21 And Emer did execute judgment in righteousness all his days, and he begat many sons and daughters; and he begat Coriantum, and he anointed Coriantum to reign in his stead.
22 And after he had anointed Coriantum to reign in his stead he lived four years, and he saw peace in the land; yea, and he even saw the Son of Righteousness, and did rejoice and glory in his day; and he died in peace.
Adversity can deepen commitment. As a member of the Martin handcart company testified years after their journey, “Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities” (quoted by Gordon B. Hinckley in “Our Mission of Saving,” General Conference, October 1991).
One of the Jaredite kings, Omer, also experienced significant spiritual growth through adversity. After being dethroned by his son, Jared, he lived in captivity for half of his life. Eventually, his other sons and daughters raised an army and overthrew their brother, so that Omer was restored to the throne. Not long after, a secret society conspired to assassinate him, but “the Lord warned Omer in a dream that he should depart out of the land” (Ether 9:3), and so he escaped.
Eventually, through infighting, this secret society self-destructed, and Omer was restored to his throne again. In his old age, he reigned in peace, and he conferred the kingdom on his son Emer. Moroni tells us that “he saw peace in the land for two years” before his death (Ether 9:15).
Emer didn’t live through all of those difficult experiences with his father, but he was clearly impacted by them. Moroni describes a period of righteousness and prosperity during Emer’s reign. In the end, as Moroni tells us in the passage above, Emer’s life was characterized by peace, happiness, and communion with God. He even saw the Savior: “the Son of Righteousness.”
I’m grateful for the adversity which I have experienced in my life. I hope that, like Omer, I have grown closer to God as a result, more receptive to messages from Him, and more capable of living peacefully. I also hope that, like Omer, I can pass some of that spiritual maturity on to my children, so that they can also enjoy peace, prosperity, and closeness with God throughout their lives.
Today, I will be grateful for the experiences in my life which have brought me closer to God. I will reflect on those experiences and share some of them with my children, so that they can also benefit from those experiences.