(November 26, 2015)
One thing my children like to say as definitive proof that they should get what they want is that the alternative is “not fair.” I am trying to teach them that fairness isn’t an essential part of mortality, but part of my struggle with doing so is how often this same thinking creeps into my own mind. Things happen in life that simply are not fair, and the more I focus on them the less happy I become.
The defense against that is to remember that the Great Mediator has made all things unfair – unfair to our advantage. Yes, someone’s hateful behavior has hurt me. But were it not for Christ I would have been damned forever. So fairness may have me not hurt by those who hate me, but it also has me damned – that is the fair result. Me being hurt, then healed, then Saved is a substantially unfair result in my favor. So long as I can remember that, it helps me to understand and accept the unfairness of life that inevitably will occur.
My thoughts focused on this because of the doctrine that we are taught in this Section. The unrighteous persecute the righteous (or the more righteous) in order to chasten and bless the righteous and fill up the measure of the iniquities of the unrighteous. Note what is not said – it is never alleged that the righteous deserve their persecution or that the persecution is fair. That simply isn’t the case – to quote Elder Maxwell, if it is fair it isn’t a trial. And it is through trials that we accomplish growth.