“The Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.” I love this scripture-image by Isaiah (25:31). Most of us who are parents have wiped away our children’s tears from infancy through adulthood—a blessing for us as well as for them. How appropriate it is to remember this with our Savior, who loves us most of all. At times when we might feel sadness, regret fear, or other difficulty, we all need to cry as we allow our Savior to wipe our tears away.
Tears of Sadness
Sadness is prevalent in our 2020s life, as war, violence, natural disasters, and depression are part of so many of our lives. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, who as a young child was twice a World War 2 refugee in Germany, spoke recently to a congregation of Ukranian refugees in Poland.
He assured the refugees, “Know that the Savior loves you. . . . He knows of your suffering. He will humbly embrace you in His arms.” One young woman explained, “I feel today like God loves us . . . [Today] we didn’t feel sad.” I carry these words and these images in my mind.
Tears of Regret
Many are finding the 2020s a time of temptation, error, and regret. In addressing a large and diverse audience, Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke specifically of tears, “The Savior can wipe away our tears of regret and remove the burden of our sins.” He spoke of clean hands and a pure heart, allowing us to become better as individuals.
Like many, I’ve never robbed a bank, committed murder, or come even close. But personal weaknesses, or things ignored or forgotten, weigh me down. And tears have been shed. We can repent and move beyond mistakes—big ones or little ones—but we must choose and put forth effort to do so. Russell M. Nelson (2020) has explained that with God’s perfect love, the purpose of this earth is “to qualify to live with Him forever.”
Tears of Fear
Many are burdened with fears: physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Many live with violence or various forms of personal abuse. Depression enslaves adults and children of all races, ethnicities, religions, education levels, and lifestyles. Tears become “who they are” as well as “what they do.”
Individuals with toxic fears, along with people who love them, can take hope in a promise of Howard W. Hunter, former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “Whatever Jesus lays his hands upon [—] lives” (1979). Knowing the tragedies of two victims of childhood depression, I am comforted.
Russell Nelson has counseled, “Pour out your heart to our Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.” He can dry your tears. As John has written, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear (1 John 4:18; see also Moroni 8:16).
Tears Over Time
President Nelson (2020) has also explained that for some individuals in some circumstances prayers may not be answered right away.
I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. . . . . While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.
The Savior can wipe the tears from our eyes, even (and perhaps especially) when our problems and challenges remain. This is perhaps one of the most important images to carry in our minds and hearts.
Along with Psalm 30:5: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”