Eternal Glory

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Question: Does the eternal glory that awaits the faithful outweigh the trials of mortality?

Answer: “ I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’...What will it matter...what we suffered here if, in the end, those trials are the very things which qualify us for eternal life and exaltation in the kingdom of God.” (Linda S. Reeves, “Worthy of Our Promised Blessings,” Ensign Nov. 2015, 11)

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Romans 8:17, 28, 35-39

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17 And if children (since we are the Father’s children), then heirs; heirs of God (then we stand to inherit all he has), and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him (if we sacrifice whatever is necessary to follow the Savior), that we may be also glorified together (that we may be received into celestial glory and exaltation with him).

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter (we are all mortal and will die one way or another, so tribulation is not really important compared to whether or not we live righteously).

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Father’s love demonstrated in his offering his Son for our Sins).

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (If we are willing and faithful, nothing can prevent us from attaining exaltation.)

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Ronald E. Poelman, First Quorum of the Seventy:

“Happiness,” in the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith, “is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it.” (History of the Church, 5:134.) Often that path includes affliction, trials, and suffering—physically, mentally, and even spiritually.

Adversity, or what we perceive to be adversity, enters into the life of every individual at various times and in various forms. Adversity may be the consequence of willful disobedience to the laws of God. However, my remarks are directed to those who with righteous desire seek earnestly to learn and strive diligently to do God’s will, yet nevertheless experience adversity. Much about this subject we do not understand, but let us consider some of what the Lord has revealed.

Adversity in the lives of the obedient and faithful may be the consequence of disease, accidental injury, ignorance, or the influence of the adversary. To preserve free agency, the Lord also at times permits the righteous to suffer the consequences of evil acts by others...Some may respond to such innocent suffering with resentment, anger, bitterness, doubt, or fear. Others, with a knowledge and testimony of the divine plan of salvation, often respond with faith, patience, and hope born of that “peace … which passeth all understanding.”

The plan of salvation presented to and accepted by us in our premortal state includes a probationary period on earth, during which we experience opposites, make choices, learn the consequences thereof, and prepare to return to the presence of God. Experiencing adversity is an essential part of the process. Knowing this, we elected to come into mortality.

The Savior himself “learned... obedience by the things which he suffered.” Prophets and Apostles, ancient and modern, have struggled with adversity in their own lives, as well as with trials associated with their divine callings. No one is exempt. However, Paul teaches “that all things work together for good to them that love God.” (Rom. 8:28.)

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Similarly, the prophet Lehi assured his son Jacob with these words: “Jacob, thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow because of [others].

“Nevertheless,...thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” (2 Ne. 2:1–2.)

How, then, shall we respond to undeserved adversity in our own lives? How may our responses to affliction and suffering draw us closer to the Savior, to our Heavenly Father, and to the realization of our own celestial potential? ...

Repeated assurances have been given regarding the benefits and blessings of positive responses to adversity, however undeserved. The witness of the Spirit and the manifestation of greater things often follow the trial of one’s faith. (See Ether 12:6; 3 Ne. 26:7–9.) Spiritual refinement may be realized in the furnace of affliction. (1 Ne. 20:10.) Thereby we may be prepared to experience personal and direct contact with God...

Each of us is the spiritual offspring of God. We came to this earth to prepare to return to his presence, there to share a fulness—that is, eternal life. Without adversity, we may tend to forget the divine purpose of mortality and live our lives focused on the transitory things of the world.

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Should we therefore desire or seek to experience adversity and suffering? No! May we appropriately try to avoid it? Yes! Is it proper to ask for relief? Yes, always adding, in accordance with the Savior’s example, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt. 26:39.)

There are encouragement and comfort in knowing that we will not be tested beyond our capacity to endure, that we will benefit from our adversities, and that the resources and circumstances necessary for us to do so will be provided. (See 1 Cor. 10:13.)...

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Sources: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 127; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 2, Volume 3, by David J. Ridges, 112-113; Excerpts from General Conference, April 1989, “Adversity and the Divine Purpose of Mortality,” by Ronald E. Poelman, of the First Quorum of the Seventy.