Sunday, November 14, 2010

Am I better today than Yesterday?........week 78

Trials are Gold

Another week has passed. It has been filled with new trials and hardship and with greater joy and happiness. I find the two go hand in hand surprisingly. Peter said simply,

“The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:7

We always teach the investigators that their trials are so that they can learn and improve but many times when we have problems, we lose the faith that we always teach about. Every once in a while the Lord lets us know how well we are living the principles we teach and learn about in church. These are precious experiences. I look back on my mission and I see that the most praiseworthy times were when I was passing the through hard times. Little by little, these experiences have changed me like a fire. I felt the heat at times but I wouldn’t change them for all of the gold in the world.

This week we were teaching Mauricio, a recent convert family’s son about trials. It was our second lesson with him and he had not come to church the past week. When we listened to his doubts and worries about falling into past temptations, the spirit came unto us and we were able to let him know that these trials were opportunities to choose between what is right and wrong. We encouraged him to choose the right and gave him confidence so that he would know that he could make good decisions. He came to Church today and will be blessed for exercising his agency correctly.

With opposition comes the ability to choose and with choice comes the consequences of obedience. Thank goodness we have opposition which principle allows us to be blessed in our lives. Alma 41: 7-8, 14 teaches,

“These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.

Now, the decrees of God are unatlerable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.

And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.

Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.”

Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us so much! If we are obedient to His commandments, we will receive His promised blessings. We are our own judges, passing our own judgement and we are always taught with justly of the Lord. If we do what is right, we receive what is right.

The day after this lesson with Mauricio I was tried too. Suddenly, my role was changed. I became Mauricio and I was the one who needed to see why trials happen. It was tough. I realized that it wasn’t so easy. I asked for a Priesthood blessing and I was comforted in amazing ways. I continue to work and the Lord has blessed me for continuing to trust in Him. My trials this week have helped me to be a little better every day.

One of President Monestel’s mottos is: Am I better today than Yesterday? I can honestly say that through trials I become better. I appreciate them. I thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be better and to realize my weaknesses. I join with Peter in saying that I praise and honor and glory them and that they will help me to be better prepared for when Christ comes. I put them at a value higher than Gold.

Elder Russell