Why does God allow suffering?

Dealing with the theological question


"Why" is one of the most important questions we can ask. 

The question "why" makes you think and invites you to learn. It helps us learn for ourselves and gain true knowledge and understanding. 

God loves it when we ask Him for the "why". He wants us to be like Him and know all things. But sometimes He doesn't tell us the answer when we ask Him "why." 

God wants us to understand everything, but not necessarily now. Sometimes it is more important to him that we learn to trust and practice faith.

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Meet with us to learn more about why bad things happen.

Why trials make you strong

Have your trials ever helped you empathize with others who have faced a similar challenge? Or have you seen others go through terrible things and become stronger through their pain and challenges?

The trials we face allow us to develop compassion for others and provide an incentive to do good. They enable us to be truly "willing to bear one another's burdens so that they may become light" (Mosiah 18:8).

Think of the times when there were natural disasters in the world. Whether it was on social media, in the news, or even in your own circle, do you remember how many people you saw raising money, donating necessities, and providing whatever service they could to those in need?

Missionare beim Aufräumen nach einer Überschwemmung

When bad things happen to us, they strengthen us to act and serve because we know what others are going through. Even Jesus Christ suffered everything imaginable "so that his bowels may be filled with mercy" and so that he might know "how to succor his people" (Alma 7:12)). Trials can open our eyes to those who are suffering.

They can enable us to show genuine compassion and love. They can refine us into more compassionate, empathetic, and influential people.

They can awaken in us a strong desire to serve.

The arms of the Savior are open

When bad things happen, when you face tough challenges, when you don't understand all the reasons for your struggles, there is one thing you should always remember:

The arms of the Savior are open to receive you.

Perhaps one reason for the difficulties in our lives is that we should learn to rely on Jesus Christ. Through this, we can understand Him better, build a relationship with Him, become more like Him, and fully understand that He truly sacrificed everything for us.

Yes, life can be tough. Really tough. When life knocks you down, turn to Jesus Christ and you will see that He is always there. He will always be there for you. He knows exactly what you're going through right now. He has felt that all before. The atonement of Jesus Christ consisted of suffering in all forms - mental, physical and spiritual. Everything. He understands that. He will not let you down.

ein junger Mann, der nachdenkt

Why God often does not interfere

An essential part of God's plan is that each person has been given freedom of choice; this means that we are able to make decisions for ourselves. However, there are of course consequences to these decisions, both good and bad. God knows that both freedom of choice and accountability are necessary for our personal growth. Because He knows this and loves us, He usually does not interfere with the consequences of our decisions. If He forced us to make the right choices, it would be impossible for us to grow and reach our divine potential. It would be impossible to live by faith in Him and His plan.

Now, this also means that God does not always intervene when others make bad choices. In those moments when your failures cause you pain, remember that God "will consecrate your afflictions for your gain" (2 Nephi 2:2).

Sometimes we experience bad things because we live in a world where we are free to make our own choices. God loves all His children and allows them to make their own choices, even if that means making mistakes that can hurt others. 

Often we humans want to say that everything happens for a reason, but sometimes things just happen because we are imperfect. This does not mean that God does not watch over us, because He certainly does. It does mean, however, that sometimes He lets us feel the consequences.  

Heavenly Father is in control

If you are still trying to find the answer to your question, "Why is God allowing this?" try asking Him in sincere prayer to help you understand. Although you may not get the full answer right away, He can help you find comfort and gradual understanding.

Take a moment to think about what you've learned from bad things that have happened to you:

Do you recognize the moments when you truly understood someone else's suffering because of something you yourself faced? The moments of tragedy that motivated you to serve, the moments when the Savior carried you, and the moments when you realized that Heavenly Father knows you and will always be there to guide you.

Your answers are there.

Heavenly Father has everything under control.

He has a plan for you and "in that day, when the Lord shall come, he will reveal all things" (D&C 101:32). Despite all the questions we still have in this life, we can go forward with faith and peace, knowing that one day we will understand everything. One day we will be able to look back on all the past difficulties with gratitude because it helped us become exactly what we were meant to be.

Are you still asking yourself "Why?"

Find answers through the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

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