Thursday, July 7, 2011

Furnace of Affliction

There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that I have come to love and that has helped me get through life's trials and look forward with an eye of faith. The scripture come from the 1st Book Of Nephi, Chapter 20 verse 10 and it reads, "For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." The term refine in the dictionary means, " to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities". A furnace is, as stated in the dictionary, "a place characterized by intense heat".
     If anyone know anything about metals, you know that it requires very intense heat to refine or to remove the impurities out of the metal to make them pure and next to perfect. The metals go through a process in the furnace where the intense heat cleanses and purifies each metal.
     In the gospel, each person goes through a process where the Lord refines us and makes become more pure. One of the ways He does that is by allowing us to have affliction and trials in our lives. These afflictions that come upon us are not there to punish us or to weaken our faith, rather to shape us into the best people we can become. An Apostle of the Lord, Elder Dallin H. Oaks observed that like intense heat refines metal and removes impurities, likewise affliction can refine and purify each of us, he says this, "Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call 'the furnace of affliction' (Isaiah 48:10; 1 Nephi 20:10). Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become."
     Along with Elder Oaks I believe that the troubles and trials we all face in life can help shape us into who God wants us to become.  I know its not easy to go through trials and difficulties and I don't think they are meant to be. But I do know that if we push through our trials with patience and faith, continue in scripture study and prayer, knowing that everything will turn out okay in the end, then we can truly become pure and sanctified. Our afflictions can truly refine and purify us.

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