I think all of us, no matter who we are or where we live, sometime or another ask, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” We see it everywhere. Loved ones dieing, poverty, injury, addictions, natural disasters, divorce, heart break, accidents…. the list could go on for days and days. I often hear the question, “If there is a God, then why does He allow so many bad things to happen?” I’ll be honest, I thought that question once myself too, and I’m not sure if I even know the correct answer for that; But, there are some things I do know and I will share these things with you because I know that they are true. These beliefs are how I personally make it through those “bad things” that life tends to often throw at us.
Before we came to this earth, we lived with our Heavenly Parents and all of our brothers and sisters who were ever created. We were presented with two plans. One plan that was presented was that of the adversary’s (also known as Satan). He wanted us to come down to earth, gain a body, and have no ability to make our own decisions. He wanted us to not be able to sin so we could return to our Heavenly Home once more, guaranteed. But the end of his plan was different; he wanted the glory to be his. Then, a second plan was presented, and it was presented by our older brother, our Savior Jesus Christ himself. He displayed a plan where we would come down to earth, gain a body, and have agency. We would be able to choose between right and wrong and prove ourselves that we would be worthy to enter back to the kingdom of God by following His commandments and directions. So as a congregation, me, you, and all your loved ones, had a decision to make. We could either choose the plan of the adversary or the redeeming plan of our Savior. Do you know what plan you chose? You chose the Saviors. So did I. Anyone who is on this earth chose His great, eternal plan. Satan and his followers, which was unfortunately 1/3 of the hosts of heaven, were cast out of heaven and never received a body.
So here we are. We were sent down to earth to gain a body and be tested so we can prove ourselves faithfully to our Father that we will be obedient in keeping His commandments so we can return home to live with Him someday. Heavenly Father is a loving father, and would never leave us down here alone without any direction. He has provided us with tools and guidelines, that if followed obediently, will lead us back to His presence in a never-ending state of happiness. We have the scriptures, we have a Prophet and Apostles on the earth today that speak to us and give us direction for our times. The works of God are unchanging, and He has continually blessed His children with everything we need to return home safely.
Because we chose the Savior’s plan, we knew that we would face trial and opposition here on earth. If there wasn’t any wickedness or “bad things” in this life, then how would we prove ourselves to God? How would we know true happiness? I can agree with the world sometimes… When something terrible happens to someone who we believe was completely undeserving of it we think, “why on earth would something happen like that to them?” We must have faith in our loving Heavenly Father that it happened for a purpose. I’ve seen so many people who are faced with intense oppositions and heart break and they grow angry at God and walk away from Him. I’ve also seen people who turn to God during those time of difficulties and find joy. It doesn’t mean that they still don’t feel sorrow or anguish, but their burdens are made light through the Savior’s atonement and the love of God.
I’ve personally had times within this past year where some minor devastating things have happened in my life. When my heart was being shattered into pieces, my first instinct was to drop to the ground on my knees and pray. That’s what I did. I prayed my hearts content out as my warm, salty tears rolled down my face. Those times were heart breaking, but my burden was made light because I turned to God. I literally felt His arms around me in those weak, humble moments on my knees. It is something that I hold very dear to my heart and will never, ever forget.
I testify with all of my heart that God knows us all personally on an individual level. He loves us and is aware of our every need. Bad things are happening every minute of every day, but it’s all a part of His divine plan. There truly is opposition in all things, but it’s up to us to valiantly overcome those times of trials and turn to God. We need to use and actively seek those “tools” that He has provided us with that help us return back to Him.
Without sadness we would never know happiness. Without sorrow we would never know true joy. I know that these words are true.