Types of Adversity

Types of Challenges
Types of Trials

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“Some people struggle with difficult health problems; some experience financial problems; others have challenges in their marriage or with their children; some suffer from loneliness or unfulfilled hopes and dreams. It is our testimony, combined with our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and our knowledge of the plan of salvation, which helps to get us through these times of trial and hardship.”

Barbara Thompson, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Personal Revelation and Testimony,” October 2011 General Conference

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“Every day, Relief Society sisters around the world experience the entire range of mortal challenges and experiences. Women and their families today live face to face with unrealized expectations; mental, physical, and spiritual illness; accidents; and death. Some sisters suffer loneliness and disappointment because they do not have families of their own, and others suffer from the consequences of poor choices made by family members. Some have experienced war or hunger or natural disasters, and others are learning about the strain of addictions, unemployment, or insufficient education and training. All of these difficulties have the potential to bleach the bones of faith and exhaust the strength of individuals and families. One of the Lord’s purposes in organizing the sisters into a discipleship was to provide relief that would lift them above ‘all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.’ ”

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President
What I Hope My Granddaughters (and Grandsons) Understand about Relief Society,” October 2011 General Conference

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“There is so much suffering in mortality, so many causes for pain. I know people who have sent loved ones into harm’s way and who daily pray for their safety in battle. I talk to parents who are frightened for their children, aware of the temptations they face. I have dear friends who are suffering from the ravaging effects of chemotherapy. I know single parents, abandoned by spouses, who are rearing children alone. I have dealt myself with the debilitating effects of depression. But I have learned from my own experience, and I learn from those I meet, that we are never left to our own resources. We are never abandoned. A wellspring of goodness, of strength and confidence is within us, and when we listen with a feeling of trust, we are raised up. We are healed. We not only survive, but we love life. We laugh; we enjoy; we go forward with faith.”

Kathleen H. Hughes, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Blessed by Living Water,” April 2003 General Conference

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“Now, we know, as you do, that all petitions to the Lord and all fasts do not receive this same hoped-for answer. Our extended family also has faced the death of loved ones, serious illness, the trial of divorce, and children who are choosing another path. We do not always understand the reasons behind the tests that come with mortality. But our faith has grown, and perhaps yours has too, as we have watched loved ones, friends, and people we know only by reputation endure with faith in the Lord the most severe trials. They, too, know the God of miracles and witness in their extremity that whatever the future holds for them, the Lord knows them and loves them and is blessing them. They are sealed to Him and to each other forever, and they are willing to submit their wills to His.”

Sydney S. Reynolds, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
A God of Miracles,” April 2001 General Conference

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“We each have challenges in our lives, and those challenges are as varied as the sisters of Relief Society. But one thing is certain: The truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ apply perfectly to your challenges and circumstances as well as to mine if we have patience and faith. Each of us was born to face and overcome our challenges of a time such as this.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
For Such a Time As This,” October 1997 General Conference

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“Most of our lives are not a string of dramatic moments that call for immediate heroism and courage. Most of our lives, rather, consist of daily routines, even monotonous tasks, that wear us down and leave us vulnerable to discouragement. Sure, we know where we’re going, and if it were possible we would choose to jump out of bed, work like crazy, and be there by nightfall. But our goal, our journey’s end, our Zion is life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. And to get there we are expected to walk and walk and walk.”

Virginia H. Pearce, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Keep Walking, and Give Time a Chance,” April 1997 General Conference

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“In most congregations of sisters, even in hearts and homes in apparently ideal circumstances, there are hidden heartaches and taxing challenges. At least some among you are survivors of abuse and other crimes of personal violence. Death or divorce can visit any home. Suffering comes from wasted potential, faltering faith, the decisions of a loved one who has used his or her free agency to make terrible choices that have wounded himself or herself and others. In your family, or in the family of someone close to you, is someone dealing with chronic mental, physical, or emotional illness; chemical dependency; financial insecurity; loneliness, sorrow, or discouragement? Many sisters are in second marriages, with the triple challenges of healing from the loss of a first marriage, working to build a strong second marriage, and compassionately providing part-time mothering to children of the husband’s earlier marriage.”

Chieko N. Okazaki, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
A Living Network,” October 1995 General Conference

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“Indeed, the path is not soft, green grass; it is not without hardship and heartache. It is often an uphill climb strewn with rocks, many of them in the shape of mighty boulders. We can’t predict what our challenges will be because our lives are all different. Though the path is narrow, our moves are not scripted. There are diversions which attempt to lure us from the straight and narrow. It is our covenants that are the road signs to eternal life. Just as it is more difficult to read the signs on the main road from a side street, so too it is more difficult to hear the still, small voice of warnings, rough road ahead, when we have distanced ourselves from our covenants.”

Elaine L. Jack, Relief Society General President
Walk with Me,” April 1994 General Conference

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“We do not know the challenges and adversities that life will give us. But the scriptures promise us that ‘with God nothing shall be impossible’ (Luke 1:37), and we can say with the Apostle Paul, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’ (Philip. 4:13).”

Chieko N. Okazaki, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Strength in the Savior,” October 1993 General Conference

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“Ruth confidently met hardships not uncommon in our time—the death of a loved one, loneliness in a new place, and the need to work hard for her bread. Her small efforts, linked significantly to a later great event, tell me that each of us can take seriously the importance of our daily lives and decisions as we choose to follow God.”

Aileen H. Clyde, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Confidence through Conversion,” October 1992 General Conference

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