The other night Teresa and Joel watched one of the X-Men movies – I think it was called the Last Stand. In it, a scientist had developed an injection that would remove whatever powers the mutants had and make them like normal people.
We have often commented that some of our family’s quirks might be similar to a mutant power. For instance, most of us have real issues with talking on the phone (hurray for text-messaging). We also have several who seem to have food phobias for no apparent reason – if you haven’t tried the food, why should it hold terror (There are more but I don’t wish to expose all our laundry at this particular time).
Anyways, after the movie, Joel asked his Mom if she would want to have the shot that removed all her “mutant” powers or would she want to keep them. It seems like a simple question – after all, aren't these things the source of many of our daily struggles? Interestingly enough, both Teresa and Joel decided that there was some value in keeping the challenges and learning to work through the difficulties they caused. When they asked my opinion, I answered in the same manner – these are MY quirks/mutations and I want them to stay with ME!!!
A few days later I was reading the book of 1 Peter in preparation for a lesson when I came across the following verse:
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:7)
Peter felt much the same way about the challenges life presents to us in our mortal form. We have been sent here to prove who and what we will become and the weakness of our mortal existence is paramount to our progression and improvement. Moroni, speaking for the Savior, stated it this way:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. (Ether 12:27)
Notice that Moroni only mentioned weakness in the singular. I believe that is because mortal life is the weakness we all enjoy together. The various deficiencies that we encounter are the personal part of our adventure.
The whole Plan ofHappiness/Salvation is predicated on us becoming something more than we were when we arrived on this little ball of dirt. One of Father’s ways to improve our chances is to allow us to have mortal failings that increase the likelihood of our effecting change (BTW, I’m not saying we choose or are chosen to have certain weaknesses – I believe nature, chance and environment have sway in those things).
Here’s an example from my own life.
I have always struggled with controlling my anger when things don’t go the way I think they should. Generally I am not a confrontational person so the anger isn't expressed verbally but most people can recognize when I’m a little ‘off.’ If a serum was invented that took away that part of my character, more folks might be inclined to enjoy my presence and the gentle nature of my soul (huge sarcasm here). But that is not what that challenge is to accomplish. My work is to learn how to keep those feelings in check, as best as possible, in order to invite others to like being in my presence (not factoring in all the OTHER reasons they might want to flee my personal space).
Why does a Father allow His children to go through all this?
Because He loves us and wants what is best for our Eternal happiness. None of these things are permanent – we will be resurrected in a perfect form – but they are here for our benefit and growth. Being a mutant is part of what Heavenly Father determined would give all of us the best chance to grow and be strong.
While some things we suffer are difficult and even debilitating, every challenge is allowed by God because He knows we will be better for the experience. It’s letting the weak things of our lives become our strength that gives us hope for a glorious life after this one.