“Additional tutoring and suffering appears to be the pattern for the Lord’s most apt pupils. Our existence, therefore, is a continuum matched by God’s stretching curriculum.”
Neal A. Maxwell1
Our society has come up with some amazing antidotes to unhappiness, and we can sometimes conclude that we are not supposed to suffer. We can then easily forget our spiritual “why.” Even though we read and hear talks from our prophets and leaders, our minds get stuck with the idea that “I’m supposed to be happy all the time.” “There must be something wrong with me if I’m not happy.” Finding the emotional cure seems to elude us all when we seek it even more. Sometimes we begin to focus on anything that will provide more happiness, even if it is short-lived.
Adversity is part of our lives
As we travel through the wilderness of life, we don’t carry loads on our backs like the people of Alma did,2 but we carry different burdens. Adversity is part of life, wanting to be free of it all can delay the growth God wishes us to have. We can remember that He doesn’t take away the pain, but he strengthens his people. Our burdens can be made light even though they may not change.
OCD is a heavy burden
If you struggle with religious OCD, the emotional pain is indescribable. OCD is attacking what you value most in your life –your connection with God. Don’t despair. There is help! For now, notice how you are responding to OCD. Awareness is the first step towards change.
Write down your answers:
- What have you postponed doing because of scrupulosity OCD?
- How long has it been since you’ve enjoyed in any of those activities?
- If those challenges were absent, what would you be doing in your life?
- What do you want your life to really be about?
- How have your challenges gotten in the way of your goals and dreams?
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.”3
Indeed, opposition is part of life. President Oaks has taught, “Opposition in the form of difficult circumstances we face in mortality is also part of the plan that furthers our growth in mortality.”4 We often forget that without the struggles there is no strength, development, or progress.
What will you do today that is different than what you’ve been doing to avoid pain and suffering? Are your public or private compulsions (safety behaviors) getting in the way of living the life you really want to live? There is a better way to fulfilment and meaning in life.
Keep your hope!
- Neal A. Maxwell, “Pre-mortality, a Glorious Reality,” Ensign, Nov. 1985,
- Mosiah 24:14
- 2 Nephi 2:11
- Dallin H. Oaks, “Opposition in all Things,” Ensign, April 2016,