The writing portion of a pencil is graphite, which is a form of carbon. Scientists believe that diamonds were formed millions of years ago when carbon was subjected to great heat and pressure. Diamonds have great value for several reasons. They make beautiful jewelry, but they can also be used for cutting and grinding because of hardness. Graphite, on the other hand, has value as the writing part of a pencil. Diamonds and graphite come from the same substance – carbon, but diamonds are much more valuable because they endured much heat and pressure.
People are also put through much heat and pressure. Some of them break under the pressure, while others dry up and become bitter from the heat. Job was a man who suffered through many trials, but he never lost his faith in God. He was a just and perfect man who was blessed with many riches. One day God allowed Satan to tempt and try Job to see if Job would prove faithful.
Job had seven sons and three daughters. He also had 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a great household. One day the sons and daughters were feasting in the house when a strong wind blew the house down and crushed all of them. That same day enemies came and took all the livestock. Job was left without family or wealth. Yet he did not curse God. Job is smitten with boils all over his body, but he does not curse God. His friends turn against him and said that he must be a great sinner to have so many trials. Even though he is left alone with his trials, Job remains strong in his faith and does not curse God.
The Lord blessed Job for his faith. He had seven more sons and three more daughters. He also had double the livestock – 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. Job was put through much heat and pressure through his trials, and he came out of the trials much more valuable to the Lord – just as diamonds are formed by heat and pressure.
President Spencer W. Kimball told of a woman who asked him about the seeming unfairness of life. “Why is it that those who do the least in the building of the kingdom seem to prosper most? … We observe the Sabbath and attend our meetings; they play golf, hunt, fish, and play. … We pay much for tithing and for other Church donations; they have their entire large income to lavish upon themselves. … It seems to me that it does not pay to live the gospel – that the proud and the covenant-breakers are the ones who prosper.”
President Kimball listened to the lady and explained that we will all reap what we sow. “The time of reckoning is as sure as is the passage of time and the coming of ete3rnity. All who live shall eventually stand before the bar of God to be judged according to their works. The final assignments will constitute rewards and punishments according to the kinds of lives they lived on earth. … The books are not balanced daily, but rather at the harvest time” (Miracle of Forgiveness , pp. 301-4).
Diamonds are formed from carbon, but the change does not happen instantly. Diamonds are made because they withstand over long periods of time the heat and pressure that is put upon them. Spiritual giants come about because they are able to withstand the heat and pressure of trials over their lifetimes.