Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trials and Tribulations

Most of us have experienced some type of heartache and grief.  It is part of the mortal experience and trial of our faith. One of the things that has best helped me through those days, weeks and even years of trial is truth; truth based-upon solid doctrine.

A favorite quote of mine is from Elder Orson F. Whitney who said: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.

That understanding has strengthened me to put my trust in God and endure more faithfully.

In addition to that, Elder Paul V. Johnson recently taught: "Earth life includes tests, trials, and tribulations, and some of the trials we face in life can be excruciating. Whether it be illness, betrayal, temptations, loss of a loved one, natural disasters, or some other ordeal, affliction is part of our mortal experience. Many have wondered why we must face difficult challenges. We know that one reason is to provide a trial of our faith to see if we will do all the Lord has commanded. Fortunately this earth life is the perfect setting to face—and pass—these tests. But these trials are not just to test us. They are vitally important to the process of putting on the divine nature. If we handle these afflictions properly, they will be consecrated for our gain."

It is my personal testimony and witness that the plan of God is perfect and merciful.  He knows that we may suffer much while here in mortality so He provided truths to help us understand some of the why's as well as more perfect faith when we don't.  He is perfectly loving, kind, and merciful.  He is the epitome of righteousness and compassion.  From his 'all knowing' perspective - it is wisdom in Him that we go through some of these things.

President Kimball said that "Being human, we would expel from our lives physical pain and mental anguish and assure ourselves of continual ease and comfort, but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress, we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors. Suffering can make saints of people as they learn patience, long-suffering, and self-mastery. …" 

Thankfully, if we endure well, we shall receive blessings greater than we can now imagine.  It is my witness to all that this is true - and worth any sacrifice we must give to attain it.