What is in opposition to peace?
Many things are which include but are not limited to daily trials, pain, illness, heartache and that infernal high- pitched buzzing right around your ears.
Melanie Sarao (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Ricks College, BYU-Hawaii
Central Florida Mission (Spanish speaking)
This last July, my family stayed a few nights near Myrtle Beach. The first night, the hubs and I went to pick up some groceries and on the way back, we saw something strange in the middle of the dark road. I pulled up carefully and looked to my side, realizing that what I thought was a shredded tire was a small dog who had been hit by a car and left to suffer.
I pulled the car over and carefully wrapped a shirt around the poor thing, moving it out of further danger on the road. While my husband took the groceries home, I called for help and sat in the grass with this poor dog waiting for the law enforcement to show up. Within twelve minutes, I had so many mosquito and ant bites that I felt like every mosquito in the county had been called for backup. The dog was soon taken to a shelter and my husband and I walked the block back home. By the time I reached the front door, I was itching so badly that I was about ready to lose my mind. Who needed to sleep anyway?
Hot and Humid
Living on the east coast of the United States, I am not a stranger to the hot, humid conditions that mosquitos thrive in. As I laid awake in frustration that first night, I asked Heavenly Father in my mind why these creatures even exist? What purpose do they have other than to “afflict and torment man”?
Besides feeding several other species of animals (Purple Martins, bats, frogs, toads, fish, and dragonflies) what do they do here? Perhaps Heavenly Father wanted their persistent buzzing to join the nighttime choirs of the other insects who raise their strains for all to hear.
Certainly, they couldn’t have existed before the Fall unless they were designed to feed on something other than blood since blood had no place in mortality yet. These annoying little sneaks spread illness wherever there are high concentrations of them. They add insult to injury after disasters such as floods and hurricanes and rob people of the joy of a beautiful summer evening outside.
They get a bad rap, don’t they? Perhaps they are just excellent at doing what they do, filling their own divine design.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said “Significantly, the temptation to sin is not the only kind of opposition in mortality. Father Lehi taught that if the Fall had not taken place, Adam and Eve “would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery” (2 Nephi 2:23). Without the experience of opposition in mortality, “all things must needs be a compound in one,” in which there would be no happiness or misery (verse 11). Therefore, Father Lehi continued, after God had created all things, “to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, … it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter” (verse 15). 1
Opposition to Peace
What is in opposition to peace? Many things are which include but are not limited to daily trials, pain, illness, heartache and that infernal high- pitched buzzing right around your ears.
I can say that I know the sweetness of fresh air in the evening and healthy skin just as much as I know the bitterness of marked and injured skin from incessant scratching. Nephi taught us that “men are that they might have joy”. Joy is born of knowing sadness and pain on and off throughout life. Joy would never be so sweet if we never experienced its opposite.
Apparently, mosquitos are fulfilling their divine purpose and by so doing, are teaching us what it means to have joy. As we experience it, we are reminded that all things point our souls to Christ who is the author and source of eternal joy.
1 Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Opposition In All Things”, April 2016 General Conference, Sunday afternoon session