Posted by: blackfootsmj1 | June 8, 2011

Why must we face adversity?

I was reading a post on another blog today about a lady who was dealing with opposition as she felt that it was time that she got baptized. This was her story:

I am so close, yet so far. I feel the Gospel in my heart. I am ready to convert, but my environment is most definitely not. Let me explain…

A few months ago, for my 20th Birthday, my mom said that I could have anything I wanted. Not really thinking about what I was saying, I said that I wanted Jesus the Christ by Talamage. What I was thinking, I have no idea. The book is three inches thick, and I still haven’t opened it. But that’s not the point of this particular story. When we were at my beloved Deseret bookstore, the employees were rude, bored, and completely uninterested in this new customer that had clearly never crossed the threshold. For somebody who had raved about their customer service for ten minutes on the way over there it was a real let down. Mom didn’t buy the book she wanted, but as I requested, she bought me Jesus the Christ. It was $15. I treasure it, even though I’ve never opened it.

On the way home from Deseret, we discussed the Mormon faith, and what I knew of it. I told her everything that I thought was “safe” but I didn’t do my duty as far as the “every member a missionary” is concerned. She said to me “I don’t like the way they treat their women. Promise me that you won’t become a Mormon. Please?” And while it’s only been 3 months and 20 days, I still regret the words that I said. “Yes Mom, I promise not to become Mormon.”

Now my question goes like this: When does following the words of God take precedence over following the Word of the Lord? (John 1:1) If I have it in my heart to convert, should I? Or should I honor the promises made to my mother, as commanded in Exodus 20:12? I am a Child Of God, Yes, but I am also a Child of the parents who bought me here. Yet, I am 20, so therefore of legal age to make my own religious decisions. There are so many questions. Those 8 words really put me in a bind both spiritually and morally (if they are not already on in the same).

So please, kind community. If you could offer help, advice, support, whatever…it would be greatly appreciated. I need to call the missionaries back soon. I don’t want to leave them hanging!

I left my own comment in response and challenged her to read Matt 19:29

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

I used to never understand why it was so hard to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Why does there have to be so much opposition in life? Why can’t we just live in a perfect world? I’ve thought about this often, especially as a missionary.  Why must we give up so much to serve? I often questioned why, if this was God’s true Church,  people didn’t flock to the baptismal font? Why isn’t my only worry pneumonia, from all the time I spend in the water?  (It was once Elder Holland who posed the same questions.) But I’ve reached a conclusion.

Was it easy for the Savior? Was it easy for him to come as a meek and lowly lamb to those living in Jerusalem? Was it easy to be despised and rejected by men? Was it easy for him to be a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief? Was it easy on the night he was in the Garden of Gethsemane and that long walk to Calvary?

NO! And it shouldn’t be for us. His disciples and his followers. I believe Jesus took it literally when he commanded us to “take up our cross and follow him” (Matt 16:24).It’s our test. Our own trial of Abraham to see if we will follow him above all else.

Of all the many elements of my testimony of this Church, one of the most astounding witnesses to me is the opposition people learning about and joining this Church face.You name it, I’ve seen it.

I once heard a wise convert say the following while he was in the midst of his own trials…

“Well…I’ve done made him mad. Satan is out to get me.”

He’s out to get all of us. And he tries even harder as we work to follow our Savior Jesus Christ. But that is why we have His Son. His atonement provides the peace and security to get through the opposition and fight through our trials. The Lord promises to “support us in our trials” (Alma 36:3)  and to “deliver us from our trials” (Alma 36:29) . It’s of that principle of I bear testimony.

The opposition we face in this life is necessary to help us to grow.  It’s all a part of the plan; and as we overcome the opposition and face the adversity with hope, and faith, and believe in good things to come our Heavenly Father will bless us and we will receive the help we need to get to our goal: The abundant life now, and eternal life in the world to come.

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