit to His will, Luthy advised that we first understand the purpose of suffering. Humans are conditioned to avoid suffering, but there is suffering all around us. So why does Heavenly Father allow us to suffer? Because it allows us to grow.

“When we suffer there is something deep within our soul that changes, that breaks, and then softens. We learn firsthand lessons about pain, anguish, misery and torment and then, because we know what it feels like to be wounded, we have compassion for others who are suffering and can help heal them,” said Luthy.  

“Essentially, our loving Heavenly Father uses times of suffering to transform us into an ‘instrument’ in His hands, armed with a newly developed nobility of spirit, who is compelled to help relieve the suffering of His children.”

Trusting in the Lord

Luthy also recommended trusting in the Lord. He is good and He can guide us through our struggles.

“It may seem a little messy from our limited and earthly perspective, but Heavenly Father knows exactly how to guide us to a better destination,” said Luthy.

Luthy shared a personal story about a time she suffered and had to trust in the Lord. When her son Michael was born, she and her family went through a painful experience. At birth, Michael’s bile ducts were damaged, which led to problems with his liver and him needing intense medical care. The family had to move. Michael had a failing liver, then a severe infection, and was even in a coma for a time. Before another surgery, Michael’s father gave him a blessing and turned his fate over to the Lord.

She and her husband trusted in the Lord, even if it meant sending Michael home to Him. They knew God was good. Michael didn’t end up needing the surgery. He began to stabilize and eventually recovered. This experience of suffering, however, helped Luthy realize that she needed to have faith in God.

Luthy concluded by saying, “When you are asked to take a journey to the lowest part of the valley, to your own personal Gethsemane, have faith! Don’t stop believing! Keep on going! And always look for the sweet spring of living water to sustain you during the most troubling times.”

Next Devotional: Steven Shumway, professor in the Technology and Engineering Studies program

Steven Shumway, professor in the Technology and Engineering Studies program, will deliver the next BYU Devotional on Tuesday, June 26 at 11:05 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

His remarks will also be broadcast live on BYUtv, BYUtv.org (and archived for on-demand streaming), KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM, BYU Radio and will be archived on speeches.byu.edu.