Sunday, May 8, 2011

Spiritual Fortitude

As we strive daily to draw closer to the Lord, to become the people we know He can make us, we are met with trials and tribulations that can, if we so choose, teach us to be better or lead to our down fall. Trials, pain and frustrations are part of this mortal life and are something everyone must handle. Fortunately, if we let him, the Lord uses these struggles to teach us to become more like him. Through his atonement we can hand ourselves over to Him and receive His strength.

“He [Christ] is our shield. . . . It is by Him that we remain unto this day; and by Him we shall remain, if it shall be for our glory; and in His Almighty name we are determined to endure tribulation as good soldiers unto the end.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith)

I often here the phrase, “Why me?” uttered in times of hardships and I have always wondered to myself when I hear that, “Why not me? Why should I be the exception?” Though easier said than done, we must accept the trials we have been given and open our hearts to whatever it is that the Lord wants us to learn. Through listening to the promptings of the spirit we can be strengthened by the Lord to know what we need to do to become what He has in mind.

 In Psalms 138:3 it says, “In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.” Time and time again this has happened in my life. Then, again in Psalms 18:32, it reads It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.”

If we give our lives to Christ we will be strengthened, fortified and will become even greater tools in His hands to further His work. But, how do we go about giving our lives to Christ?

Harold B. Lee said, “The enemies of your own human ‘fortress’ are both physical and spiritual… They may include an unexpected sorrow, a family disgrace, a shock in your finances, the [disloyalty] of a supposed friend, or a secret sin against the laws of God.” When such things happen in our lives, we require “an additional supply from spiritual sources. … And so I beg of you … to live each day so that you might receive from the fountain of light [the] nourishment and strength sufficient to every day’s need. Take time to be holy each day of your lives.” (Decisions for Successful Living (1973))

Taking time to be holy really means investing your time and your heart into the little things. We must have daily scripture study and prayer to continue growing. We should be attending our church meetings, having and going to FHE, doing our home and visiting teaching and doing all that we can to keep the spirit with us and draw closer to the Savior throughout our day.

As C.S. Lewis so eloquently stated, “Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.” (Mere Christianity, p. 226)

We must turn to Christ. Doing so will bring blessings and strength that we cannot comprehend. It is a long process but I shall never forget that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)


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