Past Errors Into Future Wisdom
There have been times in my life when looking at my life from an observer's perspective, it appeared as though I was in the wrong place, possibly doing the wrong thing. But as I look back and as I have experienced, I have come to understand that what may have appeared to be very wrong in one moment, can indeed, be very right over time.
The greatest example of this is found in the story of 'the Fall' of Adam and Eve. From an observer's point of view the Fall of man appears to be a tragic event that not only separates us from God but it condemns mankind to death and changed our good nature into one that has become evil continually. But we know that the Fall is integral part of Heavenly Father's plan and was necessary for us to have the capacity to learn and grown, to know good from evil and for us, the children of Adam and Eve, to even exists.
The seemly wrong action of Eve and Adam has been made right.
“And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who oweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:22-25).
Even if somehow man were to 'be' there would be no opportunity for growth as there would be no opposition. There would be no real joy without experiencing misery, no righteousness and goodness without first knowing sin and evil. I would be impossible to go from being in a state of sin and misery to become righteousness and joyful if we were already immortal beings.
In this instance, at this time, the transgression of our first parents was needed for what was to come. This is one of the great lessons we can learn from the Fall of mankind, sometimes what appears to be wrong can be very right, this is a lesson that matches much of my life and my experience in a very important and tangible way.
There have been times in my life when there were people, places and events, that appeared to be very wrong but they were in fact, very necessary for me to grow and change. When I look back I recall many times when I was judged harshly (even by myself) for being in a place or doing a thing that later would teach me a great deal and ultimatly contribute to my understanding of myself, others, life and God. What was once a 'wrong', has over time become a 'right'.
On occasion I am prone to feel regret forgetting my own awareness of how these events have 'worked out'. One example is my tattoos. At times I look down at my arms and I hear my father's words; "Some day you will regret those." and I feel regret. Then I remember why I got them, what they mean to me now and how they allow me to no only remember the truths I learned on the way, but they afford me a credibility as I work with some who may otherwise not listen to what I have to say.
This is just one example of many instances where my past - often especially when it appeared to be 'wrong' - is now something that contributes to my life and the lives of others in positive ways, in good ways, in ways that could only be because of those 'wrongs' in my past made 'right' in my present.
Our perspective is so small and limited. We tend to look at a person and immediately assess them, their actions and their immediate place in life as being right or wrong. The truth is we have no clue what is right or wrong for another person nor can we know where their life will go as a result of their being and doing in this moment.
Please do not misunderstand my point, I am not advocating that painful choices with negative consequences be chosen just for the sake of learning or experience. The point I am trying to make is that the entire concept of right and wrong are locked in time and temporary circumstance and as a result are impossible for us to judge.
This is the great story of redemption. What was once wrong has been made right. This story plays out in millions of lives every day. What was once wrong has been redeemed and made right, not just a person but all the events and actions of their past become 'right' as these too are redeemed.
Whenever I look at a person and am tempted to judge them or their situation as being wrong, all I need do is remember my own past and see how the 'wrongs' of my past have lead me to a place of much right-eous-ness. I am then given hope for them and their future and I am encouraged to do what I can to help them grow and learn from their choices, God and what life has to offer.
We would have the right to judge if we had a perspective that was not bound by time, if we could see the beginning from the end. But we do not, therefore we cannot judge. What appears to be very wrong today could be a very great right tomrrow.
Next time you are tempted to judge what is right or what is wrong for another person, just remember that you do not know what that person may be learning through that 'wrong'. It just may be a lesson that you need!
We have read the end of the book, God wins, which means that all wrongs become rights - some just take longer than others.
Objective compassion and understanding will always be right. We are all a work in progress, each turning our wrongs into rights over time through the power and grace of God.