There once was a great emperor who, unlike most emperors, was both just and merciful. He had a very large family. As the children began reaching adulthood, he wanted them to help him rule the empire by appointing them kings or queens over different regions within the empire. However he didn’t want them to become tyrants or rebels with their power. So he sent his oldest, and most trusted son to build a university in a foreign country far from home and who commissioned professors to both teach and test his children when they came of age.
There were the usual subjects of math, science, literature, technical skills, etc. But unbeknownst to the children, he also directed the professors to provide situations where the children could be observed interacting with the other students to test them in regards to how they treated others when they had some power given to them. If they proved that they could handle power and had control of their emotions and passions, these children would be appointed kings and queens over portions of the kingdom. Those who did not prove themselves were appointed other tasks when they returned home and lived comfortably, but were not given power within the empire.
You and I are those children. We are at the university (Earth) now, and because it is so far away and we have been here so long, we don’t remember home. We only know the university (Earth) life. This past year in my upper class studies I have been enrolled in a class not of my choosing called cancer. I have studied topics such as fear, self-pity, hopelessness, pain, patience, and endurance. I have been given riddles to solve, such as “Why should I be subjected to this trial when I have spent my life trying to live well both temporally and spiritually? I have served others and learned to live by truth. Why do I now have to suffer this pain and reduction in power and freedom?”
I have studied the best books for learning about these topics, and I have gone to the sources of power and energy (scriptures and words of the prophets) needed to fight the inner battles associated with these topics. I have become aware that no matter how hard the courses, or how difficult the lessons, there are professors both seen and unseen (ancestors) who are watching out for us. It appears that I am about to complete this course, though I do not know if I will be re-enrolled at some point in the future. I do have some ribbons and decorations, called scars, which have been awarded for, and are proof of, my participation in these battles.
It is my hope that you and I may, with help from these professors and the builder (Jesus) of the university (Earth), be able to build and prove our worthiness, that each of us might be appointed a kingdom of our own, where we may begin our own eternal families and become like our parents, the Emperor and Empress of Heaven.
When we understand these things, it colors how, and on what, we focus our efforts. It changes how we feel about others and our desires. It strengthens us in difficult times to press forward in doing what’s right, to examine and improve ourselves, and to resist the mocking of the world. It becomes a shield and a compass to us in the battle of life. That understanding only comes with study, service, prayer, and time.