Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts on Suffering

I looked up a bunch of scriptures on the topic of suffering and here are some things I observed. Suffering should not exist without a purpose. In the midst of suffering, joy can (and should) be had through Christ. If we are suffering and we have no peace, no joy, no purpose, then we have need to repent. If we are just suffering (without purpose), then the suffering we feel is because we are choosing to distance ourselves from Christ. Many scriptures show instances where there is a connection between great suffering and a refusal to look to God. In such cases, there is no joy. Suffering can come as a direct result of sin, however this suffering can be swallowed up in Christ when repentance has been undertaken. Suffering without peace & joy and hope comes from Satan.

Here are some of the scriptures I looked up and a few notes to go along with them.
Mosiah 4:20 repent, have joy
2 Cor. 1: 5-7 suffer, but also have joy in Christ
1 Pet. 2: 19-21, 23 When Christ suffered, he "committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
Alma 26: 28, 30, 34 as missionaries, they suffered as they were esconced in their goal of saving souls, which would bring them joy
Alma 31: 26, 30-31, 38 they suffered no afflictions save it were "swallowed up in the joy of Christ"
1 Pet. 3: 14, 17-18 suffer for righteousness sake--happy are ye
Alma 14: 11, 23, 26 Alma and Amulek ask for faith unto deliverance from the suffering
Matt. 3: 15 sometimes suffering happens to fulfill a righteous purpose
1 Nephi 16:19-20 Laman & Lemuel have been complaining of all their sufferings, yet Nephi has been seeing angels even though he is in the same living conditions as Laman & Lemuel are.
Alma 26: 28-34 Ammon notes that they had been suffering much, but also, he states that the power and wisdom of the Lord had been with them and the fruits of their labors were not few and "my joy is carried away, even unto boasting"
Moroni 9:7-25 Mormon tells son to not let all the things which he had just told him about sufferings going on weigh him down unto death, but rather may Christ lift him up and let that be in his mind forever.

What thoughts do you have to add?


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Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I think you've found some really great scriptures and examples here. I would only add that sometimes suffering happens just because it's part of mortal experience, and is not automatically a consequence of sin. We always have to be careful not to judge other people's struggles as a result of their mistakes. While I agree that that any suffering can be lightened through the Atonement of Christ and laying our burdens on him, it will still be hard. It's supposed to be hard and will not always feel joyful. I think you nailed it with the work "hope," though. In the midst of the hard, putting our faith and hope in the Savior is what makes our struggles tolerable. Great thoughts, thanks.

CompleteLee Blogger said...

Thanks for your comment. I never meant to imply that suffering only comes as a consequence of sin. My meaning for the post is that even though hard things are going on (things that are not fun to deal with, things that are stressful or painful), through the Savior we can feel peace, serenity and even joy in the midst of it. The joy would be a heartfelt gladness, not a giddy, gleeful type joy.

I said we had need to repent if we are suffering and have no peace because that probably means that we have not turned to Christ in our trials as we have been commanded to do. So, we could repent for not having come unto Him.

Sorry if I made things unclear. (Perhaps I just made it even more unclear!)

Thanks for your thoughts.

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