Ever scratch your head wondering why God didn’t intervene in some seemingly random act of violence or tragedy?
According to a Barna survey, and unsurprisingly, the vast majority of individuals polled, when asked if they could ask God one question, responded with this one: Why is there so much suffering in the world? This question is part and parcel of another like it: Why is there so much evil in the world? Who created evil?
The question of evil is a pivotal one for each of us–it affects our view of God, life ourselves, and our ultimate destiny.
Some deny evil as illusory (pantheists). In fact, I just received two comments from individuals claiming it is an illusion. I think we must be blind not to recognize that it at the very least exists.) Some deny God because there is evil (atheists); and some distort God to accommodate the existence of evil (emergent theologists who say God is either powerless to intervene or can’t control evil–both false ideologies).
The Savior has revealed answers to the profound question of suffering and evil in the world. He and the Father both weep over such misuse of agency, though they recognize our moral will as an inviolable and necessary gift for our ultimate progression.
So, in this I Believe video podcast, I address why God doesn’t always intervene; the origin of evil; the end of evil; and the purpose of evil. “Evil is inherent in the risky gift of free will,” as JB Phillips stated well. Please join me and listen in, share your thoughts. Please find the full Podcast Transcript here.There is good news, even on a subject we don’t enjoy talking about the most.
Scripture Verse: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! (Isaiah 14:12)
The power of the Savior and the power of the devil are not truly comparable. On this planet, however, evil has been allowed a position of influence to give us the chance to choose between good and evil. The scripture says: “God gave unto man that he should act for himself. [And] man could not act for himself … [unless] he was enticed by … one or the other.” The choice between good and evil is at the very heart of our experience on earth. In the final review of our lives, it will not really matter if we were rich or poor, if we were athletic or not, if we had friends or were often forgotten. We can work, study, laugh and have fun, dance, sing, and enjoy many different experiences. These are a wonderful part of life, but they are not central to why we are here. The opportunity to choose good over evil is precisely why we are here (N. Anderson, Conference Address, April 2005).
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