What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Patience?

Today, I reviewed the passages in the Book of Mormon about patience. I learned the following principles:

  1. God is patient with us. King Benjamin wanted his people to understand that God has great power and wisdom, but that He is patient with us (Mosiah 4:6). Alma taught the people of Ammonihah that Jesus Christ is “full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering” (Alma 9:26).
  2. God is willing to help us become patient. An angel taught King Benjamin that our natural state is in conflict with God. But if we will “[yield] to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,” we can become saints through the atonement of Jesus Christ. One of the attributes of a saint is patience (Mosiah 3:19). Alma later pleaded with the people of Ammonihah to humble themselves before God, so that He could help them develop those attributes, including patience (Alma 13:28).
  3. God will test our patience. After Alma and his people established a prosperous city, they fell into captivity. Because “they submitted cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord,” God miraculously delivered them (Mosiah 23:21, Mosiah 24:15-16).
  4. God expects members of His church, and especially His missionaries, to be patient when they are persecuted. Members of the church in the first year of the reign of the judges “bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them” (Alma 1:25). God told the sons of Mosiah that He would give them success on their mission to the Lamanites if they would “bear with patience [their] afflictions.” They did endure suffering patiently, and God did give them success (Alma 17:11, Alma 20:29, Alma 26:27-31). Amulek urged the poor Zoramites not to revile against their persecutors (Alma 34:40-41). And Alma praised his son Shiblon for his patience as a missionary (Alma 38:3-4).
  5. We can pray for patience. Alma prayed for strength to “suffer with patience” the afflictions he anticipated before beginning his mission to the Zoramites (Alma 31:31).
  6. Patience is more than simply waiting. Alma taught the poor Zoramites that, if they would plant the word of God in their hearts and would nourish it, it would grow into a tree of life. Their patience would be demonstrated by their consistent diligence, not by passive anticipation of a reward (Alma 32:41-43).

Today, I will work on becoming more patient. I will remember how patient God is with me and that He is willing to help me become more patient. I will pray for patience, and will avoid fighting back when I am mistreated. I will remember that God may test my patience in order to help me grow. I will remember that steady hard work over time is a manifestation of patience.

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