I have been thinking a lot about the gospel–what it is and how to live it and how to deal with the ups and downs of life and so forth. Four scriptures have struck me in a juxtaposition that I hadn’t considered before. The scriptures are these:

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)

24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; (Abraham 3:24-25) (emphasis added)

And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. (D & C 122:7) (emphasis added)

Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:4)

This seems to me a very basic summary of this mortal life–what it is for and how to get through it. First, the Lord’s purpose–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Second, how the Lord will fulfill this purpose–by testing, trying, and proving man. Third, a reminder to man of what is happening to him–all these things shall give thee experience and shall be for thy good. Fourth, a reminder to man of where help is–trust in the Lord because He has everlasting strength. (Naturally, man means mankind and includes women.)

You will be able to think of other scriptures that fit in, as well, but these four stood out to me. Sometimes as we read and study the scriptures, we forget to look at the big picture–or at any rate, I do. If we can remember where we come from, why we are here, and where we are going, we can cope better with our current situation in mortality. We have heard those three questions so often that we may not even notice them anymore, but they can help us focus on our purpose in life and remind us to keep an eternal perspective, which is so important to doing well in our lives.

We all struggle with something–it will be different for each person–but if we can remember why we have struggles and trials and adversity, and do our best to learn lessons and develop strength and virtue from these situations, we will be progressing in our journey back to our heavenly home and our Heavenly Father.

It’s not easy, but that eternal perspective sure helps!

– Mary