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Showing posts with the label Adversity

living the Gospel at all times (Holland)

It has always been a wonderful testimony to me of the Prophet Joseph’s greatness and the greatness of all of our prophets, including and especially the Savior of the world in His magnificence, that in the midst of such distress and difficulty they could remain calm and patient, charitable, and forgiving—that they could even talk that way, let alone live that way. But they could, and they did. They remembered their covenants, they disciplined themselves, and they knew that we must live the gospel at all times, not just when it is convenient and not just when things are going well. Indeed, they knew that the real test of our faith and our Christian discipleship is when things are not going smoothly. That is when we get to see what we’re made of and how strong our commitment to the gospel really is... Remaining true to our Christian principles is the only way divine influence can help us. The Spirit has a near-impossible task to get through to a heart that is filled with hate or anger or

the tests are real (Maxwell)

Knowing that one is in the midst of a testing time does not make the test any less real. The disciple is not able to wink slyly, as if he could cope with one hand tied behind him. His teeth rattle, too. It's "all out"  for everybody, and then we scarcely make it.  The temptations of Jesus were terrifyingly real even though he did not yield. The difference is that those who are (or who will become) Saints reach breaking points without breaking. Often this is the very kind of humble report you hear at fast and testimony meetings-- about the passing of one of those mortal milestones.... Surely the Saints in such settings strengthen, exhort, and edify each other. Remember, these were words from soldiers in the trenches of life, not communiques from some country club safely removed from the mortal fray.  Neal A. Maxwell, "Deposition of a Disciple," Pages 52-53.

Zion’s camp, experience, knowledge, adversity (Brigham Young)

Brother Kimball referred to Zion’s Camp going to Missouri.  When I returned from that mission to Kirkland, a brother said to me, “Brother Brigham, what have you gained by this journey?”  I replied, “Just what we went for; but I would not exchange the knowledge I have received this season for the whole of the Geauga County; for property and mines of wealth are not to be compared to the worth of knowledge.”  Ask those brethren and sisters who have passed through scenes of affliction and suffering for years in the Church what they would take in exchange for their experience, and be placed back where they were, were it possible.  I presume they would tell you that all the wealth, honors, and riches of the world could not buy the knowledge they had obtained, could they barter it away.  Let the brethren be contented, if you have trials and must have hard times, learn to acknowledge the hand of the Lord in it all.  He directs the affairs of this world… Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:1

purpose in trials (Brigham)

“Instead of concluding that the Lord has drawn us into difficulties, and compelled us to do that which is unpleasant to our feelings, and to suffer sacrifice upon sacrifice to no purpose, we shall understand that He has designed all this to prepare us to dwell in His presence, to possess His Spirit, which is right and intelligent, for nothing but purity and holiness can dwell where he is”  (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:303).

Challenges are to make us better (Scott)

The challenges you face, the growth experiences you encounter, are intended to be temporary scenes played out on the stage of a life of continuing peace and happiness. Sadness, heartache, and disappointment are events in life. It is not intended that they be the substance of life. I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding. It is your understanding and application of the laws of God that will give your life glorious purpose as you ascend and conquer the difficulties of life. That perspective keeps challenges confined to their proper place—stepping-stones to further growth and attainment. Elder Richard G. Scott, October 2006 General Conference https://www.lds.org/liahona/2006/11/the-atonement-can-secure-your-peace-and-happiness?lang=eng

the right path will always lead uphill (Eyring)

God has a very good memory

Sometimes it seems especially difficult to submit to “great tribulation” when we look around and see others seemingly much less obedient who triumph even as we weep. But time is measured only unto man, says Alma (see Alma 40:8), and God has a very good memory. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, BYU Devotional January 1989

purpose in suffering (Holland)

"It is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive." —Jeffrey R. Holland, " Like a Broken Vessel "

The favorable and the unfavorable (Kimball)

“[Someday]  from  the  vantage  point  of  the  future,  we  shall  be  satisfied  with  many  of  the happenings  of  this  life  that  are  so  difficult  for  us  to  comprehend,”  …  “We  knew  before  we were  born  that  we  were  coming  to  the  earth  for  bodies  and  experience  and  that  …  after  a period  of  life  we  would  die.  We  accepted  all  these  eventualities  with  a  glad  heart,  eager  to accept  both  the  favorable  and  unfavorable.  We  eagerly  accepted  the  chance  to  come earthward  even  though  it  might  be  for  only  a  day  or  a  year.” - Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball   (2006), 20

all things work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28; Harman Rector Jr.)

Elder Hartman Rector Jr. explained: “[The] ability to turn everything into something good appears to be a godly characteristic. Our Heavenly Father always seems able to do this. Everything, no matter how dire, becomes a victory to the Lord. Joseph, although a slave and wholly undeserving of this fate, nevertheless remained faithful to the Lord and continued to live the commandments and made something very good of his degrading circumstances. People like this cannot be defeated” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1972, 170; or  Ensign,  Jan. 1973, 130). And  we  know  that  all  things  work  together  for good  to  them  that  love  God,  to  them  who  are  the  called  according  to  his  purpose. Romans 8:28.  See also Genesis 39:2-3

what is the purpose of trials? (Monson)

“Our Heavenly Father … knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.” -“I Will Not Fail Thee, nor Forsake Thee,” Ensign , Nov. 2013, 87

a superficial view of life (Maxwell)

It is so easy to be half hearted, but this only produces half the growth, half the blessings, and just half the life, really, with more bud than blossom.  A superficial view of this life, therefore, just will not do, lest we mistakenly speak of this mortal experience only as coming here to get a body, as if we were merely picking up a suit at the cleaners.  Or, lest we casually recite how we have come here to be proved, as if a few brick push-ups and deep knee bends would do. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, April 1985 General Conference https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1985/04/willing-to-submit?lang=eng

the tests are real (Maxwell)

...we so blithely say in the Church that life is a school, a testing ground. It is true, even though it is trite. What we don't accept are the implications of that true teaching—at least as fully as we should. One of the implications is that the tests that we face are real. They are not going to be things we can do with one hand tied behind our backs. They are real enough that if we meet them we shall know that we have felt them, because we will feel them deeply and keenly and pervasively. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974 http://speeches.byu.edu/?act=viewitem&id=1022

Every trial is necessary for salvation (Brigham Young)

Can you discern and understand the dealings of the Lord with this people from the beginning? If we can understand this, it is indeed a matter of great rejoicing to us. All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. If we obtain the glory that Abraham obtained, we must do so by the same means that he did. If we are ever prepared to enjoy the society of Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or of their faithful children, and of the faithful Prophets and Apostles, we must pass through the same experience, and gain the knowledge, intelligence, and endowments that will prepare us to enter into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God. How many of the Latter-day Saints will endur

The God of the 4th Watch (S. Michael Wilcox)

The scriptures are our Father in Heaven’s letters; only He knows more than I did as a father what you and I would need.  There are times in our lives when we need to open the letter and communicate with our Father in Heaven, and understand what He is like and His concern for us.  I would like to share this morning, with you, four letters from my Father in Heaven that have been very important to me—that I hope will be indicative of the power that the scriptures can be for us as we face different trials and challenges of our lives.  The first letter is called "The Fourth Watch." That letter comes from the sixth chapter of Mark.  The Savior has fed the five thousand that day, and in the late afternoon, early evening, He is sending his apostles down into the ship. He will dismiss the multitude. He wishes to pray that evening, and then He will meet the apostles a little later on the shore and they are to pick Him up.  In late afternoon, early evening, the apostles get on the sh

Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to (W. Michael Wilcox)

Amazing talk about the nature of God, answers to prayer, adversity, etc.: https://devotionalarchive.byuh.edu/node/332.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2xdzkEIQk&feature=youtu.be Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to Devotional Talk Given at  Brigham Young University-Hawaii  March 31, 2009 S. Michael Wilcox  Religion Instructor & Author CES Institute of Religion A number of years ago when my daughter was about your age, she was just out of high school, she went to one semester at BYU and then she got an opportunity to go to the Soviet Union (former Soviet Union) and teach English in Russia. Now this was before e-mail and cell phones, and communications between the United States and the Soviet Union were not going to be really good. She was eighteen; we were a little bit worried that there might be moments or times when she would need to talk with a parent, and not be able to because of communication difficulties.  So I decided that I would write her a series