Maintaining Our Faith Through Trials
That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger
- Sign going into the locker room at high school. Also in our weight room.
- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin once told of farmers in the hot desert of northwest Mexico who “grow varieties of corn and beans that are unusually hardy and drought resistant. These varieties survive and flourish in a harsh climate where other plants would wither and die. One of these plants is the white tepary bean. Its seed will sprout and the plant will grow even when very little rain falls. It sends its roots as deep as six feet into the rocky, sandy earth to find the moisture it needs. It can flower and fruit in the 115-degree (Fahrenheit) desert temperatures with only one yearly rainfall. Its foliage remains remarkably green, with little irrigation, even in the heat of mid-July.”
- Elder Wirthlin suggested: “Perhaps members of the Church could emulate the example of these hardy, sturdy plants. We should send our roots deep into the soil of the gospel. We should grow, flourish, flower, and bear good fruit in abundance despite the evil, temptation, or criticism we might encounter. We should learn to thrive in the heat of adversity” (Apr. 1989)
- Pres. Woodruff serving in 1835 in the southern States and getting lost at night in a raging storm story.
- “We crossed streams nearly twenty times… But the Lord was merciful unto us in the midst of our troubles, for while we were groping in the dark, running the risk of killing both ourselves and [our] animals, by riding off precipitous bluffs, a bright light suddenly shone round about us, and revealed our perilous situation, as we were upon the edge of a deep gulf. The light continued with us until we found a house, and learned the right road.”
- Commenting on this experience, President Woodruff said, “We then went on our way rejoicing, though the darkness returned and the rain continued.”
- That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Trials Will Occur In Our Lives – How Will We React?
- E + R + O
- Experiences in life + our Response = Outcome
- The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, … knocking off a corner here and a corner there. Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty”
- Elder Richard G. Scott said: “When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?”
- “While we sometimes feel and have felt in days that are past and gone, to complain because we meet with oppression, persecution, and affliction, yet I wish to say to my brethren and sisters that these things are the heritage of the Saints of God. … I have never read of the people of God in any dispensation passing through life, as the sectarian world would say, on flowery beds of ease, without opposition of any kind. … We have been called to pass through trials many times, and I do not think we should complain, because if we had no trials we should hardly feel at home in the other world in the company of the Prophets and Apostles who were sawn asunder, crucified, etc., for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ.
- In the dispensations and providences of God to man it seems that we are born to suffer pain, affliction, sorrows and trials; this is what God has decreed that the human family shall pass through; and if we make a right use of this probation, the experience it brings will eventually prove a great blessing to us, and when we receive immortality and eternal life, exaltation, kingdoms, thrones, principalities and powers with all the blessings of the fulness of the gospel of Christ, we shall understand and comprehend why we were called to pass through a continual warfare during the few years we spent in the flesh.
- “What is anything we can do or suffer, to be compared with the multiplicity of kingdoms, thrones, and principalities that God has revealed to us?” Pres. Wilford Woodruff
If We Do Our Duty – We Are Safe
- Robert E. Lee - career soldier, a servant of the Nation and his home state of VA
- Graduated the USMA without receiving a single demerit in 4 years.
- Spoke of secession as ‘anarchy’
- Mentor was the great General Winfield Scott
- Was considered the top choice to lead the Federal armies at the start of hostilities once SC seceded.
- “I shall mourn for my country and for the welfare and progress of mankind. If the Union is to be dissolved and the Government disrupted, I shall return to my native state and share the miseries of my people, and save in defense will draw my sword on none.”
- “Duty, then is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less.” Robert E. Lee
- Sublime means noble
- History has clearly shown that R. E. Lee executed what he felt with all his might to be his duty.
“We are safe as long as we do our duty,” taught President Wilford Woodruff. “No matter what trials or tribulations we may be called to go through, the hand of God will be with us and sustain us.” In teaching this principle, President Woodruff spoke from experience. He endured religious and political persecution, mob violence, opposition to missionary work, illness, deaths of family members and friends, and the everyday trials of life. But he responded to such adversity with faith rather than despair, trusting the Lord’s promises and finding strength in his own testimony of the gospel.
“Calamities and troubles are increasing in the earth, and there is a meaning to these things. Remember this, and reflect upon these matters. If you do your duty, and I do my duty, we’ll have protection, and shall pass through the afflictions in peace and in safety. “
“It takes independence of mind, honesty of heart, faith in God and firmness of character to live the life of a Latter-day Saint, in the face of a frowning world, and in the midst of trials and troubles and persecution.”
- Daniel was prepared to enter the den of lions;
- the three Hebrew children [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego] were not afraid of the fate that awaited them
- the Apostles were valiant for the truth and shrank not from death for its sake,
- “Because, in the first place, they had the truth and they knew it for themselves; and in the second place, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, sustained them as that power alone can in all the trying scenes through which the people of God are called to pass. And this is so today.” Pres. Woodruff
President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“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.
“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”
- Serve in the Kingdom!!!
- Enduring adversity will make us stronger
- How will we react to our trials?
- Do our duty in life, and God will guide us through