Sunday, February 8, 2015

Helaman 14:31 -- On Exposure to Evil

"He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you."
Helaman 14:31

Throughout history, and often individually in our own lives, the question is asked, "Why does God allow evil to happen?"  We wonder it overall about historic events, or about current issues like rape, murder, child abuse, and human trafficking.  And we wonder it about less-evil but bad things specifically in our lives.  Why did a relative or friend get sick, or die, or experience a challenging life experience?  We see things like this happening and we hate it.  We know it shouldn't happen, and we wonder why God allows it.  And I think that the answer is here.  We have to know good and evil.
God doesn't like evil; he doesn't condone it or encourage it, and he will help people who fight it.  But he allows it, because we need to experience both good and bad if we are going to learn to choose the good.  After this life and our time of testing is over, we'll be restored to an all-good environment. :)  No sickness, no death, and definitely no wars, famines, slavery, or other big bad evil that happens in society as a whole.  But while we're here, there will always be both, so that we have freedom of choice, and we can learn what we want and what matters to us, in an environment where we actually learn to appreciate good because we see the alternative.  This isn't something that we could get elsewhere, and it is a big reason that we are on Earth at all.  We came here to learn, and to choose.  What we choose now will affect where we spend our eternities, and will have a big impact on our eternal happiness.  I think that when we are restored to a non-evil environment, some people will miss the bad stuff.  Let's make sure that we aren't those people.  Let's learn to embrace the good, to understand the difference between good and evil and to stand up for good in all that we do.

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