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Friends, Faith, and Unfairness

A friend of mine recently had some devastating news delivered to his family. I was relieved that he opened up to me and we were able to talk about it. I’ve been so amazed by his resolve. Despite some hard years recently, he remains positive, uplifting and full of faith. 

He asked for some things to read as he makes sense of life with a smile. 

Among the first recommendations that I sent was a talk recently given by Dale G Renlund, an Apostle of Jesus Christ.  It is called “Infuriating Unfairness.” My friend was familiar with it but we were happy to talk it over again, together. 

When this message was delivered, it spoke directly to my yearning soul. I am an optimistic and positive person but I have returned to these declarations a number of times. I am so happy that I have these words of truth that I can apply to areas of my life and help others apply it in their own situations. 

Elder Renlund walked through all the most critical scenarios. He spoke of unfairness that we bring upon ourselves and also unfairness that cannot be explained. It’s critical to differentiate the two. 

I recommend the whole talk if you feel it would help you. If I had to sum it up in three simple points, I would offer the following:

Thus is life

Unfairness is part of mortal life on earth. We all are here with different physical bodies, different living situations, different natural gifts, etc. Life has a way of setting some up for smooth success and setting others up for a challenge. 

We should help others

Whether in our own life or in the lives of others, how we deal with unfairness is part of our learning. We should do our best to grow our faith when life feels unfair. When possible, we should take action to alleviate unfairness where we find it in the lives of others. It’s a form of bringing “to pass much righteousness.” It’s even good for your health!

The Savior understands and helps

The Savior suffered all unfairness as part of His atonement of sin and sorrow. Whatever degree of unfairness exists in our lives, Jesus Chris is aware and active in healing the broken hearts. If endured well, it can improve our discipleship now and our destination in the future. 

I am happy that my friend opened up to me. Many people don’t share their pains with others. 

My grandpa says that “if everyone sat in a circle and put their struggles in a brown paper bag, one by one they would be read and we would all be happy to have our own struggles back.”

It’s safe to assume that everyone is pushing through something. Until we know how we can help directly, the best approach is patience, kindness, understanding, and love.

But also we can ask, “Where does your life feel unfair? How can I help?”