I realized today that it has been a while since I've written a svithe. Thinking about recent events and other things going on in my life, the following thought came to my mind: "by proving contraries, truth is made manifest." I knew it was from Joseph Smith, but I first encountered it in an essay by Eugene England. In this essay, England discusses Joseph Smith as an archetypal tragic hero (in the literary sense of the phrase). To quote England: "Tragic man, the subject of our greatest literature, unwilling to rest with simplistic and thus secure conceptions of the universe, pushes at the paradoxes his mind and experience uncover." I found a rereading of this essay comforting. Recently I keep finding myself wanting to retreat into some sort of fantasy world where everything is neatly laid out for me. Where good and evil are obvious and where my choices would not only be clear, they wouldn't hurt anyone I love. A place where people speak in love and understand each other and are able to find solutions that benefit every one. But then I remembered that earth life is meant to be a test. A tragedy, not a comedy. Well, maybe it's a comedy, but to quote Elder Packer we are only in the second act. Things won't be neatly tied up right now and that's OK. The point is to wrestle with the "contraries" in order to prove them (in the sense of "testing" or "trying", not solving). I think it's all right to feel tired of wrestling some times and to retreat to a place of peace. But I've also come to see that I shouldn't worry so much about the seemingly contrary nature of our lives. It is supposed to be difficult, and hopefully I can find something of value through all this wrestling with paradox.
PS--If you haven't read any of Eugene England's writings, you really should. He's awesome. Signature even has an entire book of his online. Read it now.