clock in the road

Patience Is Active and Humble

“Patience is not indifference. Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord.” —President Neal A. Maxwell


When I was younger, I remember learning about Christlike attributes during a lesson at church. Our teacher listed a few attributes on the board: faith, hope, charity, knowledge, humility, diligence, obedience, and patience. She tapped her finger against the word patience.

“This is an attribute I almost regret praying for,” she said. “When I prayed for it, the next few months required me to be more patient than I’d ever been.”

Patience, like all of Christ’s attributes, is developed through our life experiences. But the process is not easy, and it is not comfortable. Many times the things we are waiting for are some of the deepest desires of our hearts. Still, we often have to wait for God’s blessings. During times like these, having to be patient can seem overwhelming or frustrating. It can be hard to know what we should do while trying to be patient.

In his 1979 BYU devotional entitled “Patience,” President Neal A. Maxwell emphasizes the importance of this divine attribute. He explains that “patience is not indifference. Actually, it means caring very much but being willing, nevertheless, to submit to the Lord.” In other words, patience is active and humble. It isn’t sitting around and waiting for things to happen; it’s pressing forward in your faith while trusting in God’s timing.

President Maxwell teaches what patience is and what patience is not. Listed below are some points from his teachings that can help us actively cultivate patience while waiting for God’s blessings.

  • Be faithful and believe in God’s promises. 
  • Be reflective and look for God’s hand in your life. 
  • Be willing to sit back and watch the unfolding of God’s purposes. Write down three unique things you are grateful for each day.
  • Be obedient and disciplined. Remember that blessings don’t always come immediately even if we are doing what’s right. Keep doing all the good things you already do.

Read or listen to President Neal A. Maxwell’s devotional “Patience” to learn more about this divine attribute. 

Source: BYU Speeches

—Abigail Ellis, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights

Read Jenna Koford’s Latter-day Saint Insights article titled “The Power of Patience” to learn more about the benefits of being patient.

Take a look at “Love Yourself: A Key to Patience,” a Latter-day Saint Insights article by Emma Snow about how patience and self-esteem are tied together.

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  1. I hope to learn more about patience as well and develop this attribute.

  2. I love this perspective. I haven’t thought of patience as active before, but it’s a good point that patience requires pressing forward.

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