I hesitated to post any of his message here, because it is surely best in its entirety. Realizing that much will be left out, I do add a few sentences and paragraphs that did stand out to me at the time I first read them.
So, TO REMIND ME, and to inspire me to return to the full message on occasion (because reading between the lines on this page will add so much more inspiration):
... how we respond when we fail will ultimately determine how well we will succeed ...
... learn how to fail successfully ...
This earth, the setting for our mortal existence, was created so that we could “prove” ourselves. But I believe we may not appreciate the full meaning of the word prove in that scripture. In everyday usage the word prove means to demonstrate something that already exists. Thus we take final exams to prove what we already know about the material we have been studying that semester. But the Oxford English Dictionary provides an additional meaning for the word prove. It indicates that prove also means “to find out, learn, or know by experience.”
I believe the opportunity we have to prove ourselves in this life was not designed to allow us to demonstrate to God how obedient we already were before we came to earth. He, and we, already knew that. God formed this earth and gave us this mortal existence so that we could “prove” ourselves in the other sense of that word—so that we could “find out, learn, or know by experience” truths that we did not already know and that we could not learn in any other way.
We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies just the other side of failure.
... Nephi when he was given the assignment to obtain the brass plates from Laban. As we know, his first two efforts failed, but he persisted and ultimately succeeded. In the process he discovered the power of being “led by the Spirit,” a critical lesson that he may not have learned if the first effort to persuade Laban to release the plates had been successful. Nephi’s life was forever changed in a positive way because he failed twice—and, more important, because of the way he responded to those failures.
Thus failing is a critical component of our eternal progress—our quest for perfection. And because of the Atonement we can—if we respond to failures in the right way—be blessed with a new kind of learning that allows our failures to become part of the perfecting process. As Elder Bruce C. Hafen has explained, the beauty of the gospel is that “because of the Atonement, we can learn from our mistakes without being condemned by them.” What a wonderful blessing that absolutely marvelous and indispensable portion of the plan of salvation provides to each of us, if we will but take advantage of it.
This does not mean that we should try to fail as often as we can. “Not all failures are created equal.”
God is as good, as powerful, as loving, as patient, and as consistent as He says He is. If we will but focus on the eternal truths He has made available to us, both through institutional revelation and through personal promptings and reassurances, He will turn all our failures into successes. I bear my witness that He lives and loves us with a love we cannot comprehend. He gave His Son so that we might move forward in our quest for perfection with full confidence and assurance that we will succeed despite our failures.
(As a side note: my study continued and Elder Dale G. Renlund's message given in April 2015 General Conference goes well with Brother Worthen's talk above.)