Why Does God Allow So Much Tragedy?

Tragedy seems to be hitting us on a regular basis, prompting many to ask, “Where is God in all of this?” Why would God just standby and let His children take the lives of so many others, and not do anything about it? Many blame Him for the outcome of such events, saying that it’s His fault, that He should have stopped it from happening, that He should have answered prayers.

As a Latter-day Saint, I believe that God is very aware of these situations, and the individuals affected by them, more than we can even comprehend. I also believe that just as we are bound by laws, so is God. There are eternal laws and principles that God must honor, primarily the agency (freedom of choice) of His children. And if God breaks any of the laws that he is bound to, he ceases to be God. Kind of a big deal, right?

“And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.” – Mormon 9:19 (Book of Mormon)

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time now, but just didn’t feel ready. This morning I found this:

“People say, “Why is God turning his back on the U.S. [and the world]?”

He didn’t.

We turned our backs on him and this is what a world without Him looks like.”

“And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.” – Mormon 9:20 (Book of Mormon)

There is a verse in the Book of Mormon that I use often, only because it’s so relevant. Sometimes it takes an overkills worth of repetition for the message to sink in.

“Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.” -Ether 2:12

So what can we do? How do we even begin to clean up the mess that we’ve found ourselves in?

Let’s first start with God. As Christians, our goal is to develop and cultivate a relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. This is done through prayer, church attendance, and being kind to others. Trying our best to live as Jesus did. Like I said before, we all have freedom to choose. Choose to be positive. Choose to be nice to others.

Second, let’s work on building relationships with others around us. Meet new people. Learn their stories. Build friendships. It’s easy to hide behind a phone screen these days. Trust me, I’m a professional.

Finally, trust in God. Trust that He knows you, and that he is aware of your life, your dreams. Trust that He has a perfect plan for you, all centered on Jesus Christ. Following His plan is sure to bring happiness and hope in a better world.

“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” -Ether 12:4 (Book of Mormon)

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