Enduring to the End

In the Pearl of Great Price in the Book of Abraham, Abraham receives a revelation about the Pre-Mortal existence and the reason why men are placed on the earth:

A photo of a young man thinking while he sits with his back against a rock wall.Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And there stood one among them [the pre-mortal Christ] that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;  And they who keep their first estate [pre-mortal life] shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate [mortal existence] shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever (Abraham 3:22-26).
The Lord said, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).  It is the Lord’s purpose to make us like He is, immortal and glorious.  Our mortal lives, then, present us with a test meant to prove us.  The Lord expects us to find Him, and then to exercise faith, repentance, obedience, humility, and charity.  He wants us to endure to the end of this mortal life in faith.  The phrase “endure to the end” is one often heard in Mormon Sunday School classes.
Enduring to the end is the process of continuing on the straight and narrow course, serving God and our fellowmen to the end of our mortal lives. We are persistent in doing our duty with unwavering steadfastness. We walk in the ways of the Lord by keeping the commandments. Enduring to the end is proof of our faith and confirmation of the depth of our conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This becomes the true test of life: Will we endure to the end?

The Scriptures Teach Us"Life is a test...but it's open book."; a photo of Mormon study materials, including the scriptures, stacked up with the top set of scriptures opened up.

Matthew 24:13—But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

2 Nephi 31:20—Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

Alma 1:25—Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

Helaman 15:6—Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers daily.

Doctrine and Covenants 127:4—And again, verily thus saith the Lord: Let the work of my temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease; and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled, and you shall in nowise lose your reward, saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven.

Modern Prophets Speak

 

Enduring to the End. “This is another ‘first principle’ beyond the four usually listed, taught by the Father himself. Nephi wrote, ‘I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.’ Nephi then added his own witness, saying, ‘And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved’” (2 Nephi 31:15-16).

(Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 398.)

“Often one hears trite, sometimes consciously apologetic references to ‘enduring to the end’ as an addition to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. Nevertheless, the doctrine of faithful endurance is infinitely serious, and it is here declared to be a basic principle of the gospel by the God and Father of us all. ‘Enduring to the end’ is an integral element in the doctrine of Christ, and without it, it would have been better not to have known him.”

(Jeffrey R. Holland, Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997], 54.)

“Enduring affliction is certainly part of enduring to the end, but the word enduring also means to last, to continue, and to remain (see 2 Nephi 33:9). This emphasis on staying the course appears at so many points in the scriptures (for examples, see Doctrine and Covenants 20:29; 2 Nephi 9:24). We could scarcely become ‘finished’ or ‘completed’ if we did not finish and complete all of life’s assigned course”!

(Neal A. Maxwell, Lord, Increase Our Faith [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994], 45.)

“I know that each of us has much to do. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the tasks we face. But if we keep our priorities in order, we can accomplish all that we should. We can endure to the end regardless of temptations, problems, and challenges. Those who remain faithful will receive God’s greatest blessing—eternal life—and the privilege of living with our Heavenly Father and his Beloved Son in the celestial kingdom.”

Elder Marion G. Romney said, “When earth life is over, and things appear in their true perspective, we shall more clearly see . . . that the fruits of the gospel are the only objectives worthy of life’s full effort.”

(Joseph B. Wirthlin, Finding Peace in Our Lives [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 200

Some ideas on enduring to the end

Obviously, it’s not an easy thing to endure to the end in faith.  Here are some means that Mormons use to persevere:
A photo of the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple at night with lights on the trees.We maintain our vision of the plan of happiness.  This means gaining an understanding of the rewards of sacrifice, service, and keeping the commandments.  We strive to understand the saving principles of continuing in faith.  We consistently engage in service.   We seek to transcend adversity.  We can recognize that trials, tribulation, and even persecution are part of the test (see 2 Nephi 2:11; 4:27; Abraham 3:25). We can overcome and endure well in order to pass the test of life (Doctrine and Covenants 121:8).  We strive to understand the Lord’s expecations of us.  We try to understand that each of us has eternal roles within the family unit that have eternal consequences in relation to how well we magnify them. We have callings within the Church that require a similar accounting as to our performance. Enduring to the end has everything to do with the fulfilling these two kinds of roles.  We try to remember our obligation to help build up the kingdom of God on earth.  We seek to become totally and completely converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ, so as to have the strength to endure the buffetings of life.  We seek to use the atoning power of Christ to support us through trials.  We are no strangers to miracles, healings, and spiritual experiences.

The reward for enduring to the end is eternal life—the greatest gift of God (see Doctrine and Covenants 14:7). Recognizing the blessings of eternal life should increase our desire and motivation to persevere with all diligence. Enduring requires steadfastness rooted in Christ and a willingness to sacrifice all for the gospel cause. It is not an easy road and it wasn’t intended to be so; but the joy of the work will carry us forward (see Alma 36:24), even to eternal life—a state of never-ending happiness (see Mosiah 2:41). Our goal is set: Endure to the end.

This article was adapted from What We Need to Know and Do, by Ed Pinegar and Richard J. Allen.

Summary
Article Name
Enduring to the End
Description
The reward for enduring to the end is eternal life—the greatest gift of God.