Often when someone dies, it just feels like ‘the Lord’s timing’. I’ve heard it said in classes in the past that not all deaths are ‘the Lord’s timing’. Of course, murder isn’t. What about a medical mistake, accidents, the misjudgment of a caretaker, neglect, human error, drunk drivers, etc. Not all deaths are “the Lord’s timing” right?
For those who have made and kept their covenants with God, there is no wrong time to die. When we belong to God, then in effect, all that we experience has been cleared by God. He knows all our trials and has covenanted with us to turn them toward our own good. As Lehi told his son Jacob, “[God] shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” That includes death. So in that sense, I think it’s fair to say that when a righteous man or woman dies from any cause, it’s always “the Lord’s timing”.
Those who are not under covenant appear to be in a different category. When confronting the old king (Lamoni’s father), Ammon stated, “If thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.“ Salvation requires following God and partaking of Christ’s atonement, things foreign to those who know not God and who are consumed by anger or other lusts. In the case of the old king, the Lord made a way for him not to die at that time and instead to be given the chance to come unto him. In that case, things turned out well. But that same drama takes place all around us in the world every day, among all peoples, and many aren’t as wise as the old king in the choices they make. For them who do not take advantage of this life as the time to prepare to meet God, death becomes a thing to fear. Unlike the faithful, for whom death is a respite from sorrow and a reunion with family, friends, and God himself, the wicked and unrepentant will find death very bitter indeed.
In such cases, I cannot say whether their death is “the Lord’s timing”. I’m not even sure what the phrase would mean in that case. The Lord seeks to save his children, not condemn them, and for the unrepentant, death is a sort of condemnation. On the other hand, the Lord allows all to reap the harvest of the actions and decisions that they have sown, up to and including physical and spiritual death. And certainly, the Lord has in the past condemned wicked individuals and entire cities and even nations to death and destruction, which can hardly be interpreted as other than “the Lord’s timing”. So is the death of a wicked man or woman “the Lord’s timing”? I suppose the answer to that depends on how you look at the situation.
My advice to you is to be among the righteous, and thus never have to worry about death. For them (and you, if you’re among them), everything is always “the Lord’s timing”.