Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Alma 60:13

"For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God."
Alma 60:13

This is in the middle of Moroni's letter to the government, telling them that they need to send more people to the army and protect their people better. Right before this verse he addresses two topics... the fact that we can't just sit around and wait to be delivered, and the fact that God doesn't only allow the wicked to be killed. Here, he goes on to explain a little more. It stands out to me today perhaps because we're always seeing bad things happen to people around us, and I like this reassurance a lot better than the conclusion that some other people draw... that because bad things happen that God doesn't exist. If we were all going to be saved from 100% of pain and hurt and anguish, then we'd be in Satan's plan, not God's. We have to experience good and bad in order to learn, become better than we are, and reach our potential. And no, the bad part isn't fun, and yes, people die. Moroni was on the battlefield watching people die, and he wanted to change it, and he wanted things to be better, but he also knew that the things he couldn't change didn't mean that God was angry or absent. Those people weren't dying because God had judged them evil... and he knew that because bad things happen in the world doesn't mean that God isn't there or that he doesn't care. Even in the worst circumstances... perhaps more so in fact... God is there, watching and doing what he can to help without taking away our freedom to choose. Maybe like an earthly father watching his daughter learn to ride a bike. She's getting scraped up and bruising herself in the process, but he knows that if he takes her inside and prevents the injuries that she won't learn. And it isn't just physical injuries either. Can we stop people from experiencing social disasters or romantic rejection? ... We could try, but there are things that we need to go through in this life that are painful. And those things help us learn. And death, seemingly, is the worst of all because we can't see past it or learn from it. The test is just over. But even then, we have to remember that God can see past death, and that he's teaching the whole world. He'll make it all up... even death. It is hard for us to see or understand, but God ensures that everyone can have a happy ending if they choose it. Beyond death, beyond pain... a place of rest and happiness. Today, let's work towards that happy ending and like Moroni, do everything we can to make things better along the way.

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