Understanding the Gift of Pain

Recognizing the purposes for pain can help us see it for what it really is—a gift from our loving Heavenly Father.

Photo by Vladislav Babienko.

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to never feel pain? As appealing as this sounds, Brother Derrel Higgins, a professor at BYU-Idaho, explains why pain is actually essential for our progression and well-being. He discusses five primary purposes for pain in his devotional address entitled “The Gift of Pain.

1. Pain protects us.

Brother Higgins stresses that “pain is a warning signal that something is wrong.”  It helps us realize when we need to stop doing something that is harmful to us physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

2. Pain helps us seek God in our lives.

Pain reminds us to turn to Heavenly Father and to the Savior for divine help.

3. Pain humbles us.

Pain reminds us that we often cannot heal on our own, and that we must seek help—help that could come from a doctor, a therapist, or the Lord.

4. Pain helps us appreciate joy.

We learn from 2 Nephi that there must be “an opposition in all things.” We must experience pain to know its opposite—joy.

5. Pain connects us to other people. 

Painful experiences help us to empathize with others. One reason why the Savior is able to connect to us is that he has felt our pain.

“So what should we do when we are experiencing pain? Figure out what the pain is trying to tell [us].” And then listen by making the necessary changes that will help us heal and have hope. These changes may be a visit with a doctor, a bishop, a parent, a friend, or with the Savior. If we seek help to recognize the purpose for our pain, we will be better equipped to process it on our path to healing.

Read more about pain from Brother Higgin’s devotional address here. 

Source: BYU-Idaho Speeches

—Ellie Castillo, Mormon Insights


Find more insights

Take a look at “The Refiner’s Fire” by James E. Faust.

Read another insightful devotional about how to heal from painful experiences here.

Check out these Mormon Insights articles to help you view trials in a more positive light:

Trials Can Be For Your Good

Turning Trials into Opportunities

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