Sunday, January 11, 2009

For After Much Tribulation...

Have you ever noticed that people seem to come through tribulation in one of two ways? Either it makes them stronger or it makes them weaker.

This may be a trivial example, but in our family we have been learning to snowboard. Those of you who have tried it know that the first few snowboarding trips can be painful. Bumps, bruises, and falls all play a large part of the experience. In the middle of all this tribulation, there is no staying neutral. Either you force yourself to learn the necessary skills quickly or you give up. Tribulation tends to eliminate the middle ground.

We've seen both happen in our family. Some kids have hated the falls so they don't want to try anymore. Some have hated the falls, so they want to do everything they can to get better.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:4 teaches "For after much tribulation come the blessings." This principle applies to snowboarding and it applies to the changes in our lives.

When we make a commitment to the Lord to change, and ask for his help, we often receive immediate blessings. From my experience; however, before receiving all the help we need and desire, we generally have to wade through tribulation. This tribulation either makes us stronger and more committed to our goal, or it deflates us and we give up.

Without tribulation our snowboarding would not improve. Without tribulation, we will not develop the faith and humility necessary to make the kind of personal changes the gospel requires.

I have many spiritual bumps and bruises from my tribulations. But on the far end as I have pushed through those trials, I am always grateful I did not give up.

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