Sunday, February 2, 2014

Lessons in Patience

Lessons in Patience

The past 15 months has taught me that there is nothing like a big trial to teach your patience!  

An interesting study about the effects of the ability to patience.
A clip from Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Continue in Patience""

Waiting Can Be Hard

Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for time—is precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.
I remember when my husband died I so desperately wanted to know and have so many things fixed.

What happened with the accident?  
What is the purpose of this trial? 
How will I continue on?  
What will my life look like now in the future?  
What should I do now?

These were the questions that plagued my mind and troubled my thoughts.  I desperately wanted answers, and I wanted them RIGHT NOW!  How could God deny me answers?  After all, He had taken my husband.

Fifteen months later I look at my life.  Holy cow! It is nothing like I envisioned it to be. I would have never guessed the things that would transpire or that things that would now be in the works. That's not bad either; in fact, I think it is turning out much better than my plan would have anyway.

However, back then I wouldn't have been able to accept all of this.  I wasn't ready yet.  Time and experience and study had to carve out a place in my heart for change and acceptance.  I had growing to do first before I was ready for answers.

Indeed, patience is purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.

 If we, as God's children are ever going to mature and reach our potential,
 we must learn to wait.  
For it is in that waiting that we grow and mature.

Patience Isn’t Merely Waiting

If we are simply sitting in the mud, then we aren't going anywhere!  There were days, especially early one when I wanted to just sit in the mud and cry out that life was just not fair.  (Which, by the way is t
otally true!  However, life was also never intended to be fair.  It's purpose was to individual teach and perfect us.)

I found that sitting in the mud only made me cold and dirty and did nothing to alleviate my problems or bring me closer to answers.  Being the proactive person that I am, I decided that doing something would help pass the time and was better than doing nothing.

Patience is persistently, steadily and consistently working.

My answers didn’t come quickly, but with patience, they did come.
learned that patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results didn’t appear instantly or without effort.
Patience is not passive resignation,nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude,even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well

In the process of actively waiting, working, hoping, and exercising faith we learn to give up a bit of our  "center of the universe' syndrome.  We get rid of some of  out self-absoprtion and selfishness.  

Once I decided to get up from the mud, I began to look around and I realized there were other people who were hurting too.  I began to see that by sharing my hurt and the lessons that I was learning that I was able to help other people heal.  The joy of helping others in turn helped me to heal.  While I was waiting for the answers I focused on listening to the spirit and doing what it prompted me to do.  Miraculously, trying to help others gave me the very answers I sought. It created the place in my heart to receive them. 

If you give grace, you receive grace.

I found that the only way that I was able to help and influence people was if I was being patient with them.  So in patiently waiting on the Lord, I learned also to be patient with others.  I knew this process was taking me time so I began to see that other people needed time to work through their difficulties. God was being patient with me, so I needed to be patient with them.  

“No ower or influence can or ought to be maintained...only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned." D&C 121: 2

My caring and my patience was making a difference
 in the lives of the people I was serving.

Caring creates faith in others by allowing them to feel God's love, 
creating a place in their hearts to receive.

As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve. Understand that they, like us, are imperfect. They, like us, make mistakes. They, like us, want others to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Never give up on anyone and that includes not giving up on yourself!

The Lord’s Way and Time

In our patience on waiting on the Lord and for His will and time table to be revealed we display TRUST in Him. 

That Trust leads to greater Faith.

In addition to the spiritual blessings that come immediately from obedience to any of God’s laws. Looking back, know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain.

Patience Requires Faith

When the Lord know that He can trust us to be obedient and do what He asks us to do, He will give us more knowledge, but that special blessing comes only when we have proven that we can be faithful and trusted.  He gives us a little and then sees what we will do with it.  He allows us time for processing and time for change.  If we are successful then he knows that we are ready to handle and learn a little more.  

Patience is our schooling.

Brigham Young taught that when something came up which he could not comprehend fully, he would pray to the Lord, “Give me patience to wait until can understand it for myself.” 5  And then Brigham would continue to pray until he could comprehend it.
Understanding comes “line upon line, precept upon precept.” 6  In short, knowledge and understanding come at the price of patience.

Sometimes that faith is deeply tested because we cannot see the good or the answers for a long time.  Sometimes perspective is needed.  I am still at the point.  I have hints at my future, but it is still only a little ways out.  When I came home from my recent trip to Utah I was discourage because it was time to put my house back on the market and I was no longer sure what I should do if it sold.  I had to patiently wait for an answer.  I moved forward even though I was not sure what I would do. I listened to the Spirit, and through a bunch of special prompting I was lead to know that I need to plan to move in with my little sister who is raising her son on her own.

A few months ago, I would not have been willing to accept this path for my life, but the experiences of the last few months changed somethings in my heart and I was now willing to accept that answer.  So that is the new plan.  I still don't know when the house will sell and I do not know how long we will live together, but I am trusting that the Lord will make that known to me on a "as needed basis."  He says, "This is what you need today.  Be patient and be faithful and I will tell you more."  Daily he is giving me my Mana or my DAILY BREAD.

Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness.

Patience Means...

Staying with something until the end. 

Delaying immediate gratification for future blessings.

Accepting that which cannot be changed and facing itwith courage, grace, and faith.

Being “willing to submit to allthings which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as child doth submit to his father.

Being “firm andsteadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord” 9 every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so. 

The Savior Himself said that in your patience you possess your souls. 11  Or, to use another translation of the Greek text, in your patience you win mastery of your souls.   (see Luke 21:19)

It is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most. 

The Lord Blesses Us for Our Patience

I remember one time in particular this year that I felt the spirit tell me not to do something that I very badly wanted to do.  It was really hard to obey that prompting, but I knew that if I was obedient that I would be blessed.  I followed the prompting and then I cried.  I cried for a while.  Then I moved forward and waited for the blessing.  

As it turned out, what I thought would happen did not happen.  In fact, my actions really helped someone that I cared about.  Furthermore, I gained some valuable knowledge and experience that later helped me with my sister and facilitated the answer that we should move in together.  

If I wouldn't have obeyed and instead done what I wanted to do, for a small moment I may have felt some happiness, but in the end I would have missed out on something far better.

Being obedient and patiently waiting for those blessings is worth every moment of waiting in the end. 

To paraphrase the Psalmist of old, if we wait patiently for the Lord, He will incline unto us. He will hear our cries. He will bring us out of horrible pitand set our feet upon solid rock. He will put new song in our mouths, and we will praise our God. Many around us will see it, and they will trust in the Lord. Psalm 40-1-3

Never give up.

The lessons we learn from patience will
              cultivate our character, 
                               lift our lives, 
                                            and heighten our happiness. 


  1. Thank you! This gave me some answers I needed!! -- Angeline J

  2. These are most insightful and valuable thoughts and quotations, Veronica. Thank you for creating this blog and sharing what you've learned. You are truly an "instrument in God's hands" in this marvelous endeavor. . . With love and hugs!