How to be “Favored of the Lord”

Elder Moises Villanueva discusses how we should react to our afflictions in his talk “Favored of the Lord in All My Days“. How do we garner that favor? What can we do to be “favored of the Lord”?

There are many talks in this conference that bring us back to the “Primary Answers“. It would be really easy to state that daily prayer, scripture study, and attending our church meetings gain us favor in the Lord’s sight. However, we can do more.

A Prophet’s Counsel

Elder Villanueva gives us more insight into gaining the Lord’s favor by quoting President Gordon B. Hinckley.

The best antidote I know for worry is work. the best medicine for despair is service. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley
 (2016), 205.

Let’s look at each of these.


As a father, I have seen firsthand how hard it can be to teach the value of work. I don’t think my children’s attitude towards chores is different than others. Frankly, they don’t like them. I have tried to teach them that learning to work on small things like chores now will lead them to success in the future.

What does it mean to work? It means putting in effort. Sometimes that effort is physical, sometimes mental, and sometimes emotional. It ranges from easy to difficult. But work should have a purpose. Without a purpose, it’s just the exercise of effort. With a purpose, our effort produces something useful. Even if we fail to accomplish the end goal, working with a purpose is not in vain.


Losing yourself in service takes your mind off of your own worries. Helping others through service brings joy. I don’t think that this is anything new or radical. However, I think that sometimes we see service the same way my children see chores. The key to serving is to think of the person or persons being served and not what we might get out of it. Whatever blessings come our way for serving should be secondary to the service provided and the love we should feel for those we serve.

As a family, we’ve been able to perform service through:

  • Volunteering at Feed My Starving Children
  • Setting up apartments for refugee families
  • Serving at a church that welcomes families crossing into the United States get basic necessities such as clothing, toiletries, and communication with family members. These people have arrived in the US with only what they could carry.

Helping Someone Who is Even More Tired

This last one appears to be a lot like service. I’ll admit I was having a hard time differentiating between the two. However, as I look at it, this counsel is geared more towards an individual with whom we will have more daily contact.

Life is tiring. There are so many things to do, places to be, and responsibilities to uphold. It can be overwhelming at times. This is especially true when we have feelings of failure in one or more areas of life. When this happens, I think of a quote from Walt Disney that is presented at the end of the movie “Meet the Robinsons”.

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

Walt Disney – Meet the Robinsons

Part of “moving forward, [and] opening up new doors and doing new things” is helping someone who is more tired than we are. It is these little moments of putting ourselves out there to help someone we know who might be more overwhelmed.

Recently, a friend of ours husband passed away. Cheryl and I could tell that she was tired. We didn’t know what we could do, but Cheryl came up with an idea that could help take some of the tiredness away. She involved a few other friends and she and I delivered a gift to this friend. It was wonderful to see the smile on her face as we gave this gift to her. It was also raining that day. It was raining so much that her front porch area was starting to flood. Seeing this, I asked if she had a broom and began to sweep the water out of the porch and down the driveway. It was a little thing, but it removed one thing from her load.


Trials and afflictions are part of mortal life. No one is exempt from them. However, we decide how we will face them. We also decide how to involve the Lord in our efforts. When we are “favored of the Lord” he blesses us in our trials. However, we have to do things to gain this favor. Through our efforts in the “primary answers” and in working, serving, and helping others, we can gain favor in His sight.

One response to “How to be “Favored of the Lord””

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: