Selected Teachings on
The Test of Mortality: Keep the
Commandments No Matter What

Ezra Taft Benson (President)

The great test of life is obedience to God.... The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it. (Ensign, May 1988, 6)

Henry B. Eyring (Quorum of the Twelve)

So many things beat upon us in a lifetime that simply enduring may seem almost beyond us. That’s what the words in the scripture “Ye must … endure to the end” seemed to mean to me when I first read them. It sounded grim, like sitting still and holding on to the arms of the chair while someone pulled out my tooth….

But the test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty. It is to see if we can endure it well. We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us. And to endure well is to keep those commandments whatever the opposition, whatever the temptation, and whatever the tumult around us….

We need strength beyond ourselves to keep the commandments in whatever circumstance life brings to us. For some it may be poverty, but for others it may be prosperity. It may be the ravages of age or the exuberance of youth. The combination of trials and their duration are as varied as are the children of our Heavenly Father. No two are alike. But what is being tested is the same, at all times in our lives and for every person: will we do whatsoever the Lord our God will command us? (Ensign, May 2004, p. 16-17)

Boyd K. Packer (Quorum of the Twelve)

The crucial test of life, I repeat, does not center in the choice between fame and obscurity, nor between wealth and poverty. The greatest decision of life is between good and evil.

We may foolishly bring unhappiness and trouble, even suffering upon ourselves. These are not always to be regarded as penalties imposed by a displeased Creator. They are part of the lessons of life, part of the test.

Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of age.

Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury.

All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect. (CR, Oct. 1980, p. 29)


One of you may be well-born and well-formed while another is not. In either case, there is a testing. That is what mortality is all about. The poorly born may lack self-esteem, or the well-born infected with pride. Pride is the most deadly spiritual virus. In the eternal scheme of things, who is to say which is the most favored....

There may be more justice in who we are and what we have or do not have than we ever suppose. ("To Young Women and Men," May 1989, p.59)