And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
From Neal A Maxwell’s biography, A Disciple’s life:
In March 2000, when he was in a pondering mood about his illness, with its implications both dreadful and miraculous, Neal had a sacred experience… The soul voice of the Spirit came into his mind to whisper, "I have given you leukemia that you might teach my people with authenticity” (562).
Not that I can compare myself to the Savior or to one of his apostles, but perhaps to show that I can learn from them: when I was called as bishop years ago, my family was struggling in a variety of ways (some of which we would not know for years). For instance, the day I was sustained and set apart was my 16-year old son’s last visit to church (and he attended that day as a token of kindness to me). Other trials would come, and I found myself wondering why I should serve instead of one of the other dozen men who could easily have been called. But I learned much later it was precisely the imperfection of my family that allowed certain of my ward to find comfort in my words.
Is one of the reasons we have adversity in our lives so that we can learn how to mourn with those that mourn?