How to overcome roadblocks to personal progress

Following an experience in our elderly lives so devastating that our self-images were totally destroyed, we packed our suitcases, got in our car, and tried to lose ourselves. We drove and drove and read the scriptures and General Authority talks that we had taken with us, cried a great deal, prayed fervently, and finally found ourselves in the peace and serenity of one of God's creations, "The Giant Redwoods."

We talked as we had never talked before as to what path we should now pursue to overcome and be able to endure to the end. Then blessings started to come and hate and hurt were gradually replaced with love, understanding for the needs of others and forgiveness.Upon returning home we met with our wise and dearly loved nephew/

stake president who counseled us, cried with us, prayed with us and gave us each a beautiful priesthood blessing which promised that our lives could go on, that we had much yet to do to help build up the Lord's kingdom.

We are progressing each day toward the goal of becoming more Christlike. The hurt is still in our hearts, but the comforting Spirit of our Heavenly Father is also manifested unto us daily and we have been able to go on with our lives with our family and loved ones.

Our suggested steps to overcoming roadblocks to personal progress:

  • Read scriptures and General Authority talks.
  • Pray fervently.
  • Be humble and ready to receive the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
  • Become husband and wife in a common goal.
  • Seek priesthood guidance and special priesthood blessings. - Orlon and Desna Nordfelt, West Valley City, Utah

How we did it:

A good first step

Through personal experience over the years, I have found that one of the most important ways to overcome a challenge is to simply get up the nerve and share it with a trusted friend. To talk about that struggle with a friend, to talk about ways to overcome it - that is a good first step, along with prayer and fasting and scripture study. A difficult challenge can never be overcome alone. One needs God and God's people. - Darren Lowe, Vancouver, British Columbia

Faith in Christ

  • Call upon God. Prayer can guide us to solve our problems in the Lord's way, not in man's sometimes shortsighted and temporary solutions.
  • Exercise faith in Christ. Whether we pay tithing, do missionary work, or follow the Spirit in easy and difficult times, we are exercising faith that will result in many blessings.
  • Magnify callings. When we do what is asked of us, we find that the Lord provides a way for us to accomplish the task we have been given no matter how difficult it may appear.
  • Endure to the end in gratitude. We all have trials to work out and can either make them stepping stones or stumbling blocks. A good attitude is vital.

We all will deal with discouragement, disappointments, sorrow and adversity throughout our lives. Prayer, faith, works and gratitude will give us the strength to overcome those times and give us joy and rest in the Lord Jesus Christ. - Garry B. Weiss, Provo, Utah

Essential part

What a wonderful blessing of this life - to be able to learn and grow and progress. Indeed, progress is a very essential part of fulfilling our earthly missions. To truly succeed, we must have a vision of who we are and what we want and need to be. The Lord can help us acquire this vision if we sincerely seek His guidance. Our patriarchal blessings can also help us with this vision. There is great power and strength in knowing that you are doing with your life what the Lord would have you do.

With this vision, we must prayerfully set goals - both long-term and short-term. All these steps will lead to our daily priorities and actions. Each day we should pray for our Heavenly Father's help in moving toward our goals and work diligently to do our part. Keeping a journal will help us see our small steps toward our goals.

One of the greatest roadblocks to progress is feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. We must not be overcome by this tool of Satan. With the Lord, we can do all things. He has promised us, "If they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27.) What a comfort this scripture is to me in my life as I struggle to accomplish all that needs to be done. It is a powerful promise from the Lord. Truly, He will not let us fail. - Julie Ann Morain, Fort Collins, Colo.

Set goals

We can keep personal progress moving forward by setting and reaching goals. When we set personal goals, we should avoid comparing ourselves with others. Our talents, strengths, stress levels and weaknesses are unique.

Our goals can challenge us to reach our highest potential. But we must be careful to set goals that are within our reach when we put forth our best efforts. - Barbara E. Shull, New Braunfels, Texas

A renewed peace

During the summer of 1992, my husband passed away after an unsuccessful bone-marrow transplant for cancer. I was left to care for a still young family of five. In the months following his death, I was desperate for consolation, and even though my wonderful friends and family did much to help me, I felt such a void I couldn't deal with.

That Christmas, my brother-in-law gave me a gift that brought me the peace I needed. It was a simple book marker with the inscription of the scripture found in D&C 84:88: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I carry this book marker in my Book of Mormon where I refer to it often. Whenever I feel lonely I read this scripture and find a renewed peace and comfort in knowing I'm not alone. - Linda McDaniel, Blackfoot, Idaho

Listen to the Spirit

We all experience roadblocks from time to time and when these obstacles interfere with personal progress they must be circumvented. Trained as a chemist, I often use the scientific method to help solve temporal as well as spiritual roadblocks. The scientific method is as follows:

  • Define the problem. Isolate the roadblock.
  • Perform an experiment. Make necessary changes in your life.
  • Collect data. After making lifestyle changes, determine the resulting outcome.
  • Form a hypothesis. Try to make a tentative explanation for the changes that have occurred.
  • Form a conclusion. After a lot of data has been collected, try to summarize.

Listen to the Spirit. The Spirit is the means by which God governs and controls all things, and through the Spirit you may be guided and directed. - Carol Leslie Wambolt, Lubbock, Texas

How to checklist:

1 Pray, fast for help; study scriptures for guidance.

2 Exercise faith in Christ; realize you're not alone.

3 Use roadblocks as stepping stones; set realistic goals.

4 Seek priesthood blessings; talk with a trusted friend.


March 4 "How to cope when a loved one dies or is incapacitated as a result of alcohol or drug abuse."

March 11 "How to move upward from spiritual plateaus."

March 18 "How to teach children the principle of sacrifice."

March 25 "How to enhance your commitment to Church service beyond the three-hour block schedule."

April 1 "How to teach children the true meaning of Easter."

April 15 "How to sustain the priesthood in the home."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, or send fax to (801) 237-2121. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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