Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Trials

This is a topic I've been thinking a lot about lately. It may be that I've become nostalgic and I'm thinking about my life and how I've gotten to this point, or it may be that Relief Society lessons/Gospel Doctrine lessons have referenced Matt. 11:28-30 these past two weeks.

Lessons on taking up Christ's yoke and giving him our burdens always bring out trial stories, stories people tell in class about the trials of their lives. As I was listening to these stories in Relief Society on Sunday (and past Sundays), I did a lot of thinking. Some of the stories were:

Sis. M-- and the loss of her home when it burned down.
Sis. D-- relating her experience with 3 miscarriages in the past year and a half.
Sis. E--'s experiences as a rape survivor.
Sis. S--'s struggle to become serious with a boyfriend (to wanting to marry him) to find out he didn't want to get married, and also the loss of her mother as a youth.
Sis. O-- getting in to graduate school with a full ride, but because of her husband's education, may not be able go.
One sister's experience as a single mother and deciding to not give her child up for adoption.
And, almost every Sunday, I look at the large amount of widows in the ward and know that they've all lost their husbands and have to finish life lonely.

As I was considering these experiences, I've decided that trials are not original or out of the ordinary at all. I'd say it'd be unusual to not have any trials. Most of the things that happen to us happen to other people as well.

I think the best example of this is death. The older you get, the more likely it is that someone close to you will die. In fact, I'd say that almost everyone has to experience the loss of a loved one at some point. Although it is very hard to go through this, no one is alone in it and there are people who can relate and sympathize. This can extend to pretty much every trial including divorce, miscarriage, sexual assault, &c. No one* is ever the first to experience a trial. No trial is so unique that nobody can relate.

I've thought about this in my own life. I have what I consider the usual trials: getting over procrastination, learning to forgive others, making sure I read my scriptures daily, etc. But then I have some extra ones thrown in, that to me, seem very unique. I'm quite the statistical outlier. I don't ever mention these trials in public (e.g. Relief Society) because they are so rare and I don't believe many people can relate (and because they are almost or are a faux pas to speak of). I was thinking about those specific trials during Relief Society, and decided that part of the reason we all have trials is so we can sympathize with one another. Of course Christ has perfect understanding of our trials and feelings and we can (and should) go to him, but I think our trials help us to go to each other as well. It allows us to take on the role of Christ and help others through their trials (which is excellent, since we are striving to be like Him anyway). Essentially, trials allow us to be Christlike.

And that's the end for today. I've just had that on my mind lately.


*Well, Adam and Eve's family were the first on this earth, but it's been a few years since then.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing that Heather! Well said.

    ReplyDelete

Please review my blog comment policy here before commenting. You may not use the name "Anonymous." You must use a Google Account, OpenID, or type in a name in the OpenID option. You can make one up if you need to. Even if your comment is productive and adding to the conversation, I will not publish it if it is anonymous.