YA Weekly

Life Isn’t Fair—and That’s OK

Name withheld
02/17/23 | 4 min read
When life seems unfair, remember that the Savior endured the ultimate unfairness.

I’m sure I complained to my parents about a thousand times while I was growing up that something wasn’t fair. It shouldn’t have been my turn to do the dishes. I shouldn’t have had more chores than my younger siblings.

My parents’ response was always the same. A unanimous, resounding, “Life isn’t fair!”

But apparently that never sunk in.

Here I was, in my mid-twenties, still thinking life ought to be fair. When it came to living the gospel, I expected immediate blessings for keeping the commandments. And I assumed that not keeping the commandments would always bring sorrow and pain.

My perspective started to shift when my sister decided to leave the Church. Apparently she had also believed that living the gospel should bring instant blessings. So when she wasn’t seeing the blessings she hoped for, she started to doubt what she had believed in.

To make things more confusing, after she left the Church, some of the things she had been hoping for started to work out. She definitely wasn’t experiencing the sorrow I thought would come when you weren’t choosing to follow Jesus Christ.

I was happy that she was happy, but I was also worried that her fortunate circumstances might make her more convinced that the Church wasn’t true.

As for me, I was still living the gospel, but some blessings I was waiting on still weren’t coming. It didn’t seem fair.

Once again, the answer was there, as clear as ever: “Life isn’t fair.” Here are a couple things I’ve come to understand about that.

Shifting My Thoughts about Unfairness

Good and bad things happen to people who are living the gospel as well as to people who aren’t—God “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). That’s part of life.

So what about the promises that living the gospel brings blessings and joy? The scriptures do say that when we keep the commandments we are blessed (see Mosiah 2:22). But blessings might not always come how or when we expect them to. Living the gospel doesn’t guarantee we will have more money, more success, or fewer trials than other people. And it doesn’t mean we can expect particular temporal blessings from God as a form of “payment” for being righteous.1

But there are certain blessings we can expect as we keep the commandments. We are promised to always have the Spirit to be with us (see Moroni 4:3). And as we turn to the Lord in faith, we will be given strength to face the trials that inevitably come.2

We are promised true joy and peace (the kind that is not determined by our circumstances).3 And we are also promised the greatest gift of all—eternal life. As Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Your faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be rewarded more than you can imagine.”4

As I shifted my understanding about fairness, I had to decide why I choose to live the gospel. Do I live it because I expect God to bless me, or because of something more?

I realized that the most important motivation for me is my love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

The Savior Overcomes All Unfairness

In His love and mercy, the sinless Savior paid the ultimate unfair price, offering eternal joy to imperfect me. Elder Renlund has said: “Nothing compares to the unfairness He endured. … But He chose to do so because of His love for us and for Heavenly Father.”5 Salvation is a gift that we don’t deserve and cannot earn. But the Savior offers it to all if we choose to turn to Him.

Elder Renlund also taught:

“In the eternities, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will resolve all unfairness. ...

“… Because of Him, we can have peace in this world and be of good cheer. If we let Him, Jesus Christ will consecrate unfairness for our gain [see 2 Nephi 2:2]. He will not just console us and restore what was lost [see Job 42:10, 12–13; Jacob 3:1]; He will use the unfairness for our benefit.”6

How grateful I am for a Savior who endured the ultimate unfairness for me and for those I love. He waits for us with open arms, offering us the gift of eternal life and everlasting peace.

Discover More

You can find more articles about choosing happiness in the Young Adults section of the February 2023 Liahona.

Check out YA Weekly, located in the Gospel Library under Magazines or Adults > Young Adults, for new, inspiring content for young adults each week.

You can send your own article, ideas, or feedback to YAWeekly@ChurchofJesusChrist.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!


1. See D. Todd Christofferson, “Our Relationship with God,” Liahona, May 2022, 79–81.
2. See President Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 101–104.
3. President Russell M. Nelson, “Joy and Spiritual Survival,” Liahona, Nov. 2016, 81–84.
4. Elder Dale G. Renlund, “Infuriating Unfairness,” Liahona, May 2021, 44.
5. Elder Dale G. Renlund, “Infuriating Unfairness,” 43.
6. Elder Dale G. Renlund, “Infuriating Unfairness,” 43.

Name withheld