“Challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously…”

richard-g-scott-largeI have new practice of filling my extra time with interesting reading and then grabbing the highlights and organizing them in a way that helps me retrieve them when needed. I’ll go into this new habit soon enough. Today, I want to focus on one of the gems of some recent study.

I always thought when people expressed that their trials seem to come in waves that they were just seeing their life in a pessimistic light. Of course, if I look back into my journal I would probably notice the pattern holding true for me and my family as well. And, as I was recently studying an address from Elder Richard G. Scott, he seemed to share the same sentiment:

“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain.”

(Richard G. Scott, Conference Report, Oct. 1995)

Does that sound familiar? Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously? Problems seem to either invite more problems, or weaken us in a way that makes small problems seem much bigger than they might really be.

Seeing those moments as “evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more” may be the key to not only weathering the storms but allowing the polishing we really do desire. Much of our success may lean on the glasses through which we try to see our challenges. And there are ways to acquire those glasses…

Sometimes in the middle of the “multiple doses”, I try to imagine what I want to teach my children down the road or share with a congregation about what I learned and how I grew during the current trial. As I imagine the lessons learned, I try to determine how I should act now so that I will be able to genuinely teach those principles in the coming years. That perspective–which is not often easy for me to develop–often helps me start down the road of inspired problem solving much earlier than is my personal pattern. More quickly, I learn to lean on God, ask for inspired advice from family and friends, humble myself, and repent (when needed, which for me is more often than not). As I emerge from the other side of the challenge, it is easier to discern the lessons and pinpoint the principles.

So, here’s to the “multiple doses” since they seem to come anyway. Maybe they are proof of “good things to come” (Hebrews 10:1)…

Be Encouraging,

BJM

 

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6 thoughts on ““Challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously…”

  1. jencrookedtech

    I found this link on Janese’s facebook page and immediately dove in to read it. We are coming out of the worst year of our marriage. We have had a mentally ill teenage son that needed severe intervention. With heavy hearts we knew we had to place him into residential treatment or he wouldn’t have lived. His depression had literally sucked the spirit and his life right out of him. It has been the most heart breaking thing to watch as a parent but at the same time, the trial has been one of the most rewarding blessings I have ever witnessed. Our son was in treatment from January 21 until just a few weeks ago. He transitioned out very slowly over the summer and I am so pleased to say that I have my son back, truly back. While this “Trial” sucked every penny out of our savings and even required us to sell our home to use the equity to pay for the treatment, we have been able to relocate to a different place to give him a new fresh start in life. I never would have guessed 9 months ago that this would have been possible. I was sure we would bury him.

    As I read “those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more” I feel such confidence and love from our Heavenly Father that he loves me enough and trusts me enough to walk this road with our son. It’s rewarding to know He feels we are prepared to grow more. I know without a doubt that this trial has changed me, our son, and everyone in our family. We have come to understand and recognize the true power of the Atonement like I have never witnessed before. For months and months when we could have no contact with our son, he had to dig deep and rely on his Heavenly Father to save him.

    How truly blessed and thankful I am for finding this quote.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne

    I agree with your assessment, and share similar opinions, but sometimes I just want to be done with trials for awhile. I kind of fluctuate between understanding and finding blessings in my trials, and feeling weak from trying to keep going. Tonight, for no explainable reason, that is how I feel. I had a great day, but feel so exhausted to start another week.

    Reply
    1. BJM Post author

      I couldn’t agree more. My perspective related to my trials is always more optimistic after they’re over, that’s for sure. I would imagine that many people feel as you do, including myself. Best wishes!

      Reply

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