November 4, 2016

Some Thoughts From The Ensign

I recently flipped through my book of goals to see how I was doing. Yes, I have a book of goals that I work towards achieving and each year I make a new book. I know what your thinking, "That's crazy!" I can promise you though, that it helps keep me focused on what is most important to me.

One of my goals this year was to read the Ensign every single month. The Ensign is full of so much good stuff, why would you not want to read it? I got a bit behind schedule and have been doing the best I can to catch up, I tend to read several articles a day and it really does brighten my day.

Last night as I sat down to read, I read a talk titled "Can We Lived 'after the Manner of Happiness?'" this talk was given by Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy at a BYU-Idaho devotional. The entire talk is worth reading but I wanted to specifically share a few paragraphs that stood out to me. This past year had been a very trying one for Andy and I and that is why the following quotes touched me so much.

"What else might stand in the way of living 'after the manner of happiness'? Perhaps it is the difficult trials you confront. These trials may come from physical or emotional illness, family difficulties, schoolwork, dating, employment, or lack of money. How can you possibly live 'after the manner of happiness' while facing trials?"

What this paragraph is saying to me is, "How can you possibly be happy while experiencing something so difficult and challenging?"

"Don't let your trials own you. You own them. Look in the face of adversity with faith and ask this powerful questions: 'What can I learn from this?'"

It's so easy to let your trials be all consuming, but this isn't good or healthy. Instead of reliving your reality over and over in your mind, instead focus on what you can do about the situation. Try to see the trial from the Lord's eyes, what does he want you to learn?

"Joseph Smith was taught this lesson in Liberty Jail: 'Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for they good' (D&C 122:7)

Embrace your trials and move forward with faith."

It is comforting to me to know that even though Joseph Smith who was a prophet had to pass through trials and hardships, my trials are nothing compared to his. If he was told these hard things are for his benefit then my trials must be too! This knowledge gives me an added strength that helps me keep going in the face of adversity.

Failure is not an option!