I just stumbled onto an email from my dad from back in August when things were pretty dark and uncertain for me. It’s a wonderful reminder – perhaps it will help you, too. Here it is, just as he sent it:
When we went to Singapore in 1980, Jack Bailey & his family in Orem gave us the book “All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience,” by Neal A. Maxwell. I’ve kept it at my desk ever since (we were their home teachers). It has been a profound support for me now over 30 years.
I share these thoughts with just a whisper of understanding what you’re dealing with.
1. Furthermore, since there was no exemption from suffering for Christ, how can there be one for us? Do we really want immunity from adversity? Especially when certain kinds of suffering can aid our growth in this life? To deprive ourselves of those experiences, much as we might momentarily like to, would be to deprive ourselves of the outcomes over which we shouted with anticipated joy when this life’s experiences were explained to us so long ago.
2. “If it were fair, it is not a true trial.” That is, without the added presence of some inexplicableness and some irony and injustice, the experience may not stretch us or lift us sufficiently.
3. Several cautionary notes are necessary – even urgent. We may be surprised at the turn of events, but God in His omniscience never is. He sees the beginning from the end because all things are, in a way which we do not understand, present before Him simultaneously in an “eternal now.”
4. This mortal life could not be a “first-class” experience if we did not encounter some “first-class” challenges as measured out by an all-wise God who is perfect in His love for us.
5. Paul, who passed through “all these things,” observed, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
6. “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” D&C 122:7