On Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center, Eileen Nuffer, a chemistry professor, delivered her devotional talk. The talk was centered on the different hardships that people endure and how they can be used to grow spiritually.
She began by sharing a story: Her husband, Roger, suffered a motorcycle accident that caused surgeons to place over 70 pieces of metal in his body to reattach some of the 24 bones he broke in the accident.
After 11 surgeries and transitioning from a wheelchair to a walker to walking, he was eventually able to return to work. Eileen Nuffer took this trial as a distinctive learning experience.
“Our earth life is a unique learning environment,” Eileen Nuffer said. “We have this experience of living by faith only once in all of eternity. How do we navigate these challenges successfully when they come? Why are challenges a necessary part of this once in an eternity experience?”
Eileen Nuffer shared part of Amy Hanks’ devotional talk last Tuesday and a couple of verses from Mosiah 24 in the Book of Mormon. She showed gratitude for both accounts as they have helped her be more appreciative of the trials she has endured in her lifetime.
Another thing that helped her and her family during her husband’s motorcycle accident was the aid of others.
Her eldest daughter, Lindsay, visited home for a couple of weeks to help and ended up dropping her classes that semester to be completely available. People in her community in Oregon helped financially and brought food for Eileen Nuffer and her family from time to time.
Once Roger Nuffer started to heal physically, he struggled emotionally in wondering how he was to provide for his family. A friend of Roger Nuffer’s recommended he journal to feel at peace emotionally, and Eileen Nuffer challenged the congregation to do the same.
“I would challenge each of you to try journaling the same each day,” Eileen Nuffer said. “What blessings did you see? What concerns or questions do you have? What needs do you have that need addressing? Putting them on paper has led to a better understanding and to gratitude and resolution of many of the issues we’ve faced.”
Eileen Nuffer used various examples of individuals in the scriptures and today who have learned to take trials as learning experiences. She spoke of how James in the New Testament says we should be joyous when trials come our way. She also used an excerpt from one of President Howard W. Hunter’s talks that focuses on the peace that comes from trials.
In closing, she shared the seventh verse of “How Firm a Foundation” and testified of the blessings she’s received through the trials she and her family have endured. According to Eileen Nuffer, suffering trials helps individuals to become better acquainted with Christ.
“In this life, we will not descend below all things like our Savior,” Eileen Nuffer said. “But our personalized trials will allow us to descend below some things. These things allow us to see those situations more as the Savior sees them. This is the God we have. With Him, life is a joyful experience. He is the answer to all our trials, heartaches, questions and joys.”