In the Furnace of Affliction – 1 Nephi 20:10

10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
(1 Nephi 20:10, Isaiah 48:10)

Why do we experience trials? Isaiah gives two reasons in the passage above. Speaking on behalf of the Lord, he tells Israel that they have been refined and chosen in the furnace of their afflictions.

  • Refined – In the hymn “Come, Come Ye Saints,” we sing, “‘Tis better far for us to strive our useless cares from us to drive.” Even though the journey of the Mormon Pioneers across the plains was difficult, they recognized that their afflictions were purifying their souls, driving away their “useless cares.”
  • Chosen – In the Book of Abraham, the Savior explains that the purpose of this mortal life is to “prove [us]…to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord…will command [us]” (Abraham 3:25). At the beginning of the Book of Job, Satan questions Job’s goodness. Sure, Job is righteous now, he says to God. Life is easy for him. “But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face” (Job 1:11). The implication is clear: It’s easy to be good when life is easy. If we want to show our true greatness, we must behave well under duress.
  • Today, I will be grateful for the challenges I have faced and will yet face in life. I will remember that God gives me trials for at least two reasons: to purify me and to give me an opportunity to prove myself.
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