Chapter 3: Adversity- Part of God's Plan for Our Eternal Progress

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you so much for your support! See the full disclosure.

Howard W. Hunter Chapter 3: Adversity- Part of God's Plan for Our Eternal Progress is such an important lesson to learn. As we come to understand and even more important, accept that adversity is part of the plan, our whole outlook changes. When we forget that challenges are apart the package deal that we fought for (Plan of Salvation), we take on the role of a victim. We constantly ask, "Why me? Why now?" We focus on the problem and start comparing our lives and actions to others. We become consumed by the negative and how everything happens to us. We lose our focus on the Savior and begin to drown and sink into the pits of despair. However, when we remember that adversity is part of the plan- that we accepted these trials as apart of the plan before we chose to move forward, we stop being the victim. We take back the control in our lives. We stop seeing the challenges as personal attacks and start to see them for what they are- growing opportunities. President Hunter stated,

Order these handouts as prints from Shutterfly. Get the matte instead of glossy and you'll have some great handouts delivered to your door! 

Please note that these images are for church and personal use only. You may send them to a copier to be printed. However, you may not post them on another site unless you use the tagged image and link back to this post (this includes on social media). Thanks! 


Life is hard. There have been or will be days where all you want to do is cry because it is so hard. Sometimes you'll amaze yourself that you can get out of bed. BUT life is supposed to be hard. That is how we grow. There is no other way! Chicks have to hatch out of their eggs by themselves to build the strength they need to survive and so do we! There is a purpose and reason for each and every challenge you encounter in your life. Remember that. I know it's hard when these challenges come through no fault of our own especially. Remember though, God has a great purpose for you and this is all part of his plan.

Please note that these images are for church and personal use only. You may send them to a copier to be printed. However, you may not post them on another site unless you use the tagged image and link back to this post (this includes on social media). Thanks! 


Even more, remember that you don't have to face these challenges alone. As brothers and sisters in the gospel, we are here to help each other out. We have families to help us, Bishops, and most important of all, the Savior. Rely on the Savior when it seems you can't take another step. Let Him help carry your load. Turn to the Savior and let Him be apart of your life. You can handle it all with the Savior. 

Teaching Ideas

  • This Why Do We Have Adversity lesson packet looks excellent (I'm a big fan of Red Headed Hostess products). It's for Come, Follow Me lessons but the handout would go great with this lesson and the rest would be great for study at the very least.
  • Pick a story like the one in the lesson packet above or from your own experience about a trial or significant past challenge. Discuss the end of the story or blessings of the challenge first then go back and talk about all the things that had to happen in order to obtain those blessings- the difficulties, obstacles, etc. Show how those trials made it possible for growth. Joseph Smith or Nephi make great examples for this as well. 
  • What are some other things that require resistance in order to work properly? Kites, airplanes, windmills, pulleys, levers, etc. Bring in the item if you can and talk about how it works. What would happen without that resistance?
  • Discuss the same challenge from 2 different perspective- the Why me? perspective versus the What can I do about it? How can I overcome it? What can I learn from it? Show the significant difference and change that happens.
  • Use detour and other street signs as visuals in your lesson. You can even set them up around the room and use tape on the carpet to redirect people. 
  • Find several videos on LDS.org about adversity here
  • Other adversity quotes on LDS.org here
  • Watch 3 more great ideas in the video below! I reference these 6 Pick Me Up Post-it Scriptures.


Questions to Ponder

  • Why is it helpful to understand that adversity is part of God's plan for our eternal progress?
  • Why do you think adversity is necessary?
  • How had adversity benefited you? 
  • How do you change your perspective of adversity to the Lord's eternal view?
  • Why do you have a reason to happy and optimistic even during life's difficulties? 
  • What can you do to develop greater optimism?
  • What blessings can you have during severe adversity?
  • How can you accept the Savior's invitation to let Him carry your burdens and lighten your load?
  • What does it mean to take the Savior's yoke upon you?
  • How has Christ helped you during difficulties?
  • In what ways is living of life by fear harmful?
  • How do you live a life with hope and faith instead of fear?
  • In what ways have you allowed  Christ to lighten your load this week?
  • Think about to past difficulties you have overcome. What things did you learn? How were you blessed? Did you turn to the Savior during these times?
  • What happens when you ask "Why me?" instead of facing the challenges with faith?
  • How can you overcome pessimism? Why should we not have an excuse for it in our lives?
  • What allows you to live your life despite the turmoils of the world?
  • How does Satan use fear as a tool?
  • Are you ready to surrender to God's commandments?

John 14:27

John 16:33

Hebrews 4:14-16

Hebrews 5:8-9

1 Nephi 1:20

Alma 36:3

D&C 58:2-4

D&C 101:4-5

D&C 121:7-8

D&C 122:7-9

Watch The Lord's Yoke (about 3 minutes)

Watch Opposition in All Things (about 3 minutes)

Watch Overcoming Adversity (about 2 minutes)

Wednesday

"Adversity" by President Henry B. Eyring

Thursday

"Enduring Well" by Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Friday

"'Behold, We Count Them Happy Which Endure'" by Elder Robert D. Hales

Saturday

"All Things Work Together for Good" by Elder James B. Martino

Sunday

"Stay in the Boat and Hold On!" by Elder M. Russell Ballard