- The pioneers—who left their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois, and elsewhere, traversed the great plains, and settled in the Salt Lake Valley—knew who they were. They were members of the Lord’s Church newly restored to the earth. They knew their purpose or goal—to not only find Zion but to establish it. Because they knew that, they were willing to endure all manner of hardships to bring it about.
He shares that through our trials, we learn how strong we are and the real abilities we have.
- Often we do not know what we can endure until after a trial of our faith. We are also taught by the Lord that we will never be tested beyond that which we can endure.
We all have a mission on earth. It is to be born and return to our Father in Heaven. Our course to achieve this can have lasting effects both positively and negatively on our families and generations to come. We need to make the right choices and be a good example to those that are watching us.
- We were not sent by Father in Heaven just to be born. We were sent to endure and return to Him with honor. Dwelling in the world is part of our mortal test. The challenge is to live in the world yet not partake of the world’s temptations which will lead us away from our spiritual goals. When one of us gives up and succumbs to the wiles of the adversary, we may lose more than our own soul. Our surrender could cause the loss of souls who respect us in this generation. Our capitulation to temptation could affect children and families for generations to come.
Building a legacy of saints in our families takes time and endurance. It takes support and help from others to endure and make it to our ultimate goal. We should never think we are alone on this journey to endure to the end.
- The Church is not built in one generation. The sound growth of the Church takes hold over three and four generations of faithful Saints. Passing the fortitude of faith to endure to the end from one generation to the next generation is a divine gift of unmeasured blessings to our progeny. Also, we cannot endure to the end alone. It is important that we help by lifting and strengthening one another.
Trials will come to our lives. It is not a matter of if they will come, it is when. This is part of God's plan to test us, grow us, and make us into something greater than we ever thought we could be.
- We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things. It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning.
Elder Hales offers some practical advice for each of us. We would be wise to try to see how we can do better in these areas.
- When we take an assignment, we have to think, “I will learn how to accomplish this task by all honorable means, by doing it the Lord’s way. I will study, ask questions, search, and pray. I have the potential to keep learning. I am not finished until the assignment is completed.” This is enduring to the end: seeing things through to completion.
- There is more to endurance than just surviving and waiting for the end to overtake us. To endure to the end takes great faith. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus “fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
- It takes great faith and courage to pray to our Heavenly Father, “Not as I will, but as thou wilt.” The faith to believe in the Lord and endure brings great strength. Some may say if we have enough faith, we can sometimes change the circumstances that are causing our trials and tribulations. Is our faith to change circumstances, or is it to endure them? Faithful prayers may be offered to change or moderate events in our life, but we must always remember that when concluding each prayer, there is an understanding: “Thy will be done.” Faith in the Lord includes trust in the Lord. The faith to endure well is faith based upon accepting the Lord’s will and the lessons learned in the events that transpire.
- As we put our faith in the Lord and keep our focus on the eternities, we will be blessed to be able to accept whatever trial we are given, for life on earth, as we know it, is only temporary, and, if we endure it well, the Lord has promised us: “And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.”
I appreciate the reminder that we are here on earth for a purpose. Our ultimate goal is to return to live with God again. We will be able to endure the trials of life as we turn to the Lord, implement meaningful changes in our lives that put us on the straight and narrow path, and continually press forward until the end. We need to recognize the value of people helping us on this path. We all have a ward family to help us along the path. We need to turn to others for help and in return, we will be given the opportunity to help others that need our help.