Trials and trying

With the new year approaching, people around the world will be coming up with resolutions, or goals, for the new year. These goals will typically include things to make us feel physically better, such as weight loss or eating healthier; and will help us improve in our daily lives. As with all goals, you'll try and fail at these goals along the way. It's what happens after you fail that will define you, and ultimately, your life. Will you give up or will you dust yourself off and try again?

As I studied the conference talk "Try, try, try" by President Henry. B. Eyring, from the October 2018 General Conference; this quote near the beginning of his talk stuck with me:

"...the loving God who allowed these tests for you also designed a sure way to pass through them. Heavenly Father so loved the world that He sent His Beloved Son to help us. His Son, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us. Jesus Christ bore in Gethsemane and on the cross the weight of all our sins. He experienced all the sorrows, the pains, and the effects of our sins so that He could comfort and strengthen us through every test in life."

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that we are sent to earth to be "tested to see if we will obey God's commandments." ( This is an ongoing test through life and is one that we will not receive a perfect score on. But the good news is, every time we miss a question, we get to reattempt it.

As I was pondering over my life thus far, I can't help but think of the times that I failed with a trial. But then I immediately am grateful for Jesus Christ. Because of Him, all those times that I failed, I was able to pray, to repent and to try again. But the thing is, when I look at those failures, I realize that many times I failed because I became relaxed in following in the footsteps of Christ.

Like the story of Peter; Jesus was walking on the sea and Peter desired to follow Him. Peter was able to walk across the water as long as he kept his gaze on our Savior. But when his gaze faltered from the Master, he became afraid and doubted himself and began to sink into the sea. Just like Peter, we all strive to follow the Savior, but throughout life, our gaze will also falter and we will begin to sink. But the amazing thing about this life is that we can re-focus our gaze and stop the sinking.

Carlos E. Asay, in the April 1996 General Conference said:

"We must not allow the things of the world to blinker our vision of the eternal destination. Nor must we permit the voices in the world to lead us off course..." He goes on to say "...we must reaffirm the goal that matters most and press toward it looking forward with an eye of faith."

Notice the word "goal". The goal in this life is to live faithfully and return to our Heavenly Father. In order to do so, we must keep studying His words and the words of His Apostles. And we must set smaller "goals" in order to keep progressing to the larger goal, returning to Him. 

So during this Christmas season and leading into the New Year, I'm setting spiritual goals, along with normal goals.
Goals such as:
  • Study the scriptures daily
  • Pray daily, whether for strength or thanks
  • Make church attendance of the highest priority
  • Keep the commandments and doctrine of the church
  • Follow Christ's example
This list could include many more smaller goals, but these specific goals will help lay the foundation to ultimately achieving the larger goal. And even though I'll fail on these, I won't give up. I'll try and try; and keep trying. Because this test is too important to give up on.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 1:37 - "For with God, nothing shall be impossible."

John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."


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