As we talked about last post, “truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come.” That, of course, includes the principles and doctrines of the gospel, but it also means that the verities of this telestial world such as disease, disappointment, fear, pain, and terrorism are truth. For some reason, these negative things are necessary in a telestial world (See 2 Nephi 2:11), and learning to deal with them is essential to our Exaltation.
As I write this I am being tested. I am on an airplane traveling from Salt Lake City to Austin. It is a long flight especially when a child in the seat directly behind you is constantly (not once in awhile, but constantly!) kicking you in the back. Now this is a telestial situation. (I am assuming that in the celestial world there will be no kicking children!) My responsibility right now (if I want to become like my Father in Heaven) is to deal with this telestial truth in a celestial way. That rules out turning around and yelling at the child. Instead I must accept the truth of the situation and find a way to politely and lovingly deal with it. In other words, I must deal with a telestial situation in a celestial way. That is part of the test of life.
However, if I sit here and keep thinking thoughts such as, “She shouldn’t be kicking me.” “Why didn’t her mother teach her manners?” “The airlines should do something about this!” etc. I am not solving the problem; I am only fighting against truth. Anytime we find ourselves thinking about other people’s behavior or a situation in terms of “should have” or “shouldn’t have,” we are fighting truth and are in a state of anger. The word anger originally meant “troubled or vexed.” Later it took on the connotations of rage that it now includes. But even today the word anger includes a wide range of feelings that trouble us. These feelings range from mild irritation to fury, but they all are troubling and vexing. Thus I am using this word anger to mean “an emotion that occurs when something violates our expectation of what should be.” Whenever we fight against truth, we cause ourselves pain and live in a state of anger.