Sunday, April 28, 2013

Trials

Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 8; Liahona, Apr. 1999, 12
“… Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].”

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

Elder Evan A Schmutz, God Shall Wipe Away All Tears, October 2016 General Conference
“As part of our Heavenly Father’s plan, He allowed sorrow to be woven into our mortal experience.”
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When we view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of faith in Christ, we are able to see that there can be godly purpose in our suffering. The faithful can experience the truth of Peter’s seemingly contradictory counsel. He wrote, ‘If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye.’2 As we apply our ‘hearts to understanding,’3 we can increase in our ability to both endure our trials well and learn from—and be refined by—them. Such understanding provides an answer to the ageless question ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’”
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God invites us to respond with faith to our own unique afflictions in order that we may reap blessings and gain knowledge that can be learned in no other way.”
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In an intimate and reflective passage, Paul tells us of an unnamed ‘thorn’ in his flesh, which caused him great pain and brought him three times to his knees, begging the Lord to take it from him. In answer to Paul’s prayers, the Lord did not remove the thorn but did speak peace and give understanding to his heart, saying, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ With new understanding, Paul was able to accept and be grateful for the thorn he was given. He said, ‘Most gladly therefore will I … glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’12
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“...we learn how to succor those in need of succor...”
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When we find ourselves laboring through tribulation, it can be difficult to see our trials as signposts on our personal trail of discipleship. But whether we find ourselves at times in the dark valley of despair or on the high road of happiness, learning from and feeling compassion for the sufferings of others can be a blessing.”

President Thomas S Monson, The Perfect Path to Happiness, October 2016 General Conference
"We are blessed to have the truth. We have a mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth, that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit. "

Carol F McKonkie, The Soul’s Sincere Desire, October 2016 General Conference
“He suffered, bled, and died to glorify His Father, and His merciful petition on our behalf opens the way for each of us to obtain peace in this life and everlasting life in the world to come. He does not want us to suffer longer or endure more trials than needed.”

Orson F. Whitney, in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98
“All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, … purifies our hearts … and makes us more tender and charitable, … and it is through … toil and tribulation, that we gain the education … which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven.”



Linda S Reeves, Worthy of Our Promised Blessings, September 2015 Women's Conference
Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’”

Richard G Scott, Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority, October 2014 General Conference
The more we develop these habits [of prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and temple attendance], the more anxious is Satan to harm us but the less is his ability to do so.

L Tom Perry, Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families, October 2014 General Conference
Our journey through life has periods of both good times and bad. Each presents different challenges. How we learn to adjust to the changes which come along depends on the foundation on which we build. The gospel of our Lord and Savior provides a sure and solid foundation. It is constructed piece by piece as we gain knowledge of the Lord’s eternal plan for His children.

Jörg Klebingat, Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence

"Some trials come through your own disobedience or negligence. Other trials come because of the negligence of others or simply because this is a fallen world."
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“...acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don’t be immobilized by them, because some of them will be your companions until you depart this earth life.

President Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1975], 97

“If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective. “… Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified? “If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith”


Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Like a Broken Vessel, General Conference October 2013
In striving for some peace and understanding in these difficult matters, 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,

Elder Timothy J Dyches, Wilt Thou Be Made Whole?, General Conference October 2013

As we draw near to Him, we realize that mortality is meant to be difficult and that ‘opposition in all things’ (2 Nephi 2:11) is not a flaw in the plan of salvation. Opposition, rather, is the indispensable element of mortality and strengthens our will and refines our choices. The vicissitudes of life help us fashion an eternal relationship with God—and engrave His image upon our countenance as we yield our hearts to Him (see Alma 5:19).

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W Kimball, 11-21
"If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.

"Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?

"If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith."


Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (1997), 261–62.

“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 prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.”

President Lorenzo Snow, Deseret News, Apr. 11, 1888, 200

Every trial a man goes through, if he is faithful in that trial and does honor to God and his religion he has espoused, at the end of that trial or affliction that individual is nearer to God, nearer in regard to the increase of faith, wisdom, knowledge and power, and hence is more confident in calling upon the Lord for those things he desires. I have known individuals who have trembled at the idea of passing through certain ordeals who after they were through the temptation have said they could approach the Lord in more confidence and ask for such blessings as they desired. …”

Elder Hugh B Brown, The Currant Bush, New Era Jan 1973
“I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants.” ”So I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simple minded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it, and smiled, and said, ‘What are you crying about?’ You know, I thought I heard that currant bush talk. And I thought I heard it say this: ‘How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn't make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.’” “I thought it so much that I answered. I said, ‘Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn't intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’


“Time passed. Years passed, and I found myself in England. I was in command of a cavalry unit in the Canadian Army. I had made rather rapid progress as far as promotions are concerned, and I held the rank of field officer in the British Canadian Army. And I was proud of my position. And there was an opportunity for me to become a general. I had taken all the examinations. I had the seniority. There was just one man between me and that which for ten years I had hoped to get, the office of general in the British Army. I swelled up with pride. And this one man became a casualty, and I received a telegram from London. It said: “Be in my office tomorrow morning at 10:00,” signed by General Turner in charge of all Canadian forces. I called in my valet, my personal servant. I told him to polish my buttons, to brush my hat and my boots, and to make me look like a general because that is what I was going to be. He did the best he could with what he had to work on, and I went up to London. I walked smartly into the office of the General, and I saluted him smartly, and he gave me the same kind of a salute a senior officer usually gives... He said, ‘Sit down, Brown.’ Then he said, ‘I’m sorry I cannot make the appointment. You are entitled to it. You have passed all the examinations. You have the seniority. You’ve been a good officer, but I can’t make the appointment. You are to return to Canada and become a training officer and a transport officer. Someone else will be made a general.’ That for which I had been hoping and praying for ten years suddenly slipped out of my fingers.”


“I saluted him again, but not quite as smartly. I saluted out of duty and went out. I got on the train and started back to my town, 120 miles away, with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. And every click of the wheels on the rails seemed to say, ‘You are a failure. You will be called a coward when you get home. You raised all those Mormon boys to join the army, then you sneak off home.’ I knew what I was going to get, and when I got to my tent, I was so bitter that I threw my cap and my saddle brown belt on the cot. I clinched my fists and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.

“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness and my bitterness.”


President Lorenzo Snow, “Old Folks Are at Saltair Today,” Deseret Evening News, July 2, 1901, 1

"The sacrifices you have made, the hardships you have endured and the privations you have suffered will … sink into insignificance, and you will rejoice that you have obtained the experience which they have furnished. … Some things we have to learn by that which we suffer, and knowledge secured in that way, though the process may be painful, will be of great value to us in the other life."

President Lorenzo Snow, Millennial Star, Apr. 18, 1887, 245

"It is impossible for us to work out our salvation and accomplish the purposes of God without trials or without sacrifices."

President Thomas S Monson, Meeting Your Goliath, New Era June 2008

Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.”

Elder Neal L Anderson - Apostle, Trial of Your Faith, General Conference October 2012

"A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
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When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God. There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large we can’t overcome it together.”

John 14:15-18
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.


Elder Ronald A Rasband, Special Lessons, April 2012 General Conference
“Some might ask when faced with such suffering, how could Almighty God let this happen? And then that seemingly inevitable question, why did this happen to me? Why must we experience disease and events that disable or call precious family members home early or extend their years in pain? Why the heartaches?

“At these moments we can turn to the great plan of happiness authored by our Heavenly Father. That plan, when presented in the pre-earth life, prompted us all to shout for joy.2 Put simply, this life is training for eternal exaltation, and that process means tests and trials. It has always been so, and no one is spared.”

President Boyd K Packer, And a Little Child Shall Lead Them, General Conference April 2012“No pain will last forever. It is not easy, but life was never meant to be either easy or fair. “

Matthew 7:24-27
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

My Commentary
Even though the wise man built his house upon a rock, the trials did not cease to beat upon his house. The wind blew and the floods rose up.

Jose L Alonso of the Seventy, Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time, without Delay, General Conference, October 2011

When we serve our neighbor, we help those who are in need. In the process we may find solutions to our own difficulties.


My Commentary
Joseph, son of Israel, was in prison until he was 30 even though he was faithful to the lord. He could've said why me and give up, but he stayed faithful and eventually helped two nations (the Egyptians and the Israelites) stay alive during seven years of famine. He would not have been in a position to help them if he hadn't gone through the trials he had been through and been in the places god had put him through those trials.


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, From a talk given at the Provo (Utah) Missionary Training Center on 20 June 2000, Missionary Work and the Atonement"How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?"


Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.


John 9:1-3
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.


Elder James B. Martino, All Things Work Together for Good, General Conference, April 2010 
"Second, when we are faced with trials, we must learn to not complain or murmur. Nephi, after a great vision of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, told us: 'Wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.'4 We must always attempt to correct the problem and overcome the trial, but instead of asking 'Why me?' or “What did I do to deserve this?” maybe the question should be 'What am I to do? What can I learn from this experience? What am I to change?'"


2 Nephi 2:11
  11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.


Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-8
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; 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.
8The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?