Latter-day Saint Life

This 1 verse in the Book of Mormon will help you stop comparing your life to others’—and find joy

stylish confident man in suit having fun, group of people walking, reception at luxury wedding, rich graduation at school or university
It’s easy to compare our results to others. But the great missionaries Ammon and Aaron weren’t doing that, and we shouldn’t either.
Getty Images

Imagine if the Book of Mormon missionaries Ammon and Aaron had been able to text each other on preparation days as they served amongst the Lamanites. Maybe their conversation would have gone something like this:


If Aaron and Ammon had been communicating in real-time, I think Aaron probably would have been frustrated with his mission. While Ammon was having powerful experiences, Aaron was facing constant rejection.

Missionaries in different parts of the world today might experience similar feelings. One is assigned to a location where many people are prepared to be baptized. Another is called to serve in a place where few baptisms occur. If they start comparing their results, one missionary may get discouraged.

But Mormon makes an important note about Ammon and Aaron’s disparate success. He writes, “As it happened, it was [Aaron’s] lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffnecked people” (Alma 20:30).

Think about those phrases:

As it happened

It was [Aaron’s] lot.

These phrases make it clear that it wasn’t the case that Ammon was a better missionary than Aaron. It just so happened that Aaron went to a more difficult field of labor.

Sometimes in our lives, whether in the mission field or in other areas, such as family life, we will see this same phenomenon. Maybe your children aren’t as perfect as Sister Smith’s. It could be easy to get discouraged and think, “I’m a failure as a parent.”

But perhaps, “as it happened, it was [your] lot” to receive some special spirits that God knew you would love—even if they don’t often act the way you want them to.

▶ You may also like: This important line from general conference might help you worry less about your adult children

It’s easy to look sideways and compare our results to others—especially in a social media world where it seems like everyone has a better life than you.

But Ammon and Aaron weren’t comparing their results and we shouldn’t either. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught, “The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be.”

As we follow this counsel, doing our best and leaving the Lord the rest, we can find great peace and hope in our Savior Jesus Christ.

▶ You may also like: A mother’s ‘unforgettable experience’ after lung transplant shows God knows the small pleadings of our hearts

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content