by Braeden Dyer
[Courtesy of Wilford Woodruff Papers]
Since beginning my work for the Wilford Woodruff Papers Project, one aspect of Wilford’s life which has struck me, and made me ponder, has been the opposition which he faced. He faced immense physical and social opposition—just one account of which we see in this excerpt from his autobiography. Countless times within his journals, he says that he is “very low” with one ailment or another, yet he keeps working on his duties as it is in his unconquerable nature.
In this week’s readings from Come, Follow Me, we study the account of the building of the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 4–6). The Jews experienced much opposition from the Samaritans throughout the process, yet in chapter 6, we read that Darius renewed Cyrus’s decree to finish the temple according to the Lord’s command, and they were able to finish the temple, despite opposition. We see through church history, and I have felt through personal experience, that God’s work is constantly opposed by the adversary and his tactics.
When the pandemic began, I was serving as a missionary in Fiji, having recently lost my mother due to an unexpected heart condition. I was sent home and reassigned to San Jose, California, and experienced the opposition of fatigue, loss of hope among missionaries, and the hateful remarks of the Church’s enemies on social media. It seemed to me that the work was halting.
Despite this opposition, we continued to work in the capacities we could and saw great success—not just in the conversion of others, but in our own spiritual strength and conviction to serve the Lord and His children. Through that experience, I have seen that the Lord supports us when we follow Him and He will heal and strengthen us as we keep His commands. Like Wilford Woodruff, I know that our lives are in His hands.
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