Several years ago, I had a conversation with a sister who just returned from serving as a full time missionary. When I asked about her mission she responded, ‘‘My life was better when I did not go on mission, than while on my mission.” I inquired further and was sad to learn that she had not been obedient to the mission rules. She had not focused on following Christ and serving others. She had not used her time on her mission wisely and as a result she did not feel good about herself.
We face temptations at different places, at school, at the office, at home, on the street, at church, and yes, even in the mission field. The apostle Paul taught that ‘‘There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13) When we seek God’s help we will be able to overcome our temptations.
Elder Vaughan J. Featherstone related the following story in his article in the New Era (Nov. 1975). It illustrates how one can be strong in the midst of temptation.
‘‘Many years ago I heard the story of the son of King Louis XVI of France. King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the King. They thought that inasmuch as the King’s son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him.’’
‘‘They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. They exposed him to foods the richness of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite. They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonor and distrust. He was surrounded 24 hours a day by everything that could drag the soul of a man as low as one could slip. For over six months he had this treatment-but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things-why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lust, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said, I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a king.’’
Elder Featherstone continues, ‘‘We are all born to be kings and queens in the kingdom of God. Our Father is a King, and just as the king’s son was exposed to every vile and perverted thing in this life, so you will be exposed to much of the filth and degradation of our generation. But each of you are born to be kings and queens, priest and priestesses.”
The young king was steadfast and immovable because he knew his heritage. Likewise, if we remember our divine heritage and promised blessings, we will be able to resist worldly temptations. King Benjamin taught, ‘‘Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and the power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.” (Mosiah 5:15)
We should remember that each of us is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents with a divine nature and destiny. Knowing who we are will help us face challenges with courage and faith. ‘‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’’ (Galatians 6:9) Blessings will follow as we remain steadfast and live lives in keeping with our divine heritage.