Our Responsibility to Relieve Suffering
I don't find any theological justification of suffering convincing, yet I continue to believe. I believe in God and his mercy in spite of the suffering in the world. Though I can't explain why we suffer, I cannot ignore the demand that the suffering of others makes of me: to the degree that I do not respond to that demand, I fail the covenant relationship that I have with God.
Others needn't share my particular, Mormon beliefs to know that those who believe are duty-bound to assist people in need. That duty doesn't only arise at times like this when typhoon Haiyan has hit the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia. We ought always to be substantially engaged in working to lessen the suffering in the world.
But the destruction brought to the Philippines by Haiyan is a potent reminder of our duty. However much we should have been or have been engaged in charitable work and giving, we ought to be more engaged now.
So, give money.
But especially give money.
Here are some places where you can reliably do so:
LDS Humanitarian Services
Catholic Relief Services
American Jewish Joint Distribution Center
Islamic Relief USA
The American Red Cross
International Medical Corps
World Food Program USA
Habitat for Humanity
James Faulconer is a Richard L. Evans Professor of Religious Understanding at Brigham Young University, where he has taught philosophy since 1975.