"Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it.
And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God."
I like these verses because it is often hard to see the reasons. Why does God allow Jerusalem to be destroyed is the question that is being addressed here, but it applies to the questions that we have about a lot of the things that go on around us... why does anything bad happen? Why do corrupt and cruel people seem to prosper... how can the bad guys be allowed to triumph over the innocent? And it is true that this life is a test... that we need to have freedom of choice which means being confronted by good *and* evil choices... a world where evil gets wiped out immediately wouldn't really offer that. But I think that these verses go further. God is saying in essence, wait and look at the results of this destruction. Look at who is left, and their ways and their doings... you will be comforted and you will notice that there is a reason. Maybe it is because these people that are left are the ones who will build a better world. Maybe it's the same reason that Laban had to die. He wasn't going to build up a new people and share the records with them, and Nephi was. Or the parable of the olive trees... sometimes the Lord of the Vineyard has to cut away old corrupt branches to allow the new to grow, but slowly, so the tree isn't destroyed and the roots lost. ... God can see so much more than we can. So much farther. And yes, in the near-term single-perspective vision that we find ourselves peering out from a lot, things look really really bad sometimes, and cruel, and we almost want to give up on humanity and the world completely. And I'm not saying things aren't bad... but perhaps there is more hope there then we know. God is in charge, and even though he doesn't work on our personal timetable, and we don't always see the reasons right away... there are reasons, and there is hope. Today, let's work on seeing the hope and the possibilities... to find the way to effect change in the world around us rather than just giving in to despair.