Dear Gramps, How can I get rid of terrible feelings of bitterness towards God for not intervening in the loss of my wife, my children, my career and the educational goal I had almost reached but can no longer afford due to crushing child support and alimony payments. All I have left is ashes. Countless were the times and ways God could have intervened to have prevented these tragedies. How can we be expected to believe in the values the church places on marriage, families and education when divine will seems to fight against those same things in real life? Hurting, from Grants Pass, OregonDear Hurting, The first thing I want you to do is to read (again) the Book of Job–all 42 Chapters. Study to see if any of it can be related to your circumstance. Maybe God DID intervene in all your losses, and in those losses are blessings unimaginable–if they can be perceived. But to blame God for ANYTHING is an attitude completely out of place with reality. How can God bless you when you are mad at him?–and at the same time apparently hold yourself blameless. The prophet Joseph Smith is reported to have said that he never received a revelation except in answer to prayer. If you are acting as God’s judge do you think that He will bless you just to get in your good graces? There is a purpose in suffering and there is a purpose in sorrow. What were the Savior’s words to Joseph Smith in a similar situation? Thou are not yet as Job (D&C 121:10). What you could well recognize is that none of this is God’s fault; it is all your fault. You are mad at God for not robbing you of one of the greatest gifts given to man–your free agency. If he were to intervene and manage all your affairs so that there would be no upsets, no problems, no disappointments you would have gained nothing by your experience; it would all have been His doing. If you had had faith and confidence in God because He is the one perfect being in the universe, and He is your Father and He loves you and wants the very best for you much more than you do–if you had had faith and confidence in Him your problems may well have been solved by now. He absolutely knows exactly what is best for you, and is willing and anxious to lead you in paths of righteousness for His names’sake if you were only willing to live in such a way as to be sensitive to the voice of the Lord (it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul)–(Hel 5:30) He would be the solution to all your problems, rather then their supposed cause. So the suggestion is to trust in God, be not bitter, but humble and teachable. Be willing to accept what may seem to be overwhelming difficulties when they come your way, and try to follow the inclinations and whisperings of the Holy Spirit. If you seek to find and understand God’s will for your life, rather than turning against God because he does not succumb to your will, you will find the peace and happiness that you seek, and you will realize and be thankful for the blessings that will come to you as you make the most of the opportunities for change that come your way. Gramps
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