Last week our family home evening lesson was carried over from the Sunday lesson I taught the 14/15 year old young women at church. Recently I have been using my Sunday lesson as the foundation for my family night lesson on Sunday evenings (unless prompted to go in a different direction.) That Sunday I taught a lesson on patience, and knowing it was a lesson our family could benefit from, I retaught it on Sunday night to my own family.
We began the lesson with a game that served as an object lesson for patience. The game came in the mail as a gift for Rusty’s birthday from my sister. Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was an awesome lead -in to my lesson.
The game is called “Don’t Lose your Cool.”
In this game one person dons a head piece with a lighted gauge on top, and a heart rate monitor that rests against the forehead. This player then tries to “keep his cool” for a set amount of time while the other players try to get his heart rate to rise, thus causing the gauge to light up and an alarm to sound. If the player can keep calm enough that his heartrate doesn’t fluctuate in that set amount of time, he wins the game.
The other players then each roll a dice with suggestions printed on the side of the dice that name actions that might cause the primary player to “lose his cool.” Suggestions like close talking, animal noises and incessant chatter are some of the actions that payers might roll and have to perform. If they can get the primary player’s alarm to sound, they win the round.
It was a fun game that led to much silliness and laughter, but we soon discovered that there was a lesson to be found within the game.
The reality is …
We all have things or people in our lives that push our buttons and cause us to “lose our cool!”
Sometimes it is life circumstances that test our patience.
But we know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit and a divine quality we should all be striving for, so how do we follow the counsel of the Lord and continue in patience?
That was the topic of discussion on Sunday night at Patchwork Farm.
This was our lesson:
Let us begin by exploring what patience is. Patience is defined as,
“The capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition or suffering without being angry, frustrated, or anxious.”
How interesting. Patience isn’t just about waiting, but waiting well.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf has said this about the divine quality of patience:
“Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.
Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.
There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!
Patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels. Patience is truly a fruit of the Spirit.
Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings. It means reining in anger and holding back the unkind word. It means resisting evil, even when it appears to be making others rich.
Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. It means being “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”
Ultimately, patience means being “firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord” every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so.”
This is not to say that the purifying process of patience is easy, and certainly we were not all created equal in this virtue. Some may seem to have been blessed with a gift for patience while others struggle, but we are all capable of growing in this area and becoming more Christ-like in our ability to be patient with others, with our circumstances, and even with ourselves.
In his talk, “The Power of Patience” by Robert C Oaks, he gives the following suggestions of things we can do to grow in patience. He counseled that we try applying the following four strategies:
“1. Read each of the scriptures in the Topical Guide listed under the topic “patience” and then ponder Christ’s patient examples.
2. Evaluate ourselves to determine where we stand on the patience continuum. How much more patience do we need to become more Christlike? This self-assessment is difficult. We might ask our spouse or another family member to help us.
3. Become sensitive to the examples of patience and of impatience that occur around us every day. We should strive to emulate those individuals we consider to be patient.
4. Recommit each day to become more patient, and be certain to keep our selected family member involved in our patience project.”
Patience may seem like an unobtainable gift.
As Robert D. Hales said, “Too often we pray to have patience, but we want it right now!”
Growing in patience is a journey.
It isn’t always easy and at times this purification process may seem daunting.
But Joseph B. Wirthlin has promised, “We will have genuine joy and happiness only as we learn patience.”
Let us all strive to continue in patience and discover the joy that accompanies that divine trait.