Opposition in all things is central in the eternal progress of mankind, according to Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Elder Oaks emphasized the importance of understanding one’s purpose amidst opposition, and offered counsel about how to grow from challenges.
He said that agency is needed in order to choose to return to Heavenly Father. Without agency, there is no sin. However, Heavenly Father has provided a means to return to live with him through the Lord’s atoning sacrifice.
“The Father’s plan provides the way to do this, the way to satisfy the eternal demands of justice: a Savior pays the price to redeem us from our sins,” Elder Oaks said. “That Savior is the Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God the Eternal Father, whose atoning sacrifice — whose suffering — pays the price for our sins if we will repent of them. ”
He further demonstrated that opposition has existed since the beginning of time. Satan sought to “destroy the agency of man,” by suggesting in the pre-mortal life that all should be forced to obey, but ironically became the opposition himself in the day-to-day lives of mankind.
“Opposition was necessary in the Garden of Eden. If Adam and Eve had not made the choice that introduced mortality, Lehi taught, ‘They would have remained in a state of innocence…doing no good, for they knew no sin,'” Elder Oaks said.
Everyone on earth experiences trying opposition, but those challenges and temptations are the things that permit personal growth. Making correct choices, combined with repentance, will be the means by which people to return to Heavenly Father.
Elder Oaks shared Joseph Smith’s experience looking for a publisher for the manuscript of the Book of Mormon. He explained that the Prophet of the restoration faced opposition at every turn, but the Lord provided the means by which to accomplish his “divine mandate.”
Elder Oaks closed by warning of the devil’s modern-day temptations, but reminded that “the Lord did not make it easy, but he did make it possible.”