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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Adversity

"During our mortal schooling in submissiveness, we will see the visible crosses that some carry, but other crosses will go unseen. A few individuals may appear to have no trials at all, which, if it were so, would be a trial in itself. Indeed, if, as do trees, our souls had rings to measure the years of greatest personal growth, the wide rings would likely reflect the years of greatest moisture — but from tears, not rainfall." — Neal A. Maxwell, "We Will Prove Them Herewith," p. 7

"There are times when you simply have to righteously hang on and outlast the devil until his depressive spirit leaves you. As the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high" (D&C 121:7-8)." — "Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 396

"Our heavenly Father has designed that His Spirit should dwell in us to comfort and cheer us in our onward march through life, in times of adversity, to give us strength and courage to bear up faithfully under all trials that may be brought upon us, that we may maintain our integrity to the end." — George F. Richards, "Conference Report," October 1906, p. 68

"When you face adversity, you can be led to ask many questions. Some serve a useful purpose; others do not. To ask, Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this, now? What have I done to cause this? will lead you into blind alleys. It really does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God. Rather ask, What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial? Willing sacrifice of deeply held personal desires in favor of the will of God is very hard to do. Yet, when you pray with real conviction, 'Please let me know Thy will' and 'May Thy will be done,' you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father." — Richard G. Scott, "Trust in the Lord," General Conference, October 1995

"A worthwhile attitude for all of us could well be, 'Help us, O Lord, to remember thy love for us and help us to be fortified by Thy strength when our eyes are blurred with tears of sorrow and our vision is limited.' It is expedient for all of us, particularly those who may be weighed down by grief because of acts of misconduct or misfortune, to recall that even the Prophet Joseph Smith had hours of despair because of his very trying experiences in the Liberty Jail. Perhaps he too was entitled to question, 'What did I do wrong? What have I done to displease Thee, O Lord? Where have I failed? Why are the answers to my prayers and pleas withheld?' In response to the feelings of his heart and mind he cried out: 'O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?' (D&C 121:1.) The reassuring response came: 'My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.' (D&C 121:7-8.)" — Marvin J. Ashton, "If Thou Endure It Well," General Conference, October 1984

"Patience is always involved in the spiritual chemistry of life—not only when we try to turn trials and tribulations, the carbon dioxide, as it were, into joy and growth, but it also builds upon the seemingly ordinary experiences to bring about happy, spiritual outcomes. (Neither patience nor photosynthesis is a conspicuous process.)" — Neal A. Maxwell, "Notwithstanding My Weakness," p. 64

"Let us remember — trials are an evidence of a Father's love. They are given as a blessing to his children. They are given as opportunities for growth. Now, how do we approach them? How do we overcome them? How are we magnified by them? There seems to be a reason why we lose our composure in adversity-why we think we can no longer cope with what we're faced with here in this life. There is a reason why we give up, why we 'fall apart at the seams' so to speak. The reason may be so simple that we lose sight of it. Could it be it's because we begin to lose contact with our greatest source of strength— our Father in heaven? He is the key to our enjoying sweetness in adversity-in gaining strength from our trials— he and he alone." — H. Burke Peterson, Conference, Oct. 1973

"Why does God, if He truly loves his children, permit Satan to tempt us and thereby jeopardize our chances to gain the experiences of mortality and return back to enjoy eternal life in His presence? The answer is given by a great prophet-teacher: 'Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one [which is evil] or the other [which is good]' (2 Nephi 2:16). You think about that for a moment. If there were no opposition to good, would there be any chance to exercise your agency or right to choose? To deny you that privilege would be to deny you the opportunity to grow in knowledge, experience, and power. God has given laws with penalties affixed so that man might be made afraid of sin and guided into paths of truth and duty (see Alma 42:20)." — "The Teachings of Harold B. Lee"

"Even though it is true that there must be an 'opposition in all things' [2 Nephi 2:11], none of us has the personal obligation to provide that opposition." — Neal A. Maxwell, "All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience," p. 108

"There will be trials and disappointments to our young people, but I am convinced that any person who has real faith in God and a testimony of this work can endure anything and still keep his spirit sweet. We want our young people prepared so they can endure anything." — "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson," p. 205

Adversity brings knowledge, and knowledge wisdom. - Welsh proverb

"We have a promise of divine assistance in times of need. All of us face times in our lives when we need heavenly help in a special and urgent way. We all have moments when we are overwhelmed by circumstances or confused by the counsel we get from others, and we feel a great need to receive spiritual guidance, a great need to find the right path and do the right thing. In the scriptural preface to this latter-day dispensation, the Lord promised that if we would be humble in such times of need and turn to him for aid, we would 'be made strong, and [be] blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time' (D&C 1:28). That help is ours if we will but seek it, trust in it, and follow what King Benjamin, in the Book of Mormon, called 'the enticings of the Holy Spirit' (Mosiah 3:19). Perhaps no promise in life is more reassuring than that promise of divine assistance and spiritual guidance in times of need. It is a gift freely given from heaven, a gift that we need from our earliest youth through the very latest days of our lives." — "The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter," p. 59

"In speaking of adversity, could I just tell you now that it is one of those things that is going to happen in your life and in my life. We are all going to pass through adversity. It is a requirement. ...Now, when the trials come, what should we do? First of all, we must resist murmuring. We must not criticize or rise up against our Heavenly Father. ...We should be on our knees constantly so that we can receive from our Heavenly Father the assurance that this is part of our trial. Then we should seek to recognize our need to be tutored. We do not know what Heavenly Father has in store for us. ...I pray, brothers and sisters, that when the adversities come--and, as I have mentioned, they will come--we might respond to our Father in Heaven, saying, 'I am not sure why I am having this adversity at this time or at this intensity. I know I will have something to learn. Help me to endure. Just help me to endure this trial that I have.' Then maybe, like the Savior, we will say: 'Not my will, but thine'." — Harold G. Hillam, BYU Devotional Address, June 25, 1996

"In hard times we have a chance to reevaluate and reorder our priorities in life. We learn what is most important to us. The way is open to strengthen faith and testimony." — James E. Faust, "Reach Up For The Light," p. 80

"In relation to events that will yet take place, the kind of trials, troubles, and sufferings which we shall have t o cope with, it is to me a matter of very little moment; these things are in the hands of God, he dictates the affairs of the human family, and directs and controls our affairs; and the great thing that we, as a people, have to do is to seek after and cleave unto our God, to be in close affinity with him, and to seek for his guidance, and his blessing and Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in the right path. Then it matters not what it is nor who it is that we have to contend with, God will give us strength according to our day." — John Taylor, "Journal of Discourses," 18:282

"A life without problems or limitations or challenges -- life without 'opposition in all things,' as Lehi phrased it -- would be, paradoxically but in very fact, be less rewarding and ennobling than one which confronts, even frequently confronts, difficulty and disappointment and sorrow. As beloved Eve said, were it not for the difficulties faced in a fallen world, neither she nor Adam nor any of the rest of us ever would have known 'the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.'" — Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom," General Conference, October 1996

"The rod of iron represents the word of God, that leads us to the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). You must hold firmly to the rod of iron through the mists and darknesses, the hardships and trials of life. If you relax your grip and slip from the path, the iron rod might become lost in the darkness for a time until you repent and regain your grasp of it." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Running Your Marathon," General Conference, October 1989

"Well, Christ's love can be tough. What is he trying to do with us? In his best-seller, The Road Less Traveled (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), Dr. M. Scott Peck said that no matter how much we may pussyfoot around it, all who ask the question 'What is God's love leading to?' come to a single terrifying conclusion: God wants us to become like himself. We are being prepared for godhood, and it hurts; it hurts abominably, but there is peace." — John K. Carmack, "Upheld by the Prayers of the Church," General Conference, April 1984

"We may foolishly bring unhappiness and trouble, even suffering upon ourselves. These are not always to be regarded as penalties imposed by a displeased Creator. They are part of the lessons of life, part of the test. Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of age. Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury. All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect." — Boyd K. Packer, "The Choice," General Conference, October 1980

"No one wants adversity. Trials, disappointments, sadness, and heartache come to us from two basically different sources. Those who transgress the laws of God will always have those challenges. The other reason for adversity is to accomplish the Lord's own purposes in our life that we may receive the refinement that comes from testing. It is vitally important for each of us to identify from which of these two sources come our trials and challenges, for the corrective action is very different." — Richard G. Scott, "Trust in the Lord," General Conference, October 1995

"Learn to accept adversity. No matter who you are or where you serve, you are going to have some. But do not fear the winds of adversity. Remember, a kite rises against the wind, rather than with it!" — Jacob de Jager, "Service and Happiness," General Conference, October 1993

"From my own experience with life’s hardships I have learned that faith in God develops a personal love for Him which is reciprocated through his blessings to us in times of need. To my daughter and to all others who are meeting new or challenging times, I say: Do not fear the challenges of life, but approach them patiently, with faith in God. He will reward your faith with power not only to endure, but also to overcome hardships, disappointments, trials, and struggles of daily living. Through diligently striving to live the law of God and with faith in Him, we will not be diverted from our eternal course either by the ways or the praise of the world." — Rex D. Pinegar, "Faith—The Force of Life," General Conference, October 1982

"Life is a school, a place for us to learn and grow. We, like Adam and Eve, experience 'growing pains' through the sorrow and contamination of a lone and dreary world. These experiences may include sin, but they also include mistakes, disappointments, and the undeserved pain of adversity. The blessed news of the gospel is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can purify all the uncleanness and sweeten all the bitterness we taste." — Bruce C. Hafen, "Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ," Ensign, Apr. 1990, p. 10

"One of the advantages of having lived a long time is that you can often remember when you had it worse. I am grateful to have lived long enough to have known some of the blessings of adversity. My memory goes back to the Great Depression, when we had certain values burned into our souls. One of these values was gratitude for what we had because we had so little. We had to learn provident living in order to survive. Rather than create in us a spirit of envy or anger for what we did not have, it developed in many a spirit of gratitude for the meager, simple things with which we were blessed, like hot homemade bread and oatmeal cereal and many other things." — James E. Faust, "Gratitude As a Saving Principle," Ensign, Dec. 1996, p. 2

"At times when I feel overwhelmed or alone, unsure or defeated, I remember that we have a Savior who understands and loves me. His atonement was personal; it was for me. He knows. He understands." — Elaine L. Jack, "Get a Life," Ensign, July 1995, p. 53

"It is not on the pinnacle of success and ease where men and women grow most. It is often down in the valley of heartache and disappointment and reverses where men and women grow into strong characters." — Ezra Taft Benson, Stockholm Sweden Area Conference, 1974

"Sadness, disappointment, and severe challenge are events in life, not life itself. I do not minimize how hard some of these events are. They can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining center of everything you do. The Lord inspired Lehi to declare the fundamental truth, 'Men are, that they might have joy.' That is a conditional statement: 'they might have joy.' It is not conditional for the Lord. His intent is that each of us finds joy. It will not be conditional for you as you obey the commandments, have faith in the Master, and do the things that are necessary to have joy here on earth." — Richard G. Scott, "Finding Joy in Life," General Conference, April 1996

"How we wish we could see into the future to know the outcome of every troublesome decision and to arrive at the destination without having to make the journey. Many of you pay your tithing, read the scriptures, keep yourselves morally clean, and pray with real intent. And yet you may experience periods of disappointment and heartache as you face the challenges of life. This is normal; your faith is not misplaced. Remember the words of the hymn, 'Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend / Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.'" — Stephen D. Nadauld, "Learning to Be like the Lord," "Ensign," Dec. 1995, p. 11

"The key, however, is to boldly face disappointments and the pains that accompany them. If you deny them or hide them from view, the chances are great that you will become worn out and fail. If, on the other hand, you meet them in a prayerful attitude asking for inner strength to overcome, the original disappointment will turn into an element of great strength and a firm foundation for further growth." — Jacob de Jager, "Overcoming Discouragement," "New Era," Mar. 1984, p. 7

"Unfortunately, the frustration, discouragement, and disappointments we face in life are often brought about by our own lack of preparation. Then, having no one to blame but ourselves, we add further injury by becoming critical and unforgiving of ourselves. But if we can train ourselves to think ahead and to prepare accordingly, we will eliminate much of the fear we face in life. We will also find that positive results generally occur, and this significantly influences our mood and outlook and gives reason for our hopes." — Jack H Goaslind, "Look to the Future with Optimism," "Ensign," Apr. 1997, p. 27

When we take Jesus' yoke upon us, this admits us eventually to what Paul called the "fellowship of [Christ's] sufferings" (Philip. 3:10). Whether illness or aloneness, injustice or rejection, etc., our comparatively small-scale sufferings, if we are meek, will sink into the very marrow of the soul. We then better appreciate not only Jesus' sufferings for us, but also His matchless character, moving us to greater adoration and even emulation." - Neal A. Maxwell, "From Whom All Blessings Flow," General Conference, April 1997

"Life isn't always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa--up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along the way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon. Sometimes it seems as though there is no end to the dust that stings our eyes and clouds our vision. Sharp edges of despair and discouragement jut out of the terrain to slow our passage. Always, there is a Devil's Gate, which will swing wide open to lure us in. Those who are wise and faithful will steer a course as far from such temptation as possible, while others--sometimes those who are nearest and dearest to us--succumb to the attraction of ease, comfort, convenience, and rest. Occasionally we reach the top of one summit in life, as the pioneers did, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, higher and more challenging than the one we have just traversed. Tapping unseen reservoirs of faith and endurance, we, as did our forebears, inch ever forward toward that day when our voices can join with those of all pioneers who have endured in faith, singing: 'All is well! All is well!' (Hymns, no. 30)." - M. Russell Ballard, "You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey," General Conference, April 1997

"Jesus taught that we pass through all these trials to refine us 'in the furnace of affliction' (1 Ne. 20:10), and that we should not bear them unaided, but 'in [the] Redeemer's name' (D&C 138:13). In spite of our feeling, at times, that He has forgotten us, He testifies, 'Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.... Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.' (1 Ne. 21:15-16.)" - Gene R. Cook, "Receiving Divine Assistance through the Grace of the Lord," Ensign, May 1993, p. 80

"My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior. 'Wait upon the Lord,... look for him' (Isa. 8:17; 2 Ne. 18:17). 'They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint' (Isa. 40:31). Healing comes in the Lord's time and the Lord's way; be patient." - Robert D. Hales, "Healing Soul and Body," Ensign, Nov. 1998, p. 17

"'Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God,'" said Jesus to his Apostles shortly before he picked up the cross to walk to his crucifixion. Then he prayed for them--out loud--so that they could hear him. 'This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.' (John 14:117:3.) These promises from God can comfort and sustain us through any kind of demand upon our soul. When we turn to God in prayer--with a needful spirit and a contrite heart and a desire to learn, we will feel the Spirit, the healing." - Elaine Cannon, "Adversity," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987], p. 51

"If we understood completely the designs of the Lord, we would be more patient in our suffering and would not complain as much as we so often do when hardships come and we are asked to sacrifice." - Theodore M. Burton, "Kingdom of God," Ensign, June 1971, p. 84

"Like the Savior, we will all have our Gethsemane. And although the road may be rough at times, if we will hold fast to the rod of iron, spoken of by Lehi, it will lead us through the mist of darkness. If we will not be dissuaded by the mocking voices of the world or lose our way and fall into the river or wander in strange roads, we will pass the challenging test of life that Abraham foresaw.

"All the effort and struggle and sorrow will be well worth it, for we will earn the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal life." - Henry D. Taylor, "A Time of Testing," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 44

"Friction, or resistance, is an interesting phenomenon. Without this force, a person or vehicle could not move about, or if already in motion, could not be stopped except by collision. Simple things like nails, screws, and bolts would not stay in place; a cork would not stay in a bottle; a light globe would drop from its socket; a lid would not stay on a jar.

"The law of friction or resistance that we think of as only applying to science seems to find application in our personal lives. This is probably what Lehi was referring to when he spoke to his son Jacob. He reminded Jacob of the afflictions and sorrows that had come to him because of the rudeness of his brethren, and told him how these afflictions would ultimately result in good. These are the words of Jacob to his son: 'Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain' (2 Ne. 2:2).

"In other words, the afflictions that had come to him in the form of opposition or resistance would be for his good. Then Lehi added these words that have become classic: 'For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so,... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad' (2 Ne. 2:11).

"We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progress." - Howard W. Hunter, "God Will Have a Tried People," Ensign, May 1980, 25

"Let us remember—trials are an evidence of a Father's love. They are given as a blessing to his children. They are given as opportunities for growth.

"Now, how do we approach them? How do we overcome them? How are we magnified by them? There seems to be a reason why we lose our composure in adversity—why we think we can no longer cope with what we're faced with here in this life. There is a reason why we give up, why we 'fall apart at the seams' so to speak. The reason may be so simple that we lose sight of it.

"Could it be it's because we begin to lose contact with our greatest source of strength—our Father in heaven? He is the key to our enjoying sweetness in adversity—in gaining strength from our trials—he and he alone." - H. Burke Peterson, "Adversity and Prayer," Ensign, Jan. 1974, 19

"Why worry about future calamities or uncertainties over which you have no control? Your righteous character magnifies the probability that you will never have to suffer them. When challenges and testing do come, your faith will lead you to solutions. Your peace of mind, your assurance of answers to vexing problems, your ultimate joy depend upon your trust in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Right will ultimately prevail. It will yield blessings now as you in faith obey the commandments of God. Remember an unfailing, continual, ever-present source of peace and comfort is available to you. It is the certainty that your Father in Heaven loves you no matter what your circumstance, no matter what winds of trial, turmoil, or tribulation whirl about you. That certainty will never change. Your ability to access that support depends on the strength of your faith in Him and in His certain willingness to bless you." - Richard G. Scott, "The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing," Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.75

"In the celestial glory, we are told, 'God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.' (Rev. 21:4.) Then faith and hope will replace heartache, disappointment, torment, anguish, and despair, and the Lord will give us strength, as Alma says, 'that we should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.' (Alma 31:38.) Of this I have a testimony, and I so declare it in the name of Jesus Christ, amen." - James E. Faust, "Spiritual Healing," Ensign (CR), May 1992, p.6

"Sometimes you may feel to complain to the Lord about a challenge that has come into your life through no fault of your own. Jacob taught: 'Seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.' (Jacob 4:10.)

"God knows what is best for us. Although we may not understand why we experience some things now, in His timetable we will know and be grateful.

"He has promised to help us with our burdens: 'I will ... ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, ... that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.' (Mosiah 24:14.)

"We are counseled, 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.' (Ps. 55:22.) I have been greatly helped by laying a vexing matter at His feet for a while. When I picked it up again, it was lighter and more manageable." - Richard G. Scott, "He Lives," Ensign (CR), November 1999, p.87

"Many carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death or care for one who is disabled. Some have been wounded by divorce. Others yearn for an eternal marriage. Some are caught in the grip of addictive substances or practices like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or pornography. Others have crippling physical or mental impairments. Some are challenged by same-gender attraction. Some have terrible feelings of depression or inadequacy. In one way or another, many are heavy laden. To each of us our Savior gives this loving invitation:

"'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

"'Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

"'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matthew 11:28–30)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," Ensign, November 2006

"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, November 2006

"We are all travelers for a time on this planet earth. One day we shall return to that dwelling place we knew before, and there rejoice in the memories of our journey and the experiences of this earth life—experiences some of which have taken us to the very mountain peaks of our lives and others into deep valleys as we have been tried and tested along the way, all for the purpose that we might be prepared to receive the glory the Lord has for us when we return. Sometimes we must trudge along in faith not knowing the answers for a time, but always knowing there is a divine plan and a purpose, and feeling the assurance of a loving Father in heaven. With this knowledge, we realize that the tests we are called upon to endure are for our growth, not to consume us but to refine us, not to discourage us but to enlighten us, and not to defeat us but to redeem us." - Ardeth Greene Kapp, "My Neighbor, My Sister, My Friend," p.ix

"Do not let us be discouraged at difficulties and trials, for we are sent to this state of existence for the express purpose of descending below all things, that we may pass the ordeals and trials of this life and thereby prove our integrity and be prepared to rise above all things. And after all, we have not been called upon to endure to that extent that the Savior of the world was. But he was not subjected to the afflictions he had to endure without hope, neither are we; but we are called to pass through them that we may prove whether we have power and strength to stand in that day when all things shall be shaken, and nothing doubting, cleave to the Lord our God with full purpose of heart, no matter how much things are against us, apparently. If we can pass these tests and trails we shall prove to God and angels that we are worthy to receive the welcome plaudit, 'well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.'"Daniel H. Wells, "Journal of Discourses," 26 vols., 12:236

There are so many things to be endured: illness, injustice, insensitivity, poverty, aloneness, unresponsiveness, being misrepresented and misunderstood, and, sometimes, even enemies. Paul reminds us that meek and lowly Jesus, though the Lord of the universe, 'endured contradiction of sinners against himself.' (Heb. 12:3.) Smaller variations of these contradictions or hostilities will be felt by His disciples." - Neal A. Maxwell, “Endure It Well”, Ensign (CR), May 1990, p.33

"Aside from the economic tides which run in the affairs of nations, financial hard times can befall any of us at any time. There is no guarantee against personal hard financial times. Financial difficulty may result from several kinds of misfortunes, including all types of natural disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes. Accidents and illness can produce unexpected and staggering medical and hospital bills. The misfortunes of other members of our own family may require our help. Unemployment and inflation can quickly wipe away hard-earned savings.

"Economic stress can involve personal challenges. Discouragement and frustration are frequent companions to misfortune. Economic problems occasionally put a strain on family relationships. They often require us to do without things we feel we want or need. What can be a calamity for one can be an opportunity for another. Shakespeare, speaking through Duke Senior, said,

Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
(As You Like It, act 2, sc. 1, lines 12-14.)

"The lasting effects of economic challenges are often determined by our attitude toward life. One writer said, 'Out of the same substances one stomach will extract nourishment, and another poison; and so the same disappointments in life will chasten and refine one man's spirit and embitter another's.' (William Matthews, Webster's Encyclopedia of Dictionaries, New American Edition, Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc., p. 864.)
" - James E. Faust, "The Blessings We Receive As We Meet the Challenges of Economic Stress," Ensign (CR), November 1982, p.87

“Truly I have been blessed far beyond that which I merit. And in the coming days, I pray only that I might always be found as Abraham Lincoln said: ‘Die when I may, I would like it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle, and planted a rose where I thought a rose would grow.’ I have learned in my life that trials are blessings in disguise if we accept them with humility, faith, and fortitude. All that we suffer and endure with patience will build within us a more charitable and tender person, having acquired the education we came on earth to receive.” - Lloyd P. George, “Gratitude,” Ensign (CR), May 1994, p. 27

"It is no secret that Satan wages open war with the truth and all those who live righteous lives. He deceives with skill and effectiveness even his own followers. He would have us give up, quit, rebel when setbacks come. Sometimes in life when we are committed to and are following proper patterns, we experience heavy bumps and anxious hours. Many times true winners in life are those who have been hurt and disappointed but have risen above these challenges. Very often in life, God gives us difficulties to bring out the best in us. It is true, life does not determine winners. Winners determine life."
- Marvin J. Ashton, "A Pattern in All Things," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p. 20

"If you feel you have been wronged—by anyone (a family member, a friend, another member of the Church, a Church leader, a business associate) or by anything (the death of a loved one, health problems, a financial reversal, abuse, addictions)—deal with the matter directly and with all the strength you have. 'Hold on thy way' (D&C 122:9); giving up is not an option. And, without delay, turn to the Lord. Exercise all of the faith you have in Him. Let Him share your burden. Allow His grace to lighten your load. We are promised that we will 'suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ' (Alma 31:38). Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually." - Donald L. Hallstrom, "Turn to the Lord," Ensign (CR) May 2010

"I mention five things that we can learn from those last hours of the Savior’s life on earth that can help us to face our own trials.

"First, He sought not to do His will but only the will of His Father....

"Second, when we are faced with trials, we must learn to not complain or murmur....

"Third, when we face our challenges, we must seek greater help from God....

"Fourth, learn to serve and think of others even in our times of trial....

"Fifth, forgive others and do not seek to pass the blame of our situation to them." - James B. Martino, "All Things Work Together for Good," Ensign (CR) May 2010

"Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call 'the furnace of affliction' (Isa. 48:10; 1 Ne. 20:10). Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.32

Does this mean we will always understand our challenges? Won’t all of us, sometime, have reason to ask, “O God, where art thou?” Yes! When a spouse dies, a companion will wonder. When financial hardship befalls a family, a father will ask. When children wander from the path, a mother and father will cry out in sorrow. Yes, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Then, in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord, saying, “Thy will be done.”

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. - Robert D. Hales, "Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done," Ensign (CR) October 2011

Among the most frequently asked questions of Church leaders are, Why does a just God allow bad things to happen, especially to good people? Why are those who are righteous and in the Lord’s service not immune from such tragedies?

While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us. Some of the most important principles are:

First, we have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves us personally and understands our suffering perfectly.

Second, His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer, whose Atonement not only provides for salvation and exaltation but also will compensate for all the unfairness of life.

Third, the Father’s plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding. - Quentin L. Cook, "The Songs They Could Not Sing," Ensign (CR) October 2011

The oppressing presence of problems all about us—personal, family, and in our society—accentuates the peril as well as the privilege of free agency. The ancient Psalmist surely seems to be singing to our time: “Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble” (Ps. 31:9).

Why is there so much trouble? “With all that fairway, why do we spend so much time in the rough?” someone said.

Part of the answer is that without opposition and testing, free agency loses its meaning. Opposition, tribulation, afflictions, the refining fire are part of the eternal plan. - Marion D. Hanks, "I Will Look unto the Lord," Ensign (CR) October 1986

Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd. - James E. Faust, "The Refiner's Fire," Ensign (CR) May 1979

When, with several companions, the Prophet Joseph Smith was a prisoner in Liberty, Missouri, for a number of months, conditions were deplorable. Their petitions and appeals directed to executive officers and the judiciary had failed to bring relief. In desperation Joseph pleaded for understanding and assistance from his Heavenly Father. The message finally came:

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (D&C 121:7–8). - Marvin J. Ashton, "Adversity and You," Ensign (CR) November 1980

Much of our suffering is not necessarily our fault. Unexpected events, contradicting or disappointing circumstances, interrupting illness, and even death surround us and penetrate our mortal experience. Additionally, we may suffer afflictions because of the actions of others. Lehi noted that Jacob had “suffered … much sorrow, because of the rudeness of [his] brethren.” Opposition is part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We all encounter enough to bring us to an awareness of our Father’s love and of our need for the Savior’s help. - Kent F. Richards, "The Atonement Covers All Pain," Ensign (CR) May 2011

How do you remain “steadfast and immovable” during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.

When faced with a trial of faith—whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view. - Neil L. Andersen, "Trial of Your Faith," Ensign (CR) November 2012

While adversity may be slow to leave us, we can choose to leave it any time. The Lord’s promise to us is as it was to Alma and his people in the midst of horrendous persecution:

“Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

“And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs” (Mosiah 24:13–14). - David S. Baxter, "Leaving Adversity Behind," Ensign December 2012

President Ezra Taft Benson, at an area conference in Sweden in 1974, said: “It is not on the pinnacle of success and ease where men and women grow most. It is often down in the valley of heartache and disappointment and reverses where men and women grow into strong characters.” (In Conference Report, Stockholm Sweden Area Conference, 1974, p. 70.) - Julio E. Davila, "The Conversion Process," Ensign (CR) November 1991

There is, of course, in the promises of God no warrant that we will avoid the very experiences which we came here to undergo and through which we can learn reliance on the Lord. Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33.) He had tribulation, and he overcame. And so may we, with his help. - Marion D. Hanks, “Joy through Christ,” Ensign (CR) May 1972

No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.” We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts. - L. Whitney Clayton, “That Your Burdens May Be Light,” Ensign (CR) November 2009

Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful. The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength. For some, the refiner’s fire causes a loss of belief and faith in God, but those with eternal perspective understand that such refining is part of the perfection process. -
James E. Faust, “The Refiner’s Fire,” Ensign (CR) May 1979

That's the suggestion I have for dealing with adversity. Don't deny the rain through a false Pollyanna attitude, or you won't have a rainbow. And don't turn your back on the light, or you won't see the rainbow either. It takes both light and rain to make a rainbow, and it will be there for only a moment. Even in moments of deep adversity and pain, look for your rainbow. It's there somewhere. - Chieko N. Okazaki, “Aloha!" p.158

The Prophet Joseph Smith one time said, when someone had remarked that somebody had affliction because of their sins, that it is an unhallowed statement to make, that afflictions come to all. And Matthew Henry said: "Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions.” - George Q. Morris, Conference Report, October 1958, Afternoon Meeting, p.71

The Lord has determined in His heart that He will try us until He knows what He can do with us. He tried His Son Jesus. Thousands of years before He came upon earth, the Father had watched His course and knew that He could depend upon Him when the salvation of worlds should be at stake; and He was not disappointed. So in regard to ourselves. He will try us, and continue to try us, in order that He may place us in the highest positions in life and put upon us the most sacred responsibilities. - Lorenzo Snow, "The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow," edited by Clyde J. Williams, p.93

Adversity is all about us and among us. It is an inevitable element of mortality, and all of us have some share in it ultimately. But our religion, centering in the life and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, helps us comprehend that. God and Christ love us with a mature, perfect love. The plan by which they lead requires mortal instruments of their love. We have the great honor to be invited to be such instruments. We need them, but they also need us. In this service we find the roots of most of those blessings that God wants us to enjoy. - Marion D. Hanks, "The Royal Law of Love," Ensign (CR), November 1988, p.62

The Prophet Joseph Smith, who knew much about the storms of life, during one of his darkest moments, cried in anguish: “[My] God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” Even as he lifted up his voice, the serene comfort of the Lord came to him: "Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding a Safe Harbor,” Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.59

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