One of the things that I have learned this semester is that we all face challenges. Challenges have the ability to shape us and refine us and ultimately make us more like our Heavenly Father. We read about crucible challenges. In order to understand that term, we need to look at what a crucible is. A crucible is a bowl or container that can withstand very high heat. For a learning activity for my class, I discussed crucible experiences with my husband and 10 year old son. We talked about what crucible experiences are and how if we weather them well, they have the ability to shape us and mold us into better, more christ-like people. We talked about various challenges that we have faced and we talked about how our attitudes and response to those experiences can either make them more or less challenging. Our response to them can also determine how much we grow through our experiences. Most of the time we cannot control what challenges we will face, but we can in response to those challenges seek guidance and strength from our Heavenly Father, look for tender mercies and have an attitude of gratitude for the blessings that we enjoy even in the midst of our trials. My son reminded me that
we can allow our families to help us through our struggles, we don’t
have to go through our trials alone. He also reminded me that we will
be blessed through our obedience to do what the Lord asks of us even if
it is hard. We discussed that often times we fight our challenges and like the scriptures teach us we often kick against the pricks, but instead of fighting them, we should ask God for the strength to overcome them. We discussed the people of Alma and their challenges of being in bondage. I have always been impressed that even though their challenges were difficult, they did not ask God to take them away from them. Instead they prayed for the strength to get through them. I think that this is a good
reminder for us that we shouldn’t always pray for our challenges to be lifted, because there is value to our challenges. We all need to be tried and tested, but Heavenly Father will give us the strength to overcome if we put our faith and trust in him and then remain obedient to his commandments. One last way that we discussed how our response to challenges can help us is through gratitude. We have a lady in our ward who has been battling
breast cancer. Her survival rate is pretty low, but she is strong and
faithful and a wonderful example to me of someone who controls her response to her challenge. In the midst of her very difficult trial, she has faithfully posted updates on facebook recognizing her blessings. She has chosen to look for the things in her life that she is grateful for rather than focus on her challenges. It has been an amazing lesson for me that no matter what we may be facing, there is always something to be thankful for.
This is a really great talk about adversity. In response to some gloom and frustration Elder Baxter was feeling about a particular trial, his son reminded him that we can choose to be happy. He stated: ““Well, Dad, I have always thought that happiness is a decision.” I think that that is an important thing for us to keep in mind. Even though we may face trials and difficulties, we can still choose to be happy!
Another great article about crucible experiences.