- The purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.” Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”
Elder Hales explains what he means by the term "wait upon the Lord."
- What, then, does it mean to wait upon the Lord?
- In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
- To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”
- It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
- Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”
- As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience” and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”
- Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast” and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”
- It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ” and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”
- As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,” knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”
- And we “cast not away … [our] confidence” that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good.”
- Those afflictions will come in all shapes and sizes. Job’s experience reminds us what we may be called upon to endure. Job lost all his possessions, including his land, house, and animals; his family members; his reputation; his physical health; and even his mental well-being. Yet he waited upon the Lord and bore a powerful personal testimony.
Elder Hales tells us that patience is key to doing the Father's will. He assures us that we can't always set the timeline, but we can be assured that the answers will come. The encourages us to have an eternal view and not a temporary one.
- We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter. This may be true for some promises in our patriarchal blessings and for some blessings for family members. Let us not give up on the Lord. His blessings are eternal, not temporary.
In my life, I am sometimes impatient when it comes to wanting answers to life's questions. This talk reminds me that I need to have more faith in the timing of the Savior's will for me and my life. Often I want things now, I expect immediate blessings, and I don't want to take time to wait for those answers to come. I am reminded that I need to take time to ponder, listen, and act on the little promptings that I receive in my life.