When God’s plan for us seems like a thrift-store, hand-me-down plan, we need to be patient, have faith, and remember the blessings God has promised us.
Maybe you’re past the “standard” Mormon marrying age or you’re working in a job unrelated to your degree. Or maybe you’re wondering if you’re in the right major (that last exam didn’t go so well) or you’ve lost someone close to you. Ultimately, you believe God loves you, but you feel forgotten as you struggle through each day. Some call life an adventure, but right now it seems more challenging than fun.
In the devotional address “The Adventure of Mortality,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks about the ups and downs of mortality. As a remarkable Apostle, a loving husband, a caring father, and a successful pilot, Elder Uchtdorf seems to have life figured out. It’s easy to compare our chaotic lives to Elder Uchtdorf’s life and think we’re doing something wrong. Knowing we might make this comparison, he says: “Now, you may be thinking, ‘Yes, Elder Uchtdorf, that’s all very nice for you. But you are an Apostle. I’m not like that. I’m not important to God. My prayers are not answered. My life is not directed. If there is a plan for me it’s a thrift store version. A hand-me-down plan.’” Elder Uchtdorf points out that this thrift-store, hand-me-down mentality is far from the truth.
Elder Uchtdorf has had his fair share of hardships and moments of doubt, especially during his young adult years. He described his young-adult self as “a rather insignificant and struggling young man . . . who didn’t seem to have much chance of success in life.” He felt like he “couldn’t catch a break.” Though these years of uncertainty were difficult, Elder Uchtdorf explains that remembering the good things in his life helped him continue to believe and trust in God.
Continuing to remain faithful in the gospel of Jesus Christ made all the difference for Elder Uchtdorf—and it can for us too. Elder Uchtdorf recommends five ways we can overcome discouragement and confusion:
- Wait upon the Lord. “God’s answers . . . may take a little time and they may come in ways you hadn’t expected. . . . They are worth the wait.”
- Have faith. “Believe that you are important to God, and trust He will make more of you than you can possibly make of yourself.”
- Walk the path of discipleship. “Don’t get overwhelmed. Just do the small things as perfectly as you can, and the big things will fall in place.”
- Don’t be discouraged. “Remember, you don’t answer to your critics. You answer to your Father in Heaven.”
- Do your best. “Make the best decisions you can by following the promptings that come to your heart and mind. Give your best efforts to follow through.”
Elder Uchtdorf promises that if we remember these principles and commit to living God’s plan, then “all will be well.”
So if you’re dissatisfied with your relationship status, you’re questioning your career choice, or you’re wondering why mortality hurts so much, remember that you are a child of God and his plan for you is much more than a thrift-store, hand me-down plan. It’s a divine plan worthy of your divine lineage.
To learn more about overcoming discouragement, read or watch Elder Uchtdorf’s full devotional address: “The Adventure of Mortality.”
—Rebecca Purse, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
Read or watch Sister Harriet Uchtdorf’s message “You Are Leaders,” given directly before Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s message.
Check out Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s women’s conference address “Fourth Floor, Last Door” to learn more about the blessings of persevering through dismal circumstances.