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“There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Looking back at my life, I’m amazed at the things that I’ve experienced. I’ve served in the military, both here in the States and abroad in hostile lands. I’ve served a mission, which ironically was interrupted by the aforementioned military service. My mission took me to Russia, a place I’d always dreamed of seeing, but never really expected to see. All my careful plans have counted for nothing, and while I’ve been blessed, I seem to keep running into major obstacles when it comes to some of the things that I want to have and accomplish in this life.

Because I’ve followed the promptings of the Spirit, I’ve been whisked away to Louisiana, Mississippi, and Iraq for the military. I’ve seen things I wish I never did. I’ve experienced very challenging situations. I’ve had close relationships that ended very badly for me. And you know what? No matter how bad it seems when I’m in the midst of my trials, I always look back and appreciate the lessons I’ve learned from them. From my military experience, I know that God loves us, and He does watch over and protect us. He miraculously provides a way when none seem to exist. From each of my failed attempts at relationships I’ve learned about personal character flaws that I didn’t know existed. These are the hardest ones to swallow, because it is very hard to find those large imperfections in yourself. And a lot of times, those relationships end up hurting someone, and you always regret that.

I guess that’s the price we have to pay to learn. It must be worth it, or Heavenly Father wouldn’t call us to go through it.

5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;

6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;

7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

D&C 122: 5-7

All I can say is this. I’m sorry to those who I may have hurt in the past. I’m trying to learn from those mistakes. I must still have a lot to learn, because I still find myself going through trials and tribulations all the time. I can only assume one of two things. Either I’m being prepared for something great, or I just have so far to go and I’m so stubborn and proud that I need to have these lessons continually pounded into my heart. Whatever the case, even though it’s very hard (even harder at times than I think I can stand), I know that I will be grateful for these lessons. I will be grateful that Heavenly Father loves me enough to occasionally hurt me.