Sunday, November 24, 2013

How to Overcome Trials

I totally had something in mind about which I wanted to post, but I felt prompted to take today's post in a different direction. First, though, I want to pose two questions to you. What do you do when you have challenges and problems? and How does Heavenly Father help you through your challenges and problems? Think about these for a minute. Ponder. Search deep within your soul. Haha.

What did you find? Some things you like? Answers you didn't like? More questions?

I am going to answer these questions for you. As I have traveled down the metaphorical road that is life, I have come across many trials, as have you, I'm sure. I want to share how I deal with them. One can never have enough tactics to fight hardships.

When I have challenges and problems, I sometimes turn to my friends first. However, this doesn't usually prove very fruitful. As much as they love us, and as helpful as they can be, our friends are mere mortals. And while I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't let our friends help us through difficulty, I am suggesting that Heavenly Father is the best person to turn to. He, in His perfection and infinite love, cannot fail us. Turning to the Lord in the face of adversity, however, requires faith. We must trust that He will answer us, and that He will provide a way for us to understand His answer. This used to be very hard for me. I knew without a doubt that God would answer my prayers, but I didn't have faith that I would be able to comprehend or recognize the answers when they came. These doubts were from Satan. He doesn't want us to be close to our Heavenly Father. He doesn't want us to have the powerful help that God can grant us. Once I realized that because God loves us and is perfect, I knew He would provide a way for me to recognize and understand the answers He gives to my prayers.

So, what does Whitney do when she faces challenges and problems? She prays. She prays and prays and prays and prays. Often these are tearful prayers, seeking relief from negativity and frustration. After she is sure her prayers were with real intent and heartfelt, Whitney reads the scriptures. Just as praying is how we talk to God, the scriptures are how He answers us. Often, I find answers to my prayers within the scriptures. This happens when I pay close attention to the words I am reading, and apply them to whatever I'm struggling with. This takes work, and practice. I'm not always super great at it, but the Lord blesses us for our effort. I have found so many answers to prayers through reading the scriptures after praying about a specific problem.

Heavenly Father helps me through my challenges and problems through the Holy Ghost. Time and time again my prayers have been answered through this member of the Godhead. The Spirit answers my prayers in many ways including: warm feelings of love, promptings, specific thoughts and conclusions coming to my head, or a literal voice in my head telling me something. Every person feels the influence of the Holy Ghost in different ways. These are just some of the ways I feel it. One must practice and develop a knowledge of how the Spirit communicates with them. No two people are exactly alike in this regard. For example, here's a time when Heavenly Father helped me through something recently:

I have a friend who I love very, very much. He is one of the people I love most. He is like an older brother to me. This friend (let's call him Leo) has been super stressed out and upset for a long time. He has more on his plate than he can handle right now. Leo is worried about college applications, AP classes, college auditions for violin, his family, his work, etc. For as long as I can remember, Leo has shared feelings with me about not being happy and feeling like he is missing something in his life. I have been trying to share the gospel with him. I have invited him to meet with the missionaries, come to church, and more. He's not against it, but hasn't shown enthusiasm for the church. Many-a-night I would cry, and pray, and cry, and pray that the Lord would soften his heart. I fasted for him numerous times. I did ALL I could to share the gospel with this person I love so dearly. I want for Leo to have the happiness I have. One night when I was particularly upset about him and was praying about it, the thought came to my mind that Leo is God's son. Heavenly Father loves Leo just as much as He loves me, and that He will take care of Leo. I felt that I should trust that the Lord will let him partake in the gospel when the time is right, and that I can't take it upon myself to be solely responsible for that. With this thought came a simple feeling of peace and my worries left me. The thoughts, assurance, and peace were from the Holy Ghost.

I know that the Lord loves us and wants us to be happy. Just as He will take care of Leo, He will take care of each of us. He wants us to come to Him with our sadness, struggles, hardships, and also our joys and triumphs. I testify that He will answer your prayers.


  1. Amazing. I love how you shared how you had self doubt that you would recognize God's answers to your prayers, but then realized you just need to set those aside because they were from Satan. God knows how we will be able to recognize his voice, and will only speak to us in that way.
    I also had an experience like Leo. I had a friend who had taken some missionary discussions, came to girls camp and trek, and had come to church a couple times. She seemed to love learning about the gospel, and we even taught her to pray and she would volunteer to pray a lot. Pretty much the golden investigator. But then I moved away. She hasn't been with the missionaries since. I still email her and love her, and she still goes to mutual, but she told me that she was confused, didn't know what she believed anymore, and was too stressed to think about it anymore.
    I know that the gospel would bless her life sooo much. But I have to trust that God has a plan for her. When I moved away, I knew it would be hard for her to continue, but I hoped she would without me there. When she stopped her progress, I was a little angry, questioned why I had to move, because I needed to be there to support her in the gospel. But that wasn't Gods plan for her. I know that God does love her though, and hope that she will accept the gospel sometime in this life.
    Thanks so much for the part you played in helping me get this far. You believed in me, and that was something I really needed.

    1. Wow, that's an amazing story! You are so strong!! Kudos to you!! You rock, Eliza! Thank you so much for continuing to reach out to me on my blog! I love it! You are so fabulous!

  2. Wonderful post, Whitney! This is such a hard topic to talk about, but you did a fabulous job! Thank you for sharing your testimony and for being such a great example to me!

    1. Thank you so much, Sarah! You are super fantastic yourself!

  3. You have no idea how much I needed to read this post. Earlier today, I told my best friend (we'll call her Katie) about how I feel like I don't have a good support system. Katie's always busy, and the one other friend I feel comfortable confiding in...well, her parents won't let her talk to me anymore because I'm Mormon. I know I should go to Heavenly Father with my trials, but I really struggle with that. Being a convert from Catholicism, I don't really know how to pray other than the memorized prayers I've been taught. But this post. THIS POST. I will have to work at it. It won't be easy. But I can learn how to rely on Heavenly Father during times of trial. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this instead of whatever else you had planned!!!!!!!!!!!
    *attack hugs*
    <3 Marie-Rose

    1. Oh my goodness! This means so much to me!! I am SO SO SO glad that my post helped you! Perhaps you're the reason I posted this instead of something else!
      Something that helped me when learning to turn to the Lord instead of friends when in need, was learning to see God not only as a Heavenly Father figure, but as my best friend. I would pour out my hear to Him. My words don't have to be eloquent, and the thoughts don't even need to be totally coherent! God knows the thoughts and feelings of our hearts already. Tell Him just how you would tell a friend! I've really been working on this over the past year and my relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown so much! It's beautiful! I know the same can happen for you! You are so strong and fabulous!! I believe in you!

  4. It's amazing. God's promises are true: As He bring you through this, He will guide you through this.


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