Why Does God Let Bad Things Happen?

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 exactlythere 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.

Photo by Pixabay.

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.

Sources: BYU Speeches; ChurchofJesusChrist.org

—Megan Anderson, Mormon Insights


Find more insights

Read Elder Neil A. Andersen’s answer to the question, “Why does God let bad things happen?” in his general conference talk “Wounded.”

Read Elder Robert D. Hales’ talk “Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done” to understand more about God’s plan for us and how trials fit into that plan.

If you want insights from the scriptures, read 2 Nephi 2, when Lehi talks to his sons about opposition in all things.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Beautifully written and a topic that I need a good reminder of daily. Peace be the journey and may we always keep our faith in God our Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
    Thank You

  2. Pingback: Three Lessons to Learn from Infertility - Latter-day Saint Insights

Leave a Reply

Each comment will be reviewed by a staff member before it will appear on the site. We reserve the right to not approve any comments that do not meet our community standards. View our community standards here.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *