On Afflictions, Pain, and Labors
May the love of our heavenly Father be with your souls, so that being invigorated by it you may bear the fruit of obedience to His life-giving commandments. “Those who desire to live piously in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12).” Since you follow the Savior Christ through your devotion to the angelic way of life, your greatest duty is to bear all suffering, whether it comes from nature, indolence, sins, or people. Since we desire to live a Christ-like life, we are obligated to submit to God’s will because all things come from God. And since they are from God—and thus are the divine will—the heavenly
Father commands them. Shall we not obey? Shall we not cry out with the blessed Job, “As it seemed good to the Lord, so it has come to pass. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21)”?
Through patience and thanksgiving to God, then, we show obedience to the divine will. Won’t the obedient one be counted worthy to acquire even here eternal life in himself? Yes, he will live unto the ages of ages! Therefore, let us struggle; let us make our souls keen by working them over the whetstone of patience, in order to carry out a work pleasing to God. Afflictions, illnesses, distresses, trials—none of these will separate us from the love of Christ. For we have already been taught that narrow and difficult is the way which leads those who walk along it into the life without sorrow (Mt. 7:14). Thorns and thistles are placed to the right and left along the way; therefore, we need much caution.
From Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim of Arizona