Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine, and earthquake cannot happen here. Those who believe this are either not acquainted with the revelations of the Lord, or they do not believe them. Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. - Ezra Taft Benson

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why Suffering?

When we read the Doctrine and Covenants looking for a specific theme or thread to answer the question, Why suffering? it becomes apparent that the Lord knew and sanctioned the suffering that his Saints would be called upon to endure. Through the Prophet Joseph's successor, Brigham Young, the Lord continued his instruction: "My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion; and he that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom. Let him that is ignorant learn wisdom by humbling himself and calling upon the Lord his God, that his eyes may be opened that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear; for my Spirit is sent forth into the world to enlighten the humble and contrite, and to the condemnation of the ungodly" (D&C 136:31-33).
If we would enlarge our understanding of Why suffering? we must be humble enough to be taught from on high. When our understanding becomes one with God's, we will be constrained to admit that "all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things" (2 Nephi 2:24). Although incomplete, the points enumerated above serve as a place to begin to understand the "hidden mysteries of my kingdom" (D&C 76:7), which God promised to make known to those who "fear me, and serve me in righteousness and truth unto the end" (D&C 76:5).

Leon R. Hartshorn, Dennis A. Wright, and Craig J. Ostler, eds., The Doctrine and Covenants, a Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, p.58