If you prefer to listen over reading an article, keep an eye on A Balanced Saint of Mind on YouTube. I post video versions of my blog posts on my channel. The video versions are often posted a little later than the written blog posts.
Fairness. A concept that many of us still hold to despite our experiences teaching us that life doesn’t adhere to that rule.
The definition of the word “fair” in the context that I’m discussing comes down to the idea of unjust advantages. I believe we can all agree that when we look at the birth of each individual on this earth, there have been some with immense advantages over other individuals. This is excruciatingly painful for some to consider because Heavenly Father claims to love all of His children.
Many of us understand that the world needed agency in order for us to grow and ultimately live the happy life that our Heavenly Father lives. Agency is non-negotiable. It would be impossible to reach the living status of our Heavenly Father without our agency, and therefore, it would be impossible to ever be happy as He is.
However, agency came at a price. Heavenly Father also had to allow for bad things to happen. If we’re not allowed to make bad choices, then we don’t really have agency, do we?
And this might seem fine and dandy for those born to healthy families in first world countries with relatively small amounts of suffering in comparison to others. I’m willing to experience this amount of suffering so that I can grow to be like Heavenly Father and ultimately be happy for the rest of eternity.
But what about those born into excruciating circumstances? What about those born into slavery of any kind? Those born with painful disabilities? What about those born with no food to eat? Perhaps, even then, many of those valiant spirits would still cry out that the suffering was worth it if it means that they can grow to be like their Heavenly Father and ultimately be happy for eternity.
But even if it’s worth it, how is it fair? The simple answer, when we’re only considering the worldly circumstances of each of Heavenly Father’s children, life isn’t fair for so many. Suffering comes to so many who don’t deserve it. Some suffer immensely more than others. It’s not fair.
And yet God claims to be fair. How do these doctrines coexist?
It is only when we consider the doctrine of the atonement that life becomes completely fair for each and every child of our Heavenly Father except for One.
I know that the atonement covers all of the wrongs that we commit here in this life when we choose to repent. However, for this particular lesson, I want to speak about the part of the atonement that makes up for our unjust suffering.
Spectrums of Suffering
If we were to draw a line for each and every child of our Heavenly Father and place a mark on each individual line that expressed the amount of unjust suffering they experienced, they would be placed at wildly different places. As I mentioned previously, it’s all unfair. It’s unfair that someone would have to suffer with something through no fault of their own, and it’s unfair that we all experience vastly different amounts of suffering.
I don’t know how many more times I can say that it’s all unfair, but I’ll probably surprise myself by the end of this post.
So what does the atonement do? What did Christ do through His atonement?
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
He personally learned about each and every suffering of each and every child of God. He did this so that He might know how to heal each and every child of God. We don’t understand the mechanism for how the Savior will heal us from everything, and we don’t understand the mechanism for how He will make up for all of our wrongs. We simply know that He will do so.
So while we may suffer in vastly different ways and amounts, all children of God are placed on equal ground through the atonement of the Savior, Jesus Christ. It may take until the next life for it to all get balanced out (and we should be grateful for that because we still need to grow!) but it will get balanced out, and it will be made up to us.
Except for One
I mentioned that life would become fair for each and every child of God through the atonement of Jesus Christ; it will become fair for everyone except for one: Christ.
When you come to understand the reality of the atonement, you simultaneously come to understand that each of us have the opportunity to receive three blessings: our suffering is made up, our wrongs are washed away, and we receive perfect bodies.
So literally just scratch out everything I just taught you. When we reach the other side and if we have repented, our lives will forever be unfair.
Our wrongs are washed away through no merit of our own. We are given perfect bodies even though we didn’t earn it.
Christ balanced the scales of suffering. None of us will have to suffer through anything unjustly. But each of us will also receive blessings we didn’t earn.
So when we return to our spectrums of suffering and fairness, we realize that our lives have jumped far past the point of fairness in our favor.
Christ chose to leave His kingdom up in heaven and become as vulnerable as the rest of us at birth. He chose to suffer through His own life with no promise that it would all be made up to Him. Completely disregarding the immense proportions of the atonement itself, Christ chose to come and experience the tragedies of mortal life despite no promise of a Savior for Himself.
He suffered abandonment. He suffered poverty. He suffered rejection and cruel betrayal. He suffered hunger and fatigue. He suffered through lies told about Him. He suffered through judgemental people who didn’t understand who He was. He suffered scourging and public trial and humiliation. He suffered a lot more than the rest of us even when you’re not accounting the atonement itself.
But then you consider the atonement. He suffered what each of us suffered, and He also suffered for the sins we committed.
You want to talk about unfair? Christ’s life was unfair, and certainly not in His favor.
He was perfect. He wouldn’t have had to suffer.
And yet, even though it wasn’t unfair, I believe it was worth it to Him. We all have things we’re willing to suffer through if it means there is a prize at the end. I’m sure that at this point in our progression, many of us might have looked at some of our brothers and sisters and thought, “Yeah…you weren’t worth it.” But to Christ, it was worth it.
I cannot begin to describe how unfair it was to Christ. It’s unfathomable because we can’t fathom what He went through, but it was worth it to Him. Why??? What was His prize that made it so worth it to Him?
You and me. And get this, His prize wasn’t even to live with us forever. His prize for all of His suffering was the opportunity to live with us forever if we chose it.
Us. The ones who caused His suffering in the first place. We were worth it.
And my whole point of this entire post, my whole point of trying to help you understand how unfair it was for Christ is to point out this. It was unfair. There was no logical reason why Christ should have gone through this for us. There is no other answer other than the fact that He loves you and wants to be with you, as unwise and ridiculous as we are. He loves us and wanted to spend forever with us.
That is why He was born.