Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Calamitous Thoughts

Read this in the seventh chapter of Moroni last night, and it seems appropriate to echo here, given recent events:

AP photo by Mike Gullett

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.

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.

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.

For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

(Mornoni 7:12-16)

It’s been pretty popular as of late, to blame events such as the Japanese earthquake/tsunami and the tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Joplin on God – even those who don’t believe in God seem bent on placing the blame there, so as to enforce their own stance that if God exists, why does he let such things happen.

Well, here’s my theory, and it goes back to the story – call it a fable if you want – of Job. God allowed the Devil to test and try Job to see if he would remain faithful. As Job went through his trials he saw his friends, even his wife, urge him to curse God and die because a loving God would not allow such terrible things to happen, if he even existed at all. Job, however, remained faithful without anticipation of reward – for he was in sackcloth and ashes, mourning the deaths of his children, speaking to God all the while, wondering why such calamity occurs.

All that is good comes from God. All that is bad comes from the Devil. That God allows bad things to happen does not mean he is evil – for a good fountain cannot bring forth bitter water, as Moroni also writes.

So what good comes out of these calamities?

The way we react to them. The way those who suffer through them react. The way they react in the face of death – which the faithful know is only a temporary separation. The Devil waits to see the pure waters of our faith turn bitter and salty and he laughs when that comes to pass. But as we maintain our faith in the face of calamity and death, we see the good that comes of it. We still mourn, we still remain, for a time, for a long time, in sackcloth and ashes, but we do not turn bitter, those who have the spirit of the Lord to comfort and lift them.

How we react is important – that is how we show our goodness, and that is how God shows his love.

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