Tag Archives: patience

It Takes an Act of Faith

 

There have been times in my life when I have felt encompassed in darkness.  I have also reached the point where I have wanted and even tried to end my life… but somehow, I am still here.  I am still needed, as are you.  You are needed.  The Lord needs YOU on HIS side.

 

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for? 

What makes you wait for something?  What makes you not do something?  Are you waiting for an event to happen before you can truly be ‘happy?’  Are you waiting for something extraordinary to happen before you will believe?

I love this video.  It helps to put a lot of things in perspective.  We do not have to wait to be happy or wait to begin believing.  Through Christ, we can do this in whatever circumstance we are in.

Being Good is not enough

"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, 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." -Orson F. Whitney

The title for this post comes from a quote from Paul V. Johnson which states:

“Being good is not enough.  We want to become like the Savior, who learned as He suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.’ The furnace of affliction helps purify even the very best of saints by burning away that dross in their lives and leaving behind pure gold.”

We are given challenges and trials in life to refine us into better people.  We become more than ‘good people’ and more like Christ as we wait upon the Lord through our challenges and hard times in life.  Elder Robert D. Hales recently talked about what it means to wait upon the Lord.  He says in his talk entitled, “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will be Done:”

“In scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust.  To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.”

We can do much to endure through our trials and challenges in life.  We can learn to be happy… to truly be happy with what we have been given in life.  Here is a story shared by Elder Rex D. Pinegar that makes you think more about being happy:

“He was called to serve a mission at age 19. During his initial interview with his mission president, he told him he did not want to be there. He wanted to go home. The president told him he couldn’t send him home. He couldn’t release him because he was not the one who had called him on his mission. He would have to stay. The young elder resigned himself to being in the mission, but he determined he would not work. Every weekly letter to the president contained a request for a release from the mission. In every personal interview with the mission president, he asked to go home.

After one such interview following a zone meeting, the president said, “Okay, Elder, you are going home. I’ve arranged for one of my assistants to remain with your companion.”  The missionary could hardly believe what was happening. They drove to his apartment where he packed up his things, said goodbye to his companion, and then drove away. He was happy!

He was going home!

As they traveled, the missionary began to express his gratitude to the president for allowing him to go home. “Oh,” said the president. “I’m not sending you to your home. I’m taking you to the mission home. I’m turning you over to my wife.”

“But I don’t want to go to the mission home. I want to go to my home,” the missionary insisted. They drove on in silence.

It was dinnertime when they pulled into the driveway of the mission home. The president’s wife came out to the car. With a bright smile she greeted her husband and then welcomed the frustrated missionary to her home with a question: “How are you, Elder?”

With a frown and an angry voice, he told her he was not happy to be there. He wanted to go to his own home. She smiled and said, “Elder, that’s the wrong answer. Now, look at me with a smile and say ‘I’m happy!”

“But I’m not happy! I just want to go home.”

“Wrong answer, Elder! Let’s try that again. How are you, Elder?”

His response was the same. “I’m not happy. I want to go home.”

“Wrong answer!” the mission president’s wife replied.

The fourth time she repeated the question, he was tired of what he considered “her little game,” and responded, without a smile, “Okay, I’m happy.”

“Good,” she said. “Now we can eat dinner!”                                                                                                                                    For four days, whenever the president’s wife saw him, she would pester him with the same question. He continued to reply, “I’m not happy! I want to go home!”

On the fourth night as the elder was walking down the hallway toward his room he saw her coming from the opposite direction. He knew what she was going to say, but this time he would surprise her with the “right answer.” “How are you tonight, Elder?” she asked.

“I’m happy!”

“That’s great, Elder. Now you can go back to work.”

This time he was more emphatic as he responded. He did not want to go to work. He wanted to go home. In a concerned but kind way she invited him to meet with her in the dining room. She had something she wanted to share with him.

As they sat opposite each other at a large table, she looked him squarely in the eyes and told him that he should be a happy, grateful young man. He had the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only true plan of happiness in the world. Only through this plan could he, or anyone, find true joy in living. By following it he could learn everything he needed to know and to do in order to find success and real happiness in life. She told him how the principles of the gospel blessed her life for good; how the power of faith and the atonement of Jesus Christ gave her strength to deal with the challenges and difficulties in life. She assured him that through faith and prayer he would be able to fulfill the mission to which he had been called.

As she expressed her deep feelings of faith and joy in the gospel he was filled with the Spirit and somehow his heart changed. He knew what she was saying was true. He was filled with gratitude that the Lord trusted him and had called him to share this great plan of happiness with others. He felt a strong desire to be a missionary, and he received the strength of faith to continue.

At the conclusion of their conversation, the mission president’s wife sweetly asked,  “How are you, Elder?”

Now, he sincerely responded,  “I’m happy!””

We are each witnesses of Christ.  Let us remember to wait upon the Lord through our trials and through our good times.  The Lord is the one person who will never fail us.  He is there.  Always.

 

Flecks of Gold

In our lives are we constantly seeking the large nuggets of gold and disregarding the little flecks?  Are we waiting for huge, enlightening answers or are we willing to take guidance little by little?

I know that it is a lot harder to choose to learn by the simple, small things.  Many times we get lazy and just want things to be straight forward and deliberate.  We don’t want to have to discern if something is for our benefit or if it is not.  We don’t really want to live our lives in such a way that we are able to hear every little whispering of the Spirit of the Lord to do good or to choose a better path.  We often just  want an answer straight out like a bolt of lightning.

But this is not the way that the Lord usually works with us.  Yes, there are those amazing, grand moments or spiritual experiences, but more often than not, testimony and greater faith come from the simple and small things and accumulate to something of great worth like flecks of gold accumulating to a fortune.

We just have to learn to be patient and to actually work to keep our lives in such a way that we are worthy and able to receive the promptings of the spirit.  The Spirit is sensitive and does not dwell in unholy places.  What is causing you in your life to disregard the little promptings of the spirit?  Is it inappropriate entertainment like movies or music that you just can’t stand to part with?  Is it a certain way of speaking that makes others laugh even when it is crude?  Is it an addiction that you just can’t seem to break?  What are you doing to overcome that?

On the flip side

On the other hand, it is much easier to do the little things than it is to do the big things all of the time, in my opinion.  One is much more effective in changing as he/she chooses something small to start with.  Over time, these small changes add up to something remarkable.  We can change.  We can help people a little at a time.

We do not have to say to ourselves that we are not helping because we did not do something extraordinarily huge.  A simple act is all that is needed.  Let us start today.

The Lord loves each of us.  Let us share His love with others by starting small.  Let us recognize the little things that He daily tries to share with us.

Little by little we can become the people that Heavenly Father knows that we are, and the people that we want to become.

Desiring More…

Do you desire more?

Unmet Desires

There have been many times in my life where I have desired more… More of different things… things that I have desired…  I love the hymn “More Holiness Give Me.”  The lyrics describe some of my desires for more:

“More holiness give me, more strivings within.
More patience in suffering, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Savior, more sense of His care.
More joy in His service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord.
More zeal for His glory, more hope in His Word.
More tears for His sorrows, more pain at His grief.
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains, more longings for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more useful I’d be,
More bless’d and holy, more, Savior, like Thee.”

I love my Savior, and I want so much to be more like Him.  I have wanted so much in my life to know more of Him so that I can come closer to Him.

Trials to pass

Sometimes I have also wanted in my life for trials to pass so that I can continue serving, so that I don’t feel like I am inept or unable to do things.  This scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 98:24 helps to calm those great desires and gives me comfort as I go through trials:

“But if ye bear it patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out as a just measure unto you.”

The Lord knows us perfectly and blesses us as we are patient with trials in our lives.  He knows who we need to help and how much we need to experience in order to best help them.  He knows what we need to learn.

Not getting more right away

Sometimes, well, a lot of the times, our desires to have more do not seem to come right away.  At times, this can be very frustrating.  It has helped me to try to think of the Lord’s timing rather than my own.

The Lord helps us along our way.  He leads us to that which is good and true.  Sometimes, He does not allow us to have more of our desires immediately to actually bless, strengthen, and help us.  I love this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 78: 18:

“Ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.”

We learn piece by piece and little by little.  As we come unto Christ and accept His doctrine, more is given to us.  Though we may have an overwhelming desire to know all or to know more, we do not always have this privilege.

What we do know

We can do much with the things that we do know.  Just because we do not feel like we know much, does not mean that we cannot act on that which we know and have faith to move forward, even without knowing other things.

I can have faith to know that I will one day have an eternal family.  I can have faith to know that I will be with my earthly family in heaven and for eternity as I make and keep sacred covenants.

I can have faith in the Lord’s love to me and others as I feel of His presence in my life.  I do know enough and have faith that as I continue to do the Lord’s will, I will learn more and be able to gain more knowledge day by day and little by little.

Even greater blessings..

How quickly do you satisfy your hunger?

Saving

When I was little, I remember saving whatever change I could find so that I could buy something special.  I remember that sometimes it would take a long time before I had enough to buy a new toy.  I also remember putting my change in a piggy bank for when we went on vacation.

One year we actually had a large jar that we used for our vacation fund as a family.  We had to put aside immediate wants for this greater desire or want to go on a vacation to see a different part of the United States.

Many times what we may want or think we need in the present is something far less than what we may need or want in the future.  We have to be willing to wait and move onward without satisfying present appetites.

Enduring

During this period of saving, we may not have as many things immediately as we would like to have.  We in essence live below a comfort level at times.  Some, in different circumstances, may look at this period of saving as a hard trial in their life that does not seem to go away.

In my life now, I have daily had to be patient with myself in my limited capabilities.  I recognize the things that I have to not rush into all of the time in order to stay mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy.

What helps us to endure through this period is keeping our focus on what we ultimately want.  It may be extremely hard at times to not give in to carnal appetites and satisfy our wants.  As we remember our purpose and ask for help when help is needed, we can make it to our desired goal.

While we endure, we are not just sitting.  We are moving forward towards our goal, by not giving in to appetites and by making steps forward towards our goal as we put money into our savings, or as we gain new skills or new qualities.

The Ultimate Blessing

The greatest blessing that we can each receive is to be able to live with Heavenly Father again.  We are able to do this as we obey His commandments and endure to the end.  As we follow the example of Christ, we become more fit for the kingdom of God.

This principle of waiting patiently and enduring is evident in many aspects of our lives, but the overarching reason for this is so that we can return to our home in heaven again.

What helps you to not lose your eternal perspective?  What helps you to remember to be diligent in enduring to the end?  Are you just sitting and waiting for something to happen?  Are you just not satisfying carnal desires?  Or are you saving and denying yourself of immediate gratifications?  Is what you are doing working?  How can you make it more effective?

I know that Heavenly Father helps us to achieve our righteous desires.  He helps us to realize that patience is indeed a virtue.  We are blessed so much greater when we are patient and endure well.  I have seen this in my life as I was able to live through depression with the help of many others.  Now, I can say that my joy is much deeper.  I appreciate life so much more.  By living with the contrast and exact opposite of that, I have been able to be filled with greater joy and happiness in my life.  My life is a gift from my Heavenly Father.

He waits to bless me and you with the ultimate blessing of eternal life.  Let us live worthy of receiving this great gift.