The road of discipleship is not for the spiritually faint of heart…
To those troubled by the Savior’s divinity, Jesus asked, “Doth this offend you?” In the parable of the sower, Jesus warned, “He … [endureth] for a while: [but] when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
Offense comes in many costumes and continually finds its way onstage. People we believe in disappoint us. We have unanticipated difficulties. Our life doesn’t turn out exactly the way we were expecting. We make mistakes, feel unworthy, and worry about being forgiven. We wonder about a doctrinal issue. We learn of something spoken from a Church pulpit 150 years ago that bothers us. Our children are treated unfairly. We are ignored or underappreciated. It could be a hundred things, each very real to us at the time.
In our weakened moments, the adversary seeks to steal our spiritual promises. If we are not watchful, our injured, childlike spirit will retreat back into the cold, dark crust of our former bloated ego, leaving behind the warm, healing light of the Savior.
I think that this quote has some obvious apologetic value. I often have the opportunity to talk to members of the Church who struggle with matters pertaining to doctrine, church history, or the actions of church leaders. I in fact have been on that side of the fence before, more than once, in situations where I just don’t understand something and it bothers me. Elder Andersen’s inspired words are just the formula we need to help us remain true to the faith as we work out the issues that bother us. Do not be offended. Choose to not be offended. These vulnerable moments are not caused by Satan, but he seeks to take full advantage of them and desires to use them to close our hearts and minds to the influence of the Spirit and the accompanying peace that it brings.