And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it. Doctrine and Covenants 127:2
I am by no means comparing myself to Joseph Smith, the great Prophet, the first of this dispensation, but I am awed and yet humbled at the same time by his example! I mean, what powerful words...."But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in.".
Over the past 9 months I have only begun to understand what it is to "glory" in tribulation, such as Paul did and as Joseph Smith did as well. We know that they were both young men at the time, too. But the faith and courage both men expressed, despite some of the obvious human traits and flaws. I mean, what faith it must have taken Joseph Smith to declare that "I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.". We do know that Joseph Smith died as a martyr at the hands of an angry mob, but despite this fact, and knowing all too well that his life would most likely be shortened here on earth, he knew his calling and election here on earth...he knew that he had been ordained before the foundation of the world, and he knew that no matter how his life was taken, in the end, what mattered was his faith and his willingness to succeed at the commandments his God had given him.
Talk about having an eternal perspective!