Human suffering comes to all mankind. Most people will pass through a form of it at one time or another. Others might feel that they have had more then their share of it. And then there are those who are as familiar with it as they are with the back of their hand. We might call them such things as; The depressed, acquainted with grief or as was said of Job of old, "hated ones".
They find that no matter how hard they try....the bondage of sorrow is always clapping at their heals. Day in and day out…Their opposition consistent and steady as the rising son. The words of Joseph Smith ring true to them when he said "Deep water is what I am wont to swim in" The depths of which…only God himself knows. Those depths can be grueling, taxing, mocking, and like the heavy as a dead weight upon their shoulders. It is the wrenching of their very heart strings... in both body and mind.
If you look back throughout history...you find a startling amount of those whom you might consider "The great ones" who have walked such painful, thorn filled, roads. Take for instance, a few of these famous names....Abraham Lincoln, Aristotle, Martin Luther King, C.S. Lewis, Joseph Smith .......and many many more. We could go back even further in time and find The mighty Job of old, Jeremiah, Rebecca, Abraham and Sarah, Joseph of Egypt, and most importantly Jesus Christ, who was so acutely acquainted with grief that he was known as a "man of sorrows" and a man who's suffering caused him to "Bleed from every pore".
There is an old saying that a man can't kneel and shake his fist at the sky at the same time. I beg to differ. At quite a young age, I made Heavenly Father (God) my best friend. I had no one else. At least no one who understood me. And something inside me told me that HE did. From that time forth....I told him EVERYTHING. I told him how I hated my parents relationship, how I always felt that I loved others more than they loved me. I told him of the boys I loved, the friends I hoped for, and thanked him often for how beautifully he had created this world. I talked of weeping willow trees, butterflies, my mother's compassion, the greatness of a friendship...and the love I had for my nieces and nephews. I also spoke to him of my own sorrows, anxieties, fears and everything that accompanies I own personal cross that I have had to bare. I have certainly shaken my fist at the sky, I have cursed him and yelled at him...and hated him. And yet...in the deepest part of my heart, I know he's still listening. That he is not a God with a whip! He is not angry or mad at me. But instead is like the best father you could ever hope for. That he is patient, kind, and more understanding than you could ever imagine.
There are a lot of us, especially me, who ask on a daily basis, "Why LORD? Why me!?" Or perhaps ones lament might be… "Why does my sister have to suffer? Why have I lost the love of my life? Why have I lost my friend to the grave? Why do the innocent suffer? We go through the whys, and despite the opinion of some of the greatest men and women…I find my own heart saying that is OKAY to do so. Because when you search...you most likely will find. And there are answers to be found! A God, who proclaimed to all people…that he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, will surely speak to us from his heaven, as he always has. There are times when we must accept that not all things can be answered in this life. Not all relationships can be mended. And not all of the "Whys" can be answered. And when I find this happening in my own life, I reflect on the words of a man named "Nephi" from the book of Mormon who stated "I know not the meaning of all things, nevertheless...I know that God loves his children."
And sometimes the whys do get answered. Joseph Smith was given wise words from the Lord, during a time of great sorrow.
D&C 122: 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit•, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep•; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience•, and shall be for thy good.
Experience. That is the key word. Experience changes us...it makes us hard or soft. An old seaman who has become withered from the sun and storms of life...is most likely to offer the most compassion to an aspiring sailor.