And the list goes on … I hear another heartbreaking story every day.
NOT IF “IT” WILL HAPPEN BUT WHEN
“It is not a question of IF we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of WHEN. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning…” (Robert D. Hales, “Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure”, Ensign May 1998)
“As part of Heavenly Father’s plan of redemption, ALL people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.” (Gospel Topics, LDS.org Adversity)
(See: The Only Path)
TYPES OF ITs
Over the years I have learned that most trials and tribulations can be classified into three sources including: physical body, spiritual (See: The Anatomy of a Soul) and life events.
The spiritual ITs of unbelief and unrepentant sin are most common.
“The GREAT TEST (IT) of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life.” (Spiritual Preparedness-Start Early and Stay late, Henry B. Eyring, October 2005 General Conference)
Successfully navigating unbelief and sin appears to be the purpose of mortal life.
The physical ITs include the obvious: mental and physical illnesses. Robert D. Hales reminds us:
The story of Job in the Old Testament relates three of the great tests we ALL should be prepared to face at some period in our lives. First, temporal setbacks (life events). Job lost all he owned. Second, physical illness that will test our faith and testimony. And third, depression (resulting from either mental illness or unrepentant sin). Job said, “Why died I not from the womb?” (Job 3:11.) “My soul is weary of my life.” (Job 10:1.) (“Examples from the Life of a Prophet,” Ensign, Nov. 1981)
Along life’s path no doubt we each will encounter diseases or physical challenges of some sort.
Life Event ITs
As we prepare for Christ’s Second Coming, we see the life events ITs, like financial, natural and man caused calamities.
I do not know what the future holds. I do not wish to sound negative, but I wish to remind you of the warnings of scripture and the teachings of the prophets … I cannot dismiss from my mind the grim warnings of the Lord as set forth in the 24th chapter of Matthew . I am familiar, as are you, with the declarations of modern revelation that the time will come when the earth will be cleansed and there will be indescribable distress, with weeping and mourning and lamentation (see D&C 112:24). (Times In Which We Live, Gordon B. Hinckley, Oct 2001, General Conference)
“ITs” NOT DIFFERENT FOR MORMONS
Some Mormons seem to think “ITs” different “just because I’m Mormon.” For example, that as we encounter trials and tribulations that for some magical reason IT isn’t as painful or as debilitating as IT is for our friends of other faith.
I think you get the point.
The difference isn’t the ITs, but the number and strength of the resources you and I have to deal with IT.
Obviously, an individual with strong faith and an understanding of an eternal perspective tends to have more resources.
But IT still hurts.
Now for the best part.
ITs COME, TO PASS
The expression And it came to pass is in the Book of Mormon about 1,404 times and in the Old Testament about 336 times etc etc.
Mark Twain once joked that if Joseph Smith had left out the many instances of “and it came to pass” from the Book of Mormon, the book would have been only a pamphlet. (Roughing It, Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Co., 1901, p. 133.)
Some ITs will pass very quickly
Take for example the time Nephi’s brothers tied him up while on the boat coming to America.
“And IT came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it.” 1 Nephi 18:21
Some ITs will NOT pass in earth life
“And IT came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. Exodus 12:41 “
Dallin H. Oaks explains:
Another idea that is powerful to lift us from discouragement is that the work of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “to bring to pass the … eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39), is an eternal work. Not all problems are overcome and not all needed relationships are fixed in mortality. The work of salvation goes on beyond the veil of death, and we should not be too apprehensive about incompleteness within the limits of mortality. (Dallin Oaks, “Powerful Ideas” Ensign Oct 1995)
KNOWING EVERY “IT” WILL PASS PROVIDES HOPE
Why would the Lord place And it came to pass so many times in the scriptures, if it wasn’t important?
IT is important for two reasons:
Take a minute and ponder about your physical, spiritual and surrounding life events.
What is IT that is your current challenge?
Follow your impressions in developing more resources to deal with IT.
Remember: ITs came to pass.
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