Often, we judge ourselves harshly, concluding that problems occur because of something we did wrong or because we failed to do something to prevent them. As we consider the degree of our personal fault for the tribulations in our lives, it may be helpful to think of a continuum with sin at one end and adversity at the other. Our degree of fault is high at the end of the spectrum marked as sin. We should accept responsibility for problems caused by sin by repenting and continually striving to do better. However, as we continue down the spectrum, our fault drops to zero at the end marked by adversity, where we may bear no responsibility at all.
These trials may come to us regardless of any conscious action on our part.
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If we blame ourselves for things that are not our fault, we make a bad situation worse by seeing ourselves as bad people who deserve bad things. It is difficult to judge our level of responsibility for problems that fall between these two ends of the spectrum. In these cases, it may be unproductive to try to establish blame because it may cause us to lose focus on the very reason for the trial.
It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.
Trials give us opportunities to show the Lord and ourselves that we will be faithful.
We can allow adversity to lead us to drift away from the things that matter most, or we can use it as a stepping-stone to grow closer to things of eternal worth. Spiritual growth can often be achieved more readily by trials and adversity than by comfort and tranquility. Since adversity will come to us all, consider the following ideas to help face trials and benefit from them.
One of the purposes of trials is to help us come to know Christ, understand His teachings in our minds, feel them in our hearts, and live them in our lives. When we turn to Christ, we will not only find the comfort we seek, but in so doing we will also gain an increased testimony of the reality of the Savior and His Atonement, which can heal all suffering.
We often speak of the Atonement in terms of relief from sin and guilt. But the Atonement is more. Alma taught that Christ suffered pains, afflictions, and temptations of every kind so He could be filled with mercy and know how to succor His people according to their infirmities see Alma — The Atonement can heal the effects of all pain and affliction in mortality.
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Degree of Fault for Problems in Life
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