It is true that some trials come because of the fallen nature of the earth. And other trials come because of the fallen nature of man. But there is a deeper more important reason we have trials. And I would argue it is the most common reason we have trials, the trial is meant to give us experience.
We need to replace the idea that trials are a sign of wickedness with an understanding that trials are designed by a loving God to help us become like Him. Elder Burke H. Petersen addressed this topic in an amazing sermon in Oct 1973 entitled Adversity and Prayer. He said.“trials are an evidence of a Father’s love.” Can it be any clearer? It is within that idea that I have formulated what I call the Humility Cycle, it is the alternative path to the pride cycle.
We have all seen diagrams like this one. The Book of Mormon teaches us that this is an oft repeated cycle. But, there is another, a more important cycle and pathway we can choose, it is the humility cycle.
Unlike the pride cycle which is often what society is doing, the humility cycle is another option. The humility cycle comes from a study of the life of Christ and faithful Saints through the ages. Particularly the life of the late Neal A. Maxwell, an Apostle who was called to endure the ravages of cancer, that eventually took his life. The humility cycle helps us make sense of all the awful trials that the saints are often called to endure. It is comprised of four parts.