Have you read the lecture series on Joseph Smith by Truman G. Madsen?
I love that series and have easily listened to it in it's entirety dozens of times, but Im cheating because having served in Independence, Missouri we had to become very well educated about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. There were over 10 break-offs of our Church just on the main road driving into the Independence Visitor Center - there was the reorganized, reinstituted, reformed... re-whatever and everyone believed Joseph was their prophet, they all had the Book of Mormon and the priesthood, at least according to their interpretation. I felt prompted on a recent trip to Oregon to purchase it once again and I spent the entire trip only listening to the series, when I pulled back into Utah I finished the fifth and final CD.
We seem to be searching deeper for personal peace in our lives, at least I am. I hope you have been finding the peace and the answers you need. I know that through the Holy Ghost you will. Another book I can can never say enough about is Ferrell's "Falling Into Heaven". I bought a half dozen copies of it to give out as gifts and I'm out already, need to go stock up again.
Oh, the tender mercies of the Lord are so amazing, right!
I thought I would share with you what has so deeply touched my heart today. It comes from 2 Nephi in the 2 chapter in the first and second verses.
Lehi speaking to Jacob:
"And now Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my firstborn in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou has suffered afflictions and much sorrow... Nevertheless Jacob, thou knowest the greatness of God; and He shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain"
Do we not sometimes suffer because of nothing we've done, maybe it's a difficult circumstance that we get caught in the middle of or the poor choices of others. I have always had such an incredible affinity to both our Savior, Jesus Christ and towards Joseph Smith.
Both Christ and Joseph "suffered afflictions and much sorrow", Joseph was not perfect and he suffered because of his mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. Christ was perfect and only suffered because of others, and for others.
There is a powerful lesson is Joseph's life when suffering innocently in Liberty Jail, Missouri he is told by God that even, "and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good" (D&C 122:7)
The message here, I suppose, is that whether we have suffered from our own doing or from the doings of others we will always see our suffering consecrated for our gain, for our good. Is it not through the atonement of Christ that bad experience is made good and suffering and sorrow are given for our gain that we become better then we were when we began?
You know this. I am not saying anything you do not already know in your heart. I do suffer with your suffering. And I rejoice with your happiness. Christ is the answer.
God be with you till we meet again my sweet friends,