“Stronger than the Cords of Death”

“The cords of death entangled me,” wrote David; “the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me” (Psalm 18:4, NIV; see also Psalm 116:3, NIV, 2 Samuel 22:6, NIV).

Alma used similar language as he cried out to God for deliverance from his own overwhelming feelings of guilt:

O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.

Alma 36:18

Fortunately for us, God’s power is stronger than any challenge we will ever face, including death itself. Elder Gerrit W. Gong taught:

God’s love is stronger than the cords of death—temporal or spiritual. Our Savior’s Atonement is infinite and eternal. Each of us strays and falls short. We may, for a time, lose our way. God lovingly assures us, no matter where we are or what we have done, there is no point of no return. He waits ready to embrace us.

Our Campfire of Faith,” General Conference, October 2018

And as we strive to emulate Him, we must also learn to support one another through any trial, however difficult. While incarcerated in Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith wrote that we should show an increase in love toward anyone we have reproved, “that he [or she] may know that [our] faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:44).

One practical implication of this principle is that we must not pull back from our most important relationships. When we feel distant from a family member or a close friend, we should find ways to draw closer to them, not pull away. And we need to sustain that commitment over time. We must never give up on the people we love.

Elder Gong reminded us that strong and enduring relationships are an important part of our eternal happiness:

We are not meant to wander in existential uncertainty and doubt but to rejoice in cherished covenant relationships “stronger than the cords of death.”

Covenant Belonging,” General Conference, October 2019

Today, I will strive to follow the Savior’s example of enduring love. I will strive to demonstrate to others, by being faithful to them over time, that my love for them can weather any storm.

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