1 Nephi 20:21
God Shall Wipe Away All Tears
The Lord takes care of His people
Because He loves them.
As part of our Heavenly Father’s plan, He allowed sorrow to be woven into our mortal experience.1 While it seems that painful trials fall unevenly on us, we can be assured that to one degree or another, we all suffer and struggle. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will guide us to a greater understanding why this must be so.
When we view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of faith in Christ, we are able to see that there can be godly purpose in our suffering. The faithful can experience the truth of Peter’s seemingly contradictory counsel. He wrote, “If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye.”2 As we apply our “hearts to understanding,”3 we can increase in our ability to both endure our trials well and learn from—and be refined by—them. Such understanding provides an answer to the ageless question “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
God invites us to respond with faith to our own unique afflictions in order that we may reap blessings and gain knowledge that can be learned in no other way. We are instructed to keep the commandments in every condition and circumstance, for “he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.”6 And as we read in scripture, “If thou art sorrowful, call on the Lord thy God with supplication, that your souls may be joyful.”7
The Apostle Paul, himself no stranger to affliction, drew from his own experience to teach with depth and beauty the eternal perspective that comes when we endure well and with patience. He said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”8 In other words, we can know in the midst of our afflictions that God has provided an eternal compensating reward.
As we acquire this eternal perspective in our lives, our capacity to endure grows, we learn how to succor those in need of succor,13 and we come to appreciate and even express gratitude for the experiences God allows us to have as tutors in the path to eternal life.