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May 8, 2021

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MarkusApril 20, 2019

Thank you, dear Sis. Hilton, for discussing this important topic relating to the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ including the justice and grace of our God at this Easter Season, which is all about the good tidings founded on the divine sacrifice of our loving Savior. It is the main reason for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be the Great Plan of Happiness. I appreciate your definition of the adversities in life (also interpreted as tests in your article), with these clear words: trial, hardship, learning, crash course, God’s work with us, blessing, something that brings us closer to God, reason to turn to God for understanding and help, opportunity to increasing in faith and grow into the people he wants us to become, tribulation, opportunity to bless others. I appreciate these defining words as they clearly suggest that these celestially designed “tests” (test as a non-scriptural word surely requiring a gospel-based definition) are not the same as the telestially designed, secular (pass/fail) tests we often encounter in life and sometimes confuse with life’s “tests” that are part of the divine Great Plan of Salvation. (I so love the wisdom of Elder Robbins who recently linked our divinely permitted mortal challenges with the promise of endless second chances to succeed).I am grateful for Pres. Nelson’s most recent characterization of Christ’s roles in our lives which helps me understand adversity as a divinely orchestrated headwind carrying me ever closer and closer to my Heavenly Father, a long as I desire to remain faithfully connected with my Savior: "But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us." (April 2019, General Conference)Finally, this is really helpful, too: Your notion that we may be “testing” others in life clearly helps see that life’s “tests” do not resemble secular (pass/fail) tests. As “testing” others would mean that we were failing our tests as we are not really supposed to be doing so. Thus, this notion helps understand that life’s challenges are for our growth, and for our becoming, with endless second chances, even for our becoming less and less of a “test” for others, in the course of our mortal experience.Thank you, again, for this most important topic regarding our trust in life and Deity!

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