Small purple flowers poke through newly fallen snow and dead leaves.

The Good in Grief

When we understand our part in God’s plan, the pain we feel at the death of a loved one can be more meaningful and help us grow emotionally.

photo by Byron Hetrick / CC BY-SA 2.0 / altered

We all have our share of everyday setbacks that make us exclaim “good grief.” These troubles can range from just annoying to extremely painful, but we are usually able to balance both the good and the grief in life. However, when we experience grief from the death of a loved one, the loss can make it difficult for us to find the good. Because our ultimate purpose in life is to be happy, our loving Father in Heaven is more than willing to help when grief overwhelms us.

The Church’s Gospel Topics article on the plan of salvation can help us recognize the purpose of our grief and find happiness through understanding God’s plan for us. This plan outlines clearly who God is, where we were before we were born, where we go when we die, and how our bodies will become whole again thanks to Jesus Christ.

So can grief really be good? It can drain you of your energy, wipe your mind of thoughts, and even cause you physical pain. It’s normal for people to handle grief in different ways, but if we understand the context of our life—our place in God’s plan—every one of us can come out of the grieving process feeling stronger and closer to God and each other. Sorrow makes our memories sweeter and can actually increase our hope for what is to come. Dealing with death is something we all must do, and if we use it as an opportunity to grow closer to God, to serve others, and to reflect on our own life, grief can help us become emotionally well rounded.

Learn about the role of grief in God’s plan by reading the Gospel Topics article on the plan of salvation.


—Bradley Elders, Mormon Insights

feature image by flickr user poolski

Find more insights

Listen to an Apostle of God recount his understanding of God’s plan by watching Elder Neal A. Maxwell speak about “The Great Plan of the Eternal God.”

Learn how to find inner peace by reading an article by Merrill J. Bateman, then serving as Presiding Bishop.

Read more about the topic of grief.

Watch a video about how your family can stay together even after death.

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  1. Kjersten Johnson

    I really appreciate the truth in this article. My family lost a family member last summer who was only a few years older than I am. The loss obviously brought a lot of grief to my family, but we were able to grow closer together as a family and to christ during that time and I’m grateful for the experience in a way.

  2. Tatiana Hernandez

    This is a great way to see grief. It not only lets us heal when we lose loved ones, but it helps us better understand others who may be going through this maybe a little more, or at least learn to not fault them or feel weird around them as they deal with grief.

  3. Pingback: When Acquainted with Grief - Latter-day Saint Insights

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