Have I done any good in the world today? If not, I have failed indeed! Then wake up and do something more than dream of your mansion above.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Struggle Is Real

"The struggle." The ongoing battle to survive. On my iPad, Siri defines the word "struggle" as meaning "an ongoing clash between two open groups or individuals." More times than not, the struggle today is about money.

There are lots of things that make the struggle real, especially for missionaries. I asked my last companion to describe the struggle. He says:

"The struggle is waking up at [6:30 AM], after getting an emergency phone call at [2:00 AM] - your investigator was iffy on the baptism date.
Sorry, Elders! Gotta go!

They didn't want to - you're down one. It was [4:30 AM] when you got off the phone.

You still need to work out.

Your companion wants to go running.

You have shin splints.

Studies are over, it's time for lunch - no time for that, someone needs a blessing.

Dinner rolls around, it's with the Bishop. It ends quickly when he has to run to an emergency in the ward.

Your bike gets stolen - your next appointment is in 5 minutes. It's a 15 minute walk.

The struggle is all around
 these Elders.
You arrive 3 minutes late.

You come home, get ready for bed.

You're exhausted.

It's [10:30 PM]- lights out - you can't sleep."

And that's not even the half of it. But guess what- It's part of the struggle.

The struggle was real, even back in the ancient days. The struggle was real for King Limhi and his people in the land of Lehi-Nephi. The Nephites in the land of Lehi-Nephi around 121 BC were in bondage to the wicked Lamanites. King Noah, the Lamanite king at the time, had taxed the Nephites "one half of all they possessed, one half of their gold, and their silver, and all their precious things" to be paid once a year.

Back in the day struggle.
King Limhi and his people were very tired of this tax and the other things which the Lamanites inflicted upon them. Goodness! How much more real can the struggle get than that? Giving up half of everything you have to the Lamanite king or else he kills you? King Limhi says this about the struggle: "And now, is not this grievous to be borne? And is not this, our affliction, great? Now behold, how great reason we have to mourn."

However, even with the struggle being so real, King Limhi still has faith that God will deliver them out of the hands of the Lamanites. He says, "O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold, the time is at hand, or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made."

I like how he describes the struggle, and I paraphrase, "The struggle has been so real for a while, but we have to have faith! We also have to know that just because we could be delivered from this trial, the struggle will never not exist. The struggles will just keep on coming, one after another."

The struggle for money, food, etc. isn't the only struggle that's real. More commonly, the struggle we face is a spiritual struggle. The person who makes our spiritual struggle real is Lucifer, the adversary, AKA Satan. He's not the friendliest guy we knew in the Premortal Life. In fact, he's not friendly at all. He doesn't like us and he doesnt care if we know it. He's a home-wrecker, a tempter, a murderer, a thief, and a liar.

However, don't be dismayed! The Lord is on our side!

Going back to Elder Minam Choe's description of the struggle:

"This is the struggle - it's real.

None of that matters though.

In the moment before you manage to fall asleep, you feel an overwhelming love.

You feel the Savior's calming power.

What? How can it be 6:30 already?
That's the struggle.

It's real.

But it's worth it.

[6:30 AM] - time to wake up.

Back at it.

Yeah, it's worth it."

Although the struggle is real, we can all find hope in knowing the rewards we will receive through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. If you apply this knowledge, the struggle can't get you down.

An empty wallet -- a sure sign of the struggle.

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