The famed phrase from Shakespeare"s "As You favor It" is theologically sound, but couple of are qualified to use it. And, in the end, it just makes significant sense if this life isn"t the end. Adobe stock photograph
“Sweet space the supplies of adversity, which, favor the toad, ugly and venomous, wears however a valuable jewel in his head; and this our life, exempt from publicly haunt, find tongues in trees, publications in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and an excellent in every thing.”

This i from wilhelm Shakespeare’s “As You favor It” (II.1.12-17) draws on folklore about an ugly toad whose head bear a precious, heal stone. Battle each other Senior, who “adversity” arises from having been deposed and also driven into wilderness exile by Frederick, his ambitious and cunning younger brother, is relenten the attitude he’s adopted as a result of that coup. (“Uses,” in Shakespeare’s language here, method “profits.”)

The “jewel” that an elderly discovers in the forest of Arden is tap the money from “public haunt,” indigenous the court, i beg your pardon has provided him the quiet possibility to reflect. Anyway, he says, rough-hewn nature speaks more eloquently and much more honestly than execute disingenuous person tongues, clever books and also smooth sermonizing. Even rocks are better company 보다 courtiers, and far less treacherous.

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Shakespeare’s point here is entirely consistent with the restored gospel’s teaching that this life is around what (borrowing indigenous the late john Hick) i have termed “soul-making” (see this previous tower “A location designed to do saints,” Nov. 6, 2014).

Today, however, the expression “sweet are the uses of adversity” might most often be offered sarcastically. Certainly, it seems too smug, as well easy and comfortable, come be used in earnest by anybody who isn’t substantially suffering or that hasn’t suffered substantially in the past. Us would, for instance, to the it as appallingly inappropriate if a healthy and balanced person to be to congratulate those struggling v grave diseases on the glorious opportunity they’ve been provided to construct their character thereby. A rich male with plenty come eat and a comfortable residence probably shouldn’t define to a poor, hungry man who poor is a gift bestowed upon him for his eternal benefit.

But right here we pertained to one the the unique facets of Christianity, which teaches the “the Word to be made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14), and that “God was in Christ, reconciling the civilization unto himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). The Savior actually is in a place to tell united state that “all these things shall offer thee experience, and also shall be for thy good.” Why? since “The child of male hath descended below them all. Arts thou better than he?” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-8). “For,” says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, “we have not one high monk which can not be touched through the emotion of our infirmities; however was in all points tempted prefer as us are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

As the prophet Alma explained to the world of Gideon early on in the an initial century prior to Christ’s birth, “he will certainly take top top him their infirmities, that his bowels might be filled through mercy, according to the flesh, the he may recognize according come the flesh just how to succor his civilization according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12).

A revelation offered through the Prophet Joseph smith at Kirtland, Ohio, throughout the winter the 1832-1833 explains Christ as “He the ascended up on high, as likewise he descended listed below all things, in the he comprehended all things, that he could be in all and also through all things, the light of truth” (Doctrine and also Covenants 88:6).

“He is despised and rejected that men,” says the prophet Isaiah in his famed “suffering servant” poem, traditionally interpreted by Christians together a description of Jesus, “a guy of sorrows, and also acquainted through grief” (Isaiah 53:3).

But “soul-making” ultimately justifies deep suffering and gives definition to challenges only if those adversities no the end of the story. In the play, an elderly — may be a much better and wiser male for his time exiled in the wilderness — is revitalized to his dukedom. In sports, overcoming defeat and also discouragement builds character, but does so primarily for life beyond the game and even exterior the stadium. Within the game itself, a defeat is simply a defeat.

“My son,” claimed the mr to the Prophet Joseph, imprisoned in Missouri, “peace be depend thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions candlestick be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure that well, God candlestick exalt thee ~ above high; she shalt triumph over all thy foes” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8).

Five year later, imprisoned again, faithful Joseph to be murdered through a crowd (see Doctrine and Covenants 135) — and those who murdered him room remembered only as footnotes to his story.

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Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYU’s middle Eastern messages Initiative, directs MormonScholarsTestify.org, chairs mormoninterpreter.com, blogs day-to-day at patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson, and also speaks only for himself.