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Why Is There Suffering?


dirtius maximus

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With the calamities and heart breaking stories around the world of late, I often ask myself "If there is a God why do people suffer in death". For instance a family lost two toddlers, I wondered how much suffering and despair those two kids experienced before they actually died. Growing up I had a friend who witnessed a house burning down, he was haunted for a long time by the screams and moans of the kid his age who was burning to death. Is there a reason for that kind of suffering? If ones only option is death (say drowning, plane crash, burning at the stake, etc) then why would those people suffer? Couldn't God just take them up rather than make them suffer the pains of a terribly death. Is there something beneficial to the suffering in death?

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With the calamities and heart breaking stories around the world of late, I often ask myself "If there is a God why do people suffer in death". For instance a family lost two toddlers, I wondered how much suffering and despair those two kids experienced before they actually died. Growing up I had a friend who witnessed a house burning down, he was haunted for a long time by the screams and moans of the kid his age who was burning to death. Is there a reason for that kind of suffering? If ones only option is death (say drowning, plane crash, burning at the stake, etc) then why would those people suffer? Couldn't God just take them up rather than make them suffer the pains of a terribly death. Is there something beneficial to the suffering in death?

Good questions.

According to the plan of salvation, the only option for the Savior of the world was ultimately death. Yet, he also suffered in the garden and on the cross (the Atonement) more than anyone on this planet, leading to His death. Why did His loving Heavenly Father allow this? John 3:16. The Savior's Atonement helps me understand these questions a little better.

I for one, would like to avoid suffering, had plenty of it! For reasons we don't fully understand, suffering is part of the plan of salvation. What Is the Purpose of Suffering?

Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: "No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer... builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God... and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education which will make us more like our Father and Mother in heaven..."

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It is part of the refiners fire, when experienced by innocents. It is part of the lesson when experienced because of personal choice. And sometimes it is the only way God can hold people accountable for their horrendous acts, by having the testimony of those who suffered the evil act. (See BofM story about heleman asking why they weren't saving the burning innocents.)

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It is the refiners fire for innocents. It is the way we learn the lesson when it is because of personal choice. And sometimes, it is how God holds people accountable for their evil acts. (See BofM story of helaman asking alma why they couldn't save the burning innocents.)

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while I can understand pain or suffering being a teaching experience for someone who lives - my nephew jumped off a moving golf cart got hurt, he no longer jumps off golf carts. As for the people in the BoM who were burned to death; we are told that the acts were allowed to continue as a testimony against the wicked, but wouldn't a testimony against a wicked person be established once a person was pushed off a cliff, why would the innocent person need to experience the pain of burning to death?

If a person is going to die (think shipwrecked at sea and sharks are about to attack; trapped in a burning building with no escape or rescue), why do they need to suffer in death.

I have trouble seeing that suffering can be to ones benefit. Admittedly I do not know what things are like in the after life.

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The only belief that makes any sense out of the suffering of innocents is the afterlife. If you don't have faith that your immortal self will benefit by the experience then none of it makes the slightest sense. And then the suffering of innocents makes God into an utter *******....

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With the calamities and heart breaking stories around the world of late, I often ask myself "If there is a God why do people suffer in death". For instance a family lost two toddlers, I wondered how much suffering and despair those two kids experienced before they actually died. Growing up I had a friend who witnessed a house burning down, he was haunted for a long time by the screams and moans of the kid his age who was burning to death. Is there a reason for that kind of suffering? If ones only option is death (say drowning, plane crash, burning at the stake, etc) then why would those people suffer? Couldn't God just take them up rather than make them suffer the pains of a terribly death. Is there something beneficial to the suffering in death?

There is no suffering that Christ has not taken upon Himself and overcome so that He is able to reverse it for us; and He not only reverses it but brings about its opposite joy many times over. We agreed to suffer and address others’ suffering as part of the covenant to come into mortality so we might become like Christ. Every moment of life is designed to bring us closer to Christ, right up until death.

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The only belief that makes any sense out of the suffering of innocents is the afterlife. If you don't have faith that your immortal self will benefit by the experience then none of it makes the slightest sense. And then the suffering of innocents makes God into an utter *******....

This is highly disrespectful. Take a break from the board.

Skylla

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Is there something beneficial to the suffering in death?

May be there is no anything beneficial in suffering in death for the person who goes through painfull death. I don't know. But I do know that suffering is a part of this life, it is NATUARAL. It just has to be a part of our life. May be the fact that another person suffered at death is something that helps me to learn. May be the person who suffers at death in after life can say to Jesus:"I understand now better how Thou suffered in order to save me." May be some people NEED have this kind of knowledge. Some need know lesser part of Jesus suffering. Every time I suffer I think of Jesus and I know that He went through the same pain and I have better love and more gratefull for what He has done for me. I experience a tiny portion of what He expreienced.

because we are all different we need different blessings and different sufferings. But when we become like Father we will understand why. There are so many things that we are not ready to know. We just trust that it has to be that way.

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If Lehi was telling the truth, that there must be opposition in all things, then doesn't it follow that all suffering (including death by fire, disease, torture, rape, Etc.) is accrued as experience that will inform a commensurate joy to be appreciated in the afterlife?

If not, why not?

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Someone said that suffering only makes sense in the perspective of an afterlife. I would suggest that it also only makes sense in terms of a pre-mortal life, when we were all making decisions to come here and why we did. And it only makes sense if we realize who we really are.

We are gods. And we left that estate, where we had inheritance, and came here. Why did we do this?

For a greater inheritance.

And is that inheritance some judgment day version of a gold star stuck to the forehead? Some heaven through a set of pearly gates?

I find that pondering at length this passage in D & C 76:50-70, but most especially verses 58-60, gives an understanding of suffering in, not just as regards the nature of mortality, but in the very nature of godly progression itself. "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God--Wherefore all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's. And they shall overcome all things."

We are used to thinking of suffering as individual, but upon reflection, most suffering is collective, involving--well, all of us. We are also used to thinking of atonement as individual, but we forget the community aspect of it. Yes, we are all personally on the quest of saving ourselves and our family, but we need to remember that the world as a whole also needs to ascend. And the first principle of ascension, is, oddly enough, to descend. So we are all here, thrown into forces of matter (like tornados) and forces of spirit (oppression and tyranny, etc) and we have to struggle to overcome. WE have to choose not to suffer or not allow others to suffer. This is over the course of history, I mean. WE have to become God. And we become God in foil to suffering (for a variety of reasons) but also in providing life to others (as the Savior did).

For example, we could not do many of the medical skills we have now. So people suffered. But now our medical faiths have become knowledge, and suffering is lessened in this way. Unfortunately on matters of tyranny, speaking worldwide, we seem not to have learned ANYTHING.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

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Someone said that suffering only makes sense in the perspective of an afterlife. I would suggest that it also only makes sense in terms of a pre-mortal life, when we were all making decisions to come here and why we did. And it only makes sense if we realize who we really are.

We are gods. And we left that estate, where we had inheritance, and came here. Why did we do this?

For a greater inheritance.

And is that inheritance some judgment day version of a gold star stuck to the forehead? Some heaven through a set of pearly gates?

I find that pondering at length this passage in D & C 76:50-70, but most especially verses 58-60, gives an understanding of suffering in, not just as regards the nature of mortality, but in the very nature of godly progression itself. "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God--Wherefore all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's. And they shall overcome all things."

We are used to thinking of suffering as individual, but upon reflection, most suffering is collective, involving--well, all of us. We are also used to thinking of atonement as individual, but we forget the community aspect of it. Yes, we are all personally on the quest of saving ourselves and our family, but we need to remember that the world as a whole also needs to ascend. And the first principle of ascension, is, oddly enough, to descend. So we are all here, thrown into forces of matter (like tornados) and forces of spirit (oppression and tyranny, etc) and we have to struggle to overcome. WE have to choose not to suffer or not allow others to suffer. This is over the course of history, I mean. WE have to become God. And we become God in foil to suffering (for a variety of reasons) but also in providing life to others (as the Savior did).

For example, we could not do many of the medical skills we have now. So people suffered. But now our medical faiths have become knowledge, and suffering is lessened in this way. Unfortunately on matters of tyranny, speaking worldwide, we seem not to have learned ANYTHING.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

Thank you.

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