Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 11 (14 day/week study for conversion) TFOT Handout

Day 11 - Good Works
·         Alma 41:3 - And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.
·         Do I possess Christ-like qualities of patience, brotherly kindness, and charity?
·         What can I do to better develop those qualities within myself? Am I willing to give up things of the world in order to receive His good gifts?

Each of us will face trials and tests, and as in this simplistic example, it is how we react to those difficulties that will determine our success and happiness. Each of us will face adversity no matter where we are. We are taught in the scriptures that there “must needs be … an opposition in all things.”   We will each face times of difficulty, and the question is not when we will face them but how we face them.
The Apostle Paul taught an interesting lesson only a few years before the Saints in Rome were to face some of the most violent persecution of any Christian era. Paul reminded the Saints that “all things work together for good to them that love God.”   Our Heavenly Father, who loves us completely and perfectly, permits us to have experiences that will allow us to develop the traits and attributes we need to become more and more Christlike.  Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience. As we understand this doctrine, we gain greater assurance of our Father’s love. We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.
Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests. To some, our trials may not seem great, but to each of us who are passing through these experiences, the trials are real and require us to humble ourselves before God and learn from Him.
May I mention five things that we can learn from those last hours of the Savior’s life on earth that can help us to face our own trials.  First, He sought not to do His will but only the will of His Father. He remained committed to His sacred mission even through the trial.  Second, when we are faced with trials, we must learn to not complain or murmur. Third, when we face our challenges, we must seek greater help from God. Fourth, learn to serve and think of others even in our times of trial. Fifth, forgive others and do not seek to pass the blame of our situation to them.
As we pass through the trials of life, let us keep an eternal perspective, let us not complain, let us become even more prayerful, let us serve others, and let us forgive one another. As we do this, “all things [will] work together for good to [us] that love God.”  I bear a solemn and certain witness that our Father loves us and He sent His Son to show and pave the way for us. He suffered, He died, and He was resurrected that we might live, and He desires that we “might have joy,” even in our trials of life. (All Things Work Together for Good, James B. Martino, Ensign, April 2010)

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