There’s been a lot of terrorist attacks in the news lately, and it brings so much fear to me that it’s unimaginable. So, I bring the question: why doesn’t God rid the world of terrorism or avenge the victims of it like he did for Abinidi?
I want to start off by quoting a famous Book of Mormon passage, Moroni 8:16.
“Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do: perfect love cast out all fear.”
That passage gives me great peace, and I hope you find peace in it as well. Perfect love does cast out all fear, and while terrorist attacks can shake our faith in our fellow man and frighten us a great deal-we can always find peace and solace in God.
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, many members of the Church had the same concerns as you do today. The Prophet of the Church at that time was Gordon B. Hinckley. One of his first speeches after 9/11 also had some incredibly calm and reassuring words.
“I do not wish to be a prophet of doom. I am optimistic. I do not believe that the time is here when an all-consuming calamity will overtake us. I earnestly pray that it may not. There is so much of the Lord’s work yet to be done. We, and our children after us, must do it.”
President Hinckley often spoke words of reassurance, and this is among them. He was optimistic in the face of great tragedy and he prayed that we all would be too. He closes the speech with the incredibly calming words,
“Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.”
He was correct-the best way to combat terrorism in the world is to be a force for good.
Your question about why God doesn’t stop evil from happening in the world is a much harder question to answer. It’s been asked by believers since the beginning of time. Virtually all of us (believers) during dark times in our lives have asked why God doesn’t stop this. When we see a terrorist attack happen, we ask “Why doesn’t God stop this? Why doesn’t He do something?” The response should be, “He did.” He sent His only son to suffer and die for us. Through the miracle of the atonement of Christ, all of us have a chance to achieve salvation. We live in a fallen world, populated by a small percentage of people who choose to do great evil. When God created humankind, he created us with the option to choose good or evil acts.You know it as “free agency” or more appropriately simply “agency”. Because it is among the greatest gifts of God, He will not withdraw it for reasons we mortals believe to be important. And that includes such evil acts as terrorism. Some people will always choose evil. For the rest of us, we can cling to the hope that the resurrection provides us.