Monday, July 24, 2017

The Problem With "Why"

Mortals have a tendency to ask "why?" in response to the trials of life. It's a natural instinct that I'm certainly not immune to. You may ask this question to determine a poor decision on your part that can be undone in order to remove the afflicting stimulus. We definitely create a lot of our problems, but pain is a common denominator in the lives of all who live in a fallen world.

However, all too commonly we ask "why" in a different fashion. "Why me?" "Why did this have to happen to me?!"

Elder Richard G. Scott taught that "'Why' questions will lead you into blind allies. They put your intelligence at odds with God's ... It does no good to ask questions that reflect opposition to the will of God ... This life is an experience of profound trust. Trust in Jesus."

We're taught to pray for good things, yet sometimes we go about it the wrong way.

Every single question we have will be answered, in this life or the next. We learn from the scriptures that Christ can and will fix all that is unfixable, which He exemplified when He raised Lazarus from the dead.

According to Elder Scott,"When you pray with real conviction..."Please let me know Thy will" are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving father."

One could argue that you can't be have sincere prayer if you are seeking your own will, but deep and sincere prayer only comes when you seek His will. Our prayers aren't meant to change the will of God, but rather to show God our hearts through humility and submission. These qualify us for blessings which our Father already wishes to bestow upon us. 

Elder Scott clarified that "'Ask and ye shall receive'...does not assure that you get what you want, but you will get what you need from a Father that loves you perfectly."

This statement hit me pretty hard, because there have been so many times when I have asked God to take away my chronic illness, my emotional turmoil, or my same-sex attraction, yet none of these have been taken from me. I could interpret this as a lack of divine love or existence if I chose to. However, in reality the Lord recognizes that I need these things in my life. I need to suffer physical pain and loneliness to become whom He wants me to become. I don't know why exactly. I do know that His plan is perfect. The Lord is not a mere genie; He is the omnipotent creator.

Elder Scott taught to never ask "why," but rather to ask "What can do I need to learn from this?" "What can I do to help my situation?" "What can I do to remember my blessings?" "What am I to change?"

This year I experienced an emotionally-traumatic trial, but I remembered what Elder Scott taught and rather than shaking my fist at the heavens, I sought the lessons I was meant to learn from this trial. I haven't fully recovered from this experience, but I have learned far more about myself and my weaknesses than I would have had I turned my back on the Lord. Elder Christofferson quoted, "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten." This is why He allows even His obedient children to experience adversities. My own pride and doubt had set me up for a divine chastening. 

Recently my friend's brother suddenly passed away. This friend recounted how this brother's wife was so strong in the face of her trials. Not only had she lost her husband, but she had already buried a previous husband a few months into her first marriage. When asked how she coped with such burdens and persisted in faith, she replied, "I will never question God's will even if it's the worst thing in the world. I trust Him more than I trust myself, and because of that I can have confidence in His blessings."

My trials pale in comparison to this wise woman's. I've never lost an immediate family member, and I shudder to know that someday I'll have to face that pain. I'm grateful that she bore her testimony of trust in the Lord, especially the line "I trust Him more than I trust myself."

How often do we battle the Lord's logic with our own? My thoughts often stray into that territory, but I'm really trying to be better about that. His ways are higher than ours, as are His thoughts. So, rather than doubt Him, let us rest assured that things will work out!

No comments:

Post a Comment