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Hi Gramps,

In the scriptures, it tells of the Lord’s doings with His people, like “if they keep my commandments they shall prosper in the land.” If the Armenian people were Christians, why did God not protect them from genocide? If they were living in sin what was their wrongs before the Lord?

Phillip

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Answer

 

Dear Phillip,

This is a good question and I’m afraid you may find my answer unsatisfying.  You see, your question is basically another version of “why does God allow bad things to happen to good people” which theologians and philosophers have pondered over for centuries.  Still I will try to shed a little light on the subject.

Throughout the ages we can see both times when God miraculously protected His people (Moses and the parting of the Red Sea comes to mind) and times when he allowed evil to temporarily win.  A troubling example of the latter is the people of Ammonihah in the Book of Mormon.  You may remember that Alma and Amulek had taught these people and they had accepted the gospel.  Then their enemies gathered them up, men, women and children and cast them into a bonfire.  Alma and Amulek were forced to watch.  Of this Alma said, “But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory;” Alma 14:11   The early pioneers of the church are another example.  Joseph Smith’s life was preserved many times, until his work was completed.  Then the Lord’s hand was stayed, and Joseph’s enemies took his life and his brother Hyrum’s as well.

So it is possible that the Armenian people were following Christ as well as they could according to that light that they had been given, and they were received onto the Lord.

Sometimes good people suffer at the hands of evil, but are blessed and helped to endure their afflictions.  A wonderful example of this is Corrie TenBoom.  She wrote her book, The Hiding Place, to testify that there is no hole so deep that “he is not deeper still.”  We know Corrie’s story because she survived to write it.  You may have heard the story of the man who had been in the Willie and Martin handcart company.   One day as others were discussing that ill-fated group, he spoke up and told them they didn’t know what they were talking about.  He testified boldly that when he had not had the strength to go on he felt angelic forces pushing his cart for him. Stories like these give me hope that if we could talk to the Armenians, or others who have suffered at the hands of evil men, that they would also share a story of how God blessed them and received them unto Himself.

For myself, the best answer I have found to why God allows bad things to happen to good people is Jesus Christ.  As you know Christ was perfect, and still he suffered (in Gethsemane and on the cross) more than any of us can fathom.  Heavenly Father allowed this, not because He was cruel or uncaring, but because there was a greater purpose.  God allowed Christ to suffer for us.  In His infinite wisdom, I must believe that there is some greater wisdom in all suffering, even though we can’t see it right now.

 

Gramps

 

 

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