Challenges Help Us Grow
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“Challenges Help Us Grow,” Friend, Mar. 2014, 2–3

From the First Presidency

Challenges Help Us Grow

Adapted from “Two Principles for Any Economy,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 55–58.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

It is often in adversity that we learn the most important lessons.

Friend Magazine, 2014/03 Mar

When I was 11 years old, I lived with my family in the attic of a farmhouse near Frankfurt, Germany. We were refugees in a new place, far away from our previous home. We were very poor.

Because I was a refugee, and because I spoke with an East German accent, other children often made fun of me and called me names that deeply hurt. Of all the times of my youth, I believe this may have been the most discouraging.

Even though I still remember the hurt I felt, I can see now that this was a time of great personal growth. During this time, our family bonded together. I watched and learned from my parents. I admired their determination and optimism. From them I learned that we can overcome adversity when we have faith and courage.

I think back on that 11-year-old boy in Frankfurt, Germany, who worried about his future and felt the lasting sting of unkind remarks. While I would not be eager to relive those days of trial and trouble, the lessons I learned then were a necessary preparation for future opportunity. Now, many years later, I know this for certain: it is often in adversity that we learn those most important lessons that form our character and shape our destiny.