Pain, although not pleasant, is absolutely necessary in life. Darrel Higgins, the final BYU-Idaho devotional speaker of 2018, conveyed to students that even though pain is, well painful, we can ultimately learn and grow from it.

Higgins said in life there are many different kinds of pain. We might have physical pain, emotional pain or even spiritual pain.

He illustrated spiritual pain by quoting the Book of Mormon when Alma the younger expressed how he would rather cease to exist than go through more of the awful torment of leading so many people down the wrong path.

In the devotional Higgins challenged students to think about the purpose of pain and then to consider what might happen if we did not feel pain. The result, he said, is an actual condition called Congenital Insensitivity to pain. Many people diagnosed with this disease die young from infections in a cut they could not feel or other repeated injuries.

Higgins then pointed out that pain exists to protect us. Just as physical pain can indicate damage and motivate us to seek help, spiritual pain can do the same by indicating damage to our spirits. That can then humble us enough to seek out help from priesthood leaders.

Pain can also help us connect with others.

“Have you ever had an experience where you were not close to someone but then you found out that they had gone through a very painful experience similar to yours?” Higgins asked “We sometimes can feel an almost instant connection because this person ‘gets me.’”

While these are all good things pain can cause, pain can, in other cases, lead to the very opposite.

We could freeze and do nothing, numb ourselves to the pain and continue, lose motivation or become self-centered and bitter.

“Times of great pain become crossroads in our live,” Higgins said. “What will my life be because of this? Am I going to be better from this, or bitter?”

When experiencing pain Higgins said there are three steps to overcoming pain and fixing the problem.

First, figure out what the pain is trying to tell you.

Second, have hope.

“It will get better,” Higgins said. “Remember that you are built to heal.”

Third, consider what the trial is about.

He taught that sometimes pain and trials can come from our own consequences, the choices of others or could even be provided as a learning experience from Heavenly Father.

“Slow down and consider, ‘what is it I can learn from this experience, how can this make me a better person?’” Higgins said in an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.

At this time of year Higgins said he hopes students remember there is one person who does understand how they feel.

“When you are feeling absolutely hopeless Jesus knows every piece of that, and because of that he know exactly what we need at exactly the right time,” Higgins said. “He gives us just enough grace to get through that.”