President Joseph F. Smith on failure and discouragement

Wise words from President Joseph F. Smith!

“When we look at the imperfections of our fellow beings, some of the inclinations of those with whom we are intimately associated in the various organizations of the Church, and discern in them their natural proneness to evil, to sinfulness, to a disregard of sacred things, and sometimes their inclination to disregard and treat lightly, if not with contempt, those things which should be more sacred than life itself, it makes the task seem almost discouraging, and it seems impossible for us to accomplish that which we have in view, and to perform the mission that we have undertaken to our own satisfaction and the acceptance of the Lord.

“But what shall we do? Shall we quit because there are those with whom we come in contact who are not willing to rise to the standard to which we seek to exalt them? No! Someone has said that the Lord hates a quitter, and there should be no such thing as quitting when we put our hands to the plow to save men, to save souls, to exalt mankind, to inculcate principles of righteousness and establish them in the heartsof those with whom we are associated, both by precept and by example.

“There must be no such thing as being discouraged. We may fail over and over again, but if we do, it is in individual cases. Under certain conditions and circumstances, we may fail to accomplish the object we have in view with reference to this individual or the other individual, or a number of individuals that we are seeking to benefit, to uplift, to purify, to get into their hearts the principles of justice, of righteousness, of virtue and of honor, that would fit them to inherit the kingdom of God; to associate with angels, should they come to visit the earth.

“If you fail, never mind. Go right ontry it again; try it somewhere else. Never say quitDo not say it cannot be done. Failure is a word that should be unknown to all the workers in the Sunday Schools, in the Mutual Improvement Associations, in our Primary Associations, in the quorums of Priesthood, as well as in all the organizations of the Church everywhere. The word “fail” ought to be expunged from our language and our thoughtsWe do not fail when we seek to benefit the erring, and they will not listen to us. We will get the reward for all the good we do. We will get the reward for all the good we desire to do, and labor to do, though we fail to accomplish it, for we will be judged according to our works and our intent and purposes. The victim of evil, or sin, the one whom we seek to benefit, but who will not yield to our endeavors to benefit him, may fail, but we who try to uplift him will not fail, if we do not quit. 

“If we continue to try, failing, as it were, or missing one mark, should not discourage us; but we should fly to anotherkeep on in the work, keep on doingpatientlydeterminedly doing our duty, seeking to accomplish the purpose we have in view.  (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pg. 164-166)

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