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Why do bad things happen in the world?

The possibility for both good and evil to occur in the world is the result of God’s unique ability and decision to create stewards who actually have the capacity to be stewards over that which He entrusts into their care (cf. Matthew 21:35-56). That is, God has created both angels and men and women to hold stewardship responsibilities before Him (cf. Romans 8:19-23 with Hebrews 1:7,14).  As stewards, then, each has the ability to honor God and do according to His will, or to defy God and rebel against His will.

The result or outcome of this investment of stewardship by God in humanity and in angels is evidenced in the world about us. Meaning, all that is happening around us comes not just from God, but from the many stewards He has assigned various stewardships that pertain to this world.  Consequently, not everything which occurs in this world, or in heaven for that matter, occurs according to God’s will.  Rather, much of what we have to deal with in this life is the result of the actions and decisions of other stewards exercising their stewardship (agency), whether in accordance to His will or in defiance of His will.

Nevertheless, God is at work in and through all things.  While Satan and his servants are intent on bringing about evil in the world (cf. Genesis 50:20 & Job 2:3 with Revelation 2:10), God is able to use the expressions and impacts of their stewardships on others for both His immediate purposes as well as for the final intent unto which He has created all things (Romans 8:28 with Genesis 50:20).  For this is His work and glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (D&C 22:23b).  Meaning, this is what He does best.

Being created a steward does not mean we are free to do whatever we please without being held accountable for our decisions and actions.  God fully intends to hold each steward accountable for whatever he or she is to manage according to his or her God-given stewardships (I Corinthians 3:12-4:5, II Corinthians 5:10, Matthew 25, etc.).  Until that day in which He has determined to bring each and everyone of us before Him to give an accounting of our stewardship(s), God ensures that each of us have sufficient space, resources, and time to manage the stewardships He has assigned us (cf. Matthew 25:15 & I Corinthians 12:4-31); this includes the exercise of our love and what and whom we choose to love (cf. Matthew 22:34-39 with II Thessalonians 2:9-12).

While God is capable of intervening in each and every aspect of our lives, He resists doing so.  The reason?  He is intent on maintaining the stewardship roles and responsibilities He has given each one of us.  If He does intervene, He does so according to His wisdom and justice in keeping with the plan He has established for His creation.  At the same time, it is important for us to remember that He does nothing expect it is for the benefit of the world.

For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness; He doeth not anything, save it be for the benefit of the world, for He loveth the world, even that He layeth down His own life that He may draw all men unto Him. (II Nephi 11:95,96)

In other words, He can be and is moved with compassion and can come to our aid even when we do not call upon His name in faith believing (Hebrews 4:11-16 with Ephesians 3:14-21).  But remember, His actions and answers may not be in keeping with our expectations or requests.  His purposes and designs are of an eternal nature.

More on this topic is provided in the previous post, Why weakness, and in the following article:  To What Extent Are Our Lives Orchestrated?

Adapted from:

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