Trials—those seemingly bad things that happen to us—give us opportunities to learn patience, humility, and faith; ultimately, they teach us how to become more like God.
God is all-powerful and all knowing, right? Yes. And God can stop any bad thing from happening, right? Yes. So that means God is the reason that bad things happen in our lives? Well, not exactly—there are a lot of reasons why bad things happen.
To answer this question of why bad things happen to us, in his talk “Tragedy or Destiny” President Kimball first teaches us about agency, or the power to choose. Choices come with consequences, and consequences are necessary because they motivate us to choose the right. Sometimes, when bad things happen, it is because of our own choices; sometimes, because of other people’s choices.
But what about righteous people then? Why do bad things happen to them? Shouldn’t God be protecting the righteous because of their good choices?
President Kimball then reminds us that one of the ways we learn is through the trials that happen to us. One of the most important things we learn is to have faith in God. But if all our prayers were answered the way we wanted and the righteous were always protected, we would not need to live by faith.
So yes, God is all-powerful and can protect his children from all the bad things that happen in life. But he doesn’t, because all of us must be tested and tried. Trials give us opportunities to learn patience, humility, and faith; ultimately, they teach us how to become more like God.
Listen to the original talk, “Tragedy or Destiny,” by Spencer W. Kimball to learn about why we go through difficult things in life and about how death is actually a good thing.
If you would rather read the talk, go to “Chapter 2: Tragedy or Destiny?” on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
—Megan Anderson, Mormon Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY PIXABAY
Find more insights
If you want insights from the scriptures, read 2 Nephi 2, when Lehi talks to his sons about opposition in all things.