Sunday, February 12, 2017

Why Does God Allow Bad Things to Happen?

God is aware of each one of us and the experiences we have here on Earth are timely in duration and intensity to be a perfect trial of our faith. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).

He has prepared this life to test us. “To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition.” (Dallin H Oaks) The ability to choose is held inviolate. God will not take away the ability to choose from anyone of us before our appointed hour to die. He does expect us to self govern and temporarily take away the agency of those who break the laws and contracts of our governments. The final judgement of what a just consequence should be he reserves for himself.

God gave his son to atone for our sins so that even the justice of God could be counteracted with mercy if we believe in Him and have faith in his son’s atoning power. In this way, he prepares “a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell” (2 Ne 9:10).

And so good and bad continue to coexist in this world. How does God react to this without intervening unjustly before the appointed time? Sometimes he eases the burdens of those who are suffering so that they can bear up under the conditions in which they find themselves. Sometimes he turns aside disasters (without stopping them) so that they do not affect the faithful as severely. Sometimes he blunts the effect of an evil act so that the lives of his children are spared when they might have been killed. Sometimes he lets us see evil to teach us what we do not ever want to repeat.

God’s assurance is that He will “consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain” (2 Nephi 2:2).


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ecclesiastes - a Book about Hope for those who Despair

The son of King David, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote the book of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament. His purpose in writing this book is to explore the purpose of life and his own hopelessness.

As humans we focus on aspects of life that are expected to bring happiness. The author had the luxury to explore many aspects of life because of his wealth and his conclusion is that much of what is supposed to bring happiness is “vanity” or of a fleeting nature.

In chapter 2, he says, “I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure…I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine.” His conclusion was that it was a folly or mistake to go that route towards “happiness.”

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Self Esteem Is a Choice

A rainbow is a projection of light through water droplets

Self esteem is often acquired as a child from the opinions of others. We see ourselves as a projection of our parents approval. Thus, if my parents approve, I am good. In the dating years, we can’t help but place value on the reaction of our beloved to the projection of our self. In both cases, the projection is not the true self. Our parents approval projects to us a level of competency just above where we currently are which makes us think that where we are is not good enough. Our beloved’s approval is based on what parts of our self we choose to reveal. The beloved may or may not value what we reveal. We take a risk in revealing and then are crushed by the rejection that often happens.

True self esteem is just as it says esteem of self. It cannot come from the projections of others. It is self validation based on personal goals and achievements that we alone recognize as such. We choose to self validate or to continually push for outside approval.