The title of this post probably seems odd, but I will explain it. I have had a really hard time the last couple of days (hence two steps back). I was planning to write about it because I didn’t know how else to deal with it. But I sat down to watch President Hinckley’s funeral, and now I can hardly bring those dark feelings to mind, for I am at this moment hearing President Monson speak. I wrote in another post about light dispelling darkness. For two days, I have been pleading for light and finding little. There was no peace even in my study of the scriptures, which has been a disorienting experience for me. In the past, when thick darkness has gathered around me, I could turn to the Scriptures and find peace. At least for as long as those sacred words were before my eyes, I felt strong. But yesterday, even as I read the words of Isaiah—my favorite of all prophets—as quoted in 2 Nephi, and even as the meaning of the scriptures I read was unfolded to my mind, as often is the case, yet I could feel no peace. I still felt troubled. I still trembled from a kind of seizure that I can best relate to what I have seen in the withdrawals of those addicted to drugs. It was disturbing, for I have no chemical addictions, and I couldn’t understand why I had been seemingly abandoned in this dark, terrible place. I guess now that I write about it, it isn’t so far away as I thought. I know there’s something off balance in my head right now, but I don’t know what it is. Anyway, the last couple of days have been as bad as any I remember. The seizures are something new, and I’ve randomly started crying a couple of times. And I had really disturbing dreams last night. So something is off kilter.
But now, as I listen to the closing hymn, and see images of President Hinckley’s life displayed, again I feel the great peace of the Spirit powerfully in my heart. The darkness has again been dispelled. And now I feel hope again. It is yet another testimony to me that no matter how dark the way seems, the Lord can lift me out of it. This funeral has lifted my spirits more than I thought anything could.
I also had an interesting witness just now. I remember thinking a few days ago that it would be strange to see President Monson as the President of the Church. He has been a counselor in the presidency so long, that just seems like where he belongs. But when he stood up to speak, I could see a change. Already the mantle of leadership has passed to him, as the President of the Twelve. At that moment, the Spirit witnessed to me that he is a prophet of God, and that the Lord has called him to lead the Church now. I was reminded of the story of Elijah, whose mantle physically fell on Elisha. The transition seemed to me that dramatic. This is the first time I’ve seen President Monson since President Hinckley died, and the change was unmistakable. So thinking of President Monson at the head of the Church no longer feels odd. I know he is the prophet called of God, and that he will continue to lead us well, as did his noble predecessor.