Sunday, December 6, 2015


I am pretty sure it never happened during the years I taught Early Morning Seminary in Orange County, California, nor during the two years I taught ninth graders at Kearns Junior High School in the Salt Lake Valley.

It may have happened when I taught Seminary at Kearns High School or at Tooele High School in Tooele Valley, but if it did I can’t recall the occasion.

I know it happened during the years I taught college age students at the Institute in Reno, Nevada, and also in Mission Viejo, California, where I also taught college age students.

It always happened with a great deal of regularity when I taught Religion Classes to adults who were married or in the age group of 30 +.

From this very small statistical data base, I have been left to believe that the longer we live, the greater the possibility exists that the historical death, destruction and devastation, along with other similar testimony troubling questions which have continually plagued the residence of our planet, will cause some to question the veracity of their testimony of a loving God.

Because of my self-imposed limitations on the length of my Thoughts, I will limit these pages to the just one question.

It is interesting that this struggle over why men have been allowed to reap death, destruction and devastation was most often accompanied by either heartbreaking tears or anger, akin to those of a child when they first are told or discover on their own that some fantasies which had brought joy to their young lives were fictitious.

Since, I have had the privilege of having my life extended into those years when time has been made available for pondering. (Some might call them retirement years). I didn't seem to be able to squeeze out time when I was simultaneously raising a family, serving in church callings and teaching in the Church Education System. One of the things I have thought about is how I might have responded to the struggles these friends were going through as they read of man’s inhumanity to man not only in history text, but also in Holy Writ.

I will be paraphrasing, but their concerns about the extent and constancy of the devastation which has been a major part of this earth’s passage, always seemed to include such phrases as:

How could a God who is supposed to have the attributes of Love, Mercy and Grace allow…

Why is it so often that it is the righteous who are the victims of the unrighteous…

If God is all powerful couldn't He have…

Why are wicked leaders allowed to…

I could add many other ways this quandary, which has assaulted the testimonies of so many adults I have had in my classes, has been expressed, but I am sure the point has been made.

Sadly, over the years my most frequent response has been one of feebly expressed empathy and then a quick – ‘there are many questions which I personally have had to place on a shelf, trusting that if not in mortality, then in immortality I would be given the answer.’

I am still not convinced that this period of life which has provided me with the pauses in routine necessary for pondering, has provided me with answers which will satisfy anyone but me.

However, for now I am satisfied:

The agency given to man is of such everlasting importance in Heavenly Father’s Plan –therefore, it is rarely interfered with even by an All Powerful God…

In order for agency to exist, there must be opposition in all things and in all lives…

The Love, Mercy and Grace of a Loving Heavenly Father – will bring Eternal Justice to all who have suffered because of the unjust choices which other make with their agency…

The Laws, Administrations and Judgements of a Just Heavenly Father – will bring Eternal Recompense to all who have used their agency to afflict their neighbors..

Finally and most importantly, for my own peace of mind – I have concluded that if it had not been for the overseeing and watchful eye of our Heavenly Father – we would have long ago annihilated one another from this beautiful planet …

I think I can say, with a pretty high degree of confidence, that this little expression of my ponderings on this testimony troubling question will help few others as much as it has helped me.

Therefore, I am left with this prayer in my heart that we will all live long enough to enjoy those years of life when time for reflection and pondering become more abundant. And that the benefit of that pondering will bring peace if not resolution to the testimony troubling questions which you have born during your earthly journey.

I further pray that peace will also attend us when our pondering still leaves us with testimony troubling questions lying upon our shelves. And the testimony strengthening answers we have received to previous questions will strengthen us.

One last prayer is that we will be patient and wait upon the Lord if he feels what we now have is sufficient for the day. And peace will fill us with an abundant faith that all things will happen according to His time.

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