Heavenly Father loves us and He wants to help us through our trials and challenges. Unfortunately, sometimes this is hard for me, because –
A) I sometimes get too ticked off and busy blaming God, that I forget that He’s trying to help me become like Him, if only I’ll let Him teach me. And –
B) “No! I do it myself, Daddy!!” Somewhere inside I have this stubborn two-year-old who doesn’t want help to do things. Even when I’m clearly miserable and not getting anywhere doing it my way.
C) I wonder if sometimes I forget to do the things that feed my spirit and become spiritually hangry. I mean, REALLY, Just Don’t Hack Me Off, God! I know that sounds irreverent, but am I the only one who does this? Like when your Bishop, or pastor, stands up in church and says something about how we need to be humble and not get easily offended, or that we need to help the Boy Scouts again with some project or other. Maybe if we had been feeding our Spirits better, we’d be more willing to be generous with our forgiveness, or be excited about helping to serve when we’re asked.
The prophet, Nephi (Helaman’s brother – there are multiple prophets Nephi), saw all this pride and contention among his people to the point of secret murders, and even wars destroying his people, so he asked God to send a famine instead. I sometimes wonder, why famine? Why is that form of people dying better than murder or war? Maybe because famine is less personal. There’s less personal anger or duplicity involved with famine than with a person actually making an active choice to go kill someone. Maybe famine unites people against a common problem, so they don’t fight so much.
At any rate, most people are better at remembering to turn to God when the heat’s on, so I guess that’s one reason to count our trials as good.
1 And now it came to pass in the seventy and second year of the reign of the judges that the contentions did increase, insomuch that there were wars throughout all the land among all the people of Nephi. 2 And it was this secret band of robbers who did carry on this work of destruction and wickedness. And this war did last all that year; and in the seventy and third year it did also last. 3 And it came to pass that in this year Nephi did cry unto the Lord, saying: 4 O Lord, do not suffer that this people shall be destroyed by the sword; but O Lord, rather let there be a famine in the land, to stir them up in remembrance of the Lord their God, and perhaps they will repent and turn unto thee. 5 And so it was done, according to the words of Nephi. And there was a great famine upon the land, among all the people of Nephi. And thus in the seventy and fourth year the famine did continue, and the work of destruction did cease by the sword but became sore by famine.