Friday, March 20, 2015

Quentin L. Cook on overcoming the challenges of life

Elder Quentin L. Cook (1940- ) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"Just as the Savior's death brought sorrow, the vicissitudes of life, like death, disease, poverty, and injury, can and often will bring unhappiness. Separation from those we love invariably brings sorrow and mourning. Life is not easy, and it would be improper to diminish in any way the trials and tribulations that most experience.
"That having been said, the Resurrection and Atonement wrought by the Savior and the promise of eternal life with our loved ones are of such overwhelming significance that to not rejoice would demonstrate a lack of understanding of the Savior's gift.
"Joy comes when we have the Spirit in our lives (see Alma 22:15). When we have the Spirit, we rejoice in what the Savior has done for us.
"What do we need to do to have this kind of joy? In addition to attaining saving ordinances and following the living prophet, we need to live in accordance with certain fundamental spiritual principles, such as prayer, scripture study, righteous living, and service to others."
- Quentin L. Cook, "Rejoice!", Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 28
Click here to read the full talk

"Life is not easy" — most of us can bear testimony to that principle! The word "vicissitudes" isn't used much these days; the dictionary defines it as "a change of circumstances or fortune, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant." I wonder what a corresponding world would be that refers to changes that are welcome and pleasant— something like the "good fortunes" of life? We often feel more negative impact from the downturns than we feel positive benefit from the upturns. But regardless, we konw we will have "trials and tribulations" in this existence.

Elder Cook points out that in eternal perspective, there are things that are "of such overwhelming significance" that, if properly understood, will inevitably help rejoicing to replace any mourning or struggling with life's challenges.

In the simplest terms, "Joy comes when we have the Spirit in our lives" because it helps us understand "what the Savior has done for us." We should diligently seek that gift, and do all we can to obtain and retain it!

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