- When we fail to be obedient and accept the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, aren’t we hurting Him who loves us most?
Our suffering physically causes us to have a greater appreciation for the resurrection.
- The suffering in mortality will bring a greater appreciation of the blessings of a resurrected, perfect body.
Elder Hales talks about his parents who are elderly and how they help each other through their trials of growing old.
- Our joy of service in helping our parents in time of need brings us a greater appreciation for one another.
He assures us that we have the strength to see us through our trials and suffering. Our trials and suffering will never be so strong that we will not be able to endure through them.
- Suffering to develop strength will not exceed our ability to endure to the end.
Concerning trials, Elder Hales explains the benefits that can come to our spiritual lives.
- Trials give us the development of spirituality that we probably never would get if we didn’t have the experience where the very jaws of hell gape open their mouth wide after us. Not only must we survive, but we must develop the ability to have a concern for others while we are suffering. It is a key element in our spiritual growth. As we lose our lives in the service of our fellowmen, we find ourselves.
He reminds us that suffering is everywhere in the world but how we react to our individual issues, is up to us. We can use these experiences to strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ or we can turn from God and blame Him for our suffering.
- Suffering is universal; how we react to suffering is individual. Suffering can take us one of two ways. It can be a strengthening and purifying experience combined with faith, or it can be a destructive force in our lives if we do not have the faith in the Lord’s atoning sacrifice. The purpose of suffering, however, is to build and strengthen us. We learn obedience by the things we suffer. We should be humbled and drawn to the Lord, as in the case of the prodigal son who appreciated his home only after going into the world and experiencing sorrow when he shut out his loved ones. So suffering in his case was a vital part of his repentance. When suffering comes as a consequence of sin, it should lead to repentance.
When we make mistakes in our lives, it can cause us to think we are not worthy of God's love, that we are less than worthy of being called His child. Elder Hales warns us against this type of thought.
- After a number of mistakes and failures to live as we know we should, we may lose confidence in ourselves and have a poor self-image of who we are and what we are capable of becoming. We may forget that we are children of God and have the potential of dwelling with him and his Son if we accept the Atonement and keep the commandments.
Elder Hales concludes with this prayer for all of us.
- It is my prayer that our sorrow and suffering will strengthen our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that our sorrow shall be turned to joy.
We all have sorrow, trials, and suffering in our lives. The true character of who we are is found in our reaction to these trials in our lives. We can blame God for our suffering, we can say it isn't fair, we can say God does not care about us, or we can look at these trials and find light in the things we need to learn from them. My life is not perfect. I have many struggles and many trials but I choose to look for what the Savior is trying to teach me instead of what is unfair about my trials compared to another. How grateful I am for a Savior who understands how I need to be molded and shaped and prepared for the blessing of eternity that are to come. My faith is in His plan and I believe we knows what I need to learn and become to prepare me for eternity.