Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Why does God let bad things happen?

2 Nephi 2 (Book of Mormon)

Lehi is speaking to his son Jacob. He talks about the Redeemer, that salvation is free, and those who believe in Christ shall be saved. Then he talks about opposition:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

 12 Wherefore, it must needs have been created for a thing of naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.

 13 And if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.

 14 And now, my sons, I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning; for there is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon.

We exist. We feel. We can act for ourselves, choosing good or evil. Yes, bad things happen even to righteous people. But there is also joy, which would not exist if there was not sorrow.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

A family I know (not from Iowa, not related) is grieving today because their expected child did not survive birth. Any death of a child is hard - this season makes it harder. But I know that Heavenly Father will provide them comfort and understanding. There are many people praying for this family.

There is a God. He loves us and wants us to return to Him. He has provided us the tools to make this happen, including the love and support of those around us. He gives us trials and allows us to fall into error because we have to grow and learn, but He loves us more than we can imagine. There is a purpose to our lives, and there is joy.

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