This Easter, I am again reminded of the Christlike example of my friend, Elder Bruce Porter, and of an Easter letter he wrote to his children several years ago.
If you heard my conference address, you may remember that Elder Porter struggled for more than two decades with a kidney defect. This led to more than 12 years of dialysis, countless hospitalizations, and 10 surgeries. This would be demanding for anyone, but it was a particularly difficult experience for Elder Porter, since he was also serving as a General Authority throughout these substantial health challenges.
In a letter to his children, which he penned just before Easter several years ago, Elder Porter eloquently wrote of the importance of opposition in all things and of the Savior’s role, as our Redeemer and our friend, in helping us to overcome the world.
“I have taught you much about Christ,” Elder Porter wrote, “but now I want to be certain that you actually know Him as a real person and love Him as your Savior.”
“Certainly if you live righteous lives, you will know more happiness than sorrow, but even the righteous are not spared from pain and bitter trial in this world. …
“You will need every ounce of strength and righteousness to endure. But even more than that, you will need the power and comfort of the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. You will need a Savior, a Support, a divine Friend, one who will protect you, stand by you, and make you strong in every hour of trouble. …
“There was a time when we personally knew and loved Jesus as our Captain and Friend. … Our challenge now is to know Him again and, through faith in Him, to overcome the trials and temptations of this world. …
“Jesus, the author of salvation, that Great Captain whom we loved so much, promised us that He would undergo the trials of earth life together with us. …
“For me, Easter symbolizes the total and consummate triumph of our Lord over death, evil, and a fallen world. That brilliant Easter morning is an everlasting reminder that while there is opposition in all things, life and light and truth and God will ultimately prevail.”
As Elder Porter showed through his words and example, overcoming the world does not mean we live a cloistered life, protected from the unfairness and difficulties of mortality. Rather, it opens up the more expansive view of faith, drawing us to the Savior and His promises. As you trust more fully in the Savior, I promise you blessings of greater peace in this life and a greater assurance of your eternal destiny.
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