- Slides: 18
GOD WILL HAVE A TRIED PEOPLE
In the summer of 1831, Joseph Smith traveled from Kirtland, Ohio, to establish the foundations of Zion (see D&C 52: 41 -43; and sections 57 -59). In a revelation received on August 1, 1831, in Jackson County, came the following warning from God: “Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. “For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
“Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow. (D&C 58: 3 -4)
D&C 98: 12 -15 12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith. 13 And whoso layeth down his life in my cause, for my name's sake, shall find it again, even life eternal. 14 Therefore, be not afraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy. 15 For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me.
D&C 101: 4 -5 4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son. 5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
Abraham 3: 24 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
George Q. Cannon (1827 -1901) First Presidency We have got to be watchful, for I tell you God has sent us here to test us and to prove us. We were true in keeping our first estate. The people that are here today stood loyally by God and by Jesus, and they did not flinch. If you had flinched then, you would not be here with the Priesthood upon you. The evidence that you were loyal, that you were true and that you did not waver is to be found in the fact that you have received the Gospel and the everlasting Priesthood. Now you are in your second estate, and you are going to be tested again. Will you be true and loyal to God with the curtain drawn between you and Him, shut out from His presence, and in the midst of darkness and temptation, with Satan and his invisible hosts all around you, bringing all manner of evil influences to bear upon you? The men and the women that will be loyal under these circumstances God will exalt, because it will be the highest to which they can be subjected. (Gospel Truth 2 Vols. , sel Jerreld L. Newquist , 1: 7)
Zechariah 13: 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
John Taylor (1808 -87) President Nevertheless, as I have said, it is necessary that we pass through certain ordeals, and that we be tried. But why is it that we should be tried? There is just the same necessity for it now that there was in former times. I heard the Prophet Joseph say, in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion: "You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom of God. " Some people have wondered why so many of the Twelve fell away. God tries people according to the position they occupy. (Journal of Discourses 26 Vols. [1855 -86], 24: 197)
John Taylor (1808 -87) President I speak of these things to show men are to be tried. I heard Joseph Smith say--and I presume Brother Snow heard him also--in preaching to the Twelve in Nauvoo, that the Lord would get hold of their heart strings and wrench them, and that they would have to be tried as Abraham was tried. Well, some of the Twelve could not stand it. They faltered and fell by the way. It was not everybody that could stand what Abraham stood. And Joseph said that if God had known any other way whereby he could have touched Abraham's feelings more acutely and more keenly he would have done so. (Journal of Discourses 26 Vols. [1855 -86], 24: 264)
Joseph Smith (Liberty Jail, March 25, 1839 Letter to the Church) And now, beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that He would have a tried people, that He would purge them as gold, now we think that this time He has chosen His own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation, altogether sufficient to leave them without excuse; and we think also, it will be a trial of our faith equal to that of Abraham. . . (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976], 135 -6)
President Howard H. Hunter (1907 -95) Life is certainly no straight and easy corridor along which we travel free and unhampered. Many times, it is a maze of passages through which we must find our way. If we have true faith, our Father in Heaven will open a door for us. Perhaps not the one which we ourselves would have thought of, but one that will ultimately prove good for us. Success does not come from following the easy course in life, but from hard work and effort. (Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, ed. Clyde J. Williams [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002], 81)
President Howard H. Hunter (1907 -95) We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progress. Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. The law of opposition makes freedom of choice possible; therefore, our Heavenly Father has commanded his children, "Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you" (Moses 6: 33). He has counseled us to yield to his spirit and resist temptation. Free agency, of course, permits us to oppose his directions; thus, we see many who resist the truth and yield to temptation.
Joseph Smith (summer of 1839) “After a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, (by the laying on of hands), which is the first Comforter, then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, ‘Son, thou shalt be exalted. ’ When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and his election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John, in the 14 th chapter, from the 12 th to the 27 th verses. ” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976], 150)
President Howard H. Hunter (1907 -95) Today the Church stands at the summit of a century and a half of progress. The terrain over which we have traveled is a grim reminder that struggle, persecution, and sorrow have been the lot of our forebears. Kirtland, Jackson County, Clay County, Haun's Mill, and Nauvoo seem synonymous with suffering--a part of the tribulation the Lord promised that his people would have to endure (see D&C 58: 3).
President Howard H. Hunter (1907 -95) As we look back in retrospect, we see that it was because of the opposition encountered in our early history that our progress today has been made possible. Out of that caldron of persecution and heartache, the Lord answered the soul-cry of the Prophet Joseph Smith in these words: "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; "And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high" (D&C 121: 7 -8). …
President Howard H. Hunter (1907 -95) We stand on the summit of 150 years of Church history; yet there are other summits to climb before the work of God is crowned with victory. There will be tribulations collectively and hardships personally-that resistance so essential to the eternal plan. What makes us imagine that we may be immune from the same experiences that refined the lives of former-day Saints? We must remember that the same forces of resistance which prevent our progress afford us also opportunities to overcome. God will have a tried people! (“God Will Have a Tried People, ” Ensign, May 1980, 24 -26)