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  1. Like many of you, my life has had lots of ups and downs. We've had illnesses, layoffs, bad decisions, etc. that brought us into trials and unpleasant situations. Several years ago, I was reading about Joseph Smith's early life and something really struck me. Maybe it will be of help to someone who is currently undergoing trials right now. Joseph Smith's father, Joseph Smith, Senior, was a farmer in Vermont. His only ambition was to be a simple farmer and provide for his family. He was a man of meager means. He struggled to pay for land and raise a crop. Two years prior to 1816, Joseph Senior had experienced crop failures. The weather in Vermont wasn't cooperating. Trying to make payments on land was a challenge. Then, 1816 came. That was known in history as the "Year Without a Summer." In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted. The volcano threw so much ash into the atmosphere that it changed weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere. In the summer of 1816, it snowed in Vermont. Father Smith sold the property (or had his land repossessed--it doesn't say which) and went down to Palmyra in New York to look for a place to start fresh. We've all heard the stories about young Joseph's leg surgery, which happened in 1815. Joseph Senior had to leave his family behind and, once he found a property, he sent a hired man to pick them up and bring them to Palmyra. The unpleasant fellow made Joseph Junior hobble along from Vermont to New York on the bad leg. If you've been to the Smiith Farm in Palmyra, which has historical reproductions of the original cabin and the frame home in which the family lived, you'll see evidence of a time of prosperity. The family began to prosper, but we learn that an unscrupulous lender swindled the nice frame house from the Smith family just as the sons finished building it for them. It seems that bad financial luck followed the Smith family. Again, I reiterate that all Father Smith wanted was to be a farmer. That was the extent of his ambitions. We know in hindsight, the Lord had different plans. Would Joseph Senior have moved from Vermont to New York if his farm had been successful? Did God tell him that he needed to move his family there so his youngest son would be near some ancient gold plates buried near the town of Palmyra? The Lord didn't tell him anything. Instead, he let failure and pain be the impetus to get him to move to New York. Likewise, had finances gone well at the Palmyra farm, how would things have gone when it came time to uproot and move to Kirtland, Missouri, and Nauvoo? The Lord used hardships to direct Joseph Smith, Senior to his foreordained role--to become the first patriarch of this dispensation. He was called to be a prophet in his own right, to declare the lineage of the saints and bless them. Would that have ever come to pass if he had been a success at farming? Trials and hardships are never enjoyable. However, we should look at them and ask, "Is the Lord directing me to a new path?" Some trials are meant to be endured well. Others are meant to cause us to act. When we act, the Lord may be directing us onto a new path. In that case, rest assured that he has you in the "palm of his hand." He will not let you fail in any eternally important way. He has placed a frame around you and the limits will not exceed his designs. God has a plan. Trust in him. Remember Joseph Smith, Senior--the aspiring farmer who became the Patriarch of the Church in the latter-days.
  2. I kinda curious about people's General advise for the do' s and do nots for having a successful marriage. If your marriage has been successful, what good things have you and your partner done that you feel have contributed to it's success? What troubles have you had to work through? If you have had a failed marriage, why did it fail, what do you think could have changed the result? Despite the problems was there anything that really worked out well? If you remarried, what have you and your partner done differently? What do you feel should be avoided? Were there expectations you brought in that turned out differently? Are there things you looked for in a partner that made a difference? Any other thoughts and comments?
  3. Hey all I'm just becoming disheartened, frustrated, and disillusioned through my recent experiences dating in Provo. Rejection after rejection, and I just can't take it anymore. I'm not exactly bad looking, but I just must have had bad luck at picking girls in relationships or that had no intention of progressing in a relationship. School is great, and I have a great career ahead of me. Family life and other things are well. I just feel destroyed from the negative experiences I've had - I feel like I have a dagger in my heart from the painful experiences of just trying. Mission had lots of rejection, but this is different. I always used to feel liked and appreciated. Now that i'm in my major classes, there are just hardcore science and career women, and I really (no offense to feminists, but I disagree with that philosophy) would prefer a more traditional wife/GF. I'm pretty flexible, but I am just finding women as focused on their careers as I am, and I'm just getting weary of the journey alone. Missing church sometimes because I just can't stand to see the happy couples - the only thing I've wanted and have failed miserably at. It just pains me. Add my current pain and struggles onto the vision forward of so many divorces, so many relationship problems, changing gender roles, career and educationally burdened women...I just feel the hope is running out. My confidence which was once strong is now weak and dim. I just can't go on. Picked up swearing, changed my music, and have lost faith in the disenheartening depression that followed. I only say that so you can appreciate the extent that this has affected and pained me... I don't even have the will to ask for one more date, because so much has happened. I'm considering adopting a practice of celibacy and just going to grad school and living as a science man. Sad, but I have lost all hope for relationships and marriage.e Just women that want money, abuse men...we're a dying breed. Every once in a while I get a boost back up, but my sad state returns quickly. Dating-induced depression. Never felt this way before. Ever.