Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Elder Robert D. Hales on enduring with "eternal vision"

Elder Robert D. Hales (b. August 24, 1932) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"We are taught in the scriptures that there must be opposition in all things (see 2 Ne. 2:11). It is not a question of if we are ready for the tests; it is a matter of when. We must prepare to be ready for tests that will present themselves without warning.
"The basic requirements for enduring to the end include knowing who we are, children of God with a desire to return to His presence after mortality; understanding the purpose of life, to endure to the end and obtain eternal life; and living obediently with a desire and a determination to endure all things, having eternal vision. Eternal vision allows us to overcome opposition in our temporal state and, ultimately, achieve the promised rewards and blessings of eternal life.
"If we are patient in our afflictions, endure them well, and wait upon the Lord to learn the lessons of mortality, the Lord will be with us to strengthen us unto the end of our days: 'He that shall [faithfully] endure unto the end, the same shall be saved' (Mark 13:13) and return with honor to our Heavenly Father.
"We learn to endure to the end by learning to finish our current responsibilities, and we simply continue doing it all of our lives. We cannot expect to learn endurance in our later years if we have developed the habit of quitting when things get difficult now."
- Robert D. Hales, "Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure," Ensign, May 1998, pp. 75-77
Click here to read the full talk

It is worth pondering the meaning of the word "opposition." We often apply it to trials and difficulties that come on many forms in life, sometimes as a result of our own choices or actions and sometimes through no fault of our own. In the Book of Mormon usage (2 Nephi 2:10-15) it refers to the existence of choices, the presence of an adversary, the eternal plan of agency and consequences. Elder Hales uses it in referring to the tests that come into our lives, as he teaches us on the importance of enduring in faithfulness.

This is an interesting summary of how to endure, starting with understanding our origin, the reason for our existence, and having commitment to obey in faithfulness:

I like the phrase "eternal vision." It implies that all we see is in context of eternity; in the midst of the "tests" referred to earlier, we understand the eternal nature of our existence and the consequences of our choices.

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