This semester isn’t going to be easy. I’m taking a class called, “International Economy of Women.” It’s like it sounds. Basically talking about the condition of women are worldwide, especially in their participation (or lack thereof) of international development. The material is really hard to digest. Rape, dowry murders, female genital mutilation, infanticide, girl children deprived from medical care and food so that the boys can have it instead. The list goes on.
But…I was reading in 2 Corinthians 4, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (v. 17). Even though I can’t look at all of these terrible occurrences and think them “light afflictions,” I suppose when compared to what Christ went through they are. He suffered for all the pains, afflictions, and abuses of all women who ever lived. And most of all, he suffered for the unfairness of it all.
I still remember when Elder Quinton L. Cook (an LDS apostle) came and spoke in my church meeting last year unannounced. The only thing I distinctly remember from that meeting was when he said, “Brothers and sisters, I want you to know that the Atonement covers all of the unfairness of life.” He was so specific, so direct. Now I can recall that moment, feel the power of the Holy Spirit that spoke then, and be more at peace while I’m learning about so many unfair things that have happened to women worldwide.
I suppose it’s like any of the bad things that have happened to me. I wouldn’t ever go back and change anything because those experiences made me who I am today. Even though my suffering is infinitesimal compared to so many other women’s, the principle is the same. One book I’m reading, Half the Sky, is a collection of stories illustrating just that point; women can use their terrible experiences to learn and grow and become better. Even though I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone…just as I wouldn’t wish my suffering upon anyone, it can still be a learning opportunity.
God said that in the Book of Mormon, too. When all of those women and children were burned at the stake because they believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ…There isn’t much of a difference between the things happening now in the world and the things that happened in the Book of Mormon as far as evil goes. And the Lord said that those things happened so that the unrighteous could be held accountable for their evil actions. If God saved them at the last minute, he would prevent justice from acting upon those who were committing the atrocities. And all those that were doing their best and then suffered at their hands…they will be blessed in his kingdom, I’m certain of that.
Even though it doesn’t make any of it better, and I still feel a pull in my heart to do all I can to help my sisters in the world, the fact that Christ suffered for the unfairness of it all make