heart in sand

Nearer, My God, To Thee

Sometimes while singing a hymn, a line will jump out at me in a way that it never had before. That’s what happened recently while singing the sacrament hymn this Sunday.

“Nearer my God to Thee, nearer to Thee. E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.”

Nearer, My God, To Thee, Hymn 100

The mention of a cross usually brings to mind a picture of The Redeemer, Jesus Christ upon the cross at Calvary. This time, as I sang these words, however, an image of myself on a cross that was being raised from the ground flashed across my mind.

I was taken aback for a moment but instantly found myself recalling all the times I had suffered or endure a trial in my life. 

Seeing this unfold from the perspective of one attached to the cross made me very aware of something I’d never noticed before. With the recollection of the heaviness that comes with trials, in my mind’s eye, I saw myself being lifted heavenward and felt myself drawing nearer to my Savior—in an understanding of what He knew and could see, as well as physically feeling the nearness of His comfort and presence with me.

Do the trials and metaphorical crosses in our life provide us with unique opportunities and perspectives to be nearer to God and looking heavenward?

They most certainly do!

The struggles I’ve endured have always intensified my motivation to seek out the Savior and His direction in my life. Our struggles can take many forms. They may look like a difficult mental or health condition, changes in ward boundaries, or some other trial that leaves us crying out to the Lord for peace and comfort. 

No matter the struggle, we can direct our gaze heavenward and seek evidence of our Savior’s presence in the journey alongside us. 

In Doctrine and Covenants 90:24, we are given this insight, “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly.” 

How does one walk uprightly? The first thought that crossed my mind was, “is this opposed to walking while lying down?” But then I thought, perhaps it could be referring to the direction in which we are looking and not the position of our body. 

In reference to Doctrine and Covenants 90:24, Susan W. Tanner stated, 

“This stunning promise from the Lord that all things shall work together for our good is repeated many times in the scriptures, particularly to people or prophets who are suffering through the trials of their own life stories.

”I sense that this promise comes from a tender, caring Father who desires to bless us and give us reason to hope through our earthly journey.”

Susan W. Tanner “All Things Shall Work Together for Your Good,” General Conference April 2004

It is a promise that can help us to endure.

My favorite passage in The Book of Mormon comes from Moroni 7:45-49

Verse 45 describes charity as follows:

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things endureth all things.”

In verse 47 we get another description of charity, “charity is the pure love of Christ”.

It’s the act and the gift of the redeeming and enabling power of The Atonement in our lives!

Verse 48, instructs us to “pray unto the father with all the energy of heart” to be filled with this love.

We can be filled with this love as we utilize His Atoning Sacrifice in our lives and as we extend this love to others through our actions and sharing of our testimonies.

We need His love as we strive to be instruments in His hands—to see things from His perspective as we love and serve one another. We need His redemptive love as we repent and make corrections in our lives. We need His love and enabling power as we seek Him through our struggles and trials.

How grateful I am for the perfect and redeeming love of Jesus Christ and the blessings of drawing nearer to our Father in Heaven as we seek personal revelation during our trials!


Alana is a wife, podcaster, vlogger, storyteller, and life lesson enthusiast. 

One of her favorite things is seeing others find joy in the progress of life.

Alana set out to define joy and its principles after years of being asked for her secret to being so happy despite difficult circumstances.

She went on to identify 7 Principles of Joy and started defining joy as: the peace felt as we recognize God’s hands in our life, acknowledge the progress we are making in becoming like Him, and find meaningful ways to uplift those around us.

You can often find Alana with her husband Sione. Together they explore the Pacific Northwest and share life lessons from their adventures on their YouTube channel, the Recounting Life Lessons podcast, and their blog: sioneandalana.com

Alana currently resides in Washington State, USA, but frequently visits Utah and Hawaii.

You can connect with Alana on Instagram here and here, on YouTube, on her Podcast, or on her Website.