Wednesday, June 8, 2011


But when you teach the nature and character of God  and Jesus, please observe that their virtuousness (the Father’s and the Son’s) is not a vague virtuousness; it is not a generalized goodness. It is an attribute-by-attribute reality. Thus the fundamental goal each of us has been given is the same.
It's easy to forget this, that we have been put here to learn "attribute-by-attribute" how to be like God.
Those attributes include love, justice, meekness, mercy, patience, power, truth, and knowledge. And these qualities are not acquired by attending a lecture. They are acquired experience by experience, and “line upon line,” and “precept upon precept.” (See 2 Nephi 28:30.) They are also learned in process of time, and they are developed in mortality’s clinical experiences, in that intriguing scriptural phrase, “according to the flesh.” (Alma 7:11, 12.) In fact, when we see the scriptures that say there is no other way,” it is not exclusively a reference to the way of salvation but it also means (in my opinion) there is no other way that our Father in Heaven could bring this kind of growth and development into our lives except we pass through this mortal experience. It’s here that we’ll learn patience. Patience can’t be learned in the abstract, nor can mercy. And the relevant clinical experiences come to us relentlessly in life, if we will but use them.
It's the "use" of them that is difficult. Sometimes I think it is all I can do to endure... but it's not, there are things to be learned. And it's easy to get caught up - in good times and in bad - and loose sight of what I ultimately should be concentrating on. I have a tendency to want to just 'have fun' to pass the time until 'real life' starts -- but real life is NOW. Daily life is FULL of chances for me to expand self-awareness and to be more considerate & patient, find & make opportunities serve more selflessly, and love the people in my life.

And then there are the trials...
the divine tutorials through which [we] will pass individually are not cause [us] to abandon their cheerful spirit toward life. “Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.” (Mosiah 23:21.) This is the kind of scripture that makes the soul shiver just a bit. But we must not let our students or ourselves take divine tutoring to mean divine indifference. The trials of our faith and our patience will be real. But they will not be so much as to overwhelm us, for God knows our bearing capacity.
It's not a matter of 'make-or-break' because the trials of life are designed by a loving Heavenly Father to 'make-or-break&make' us. They are a part of His grace, and if we allow it they will make us like God even if we 'break' because when we 'break' or fail in our efforts to do His will we can still learn through repentance and continuing on (it's only when we fall and then do not get back up that the 'making' stops).

We will be given opportunities to learn to be truthful. We will be given opportunities to learn to be merciful. We will be given opportunities to learn to forgive. And to be faithful, patient, charitable, etc. We may fail to learn them the first time through... but the chance will come again and again until we do understand, because every Godly attribute "is a part of the gospel and we either take each principle seriously or it does not become a part of our personality."

Every trial we experience will come with a gift for us in its hands.

*Quotes from BUT A FEW DAYS by Elder Neal A. Maxwell

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