Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged us to cheerfully rely on the Lord when we face the challenges of mortality:

“Problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness. 

…“The Lord is intent on your personal growth and development. That progress is accelerated when you willingly allow Him to lead you through every growth experience you encounter, whether initially it be to your individual liking or not. When you trust in the Lord, when you are willing to let your heart and your mind be centered in His will, when you ask to be led by the Spirit to do His will, you are assured of the greatest happiness along the way and the most fulfilling attainment from this mortal experience. If you question everything you are asked to do, or dig in your heels at every unpleasant challenge, you make it harder for the Lord to bless you [see 1 Nephi 3:7]” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1996, 32–33; or Ensign, May 1996, 24–25).

Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that everything we experience teaches us valuable lessons:

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven” (cited in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 98).

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declared that our baptismal covenants require righteousness no matter how difficult the circumstances:

“When we covenant in the waters of baptism to ‘stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places,’ we’re not talking solely about fast and testimony meetings. It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is always the right thing to do—always” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 51; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 37).

While serving as Presiding Bishop, Elder Merrill J. Bateman described how Jesus would see His seed:

“The Savior, as a member of the Godhead, knows each of us personally. Isaiah and the prophet Abinadi said that when Christ would ‘make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed’ (Isaiah 53:10; compare Mosiah 15:10). Abinadi explains that ‘his seed’ are the righteous, those who follow the prophets (see Mosiah 15:11). In the garden and on the cross, Jesus saw each of us and not only bore our sins but also experienced our deepest feelings so he would know how to comfort and strengthen us” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 15–16; or Ensign, May 1995, 14).

President Boyd K. Packer admonished those who seek peace of conscience through repentance to persevere until they obtain forgiveness:

“The gospel teaches us that relief from torment and guilt can be earned through repentance. Save for those few who defect to perdition after having known a fulness, there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. . . .

“That great morning of forgiveness may not come at once. Do not give up if at first you fail. Often the most difficult part of repentance is to forgive yourself. Discouragement is part of that test. Do not give up. That brilliant morning will come.

“Then ‘the peace of God, which passeth... understanding’ comes into your life once again. [Philippians 4:7]. Then you, like Him, will remember your sins no more. How will you know? You will know! [see Mosiah 4:1–3]” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 22, 24; or  Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19–20).

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught how the Atonement can heal us of our errors:

"We all make mistakes. Sometimes we harm ourselves and seriously injure others in ways that we alone cannot repair. We break things that we alone cannot fix. It is then in our nature to feel guilt and humiliation and suffering, which we alone cannot cure. That is when the healing power of the Atonement will help....

“If Christ had not made His Atonement, the penalties for mistakes would be added one on the other. Life would be hopeless. But He willingly sacrificed in order that we may be redeemed. . . .

“We can even ‘retain a remission of [our] sins’ [Mosiah 4:12]. Baptism by immersion is for the remission of our sins. That covenant can be renewed by partaking of the sacrament each week [see D&C 27:2].

“The Atonement has practical, personal, everyday value; apply it in your life. It can be activated with so simple a beginning as prayer. You will not thereafter be free from trouble and mistakes but can erase the guilt through repentance and be at peace” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2001, 28–29; or  Ensign,May2001,23–24).

While discussing what it means to be a Saint, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles cited this definition and then provided examples of things we must separate ourselves from:

“The word saint in Greek denotes ‘set apart, separate, [and] holy’ [in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. (1992), 3:1249]. If we are to be Saints in our day, we need to separate ourselves from evil conduct and destructive pursuits that are prevalent in the world.

“We are bombarded with visual images of violence and immorality. Inappropriate music and pornography are increasingly tolerated. The use of drugs and alcohol is rampant. There is less emphasis on honesty and character. Individual rights are demanded, but duties, responsibilities, and obligations are neglected. There has been a coarsening of dialogue and increased exposure to that which is base and vulgar. The adversary has been relentless in his efforts to undermine the plan of happiness. If we separate ourselves from this worldly conduct, we will have the Spirit in our lives and experience the joy of being worthy Latter-day Saints” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2003, 100–101; or  Ensign, Nov. 2003, 95).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referred to the suffering experienced by Jesus Christ as “the awful arithmetic of the Atonement”:

“Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, ‘astonished’! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (See Luke 22:43.)

“The cumulative weight of all mortal sins—past, present, and future— pressed upon that perfect, sinless, and sensitive Soul! All our infirmities and sicknesses were somehow, too, a part of the awful arithmetic of the Atonement. (See Alma 7:11–12; Isaiah 53:3–5; Matthew 8:17.) The anguished Jesus not only pled with the Father that the hour and cup might pass from Him, but with this relevant citation. ‘And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me’ (Mark 14:35–36).

“Had not Jesus, as Jehovah, said to Abraham, ‘Is any thing too hard for the Lord?’ (Genesis 18:14). Had not His angel told a perplexed Mary, ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible’? (Luke 1:37; see also Matthew 19:28; Mark 10:27; Luke 18:27).

“Jesus’ request was not theater!

“In this extremity, did He, perchance, hope for a rescuing ram in the thicket? I do not know. His suffering— as it were, enormity multiplied by infinity— evoked His later soul-cry on the cross, and it was a cry of forsakenness. (See Matthew 27:46.)

“Even so, Jesus maintained this sublime submissiveness, as He had in Gethsemane: ‘Nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt’ (Matthew 26:39)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1985, 92; or  Ensign,May1985,72–73).

Revelation or inspiration comes in several ways, including thoughts, impressions, and feelings (see D&C 6:15; 8:2–3).

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, discussed how we can recognize the voice of the Lord:

“Answers to prayers come in a quiet way. The scriptures describe that voice of inspiration as a still, small voice. . . . “I have come to know that inspiration comes more as a feeling than as a sound. . . . “Put difficult questions in the back of your minds and go about your lives. Ponder and pray quietly and persistently about them.

“The answer may not come as a lightning bolt. It may come as a little inspiration here and a little there, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept’ (D&C 98:12).

“Some answers will come from reading the scriptures, some from hearing speakers. And, occasionally, when it is important, some will come by very direct and powerful inspiration. The promptings will be clear and unmistakable” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1979, 28, 30; or  Ensign, Nov. 1979, 19–21).

Elder David A. Bednar taught that coming unto Christ requires a lifetime of pressing forward in consistent obedience:

“Coming unto Christ is not a single event with a fixed point of beginning or ending; rather, it is a process that develops and deepens during a lifetime. As an initial step in the process, we certainly must obtain knowledge and learn about Jesus and His life, teachings, and ministry. But truly coming unto Him also requires consistent obedience and striving to become like Jesus in our thoughts, motives, communications, and actions. As we ‘press forward’ (2 Ne. 31:20) on the pathway of discipleship, we can draw near unto the Savior with the expectation that He will draw near unto us; we can seek Him diligently with the hope that we shall find Him; we can ask with confidence that we shall receive; and we can knock anticipating that the door shall be opened unto us (see D&C 88:63)” (“Because We Have Them before Our Eyes,” New Era, Apr. 2006, 2).

2 Nephi 27:21. “In Mine Own Due Time”
Elder Neal A. Maxwell discussed our timing and God's timing:

“Faith also includes trust in God's timing, for He has said, ‘All things must come to pass in their time’ (D&C 64:32). Ironically, some who acknowledge God are tried by His timing, globally and personally!” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1991, 119; or  Ensign, May 1991, 90).

On another occasion, Elder Maxwell said: “Faith in the timing of God [is] to be able to say Thy timing be done, even when we do not fully understand it” (“Glorify Christ” [an evening with Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Feb. 2, 2001], 7, www.ldsces.org).

2 Nephi 25:26. “Rejoice in Christ”
President Gordon B. Hinckley noted that knowledge gained through the Restoration allows us to truly rejoice in our Savior:

“As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, ‘talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins’ (2 Nephi 25:26)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2002, 107–8; or  Ensign,May2002,90–91).

2 Nephi 25:23. The Doctrine of Grace

•Grace refers to divine help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ.

“It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus, made possible by his a toning sacrifice, that mankind will be raised in immortality, every person receiving his body from the grave in a condition of everlasting life. It is likewise through the grace of the Lord that individuals, through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power that allows men and women to lay hold on eternal life and exaltation after they have expended their own best efforts.

“Divine grace is needed by every soul in consequence of the fall of Adam and also because of man’s weaknesses and shortcomings. However, grace cannot suffice without total effort on the part of the recipient. Hence the explanation, ‘It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Ne. 25:23). It is truly the grace of Jesus Christ that makes salvation possible. This principle is expressed in Jesus’ parable of the vine and the branches (John 15:1–11). See also John 1:12–17; Eph. 2:8–9; Philip. 4:13; D&C 93:11–14)” (Bible Dictionary, “Grace,” 697).
•Elder Dallas H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed the effects of grace and how grace is an important doctrine for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“Some Christians accuse Latter-day Saints . . . of denying the grace of God through claiming they can earn their own salvation. We answer this accusation with the words of two Book of Mormon prophets. Nephi taught, ‘For we labor diligently . . . to persuade our children . . . to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do’ (2 Nephi 25:23). And what is ‘all we can do’? It surely includes repentance (see Alma 24:11) and baptism, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end. Moroni pleaded, ‘Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace year may  be perfect in Christ’ (Moroni 10:32).

“We are not saved in our sins, as by being unconditionally saved through confessing Christ and then, inevitably, committing sins in our remaining lives (see Alma 11:36–37). We are saved from our sins (see  Helaman 5:10) by a weekly renewal of our repentance and cleansing through the grace of God and His blessed plan of salvation (see 3 Nephi 9:20–22)” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 77; or  Ensign,May1998,56).

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994) discussed the importance of studying the Book of Mormon and how neglecting that study may have unforeseen consequences:

“Do eternal consequences rest upon our response to this book? Yes, either to our blessing or our condemnation.

“Every Latter-day Saint should make the study of this book a lifetime pursuit. Otherwise he is placing his soul in jeopardy and neglecting that which could give spiritual and intellectual unity to his whole life. There is a difference between a convert who is built on the rock of Christ through the Book of Mormon and stays hold of that iron rod, and one who is not” (A Witness and a Warning [1988], 7–8).

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the spiritual strength that follows when we place our trust in the Lord:

“As we put our faith and trust in the Lord, we must battle our pain day by day and sometimes hour by hour, even moment by moment; but in the end, we understand that marvelous counsel given to the Prophet Joseph Smith as he struggled with his pain of feeling forgotten and isolated in Liberty Jail:

“‘My son, peace be unto the soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

“‘And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; though shalt triumph over all the foes’ (D&C121:7–8).

“My dear brothers and sisters, when pain, tests, and trials come in life, draw near to the Savior.

‘Wait upon the Lord, ...look for him’ (Isaiah 8:17; 2 Nephi 18:17).

‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint’ (Isaiah 40:31). Healing comes in the Lord’s time and the Lord's way; be patient” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 19; or  Ensign, Nov. 1998, 17).

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote of the difficulty encountered by many readers of the Book of Mormon: “Most [readers] readily understand the narrative of the Book of Mormon. “Then, just as you settle in to move comfortably along, you will meet a barrier. . . . Interspersed in the narrative, are chapters reciting the prophecies of the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. They loom as a barrier, like a roadblock or a checkpoint beyond which the casual reader, one with idle curiosity, generally will not go. “You, too, may be tempted to stop there, but do not do it! Do not stop reading! Move forward through those difficult-to-understand chapters of Old Testament prophecy, even if you understand very little of it. Move on, if all you do is skim and merely glean an impression here and there. Move on, if all you do is look at the words” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 76; or  Ensign, May 1986, 61).

Elder Dallas H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that, regardless of a person’s susceptibility or tendency, we have an obligation to exercise our agency to overcome our personal weaknesses:

“Perhaps these persons, as the saying goes, were ‘born that way.’ But what does that mean? Does it mean that persons with susceptibilities or strong tendencies have no choice, no free agency in these matters? Our doctrine teaches us otherwise. Regardless of a person’s susceptibility or tendency, his will is unfettered. His free agency is unqualified. It is his freedom that is impaired. . . . We are all responsible for the exercise of our free agency.

“. . . Most of us are born with thorns in the flesh, some more visible, some more serious than others. We all seem to have susceptibilities to one disorder or another, but whatever our susceptibilities, we have the will and the power to control our thoughts and our actions. This must be so. God has said that he holds us accountable for what we do and what we think, so our thoughts and actions must be controllable by our agency. Once we have reached the age or condition of accountability, the claim ‘I was born that way’ does not excuse actions or thoughts that fail to conform to the commandments of God. We need to learn how to live so that a weakness that is mortal will not prevent us from achieving the goal that is eternal.

“God has promised that he will consecrate our afflictions for our gain (see 2 Nephi 2:2). The efforts we expend in overcoming any inherited weakness build a spiritual strength that will serve us throughout eternity. Thus, when Paul prayed thrice that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ would depart from him, the Lord replied, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ [2 Corinthians 12:9]” (“Free Agency and Freedom,” in Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr., ed., The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, the Doctrinal Structure [1989], 13–14).

1 Nephi 2:11–15.

One reason Satan encourages murmuring is to prevent us from following living prophets, inspired leaders, and parents.

Elder H. Ross Workman of the Seventy explained that “murmuring consists of three steps, each leading to the next in a descending path to disobedience.”

First, when people murmur, they begin to question. They question “first in their own minds and then [plant] questions in the minds of others.”

Second, those who murmur begin to “rationalize and excuse themselves from doing what they [have] been instructed to do. . . . Thus, they [make] an excuse for disobedience.”

Their excuses lead to the third step: “Slothfulness in following the commandment.” “The Lord has spoken against this attitude in our day: ‘But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned’ (D&C 58:29). . . .

“I invite you to focus on the commandment from living prophets that bothers you the most. Do you question whether the commandment is applicable to you? Do you find ready excuses why you cannot now comply with the commandment? Do you feel frustrated or irritated with those who remind you of the commandment? Are you slothful in keeping it? Beware of the deception of the adversary. Beware of murmuring” (in Conference Report, Oct. 2001, 104–6; or  Ensign, Nov. 2001, 85–86.

We aren't always given callings according to our talents. Just because I have an accounting degree, does not mean that if I had the Priesthood I would be given the calling of the Financial Clerk. If we were only given callings according to our talents, I would not be the Relief Society president. I'm not good with people, I'm not compassionate, I tend to be judgmental, & I hate talking to people! So it makes absolutely no sense that I am the Relief Society president.

And yet here I am.

Someone asked me if it bothers me that the "highest up" in the church I can ever get is Relief Society president. I don't view  callings like that. All callings are important in the church.

Besides, with "higher up" callings just comes more responsibility. As the Relief Society President, I'm over every single woman in my ward.

Every. Single. Woman.

It's a huge responsibility, and I stress about it, 24/7. I worry about the women, and I honestly don't enjoy it.

When we have funerals in the ward, whose job is it to arrange the meal? Mine. I worry that we're not going to have enough food, I stress out if people will  come and help, and I hope I don't offend the family in any way. Who's the first one there? Me. Who's the last one to leave? Me. Who gets to clean all of the tablecloths? Me. Yes, I can delegate it out, but if something doesn't get done, it comes back on me.

I don't want this responsibility! But I do it because I've been called to do it. I will be perfectly happy once I am released from this calling to be a nursery leader (snacks every week!) or ward librarian or whatever calling the Lord wants to give me.

Another example is my hubby. He has a PhD in teaching, and can give an hour lesson with absolutely no preparation whatsoever, and isn't the most organized person. Is he a teacher in the ward? No, he is the building scheduler.

Ask any mother with an 18-month-old child if the nursery leader is an important calling, and she will quickly assure you it is! Ask my 9-year-old daughter if her Activity Days Leaders are important. Ask my boys (and me) if the woman over Scouts who pushed and inspired them to get their Eagle Scout awards was important.

We are not usually given callings that we are comfortable with. We are given callings to help us grow, and sometimes we are given callings because we will be good at them, and sometimes we are given callings because someone is needed in that position.

So the argument that my talents are being under utilized is invalid, and has no merit whatsoever.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that God provides us with challenges that are designed to help us grow spiritually: “Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more (see Proverbs 3:11–12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 18; or  Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16–17).