“We must… understand the rules of the game of life. First, none of us is exempt from facing life’s trials, and the fact that we are faithful does not assure us of a life without tests. This is exemplified over and over again in the scriptures as we review the lives of the prophets. Job is the epitome of trials as he lost his family, his health, his wealth, and yet never cursed God. Paul, likewise, suffered much. But listen to his attitude as expressed in his second letter to the Corinthians: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, butnot destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).
“Paul understood the reason for trials, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17)….
“If the rules of the game require all to endure some trials, what are the trials? If we know what to expect, we can be better prepared. I cannot enumerate every test, but I would like you to consider some categories.
“First… is the trial of temptation to violate the commandments. We must live the commandments…. We cannot knowingly and willingly violate the Lord’s commandments and expect to be blessed spiritually…. We must, therefore, endure to the end by living righteously. The challenge here, of course, is that we do not know when the end is. Anyone of us could be run over by a big Mack truck today, and had we willfully been in violation of any or all of the commandments, we would not have endured to the end…. But I wonder if even knowing when the end would come would really protect us against the temptations of the world.
“A second category is enduring the individual conditions of this life—the unique set of circumstances peculiar to us at any given time. These may be small, such as why the guy you like doesn’t seem to know you exist or why you did not achieve an A in a class in spite of every diligent effort. They may be big, such as prolonged health problems or the death of a loved one. They might be financial burdens that seem insurmountable. Or, as parents, we may have to endure the often incorrect use of free agency by our children. For others it may be the inability to be a parent when the desire to be is great. And some seem destined to live this life without a mate in spite of earnest desires otherwise…. In all these, the test comes in not denouncing our faith or blaming God for our trials. So many… when faced with such conditions, denounce God for not righting the set of conditions that brings them agony. By so doing they cease enduring and stand to risk all they have worked for spiritually to that point….
“The Lord himself set the example as we recall the events in Gethsemane that caused him to utter, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39).
“A third area that requires considerable spiritual strength is enduring the persecution that comes from trying to be in the world but not of the world. All of the prophets have been persecuted for the Lord’s sake, and many have given their lives rather than denounce the gospel. True followers must never be ashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ. We cannot let the media shake our faith. We cannot let the so-called learned argue against the simple whisperings of the Holy Ghost…. If the Holy Ghost has testified to you that Jesus is the Christ… then we must remain allegiant to that testimony to qualify for the blessings of endurance regardless of the events of the world that would conspire against that knowledge….
“Now, given that trials exist and that all of us will face these trials, how are we expected to endure them? When we want to gain physical endurance we must train the body by subjecting it to an overload. Weight lifters lift weights to strengthen the muscles to be able to lift more. Runners run long distances to allow the cardiovascular system and muscles to adapt to provide the necessary delivery and use of oxygen to promote endurance.
“To increase our spiritual endurance we must train spiritually. When a sudden trial overload comes, we must already be trained in order to endure it. This training involves praying every day so that when we need to pray more fervently we are already accustomed to it. This training also involves regular scripture study so that our testimonies are firm and our understanding of God’s plan is deep. This training involves serving others in their plight so we can be better prepared for our own. This training involves regular Sunday worship, from which we gain the strength to discipline our lives…. Just as we build a physical reservoir through training, we can also develop a spiritual one as well.
“Assuming we have been willing to train and to pay the price for spiritual endurance, what are the mechanisms by which we ultimately endure the trials of life? When Enos went into the forest to pray about the teachings of his father, there came a voice unto Enos saying, “Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed” (Enos 1:5). And Enos asked, “Lord, how is it done?” (Enos 1:7). And the voice said unto him, “Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen” (Enos 1:8). The answer is obvious. We must place our trust in the Lord and allow the Lord’s spirit to lift us.
“The question is: How do we rely on the Lord? How do we avoid the depression that often accompanies the trials of life? We do it by accepting the reality of the Atonement. We often think of the Atonement only in terms of relief from sins and guilt.
“How does the Lord carry our burdens…? We pray earnestly and emotionally for the Lord to strengthen us and lift us, to prepare a way for us to endure, even to remove the bitter cup if it be his will, and then we release those things into his hands and believe within us that our prayers are heard and the stress of the condition will be transferred to him.”
BYU Speeches May 1995
There are also tools I can teach you to help with this process. If you’d like more information on these tools, comment below!