Sunday, February 12, 2012

being prepared for eternal life

Today, I continued reading the talk "Adversity" by President Henry B. Eyring. I've read this talk before, and I've heard a lot about why we face adversity, but I wanted the Lord to send His Spirit to teach me something that I need to learn right now. I believe that we can always learn something new, even if we think we can't, when the Spirit inspires our thoughts and we humbly listen to His counsel.

The thoughts that came to my mind come from Alma 32:6-8, which President Eyring references to illustrate the point of how our trials can prepare us to hear God's word. In this case, Alma hasn't had much success among the Zoramites because of their pride and false teachings. When a group of poor and outcast Zoramites comes to him seeking advice on how they can worship God despite being banned from their own synagogues, Alma rejoices because their sufferings had made them humble and prepared them to listen to his message.

Alma then goes on to say how much more blessed are those who humble themselves instead of being humbled by their circumstances. President Eyring talks about a friend of his who had done just that, and was prepared spiritually to remain faithful when he lost his job and could not support his family. He did more than simply preparing food storage or an emergency fund; he was prepared spiritually to have faith in the Lord and trust that things would work out.

I need to be more like the people Alma defines in verse 15:
Yea, he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed—yea, much more blessed than they who are compelled to be humble because of their exceeding poverty.
The phrase "endureth to the end" caught my eye this time reading that verse, since enduring is exactly what I'm trying to learn. It reminds me of D&C 14:7. It clarifies Alma's statement by saying that if we keep the commandments and endure to the end, we will be "more blessed" in that we will receive "eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God." So if we humble ourselves instead of being compelled to be humble, we start down a path of righteous living and faith that will bring us back to full fellowship with our Father in celestial glory!

I hope that, over the next week, I can find some concrete ways that I can humble myself before the Lord. I'm sure just the act of kneeling down in prayer and seeking His will through scripture study will help, but I also want to focus on gratitude and not complaining, no matter how difficult my circumstances may be. I also think it would be good to make sure I always put righteous works before less important things like games or TV. These really are all simple things, but it can be hard to stay focused on the Lord with so many distractions. As I put the Lord first and try my best to do His will before my own, I know that I will be happier and more content with my life, no matter how hard it may become.

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