A Man of Sorrows, and Acquainted with Grief

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

And grow.

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,

And abstain.

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.


3 thoughts on “A Man of Sorrows, and Acquainted with Grief

  1. We cannot know the thoughts of God, except what He reveals to us. We couldn’t understand an infinite mind with that which is finite. His ways are not our ways…(Isaiah 55). God disciplines those whom He loves…(Heb. 12:6). God does not tempt anyone…(Jas. 1:13).

    The fall of man in the Garden caused sin to enter the world. Since then, Satan has tempted and tried us. But we have infinite grace to forgive sins through faith in Christ.

    I don’t want this to sound like a sermon…each one of us has to come to our own beliefs. Some will not come to believe at all. But God has given us that choice… These are just a couple of my own opinions for people to consider.

    A spiritual base is such an asset in any self-improvement program!



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