Doctrine of Opposition

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(This is an excerpt from the book Choose Ye This Day to Serve the Lord.)

A companion gospel doctrine, and an essential element to our mortal experience, is understanding that we will always have opposition in our lives, indeed, “there is an opposition in all things.” So let’s stop being surprised when it arrives—our expectation should be that it will! Indeed, opposition holds a vital position in our mortal experience. As Lehi explained, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. . . . It must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other” (2 Nephi 2:11, 15–16).

What did God say about the purpose of this life? “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25). So there will be tests and opposition—always.

President Boyd K. Packer has reminded us many times of this doctrine, saying: “Do not expect to be free entirely from trouble and disappointment and pain and discouragement, for these are the things that we were sent to earth to endure,”^5 and, “As long as you live, in one way or another the adversary will try to lead you astray.”^6

Mortality is a probationary time to enable man to repent and serve God (see Alma 42:4). Have you ever noticed how hard it is not to be in control? Have you ever said to the Lord, “Just tell me what to do and I will do it!” But, indeed, we must be willing to trust God, to do His will. We must be willing to be righteous and follow God even in the darkness, as Brigham Young said.^7

Remember that we partake of the fruit of the tree of life, even eternal life, only as a reward for our faith in nourishing the word, and our diligence and our patience, and our longsuffering. Nothing will prevent the Lord’s purposes from being fulfilled in His Church and in our lives if we are true and faithful and endure our afflictions, the opposition in our lives, to the end.

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