Why do bad things happen to good people? Wow that is a question I heard a lot while serving my mission. So many people could not understand why "If there was a God, how could He let bad things happen to good people!" I was taken back in time as I was in my neighbor's home tonight after my friend Margaret had informed me of her grandsons death. Her grandson was only 18 years old and was taking a trip with several other kids form his school and at least 6 counselor's. While hiking in Austria coming off the mountain they aren't sure if he was not holding on to the support line or if he just didn't have a strong hold on it, but his feet gave way and he fell 60 ft. on to the rocks and water below. My neighbor just kept saying "I'm old I've lived my life, why if there is a God would he take Chris and not me instead?" Memories of my mission, with this same or very similar question came flooding back. She is not affiliated with any faith and isn't quite sure what she believes. How I wish I could have given her a part of my faith that there is an after life and that God is aware of each of us, and that yes, bad things do happen to us so we can be tested and tried and so that we can gain more faith. I wish so badly that she could just feel that. I'm so grateful to know that we are sent here to gain faith, like it says in Ether 12:6 "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." I know God is aware of each of us like it says in Alma 26:37 "Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth..." One of my favorite quotes is by Elder Maxwell and he said..."The very act of choosing to be a disciple can bring to us a certain special suffering," Elder Maxwell then noted. After his call to the Quorum of the Twelve, "he began to see discipleship as a personal growth process designed to develop Christlike attributes". "This let him see that suffering, when it is part of a divine tutorial, can be sanctifying in the sense of developing the very virtues a particular disciple needs to learn." Elder Maxwell explained: "If we are serious about our discipleship, Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are the most difficult for us to do... Sometimes the best people have the worst experiences, because they are the most ready to learn."
My heart goes out to Marian and her family. I hope that they find comfort in this terrible time. I'm so grateful I have the knowledge that I do. I love this gospel and I know that there is a plan and a purpose to this life. I know that there is much more after this life. I know that bad things do happen, but I also know that God is all powerful and wise and knows the big picture. How blessed I feel to have this knowledge! I know my post have been kind of deep and I'll lighten them up a bit, but there just seems to be so much going on around me that I feel that I have had to take a good hard look at things and these are the thoughts that have come to my mind.