Enduring Refinement

“I am like a huge, rough stone rolling down from a high mountain; and the only polishing I get is when some corner gets rubbed off by coming in contact with something else, striking with accelerated force … Thus I will become a smooth and polished shaft in the quiver of the Almighty.” -Joseph Smith

I relate so much to Joseph Smith’s statement because I’m not perfect and can see myself as a rough stone that gets polished every time it bumps into something while speedily rolling down the mountain.

For example, patience. My patience could always improve. Sometimes things happen to me that try my patience and I always have the choice of learning & improving or staying the same. Life is all about experiencing things that could refine me by learning from them and adjusting. 

A huge misconception involves the word “change.” Many people hear “change” and think it means ‘I’m not good enough and must change into someone other than me.’ I am two things: 1) me (my person); 2) what I do (my character). ‘I’ (me) am good enough and perfect but ‘what I do’ (characteristics) could always improve. When others say “Change” they refer to my characteristics  and mean “adjust how I respond, what I say, what I think, what I feel, or improve my attributes (patience, love, kindness, etc.) and grow.” Whenever I hear “change” I replace it with the word “improve.”

Every time I change my behavior for the better my character becomes stronger. (My goal is being strong, therefore I endure refinement and am assured of being stronger on the other side.) Refinement doesn’t happen only once and then I’m perfect but happens throughout my lifetime. 

Thank goodness I have the opportunity of becoming refined. Can you imagine how sad it would be if I wasted my life and died without ever growing?

September 21, 2019