Elder & Sister Bennett Testify of Finding Joy Despite Adversity
Elder Randall K. Bennett, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, together with his wife Shelley recently spoke at a Southern Virginia University forum.
Elder and Sister Bennett shared personal stories about challenges they overcame to find happiness as individuals and as a family. They testified to students, faculty and staff of the Lord’s power and His guiding hand in each of our lives.
“Some people think that general authorities and their wives have perfect storybook lives,” Sister Bennett said. “It’s not true. We all have struggles.”
Sister Bennett described difficulties she faced growing up in a home with parents of different faiths. Her father, who was never baptized into the Church, passed away when she was 17-years-old. Her beloved oldest brother passed away just four years later.
“At 10-years-old,” Elder Bennett said, “my parents sat me down and said, ‘Rand, we will divorce someday, you need to start thinking about which one of us you will live with.’”
Elder Bennett said he occasionally questioned his worth and considered himself “damaged goods,” but testified that we are not defined by our circumstances.
“I could label myself a product of divorce, but the only label that matters is that each of us is a beloved son or daughter of Heavenly parents,” he said.
Despite trials and unexpected detours in their lives, Elder and Sister Bennett told the audience they were drawn to each other because of their commitment to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and their willingness to follow God’s prophets.
“We can look forward to the future with brightness, hope, determination and courage,” Sister Bennett said. “I know my Savior lives and loves me, and I know He loves you. He is proud of you and every righteous choice you make and is willing to help you if you turn to Him.”
Elder Bennett concluded with his testimony that while life has moments of sorrow, living the gospel of Jesus Christ brings hope, optimism and joy.
“There is going to be adversity,” he said. “That is how we grow. If we rely on the Savior, if we follow his prophets, we will be helped, guided, comforted, and healed.”
Elder Bennett currently serves as an Assistant Executive Director in the Priesthood and Family Department and assists in supervising in the North America Northeast Area.