For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come.
Doctrine & Covenants 58:2-6
I love this scripture from the Doctrine and Covenants. It has always been such a comfort to me during times of great trial. It reminds me what is important. It reminds me of what I believe.
I believe in a plan. I believe in a grand, divine plan. I believe we were divinely created by a loving God who blessed us with the opportunity to come to have an earthly life. I believe that we knew to some extent that this existence would not be any easy one, but we were happy to take it on. I even believe that maybe we had some involvement in our plan- that maybe we even chose some or all of our trials.
I believe we came to this life to be tested, to grow stronger, to live faithfully, to become better; and I believe that God has amazing blessings in store that await us in the life to follow in Heaven.
Here in this life, it can be so hard for us to see beyond our trials. When we are wrapped in the most difficult times we can feel so trapped, like we'll never get out. Infertility seemed like the longest years of my life while we endured it. Now, as I look back, I cannot believe how fast time passed. And now, as I am past that trial for a time, I can see the blessings that it offered us. Our lives are like that, too. And someday as our earthly lives are ending, we will look back and think how those trials were but small moments in the grand scheme of of our life and eternity.
If we stay close to the Lord through our trials, if we keep His commandments and endure faithfully, then we can come out stronger and better. If we let them ruin us, then we will be ruined. We won't be better, we'll just be bitter. Bitterness never was happiness, people. I promise you that! Life is not meant to be perfect. Nowhere in the scriptures has the Lord ever said he promised us a perfect life here. And really, how would we ever learn anything if we had a perfect or easy life? I'll take who I am today over who I was 5, 10, 15 years ago. I am a stronger, smarter, better person because of the challenges that I have fought through my life. I have been refined by the fires of tribulation and I am grateful.
Then there's Max; our sweet Mighty Max. I don't think his conditions are a curse. I don't think his struggles are to be viewed with sorrow. I told you I believe in a divine plan. Well, I believe his divine plan is a special one. I don't think his plan is necessarily to come and be tested the same as the rest of us. I believe his plan is to bless the lives of others with his spirit. I believe his plan is to come and give us and others the opportunity to give service. How special he must be that he doesn't need all the trials and tribulations that all of us do. He's just that good. I feel it every day as I carry him. His spirit is such a special one. I mean, how amazing his spirit really must be that he gets to come to this earth and just be a blessing to others.
You may think I'm full of crap. You may think my beliefs are wrong. But these beliefs are what get me through these hard things. And I'm not going to let the trials of this life destroy my happiness. I'm not going to give up when times are tough. And I'm not going to sit back and act like I don't believe it.
"For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand... for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come."
What could be more comforting than that? Why wouldn't I want to believe in that?