I have a friend who is bi-polar and who has struggled for years with the tendency to compare herself to others. "Objective" measures of righteousness (and I use the quotation marks intentionally in phrasing it that way) and discussion of The Plan of Happiness have been brutally hard for her to handle, especially in her depressive stages. While we talking recently, she mentioned how difficult it was for her to hear a friend say that we earn a spiritual grade and that only those who earn an "A" will reach the Celestial Kingdom.
The following is my response to that belief:
If that idea works for someone else, fine - but the only standard in the
actual theology is doing what we are able to do, with the assurance
that the Atonement makes up the difference. I don't like talking about spirituality in terms of grades in school, but I believe if someone is capable of getting a "D" and actually gets that "D" that person will be rewarded to the exact same degree as someone who is capable of getting an "A" and actually gets an "A" - and more than someone who is capable of getting an "A" but gets a "B". I taught school for a while, and I was far prouder of the "Most Improved" student in my classes than I was with the bright students who coasted to straight "A"s without any attempt to stretch themselves. (The parable of the talents also comes to mind.)
I have twin sisters, a year younger than I. The other six of us got A's and A-'s, while those two struggled to get B's and an occasional A and C. I learned later that some of their teachers assumed their B's and C's were the result of lack of effort, since none of their brothers and sisters got those grades. In reality, my sisters worked MUCH harder than the rest of us in school - and they are two of the hardest workers still to this day whom I know. To say, in any way, that the rest of us will be rewarded above them is abhorrent to me.
Nobody knows fully what someone
else can do. We don't know fully even what we can do. We just have to try to do our
best, whatever that is, and try not to let others' expectations weigh on us - particularly those who are bi-polar or prone to depression of any kind. They need to work on maintaining a
handle on that tendency, to the best they can, knowing the hand they were dealt is
different than those who talk of earning spiritual grades.
The people who talk about spiritual grades generally care; they just don't understand.
It's important to remember that. They really do care; they just don't understand.
Here in my waiting place
1 hour ago