Monday, June 10, 2019

President James E. Faust on eternal perspective for the challenges of life

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"Our love of God must be pure, without selfish intent. The pure love of Christ must be the motive in our devotion.
"Now all this suffering might indeed be unfair if everything ended at death, but it doesn’t. Life is not like a one-act play. It has three acts. We had a past act, when we were in the premortal existence; and now we have a present act, which is mortality; and we will have a future act, when we return to God (see Eccl. 12:7). As Jesus promised, 'In my Father’s house are many mansions' (John 14:2). We were sent into mortality to be tested and tried. As the Lord explained to Abraham, 'We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them' (Abraham 3:25).
"Our past and present sufferings cannot, as Paul said, 'be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us' (Romans 8:18) in the eternities. 'For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory' (D&C 58:4). So tribulation is useful in the sense that it is helpful to get into the celestial kingdom....
"It’s not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us."
- James E. Faust, "Where Do I Make My Stand?," General Conference October 2004
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The recognition that "life does not end at death" is a critical understanding for our eternal perspective. Once we grasp that concept, the perspective of our trials and challenges changes dramatically:

With a firm grasp on the perspective of eternity, we then can contemplate the purpose of our existence and the challenges we might encounter in life. They are not coincidental, but have reason and benefit that will last far beyond the grave. Then we can recognize that "It’s not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us." What a profound concept!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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