How Can I Be More Patient?

The Guide to the Scriptures defines patience as “calm endurance; the ability to endure affliction, insult, or injury without complaint or retaliation.”

After the four sons of King Mosiah—Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni—were converted, they felt a deep desire to share the gospel with their enemies, the Lamanites. They pleaded with their father “for many days” to let them go. Eventually, after receiving confirmation from the Lord that they would be protected, he gave them his consent (Mosiah 28:1-8).

As they traveled, the Lord gave them the following advice to help them be successful in their missionary service:

Go forth among the Lamanites, thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls (Alma 17:11).

This guidance from the Lord filled them with courage and hope. As Ammon later reminded his brothers, they were given plenty of opportunities to practice patience, just as the Lord had promised:

We have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation….
We have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
And we have suffered all manner of afflictions (Alma 26:28-30).

But as the Lord promised, this patience resulted in great success:

We can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we (Alma 26:31, 35).

Their patience was driven by hope. They believed the promises they had received from God. They knew that their mission would not be easy, that they would endure afflictions, but they also believed that the suffering would be worth it in the end. They believed that their patience would be rewarded, that they would be able to accomplish the goals of their missionary service. So they endured calmly, without complaint or retaliation, until they began to experience the success they had been promised.

The apostle Paul taught that “tribulation worketh patience” (Romans 5:3). And, in what Elder Neal A. Maxwell called “a sigh of the soul,” James counseled, “Let patience have her perfect work” (James 1:3-4). (See Neal A. Maxwell, “Patience,” BYU Devotional Address, 27 November 1979).

Today, I will strive to be more patient. I will trust the Lord more and will complain about obstacles or inconveniences less. I will stay focused on the goals I am trying to achieve and will remain optimistic about my ability to achieve those goals, even when I encounter difficulties along the way. I will endure calmly because I have hope for a positive outcome.

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