I am entering my final week as a missionary. It’s hard to believe just how fast the time has gone. It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but it was definitely the one of most value. I love being a missionary in Taiwan!!
This week all of our lessons and my personal studies seemed to be based around the same principle. That of enduring to the end.
This is what people deem to be the hardest part of any task. When you look at the 5 steps of the Doctrine of Christ, it definitely is the longest one, but it is of the most value.
Enduring to the end is a sanctification process filled with making covenants, ennobling trials, and tremendous growth.
Hold up…“ennobling”? What does that mean?
Elder Neal A. Maxwell said it best, “… Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].”
But the trials are hard…they’re irritating…in the moment, nobody wants them. What do we do?
Anyone ever read about the Apostle Paul? He definitely had his fair share of afflictions. In a passage from 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells us about this “thorn” in his flesh, which caused him a lot of pain and brought him to his knees in prayer, begging the Lord to take it from him. What was God’s answer? Because He sure didn’t just take it away. The answer Paul received was along the lines of, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” so what was his response? He said, “Most gladly therefore will I … glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
So am I trying to say that these trials and these “thorns” give us access to different aspects of Christ’s Atonement? That’s exactly what I’m trying to say.
Elder Evan A. Schmutz once said, “Many of us have pleaded with God to remove the cause of our suffering, and when the relief we seek has not come, we have been tempted to think He is not listening. I testify that, even in those moments, He hears our prayers, has a reason for allowing our afflictions to continue, and will help us bear them.”
He is with you in the times of trial, and even better yet, He has promised incredible blessings to those who endure with patience.
Revelations 7:17 and 21:4 both promise that, “God shall wipe away all [the] tears from [our] eyes.”
And in D&C 58 we are promised, “he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven” because, “for after much tribulation come the blessings.”
I have seen this principle time and time again on my mission. Enduring to the end can be hard, sometimes the suffering unwanted, but the blessings and growth that we receive are far more than we can imagine. Trials have the ability to teach us a lot about eternal perspective. Elder Schmutz also said, “As we acquire this eternal perspective in our lives, our capacity to endure grows, we learn how to succor those in need of succor, and we come to appreciate and even express gratitude for the experiences God allows us to have as tutors in the path to eternal life.”
All of our trials are for our good. This is why “bad things happen to good people.”
It’s hard to just tell someone this and have them believe it though. We tried in many lessons this week. However they will never truly understand until they experience it for themselves.
I know that God and Christ are with us every step of the way in this sanctification process of enduring to the end.
I love you all so so so much!!!