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Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen to Good People


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#1 shyguy

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:28 PM

Here are two example he gave me. 1.Why does God allow two righteous missionaries serving on a mission allow them to get killed if he is God. Why does he not stop it from happening? 2.If God is so powerful and loving why does he allow adults and babies to starve in third world countries? How do I answer his questions? Any talks regarding these issues or doctrine? That may answer his questions. Thanks, Shyguy

#2 Backroads

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:32 PM

Tis the oldest question of mankind, this one. I will respond with my own interpretation and understanding of God: To both questions: I believe in a God who champions free agency and choice, one who does not "babysit". Bad things happen largely because that is how the world works and sometimes people make choices (not necessarily the victims) that do affect the lives of others. There's a common theme in stories where the results of a "perfect" choice are shown as disastrous. How are we to know "what might have been" wasn't worse?

Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?


#3 shyguy

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 02:43 PM

The biggest excuse that their is no God for some IMHO. Shyguy

#4 HiJolly

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:24 PM

The biggest excuse that their is no God for some IMHO.
Shyguy

Oh, definitely! That's why Bart Ehrman lost faith in the Christian god - not the biblical studies (he is world famous for his bible study) - but Theodicy. I think that Mormonism has the perfect answer for Theodicy. (1) A God bound by prior covenant and (2) A mortal world-view with ' personal growth' and 'spiritual development' as primary reasons for being.

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#5 RMGuy

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:31 PM

This sounds like the beginning of the Epicurian Trilemna: If God is willing to prevent evil, then he his not omnipotent. If God is able to prevent evil, but unwilling to, then he is malevolent If He is both able and willing, then whence cometh evil? An interesting question, but I personally think the problem lies in the second part of the question, not the first, AND the answer is given by our understanding of the purpose of life...to be tested and tried. I find the answer proposed by a young farm boy, through first hand knowledge and experience to be the best answer possible to this centuries old question. Yet there are many that have gone with your answer as well. -RM

#6 C_T_R

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:34 PM

The biggest excuse that their is no God for some IMHO.
Shyguy


Interesting. But I think it's a big supporter of my testimony, not only of God, but of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. huge, in fact.

Like the above comment, God is committed to our freedom to choose. People's choices not only reflect their lives and happiness, but can affect whole countries of people. Look at Nicaragua, and how socialism *never* works for the people. All the money goes right to the top, and that is it. I feel overwhelmed at the conditions of our brothers and sisters in these impoverished countries.

However, look at what they have that we don't. You can't see most of it, because God does His best work, and is able to work the most incredible "miracles" in extremity. Those people, at least some, don't have to deal with the issues we face with the internet and all the things that fill up our time, our valuable time, that could be spent on better things. Also? Think of these countries.. these cultures.. one thing I really admire, and wish that I had is a culture. Traditions, parties and that closeness with their community and families. That's not small, you know? I mean when you look at it, in a lot of ways they live a far richer life. In MANY ways, we do. But what keeps those people going in the midst of all the negative we can see? Why, when I went down to Central America and saw with my own eyes this unbelievable poverty, did I see genuinely happy people.. they weren't "clean" and they worked hard just to eat, but they had a purity about them that I wish I had myself.

Why the devastations and the natural disasters that rip families apart, and communities and claim the lives of so many?

Helaman 12:3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.

And why would He want us to remember him? Why the commandments? God is consistent; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He sent His only begotten Son.. His only child to pay the ransom for us all.. and why did that need to take place? Because of his commitment to our free agency. That we can choose for ourselves what it is we want. The commandments are not there for us like perhaps your parents in this live laid down rules. He has no ulterior motives but for your freedom, and your happiness. That's -it.-

We all face trials in this life that are so intense.. they can make or break us.. and with the Lord's help they can be turned for our good. This life is so short. It's an illusion. Satan is the god of this world and he *wants* everyone to suffer, to starve, or to overindulge. He knows that his sadistic work will never bring him happiness, but if he can take away other's, that's what he wants. God allows this to happen because this is a time of testing, a time of learning to discern between good and evil and choose which one we truly want.

I am grateful for the hell I've been through in my life, and what I face even now, and I'll tell you why: Because I've come to know my Savior through them. It *seems* like a paradox that having sore trials could make someone HAPPY and STRONG, but truly, the trial of no trials is worse. I know that if I keep the commandments nothing will overtake me:

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

I believe you can substitute trial for temptation in this as well. Through God's grace, we are able to "reach breaking points without breaking."(Neal Maxwell) I'm grateful that He has given me the opportunity for pain, for suffering to the point that I have felt I cannot go on, because that is when I have seen with my own eyes that there is a God, and not just that, but one that loves every single one of us so deeply. He is in the details of our lives, each and every one of our lives.


I will never understand that "excuse" for people being disbelieving. It seems like Lucifer's logic.. If we didn't have suffering, and everyone was doing well, there would be no need for faith, for individuality, for a test, just a body. But if you believe that this life is it; That here isn't any more, then it would be sad for us all in our individual circumstances. Every single one of us. I'd've thrown in the towel YEARS ago lol.

It's lazy thinking to believe in that kind of rhetoric. No, God is there. He gives us, and allows certain things to happen to us FOR us, and while He is there every step of the way, giving us support, indeed every breath, he wants us to pick up our crosses, and to have faith in Him.

Hebrews 12:
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.



So in summation, I'd use Nephi's words in 1 Nephi 11:17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

But knowing that God *loves* his children lets me know that whatever the circumstance, it'll be made right, and will also be used for their good, IF they allow it to be.
.
Faith without works is dead.

#7 Anddenex

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:10 PM

1.Why does God allow two righteous missionaries serving on a mission allow them to get killed if he is God. Why does he not stop it from happening?


This is a very interesting question. My mission had the unfortunate experience of two missionaries who visited an ex-communicated member. The Bishop had forewarned the missionaries not to visit this man. They didn't listen to the counsel, and were never seen from again after they had made a visit to this excommunicated member.

My question, why does God always get blamed for his children's actions? In this example, God did intervene, through the Bishop, but the missionaries didn't listen.

I, honestly, wouldn't be surprised at all if God actually has warned everyone before something bad happens, especially if death occurs. However, due to faith, we ourselves must be in a position to listen to this still small voice, otherwise if we have become past feeling we won't recognize it.

Also, God wants us to be responsible, can we truly be responsible, accountable for our actions if everything we try and do God intervenes? Can we really learn? In saying this, there are circumstances by which I really wish God would intervene, and I don't understand why he doesn't.

When I read these questions, I usually think of the "thought police".

2.If God is so powerful and loving why does he allow adults and babies to starve in third world countries?


If all of God's children had listened, instead of disobeying God's commandments, we would be living in a society called "Zion" as was established by Enoch.

#8 bytor2112

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 06:55 PM

1.Why does God allow two righteous missionaries serving on a mission allow them to get killed if he is God. Why does he not stop it from happening?

None of us are promised tomorrow....

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.


2.If God is so powerful and loving why does he allow adults and babies to starve in third world countries?

He doesn't.....men allow other men, women and children to starve or die because of wickedness.
We've got nothing to fear...but fear itself?
Not pain, not failure, not fatal tragedy?
Not the faulty units in this mad machinery?
Not the broken contacts in emotional chemistry?

#9 Blackmarch

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:00 AM

Here are two example he gave me.

1.Why does God allow two righteous missionaries serving on a mission allow them to get killed if he is God. Why does he not stop it from happening?

2.If God is so powerful and loving why does he allow adults and babies to starve in third world countries?

How do I answer his questions? Any talks regarding these issues or doctrine? That may answer his questions.
Thanks,
Shyguy

I'd say;

Well there are couple answers one could give;

We as spirits fought for the right to be on our own, to be allowed to experience the freedom and consequences of being able to learn and to make our own decisions without having to have an omnipotent being watching over our shoulder every second and puppeteering us through every little thing. Part of that deal was that consequence would be allowed to play out.

God is also Just, if he allows an individual to do a very great and noble deed, would he be just in preventing another from using their will in making an act that was in direct opposition; one of great evil?

I'd probably also end up saying something like; "now you know why lucifers plan was so appealing"

Deus Vult

Toji: Indomitable does not mean someone who has never been broken. Indomitable means someone who gets back up, after they have been broken.

Marcus: I'm terrified of a fair univers; to think that everything we suffer is what we truly deserve. I take great solace and comfort in the universe being unfair.

If I lived on 55 Cancri E, i'd be well past my 15000 year old mark.

On kepler 78b I'd be long past my 31,000th year of living.

 


#10 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:16 AM

Here are two example he gave me.

1.Why does God allow two righteous missionaries serving on a mission allow them to get killed if he is God. Why does he not stop it from happening?

2.If God is so powerful and loving why does he allow adults and babies to starve in third world countries?

How do I answer his questions? Any talks regarding these issues or doctrine? That may answer his questions.
Thanks,
Shyguy


What person in this life has not had or will not have a bad thing happen to them?

We are all fallen creatures, we all die, we all live in corruption.

Jesus has descended below them all, are those missionaries greater than He?

#11 Irishcolleen

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:18 AM

Paul had an affliction so bad that he begged God to remove it. God said His grace was sufficient. Paul learned to glorify God in all situations, good and bad. 1 Cor 12 The disciples whose sin caused a man had been born blind. Jesus told them it was so the glory of God could be seen. John 9 Job was horribly afflicted. He lost wealth, children, health, respect from friends. God never told him why, but the text says that God said Job was righteous. Satan said Job would curse God if God removed His blessings from Job. God proved that Job wouldn't. Job was accomplishing work for the Lord that could only be seen in heaven. Suffering can be because of sin, look at Miriam becoming leprous. However, many times human suffering allows the glory and power of God to be seen.

#12 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 07:46 AM

The disciples whose sin caused a man had been born blind. Jesus told them it was so the glory of God could be seen. John 9


I have always felt that question has metaphoric meaning that could be applied to all of us. We are made blind by the veil. Why? So, we can better understand the glory of God. Every one of us, not just people with horrific diseases and outwardly obvious difficulties. We all have been born into corruption, we are all born with mortal bodies and under the veil blinded to our past.

#13 JudoMinja

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:00 AM

One of my favorite talks discussing this topic is John Bytheway's "Five Scriptures That Will Help You Get Through Almost Anything". You can read it [URL="http://www.lds.org/new-era/2008/09/five-scriptures-that-will-help-you-get-through-almost-anything?lang=eng&query="bad+things+happen+to+good+people""]here[/URL].

One of the most revealing portions of that talk comes up in a question as to why God would put Abraham through such a test as requiring him to sacrifice his son. He knew Abraham would live up to the test. He knew He was going to tell him to stop and provide another sacrifice in Issac's stead. So why do it? Because "Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham."

"God already knows what we’re made of, but perhaps He wants us to learn what we’re made of. I think we would all agree that we learn more from our tough times than from our easy times."

This life is full of hard times and bad things. The world is a place of opposition- with both righteousness and wickedness, good and bad. Sometimes, the bad came seem overwhelming and leave us wondering if there really is any good. There is a purpose behind that opposition. We know that mortality is a testing and proving ground- not for God to learn about us, as He already knows all, but for us to learn about ourselves. Just as Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham- Judo needs to learn something about Judo, shyguy needs to learn something about shyguy, Dravin needs to learn something about Dravin, and so on and so forth.

And as we learn about ourselves we are given the opportunity to let our experiences shape us. "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." (Ether 12:27)

As we discover our weaknesses, we can choose to face them on our own, or we can humbly recognize our need for help, turn to the Savior, and have our weaknesses turned into strengths. The goal of this life is not to avoid bad things, but to have those bad things reveal our character and humble us so that we will turn to the Savior. Pain is our teacher, suffering our therapist. Instead of asking "Why me?" when we face hardships, we should be asking- "What can this teach me about myself?" and "How can I turn this into something better?"
Bhagavad Gita - “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he becomes.”

William Shakespeare - “This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

#14 Dravin

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:10 AM

This life is full of hard times and bad things. The world is a place of opposition- with both righteousness and wickedness, good and bad. Sometimes, the bad came seem overwhelming and leave us wondering if there really is any good. There is a purpose behind that opposition. We know that mortality is a testing and proving ground- not for God to learn about us, as He already knows all, but for us to learn about ourselves. Just as Abraham needed to learn something about Abraham- Judo needs to learn something about Judo, shyguy needs to learn something about shyguy, Dravin needs to learn something about Dravin, and so on and so forth.


I would add to learning that there is the element of becoming. It can in a sense be likened to exercise, one can read all the books and learn all they can about how to become fit and healthy but unless one undergoes the pains and struggles of actually running, or lifting those weights, or what have you, you won't become fit.

Edited by Dravin, 16 October 2012 - 08:27 AM.

Hindsight is all well and good... until you trip.

#15 BrendaM

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:37 AM

What does IMHO mean?

#16 JudoMinja

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:55 AM

in my honest/humble opinion
Bhagavad Gita - “Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he becomes.”

William Shakespeare - “This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

#17 BadWolf

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:22 PM

In addition to the giant agency part... There's also the 3 blind men concept. (First blind man says the object in front of them is some sort of cable, the next, some sort of tree trunk, the next some sort of snake. Each is standing at the trunk, leg, and tail of the elephant). One of my favorite stories is the man who travels with an angel on the angels errands (where he scuttles a fishermans boat, kills a man, etc.) only at the end when the angel is sick and tired of being questioned does he say that there were slavers who would have captured the fishermen further out in the bay, the young man would have destroyed his parents souls, etc. In my own life, I've been blessed with some exceptionally awful things. Blessed, because the worse thing (that they made soooooo much easier to bear) followed in relatively short time, so it was easy to see how much the awful thing saved my tush, by happening in the first place. The awful thing (being gang raped, for example) was devastating, but nowhere near as devastating as ghe worse thing would have been without that first experience to have lived through, learned from, and made stronger from. ALSO, I've gotten to see some things that were bad on the surface, which turned out to be good in the end... Once my perspective shifted to 20-20 hindsight. <laughing> Now, that doesn't mean everything is rainbows and unicorns... But my understanding is that this life is supposed to teach us / offer the opportunity for us to grow and figure out who we really are. Specifically, that this life is SUPPOSED to be about bad times, struggles, choices, and challenges... As much if not more than the great parts of life. And that we made the choice, rather specifically as spirits, to enter into the fray. No?

#18 garryw

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." I think you have to be aware of the timescale of the bad things. A bad thing that lasts 1 year compared to a good thing that lasts 3 trillion trillion. The good thing may be, nothing more than experience that cannot be obtained in happy unicorn rainbow land.

#19 mordorbund

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

Questions like these remind me of Pres Kimball's Tragedy or Destiny.

He lists a number of real-life events like the one above, and follows up with the terrible question* of "WHY?" In his wisdom, he did not try to answer the question for these specific trials.


I wish I could answer these questions with authority,
but I cannot. I am sure that sometime we’ll understand
and be reconciled.


Instead he shared his grief and mourned with those who were mourning, and then laid out some general gospel principles for them to ponder on as they search for meaning. I don't think I can do any better than that for others.

For myself, I can ponder and importune a revelatory God for answers.

* "terrible questions" in the Nibley sense of "what's the purpose of life" and such

#20 jayanna

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 06:15 PM

If you are a Christian, then you know that Christ died and was risen again. We will also continue after this life...if we endure to the end and live what gospel we have learned then we can also go to the celestial kingdom, At one point in my life, there was someone that said he was going to kill me, supposedly because I was a Mormon. He was much much bigger than me, and very angry. He had decided that he was doing the world a favor by taking a Mormon out of it. I told him something that I suddenly knew through every fiber of my bieng, that he might kill my body, but thanks to the Savior I would live forever. That means that I go back to my HF and He wins...and if he didn't kill me, I would continue in the gospel, and He wins. Meanwhile he (my adversary) would lose himself in a damaging sin. There are worse things than dying, it may sound cold, but hopeful because the Lord has overcome this. He came to the world that the world might be saved through him. As for the poor (in every country) and downtrodden, they have a role in this great plan. In order to become like the Savior we must do those things that He did. In order to serve there must be someone to serve. There will always be poor until we are all of us willing to live like those in the city of Enoch. Meanwhile those poor that do suffer and die due to our lack of faithfulness do not suffer spiritually for eternity, that might well happen to those of us who are hard hearted and do not have even a modicum of care and concern. The ones that will really suffer are the ones that have and don't give. Asking why God let's bad things happen is like asking your mom why she let you fall down while you were learning to walk. I actually knew a mom that would not let her baby walk, every time that baby stood and tried to take a step she would hook her finger on the baby and gently pull the child back down to the floor. I asked her why she was doing that, she replied that the baby might fall. Do we want babies to hit the floor? of course we don't, but they have to in order to learn to walk. Similarly, the Lord does not want anyone to suffer, but He wants us to have an opportunity to be like Him and be with Him more than He fears the failures. Those starving children will return to Him.




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