Do you want it right now—or do you want it right?
Imagine a young man who tries to make a grilled cheese sandwich on his own for the first time. He gets all of the ingredients. He gets out the pan and puts it on the stove. Then he thinks, “If I turn the heat up high, it’ll be done faster.”
Imagine what happens next.
Most likely, he’ll have bread that looks and feels (and probably tastes) like lava rock and half-melted cheese.
His problem, as you can see, was a combination of ignorance (which is excusable) and impatience (which, though understandable, is less excusable).
To get it right, he would have to discover the miracle of medium heat.
The medium setting on a stove is perfect for grilled cheese and many other dishes because it allows food to be cooked through without being overdone on the outside. The only downside is that it requires more time and attention, which require patience.
Jesus Christ is the foremost example of patience. And part of following His example means enlarging our perspective, looking beyond the things of the moment, and seeing the greater reward that comes from having patience.
“To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it ‘with great diligence, and … patience’ [Alma 32:41]. …
—Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Oct. 2011 general conference.
As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, has taught us, patience is much more than merely waiting:
“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!” (“Continue in Patience,” Apr. 2010 general conference). (What do marshmallows have to do with patience? Check it out!)
What does this kind of patience look like? Here are five examples:
- It’s not just sticking the grilled cheese sandwich on the pan and forgetting it; it’s watching and flipping it at the right time.
- It’s not just getting through school or seminary or church; it’s actively learning or worshipping.
- It’s not just waiting for a testimony of the Book of Mormon to be bestowed upon you because you asked for it; it’s continuing to read, study, ponder, pray, and live according to the precepts of that book.
- It’s not just sitting there while friends make fun of your religion; it’s praying for them and really wanting them to have a change of heart and doing what you can to bring it about.
- It’s not just waiting until 16 to date; it’s learning to love obedience and trying to understand how following the prophets’ counsel will bless you.
The miracle of medium heat may give you a perfect grilled cheese sandwich, but patience will have its “perfect work” (James 1:4) in your life, helping you press forward to become more like Jesus Christ.
If you’re guilty of giving in to impatience too often, you’re not the only one. You can repent and try again to follow Jesus Christ’s example and teachings. There’s more than one grilled cheese sandwich to be made, and it’s never too late to learn about the perfection that’s possible through patience.
Share Your Experience
How have you learned to exercise real patience? Share your experience below.