Ever wanted to give up on something? I know I sure have. I remember when I was in little-league baseball (even though I am a girl, I wanted to play with the boys) I wanted to quit one year because it was so hard—and I wasn’t getting any playing time. My parents said I could, but that if I did quit, they would never let me sign up to play again. Because of this, I kept going. I loved baseball, I just didn’t love this particularly hard season. It didn’t get better that season, but I learned a good lesson—keep going! That year passed by, and the next baseball season began, and I was enjoying yet again. As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes mistakenly called the “Mormon Church”) I often learn about “enduring to the end,” like how our Mormon pioneer ancestors did. It isn’t always easy, but with the help of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is possible, and it is always worth it! In a book titled, Be Not Afraid—Only Believe, written by Ted L. Gibbons, and published in 2009 by Cedar Fort, Inc. (pp 129-131), Gibbons shares insight, with a special story of Thomas Edison, on how we must keep going even when it gets hard!
We Must Go On
This test-taking is hard work! But it does not need to become discouraging. We can go on. We must go on. We cannot abandon our purpose because of setbacks, fear, pain, or impatience. Thomas Edison was willing to go on. I love this story about him:
[One] December evening the cry of “Fire!” echoed through [Thomas Edison’s] plant. Spontaneous combustion had broken out in the film room. Within moments all the . . . flammable goods had gone up with a whoosh. . . .
When I couldn’t find Father, I became concerned. Was he safe? With all his assets going up in smoke, would his spirit be broken? He was 67, no age to begin anew. Then I saw him in the plant yard, running toward me.
“Where’s Mom?” he shouted. “Go get her! Tell her to get her friends! They’ll never see a fire like this again!”
At 5:30 the next morning, when the fire was barely under control, he called his employees together and announced: “We’re rebuilding!” One man was told to lease all the machine shops in the area. Another, to obtain a wrecking crane from the Erie Railroad Company. Then, almost as an afterthought he added, “Oh, by the way. Anybody know where we can get some money?”
Later on he explained, “You can always make capital out of disaster. We’ve just cleared out a bunch of old rubbish! We’ll build bigger and better on these ruins.” With that he rolled up his coat for a pillow, curled up on a table and immediately fell asleep (Charles Edison, The Electric Thomas Edison)
Edison’s looking for money is not unlike our own search for help when we face the destructive fires of mortality that incinerate our own dreams. But we have a place we can go. God designed the test and the testing center; He will help us pass the exam.
No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, [God] will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable Being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come. We have found that God. We have made Him our friend, by obeying His Gospel; and He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments (George Q. Cannon, “Freedom of the Saints,” in Collected Dis- courses, comp. Brian H. Stuy, 5 vols. (1987–1992), 2:185, as quoted by Jeffrey r. Holland, “Come unto Me,” Ensign, Apr. 1998, 19–20).
I know and believe that through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can do all things (see Philippians 4:13). If we want to do great things, we have to be like the greats of old, who have all persevered through hard times. It’s just the way it is. Like a MLB player, their success only came through much practice—with many foul balls, and missed catches along the way.
I invite you to come closer to Jesus Christ by meeting with Mormon missionaries and by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. I have read this book, prayed about it, and have received a witness from God that it is true—it is His word.
This article was written by Ashley Bell, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Ashley Bell is a 22-year old wife, mother, BYU graduate, and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ashley loves to run, cook, garden, read, and most of all spend time with family and friends.