Thursday, July 13, 2017

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on facing the storms and challenges in life

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"We can’t always control the storms that life puts in our path. Sometimes things simply don’t go our way. We may feel shaken and blown about by the turbulence of disappointment, doubt, fear, sadness, or stress.
"During those times, it is easy to get caught up in everything that is going wrong and to make our troubles the center of our thoughts. The temptation is to focus on the trials we are facing instead of on the Savior and our testimony of truth.
"But that is not the best way to navigate through our challenges in life.
"Just as an experienced pilot keeps his focus not on the storm but on the center of the runway and the correct touchdown point, so too should we keep our focus on the center of our faith—our Savior, His gospel, and the plan of our Heavenly Father—and on our ultimate goal—to return safely to our heavenly destination. We should trust God and make staying on the track of discipleship the focus of our efforts. We should keep our eyes, heart, and mind focused on living the way we know we should.
"Showing our faith and trust in Heavenly Father by joyfully keeping His commandments will bring us happiness and glory. And if we stay on the path, we will get through any turbulence—no matter how strong it may appear—and return safely to our heavenly home."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Landing Safely in Turbulence," Ensign, February 2016, pp. 4-5
Click here to read the full article

President Uchtdorf suggests that we "can't always control the storms that life puts in our path." We rarely, if ever, choose to have those storms (unless the choice is born from ignorance of the results of our actions). But storms are a part of life, and though we may pray to always have clear weather and sunshine-filled days, that won't happen. Sometimes the storms will come, and sometimes they come when it is least convenient or most disruptive.

The challenge is to control how we react to the storms when we feel "blown about by the turbulence of disappointment, doubt, fear, sadness, or stress." It's easy and natural to focus on the storm and its impact. But the better choice is to focus "on the Savior and our testimony of the truth."

By learning to keep our focus on "the center of our faith" even in times of adverse conditions and challenges, we are doing the only thing that will make a difference—not avoiding the storm or even hanging on desperately until it passes, but making ourselves strong to get through the storm in all the best ways, learning and growing not in spite of the storms but because of them.

A great key is to be found "joyfully keeping His commandments" regardless of the surrounding challenges; that is what ultimately will bring happiness and peace, and a safe return to our heavenly home.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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