Great Mysteries of Heaven
What’s the difference between God causing something to happen
And God allowing something to happen?
This all-powerful being could stop every misdeed
And right every wrong.
No ill would ever occur if he were to free his hand,
Yet he stays it
And allows woman and man
To choose their own course.
He allows us to face the deliberate temptation of demons
And to elect to follow them,
Harming those that lie in our way,
And all this that we might be proven
And that we might learn
But wait!, a voice cries,
He does intervene,
Prompting his children in whispers of spirit
To heal each others’ wounds,
But not always,
At least, we don’t always listen.
We can never know if God has whispered in someone’s heart,
To mend the tears in another’s soul,
Or if He chose to refrain,
We can only have faith
In his ne’er-ending love,
And know that he either advocated our temporal happiness,
Or that, in some mysterious way,
We needed sorrow more.
by Allen L. Warner
Everyone who believes in a loving, all-powerful God must confront the question of why he allows or perhaps causes such grief and sorrow. This is a part of our answer as Mormons: that grief and sorrow can lead to blessings in the end. Perhaps God himself does nothing to cause sorrow, but only takes advantage of it to teach us and help us see, to refine us and purify us. Perhaps it is a test or a chance to grow and become more than we would otherwise be. Perhaps we suffer because of our own choices, beliefs or desires (or attachments as Buddhists would describe them). Some people would say there is no higher purpose for suffering. Even if there isn’t, we may still agree with the famous words of Friedrich Nietzche: “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
It’s amazing how comforting words like that are…after the sorrow is past. In the middle of it, none of those concepts seem to take away the pain. Afterwards, we find comfort in perspective.