The reason why I bring this up is because today we discussed in good depth about how we can take life's crises and make it a positive experience. I believe that this can be possible from being in a required class to the other extreme of being able to deal with the death of a close family member. How is this done? It is all dependent on our perspective of the challenging experience.
There are three things that make up our experiences. The actual event that takes place, the behavioral response, and the cognition or perspective portion. It is impossible to control all of the events that take place in our lives. We can control our own behavioral responses, but not those of others. So the only thing that we can completely control is our own perspective of the event. And when this is learned and controlled it will make all the difference in the world.
A powerful example of having the proper perspective through crises and affliction is the ancient prophet Job. The following are his acknowledgments of what was taking place in his life.
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have aforgotten me.
My abreath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children’s sake of mine own body.
All my ainward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me. (Job 19:14-19)
Despite all of this going on he had the faith, perspective and courage to say this,
Job was denied by his closest friends and family, he was afflicted with diseases and all sorts of discouraging circumstances. Yet through all this he kept his overall view of life fixed on the teachings of the Savior Jesus Christ. His example was recognized hundreds of years later by the Apostle James saying, "Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very [compassionate], and of tender mercy." The prophet Joseph Smith was reminded of the intense trials that Job went through when the Lord reminded him that, "Thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgressions, as they did Job." (Doctrine and Covenants 121:10)
The example of faith by one person can be relied upon to provide the proper perspective for others. I know this can be true through the example of my mother. My mom is the oldest of 6 siblings. Her mother, my grandmother, is a member of the Church but has not attended in many years. My mom's father is not a member of the church and worked in the mining industry his whole life. My mom attended church on occasion but didn't get really involved until she went to college. Even then it was a struggle at first for her as she didn't know specifically the proper way to dress and the strange LDS culture was foreign to her. However she didn't allow the danger of insecurity overwhelm her. She gained a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but she wasn't just satisfied with that testimony. She allowed it to change her perspective on life and the importance of growing and becoming a true saint. It is amazing to consider the background and home that my mom grew up in, and to now compare that to the home she has created with the help of my father and the Spirit. My mother did not allow her past (actual events) or even the opinion of others (behavioral responses) influence her in the way she would raise her children. She centered her perspective on the Lord, and that has become the foundation for the rest of our family. Because of her faith and willingness to change, she has blessed the lives of her husband and children. In turn that will bless the lives of future generations.
I know that having a Christlike perspective can change not only our own lives, but the lives of our family and those who aren't even born. Viewing challenges and trials as opportunities of growth and learning gives us the confidence that whatever we pass through in this life will be for our benefit. If we do find ourselves in a personal crisis that we are struggling with, I would invite us to change our perspective and ask ourselves "What can I do right now to bless others?" Even if the crisis is a supposedly "boring" class that I am taking just to fulfill a requirement. Take advantage, get outside yourself and be assertive. Don't let the apparent situation control your attitude and efforts.