“Preach My Gospel” has been with missionaries for about 14 years now. It’s a wealth of information and a great study guide for all members of the Church to learn about the core principles of the Gospel. One of my favorite chapters in that book is Chapter 6, “How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes.” In this chapter we learn a wealth of information about the attributes of our Savior and how we can be more like him. There’s even a quiz we can take to see where we might be lacking and can strive to improve. Let’s review some of the key elements of patience taught in this chapter.
Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing.
Three Important Priciples
1. Patience is related to hope and faith—you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.
Patience comes to fruition in our life as we build our faith and hope in the Savior. Like so many other Christlike attributes, patience grows as we grow other attributes of the Savior. Thinking about this principle makes complete sense. In order to be patient and accept God’s will I have to have faith that He knows what is best for me in my life. I need to have hope that all things will work out for my good in the end. These two principles are difficult at different times in our life as we patiently wait through the trials we have in this life.
President Thomas S. Monson said:
“Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.”
We can learn from the examples in the scriptures on how we might have a better faith and hope in God’s timing. Preach My Gospel points us in the direction of the story of the sons of Mosiah. The sons of Mosiah, after their conversion, wanted nothing more than to serve their brethren the Lamanites and to help them hear the gospel. Even though they ended up having great success among that people, they had to first endure the trials they faced. There are many times in our lives where we endure a trial before the blessing comes into our life. It’s important to remember “that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” (D&C 122: 7)
2. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully.
In this simple sentence, Preach My Gospel teaches how we can measure our level of Patience in our life. Are we being patient with our family? Ourselves? Our co-workers? Are we patiently serving in our difficult callings or assignments at church? Are we dealing with the hardships of life with an attitude of hopefulness?
Finding ways to remain hopeful is difficult and trying. I’m not sure anything in the gospel is supposed to be easy, but don’t forget that we can utilize the Savior to help us get through these tough moments and to exhibit more patience in our trials. The sons of Mosiah were visited by the Spirit of the Lord and were comforted in their trials (Alma 17:10-11). Even though they exhibited great patience in their trials, they still had help from the Lord. You don’t have to do it alone.
Another great example in the scriptures of receiving the Lord’s help comes from the story of Alma and his people that were being persecuted by Amulon. The Lord did not take away the trial from those people, but he did make their burdens light. We read in Mosiah 24:15
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.”
It’s important to remember principles like this in our trying times. We may not be able to rid ourselves of our trials, but the Lord has the power to help us have patience and perform under pressure. All we need to do is turn to him.
3. You must be patient with all people, yourself included, as you work to overcome faults and weaknesses.
This is such an important principle in our daily lives. All of us are imperfect people, ourselves included. There are so many challenges in this life that we don’t need to make it more difficult for us by holding ourselves and others to some arbitrarily higher standard than what the Lord does. When we partake of the sacrament and renew our covenants we promise to the Lord that we are willing to keep his commandments, we don’t promise that we will be perfect in doing so. We are all willing to try and it’s important to remember that for ourselves and for others.
If we can simply believe that people are trying their best and that we are trying our best, we can find ourselves in a position of hope and patience with others. If we don’t believe that then we fall into the traps of believing that people are not good enough or that we aren’t good enough and that we must be punished for our imperfections. The Lord doesn’t want you to feel that way. He wants you to have hope and to be blessed through your trials so that you can go through this life with an abundance of hope and peace. If we can simply be patient with ourselves and with others, we can find ways to help each other overcome the trials in our life.
It’s important to study the attributes of our Savior. Preach My Gospel is a great resource and something we can all remember to review every so often in our studies.