The following are some of our favorite quotes that help give perspective when life is hard. We hope they help some of you who may need it. Please pass this post on if you know of someone who could be helped by the words of the prophets as well:
We should not complain about our own life’s not being a rose garden when we remember who wore the crown of thorns (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1987, 72).
One’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1991, 88).
Partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is part of the emulation of Jesus (Neal A Maxwell, Ensign, Oct. 1997, 22).
If for a while, the harder you try, the harder it gets, take heart. So it has been with the best people who ever lived (Jeffrey R. Holland, However Long and Hard the Road, , 33).
Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of age. Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury. All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect (Boyd K. Packer, in Conference Report, Oct. 1980, 29; or Ensign, Nov. 1980, 21).
Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith. If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil–all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls. Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Proceeds the Miracle, , 97).
It is recorded that Jesus was made perfect through suffering. If he was made perfect through suffering, why should we imagine for one moment that we can be prepared to enter into the kingdom of rest with him and the Father, without passing through similar ordeals? (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe , 346).
There is a clear and obvious difference between being “given” a “thorn in the flesh,” as Paul was, and willfully impaling ourselves on the spears of sin. In the former circumstance, the afflicted may ask “Why?”-but in the latter situation that is not a useful question to address to anyone but ourselves (Neal A. Maxwell, All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, , 32).
We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for only a day or a year. Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility. We were willing to take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this without murmur, complaint, or unreasonable demands (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Proceeds the Miracle, , 106).
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 (Proverbs 3:11–12). 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, in Conference Report, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16-17).
“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven. . . .” (Orson F. Whitney as cited in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Proceeds the Miracle, , 99).
How can you and I really expect to glide naively through life as if to say, “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1991, 88).
Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…. delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas, and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, , 254).