Even when we are bone weary

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Saturday Afternoon Session of the April 1990 Conference.
Last week felt ages long and yet not nearly long enough to hold all the things it needed to hold. I was exhausted at the end of every day and thus in the perfect frame of mind to read about endurance! :) Elder Maxwell's talk "Endure it Well" gave me a lot to think about! It made me think about personal goodness along the axis of time as well as space, if that makes sense—the idea that becoming like God involves not just being kind or being patient or being obedient—but doing those things repeatedly and persistently. Here are some sections of the talk I liked:
We tend to think only in terms of our endurance, but it is God’s patient long-suffering which provides us with our chances to improve, affording us urgently needed developmental space or time.

With enduring comes a willingness, therefore, to “press forward” even when we are bone weary and would much rather pull off to the side of the road. …

Paul wrote of how, even after faithful disciples had “done the will of God,” they “[had] need of patience.” (Heb. 10:36.) How many times have good individuals done the right thing initially only to break under subsequent stress? Sustaining correct conduct for a difficult moment under extraordinary stress is very commendable, but so is coping with sustained stress subtly present in seeming routineness. …
I love that acknowledgement of the difficulty of the everyday. That "seeming routineness" is where I find some of my greatest challenges! It's precisely the fact that these things aren't extraordinary that makes them hard, because you know you can't just give one big push of effort and have it over with! I suppose that's why people can become so refined through trials such as chronic illness or persistently wayward children. Those things give them a chance to be patient and wait in hope, just as God patiently waits for us.

Elder Maxwell goes on:
When you and I are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we like our timetable better than God’s. And thus, while the scriptural phrase “in process of time” means “eventually,” it also denotes an entire spiritual process… 
By itself, of course, the passage of time does not bring an automatic advance. Yet, like the prodigal son, we often need the “process of time” in order to come to our spiritual senses. The touching reunion of Jacob and Esau in the desert, so many years after their sibling rivalry, is a classic example. Generosity can replace animosity. Reflection can bring perception. But reflection and introspection require time. So many spiritual outcomes require saving truths to be mixed with time, forming the elixir of experience, that sovereign remedy for so many things.
It's a bit daunting to think of the long road ahead to perfection, but it's also encouraging to think that God never intended us to be transformed immediately. I'm so glad He has given us enough time to grow and become all that He intends us to be!

Other posts in this series:
Our own cross, or someone else's—by Nathaniel Givens


  1. Oh I love this! I only just started a post about how TIRED I am with the no-end-in-sight repetition of life with children. But I like this novel way of thinking of it. Not just of enduring. But of this being a gift. A needed space of time with the chance to truly develop.

  2. I've been wondering how you are.

  3. It was that kind of week for me, too. May we both receive the gift of strength to endure.


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