Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Endurance

A dear family friend of mine has gone through a pretty rough year.  Throughout her trials, she has become quite in-tune with the spirit.  Recently, I moved closer to her and have had the opportunity to get to know her better.  She is one incredibly strong woman, and one that I have come to admire completely.

Since being home from my mission this past year, I've had made a lot of mistakes and a lot of discoveries.  It's amazing how much time can change a person and their desires.  I've often thought about who I'd like to be with, who I'd like to date and what traits I truly admire.  I've come up with quite a list of admirable traits, but one of the most important traits that I admire in someone is their ability to converse about the gospel, church, scriptures, teachings, etc, without feeling embarrassed to.  I love when I can have a conversation with someone and the gospel or a principle is brought up.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a deeply spiritual conversation, by any means.  Just the fact that I can talk to someone about doctrine or the spirit, to me, shows a sense of comfort, trust and understanding.  It shows me a lot about ones' character.  And when dating, it can tell me whether or not the person will help lift me up, in hopes that I can lift them the same way.

My friend (whom I've known my entire life) has truly been such an amazing example of this to me.  She has been so strong in an incredibly difficult situation and yet has cried upon the Lord to give her strength, of which I can see she has received.  She is a beautiful, intelligent, a hard-worker and wonderfully talented.

I read something today as I was trying to understand the teachings of Isaiah in 2 Nephi.  It is a quote by Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who speaks on the spiritual strength that follows when we place our trust in the Lord:

"As we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we must battle our pain day by day and sometimes hour by hour, even moment by moment; but in the end we understand that marvelous counsel given to the Prophet Joseph Smith as he struggled with his pain of feeling forgotten and isolated in Liberty Jail: 'My son, peace by unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.'  My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior.  'Wait upon the Lord,... look for him.' They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.  Healing comes in the Lord's time and the Lord's way; be patient."

I love how he says, "endure it well."  That seems to me to be the most difficult part of endurance.  As I read that I can't help but imagine how much better I could be enduring my trials, as menial and insignificant as they are- they are there, and Heavenly Father expects me to endure them properly.

I guess one of the reasons I truly appreciate the trait of a person to openly talk about the gospel is that I always end up learning from them on how I could be doing something differently, better, or see my situation from a perspective I have not seen.  I learn so much from others that, when someone holds' back, that's one less thing for me to learn.  Especially during trials.  I was speaking with my friend yesterday, and while I was talking with her I realized a lot of things I should be doing better that would help me through what I personally was going through.

The Lord is amazing and he truly does know what each of us are prepared to handle.  I truly believe that, and if we endure it well, we will be exalted.  It all depends on us.  Often times I know and realize what I could be doing better and procrastinate on making the improvements.  But as long as we are truly willing to make it work, as Monson said, "the Lord will shape the back to bear the burden placed on it."


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