Must There Always Be Pain In This Life?


“Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.” (Psalms 31:9)

An oft asked question by many is, “Must there always be pain in this life?”

Finding an answer to such a question is difficult if not impossible because my experience is singular and therefore not applicable to all. Yet, through years spent counseling and talking with others, I can intelligently surmise that during this life, pain really is an absolute. In my readings of the scriptures and through the inspired insightful teachings of spiritual men and women of our day, it has been comforting to know that they agreed with me on this point. So too, they agree that such pain can make some curse God in anger, while for others, pain can draw them closer to their maker.

There are myriads of ways that pain enters into our lives. And the manner of pain is distinct, as each of us has goals or aspirations for our lives that are singular to our desires.   Thus, one persons pain could be another person’s joy. For example, for some divorce is painful and the breakup of the relationship brings about unwanted consequences.  However, some welcome a divorce as something good because they are escaping an abusive relationship. For them, a divorce is a positive thing in their life. Thus, each of us are unique in our pain patterns.

Some might reason that a loving God would never allow, permit, or subject his children to pain. After all some say, as a loving parent we would never do such to our children. However, I learned a valuable lesson a few years ago by James B. Martino in a talk he gave entitled, “All Things Work Together For Good.” He said:

“Would you ever do something that would cause pain and bring tears to your children when they have done nothing wrong?” Of course you would! When mothers take young children to the doctor to receive immunizations, almost every child leaves the doctor’s office in tears. Why do you do that? Because you know that a small amount of pain now will protect them from possible pain and suffering in the future. Our Father in Heaven knows the end from the beginning. We need to follow the example of the Savior and trust in Him.”

Must there always be pain in this life?  I think the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”  But we need to follow the example of the Savior and learn to trust in our Father. (Luke 22:42) Let us go forward knowing that pain will always be with us, but it need not deter us from understanding the importance of its existence.



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