A few weeks ago a friend shared a quote with me. The quote is by Thomas Paine and was written in an article called, “The Crisis,” during the American Revolutionary War. While it may seem appropriate to share this weekend in honor of Memorial Day, it is actually something that has been on my mind for weeks now.
Paine said: "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."
Of course, Paine speaks of the price of freedom. However, the man who shared this quote with me spoke of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and I have since found that this quote is applicable in many different aspects of life.
“These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Have you felt your soul being tried?
Recently, I have struggled to feel adequate and a few weeks ago I found myself lower than I had ever felt before. I have always loved going to church. Since I was a little girl, I looked forward to Sunday but a few weeks ago for the first time ever I didn’t feel like going and I almost didn’t. But I went and as I sat there I felt the overwhelming love of God. I couldn’t stop crying as I realized that my soul was being tried.
We may ask why God allows us to pass through hard things. Why does he let us feel depressed or lonely? Even the Savior himself asked if it was possible to accomplish the atonement without going through so much pain. But it wasn’t. The pain was part of the necessary experience.
You see, this passing through hard things is part of what we signed up for before coming to this earth and I believe that we knew then what we were getting ourselves into. We knew then that “the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” We knew that “what we obtain too cheap, we esteem too light” and we understood that “it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
But here we are and we go through extremely hard things. Really crappy things and it hurts. Sometimes it doesn’t seem to make sense. We are doing the best we can. We are good people and sometimes it seems that just when we’ve gotten back on our feet we get knocked down again.
It is in these moments that we must remember that “heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods.”
At a time, I believe we understood this price perfectly and that is why we agreed to Heavenly Father’s plan.
So if you are waiting for a blessing that doesn’t seem to be coming or if your path back to Heavenly Father seems thorn-ridden or rocky, don’t give up.
Believe that for the difficulty of the path, there is a greater blessing in store. Just as hiking to a higher point is more difficult but offers a better view from the top, so it will be with you.
Trust that Heavenly Father wants to bless you with the righteous desires of your heart but he also wants you to appreciate those blessings once they come.
This weekend we honor those soldiers who fought to give us that liberty when it wasn’t easy. Each Sunday we remember the sacrifice of a Savior who paid the ultimate price so that we can be eternally happy. Each day may we try to remember that the best things in life don’t come free. They never have. But those blessings do come to those who pay the price and keep the faith.
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