Facing Challenges: What I Learned from Elizabeth Smart

by Clancey

Kidnapped. Tortured. Raped. Controlled. Starved. Chained. Forced… and challenged to a whole lot of other despicable events that her captors had in store for her. Yet, Elizabeth Smart did not blame God. In her book, My Story, Elizabeth Smart recounts her experience with evil. She was taken from her home when she was just fourteen. She was forced to drink alcohol, raped every day, and was controlled by fear for the nine months that she was captured by Brian David Mitchell who forced her to do anything he wanted her to, with the help of Wanda Barzee.

What Elizabeth Smart went through is horrific, yet she counsels to never blame God for the bad things that others may do to us in this life. This is because God never wants you to go through horrible challenges. Never! He is grieved every time you or I go through something horrible. He hates it just as much as you do, because he felt it too. Instead, He wants us to come unto Him when we have troubles, worries, sorrow, pain, and challenges.

We are all challenged. We all go through pain, sorrow, regret… no matter what you do! You cannot go through life without having challenges. So here’s my advice, don’t give up! Don’t let Satan get the best of you. Have patience, and you will become stronger through Christ. Here is a saying that I absolutely love: “You try. You fail. You try. You fail. But the only true failure is when you stop trying.”

I was talking to one of my best friends a few weeks ago, and we were talking about how everyone has different challenges they need to overcome in this life. We all face them, but what matters is that we stay strong and endure to the end. ‘Endure to the end’ cannot be said too much. It is the great fundamental foundation that we all need to engrave into our minds. It is the reason we go to Heaven. Enduring to the end has a great meaning behind it. It means that if you repent, you keep repenting. If you repent just once, and say “Oh… that’s good enough for me, I’m a saint now,” then you’re not enduring to the end.

Elizabeth Smart also said, “Life is a journey for us all. We all face trails. We all have ups and downs. All of us are human. But we are also the masters of our fate. We are the ones who decide how we are going to react to life.” I invite all of you to read My Story. Not because of what she went through, but the way she reacted to it during and afterwards. We all need to follow her example.

I have challenges. Many of them. And I also know that you have challenges, and also a lot of them. Whether it is a challenge that you were placed in because of others. Or maybe it’s a challenge that you made because you fell into Satan’s hands. Whatever be the cause, don’t give up! I have failed many times, but I will try and try again until I succeed.

I try to think of our Savior encouraging us to endure saying: “I never said it would be easy; I only said it would be worth it.”

This article has 5 comments

  1. Beverly Atherley Reply

    Clancey, I enjoyed reading this today. My father was one who always talked of enduring to the end and more important to endure well to the end. It brought back memories of just how well he endured to the end. He had many challenges to face and never let them get the best of him. It makes me want to follow his example and do the same. I haven’t read Elizabeth Smart’s book but this has given me the desire to do so. Thanks for bring to mind one of the principals my father lived by and a new example to follow.

  2. Mike baker Reply

    Great blog on enduring challenges. Good can always come from it even if we don’t see it at the time. You’ve given us some great wisdom. Thanks !

  3. Jill Reply

    Clancy, thanks for sharing your testimony and adding your encouragement to never give up!

  4. Melissa! Reply

    Clancy that was wonderful! I loved it so much and gave me the boost I needed thanks bunches!

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