Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Elder Quentin L. Cook on the perspective of the eternal plan

Elder Quentin L. Cook (b. September 8, 1940) was called as a Seventy in 1996, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2007.
"The Father's plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding.
"From the limited perspective of those who do not have knowledge, understanding, or faith in the Father's plan—who look at the world only through the lens of mortality with its wars, violence, disease, and evil—this life can seem depressing, chaotic, unfair, and meaningless. Church leaders have compared this perspective with someone walking into the middle of a three-act play. Those without knowledge of the Father's plan do not understand what happened in the first act, or the premortal existence, and the purposes established there; nor do they understand the clarification and resolution that come in the third act, which is the glorious fulfillment of the Father's plan....
"However, righteousness, prayer, and faithfulness will not always result in happy endings in mortality. Many will experience severe trials....
"There are many kinds of challenges. Some give us necessary experiences. Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven's overall plan. The refiner's fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."
- Quentin L. Cook, "The Songs They Could Not Sing," Ensign, November 2011, p. 106
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In the midst of mortality's frustrations, it's easy to forget the eternal nature of the plan of happiness that our Father has provided for us. Eventually, the full extent and scope of that glorious plan will be clear to us again, and we will truly rejoice as all sorrows are replaces with joy and understanding:

Sadly, without the divine and eternal perspective of God's plan for us, the challenges of this life "can seem depressing, chaotic, unfair, and meaningless." Even our most righteous efforts don't guarantee happy results in the limited timeframe of mortality. But all will be made right in God's due time. So meanwhile, it's important to recognize the purpose and power of our trials: the forge "qualities of character and righteousness" and help to "perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."

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