During our training in the MTC (crazy how I still remember all of that) and on almost every page of preach my gospel (which we study daily) it encourages the missionaries to frequently bear testimony of Joseph Smith and of the Restoration, because that will be the foundation of an investigator's testimony of the restored gospel. All missionaries know this important part of teaching, but unfortunately so does the adversary. Almost every single time, without fail, someone or something will interrupt me or my companion right as we begin to bear our personal testimony of Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon. Even during a lesson with no distractions previous to or following our bearing of testimony something always happens right at that crucial moment. Am I saying that Satan controls when the baby starts crying or when friends come to the door or when dishes suddenly fall of the kitchen counter? Not necessarily, but it's obvious that he has some influence and does everything he can to prevent that ever-crucial testifying moment.
I think that happens in our lives as well; why does it seem that whenever we try to make correct choices or whenever our testimony is strengthened things unavoidably get harder? It should be the other way around shouldn't it? Shouldn't things get easier as we come closer to the Savior and begin to follow Him more exactly? I think there are two reasons for the almost predictable increase in stress that comes as we increase our effort to keep the commandments. First, the father of all lies knows us very well. He was our brother and he lived and associated with us for eons before we were born and so he knows our weaknesses. He recognizes when we start taking steps in the right direction and does everything he can to bring us down. The comforting part though, and also ironically the second reason we experience these difficulties, is that our Heavenly Father also knows our weaknesses and He also sees when we progress further along the path of discipleship. God will never let us be tempted above that which we are able to bear, so maybe the reason temptations increase when our resolve to do good increases is because that resolve leaves us a little bit stronger, strong enough to combat even harder trials. With new light and knowledge also comes the necessity of putting that light and knowledge to the test so it can become tempered and permanent, so instead of taking away the trials when they come, our Father in Heaven lets us groan a little as we lift the figurative barbell and strengthen our spiritual pectorals. I testify that even in the midst of necessary trials and temptations our Father is always there, and He will ALWAYS provide the strength we need if we'll reach out to Him for it.
Well, that spiritual thought turned out to be a little longer than I thought it would be. I'll have to write about our new investigator from India next week. Remind me.
Anyways everyone until next week, stay strong and rock on. :)