Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gospel Topic Tuesday: Trials

I've had a few thoughts on what topic to write on today. I discussed some thoughts with Jared and he advised that the two topics I was debating go hand in hand. While that is true I still feel that one particular topic is the one I need to share today but the second topic will be touched on in part.


We all face trials. Each day of our lives there are trials placed before us. Some are big and last months or years, other's are small and are over in a day or a few weeks. Why do we have trials? We have trials to teach us lessons and prepare us for the future. President James E. Faust said, "The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process." (James E. Faust, “Refined in Our Trials")

Sometimes our trials seem like they are more than we can bear but I've found comfort in a scripture that states:"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13) Does that not bring comfort? Even when in the midst of a trial and you don't know how you will make it through, does that not bring comfort? Heavenly Father loves us so much and will not give us trials that we cannot handle. I've experienced many trials in my life that I've thought I would not make it through yet here I am. The Lord always provides a way.

Now sometimes the trials we experience we go through because of poor choices we make. President James E. Faust said the following: "Unfortunately, some of our greatest tribulations are the result of our own foolishness and weakness and occur because of our own carelessness or transgression. Central to solving these problems is the great need to get back on the right track and, if necessary, engage in each of the steps for full and complete repentance. Through this great principle, many things can be made fully right and all things better."(James E. Faust, “Refined in Our Trials") How true it is! I've made several mistakes in my life where I found myself off of the straight and narrow and down a dark and lonely road. Could I have avoided this trail (or trials)? Yes but I didn't. I had to go through the repentance process and learn how to use the atonement and get back on the straight and narrow. But again it shows us how much Heavenly Father loves us because he gave us his Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins and provide a way to return to him.

I remember some time ago of a talk that advised to not wonder and wallow in self pity during a trial and ask "Why is this happening to me?" But that we should instead seek to find what it is that we ought to learn from this trial. The talk can be found here by Joseph B. Wirthlin. This talk was given 6 years ago this fall and still I remember it well and try very hard to apply it when I am facing trials. I've felt that I've been better able to take on trials and endure to the end with this type of attitude. I admit it is very easy to have the pity party and cry "Wo is me!" but how much better do I feel, how much quicker do I make it through the trial when I turn to the Lord and ask, "What am I supposed to learn?"

Jared and I will have been married for 5 years this summer. We had both wanted children right away. I always knew I would have children that I would bear myself. But yet it seemed to evade us. I personally had ups and downs with this trial and I know Jared did too. I wondered why I was not being blessed with the opportunity to become a parent and rear children. I turned to the Lord on multiple occasions and was reassured that it would happen some day. It gave me great comfort even though I had to endure years of having no children. But I have looked back over the past several years and I see great blessings. Jared and I have grown close together, we got to experience things we could not have with children, we were blessed with great jobs that provided material things to bless our lives while waiting to have children. I've had time personally to prepare myself for motherhood. I've studied other mothers, read articles, talked with Jared about how we will raise our children and prayed for guidance. It was definitely a hard trial and again I had my ups and downs but the end is here and I know that I've been greatly blessed and I've learned a lot. I've learned how to turn to the Lord and lay my heart at his feet and let him carry me when I could not walk any further. I've learned to look forward to the blessing of motherhood and the responsibility that goes with it. I've learned that my Savior loves me and knows my heartaches and was always there to comfort me.

Richard C. Edgley said the following, "For the faithful, the normal tests and trials of life need not be the enemy of faith. While we don’t necessarily look forward to these obstacles and challenges, we accept them, and we build our lives and faith from them. To the faithful, the very obstacles that we overcome draw us closer to our Heavenly Father by helping us develop a humble, submissive spirit and causing us to be grateful and appreciative of those blessings that flow from a loving Father. In short, these experiences can and often do increase our faith. The faithful do not pray to be spared the trials of life but pray that they may have the strength to rise above them. In so doing they come closer to Heavenly Father and to that state of perfection they are seeking." (Richard C. Edgley, “Keep the Faith”)

I am grateful for the trials I have had in my life. They have strengthened my testimony in the gospel and drawn me closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have learned to rely on them and not myself. Trials are hard but we must endure to the end and trust in the Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Emily. I needed to be reminded. Love you!