Q&A: Questions and Answers


Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.

“Why is life so hard? Will I ever get a break from trials? How can I endure?”

New Era

  • Trials can help you learn, be humble, and become stronger.

  • You can avoid some trials by making good choices.

  • Life is a test; trials are opportunities to show that you will be faithful.

  • If you seek His help, the Lord can help you endure your trials well.

  • Come unto Christ in your trials, and He will give you rest.

Life would be easier without trials, but we wouldn’t learn or grow much. Trials can humble us, help us grow spiritually, and remind us that we need the Lord’s help. Trials can help us learn to appreciate times of peace. Most important, they give us opportunities to show the Lord and ourselves that we will be faithful.

Some trials are a part of mortality, like natural disasters or the death of a loved one. Knowing that these things happen, you can prepare for them and, therefore, endure them better.

Other trials come from your own choices or the choices of others, like mistakes or sins. As you make good choices, you can avoid bringing some of these trials upon yourself. Enduring trials that are the result of others’ choices is difficult. Maybe a friend betrayed you, or you struggle with the bad language you hear at school. In these types of trials, be forgiving, stay faithful, and pray for the Lord’s help and comfort.

How well you endure trials is up to you. Those who grow from their trials stay close to the Lord and ask themselves, “What can I learn from this?” Those who feel sorry for themselves in their trials ask, “Why me?”

Notice how a long war between the Nephites and Lamanites affected the Nephites differently: “Many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility” (Alma 62:41; emphasis added). All were affected by the war, but not all chose to grow from it.

Here are a few ways to endure trials well: (1) Seek the Spirit—the Comforter—through prayer, fasting, scripture study, and righteous living. (2) Serve others, attend church and the temple, and spend time with loving friends and family. These things can bring you peace. (3) Try to keep a balanced perspective: even during trials there are still good things in your life. And (4) ask your parents and bishop or branch president for advice on getting through a trial.

Have you noticed that when you see someone going through a trial that you have gone through, you are more understanding and willing to help that person? Similarly, the Savior took upon Himself your trials—including your pains, sicknesses, temptations, and weaknesses—and He is perfectly compassionate and able to help (see Alma 7:11–12). In your trials remember what He said: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

President Thomas S. Monson

Photograph by Busath Photography

“When the burdens of life become heavy, when trials test one’s faith, when pain, sorrow, and despair cause the light of hope to flicker and burn low, communication with our Heavenly Father provides peace.” —President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Finishers Wanted,” Ensign, June 1989, 5.

Readers

Be grateful for your trials, for they too are a blessing. God already knows how you will handle your trials, but He wants you to know it. Pray to your Heavenly Father and ask Him for the strength and the patience that you will need, and the Lord will surely sustain you.

Sarah M., 16, Germany

My bishop has become my best friend through my hard times. I strongly advise anyone to talk with his or her bishop. They love you and want to help. Also, if you have your patriarchal blessing, read it often. It can direct you through the rough times.

Kaycee H., 20, Montana

God sent us to earth to be tested. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary for our growth and progress. Pray specifically for help so that you can become a persevering person, and pray to Him to receive comfort. He will take you by the hand and pour out on your head many blessings. Do not despair, but stay close to the gospel. It is the only thing that can truly help.

Lia C., 19, Italy

Our Father in Heaven does not stop putting us in the furnace of trials until He has seen His countenance on us. Learn to face trials cheerfully, for they shall be for your own good! Be happy despite all the odds. It is the road to more righteousness. Trials can strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Pray for comfort, seek the scriptures, and have an eternal perspective at all times.

Odessa B., 18, Philippines

With each trial I have two choices. I can either let it get the better of me, or I can choose to learn from it. Sometimes I feel lost and alone, but it’s important to stay close to our Heavenly Father so that in those moments we will be able to be comforted. Pray, read your scriptures, and build your testimony. Trials will become easier to endure as your relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ grows.

Lita J., 20, Alberta, Canada

We came here to be tested and to learn and grow. Having trials is a key part of learning. With continuous testing, we can keep sharp and be ready for the bigger challenges up ahead. By praying, reading the scriptures, and keeping the Sabbath day holy, you can endure more easily. Remember that any trial can be overcome, as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Jesse H., 14, Nevada

The Lord does not give us trials that He knows we cannot endure. That realization has helped me so much in my trials. When I look back on the pain I have gone through, what stands out to me is that the Lord loves me, and I have learned a lesson or two that I can carry with me through my life’s journey and also use to help someone who is going through the same thing. The Lord is with us every step of the way.

Liz O., 20, England

Our earth life is a probationary period, and it is necessary that we experience the labors of life, being tempted to see whether we are worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. The adversary works to divert us from the iron rod. But as we follow Christ and His gospel, we will be protected from evil. We can endure better if we have faith that this world is but a phase in the plan of salvation.

Celso O., 19, Brazil

Next Question

“How do I keep the Sabbath day holy? I’ve been focusing on things I can’t do. How do I make it a day I look forward to instead of a day when I can’t do anything fun?”

Send your answer, along with your full name, birth date, ward and stake, and a photograph (including your parent’s written permission to print the photo if you are under 18) to:

New Era, Q&A, 9/06
50 E. North Temple St. Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA

Or e-mail: newera@ldschurch.org

Please respond by September 15, 2006.

[photo] Photograph by David Stoker, posed by models