Snoring: The Conundrum of Being Guilty!…But Innocent!


Many years ago I was attending a business conference that lasted for two weeks. It so happened that a complete stranger was assigned as my roommate. He seemed like a pleasant fellow but the arrangement lasted only one night. It lasted only one night because he snored so loud that the room shook. The obnoxious snoring sound still penetrated to my ears even though I put two pillows over my head. After several hours of battling for sleep, I became so enraged that I walked out of the room, down the hall and demanded of the person at the check-in desk for another room assignment, which she gave me. I walked back to my room, packed my bags and left. All the while the room continued to vibrate with the grizzly sounds of the man-bear who was now my former roommate.

Flash forward thirty-five years and I have now been informed by my wife, that on occasion, I have become the incarnation of my former man-bear roommate! In other words, I snore! Apparently, it is rather loud and obnoxious. Sometimes, during the night, I am inflicted with sharp jabs, or the feeling that I am being pushing out of the bed and onto the floor. Occasionally I might be dreaming of falling, but more often than not it is my wife trying to roll me into a “non-snoring” position. And, like I did so many years ago with my roommate, she gets mad at me when I snore! Who can blame her; I would feel the same way! And although I am empathetic to her feelings, I am left to cry in my defense that “I may be guilty of snoring, but I am innocent of the offense!” I don’t “choose” to snore, and frankly, I don’t know if I even do. I can only assume so by trusting in the accusations of my wife. I’ve never actually “caught” myself snoring, who can! So, I am left being punished for a “crime” I choose neither to commit, nor one that I remember doing! Thus I am guilty…but innocent at the same time! This leaves me frustrated because I am condemned for actions that are out of my control.

All of us were sent to this life under different conditions. The time and place and family conditions vary so dramatically that it is a wonder that most humans come out of childhood as…well…humans! Even those born into the same family are raised and influenced slightly different due to their birth order in the family, the time and or economic condition of the family when they arrive. And of course, all of us come from a “distant star” where we have been developing for what might be eons of time, which gives us a predisposition. Many factors help mold and shape the essence of who we are. At least, who we appear to be to others in this life. For this reason most of us react to life’s challenges in different ways. Sometimes we are quick to condemn others for the manner in which they live their lives. Most often we base our judgments on our experiences. We are seldom privy to the life experiences of the people we judge. And even if we are close to someone else, we really can’t be “in their skin”. What does this have to do with snoring? Well, I am grateful to know that the Lord knows us all. He knows of our background, our experiences, our hopes and dreams, He knows our heart. He will not excuse sin, but having Him as the final judge gives me great hope, not only for me, but for mankind. Perhaps where I see “guilt” in others, He may see “innocence”. And where others see “guilt” in me, He might see the intent of my heart.

I know there are ways by which you can supposedly reduce snoring. Be it “nose strips”, or some sort of “contraption” to breathe through. Maybe it’s losing weight, lying on your side with your left arm over your head! Maybe it’s a combination of all of them. I expect that I should try them all and if I do so, and the snoring persists…then what?

Like curing snoring, I suspect that the Lord requires us to do everything in our power to perfect ourselves. And if we do so and we still fall short…then what? Well, Moroni gives us an answer for “then what?” He wrote:

“Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:32-33)

We may never discover the compete cure for snoring in this life. Many of us will have to continue living in a world where we are “guilty but innocent”. But we can take hope in the words of Moroni regarding our eternal lives. If we do all that we can, even if we are still guilty, we can be found innocent through the blood, mercy, and grace of our Savior Jesus Christ. The conundrum of “Guilty but Innocent” will be solved!

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