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The Most Important Reason For Trials That Mormons Almost Always Forget

The Most Important Reason For Trials That Mormons Almost Always Forget

The Most Important Reason For Trials That Mormons Almost Always Forget

Far too often Mormons fall into the same trap as the Pharisees. Namely, when we see someone with a trial we think it is a sign of their sinfulness. This idea is false.  In John 9:1-3, when Jesus was asked, “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” He replied neither had sinned. Jesus Christ was correcting the false cultural belief that sin is the only cause of trials.
The life of Jesus Christ itself is a testimony that bad things happen to good people. Jesus Christ did not sin. Yet he still had trials. Why? As we look at the life of Christ we can learn that God tests His children, even His Only Begotten Son with trials, so that we can gain experience.

It is true that some trials come because of the fallen nature of the earth. Other trials come because of the fallen nature of man. But there is a deeper more important reason we have trials. And I would argue it is the most common reason we have trials: trials are meant to give us experience.

We need to replace the idea that trials are a sign of wickedness with an understanding that trials are designed by a loving God to help us become like Him. Elder Burke H. Petersen addressed this topic in an amazing sermon in October 1973 entitled Adversity and Prayer. He said,“trials are an evidence of a Father’s love.” Can it be any clearer?  It is within that idea that I have formulated what I call the Humility Cycle, it is the alternative path to the pride cycle.

The Pride Cycle Vs The Humility Cycle

We have all seen diagrams like this one. The Book of Mormon teaches us that this is an oft repeated cycle. But, there is another, a more important cycle and pathway we can choose, it is the humility cycle.
Unlike the pride cycle which is often what society is doing, the humility cycle is another option. The humility cycle comes from a study of the life of Christ and faithful Saints through the ages. Particularly the life of the late Neal A. Maxwell, an Apostle who was called to endure the ravages of cancer, that eventually took his life.  The humility cycle helps us make sense of all the awful trials that the saints are often called to endure. It is comprised of four parts.

1st. Righteous living.

The first step of the humility cycle is righteous living. When we are humble and doing what is right and life is good, it is easy. But there is little growth in ease.  Our ultimate goal is to become like God, therefore we must learn and grow. We learn through the tutoring trials of mortality. It would be naive to expect righteous living to be trial free.

“Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!'” – Elder Neal A. Maxwell

For points 2-4 click here to read them at