Patience is a Virtue

During the past several months since returning home from “the Mission Field,” Sister Edgar (Kathy) and I have experienced some of the most amazing and enjoyable events; including, the indescribable joy of reuniting with our family.  But we have also experienced some of the difficult challenges associated with moving: that is, being uprooted from our temporary home in Hawaii, leaving dear friends behind, and being formally released from what can only be described as “an enormously spiritual experience” (serving as Senior Missionaries for the Lord, His Church, and His Saints at BYU-Hawaii).

In addition, the transition had many unexpected ups and downs as we worked to reestablish our lives, our home and our former existence on the Mainland.  To be honest, our “new” life is a very good life and we have been blessed.  We have felt the hand of the Lord, and we have been guided by his Holy Spirit.  But each step along the way was not perfectly clear.  We were often acting on Faith “not knowing beforehand” (1 Nephi 4:6) what we were to do.  Today, we are now very settled and happy.  We are so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord; but much has changed for us.

In the process of this big move/change, I inevitably experienced a great deal of stress and insecurity.  And I often became very impatient with our tentative and unstable situation.  In fact, there were times when I was very impatient and often felt a bit intolerant of others.  As was often the case, I could clearly see my negative behavioral changes.  I often felt justified, but I knew it was wrong to behave that way.  Eventually, I had to confront my selfish and inappropriate behavior.  I realized I was not being patient.  I was not “waiting patiently on the Lord.”

Now, as it relates to a Christlike attitude, patience is defined as: “…the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith—you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.”  Preach My Gospel, Section 6, page 120

This and other thoughts made it clear I had some work to do.  I had not been true to the Christlike principle of patience, and I knew it.  Being aware of my behavior and changing my selfish attitudes has helped.  I’m sure I have much more work to do (and I know I have other issues), but I’m becoming a much happier person by just being more patient with myself and others.

So to be clear, in our interactions with others, I believe patience is an essential “heavenly” virtue.  Each day of our lives, we will have opportunities to learn and practice patience.  I believe we will have many opportunities.  Depending on the choices we make, these frequent opportunities can either hinder or strengthen our resolve (and progress) to be more like the Savior.  Our choices determine our attitude and character.  They will certainly determine our outcome.  Over time, we will be defined by how we react.

Among other things, to become more Christlike, we need to strive to become more patient in our daily activities and relationships with others; and also with our individual selves (perhaps, especially with ourselves).  In this life, we are to become increasingly more Christlike (that’s the Plan).  Patience is essential as we work to overcome our human weaknesses and faults, draw near to the Savior, and become more like Him (more Christlike).

“Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.”
—President Thomas S. Monson

Relevant Scriptures for Further Consideration:

“Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.”  D&C 24:8

“Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.”  D&C 31:9

“…wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.  Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know….”  D&C 67:13-14


“…know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.  The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?  Therefore, hold on thy way….”  D&C 122:7-9

“Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith.”  Mosiah 23:21

“…I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times….”  Alma 7:23

“…bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”  Alma 26:27

(Note: For more evidence of the power of patience, search your digital scriptures using the keyword “patience.”)

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