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How can I learn to be more patient?

Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without being angry, frustrated, or anxious. We can develop patience by seeking to do God’s will and accept His timing, trusting that He will fulfill all of His promises to us. As we learn to be patient in small things, we prepare ourselves to face larger trials with patience.

Prepare yourself spiritually

What scriptures and talks will help the young women want to develop the Christlike attribute of patience?

Job 1; 19:25–26 (The example of Job)

Psalm 37:7–9; Hebrews 10:35–36; Mosiah 23:21–22; Alma 26:27; D&C 24:8 (Blessings come to those who are patient)

Romans 5:3; James 1:3–4 (Trials of our faith develop patience)

Mosiah 3:19 (Putting off the natural man includes becoming patient)

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 56–59; see also the video “Continue in Patience”

Robert D. Hales, “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 71–74

Robert C. Oaks, “The Power of Patience,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 15–17

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Read the paragraph at the beginning of the lesson, and invite the young women to think of someone from the scriptures who is an example of patience (such as Jacob and Rachel [Genesis 29:10–30], Hannah [1 Samuel 1:2–20], or the woman with an issue of blood [see Matthew 9:20–22]). Then ask them to share what these examples teach them about patience.
  • Read the paragraph at the beginning of this outline, and invite the young women to share situations in their lives in which they might need patience (such as family life, education and career, marriage, or motherhood). Show several objects that represent times in your life when you had to demonstrate patience (for example, a college diploma, a wedding ring, or a missionary nametag). Have the young women guess what the objects have to do with patience, and then share the experiences you had.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help the young women understand the importance of patience. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your class:

  • Write on the board a few questions about Job (What kind of man was Job? What tested his patience? What does he teach us about patience?) Read Job 1; 19:25–26 as a class, and discuss answers to the questions. What do the young women learn from Job’s example that might help them be more patient? How did his faith in the Savior help him face his trials with patience?
  • Share the story of a father’s patience from Elder Robert C. Oaks’s talk “The Power of Patience,” and invite the young women to share any stories they have about patience. Give each young woman a small section of this talk that you think might be helpful. Invite her to read and summarize it to the class. What do the young women learn from this talk that inspires them to trust the Lord and His timing? What are some reasons we are impatient? How can we overcome this tendency?
  • As a class, read paragraphs 9 through 17 of Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done,” looking for answers to the question “What does it mean to wait upon the Lord?” For additional insights, invite the young women to look up the scriptures that Elder Hales quotes and share anything else these scriptures teach about patience. How could the young women use Elder Hales’s words or these scriptures to help someone who may be losing hope?
  • Write on the board the headings “Patience” and “Impatience.” Give each young woman one of the scriptures about patience suggested in this outline. Invite the class to take turns reading their assigned scripture, discussing its message, and writing on the board the blessings of patience or consequences of impatience taught in the scripture. What additional blessings and consequences can they add to their lists? Invite each young woman to write on a piece of paper a situation that would require patience (encourage them to include not just major traumas but also day-to-day irritations or inconveniences). Have them exchange papers with another young woman, write a response that would show patience, and then share with the class what they have written.
  • Show the video “Continue in Patience,” and invite the young women to discuss what they learn about patience from the video. What are some situations in which the young women become impatient? Invite each young woman to read one section from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Continue in Patience,” and ask her to summarize for the rest of the class what she learned from the section she read. How can President Uchtdorf’s counsel help the young women become more patient?

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they understand how to become more patient? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this topic?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today.  For example, they could:

  • Show more patience with their families in the coming week.
  • Make a list of quick ways to help control their impatience in a tense situation, such as counting to 10 or singing a hymn.