Sunday, November 9, 2008

Allahu Akbar--God Is Most Great

In Arabic, there is a common saying: Allahu Akbar! It has gotten a bad rap lately as the battle cry of Muslim terrorists, but it's really an expression of faith, not of war--God is most great, or God is greater.

This week marks the anniversary of a very pivotal change in my life, the first in a series of events that were, at the time, unbearably painful, but have also given me great understanding, peace, and even joy.

In all areas of life, the Lord tests us and tries us. He gives us experiences and people who will change us. At times, He allows us to be deeply hurt. But He feels our heartaches and offers us His peace. He knows the storms that rage about us, and, as He did two millennia ago, He still has the power to command the waves, "Peace, be still."

I am reminded of Enos's experience with gaining forgiveness and peace. After praying all day and night, a voice came to him, saying, "Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away."

Think of what Enos must have felt! What great joy and peace must have filled his soul!

His words have come to me often, and touched me. After feeling this great peace, Enos says, "Lord, how is it done?"

I have felt like Enos. I have tasted the beautiful peace and wholeness that comes from Christ's Atonement. When I felt that same "peace of God, which passeth all understanding" (Phillipians 4:7), I have been led to say with Enos, "Lord, how is it done? How is it possible that I could feel this wonderful, this complete, this joyous? How can You take pain away so completely and replace it with such exquisite joy?" And the answer, as was the Lord's answer to Enos, is simply, "Because of thy faith in Christ... wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole."

The power of the Atonement is real. It is the power to overcome all things. It is the power to be free, to be at peace, to rejoice. This I know from personal experience, for when I have cried out to the Lord in the depths of my sorrow, “Oh God, where art thou?” I have heard the Lord’s gentle answer, “My daughter, peace be unto thy soul” (see Doctrine & Covenants 121:1,7). I have come to know that the Lord’s promise through the prophet Isaiah will always be fulfilled: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer…For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee” (Isaiah 54:7-10).

Life can be hard, and our trials, at times, seem too great to bear. But I know that no matter how great our trials, Allahu Akbar!--God is greater.

Picture from

1 comment:

  1. I notice that you repeat this post from last year with only minimal cosmetic changes (nice picture), so now I'm curious. Would it be impolite or too forward to inquire what might have been the "very pivotal change in [your] life, the first in a series of events" that you choose to mark in this way? And does the cut-and-paste repetition of this post signify that you still think the same way about your experience? No new insights?

    The use of an arabic term to discuss a Gospel principle is also striking to me, by the way, because I tend to do the same. I'm giving a talk in our upcoming Stake Conference, in which I will touch upon the concept of jihad in the Book of Mormon.