In the 1960s, a professor at Stanford University began a modest experiment testing the willpower of four-year-old children. He placed before them a large marshmallow and then told them they could eat it right away or, if they waited for 15 minutes or so, they could have two marshmallows. He then left the children alone and watched what happened behind a two-way mirror. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately. Some could wait only a few minutes before giving in to temptation. Only 30 percent were able to wait. What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait--to be patient--was a key character trait that might predict later success in life. I remember when I was preparing to be trained as a fighter pilot, we spent a great deal of our preliminary military training in physical exercise. We ran and we ran and we ran some more. I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom. I remember thinking, "Wait a minute. Aren't I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?" I asked myself, was the promise true or was it not? The answer didn't come immediately. But eventually I learned that God's promises are not always fulfilled as quickly or in the way we might hope. Patience means staying with something until the end. It means delaying immediate gratification for future blessings. The work of patience boils down to this: keep the commandments; trust in God, our Heavenly Father; serve Him with meekness and Christlike love; exercise faith and hope in the Savior; and never give up.

Continue in Patience

Patience requires that we obey God's commandments and faithfully wait for His will to be fulfilled.

Related Collections