It is our choice to be “broken by adversity or … become stronger”
During our relief society class, the teacher asked what comes to our minds every time we hear the word “adversary.” I raised my hand and answered, “Opportunity!” which made everyone laugh (and made me wonder the reason why). After that answer, I had that thought on my mind throughout the week yearning for a deeper meaning of it.
In a talk by Marvin J. Ashton in October 1980, he said “Adversity will surface in some form in every life. How we prepare for it, how we meet it, makes the difference. We can be broken by adversity, or we can become stronger. The final result is up to the individual.” Henry Fielding also said: “Adversity is the trial of principle. Without it, a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not.” This quote clearly explains that adversity is an opportunity to grow. As everyone says, this life is a trial of faith. We can be broken by adversity or we can become stronger. I remember this one quote from Elder James E. Faust where he said, “It’s not so much what happens to us but how we deal with what happens to us.” I totally agree with that. Each one of us has our own difficulties, but the outcome depends on our attitude and how we deal with it.
Another thing is that adversity is an opportunity to change. Elder Henry Eyring said, “The very opportunity for us to face adversity and affliction is part of the evidence of Their infinite love. God gave us the gift of living in mortality so that we could be prepared to receive the greatest of all the gifts of God, which is eternal life. Then our spirits will be changed.” Every time you fall, there’s always a new you standing up. Use adversity as an opportunity to become a better person, to repent, to show God how much you love Him.
Adversity is a process of refining. My father always uses a pencil as an example to explain adversity. He always compares it as a process of sharpening. It will be painful but it will always be worth it. Adversity is an opportunity to trust Him, to rely on Him and the best part is to be closer to Him.
Lastly, adversity is an opportunity to receive blessings from heaven. It is Heavenly Father’s way to give us the happiness we are searching for. It is an opportunity to think about the Savior – His love, His suffering, His sacrifices and the eternal blessings encompassed in His atonement. Alma Chapter 7 states, “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.”