Found these principles scrawled on a crumpled up Taco Bell napkin.
1. Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Trouble knocks early at your door when you’re still in your pajamas. The phone rings and it’s the school again. Somebody else needs to go to the hospital. Your mom wants you to fix her computer from 1,000 miles away. And somebody ate all the snacks.
Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.
2. Stop murmuring. Stop it now.
If there were such a thing, I would so own the Murmuring Merit Badge. It used to be so easy to complain, so easy to channel Lamen and Lemuel. Even though we profess to trust God and his plan of happiness (emphasis added), let’s complain to anybody who will listen. And not only that, Murmurers find themselves as tourism promoters for the Land of Woe. Nephi had to endure so much murmuring that he couldn’t even begin to mention all the complaining from his brothers. “Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.”
3. Following the prophets provides a literal temporal and spiritual refuge.
Three months ago, we were prompted to cash out a sizable 401K, despite the penalty that comes with early withdrawal. We paid down significant medical debt, eliminating several bills in the process. It so tempting to take the remainder and buy some expensive toys or to travel somewhere. We could have easily done both. Instead we felt prompted to tuck it away as a c ash reserve, just in case.
One month later, I lost my job. Because we listened to the prophets and their advice on debt, we have enough cash reserves to get us by for at least a few more months.
4. Elder Bednar is right.
If you haven’t already, go back and reread his talk from last conference on “The Windows of Heaven.” The blessings from paying tithes and offerings are true. I’ve seen it so many times, even the small and subtle miracles that he mentions. I’ve posted the entire talk here for you to review again.
5. Put the gospel first.
Yes, you need education and training. Yes, you need to know the skills to find a job, because, as fathers, you are “responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” But our employment (or lack thereof) will not ultimately define us in this life.
Back to Pres. Monson.
The history of the Church in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times, is replete with the experiences of those who have struggled and yet who have remained steadfast and of good cheer. The reason? They have made the gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives. This is what will pull us through whatever comes our way. We will still experience difficult challenges, but we will be able to face them, to meet them head on, and to emerge victorious.
The Lord knows what we need, both temporally and spiritually. By putting him first and seeking his plan for us, we will emerge victorious.