There is a truth about spiritual growth that few people understand even after they experience it. This truth is that all blessings are equally and oppositely opposed. When God grants a blessing great or small, He is also triggering some mechanism in the eternal gears of heaven that allow evil to rise to that same degree.
For this reason, when you receive a testimony of the church, someone shortly thereafter hands you anti-literature and things arise in your life to prevent you from attending and serving. Sometimes family and friends militate against your decision.
For the same reason, when you get married in the temple, there are specific trials and oppositions that try to destroy our homes. If someone were to see an angel, or to speak with Jesus Christ Himself, the opposition would rise up in equal and opposite power to challenge, oppose, and thereby prove we are worthy of that blessing. This is the reason that all of the greats from Cain to Judis to Oliver Cowdery have fallen. They couldn’t understand or endure the equal and opposite clause of eternity.
There is an important reason why this opposition must arise. It is necessary for us to prove ourselves “true and faithful” on each new spiritual plane in order to turn an earthly blessing into an eternal reward. That means everything is tested. Even something as glorious as having one’s calling and election made sure will be opposed. We must not only be prepared, but we must expect the opposition.
If Christmas morning worked like this, you would open a present and after enjoying it for about 60 seconds, someone would jump on you and try to wrestle the gift away. After the fight, if you successfully defended the present – then you could keep it and open another. But, if you didn’t fight hard enough, or gave up, or didn’t value the gift enough to fight for it, then you not only lost that gift, but the others under the tree as well. The larger the present, the harder the fight must be.
If you knew this was going to happen, you should either skip Christmas altogether (apostatize, in spiritual terms) , or come to Christmas morning with a baseball bat and padded clothing planning to fight and prepared to conquer.
Some mere mortals have a tendency to be ignorant of the laws of opposition, and then judge other people unrighteous who are pressing through the flames of refinement. They wonder what the true seekers are doing wrong to be thus oppressed, rather than seeing what they are doing right. We doubt the validity of their blessings because we doubt the validity of our own. Yet, there is no instance in the scriptures or written history of someone actually achieving spiritual greatness who was not refined by fire following their toddling steps into spiritual greatness.
© December 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.