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Difficulties in life serve at least two purposes, Rosemary Thackeray said during the campus devotional on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the Marriott Center at BYU. "They help us come to the Lord and rely on His strength and they also help to refine us."
"In life, the trials, challenges, heartache, disappointment and so forth … are a part of the mortal refinement process. Though as painful and difficult as these experiences may be, if endured well, they will lead to our growth and development."
Talking about enduring trials is a lot easier than actually doing it and, at times, one might feel like giving up, Sister Thackeray said. But, she added, those are the times one must continue on.
"To endure well and not give up amidst the challenges in our journey will require us to have strength beyond our own," she said. "We cannot do it alone, but with the Lord's help, our success is assured."
Using examples from her own life, the scriptures and Church history, Sister Thackeray spoke of the deliverance found with the help of the Lord.
"In our life, it may seem that the opposition is as numerous as the sands upon the seashore," she said. "We may be encumbered by spiritual bondage and sin, discouragement, disappointment and weaknesses that hinder our progression, or with responsibilities and burdens that are beyond our own ability to manage."
But, just as the Nephites were strengthened by the hand of the Lord and delivered from their enemies, each individual can and will receive similar strength to pull their load, Sister Thackeray said.
Sharing personal experiences of being strengthened by the hand of the Lord, Sister Thackeray gave four suggestions that help individuals to qualify for help from the Lord.
"These suggestions are not just for the really hard, difficult trials, but for everyday life," she said. "Each day we have an opportunity to be strengthened by the hand of the Lord."
First, have faith and believe that the Lord can and will strengthen each person.
"We must learn to more effectively control our fears and feelings of discouragement," she said. "Then we must trust God and wait for Him."
Second, pray and ask the Lord for strength.
"The Lord already knows what we need before we ask," she said. "However, I believe the Lord wants us to acknowledge Him and express our understanding that strength and other blessings come as a gift from His hand."
Third, become immersed in daily scripture study.
"A study of the scriptures will deepen our understanding of and relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is this personal testimony and perspective that will carry us through and strengthen us in times of need."
Fourth, individuals should take a piece of the temple with then each time they attend.
"Perhaps the early Saints who waited from early morning until late at night to receive their temple endowment in the Nauvoo Temple knew something about the power of temple covenants and the Lord's ability to bless and strengthen them through their covenants," she said.
In order to receive strength from the Lord, one must consistently do the things that will qualify one for help from the Savior. As individuals do so, they are able to draw upon His help in times of need.
"Being strengthened by the Lord is an individual experience," she said. "We qualify for it individually; and individually we receive strength."