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What Does It Mean to "Endure"?


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#1 JudoMinja

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 06:59 AM

And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
D&C 14:7


What comes to mind when we hear the word "endure"? What does it really mean to "endure to the end"? This is typically brought up in lessons where we are asked what we are required to do, what it takes to reach the celestial kingdom. We have a list of covenants, actions, and promises including baptism, repentance, temple ordinances, and at the very end of the list is always "endure to the end". After we have done all these things, still we are not done. For we must endure. What does this really mean?

The dictionary defines endure as follows:

1. bear hardship: to experience exertion, pain, or hardship without giving up
2. tolerate disagreeable things: to tolerate or accept somebody or something that is extremely disagreeable
3. survive: to last or survive over a period of time, especially when faced with difficulties


One might also consider "endurance" in their definition:


1. ability to bear prolonged hardship: the ability or power to bear prolonged exertion, pain, or hardship
2. toleration of hardship: toleration of prolonged suffering or hardship
3. persistence over time: the survival or persistence of something despite the ravages of time


Endure is the action. Endurance is the ability to maintain that action. No matter how we look at it, "endure" implies harship, trials, pain, and tough times. Simply put, even as we do all the Lord has asked us to do, life will not be easy. We will be asked to suffer and persist through that suffering. Why would the Lord want us to suffer?

Suffering begets growth. When someone undergoes physical endurance training, they push their body to the limit. An endurance runner trains their body to handle more and more, increasing the distance they are capable of running. A weight lifter slowly increases the weight they can lift, improving their ability to endure that weight. If someone were to attempt to run a marathon with no training or lift three-hundred pounds with no training, they would find themselves broken. Such a person would never be able to reach their "end" goal.

If we are to endure to the END, we must train. As we live our lives, the trials we face naturally increase in difficulty. Are we preparing ourselves to face those difficulties? Are we building our spiritual strength, increasing our spiritual endurance so that we may reach the "end" without breaking? Enduring is so much more than simply waiting. We do not simply do all the Lord has asked us to do and then wait for the end. To endure is to act- to grow, to build, to train, to suffer.

How do we build spiritual endurance? Nephi explains:

And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
2 Nephi 31:16


"Follow the example of Jesus Christ" and you will be able to reach the "end". To do that, we must learn of Him, for if we do not know His example we cannot follow it. The more we study His life, His words, His actions and come to understand the man He was and is, the better we will be able to follow His example.

And so, to endure to the end implies that we must study our scriptures diligently, seek out the Lord in prayer, serve our fellow man, and in other ways pattern our behavior after the Lord.

#2 applepansy

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 07:19 AM

Great post. A few months ago I asked "Do I have to endure cheerfully?" The answer is YES!!! 2 Nephi 31:20 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life. James 5:11 11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. ... Doctrine and Covenants 24:8 8 Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with thee, even unto the end of thy days.

#3 Madriglace

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 09:51 AM

We must endure to the end and do it well. I have ALOT of work to do!

#4 RescueMom

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:15 AM

;)I can only endure until 9:41 am. :eek: Ok seriously I see this as an amasing thing in some people. I see some members who have been through heck and back, and are still there, but their testimonies are still strong. Yet I am not that strong, I tend to fall for every snare set before me.

#5 Traveler

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 11:47 AM

It is my view that this life is a grand opportunity. We know that we will face trials (trial meaning a test) and that we will gain experience. Regardless of what we may think, having a great attitude is not the limit of our trails or the goal in our purpose. We are told that we will suffer - suffering is included in attitude - not separate from it by pretending to be happy when we are not. It is my experience that suffering comes in two types:
First: The sufferings we endure because we are stupid and foolish - This I call personal suffering, it is also suffering we cause or allow others to bring upon us because of the lack of love between us.
Second: The sufferings we endure in behalf of others. This is, as Alma implies, taking upon us one another’s burdens. It is suffering with others - not because of others (which is in part - #1 kind of suffering).

The first kind of suffering we need to learn to overcome. This is done by repentance and forgiveness. The second part is something that we do not do alone but with Christ. As strange as it may seem this suffering actually brings joy - both to us and to others. When we learn to accomplish #2 - I believe we have learned what it is we must continue in the commandment to endure to the end.

The Traveler

#6 DHK

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:12 PM

To me "endure" means having 2 high council speakers, a choir musical number and you & your wife have 3 kids under the age of 5 that you're trying to keep quiet. That's enduring to the end! :)

#7 JudoMinja

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 12:30 PM

It is my view that this life is a grand opportunity. We know that we will face trials (trial meaning a test) and that we will gain experience. Regardless of what we may think, having a great attitude is not the limit of our trails or the goal in our purpose. We are told that we will suffer - suffering is included in attitude - not separate from it by pretending to be happy when we are not. It is my experience that suffering comes in two types:
First: The sufferings we endure because we are stupid and foolish - This I call personal suffering, it is also suffering we cause or allow others to bring upon us because of the lack of love between us.
Second: The sufferings we endure in behalf of others. This is, as Alma implies, taking upon us one another’s burdens. It is suffering with others - not because of others (which is in part - #1 kind of suffering).

The first kind of suffering we need to learn to overcome. This is done by repentance and forgiveness. The second part is something that we do not do alone but with Christ. As strange as it may seem this suffering actually brings joy - both to us and to others. When we learn to accomplish #2 - I believe we have learned what it is we must continue in the commandment to endure to the end.

The Traveler


This post makes me think of a talk I gave on adversity a few years ago. I also categorized our sufferings or adversity into two types. I had adversity we cannot control which comes from the outside, and adversity we can control which comes from the inside.

Sometimes, we face trials over which we have absolutely no control, trials that may be the results of natural phenomena or the decisions of another person. And then, we also face the trials brought on by our own choices and mistakes. Such trials have a purpose. They can make us stronger, if we will endure them well. To do so, we must seek to learn from them with a humble attitude instead of questioning them or wishing them away.

No matter how much we "suffer", the Lord has "endured" it all. We can learn from His example- that hardships do not mean we should give up.

#8 RescueMom

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 02:27 PM

This is the wrong religion but... Suffering brings us closer to God. I know, it's a Bhuddist saying but I like non-the-less.

#9 jayanna

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Posted 01 April 2011 - 08:38 PM

OKay, another Gospel Principles lesson:

a list of requirements of exaltation and enduring to the end

Gospel Principles Chapter 47: Exaltation

#10 applepansy

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:58 AM

This is the wrong religion but...

Suffering brings us closer to God.

I know, it's a Bhuddist saying but I like non-the-less.


This is also an LDS teaching. :)
“And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” (D&C 121:7, 8) (There are other scriptures but my mind is foggy this morning.)

#11 ferretrunner

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Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:12 PM

Mile 20-26.2 of a marathon.... My blisters have blisters. :o But, it was a great race!

#12 jdf135

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Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:30 AM

In regard to applepansy's comment, I am always a bit bothered by "cheerful" endurance. The Saviour was described as a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3).

I would like to think that endurance means doing what our energy and knowledge allows us to do regardless of our feelings about it. There are those that would suggest doing hard things with less than joyful attitudes as not meriting blessings. It may not be Elder Oak's "best" but I think most offerings and endurance in righteousness are still "good" and acceptable to the Lord.

I think there needs to be a distinction between cheerfulness, inner peace, joy and happiness. It is my sincere hope that nobody is made ot feel worse because they aren't "happy" about their trials. Trials often make me sad and although I have frequently heard people express gratitude for trials, I am one that has trouble with being glad when bad things happen. I have frequently found by callings discouraging but I do them regardless. I would like to think my offerings are still of some worth.




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