Elder Richard J. Maynes: 'The Strength to Endure'
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Spiritual strength comes as individuals learn to successfully endure challenges they face in life, Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy said during the Sunday morning session of general conference on Oct. 6.
"Every morning when we wake up we face a new day filled with the challenges of life," he said. "These challenges come in many forms: physical challenges, financial setbacks, difficulties with relationships, emotional trials and even struggles with one's faith."
Many challenges can be solved and overcome; however, others might be difficult to understand and impossible to overcome until the next life, Elder Maynes said.
"As we temporarily endure the challenges we can solve and as we continue to endure the challenges we cannot solve, it is important to remember that the spiritual strength we develop will help us successfully endure all the challenges we face in life," he said.
The journey of life is a test of character, where individuals are exposed to both good and evil influences and are given the moral agency to choose for themselves which path they will take. Because all make mistakes, the Savior's atoning sacrifice makes it possible for salvation and exaltation through the principle of repentance.
"Endurance is an important principle found within the doctrine of Jesus Christ," he said. "It is important because the quality of our eternal future is proportional to our ability to endure our challenges."
In order to receive the greatest of all the blessings of Heavenly Father — eternal life — individuals must successfully endure.
"Our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strength of our testimony and the depth of our conversion," he said. "When our testimonies are strong and we are truly converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, our choices will be inspired by the Holy Ghost, they will be Christ-centered, and they will support our desire to endure in righteousness. If our testimonies are weak and our conversion superficial, the risk is much greater than we will be enticed by the false traditions of the world to make poor choices."
Spiritual endurance comes at a price, Elder Maynes taught. It is through dedication, perseverance and self-discipline that individuals are able to keep their testimonies in shape and become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
"Because we face challenges every day, it is important that we work on our spiritual stamina every day," he said. "When we develop spiritual stamina, the false traditions of the world, as well as our personal daily challenges, will have little negative impact on our ability to endure in righteousness."