Originally Posted by shyguy
The biggest excuse that their is no God for some IMHO.
Interesting. But I think it's a big supporter of my testimony, not only of God, but of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. huge, in fact.
Like the above comment, God is committed to our freedom to choose. People's choices not only reflect their lives and happiness, but can affect whole countries of people. Look at Nicaragua, and how socialism *never* works for the people. All the money goes right to the top, and that is it. I feel overwhelmed at the conditions of our brothers and sisters in these impoverished countries.
However, look at what they have that we don't. You can't see most of it, because God does His best work, and is able to work the most incredible "miracles" in extremity. Those people, at least some, don't have to deal with the issues we face with the internet and all the things that fill up our time, our valuable time, that could be spent on better things. Also? Think of these countries.. these cultures.. one thing I really admire, and wish that I had is a culture. Traditions, parties and that closeness with their community and families. That's not small, you know? I mean when you look at it, in a lot of ways they live a far richer life. In MANY ways, we do. But what keeps those people going in the midst of all the negative we can see? Why, when I went down to Central America and saw with my own eyes this unbelievable poverty, did I see genuinely happy people.. they weren't "clean" and they worked hard just to eat, but they had a purity about them that I wish I had myself.
Why the devastations and the natural disasters that rip families apart, and communities and claim the lives of so many?
Helaman 12:3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
And why would He want us to remember him? Why the commandments? God is consistent; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He sent His only begotten Son.. His only child to pay the ransom for us all.. and why did that need to take place? Because of his commitment to our free agency. That we can choose for ourselves what it is we want. The commandments are not there for us like perhaps your parents in this live laid down rules. He has no ulterior motives but for your freedom, and your happiness. That's -it.-
We all face trials in this life that are so intense.. they can make or break us.. and with the Lord's help they can be turned for our good. This life is so short. It's an illusion. Satan is the god of this world and he *wants* everyone to suffer, to starve, or to overindulge. He knows that his sadistic work will never bring him happiness, but if he can take away other's, that's what he wants. God allows this to happen because this is a time of testing, a time of learning to discern between good and evil and choose which one we truly want.
I am grateful for the hell I've been through in my life, and what I face even now, and I'll tell you why: Because I've come to know my Savior through them. It *seems* like a paradox that having sore trials could make someone HAPPY and STRONG, but truly, the trial of no trials is worse. I know that if I keep the commandments nothing will overtake me:
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but 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.
I believe you can substitute trial for temptation in this as well. Through God's grace, we are able to "reach breaking points without breaking."(Neal Maxwell) I'm grateful that He has given me the opportunity for pain, for suffering to the point that I have felt I cannot go on, because that is when I have seen with my own eyes that there is a God, and not just that, but one that loves every single one of us so deeply. He is in the details of our lives, each and every one of our lives.
I will never understand that "excuse" for people being disbelieving. It seems like Lucifer's logic.. If we didn't have suffering, and everyone was doing well, there would be no need for faith, for individuality, for a test, just a body. But if you believe that this life is it; That here isn't any more, then it would be sad for us all in our individual circumstances. Every single one of us. I'd've thrown in the towel YEARS ago lol.
It's lazy thinking to believe in that kind of rhetoric. No, God is there. He gives us, and allows certain things to happen to us FOR us, and while He is there every step of the way, giving us support, indeed every breath, he wants us to pick up our crosses, and to have faith in Him.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised
So in summation, I'd use Nephi's words in 1 Nephi 11:17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
But knowing that God *loves* his children lets me know that whatever the circumstance, it'll be made right, and will also be used for their good, IF they allow it to be.