Thursday, December 20, 2012

Faith Alone is Enough

A few days ago, there was a shooting at an elementary school. 20 children and 6 adults were killed. Absolutely horrific. As the days have passed, I have pondered a lot about this incident. I cried, I held my baby even tighter, I felt the fear of raising him in such a broken world... And I know others are pondering on this day as well. Many people may wonder why a loving Heavenly Father would allow such a tragedy to occur. It is an easy thought to have when something so cruel and unfair happens.

My thoughts about that question are these. We were sent here to this life to be tested. How can we prove ourselves if we never have an opportunity to exercise our faith? How can we serve others if no one ever needs help? How can we learn optimism and gratitude if we never experience loss?

So then some may ask, if trials are necessary in life, why are some people's lives so much harder than others? This is a question I myself have pondered many times. I get the adversity thing, and the need to exercise our agency. But it does seem like some have been dealt a much worse hand than others. Then I remembered how uniquely individual we all are. So our trials must be cut out according to that uniqueness. It would hardly be fair to give us all the same test when we all have different traits to build and different qualities to prove. And it would hardly be a test of faith if everyone else went through the exact same thing. The point is for us to build a personal relationship with God - our own testimony based on our unique experiences in this life - and to choose for ourselves how to respond to the trials we face.

My comfort in times like this is to remember that there is so much good in the world amidst all of the evil. At Christmas time especially, we see people's desires to serve come out. Families are breaking, but they are also being created. People are hurting, but so many are also being comforted and loved. Lives are being destroyed, but so many others are building their talents and having adventures. There is evil in the world, but we must not let that dismiss from our minds the fact that there is also good.

I know my logic is not enough to satisfy some people who are discouraged by this event (or others like it), and that is okay. I do not have all of the answers.  My purpose in writing this entry is that this logic is enough for me. I have accepted that my mortal brain cannot comprehend all of the mysteries of Heaven, and I will never fully understand Heavenly Father's plan while I am here. But I do fully understand that He knows his plan, and his plan is perfect. So in times when logic falters, and pain is strong, I rely solely on my faith that God lives, he knows each of us, and he loves us. When faith is all we have, we exercise it by accepting that faith alone is enough.

My prayers go out to all those affected by this tragedy in any way.  May you find comfort and peace during this time of hardship.