Challenges Help Us Grow

Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Adapted from “Two Principles for Any Economy,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 55–58.

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It is often in adversity that we learn the most important lessons.

When I was 11 years old, I lived with my family in the attic of a farmhouse near Frankfurt, Germany. We were refugees in a new place, far away from our previous home. We were very poor.

Because I was a refugee, and because I spoke with an East German accent, other children often made fun of me and called me names that deeply hurt. Of all the times of my youth, I believe this may have been the most discouraging.

Even though I still remember the hurt I felt, I can see now that this was a time of great personal growth. During this time, our family bonded together. I watched and learned from my parents. I admired their determination and optimism. From them I learned that we can overcome adversity when we have faith and courage.

I think back on that 11-year-old boy in Frankfurt, Germany, who worried about his future and felt the lasting sting of unkind remarks. While I would not be eager to relive those days of trial and trouble, the lessons I learned then were a necessary preparation for future opportunity. Now, many years later, I know this for certain: it is often in adversity that we learn those most important lessons that form our character and shape our destiny.

Challenges in the Scriptures

If you ever feel sad or left out, you are not alone! Solve these riddles to learn how some scripture heroes handled hard times. Check your answers below.

My brothers took my colored coat
And sold me as a slave.
With faith I solved the Pharaoh’s dreams;
From famine all were saved.
Who am I? ________________________________
When men were few and spirits weak,
I raised the banner high.
My troops then won their battles
Once they knew the reason why.
Who am I? ________________________________
High on a wall I prophesied
The Savior soon would come.
The angry mob shot arrows, but
No harm to me was done.
Who am I? ________________________________
Tremendous floods destroyed the earth,
For no one had prepared.
But we and all the animals
Inside the ark were spared.
Who am I? ________________________________
Although at risk to lose my life,
My people mattered more.
With bravery I asked the king
To save those I cared for.
Who am I? ________________________________
Obeying God gave me great power
Time and time again—
Before the king, at home, and even
In the lion’s den.
Who am I? ________________________________

Answers: Joseph, Captain Moroni, Samuel the Lamanite, Noah, Esther, Daniel

When Times Are Hard

Check the boxes for things you want to try next time you’re having a bad day!

  • Write in your journal or draw a picture.

  • Go for a walk.

  • Do something nice for someone.

  • Read your favorite scripture story.

  • Talk with a trusted adult.

  • Think of your favorite joke.

  • Do something you’re good at.

  • Sing a Primary song.