It’s Supposed to Be Hard

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey.

Here are three quotes from three different talks that follow up on the themes from my last post.

Life was made for struggle; and exaltation, success, and victory were never meant to be cheap or to come easily.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

No one is perfect, but everyone should be striving for perfection.

Elder William H. Bennet

The Lord expects more of the disciple than ordinary response to need, to opportunity, to commandment. He expects more humility, more hearkening, more repenting, more mercy and forgiving and faith, more service and sacrifice.

Elder Marion D. Hanks in More Joy and Rejoicing.

These are some pretty stern quotes: high standards, striving for impossible perfection, and an intentionally difficult world. Then Elder Hanks goes on:

All the law is comprehended in this, that we love God and each other.

French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (May 1, 1881 – April 10, 1955)

He also cites Pierre de Chardin[ref]I had no idea who that was, either.[/ref]:

The day will come when after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and on that day for the second time in the history of the world man will have discovered fire.

Without the strict discipline of duty and striving and opposition, we cannot have love. All we can have is a kind of watered-down sentimentalism or maybe cruel indifference masquerading as tolerance. And yet—without finding an ultimate aim in love—duty and striving and opposition are simply so much arbitrary pain or a thin veneer over a nihilistic, Nietzschean struggle for power.

True discipleship is found in the tension between these poles.

Check out the other posts from the General Conference Odyssey this week and join our Facebook group to follow along!