Nov 21

Enduring to the End

Have you ever had to go through something hard? Some experience where there was no way around it, only through? Maybe something like a traffic jam. How well would you say that you endured to the end?

When we talk about enduring to the end, what does that refer to? What are we talking about?

Marvin J. Ashton described it this way:

“Greatness is best measured by how well an individual responds to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable, and undeserved. Sometimes we are inclined to put up with a situation rather than endure. To endure is to bear up under, to stand firm against, to suffer without yielding, to continue to be, or to exhibit the state or power of lasting.”

“If Thou Endure It Well,” in General Conference Report, October 1984

It’s not really just gritting your teeth and hanging in there until the ordeal is over. It is staying strong through it, standing up against it, not letting it affect you.

Hartman Rector, Jr. also had some enlightening thoughts on the meaning of this concept. He said:

“What does that mean? I believe it means basically three things.

One: We must continue to repent for the rest of our lives because we will still make mistakes, and we must go home clean or we can’t dwell with the Father and the Son (see D&C 84:74).

Two: We must continue to forgive others. If we do not forgive others, we cannot obtain forgiveness ourselves (see D&C 64:9–10). And three: Yes, we must be nice. If we’re not nice, I don’t think we’re going to make it. In other words, we must have charity, which is really love plus sacrifice. We must serve our fellowmen, women, and children, and if we do all else but we do not serve the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the sick and afflicted, both temporally and spiritually, according to their wants, we cannot retain a remission of our sins from day to day.”

“Endure to the End in Charity,” in General Conference Report, October 1994

Where does enduring to the end fit into the Gospel? Dennis L. Largey explains:

“The doctrine of endurance to the end is taught twenty-two times in the Book of Mormon in teachings by Christ, an angel, and seven prophets. The doctrine spans the entire Book of Mormon time period and probably was taught in the plates of brass as well. The requirement of endurance to the end appears consistently in context with the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. One could easily make the case that the Book of Mormon teaches that there are five first principles and ordinances of the gospel, the fifth being enduring to the end.”

Dennis L. Largey, “Enduring to the End,” in Doctrines of the Book of Mormon: The 1991 Sperry Symposium, pp. 57-59

For a scriptural treatise on this topic, one could refer to the entire chapter of 2 Nephi 31. Such is beyond the scope of this article. However, we can refer to verses 15, 16, and 20, which say:

15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.

16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Again, this is a very small summary of how enduring to the end fits into the Gospel. The whole of 2 Nephi 31 should be studied to understand it on a deeper level.

Just given what we have discussed here, however, one can see its importance. So the next time you’re having a hard time, whether in a trial or challenge, do your best to endure it well. Not only that, but it is also something we will need to do diligently and continuously throughout the rest of our lives. We would do well to endure to the end in righteousness.

See also:

2 Nephi 9:24
3 Nephi 15:9
3 Nephi 27:6,19
D&C 63:20

Oct 01

We Become Our Focus

Does it not astound you how many scriptures touch on one of the most basic principles of our lives?  Divers are taught this principle.  Motorcyclists should be aware of it, as well.  Many who are very good at what they do practice this principle.  What is it?

You tend to gravitate towards that upon which you are focused.

Divers learn that wherever they move their head, their body follows.  With golfers, they focus on where the hole is, not where the traps are.  Having been a motorcylist myself, I can attest to the fact that your bike tends to go in the direction in which you are looking.

For those interested to see the connection, let us take a look at 3 Nephi 13:20-22, which says:

“But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.”

Matthew 6:20-22 provides a nearly identical precept.  But we are to have an eye single to what?  Let us consult the Doctrine and Covenants.  In section 82 verse 19, section 59 verse 1, section 4 verse 5, section 88 verse 67, section 55 verse 1, section 27 verse 2, and Mormon 8:15, we learn that we are to have an eye single to the glory of God.  So… what is the glory of God?

An appropriate place to begin to answer this question seems to be Moses 1:39, in which we are told:

“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”

Surely, if we focus on bringing to pass our own eternal life, and that of our family, that will be the direction in which we gravitate.

A word of caution, though.  Should we focus on not becoming what we don’t want to be, we are still focusing on it.  Guess what that means?  We will gravitate in that direction anyway.  My humble suggestion would be to remind yourself every day of what it is that you want to become, what your goals are, and the direction you want to take your life.

According to holy writ, you cannot help but move towards that end.