The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

November 3, 2017

Adversity, General Authorities, Maxwell, Patience, Tests, Trust

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This is a doctrine, likewise, which reminds us mortals that we do not have all of the data. There are many times when we must withhold judgment and trust God lest we misread, as did Jesus’ disciples when they inquired about the man blind from birth and Jesus gave the immortal reply: ‘Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him’ (see John 9:1-3).

Trusting God’s plan even in the midst of ‘all these things’ is thus made easier, because he has so declared his purposes, plainly and simply, concerning the proving and tutoring dimensions of mortality.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
But for a Small Moment, p94
(Paragraph break added to enhance online readability)

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October 30, 2017

Adversity, General Authorities, General Conference, Holland, Hope

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Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Safety for the Soul,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 88–90

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October 26, 2017

Adversity, Change, Clayton, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on Clayton – Develop a Reservoir of Empathy

No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.”1 We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts.

Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection. They invite us to yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and [put] off the natural man and [become] a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and [become] as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”2 Thus burdens become blessings, though often such blessings are well disguised and may require time, effort, and faith to accept and understand. Four examples may help explain this:

• First, Adam was told, “Cursed shall be the ground for thy sake,” which meant for his benefit, and “by the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.”3 Work is a continual burden, but it is also a continual blessing “for [our] sake,” for it teaches lessons we can learn only “by the sweat of [our] face.”

• Second, Alma observed that the poverty and “afflictions [of the poor among the Zoramites] had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word.”4 He added, “Because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye.”5 Our economic challenges may help prepare us to hear the word of the Lord.

• Third, because of the “exceedingly great length of [their] war,” many Nephites and Lamanites “were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.”6 Political unrest, social disorder, and, in some areas of the world, modern Gadianton robbers may humble us and motivate us to seek heavenly shelter from societal storms.

• Fourth, Joseph Smith was told that the terrible things he suffered for years at the hands of his enemies would “give [him] experience, and … be for [his] good.”7 The suffering we experience through the offenses of others is a valuable, though painful, school for improving our own behavior.

Further, bearing up under our own burdens can help us develop a reservoir of empathy for the problems others face. The Apostle Paul taught that we should “bear … one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”8 Accordingly, our baptismal covenants require that we should be “willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be] willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”9

Elder L. Whitney Clayton

That Your Burdens May Be Light,” Ensign, Nov 2009, 12–14

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October 22, 2017

Adversity, Thomas More

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We may not look at our pleasures to go to heaven in featherbeds; it is not the way, for our Lord Himself went thither with great pain, and by many tribulations, which was the path wherein He walked thither, and the servant may not look to be in better case than his Master.

Thomas More
Quoted by William Roper in The Mirrour of Vertue in Worldly Greatness; or, The life of Sir Thomas More, page 26

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October 10, 2017

Adversity, General Authorities, Kimball

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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.

President Spencer W. Kimball
Faith Precedes the Miracle, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1972, p. 98

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October 3, 2017

Adversity, Discouragement, Meekness, New Testament, Old Testament

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Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4

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[T]he Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.

Isaiah 61:1-3

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And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelations 21:4

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September 26, 2017

Adversity, Andersen, Faith, General Authorities, General Conference

Comments Off on Approached with Faith, Refining Experiences Bring a Deeper Conversion of the Savior’s Reality

Will we understand everything? Of course not. We will put some issues on the shelf to be understood at a later time.

Will everything be fair? It will not. We will accept some things we cannot fix, and forgive others when it hurts.

Will we feel separated on occasion from those around us? Absolutely.

Will we be astonished at times to see the anger a few feel toward the Lord’s Church, and their efforts to steal the struggling faith of the weak? Yes. But this will not deter the growth or destiny of the Church, nor need it impede the spiritual progress of each of us as disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

. . . .

As we follow the Savior, without question there will be challenges that confront us. Approached with faith, these refining experiences bring a deeper conversion of the Savior’s reality. Approached in a worldly way, these same experiences cloud our view and weaken our resolve. Some we love and admire slip from the straight and narrow path, and “walk no more with Him.”

. . . .

Offense comes in many costumes and continually finds its way on stage. People we believe in disappoint us. We have unanticipated difficulties. Our life doesn’t turn out exactly the way we were expecting. We make mistakes, feel unworthy, and worry about being forgiven. We wonder about a doctrinal issue. We learn of something spoken from a Church pulpit 150 years ago that bothers us. Our children are treated unfairly. We are ignored or underappreciated. It could be a hundred things, each very real to us at the time.

. . . .

If we are not watchful, our injured spirit will retreat back into the cold, dark crust of our former bloated ego, leaving behind the warm, healing light of the Savior.

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Saturday Morning Session
General Conference, October 2010

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July 17, 2017

Adversity, Forgiveness, Video

Comments Off on The Savior Working Through Me

Because I have been forgiven much, I, too must forgive.

Among many other things, our Savior is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, a Savior for our sorrows and for our grief.

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June 19, 2017

Adversity, Alma, C.S. Lewis, Fundamental Principles, Pain

Comments Off on And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain, page 91

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And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

Alma 7:11

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June 17, 2017

Adversity, Hymns

Comments Off on Abide With Me

Abide with me! fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens. Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me!

 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day.
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away.
Change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me!

 

I need thy presence ev’ry passing hour.
What but thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Thru cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me!

Abide With Me, Hymns 166

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