27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
What causes you to become depressed or discouraged? For me, it is when I have set a worthy and ambitious goal and I reach that first big roadblock, that first indication that it won’t be as easy as I thought and it may not be possible at all. I have two options at that point: give up and turn back, or carry on and move forward.
As a college student, I took a summer job on a construction site. I spent my first few days lying in the mud under the back wall of a large building, digging trenches in the clay with a small shovel. It was miserable work. I remember telling Heavenly Father partway through the first or second day that I couldn’t take it any more, that it was too hard; I just wasn’t cut out for this kind of work. The thought that came into my mind at that point was this: “Just give it a week. Stick with the job through Saturday, and then decide.” By the end of the week, I had finished that first assignment and moved on to more pleasant activities. The rest of the summer went much better. I was grateful for the encouragement I received to “bear with patience [my] afflictions,” and for the success which followed.
If our goals are sufficiently challenging, we are bound to face significant obstacles along the way. When we become demoralized and are tempted to give up, we should listen to the voice of encouragement which comes from family, friends, or the Spirit of the Lord.
Today, I will review my goals and recommit to move forward in faith, believing that with God’s help I can overcome all obstacles and be successful.