Difficulties: ‘a valuable tool in pursuit for perfection’

"Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." (Heb. 5:8-9.)

"Difficulties can be a valuable tool in our pursuit for perfection," Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve said at the October 1980 general conference. "Adversity need have no necessary connection with failure. Proper self-management and self-discipline in all of our trials brings strength. If we are prepared, we can meet life's challenges victoriously. We become His disciples when we continue faithfully under all circumstances — including suffering and tragedy.

"C.S. Lewis shared a meaningful observation when he said, 'I have seen great beauty of spirit in some who were great sufferers. I have seen men, for the most part, grow better not worse with advancing years, and I have seen the last illness produce treasures of fortitude and meekness from most unpromising subjects.' "

Elder Ashton said that more mountains, "even those high in adversity, can better prepare us for tomorrow if we are but willing to climb."

"Jesus Christ, the Master shares His life of trials and victories with us for our motivation and direction. God strengthened His Son. He, too, will support us, His children, if we will turn to Him for guidance.

"What a blessing it is to know that we can be supported against all the fiery darts of the enemy if we are faithful. A worthy daily prayer is one asking for the power to be faithful under all circumstances."