There is a common misconception within Christian society that trials and hardships come from God.
While our Heavenly Father is certainly aware of the details in our lives, this does not necessarily means He dictates all of them, including the trials we face in life. In a world that is fallen, hardship is a fact of life, but to say that death, disease, mental calamities and natural disasters are orchestrated by a loving Heavenly Father is to betray who He is and what He stands for.
Living In A Fallen World
We are descendants of Adam and Eve, and as such we have inherited a fallen world. To live in a fallen world means that we have become physically and spiritually separated from our Heavenly Father, and are subject to physical death and the opposition in both joy and sorrow, virtue and moral corruption.
The Fall of Adam and Eve is a crucial concept to understand. There are two very important doctrinal principles contained within:
- Heavenly Father orchestrated the Fall, but He did not introduce evil into the world. Adam and Eve were given the choice to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. While the opportunity was placed in front of Adam and Eve, the decision to act and the consequences that followed were in their hands.
- Adam and Eve were separated from God, which caused a fallen world. The separation of God is what caused Adam and Eve’s hardships, not Heavenly Father Himself. Through their choices, they could not physically dwell in the presence of Heavenly Father nor enjoy the comforts that physical presence gave. They now had to produce works by the sweat of their brow and were subject to the terms of mortality.
This history of the Fall provides a pattern for how Heavenly Father deals with trials in our present time. Just like Adam and Eve, we are open to trials and temptations, but this is caused by our separation from God, not by Heavenly Father Himself.
All Good Things Come From God
Our Heavenly Father is incapable of creating evil.
He allows it to happen so that we may be tried, but the creation of evil and the consequences of it do not come from Him. Moroni 7:12-14 best illustrates this principle:
12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
Can we truly believe our Father in Heaven is capable of purposefully inflicting horrific casualties on His children? The same Heavenly Father who Christ said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”
This is why so many non-believers have a problem with Christianity. They can’t imagine why a loving God would cause such conflict within the world. The simple fact is that He doesn’t; He may allow it to happen because of the laws of agency, but He is not the source.
He Has Not Left Us Alone
We live in a fallen world, but we are not left alone.
Through the development of time, Heavenly Father has guided inspired men and women to develop medicine that fights disease, criminal justice systems that stop crime and economic opportunities to battle poverty. The advancement in technology that makes the world a better place does come from our Father in Heaven, who is relentless in His efforts to care for us.
He has also given us the commandment to serve one another. Heavenly Father can use us as an instrument of good to make the rough roads smooth and the burdens light through our callings, home and visiting teaching and countless service opportunities that fall into our lap.
Above all, He provided the ultimate sacrifice to help us combat the trials of mortality: our Savior, Jesus Christ, who bled and died not only for our transgressions but our pains as well.
Heavenly Father is not the author of the evil in the world. He is the author of the peace, love, and happiness that we can find despite the pitfalls of mortality, and if we can cling to this truth, we will have faith that we are in the best of hands.