The Book of Mormon tells about the sons of Mosiah in Alma 17. These young men rejected their rights to the kingdom and instead went around to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. There was nothing particularly special about them, they were just diligent men with a sound understanding of the Spirit.
For over 14 years they served and taught the Lamanites. In this time they suffered a lot of fatigue, persecution, hunger, and thirst. I do not doubt that the idea of their father’s throne back home, to which they were rightful heirs, often tempted them. One day, after fasting and praying for the Spirit of God to be with them, they received this revelation:
“Ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands” (Alma 17:11).
I’ve identified 3 steps:
- Be patient
- You will become a good example
- The Lord will use you to bless His children (in miraculous ways)
Really, it’s just 1 step and the rest follows naturally. Be patient!
Think about how perfectly Christ followed these steps in His own life on earth. He certainly was and is a good example, and God used Him in a pretty big way to bless the world… (Atonement)… so He must have had to learn patience to start all of this!
I often marvel at how difficult it must’ve been for the Savior, who is perfect, to spend His whole life interacting with people who are imperfect and constantly telling Him that He is wrong. How much more difficult was it for Him to have patience with these people and still love them?
Though we may not be perfect ourselves, we still spend a lot of time around imperfect people who require patience. And though our patience may be imperfect, I know that our efforts are highly valued in God’s eyes. He is patient with our levels of patience, if you will.
It seems that the Lord is constantly testing our patience, whether it be our patience with other people, difficult situations, or His timetable. It is important to Him. I invite you to pray for and further develop the heavenly virtue of patience, and promise that as you do, you will begin to embody the exemplary light of Christ.