A Thought on Patience

by
July 17, 2008

toilerI came across this great scripture in the Book of Mormon. It describes the Lord helping a small group of righteous people escape from bondage. It says:

“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.” Moroni 24:15-16

I just find it interesting that part of the reason God chose to free those people so soon was because they were just so darned patient and cheerful about everything, while, on the other hand, their less patient countrymen suffered a lot longer and a lot more (go read that. It’s an interesting comparison). Their situations were so similar, and they were both asking for deliverance, but their respective attitudes made all the difference in how God chose to respond to them. It rather reminds me of when I was little and my mom would refuse to give me something until after I stopped whining for it and asked nicely.

So as a terribly impatient person, I have to wonder if sometimes the Lord is just waiting for me to chill out a little and stop being so insistent all the time. Not that I’m saying we shouldn’t ask for things, or even be diligent about it, but I think there’s a difference between being persistent and whining. Maybe it’s that cheerful submission to his will that the scripture was talking about. And maybe it’s also faith:

“Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually, when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best—better than does God. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His” –Elder Neal A. Maxwell (“Patience,” Ensign, Oct. 1980, 28).

That’s all. Just something to think about next time you need help escaping from slavery.

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