I’ve been thinking about opposition a lot lately. Sometimes, I think that in the “Mormon” world, we tend to think that opposition = evil. We think it is bad. I think that sometimes we forget that opposition is not always good or bad. For example, day and night – are opposites. Neither day nor night are inherently good or bad. We need them both.
I think that many of the emotions and experiences we have in life are similar. Often, it is just required of us to feel a range of emotions, and we can even feel them at the same time. Instead of wondering, “what is wrong?” when we feel a negative emotion, we might do well to simply accept it. Instead of worrying about how to always “fix” ourselves so that we feel joy.
I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon with an emphasis on joy. And I’ve learned that there is joy to be had in nearly every circumstance. This doesn’t mean that things are easy. This isn’t some kind of “happy-go-lucky” shallow joy. This is peace and comfort, even amidst trial and difficulty. It is the kind of joy that strengthens us and helps us rise to the challenge. It is the kind of joy that comes through discipline and strict tutelage.
In Alma 62, we read about Captain Moroni:
“”And now it came to pass that when Moroni had received this epistle his heart did take courage, and was filled with exceedingly great joy because of the faithfulness of Pahoran, that he was not also a traitor to the freedom and cause of his country.
But he did also mourn exceedingly because of the iniquity of those who had driven Pahoran from the judgment-seat, yea, in fine because of those who had rebelled against their country and also their God.” – Alma 62:1-2
Moroni feels both joy and mourning!
It sounds kind of oxymoronic, but this is the way that opposition works in our lives. Joy and mourning are often two sides of the same coin. When we have faith in the Lord, though, we feel an external force – comfort and hope of salvation. So, we don’t have to ever feel despair or hopelessness.
I guess I’m just trying to say that it is possible – to feel joy and to also mourn. Especially when we are considering those we love.
Well, not only that, but it is okay to mourn. Remember, it was Christ proclaimed that those who mourn will be comforted. As I think about this, I suppose a distinction should be made. Self-pity and mourning aren’t the same thing. Self-pity is an indulgence. It will not yield comfort and then hope.
I can see why Moroni mourns. There is so much war and sadness. All of this could have been avoided – every difficulty in the society could have been cured by righteousness! When we are righteous – individually, and as a society, then we will be happy!