Patience? Endure to the end? Oh dear, I’ve failed. Time and time again I reach this conclusion. I’m better than I was as a child, as a young adult and even as a young mother, but I feel I consistently fail to endure.
The lack of patience creates contention in the home. I’ve seen impatience move from me, to another, to another until the whole household is on edge. I’ve also seen the opposite. When I remain patient and calm. They in turn, do the same. There is greater happiness in patience.
“To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself,” Thomas S. Monson, a religious leader, said.
Wow, I think, I want that kind of patience. I’ve seen it in others and how simple and smooth their lives seem.
Trials teach patience
Prayers for patience are often answered with trials. I know trials are the best teacher, but I don’t know if I want to go through another one.
Recently, my trials were seven active 5-year-old boys in a Sunday school class, the car in front of me driving slower than the speed limit, the confidante thoughtfully considering my problem and a long check-out line as I envision my ice cream melting. Trials, small or large, teach endurance through patience.
I have learned how I respond to these trials is where I find the answers and growth. I love the children I teach. I see their activity and find a way to use it in the lesson. They love role playing.
Visions of cars crashing all around me prevent me from jumping into the next lane. Instead, I breathe deeply, sit back, enjoy the trip or the music on the radio and go around when it’s safe.
I want the patient, simple, smooth life of my confidante, so I watch, emulate and wait for her sage advice. I know it’ll be what I need.
And the long lines? Bring a book; the ice cream always tastes great with hot, fresh out of the oven, brownies.
These trials teach me patience so that I can pass it on to our family.
Scripture stories teach patience
The best source for enduring through patience is the scriptures. And for me, one of the best examples is found in the Book of Job. He was prosperous and dedicated his life to serving the Lord and his family. Then, he lost everything. Servant after servant informed him of the loss of his oxen, asses other servants, sheep, camels and his seven sons and three daughters. Later, he lost his health.
Friends, neighbors and his wife counseled him to curse the Lord. Through all of this, he did not and his story reminds us, even the righteous must endure to the end. In doing so, the Lord doubled Job’s lost possessions and gave him seven more sons and three more daughters.
Job and many other scriptures remind me patience helps me follow Jesus Christ. When I follow him, I’m more patient and so is the family. The scripture Matthew 18:22 says, “Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." It helps me understand endurance. Patience is not instantaneous, it takes time.
Patience is needed when the baby cries, the children argue, things aren’t going my way and I remember Job and the passage in Matthew. I take a deep breath and ask the Lord for help instead of relying on myself.
Not only me
The scriptures and observing others, helps me get past the woe is me attitude. Another trick I use is to replace my name with the ones in the scriptures and know the counsel is for me. This personalizes the passage and helps me know the Lord does want me to follow him.
Monson recently counseled us to “remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.”
Story after story reminds me I’m not singled out. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses are all great examples of endurance. Web-sites like A Spark Starts also provide reminders and examples of endurance.
My family reminds me I’m not alone. We talk about, and willingly admit, when we’re wrong. This bonds us closer and helps each of us remind the other, no one is alone. Children are the best teachers and ours are no different. Their first thoughts were, mommy we need to pray. And they were right.
You are not alone. I am not alone. How am I learning the Heavenly virtue of patience? Through prayer, trials, reading scriptures, the examples of those close to me and stories of those who have endured. We will endure to the end and the heavenly virtue of patience will be ours to teach to the next generation.