Sunday, April 18, 2010

GC Recap #22 - Continue in Patience

As I was browsing through the talk titles this one jumped out to me. It's really what I need right now. It was given in the priesthood session of conference.

President Uchtdorf said, "Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait. Some even feel their blood pressure rise when their line at the grocery store moves slower than those around them.

Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace."

After giving a story about his struggle to learn English he said, "I learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort.

"There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

He later went on and said, "The children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they could enter the promised land. Jacob waited 7 long years for Rachel. The Jews waited 70 years in Babylon before they could return to rebuild the temple. The Nephites waited for a sign of Christ’s birth, even knowing that if the sign did not come, they would perish. Joseph Smith’s trials in Liberty Jail caused even the prophet of God to wonder, “How long?”

"In each case, Heavenly Father had a purpose in requiring that His children wait.

"Every one of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer."

He then said, "Brigham Young taught that when something came up which he could not comprehend fully, he would pray to the Lord, “Give me patience to wait until I can understand it for myself.” And then Brigham would continue to pray until he could comprehend it.

"We must learn that in the Lord’s plan, our understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.” In short, knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience."

"...Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness."

And then, " Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings." I love that.

"Patience is a process of perfection. The Savior Himself said that in your patience you possess your souls. Or, to use another translation of the Greek text, in your patience you win mastery of your souls. Patience means to abide in faith, knowing that sometimes it is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most. This was true in the time of the Savior. It is true in our time as well, for we are commanded in these latter days to “continue in patience until ye are perfected."

And in conclusion he said, "the work of patience boils down to this: keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly Father; serve Him with meekness and Christlike love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and never give up. The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness. They will help us to become...faithful disciples of our Master, Jesus Christ."

Right now, I am struggling with this principle so much. At times we are promised blessing that don't seam to be happening. This can be so frustrating, depressing and many times faith is questioned. This week has been especially hard for me. Although I am nowhere near the end, although I still wait and pray for these promises to be fulfilled, I can look back at this week and see his hand in my spiritual development. I have become more humble, more prayerful, I have searched for answers in ways that should have been habits long ago. I see His hand in this. And although I would give so much right now to have those blessing fulfilled, I would also not trade this much needed growth I can slowly fill myself going through. Needless to say, this talk was very much needed and appreciated right now.

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