(December 10, 2015)
I struggle sometimes with some of the things that seem unfair to me about mortality. For example, I am in a position now where I have been forced to suffer through a great amount of sorrow and affliction because of the wickedness of others – people willing to lie in order to cover their own sins. These lies have caused a great deal of pain for me, and I look at the future and do not see a reckoning coming for those who were dishonest in mortality.
Of course, that is a shallow view on my part. After all, their dishonesty is its own reward, and wickedness never was happiness. And I have seen the impact their continuing efforts to cover their sins have had on them – an impact they steadfastly deny. What’s more, even my thinking in this way is ungrateful, as I have been blessed by the Lord tremendously as I have struggled with the consequences of their dishonesty. I certainly have nothing to complain about (though I do still complain).
Experiencing that tension, I can empathize with Mormon and at the same time see him as a positive example for me. He talked of experiencing sorrow because of wickedness all of his days, and we know that is true (he ended his mortal experience the way he lived it – suffering because of the sinfulness of others). If he had lived in the time of Christ’s visitation, his life would have been far more pleasant, but that wasn’t what the Lord had in mind for him. And while the context seems to indicate his sorrow because of wickedness was just sorrow for their sinful nature and what would happen to them, I do not doubt that he also experienced temporal trials (if nothing else, his death) because of those sins.
But Mormon kept an eternal perspective through those trials. He knew that even if he suffered the remainder of his days because of the wickedness of others, it would not change the fact that he would be lifted up at the last day. And that reward made everything else worthwhile. It is the eternal perspective that gives us the strength to exercise patience in our trials (particularly those trials caused by the wickedness of others).