I don’t remember exactly how and when the thought occurred to me, but one day I was recognizing a pattern in this world where it seems that blessings seemed to always be tucked behind some sort of trial. Conversely, it always seems that vice provides immediate gratification, but then with anguish tucked behind that.

Suddenly it seemed crystal clear to me why we are all so predisposed to making mistakes. Our temporal nature in which we are only ever conscious of the “now” will always tip the scales towards choosing immediate pleasure over immediate trial. Thus to “deny yourself and take up your cross” will always be an effort that goes against the grain. Furthermore, because there is a delay before consequence, there is always an element of faith required in one’s actions: faith in the eventual outcome be it good or bad.

I find these notions very intriguing and I’d like to explore them more. I want to examine if and how the scriptures support this theory, what further truths might be gleaned from it, and ways to therefore bolster one’s resolve to face their trials with the promise of blessings to come. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Does this ring true to you? Anything you would add or change to the theory?

2 thoughts on “Trial Before Blessing, Pleasure Before Anguish- Question

  1. Regarding the frequent correlation between spiritual experiences and trials, I don’t think the order is always Trial>Blessing, Ether 12:6 notwithstanding. I mean, faith through opposition is a prerequisite for blessings, but the dramatic, notable trial can come before OR after the blessing. Like Moses receiving his vision and then facing satan. Or Christ being strengthened by the spirit in the wilderness and then facing the temptations. Slower burning examples are King Saul or King Solomon who received (as far as we know) their biggest blessing before their biggest trials. David shows more fluctuation where he faces trials like Goliath and Saul, then gets all the blessings, then faces more trials like Bathsheba, then more blessings like an answer to his plea that his soul will not be left in hell, then more trials like Absalom.

    So in some ways it feels like that’s just saying “Life has both trials and blessings and the order is like chicken/egg” but I don’t think that’s quite it.
    I do think that journal-entry blessings and journal-entry trials come in pairs. But satan just isn’t a one trick pony, and receiving a big blessing doesn’t necessarily insulate us from susceptibility to immediately subsequent trials. I’ve seen that in my own life–sometimes an uplifting, spiritual experience is followed by stronger temptations and trials because I guess the enemy hopes that I’ll be feeling complacent, confident, and “safe” so that my guard will be down.

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    1. Thank you Christian, you make an excellent point that not every manifestation of God (blessing, miracle, or otherwise) only occurs after a trial of faith. If this were the case, then the initial act of following God would not even be one of faith, it would be a purely random happenstance! In order for it to be “faith,” I believe one must have at least some knowledge of God revealed to them, which then gives them the hope necessary to do good works in the face of opposition.

      You mention, for example, how God gives Moses a vision, and I would say that that was the moment which gives Moses something to have faith in, Which faith enables him to later repel the temptations of Satan. His success in overcoming that trial then unlocked the way to even greater blessings.

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