Thursday, August 25, 2016

Neil L. Andersen on dealing with trials of faith

Elder Neil L. Andersen (b. August 9, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"The Apostle Peter identified something he called a 'trial of your faith' (1 Peter 1:7). He had experienced it....
"Peter later encouraged others: 'Think it not strange,' he said, 'concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you' (1 Peter 4:12, emphasis added).
"These fiery trials are designed to make you stronger, but they have the potential to diminish or even destroy your trust in the Son of God and to weaken your resolve to keep your promises to Him. These trials are often camouflaged, making them difficult to identify. They take root in our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities, our sensitivities, or in those things that matter most to us. A real but manageable test for one can be a fiery trial for another.
"How do you remain 'steadfast and immovable' (Alma 1:25) during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others....
"By definition, trials will be trying. There may be anguish, confusion, sleepless nights, and pillows wet with tears. But our trials need not be spiritually fatal. They need not take us from our covenants or from the household of God....
"Like the intense fire that transforms iron into steel, as we remain faithful during the fiery trial of our faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened."
- Neil L. Andersen, "Trial of Your Faith," Ensign, November 2012, pp. 39-42
Click here to read the full article

Some things in life are trials of faith; some things are fiery trials. A measure of intensity can be felt in some of those most difficult periods. Remaining strong and faithful through those trials requires "immersing" ourselves in the things that created faith in the first place: "you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others."

The beautiful promise to the faithful disciple always is that through the trials we become "spiritually refined and strengthened." It's the process that can remove impurities to make us a more pure element, a more useful tool in the hands of the Master.

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