Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten" -- Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Understanding, learning from, and being thankful for hard trials is a tough thing. But Elder Christofferson says:

"Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct."

This is so very true. He is indeed a loving Father. An earthly father can show love for his children by providing for them, but not crippling them by providing too much. A good father allows his children to struggle and experience hardships, so they can deal with that problem, or a myriad like it, on their own the next time it comes around.

Elder Christofferson also points out 3 purposes of chastening:

"1) to persuade us to repent
2) to refine and sanctify us
3) at time to redirect out course in life to what God knows is a better plan."

The last one is interesting to me. Have you ever felt "derailed"? That the path you thought was good suddenly was ripped out from under your feet? I believe this happens to all of us. And the most natural reaction is to be angry at God for the misfortune. Although it seems contrary to reason, we should rather praise God for the blessing He has given us in removing us from a bad place and giving us a chance to start over.

One of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon is when the people of Alma are in bondage to Amulon as their slaves, and are commanded not to pray or they will be put to death.

Those wonderful people did not deserve that trial they were given -- but that is not how trials work. They are given to all to refine and make us stronger.

So they could not pray aloud, but they prayed in their hearts and the Lord could hear their pleas for help and pledged to deliver them from bondage. But in the interim, the Lord promised to make their slave labors light, so they could not even feel the burdens on their backs.

Lo and behold, the Lord did provide them with inspiration and knowledge on how to escape and they went free.

What I glean from this story is:

1) Bad things happen to good people

2) Instead of always saying "help me outta this trial!!" try asking "help relieve my burdens in this trial."

3) The Lord is always mindful of our condition. He never leaves us.

This talk just really helped me to better understand why we have to endure hard times and has hopefully prepared me better for the tough times ahead.

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