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Does God Inflict Pain And Suffering Upon Us?!


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Most pain and suffering is just part of living in a mortal, imperfect world. It just happens, like a child suffering cuts, scrapes, bruises, and broken bones without any blame being affixed to the parents. However, I just inflicted a bone marrow transplant on my daughter. I deliberately caused her quite a lot of pain and suffering, in hopes of saving her life. (She's doing great.) I can easily imagine a loving Heavenly Father doing the equivalent in order to save someone spiritually.

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http://lemmonythings.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/god-will-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle-i-guarantee-it/

 

I remember giving a good friend that was going through tough times a wall hanging that said the sentiment that "God Will Not Give You More Than You Can Handle" or something like that, I hope she threw it in the trash.  After reading this I regret that!      

 

Don't regret it Tacenda, it's still true.

 

All lemmonythings is really saying is that we need the Savior to get through this life and all the trials and hard things.  That saying doesn't negate that fact.  

 

Most of the people who I know who have used that saying already assumed it meant 'with the Savior', and certainly there is nothing in it that precludes that kind of an interpretation.  I'm guessing that the friend you gave it to didn't read it an interpret it to mean "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle all by yourself."  Most people who believe in God very much believe that He helps them get thru things.

 

Lemmonythings's blog is about how she personally forgot that, or never really understood it.  It's not a condemnation of everyone who's ever found comfort in that saying.

 

These kinds of blogs are awesome, but they aren't authoritative in other people's lives.  They pass on wisdom that someone has learned for themselves through their own personal trials, that might benefit someone else.  It's not going to be relevant to everyone though, and in some cases it would probably cause harm.  We can't give these kinds of blogs more power in our lives than they deserve.

 

:)

Edited by bluebell
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Most pain and suffering is just part of living in a mortal, imperfect world. It just happens, like a child suffering cuts, scrapes, bruises, and broken bones without any blame being affixed to the parents. However, I just inflicted a bone marrow transplant on my daughter. I deliberately caused her quite a lot of pain and suffering, in hopes of saving her life. (She's doing great.) I can easily imagine a loving Heavenly Father doing the equivalent in order to save someone spiritually.

That bone marrow transplant comparison is awesome.

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These kinds of blogs are awesome, but they aren't authoritative in other people's lives.  They pass on wisdom that someone has learned for themselves through their own personal trials, that might benefit someone else.  It's not going to be relevant to everyone though, and in some cases it would probably cause harm.  We can't give these kinds of blogs more power in our lives than they deserve.

 

Very true, but whoever originally came up with the phrase "God won't give you more than you can handle." was doing the same thing that the blogger is doing.  They were passing on some nice sounding advice that they had developed personally, hoping it would help others.  Why give the trite phrases more power than they deserve?

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Very true, but whoever originally came up with the phrase "God won't give you more than you can handle." was doing the same thing that the blogger is doing.  They were passing on some nice sounding advice that they had developed personally, hoping it would help others.  Why give the trite phrases more power than they deserve?

 

Exactly.

 

If something helps, then it helps.  If it doesn't, then it doesn't.  Just because something is written in a blog and passed around on facebook doesn't mean it is suddenly elevated to 'all grand truth' and we should feel bad that we thought/think differently.

 

:)

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Exactly.

 

If something helps, then it helps.  If it doesn't, then it doesn't.  Just because something is written in a blog and passed around on facebook doesn't mean it is suddenly elevated to 'all grand truth' and we should feel bad that we thought/think differently.

 

:)

Exactly what??  I don't quite understand where you are agreeing and where you are disagreeing.

 

The exhange of ideas is much more rapid now, with internet blogging/facebook/tweets etc.  You are very correct that not every wittily composed item should reconstruct our thoughts.  But it is not any different than what was done before.  If the ideas expressed in the blog post are more helpful, then they will replace or modify the previous idea.  Not because the previous idea was wrong, but (along the lines of what you were saying) it just wasn't as helpful. 

 

The blog post was not about what the author forgot, or never knew.  It was about how the saying could be misinterpreted and suddenly be very unhelpful, perhaps damaging.  It happens, probably more often than we might think.  And when there is a perfectly good scripture that more correcly illustrates the truth, such as Phillip. 4:13, it would be better to use the scripture.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 

 

Obviously I agree with the blog post more than you do.  I think there are even larger reasons why such statements are potentially damaging that the author didn't even go into at all.  That said, there is a similar trend within the church to use more scripture and rein in on some of the traditional Mormon "cultural" sayings.  Just think of pictures of Christ with the sub-text "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." 

 

 

Regarding the OP: The OP asks about the source of suffering, but regardless of whether the source is personal sin, or a loving Father who knows our needs, or just part of living amid reality, we should be quite clear on how we can get through the suffering.  We look to God, and we help eachother -- for so God commanded.  We are all in this together.

Edited by JDave
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Exactly what?? I don't quite understand where you are agreeing and where you are disagreeing.

The exhange of ideas is much more rapid now, with internet blogging/facebook/tweets etc. You are very correct that not every wittily composed item should reconstruct our thoughts. But it is not any different than what was done before. If the ideas expressed in the blog post are more helpful, then they will replace or modify the previous idea. Not because the previous idea was wrong, but (along the lines of what you were saying) it just wasn't as helpful.

The blog post was not about what the author forgot, or never knew. It was about how the saying could be misinterpreted and suddenly be very unhelpful, perhaps damaging. It happens, probably more often than we might think. And when there is a perfectly good scripture that more correcly illustrates the truth, such as Phillip. 4:13, it would be better to use the scripture. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Obviously I agree with the blog post more than you do. I think there are even larger reasons why such statements are potentially damaging that the author didn't even go into at all. That said, there is a similar trend within the church to use more scripture and rein in on some of the traditional Mormon "cultural" sayings. Just think of pictures of Christ with the sub-text "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

Regarding the OP: The OP asks about the source of suffering, but regardless of whether the source is personal sin, or a loving Father who knows our needs, or just part of living amid reality, we should be quite clear on how we can get through the suffering. We look to God, and we help eachother -- for so God commanded. We are all in this together.

The blog post was fine. It's one of fifty or so similar type blog posts that I see every week on Facebook. Some people have really liked it. Others thinks its dumb. Whatever. It's a blog post. Hopefully no one is getting their theology or religious philosophy from blog posts.

I have no desire to debate the merits of this specific blog post. I don't think its worth the effort (not to say anything bad about it-I don't have a problem with it-just that in the grand scheme of things, I don't see it as significant in any meaningful way).

I only commented on the blog because I wanted to help tacenda not feel bad about the plaque she gave her friend. I don't believe she has anything to regret.

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The blog post was fine. It's one of fifty or so similar type blog posts that I see every week on Facebook. Some people have really liked it. Others thinks its dumb. Whatever. It's a blog post. Hopefully no one is getting their theology or religious philosophy from blog posts.

My point is that the same exact thing can be said about the phrase, "God won't give you more than you can handle."   It is just some random shmuck's personal idea, albeit one that has been codified within a culture.

 

Some people like it.  Others think its dumb.  Whatever.  It's a trite phrase.  Hopefully no one is getting their theology or religious philosophy from such culturally acceptable trite phrases.

 

The reality is that people are getting some degree of religious philosophy both from blog posts and trite phrases.  Not sure if that is good or bad or somewhere in the middle, or just the way life is. 

 

I also don't think Tacenda has anything to regret.

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Exactly what?? I don't quite understand where you are agreeing and where you are disagreeing.

The exhange of ideas is much more rapid now, with internet blogging/facebook/tweets etc. You are very correct that not every wittily composed item should reconstruct our thoughts. But it is not any different than what was done before. If the ideas expressed in the blog post are more helpful, then they will replace or modify the previous idea. Not because the previous idea was wrong, but (along the lines of what you were saying) it just wasn't as helpful.

The blog post was not about what the author forgot, or never knew. It was about how the saying could be misinterpreted and suddenly be very unhelpful, perhaps damaging. It happens, probably more often than we might think. And when there is a perfectly good scripture that more correcly illustrates the truth, such as Phillip. 4:13, it would be better to use the scripture. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Obviously I agree with the blog post more than you do. I think there are even larger reasons why such statements are potentially damaging that the author didn't even go into at all. That said, there is a similar trend within the church to use more scripture and rein in on some of the traditional Mormon "cultural" sayings. Just think of pictures of Christ with the sub-text "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

Regarding the OP: The OP asks about the source of suffering, but regardless of whether the source is personal sin, or a loving Father who knows our needs, or just part of living amid reality, we should be quite clear on how we can get through the suffering. We look to God, and we help eachother -- for so God commanded. We are all in this together.

OK, feeling dumb...it was that message "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it", that I gave to my friend. I feel so much better now.
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OK, feeling dumb...it was that message "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it", that I gave to my friend. I feel so much better now.

Yeah, I've heard that one read off as scripture from the pulpit more than once.  It may be helpful to some people, but it sure ain't scripture.

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My point is that the same exact thing can be said about the phrase, "God won't give you more than you can handle." It is just some random shmuck's personal idea, albeit one that has been codified within a culture.

Yep, that's what I said in my first post to you.

If Tacenda thought it would bring some comfort to her friend, that's all that's important.

Some random person's opinion about it on the internet doesn't really matter.

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OK, feeling dumb...it was that message "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it", that I gave to my friend. I feel so much better now.

That's definitely not scripture, but in a sense it's true.

I've never met anyone who thought this life was easy, but following the Savior makes it worth it.

:)

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Yep, that's what I said in my first post to you.

OK, that makes sense.  I wasn't quite sure what you had meant with that post.

 

ETA: Sorry for the misunderstanding.  We agreed on pretty much everything from the beginning.

Edited by JDave
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That's definitely not scripture, but in a sense it's true.

I've never met anyone who thought this life was easy, but following the Savior makes it worth it.

:)

I gone around a bit on this one.  I heard someone say something to the effect, "That's not true.  The Lord said that if we come unto him it will be easy --  'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' "

 

That made some sense, but I have come to realize that while Christ's yoke is easy, it doesn't eliminate life sufferings and trials.  It's also harder to leave my burden at Christ's feet than I originally thought.  Christ certainly never said that "it" -- life, even life living the gospel -- was easy.

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Rodheadlee, I'm sorry about your wife. I'm sure she'll now have many prayers said for her.

This will sound strange possibly, but sometimes I feel guilt for not having enough pain, struggle, you name it. I've only ever witnessed a lot of it. Sometimes I wonder if God thinks I couldn't handle it or worse just thinks I should get it in the hereafter. Or my turn is going to come up. Lately I've felt guilt at how good my life has been and I just know it can't last, just knowing how hard so many have it. I don't deserve this easy life and think God maybe gives hard things to the strongest people. But that seems totally unfair, if it's the case.

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