Sunday, November 9, 2008

Words of Wisdom

“No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God … and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven. …” (Orson F. Whitney)

This was quoted by President Kimball as he discussed whether events in our lives were tragedy or destiny. I love how this quote reminds us that through the bad, we understand the good. That through the sufferings, we understand joy and develop patience. All the things - good and bad - that we experience are for our eternal benefit and help mold us into the people that we need to be.

"Was it the Lord who directed the plane into the mountain to snuff out the lives of its occupants, or were there mechanical faults or human errors? Did our Father in heaven cause the collision of the cars that took six people into eternity, or was it the error of the driver who ignored safety rules? Did God take the life of the young mother or prompt the child to toddle into the canal or guide the other child into the path of the oncoming car? Did the Lord cause the man to suffer a heart attack? Was the death of the missionary untimely? Answer, if you can. I cannot, for though I know God has a major role in our lives, I do not know how much he causes to happen and how much he merely permits. Whatever the answer to this question, there is another I feel sure about.
Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is, Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death, if he will. But he will not. We should be able to understand this, because we can realize how unwise it would be for us to shield our children from all effort, from disappointments, temptations, sorrows, and suffering. The basic gospel law is free agency and eternal development. To force us to be careful or righteous would be to nullify that fundamental law and make growth impossible."

I love this part of the talk as well. I think we too often blame Heavenly Father for the things that go wrong in our lives, but that is not the case. Somethings in life just happen - it´s not caused by Heavenly Father, maybe just permitted, in His infinite wisdom. He could prevent it all, but He also lets life take it´s course. We make decisions and others make decisions and we are affected by those - sometimes in good ways and other times in bad ways. But, we grow and we learn. He is always there by our side - we are on the same team. We need to understand and remember that He is not causing bad things to happen in our lives, He is simply allowing agency to occur, but if He turn to Him, we always have help.

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