Saturday, November 8, 2014

Endure to the End

The nice looking business man in the airplane seat next to me said, “Yes, I was saved a few years ago when I became a Christian. I’m always learning new things about what that means, and how to have faith.” We talked about faith as something that grows as we use it, but sometimes using faith is hard. Later I thought about his comment about being ‘Saved’. 

So often people believe that being saved is a single act; words spoken as the Spirit moves our hearts, and that’s all that is needed. But being saved involves so much more than just saying so. We know that His Grace is sufficient for everyone. But truly being saved involves acting on our faith daily. It involves remaining to committed to His gospel through thick and thin, and by following His example. 

"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.

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."
(2 Nephi 31:15 -16)

One of my dear friends was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis while in her 30’s. From the very beginning, she has displayed such a cheerful attitude and has been faithful in enduring. She enjoyed a short reprieve from the effects of her disease for a time, during which she had two beautiful children. But soon, she began to lose strength and agility in her legs. Before long she was walking with the aid of crutches. Yet she remained positive and cheerful. She is known by many as one with a delightful sense of humor. One day I bumped into her in the grocery store, she was using a motorized scooter. But the light in her eyes was unmistakeable. She was not only enduring, she was improving spiritually. Several months later she called to let me know that her family was going to be sealed in the temple. I was thrilled for her, but I was also greatly impressed with her joyful determination to endure to the end. She is an example to me of someone who could easily say, “I’ve been saved, and my life is hard, so I’ll just sit right here and do nothing more.” but she has instead continued to serve others, serve her family and love and serve the Lord. And she does so joyfully. To me, she is a happy example of Enduring to the End.

The very word ‘endure’ implies some kind of hardship, or resistance. Even so, I don’t believe our enduring has to be mournful or sad. What is the point of enduring if we cannot feel joy at knowing the source of our endurance, the Savior’s Atonement? I love the simple reminder in Nephi’s words, 

"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."
(2 Nephi 31:20)

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