Amanda Fly · March 21, 2017
During a special devotional address at Southern Virginia University, Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared his testimony of a loving Father in Heaven and the Atonement of Jesus Christ with gathered students, staff, and faculty.
Throughout his remarks, Elder Arnold recalled personal experiences that taught him of God’s love and His willingness to answer our prayers. One such experience occurred when Elder Arnold and his wife were newlyweds struggling to afford life’s basic necessities. After spending the last of their savings on gas to get to work, Elder Arnold recalled pouring out his heart in prayer to God. His pleadings, Elder Arnold explained, were answered with a quiet voice in his mind telling him to focus on the blessings he already had.
“The Lord knows your needs,” Elder Arnold testified. “There are so many blessings he gives us that we don’t even recognize. As soon as we pray we’ve got to recognize those blessings, those tender mercies, and those little things every day that the Lord, our Father in Heaven, and the Holy Ghost do for us.”
Later in life, Elder Arnold’s eldest son was struck with a sudden and serious illness. Despite fasting and praying for a return to health, Elder and Sister Arnold lost their son to the disease. Although he and his wife did not receive the answers for which they had hoped, Elder Arnold firmly testified that, through the experience, he gained a deeper understanding of God’s sincere love for his children and the sacred healing power of the Atonement.
“I am grateful for the trials and tribulations that Heavenly Father gives us,” Elder Arnold said. “As Elder [Richard G.] Scott said, ‘We get those trials and tribulations because our heavenly father loves us so much that he wants us to grow and he wants us to stretch and he wants us to become more like he is.’”
To those in attendance, Elder Arnold closed by bearing his personal witness of the intimate nature of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“Each one of you, very individually and personally should know that He personally atoned for you,” said Elder Arnold. “He not only suffered for your sins, but also suffered pain and afflictions and temptations of every kind. I want you to know that I know the Savior went to that garden. I know He lives. I know at times He weeps with us and I know He feels what you feel.”
You can listen to Elder Arnold’s testimony below.