Even though it may not seem like it, it is a universal truth that everyone has problems. In the October 1995 General Conference, President Monson said,
Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.
I personally don’t like to think about patience when something is wrong. I recently had another episode of depression, and of course it was not convenient. As usual, I didn’t want to figure out what the triggers were, instead I prayed fervently to have the depression taken away. And, as usual, I received the answer that this is my burden. I was reminded of Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s teaching that all suffering can be categorized into one of three types: suffering caused by one’s own actions, suffering caused by the actions of others, or suffering given to us by God (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience, 1979).
My depression is the third type of suffering and will not likely be taken away. It gives me experience and under its heavy weight I am strengthened. The blessings of living with this difficulty are only realized as I patiently “wait on the Lord.” I don’t like feeling this depression, not for a minute, let alone for a lifetime.
While I was thinking about this I got an email from Susan, The Arbor’s guest writer, in which she wrote about needing patience in her circumstances:
I don’t think that Patience and I are very good friends. I don’t like to be patient, I don’t like to wait, I want to have things fixed quickly. I remember being in one of the first ARP meetings that I attended in the summer of 2012. I had only known about Jeff’s addiction for about 3 months and just wanted all of those hurt feelings to go away. The sister that was the facilitator of the meeting shared her hurt and hopeless feelings that she had experienced in discovering her husband’s addiction. She said that she felt those for 8 months before she started in her recovery. I thought, “8 Months!!! I don’t want to feel this way for 8 more minutes!!!” … Oh I wanted to be out of the pain, hurt, sadness, disbelief…..but I was beginning, however beginning does not mean without hope or without peace. Peace comes, even in times of complete and utter desperation. Hope comes, no matter how small. As we exercise patience in our lives and with others, the Lord is patient with us. We will feel His peace, we will have hope in Him.
I’ve been involved with the Addiction Recovery Program for roughly 10 years and have met people with a wide variety of difficulties. Attending support group meetings and reading and studying the Step material found in the workbooks benefits all of us in our unique circumstances because it teaches us how to turn to the Lord, cast our burdens on Him, and continue to rely on Him throughout our lives. In short, applying the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has helped me learn how to be patient in my affliction, to wait on the Lord, and let Him carry me through the difficult times. Doing this has given me hope, brought me peace, and strengthened me when I would have otherwise given into weariness.
President Monson concluded his talk by saying, “Patience, that heavenly virtue, had brought to humble Saints its heaven-sent reward. The words of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Recessional’ seemed so fitting:
The tumult and the shouting dies;
The captains and the kings depart.
Still stands thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget, lest we forget.”