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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Endure through Faith

Over the past couple months, my scripture study has focused a lot on how the Lord chastens his people; how we must be patient in affliction; and how we are required to endure to the end. Then recently I've been thinking about how, because of Christ's atonement, he has power to succor and help those that come unto him. In my mind there was a disconnect between those two ideas: 1) That we must patiently endure affliction, and 2) That Christ would carry the burdens of his people. If Christ carried our burdens, what would there be to endure?

In looking back, this line of thinking has caused me a lot of doubt and discouragement-- not doubt in my Savior, but doubt in my own worthiness and ability to exercise faith. I erroneously believed that if I had enough faith, Christ would pick me up and carry me through the hard times. He would take my burdens upon himself and I would not feel them. But then when I experienced hard times and felt pain and sorrow, I wondered what I was doing wrong.

But I think that I am beginning to connect the dots. Christ did take upon himself all of our sins, pains, afflictions, sicknesses, infirmities, and temptations so that he would "know according to the flesh how to succor his people" (D&C 7:12). But His succor does not mean that he will remove our afflictions, but that he will strengthen us so we can endure them. In a very literal sense, Christ walks with us and holds our hand through our mortal experience (see Isaiah 41:13, 42:6). The help he offers is perfect because he knows exactly what we are going through-- he has experienced it for us so he can experience it with us. In some instances he will lift the burden, but because he knows that "all these things shall give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good" (D&C 122:7), he allows us to go through the refiners fire. But he promises, "I will not leave you comfortless" (John 14:18). The scriptures are replete with assurance that Christ will help us, strengthen us, comfort us, and even carry us. Like a spotter in weight-lifting he allows us to exercise our spiritual muscles and to press forward in faith. But when the weight we carry is too heavy for us to bear, he lightens the load just enough for us to be successful. We still have to use all of our strength, but he will never let life's burdens crush us.

Life is somethimes very hard, but we can go forward with the very real hope that because of Jesus Christ, we can "one day rest from all [our] afflictions" (Alma 34:41) and receive a great reward. We will ultimately be free from all pain and sorrow. But our immediate mortal experience requires that we endure to the end with faith in our Savior.


Shana said...

What a beautiful post and testimony! I loved reading this! It is so true. Every word of what you wrote! Love it. You're so wise. I need to do better with scripture study!

Elaine said...

You are the best blogger ever, I have missed seeing your blogs but you have caught up in great style I loved seeing all your pictures and reading your words of wisdom, I so can't wait to see you all soon. Love Ya,

Michelle Pyne said...

This deals with the great question of life: why do difficult and hard things have to happen? You have identified the key to dealing with them. Thanks for sharing your insights and learning.

Angela Draper said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and faith. You said things beautifully.