For decades, BYU Theatre and Media Arts Department Chair Wade Hollingshaus has been contemplating Samuel Beckett's poignant line, "[Y]ou’re on Earth. There’s no cure for that."
While this sentence seems to be pessimism at its best (or worst), for those who share the broader perspective afforded by the gospel, there is actually a lot of hope in this statement, Hollingshaus said at the Devotional on Tuesday.
Hollingshaus acknowledges the truth in Beckett's line, that everyone experiences pain, hardship and uncertainty in this life. Ultimately we are redeemed through the Atonement, but the challenges we face in this life are an important part of our mortal experience, Hollingshous said.
“Even though Jesus Christ can be seen as the cure, insofar as His Atonement does redeem us all from the Fall, this does not mean that humankind will not endure the fallen conditions that constitute the Earth in its current state,” Hollingshaus said. "It is essential to the exaltation of each and every one of us that we pass through this fallen condition."
For many, this fallen condition may mean a struggle with faith or knowledge of the gospel. If uncertainty seems like a plague that will not go away, take heart, said Hollingshaus the experience will be for our benefit.
"Struggling with questions of truth in and of the world is again what it means to be 'on Earth,' he said. "And just as with the struggles with pain and hardship, the struggle with uncertainty is a blessed malady that is necessary for our exaltation and eternal progression in the Kingdom of God."
To help with this, Heavenly Father has provided us with the ability to think and act, he said. As we play with different ideas and experiment with different possibilities, we always run the risk of thinking wrong, but that is how we grow.
"We are always in the world, always working with it and through it," Hollingshaus said. "This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of God's plan for us here on the Earth. At the same time, it is perhaps also the most magnificent aspect of that plan."
Next Devotional: David Moore, J. Reuben Clark Law School
The next BYU Devotional address will be given by BYU J. Reuben Clark Associate Dean and Professor David Moore on Tuesday, August 2, at 11:05 a.m., in the de Jong Concert Hall.
His remarks will be broadcast live on BYUtv and BYUtv.org, KBYU-TV 11, Classical 89 FM and BYU Radio.
Writer: Beau Jones