07 February 2011


Lately I have had a hard time understanding why the Lord allows there to be so much pain and suffering in the world. Little things, like seeing an elderly man begging on the street or watching "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"have left with me a profound sense of sorrow and caused me to question how a Father who loves all of His children would let some of them experience such tremendous horrors as genocide or the pervasive pain of poverty or the simple sadness of solitude. I think is especially hard to understand why some people have to endure such hardships when I have been given so many blessings. And I am so grateful, but I know I don't deserve any of what I have more than anyone else. It is hard for me to make sense of why some of us, for what seems to be no good reason, have comfort and ease in our lives that others may never experience. It seems so unfair, even thought I feel a bit ashamed and childish for feeling that way.

However, as I have been thinking about these issues and praying to have a better understanding of why the Lord allows his children to experience such pain, these scriptures were brought to my attention yesterday:
For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.

He doeth not anything save it be fore the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation. . .

[W]herefore, the Lord hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish.

And again, the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; that they should not lie; that they should not steal; that they should not take the name of the Lord their God in vain; that they should not envy; that they should not have malice; that they should not contend one with another; that they should not commit whoredoms; and that they should do none of these things for whoso doeth them shall perish.

For none of these iniquities come for the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

This is a beautiful reminder to me that the Lord does love His children; that he watches over them; that he is kind and just and wants what is best for all of us. It also reminds me of my responsibility.

I am to be a laborer in Zion. I must have charity. It is my job--all of our jobs-- to help God's children receive the blessings He would have them receive. I believe that means doing everything I can to share the prosperity I enjoy with everyone I meet, and even those I don't meet. It means standing up for what I believe and speaking out when I see an injustice. It means truly loving others. It means keeping my priorities straight. It means paying attention to what is going on in the world around me and doing all I can to understand the way the world works. It means working hard--probably harder than I do--to make the changes in myself that need to be made. It means doing all I can to bring peace and equality to the world, for people both near and far, even if I can only play a small part. And it means having hope and faith in the Lord and doing my very best to follow Him in everything I do.

It's not easy. But I'll do my best.

And I just want to say, I am so grateful for my blessings-- for my wonderful family and amazing friends; for my job and my education and my home; for food and clothing and a car and heating and happiness; and for the way God knows me and speaks to me in ways I can understand.