I was surprised when I saw someone I knew driving the speed limit on the highway in a wide-eyed, stiff-armed, 10-and-2 driving position. He was obviously unconfident and nervous. I hadn't seen him for almost a year, so I quickly ran through everything I knew about him. We used to ride the bus together from Spanish fork to Salt Lake. I often watched him closely because he was somewhat of an enigma. He was tall, a little more broad and bulky than I was, and had a shaved head. He looked like a marine. But I only ever saw him with a suite on. He worked in the editing for the LDS church. I tried talking to him once but couldn't get much of a conversation going. I suppose what intrigued me most is that his looks never matched his manners.
Then the following thoughts rushed through my mind:
- "How sad the he has to drive every day between Spanish Fork and Salt Lake on this crazy highway."
- "I bet it's nerve racking for him."
- "He must do it because the train is unreliable and takes too long."
- "I pity him for not being able to get a job closer to home."
- "Boy, some people sure have it rough in life."
- "I wish there was more I could do to help people beyond my immediate sphere of influence."
Suddenly I felt an unusually extreme amount of compassion for this man I knew, and for many other people in the world that I didn't know. And then the Spirit spoke to me:
I am the Good Shepherd, and I know my sheep.The thought brought comfort laced in chastisement. My pity almost brought me to question the usefulness and requirement of mortality. "Show many experience show much suffering. I wish it wasn't necessary."
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? - Romans 11:33-34Who was I to doubt the justice, mercy, and power of God?
I know that God has a plan and that mortality is a key part of it. I can't explain why some seem to be more prone to suffering than others, but I do know that the Atonement of Christ has the power to make right all that may be wrong with this life.