(October 11, 2014)
Is there any truer statement in the scriptures than the fact that God exacts less of us than our iniquity deserves. I am in a bit of a unique position (at least as I see it). I don’t deserve some of the challenges in my current situation – I am where I am, in large part, because of a false witness raised against me. But, at the same time, I am also in my position because of decades of personal failures that led to the false witness being effective in putting me where I am today.
But for the false witness, I wouldn’t be in my difficult circumstances. But for my personal failings, I wouldn’t be in my difficult circumstances. While both are necessary preconditions for the challenges that I am facing, I think that I want to ignore my culpability for a moment as I consider this, because much suffering in the world is completely independent of moral responsibility and that is the suffering that is hard to deal with. I understand suffering because I was wrong – it is harder to deal with suffering because someone else was wrong.
This statement, though (God exacts less of us than our iniquity deserves) is still true, even when we suffer at the hands of others. Leave aside my participation in the situation that has led to my current difficulties – have I not sinned in other ways? Even if my current situation was entirely attributable to the false witness, then I still would suffer less than I deserve because the suffering I deserve is eternal damnation, along with being handed over to the Devil to sift in mortality. One sin, one mistake, and what I deserve is horrific.
I have struggled, and these struggles have been mostly successful, to let go of any animosity towards those who falsely witnessed against me. I have tried to understand their point of view (while I do not believe that it was a wholly innocent mistake – it may have been in the beginning but their continued testimony against me after the evidence came in was not innocent – I do believe that they were operating under a desire to protect others and do good), and I have fasted and prayed to be able to let go of any negative feelings towards them. They aren’t all gone, but they are far less than they used to be, and I consider that a blessing from the Lord to me.
I would be foolish – incredibly foolish – to demand justice for them, because that would hand me right over to Satan to drag me here and there in mortality and own me in the life to come. This would be true even if I was completely and totally innocent in this situation, because there are other situations where I am not innocent and where justice condemns me totally. Instead of focusing on them, I choose to focus on myself. It has been all I could do to correct myself and change myself – I leave the rest to the Lord to deal with.