When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And these things shall give thee experience

I think it is important to realize that hardships and difficulties come to us largely for three reasons.  Sometimes, it is because of our own sin, something we did to bring those circumstances to pass.  Sometimes, it is because of the sins of others.  Someone else has done something that has had consequences for us and our daily experiences.  And sometimes, the hardships and difficulties are just a part of everyday living.  It is just something that happens.  We need to make the effort to learn and grow from our afflictions. 
I don't believe that the Lord ever causes bad things to happen to us, although, I do believe that He allows things to happen to us.  I also think that if He knows how many feathers are on a sparrow, He knows just what you and I need to help us along our journey.  Just because we are His people does not exempt us from the trials of this world.  As a matter of fact, if you read through your scriptures, you will see example after example of righteous men and women who suffered because it was part of this life and part of their individual experience. 

I wonder if Abinidi ever cried out and asked the Lord, "Why me?"
I wonder if Alma ever asked why God sent him "That son?"
Did Job curse God?  or bless Him??
Did Ruth cry out that life was not fair because her husband had died?  Did she go back home to her family because things were too hard?
Did Mary curse God because He took her son?
Did Christ refuse to go to Gethesemene because he would bleed from every poor and would that He might not drink the bitter cup?

Each of these sons and daughters of God were able to bear the burdens that the Lord gave them without blame or ridicule.  Why does it seem so much harder for us to bear our burdens in the same way?   We are all asked to bear our burdens.  As a matter of fact, we are asked to "bear one anothers burdens, mourn with those who mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.  And to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things."  Mosiah 18:9 
Maybe the questions that we ask should be: 
What are you doing with your trials? 
How are you walking in His footsteps? 
Are you standing as a witness of God at all times, and in all things and in all places? 
Maybe we need to be focusing more on what we can DO instead of on what is happening to us.   That is always a challenge. 

Christ also teaches us in the New Testament:
"In the world ye shall have tribulation:  But be of good cheer;  I have overcome the world".  John 16:33

"Be of good cheer" seems to be a common theme in the scriptures.  Some of my favorite "Cheer" scriptures that I read when I am not cheerful, can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants: 

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.  D&C 68:6

"Ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along."  D&C 78:18

"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." 
D&C 123:17

Elder Orson F. Whitney said:
“The Prophet was lying in a dungeon [Liberty, Missouri] for the gospel’s sake. He called upon God, ‘who controlleth and subjecteth the devil,’ and God answered telling him that his sufferings should be but ‘a small moment.’ ‘Thou art not yet as Job,’ said the Lord, ‘thy friends do not contend against thee.’ Job’s friends, it will be remembered, tried to convince him that he must have done something wrong or those trials would not have come upon him. But Job had done no wrong; it was ‘without cause’ that Satan had sought to destroy him. God said to Joseph: ‘If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; perils among robbers; perils by land and sea; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the billowing surge conspire against thee, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good .’

“There is the reason. It is for our development, our purification, our growth, our education and advancement, that we buffet the fierce waves of sorrow and misfortune; and we shall be all the stronger and better when we have swum the flood and stand upon the farther shore.” ( Improvement Era, Nov. 1918, pp. 5–6.)

May you cheerfully, bear your burdens and grow from them today and always.

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