Richard Alger

Personal Online Journal

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Why do good people suffer?

This is a video answering a question from a teary woman asking why she is suffering when she is doing everything she knows to follow God. 

The woman asks:

How do we understand the love of the Lord when he gives you more trials? In my personal life I have more trials than anything else. Trying to have a baby we cannot have. And we are here going to the temple, doing every single thing we are supposed to do. How to understand that?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland replies: 

Okay, you’re falling into a trap that I want everybody in this to avoid. And that is:

God must not love me, if I suffer. I must be being penalized, if I suffer. Can you see the danger of thinking that way? 

Every person I know in this book [holds up the scriptures] suffers. Peter who was crucified upside down. James, the first Christian martyr from the New Testament. Paul beheaded. Now does God like Peter and James and John and Paul and Isaiah and Ezekiel and Jeremiah and Daniel? Prophets of captivity. Prophets of persecution. Prophets of trouble and trials of every kind. Who suffered more than anyone in time or eternity that we know of? The living son of the living God, the only perfect child who ever lived. Don’t ever. Please, please, do not fall victim to the temptation to say, ‘Well, I guess God doesn’t love me’.  Because, what on earth would that say about his love for his Only Begotten Son?  

These are times for faith. These are times for perseverance. Life is filled with times of trouble. I just ask us to cling to the wonderful examples that we’ve had, starting and going down to virtually every figure I know to point out here [holds up the scriptures].  

If there were any really picnic stories in here, I missed them. They must have taken them out of my edition. Because everyone in here is a hard story. And I think that’s for a reason; that somehow, and this is the part I don’t fully understand and I don’t ask you to just blissfully accept it and glide out of the room. But there is something at work in suffering that is exalting. 

Now that is not news, anyone particularly wants to hear today, but I think it somehow must be doctrinal. That suffering is exalting. I don’t know whether that’s because it  makes us more patient with others? Does it make us more sympathetic with other people who’ve got troubles? It is part of the expanding of our heart to where we’re not smug and we’re not self centered? And we’re not trivial? I don’t know. I think it’s probably all of that. But it is hard to read these [the scriptures] and it is impossible to read the life of the Savior without coming to the conclusion that suffering somehow is preparatory to exaltation. 

So hang on and say your prayers and trust in the Lord and lean against that pillar and know from Elder Holland as a promise to you apostolically today that it’ll never be removed.  And someday, somewhere, sometime, you’ll have more children than you know what to do with. And I don’t say that trivially. I say it prophetically. That with the eternal view, and the long sketch of our plan of salvation, every blessing tenfold, 100 fold, 1000 fold will be given to us. But I think probably only when we’ve worked off our rough edges and been ready to receive it. 

Here is the quote shown at the end

How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!”

“Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds”, Neal A Maxwell, Apr 1991

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Living on the Lord’s Side of the Line

My dad shared this with me today. I don't remember ever hearing it before. I recommend the whole talk. Here are some parts that stood out to me. 

'There is power in making covenants. Weekly, as we renew our covenants and promise to take upon ourselves the name of the Son, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments, we receive in return a transcendent promise, one filled with heavenly power: that we “may always have his Spirit to be with [us]” (Moroni 4:3). Having the Holy Ghost with us—and learning to hear His voice—is a key, perhaps the single most profound key, to remaining steadfast and immovable on the Lord’s side of the line. And it all begins by making a covenant.'


'In today’s world, where immorality is celebrated on nearly every world stage, succumbing to moral temptation is depicted as being easier and even more desirable than maintaining moral purity. But it isn’t. The moment of sexual transgression is the last moment immorality is easy. I have never known anyone who was happier or who felt better about themselves or who had greater peace of mind as a result of immorality. Never.'


'It is so much more comforting to live with the Spirit than without, so much more joyful to have relationships of trust and true friendship than to indulge in a physical relationship that would eventually crumble anyway. Whereas Satan’s lies lead only to enslavement, the Savior’s promise is that if we will seek the riches our Father wishes to give us, we “shall be the richest of all people, for [we] shall have the riches of eternity” (D&C 38:39). In other words, we shall have joy in this life and a fullness in the life hereafter. Righteousness begets happiness.'

From "Living on the Lord’s Side of the Line" by Sheri L. Dew of the General Relief Society Presidency 21 Mar 2000  

Monday, February 20, 2023

The sacred clothing of Latter-day Saint temples, and why it's significant

Found at the Saints Unscripted episode, "The sacred clothing of Latter-day Saint temples, and why it's significant

"Unlike today, clothing in ancient times was very costly and difficult to make. The hand spinning and looming process could take possibly hundreds of hours for a single piece of clothing. Thus, the giving of clothing, especially ceremonial clothing, represented a significant bestowing of authority and power."

("The Laver and the Washing and Anointing of Priests", Oct 2019, Daniel Smith)

Friday, January 06, 2023

What is the Office of Marriage

 From D. Todd Christofferson, 4 Apr 2015

'Knowing why we left the presence of our Heavenly Father and what it takes to return and be exalted with Him, it becomes very clear that nothing relative to our time on earth can be more important than physical birth and spiritual rebirth, the two prerequisites of eternal life. This is, to use the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the “office” of marriage, the “post of responsibility towards … mankind,” that this divine institution “from above, from God” occupies. It is the “link in the chain of the generations” both here and hereafter—the order of heaven.' 

Monday, December 26, 2022

Four Keys to Understanding the New Testament

Intertestamental Period | Dec 26-Jan 1 | Come Follow Me Insights

Taylor and Tyler of Come Follow Me Insights tell in the above video about four areas that can help my study of the New Testament. 

1. History

721 BC Assyria

587 BC Babylon

530s BC Persia

330 BC Greece

2. Language

The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Jewish Bible There was an Aramaic version that was the common language of the people. It was not commonly used during the time of Jesus. 

3. Sects





4. Gospel Writers 

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

The Rarest of the Good Traits in Human Beings

"Courage is the rarest of the good traits in human beings. And it is the one upon which all the others are dependent. Because without courage, kindness and integrity and all these other wonderful things, don't amount to much. Because the world demands courage on every plane in life."
- Dennis Prager

Friday, December 02, 2022

What is my True Identity?

I was thinking about an identity that I have been focusing on. I then asked myself "What identities are healthier for me to focus on?" 

My mind went to a recent post of Russell M. Nelson. 

Labels can be fun and indicate your support for any number of positive things. But if any label replaces your most important identifiers, the results can be spiritually suffocating. I believe that if the Lord were speaking to you directly, the first thing He would make sure you understand is your true identity. My dear friends, you are literally spirit children of God.

No identifier should displace, replace, or take priority over these three enduring designations:

- Child of God

- Child of the covenant

- Disciple of Jesus Christ

Any identifier that is not compatible with those three basic designations will ultimately let you down. Make no mistake about it: Your potential is divine. With your diligent seeking, God will give you glimpses of who you may become.


From this post on Facebook

Friday, November 11, 2022

Prophets Can See Around Corners

 A BYU-Hawaii Devotional given By Sheri Dew, November 02, 2022

She tells 

- how all missionaries got smart phones before the Covid-19 pandemic.

- how President Nelson was instructed to share his #GiveThanks video

- a moving story of how she gave her often quoted talk in Oct 2001, “Are We Not all Mothers?”

- even though prophets are fallible, they are one of the most trusted sources for moral truth today. 

It is a powerful witness to me of who I can trust most. She tells of the most recent counsel of President Nelson. 

"To increase our capacity to receive revelation, spend more time in the temple, and become a major force in gathering Israel. To understand who we are as children of God, children of the covenant, and disciples of Christ, and to never allow other identifiers to replace those three primary designations. And to let God prevail in our lives."

This is what Dallin H Oaks spoke about 12 years ago, "Two Lines of Communication", Oct 2010.