Sunday, February 21, 2010

Endure to the End

F. Enzio Busche taught us that, "In your life there have to be challenges. They will either bring you closer to God, and therefore make you stronger, or they can destroy you. But you make the decision of which road you take." As many of you are well aware, this life is not going to be an easy road. Is it going to be filled with fun memories? Yes! Is it going to be blackened with trials and sadness? Sometimes! Is it going to be worth it? Absolutely!
A good friend taught me to look my challenges square in the eyes and say, "Bring it on, Lord!" and to also say, "Come what may, and love it!" [and crave it, and beg for more!]
I hope we are all familiar with the atonement and the saving ordinance it is for us. Christ suffered all of our fears, pains, temptations, and disappointments. He understands EVERYTHING. He knows how to grieve with us, and ultimately how to fix the situation. Turn to him and don't you EVER say that you're alone because that is the biggest lie that Satan will try to tell you.
Most of you know that I have some severe stomach pain. I want to share a few things that I have learned from this AMAZING trial. (Yes, amazing trial. I said it.)
1) The first thing I learned is that there are only three things (correct me if I'm wrong) that God will never take away from us. We might take them away ourselves, but God never will. They are
A) The gospel. If you ever feel yourself slipping away from the gospel, correct yourself. God's presence is included in the gospel. He will never leave you.
B) Your happiness. If you ever feel sad - even if the reason for feeling sad is because of a trial that God gave you, it is not God making you sad. You make the choice to allow yourself to become upset. God does not want you to ever be sad.
C) His Promises. If God makes a promise to you specifically, he will not break it. He has made promises to all of his children collectively as well. Study them. He will keep his promises.
2) The second thing that I learned is applying the atonement. You cannot simply state that "I believe in the atonement and I know it is there." You must allow it to work through you; to change you. Because if you do not allow this to happen, you may feel lonely and miserable through your challenges. Which brings me to my next point,
3) We must not only endure our challenges, we must learn to smile through them and learn the things we need to learn from them. God doesn't give us challenges so that we can weep our way through, he gives us them to test us - to see what we're really made of. So hold on to the end, and smile your way even if you feel like you would rather cry! :-)

I love you all and I love this gospel. I know it's true and I know Christ understands us. I can look my challenges in the face and know that I can take anything on because the Lord will not leave me. That doesn't mean it won't be hard, but it will be worth it.
I know these things to be true. I bear this, my testimony in the name of Christ, my Savior, Amen.

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