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2 Ne. 2:2 states, "Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain (emphasis added)."
Frequently we will hear how the Lord will allow afflictions to come upon us or even "inflict upon us" whatever He seeth fit for us (see Mosiah 3:19). And yes, this is true. The Lord is very aware of the trials we need in order to become who He needs us to become. However, this scripture puts a whole new depth to that principle for me.
He will consecrate our afflictions. To consecrate is "to make holy or to dedicate to a higher purpose (dictionary.com)." Think about that! The Lord will dedicate our trials to a higher purpose! Our struggles become holy through that consecration. There is a joy that comes with that for me. There seems to be a much deeper purpose for the trials we face than simply to gain experience. Through them, we are becoming holy...because there is a promise. He does this "for thy gain."
So the Lord recognizes (and sometimes places) these burdens upon us, makes them holy, and then blesses us for them! Linking it to another verse about consecration, we see the same promise.
"But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul
(2 Ne. 32:9, emphasis added)."
Our works, our trials, our responses to the trials, our joyful experiences...all of this, when we counsel with the Lord, are to consecrate our souls. Trials, pains, sufferings, challenges, stress, pressure, persecution, and heartbreaks are all inevitable, but when we are dedicated to the Lord, we are becoming dedicated to a higher purpose, we are being made holy.
For me, today, that is so beautiful to know!
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