wEekLy, Elder Winegar

Tuesday, March 7, 2023


My friends, I feel fortunate to stand before you at this time. I think I must've suffered a bout of the bubonic plague because I've been rather ill to put it lightly ;).

As you may have guessed, as a result of my weakness, I report with a heavy heart that my effectiveness was greatly diminished. It brings me anguish to imagine that the work of salvation was in any way impeded by my mortal frailty! Yet, the Lord has taught me a great deal about humility, sympathy, compassion, and patience in one week.

I don't have an abundance of spiritual experiences to bring to you. The ways the Lord supports His chosen servants, and all of His Father's children for that matter, are not always flashy or even apparent in the moment. Even so, I have no doubt "The Lord [is] working with them" (Mark 16:20) and with each of us.

This week I have learned that often the Lord will succor us in our suffering by giving us small moments of peace and increased clarity, rather than immediately delivering us from blindness and obscurity with some grand spiritual healing. Greater vision and clarity come in degrees (see Mark 8:23-25) and likely won't be complete until after this life when we return to the presence of the Savior (Matt. 6:48, see footnote b).

We may be tempted to doubt the reality of God's supreme love when we ourselves or those we love are not delivered from our affliction. We may be led to think that our faith and trust in an all-powerful Savior was in vain. I know and witness that this is not the case. 

I testify that Jesus Christ's love and compassion towards us is deepest when we are in the midst of suffering. Let us remember His faith during the greatest of all sufferings. On the cross he was ridiculed by some who said, "He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God" (Matt. 27:43). Was the Savior's faith in His Father's will vain because He was not delivered? Of course not! The thought makes reason stare! 

The Lamb of God did not have faith in deliverance, but in His Father's greater plan. This type of faith led Him to suffer, not unto deliverance, but unto death. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him," adorned Christ's perfect faith (Job 13:15). What could seem like Jesus being forsaken and abandoned by His Father on the cross, ultimately became the greatest miracle of all, the breaking of the bands of death for all who will ever live.

When God does not suffer our burdens to be lifted, we can be at peace knowing that, just as in the case of His Beloved and Only Begotten Son, far greater designs are being accomplished that will eventually lead to our exaltation.

Cling to the shining moments, even if they seem small, and I promise you the strength to endure all things.

Farewell for now,

Elder Winegar

a song
Cinder and Smoke—Iron and Wine


Thanks for all the birthday wishes! 16 is just as sweet as they say! jk. 20 is cool. I appreciate all the love! You all produced a shining moment for me this week :)

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