Have you ever wondered how you can face the challenges of mortality successfully? The Savior taught the Saints from the seven churches in Asia how to overcome persecutions, sins, and other challenges in order to receive His promised blessings. This lesson can help you feel an increased desire to overcome challenges and receive the blessings the Savior promises to give.
Imagine yourself in the following situation described by Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt of the Young Men General Presidency. Watch “You Can Gather Israel!,” which can be found at ChurchofJesusChrist.org, from time code 4:49 to 5:22, or read the following statement.
Suppose one day before you leave for school, one of your parents makes a true promise that you can have your favorite food when you return home! You are excited! While in school you imagine eating that food, and you can already taste it. Naturally, you share your good news with others. Looking forward to going home makes you so happy that the tests and challenges of school seem light. Nothing can take away your joy or make you doubt because of how sure the promise is!
(Ahmad S. Corbitt, “You Can Gather Israel!,” Liahona, May 2021, 62)
We can also apply Brother Corbitt’s analogy to our spiritual lives.
Why do you think we are able to bear the tests and challenges of mortality better when we stay focused on the eternal promises made to us by our Heavenly Father?
In Revelation 2–3, Jesus Christ testified of His eternal promises and taught the Saints how they could receive these promises. The Saints in John’s day needed help with many challenges similar to those you may face, including sins, persecution, and apathy. As you study these chapters, ponder how understanding these promises from the Lord can help you in your life.
Create a chart in your study journal similar to the following.
God’s promises to those who overcome
Read the verses on the left side of the chart, and record the promises you find in them on the right side of the chart (note that many promises can be found in each chapter). The following definitions might help you.
What similarities do you see among these promises?
How would you summarize the Savior’s words about how to receive His eternal promises?
These passages can help us understand that if we overcome, then the Savior will give us the blessings of exaltation.
How can knowing that Christ has promised you eternal blessings help you endure the challenges of mortality?
Which of these promises motivates you to overcome what you are facing? Why?
What might we need to overcome in order to receive exaltation?
Seek help from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost to identify and write down something that you need to overcome in your life. It could be a sin, addiction, or other personal challenge. Write why it is hard for you and why you want to overcome it. As you continue to study, seek Heavenly Father’s help through the Holy Ghost to learn what you can do to overcome it.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared the following about overcoming:
Is it possible to overcome the world and receive these blessings? Yes, it is.
Those who overcome the world develop an all-encompassing love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. …
Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define an eternity.
(Neil L. Andersen, “Overcoming the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 59)
What did you learn from Elder Andersen about overcoming?
Because Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love and care for us, They want to help us overcome all that is necessary to qualify for exaltation.
Read the April 2017 general conference talk titled “Overcoming the World” by Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Look for insights on what you can do to overcome.
Read John 16:33, and then study how the Savior overcame Satan’s temptations in Matthew 4:1–11. Look for how you can follow the Savior’s counsel and example as you strive to overcome challenges and sins.
Search for the word “overcome” in the Gospel Library app or on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. Study quotes or scriptures you find to identify how you too can overcome. Alternatively, you could study scripture passages from the Topical Guide under “ Overcome, Overcame.”
Think of at least one thing you can do to help you overcome the challenge or sin you thought of earlier in the lesson. In your personal journal, write down what you will do and commit to doing it. Consider sharing your plan with your parents or a trusted Church leader.
What did you learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ from this lesson?
What do you already know about Jesus Christ and His Atonement that gives you confidence that He can help you overcome all things and receive His promised blessings?
Christians who were sentenced by Roman officials to prison or death could sometimes save themselves by cursing Christ and worshipping the emperor instead. John recorded the Lord’s praise for the Saints in Pergamos for “holding fast” His name, even under threat of death (Revelation 2:13; see also Revelation 2:25; 3:3, 11). A recurring phrase in Revelation 2–3 is the admonition to “hold fast” to the truth (see Revelation 2:13, 25; 3:3, 11). President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained that to “hold fast” to the truth, found in the word of God, means to “hearken to it, follow the principles taught therein, and cling to those principles as though our very lives depended on it—which, if we are speaking of spiritual life, is literally true (“Be Strong in the Lord,” Ensign, July 2004, 10).
President Russell M. Nelson explained:
While salvation is an individual matter, exaltation is a family matter. Only those who are married in the temple and whose marriage is sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise will continue as spouses after death and receive the highest degree of celestial glory, or exaltation.
(Russell M. Nelson, “Celestial Marriage,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 92)
Brother Brian K. Ashton, formerly of the Sunday School General Presidency, taught:
The Father created a plan that would allow us, upon certain conditions, to obtain physical bodies that would become immortal and glorified in the Resurrection; marry and form families in mortality or, for the faithful who did not have this opportunity, after mortality; progress toward perfection; and ultimately return to our Heavenly Parents and live with Them and our families in a state of exaltation and eternal happiness.
(Brian K. Ashton, “The Father,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2018, 94)
For additional insights into this topic, consider studying Gospel Topics, “Becoming Like God,” topics.ChurchofJesusChrist.org.