Trials & Adversity
I would just like to thank all of the men and women who have fought and are fighting for our freedom everyday, for the opportunity to get up here and speak to all of you today. Because if they had not fought for our freedom I would not be able to stand here and talk to all of you today.
Bro Martin asked me to talk on Trials and Adversity.
I will tell you one thing, writing this thing was a trial and adversity.
Google describes Trials as a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something.
Google also describes Adversity as difficulties; misfortune
As part of Heavenly Father's plan of redemption, all people experience adversity during their lifetime. Trials, disappointments, sadness, sickness, and heartache are a difficult part of life, but with the help of the Lord they can lead to spiritual growth, refinement, and progress.
To me life sounds like one big Trial or Test if you will. God sent us here to pass the test so that we can return to live with him. But the test is not all that easy. Throughout the years of our lives or the test we come across several different adversities. Everyone comes in contact with their own unique challenges and problems throughout life.
Although some of these adversities may seem bigger or smaller than another person’s, they each are constructed to help each of us grow individually in ways that God knows that we need to work on. Something that you are going through is completely different than what the next person is going through. But the experience that we receive, from the adversity that we go through is sculpted for each of us so, that we can become better people in the areas that God sees fit.
Different kinds of adversity require different responses. For example, people who are stricken with illness may simply need to be patient and faithful. People who suffer because of others' words or actions should work toward forgiving those who have offended them. If a person's trials come because of disobedience, he or she should correct the behavior and humbly seek forgiveness.
When some people face adversity, they complain and become bitter. They ask questions like “Why does this have to happen to me? Why do I have to suffer this now? What have I done to deserve this?” I can say without a doubt that at some point in time we all have asked these questions. But these questions have the power to dominate our thoughts. Such questions can overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the experiences the Lord wants us to receive. Rather than responding in this way, people should consider asking questions such as, “What am I to do? What am I to learn from this experience? What am I to change? Whom am I to help? How can I remember my many blessings in times of trial?” If we find ourselves asking these questions we will grow closer to our Heavenly Father and become more Christ-like.
Adversity comes from different sources. Trials may come as a consequence of a person's own pride and disobedience. I feel that pride is probably one of the most easy traps to fall into. We pride ourselves on how busy our schedules are, and that we don’t have time to do anything else. These trials can be avoided through righteous living. If we just shift one gear down for a moment we will see that truthfully we fabricate a good amount of how important some of the little “busy” things that we do are. We all just need to step back and be grateful for what we have, and our family and friends. Because in the end family and friends are the people that we rely on to get us through our trials. Other trials are simply a natural part of life and may come at times when people are living righteously. For example, people may experience trials in times of sickness or uncertainty or at the deaths of loved ones. I know for a fact that we all take loved ones for granted. The thing is the minute they step out the door to go somewhere they may not come back. I would like to invite all of you to just tell your loved ones, that you love them. Even though you may be mad at them sometimes, you don’t want to live with the regret knowing that your last words to someone you hold dear were not the nicest. Just tell them you love them every time you go out to do something. I mean for crying out loud I tell my parents I love when I go downstairs to play Xbox. Adversity may sometimes come because of others' poor choices, hurtful words and actions. (The story that I share a little later happened because of someone else’s actions.) Suffering may also come through a loving Heavenly Father as a tutoring experience.
Each person's success and happiness, both now and in the eternities, depend largely on his or her responses to the difficulties of life.
Alright I am going to break this down into something that makes sense to me. After all it wouldn’t be a talk by me if it didn’t reference STAR WARS in some way or in other. For those of you who don’t understand what I am talking about come on over to my house later and we will have a 15 hour marathon and get you caught right up.
In STAR WARS the Jedi Order fights for good against the dark side of the Force. For a Jedi to become one with the Force they must pass five trials. The essence of these five trials are; Skill, Courage, Spirit, Flesh, and Insight.
A Jedi must pass is the Trial of Skill. While the test consists of numerous displays of lightsaber technique, the main thing that the battle master looked for when judging a potential knight was their ability to avoid distraction through self-discipline
Because courage was a vital quality in a Jedi, the Trial of Courage was seen as appropriate to give to those who didn’t specialize in combat. Because it was important to remain in the dark about what one would face during the test, most Jedi did not divulge details on individual tests.
To pass the Trial of the Spirit, apprentices had to look deep within their souls, on a quest of self-discovery. This test was designed to pit a potential knight against their most dangerous enemy: the darkness within themselves. Often times, apprentice did not like what they saw, and it could be highly traumatic experience. Because of this grueling self-examination, this trial was often known as Facing the Mirror.
The Trial of the Flesh was the most trying test given at the Jedi Temple. Involving the apprentice overcoming great physical pain, hardship, or loss, the test sometimes resulted in death or dismemberment. Throughout history, the trial was known to involve bloodshed of some form.
The Trial of Insight was the last test offered as part of the Trials of knighthood. Installed in the Trials program after noting that while a Jedi could take down a Sith, they could be undone by common thieves, this test helped a Jedi to see what was really in front of their eyes through use of the Force. Seeing through illusion, evaluating an individual’s true persona, and unveiling lies are essential to a successful mission.
Once all five of these Trials or Tests are passed a Jedi is now capable of becoming one with the Force. Or for lack a better term, the blue ghosts that you see in the movies.
This is like every single one of us who are going through life right now. Our goal is to return and live with heavenly Father. The only way to do so is go through the trials that God lays before us, and attempt to overcome them in a way that is better than the best we can do. I believe that this is one of the sole reasons for trials. It is God pushing us in ways that we are not comfortable with, giving us situations that we do not know how to handle. This is how we grow as a person, the trials level up different skills that God knows that we need to have before we return to live with him.
Throughout my own life I have had my own trials ranging from large scale to small scale. I’m sure many of you; in fact all of you can agree that you all have had your own trials of all shapes and sizes. And I don’t like to dwell on or brag about any of mine but I feel as if I should share an experience of mine with you today.
The One that I am going to share with you happened about two years ago. It was a Saturday morning and I had been up since 3 or 4ish with the football team hiking some mountain to watch the sunrise. When I got home around 8 am I went downstairs and started playing a new videogame that allowed you to drive around in a police car. About an hour later after I had driven around pulling vehicles over and other things that police do, my dad hollered down to me and asked if I wanted to go and help him at my grandparent’s house. I asked him for what (making sure that it wasn’t any type of yard work); he told me that they needed help on the computer. I said sure and asked how long until we leave and he said about half an hour. So I continued playing, driving, pulling people over, responding to calls etc. Meanwhile in my mind I was debating if I really wanted to go with him. My mom came down and asked me if I really wanted to go, I told her that I didn’t really feel like going. Reasons being that I had gotten maybe two hours of sleep, and I really wanted to play my new game. She told me to think about it, and come upstairs and have a bite to eat before we left. While I am eating I am still debating, to go or not to go. I had decided again not to go. Halfway downstairs I heard the garage door opening and a feeling came over me that I should go. So I ran up stopped my dad, changed then I went with him. I like to think that the reason for the sudden change of heart was the fact that the police cars in the game were Dodge Chargers and not Crown Victoria’s. Had the police cars in the game been Crown Vic’s “my favorite patrol car” I would have not gone. But since they were Chargers “the worst patrol car” I decided it could wait.
Upon arrival at my grandparent’s house my dad and I figured out what was the problem with their computer. We then sat and visited with them for about an hour. We left and everything was going just fine.
While we were driving down 90th south through the river bottom a vehicle in the far left lane decided to make a U-turn from the far left lane. The driver cut across four lanes of traffic making everyone slam on their brakes. Two vehicles collided in front of us. My dad slammed on the brakes but in our little old Toyota pick up there were no Anti Lock brakes (not that would have mattered because every vehicle was so close to another), our little truck skidded for a good 100 feet, but we still rear ended a small SUV that was in front of us.
You know how at least in the movies when something epic or traumatic is happening it goes into slow motion. Well I am here to tell you that time does in fact slow down when something like this occurs.
Everything was fast up until the point of impact. Once we hit the car time slowed down. I could see the rippling of the metal as it crumpled up toward the cab of the truck. As the force of the impact carried through the truck you could see the glass cracking one or two cracks at a time then into a giant spider web. Once the wreckage had ceased my dad and I checked on each other to make sure that the two of us were still alive and breathing alright. My dad had hurt his chest on the steering wheel. And the impact had smashed my foot pretty good. My dad proceeded to get out of the truck. As I went to get out of my door, it would not open. I started to freak out I didn’t want to be stuck in the truck and have it catch fire. So with my foot throbbing I moved surprisingly fast over the seats on three limbs. Once out of the truck I hobbled over to the bed and took down the tail gate and sat down. I then grabbed my phone out and called 911.
While on the phone with the operator she was telling me that police were already on scene. I was telling her that they were not and that I would know if they were because that is just the type of law enforcement junkie that I am. She persisted that there were already officers on the scene, so I took a double look at the scene making sure I wasn’t missing a squad car so I could watch the light pattern on it. And then I saw the officer that she was talking about. I then notified her that he was not a Law enforcer he was an Animal control officer up at the intersection stopping traffic. She then told me to hang tight and hoped that I was alright.
She then hung up. Right as I was putting the phone back into my pocket I heard the sweet WAIL of Sandy City’s finest coming. As I saw the black and white roll over the top of the hill I felt relieved. A) Because help was arriving and B) I would be able to watch the flash pattern on the lights to take my mind off of the pain.
Although something bad had just occurred I still found enjoyment in watching the next two Sandy PD cars clear the intersection with their lights going and their sirens YELPing. Once the officers secured the scene it felt like ages until Fire & Rescue showed up. But hey we all know that Fire Fighters like to take there time. That’s beside the point.
Anyway they came and checked my dad and I out, for we had received the brunt of the impact. While they were preparing me for transport to the hospital they already had taken my dad because he was complaining of chest pain.
While they were splinting my foot an officer came over to ask me for info to call someone to come for us. I gave my moms to him. So he could call her and have her worry.
While on the way to the hospital I just remember telling the paramedics that my foot was hurting real bad and why are we not rolling lights and sirens. When the paramedics handed me over to the hospital staff I made sure to tell them thank you for all that they did for me that day.
At the hospital they did all of the tests x-rays and whatever the needed to do, to figure out what had happened to my foot. The good news was that it was not broken but it had mangled and messed up a good portion of the muscles and tendons in my foot. While sitting in the emergency room I was grateful to be surrounded by my grandparents, my mom and my sisters. When the hospital was about to discharge us a couple of Police officers showed up to take some more information from us. They then notified us that Highway Patrol stopped the guy that caused the wreck. I was relieved at that fact. I thanked the officers for coming and notifying us that they caught the guy.
My dad and I walked out( I rolled out) to the car that my mom brought around to pick us up in. I was just glad we only left with a few cracked ribs and a messed up foot.
A couple days later we went to check on “Little Red” he was gone. The engine block had come completely up into the cab of the truck shattering the dash. We took a few pictures of it and grabbed a few mementos of him like; the gear shifter, the grille, the license plates. As we were leaving the junk yard one of the wrecker workers came over and told us that we were really lucky. Because when he showed up to tow the truck the day of the accident he was putting on his hazmat gear because he was expecting to find half of a foot in the truck. He said that he was shocked that there was no blood to be found in the truck. After hearing this I began to think how blessed we really were.
Weeks went by as the both of us started to heal. I went to physical therapy on a weekly basis to get my foot back to normal. But as I would sit there at the therapy office and at the football games I came to realize how much my dad and I were being watched over that fateful afternoon.
Throughout this trial I learned to be even more patient than I use to be. For it took a long time and a lot of work to get my foot working again. I also realized exactly how precious life really is. And it can be taken away from us so quickly, and sometimes we do not have the power to stop it. So make sure you take care of your loved ones tell them that you do love them even though you may or may not be mad at them.
Everyday we wake up to face more trials big and small NOT one is more important than the next for the trials are there to help us achieve the ultimate and common goal. And that goal is; returning to live with our Father in Heaven.