Abraham Lincoln failed in romance, business, and politics, but today, he is remembered as one of the greatest men—greatest presidents—of all time. Imagine what would have happened if he had given up.
Thomas Edison’s teachers thought him to be a failure in school and that he would never amount to much. But Edison had a quality of mind his teachers didn’t see—he didn’t give up. He said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” In spite of many failures, he succeeded in perfecting and patenting the first electric light and pioneering public electricity in New York City.
We need this same tenacity and persistence in the endeavor to be fit to receive the gift of eternal life and immortality when Jesus comes. “ ‘Strive,’ said Jesus, ‘to enter in at the strait gate’ (Luke 13:24). … All his endeavors will be in vain if he has not virtue of character, a practical knowledge of Christ through obedience to all His requirements. Those who have faith must be careful to show their faith by their works.
“It is common for men and women to speak of themselves as Christians whose whole claim lies in the assuming of the name. They do not reveal that they are partakers of the divine nature. They do not reveal love for Jesus or for religious things. As far as their words and their spirit and their character are concerned, no one would suspect they were Christians. Their assent to the truth has no virtue. This counts for nothing in the sight of God.
“True faith works by love and purifies the soul. Truth is an active, working principle, molding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement.” Manuscript Releases, Vol. 19, 340, 341