“But all things must come to pass in their time” (D&C 64:32). Though tersely expressed, this insight is profoundly and reassuringly important to each of us personally. In the midst of today and the here and now, you and I may not see the marvelous pattern and divine design in our lives. One day as we look back, the pattern and the mosaic will be much more clear. For now, we are to have faith not only in the Lord and His overall macro-timetable but also in His timetable for each of us individually! In order for us to have that kind of faith and not be unnecessarily bruised and battered, we must allow, more than we do now, for the fact that the Lord’s timetable must take into account: (1) our agency and the agency of others, (2) His merciful long-suffering that He extends to us, and (3) the need for Christ to hold all things together.
We must look carefully, therefore, not only at life’s large defining moments but also at the seemingly small moments. Even small acts and brief conversations count, if only incrementally, in the constant shaping of souls, in the strategic swirl of people and principles and tactical situations.
Moments are the molecules that make up eternity!
It is not so much the major events as the small day-to-day decisions that map the course of our living. … Our lives are, in reality, the sum total of our seemingly unimportant decisions and of our capacity to live by those decisions
Thus life is carefully designed to produce for us, if we are willing, a harvest of relevant and portable experience. But there is such a short growing season! The fields must be worked intensively amid droughts, late springs, and early frosts.
So often in life a deserved blessing is quickly followed by a needed stretching. Spiritual exhilaration may be quickly followed by a vexation or temptation. Were it otherwise, extended spiritual reveries or immunities from adversity might induce in us a regrettable forgetfulness of others in deep need. The sharp, side-by-side contrast of the sweet and the bitter is essential until the very end of this brief, mortal experience. Meanwhile, even routine, daily life provides sufficient sandpaper to smooth our crustiness and polish our rough edges, if we are meek.
Men accomplish marvelous things by trusting in the Lord and keeping His commandments—by exercising faith even when they don’t know how the Lord is shaping them.......
But in the midst of all those glorious outcomes hoped for and expected by the participants, there were always the but if nots:......
Our scriptures and our history are replete with accounts of God’s great men and women who believed that He would deliver them, but if not, they demonstrated that they would trust and be true.
He has the power, but it’s our test.
What does the Lord expect of us with respect to our challenges? He expects us to do all we can do. He does the rest.
As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.
I do not minimize how hard some of these events can be. When the lesson you are to learn is very important, trials can extend over a long period of time, but they should not be allowed to become the confining focus of everything you do. Your life can and should be wondrously rewarding. It is your understanding and application of the laws of God that will give your life glorious purpose as you ascend and conquer the difficulties of life. That perspective keeps challenges confined to their proper place—stepping-stones to further growth and attainment.
We may feel put upon by events and circumstances—another mistake we can make when not approaching the Atonement properly. Yet many of these things that we feel put upon by actually constitute the customized curricula needed for our personal development. Still, our tendency is to push away the necessary and prescribed courses of spiritual calisthenics. We can’t withdraw from all of life’s courses and still really stay enrolled in school!