Life was made for struggle; and exaltation, success, and victory were never meant to be cheap or to come easily. The tides of life often challenge us. To understand why it has to be this way, we should maintain our understanding, our faith, and our courage by a constant rereading of Second Nephi, chapter two, the substance of which is set forth in this excerpt: “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” (2 Ne. 2:11.)
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Dikes versus Living Water", Ensign, November 1976
Sometimes, thoughts cross my mind, such as "why do some people struggle more than others?" Especially since there is only one level of exaltation. One person cannot be more exalted than another. So, then, why are there varying degrees of mortal suffering and challenges?
The path to exaltation is straight and narrow. And those that are on it, are at different places on that path. Some are heading the right direction, closer to exaltation. While some are either standing still, resting, or even traveling backwards, in the wrong direction.
The comforting news is that regardless of which direction we are traveling, we are still on the path. Granted, continuing to travel backwards will eventually take one off of the path entirely. So, the hope is that we move forward on it, not backwards.
My point is this: since we're all at different spots in life, we have different challenges and trials. These challenges and trials teach us reliance on God (if we view them in the right spirit), thereby humbling us and enabling us to gain further light and knowledge (many times in the form of another challenge). And these trials will allow us to move forward on the path. The amount of distance traveled is in proportion to our heed, obedience, and submission to God’s will.
Only God knows how and where to manipulate and mold the clay until it's eventually a perfect vessel.