Friday, July 8, 2016

Joseph B. Wirthlin on patience in our personal progress

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (Born June 11, 1917- 99 years ago today! Died December 1, 2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"We should learn to be patient with ourselves. Recognizing our strengths and our weaknesses, we should strive to use good judgment in all of our choices and decisions, make good use of every opportunity, and do our best in every task we undertake. We should not be unduly discouraged nor in despair at any time when we are doing the best we can. Rather, we should be satisfied with our progress even though it may come slowly at times.
"We should be patient in developing and strengthening our testimonies. Rather than expecting immediate or spectacular manifestations, though they will come when needed, we should pray for a testimony, study the scriptures, follow the counsel of our prophet and other Church leaders, and live the principles of the gospel. Our testimonies then will grow and mature naturally, perhaps imperceptibly at times, until they become driving forces in our lives."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Patience, a Key to Happiness," Ensign, May 1987, p. 30
Click here to read the full talk

It's often difficult to "be patient with ourselves." We like to see rapid progress, significant growth and change, quick resolution of problems, etc. Elder Wirthlin reminds us that "progress... may come slowly at times" and we should learn to be satisfied with small gains, knowing that they result in the long-term changes we desire.

The complementary application is to the development of testimony. Progress and understanding comes slowly and gradually as we pray sincerely, study scriptures, follow prophetic counsel, and apply gospel principles in our lives. But ultimately, our testimonies can "become driving forces in our lives."

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