Attitude Adjustment

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When life knocks you off your feet, do you find it difficult to say “thank you for the punch?”

Yeah, me too. In fact, I am pretty good at wringing my hands, despairing, and/or whining whenever I’m plodding through the quagmires of adversity. It’s no easy thing to stay positive when you’re sinking deeper and deeper into the muddle!

I recently read an excerpt from the autobiography of Warren Foote, one of the early Saints driven out of Nauvoo by antagonists of the Church. In a temporary winter cabin in Iowa, along the arduous trek to the Rocky Mountains, Foote penned these words:

“Another year has rolled around. Its joys and sorrows are all past with it, and also many of the Latter Day Saints are numbered with the dead. Among that number are my dear Mother and Sister…although I have had to undergo things that were not very agreeable to human nature…yet I feel to rejoice that I am accounted worthy to endure tribulation for the Gospel’s sake, and pray that I may endure to the end.” (italics added)

Foote’s words, laced with sadness and faith, stunned me. I reread the italizised line several times:

…yet I feel to rejoice that I am accounted worthy to endure tribulation for the Gospel’s sake.

Tribulation as a badge of honor and courage? I’ll take it!

Foote’s quote reminded me of a scripture in Acts, which may even have guided his words. The scripture explains the attitude of the apostles after being beaten and forbidden to preach the gospel.

“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [Christ’s] name.” (Acts 5:41)

These quotes reflect the perspective of the persecuted: very fitting when we feel that life is out to get us!

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