Friday, January 5, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson on enduring life's challenges in faith

President Thomas S. Monson (August 21, 1927–January 2, 2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley until becoming Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade.
"What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.
"I have spoken over the years with many individuals who have told me, 'I have so many problems, such real concerns. I'm overwhelmed with the challenges of life. What can I do?' I have offered to them, and I now offer to you, this specific suggestion: seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it's a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one dayand then one more and then one more after thatuntil we've lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, 'Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life' (3 Nephi 15:9).
"For this purpose have you come into mortality, my young friends. There is nothing more important than the goal you strive to attain—even eternal life in the kingdom of your Father."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Believe, Obey, Endure," General Conference Young Women's Meeting, April 2012
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

We all have to learn to "withstand with courage" the challenges of our life. Sometimes those challenges are against our beliefs, or our attempts to be obedient. And sometimes it's just "enduring to the end" that is our challenge.

Given our current perspective, with the passing this week of President Monson, these words take on a particular significance. It's clear to us that he exemplified the quality of enduring to the end, serving faithfully for such a long and devoted life.

But he also acknowledged in these remarks the overwhelming challenges that so many face; he knows that life is not easy. His suggestion on how to endure faithfully is to focus on immediate concerns, seeking always for divine assistance as we face our problems day by day.

Eternal life is the reward promised to those who learn to live each day with heaven's help, patiently persevering day by day and year by year as long as required.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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