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Does God get angry?





Dear Melissa,

God absolutely gets angry! The scriptures attest to His wrath that get poured out among the wicked, and it is not spared against those who fail to live up to their covenants. The Book of Mormon is filled with powerful examples of this anger. The Jaredite civilization came to an end when “the Lord did visit them in the fulness of his wrath, and their wickedness and abominations had prepared a way for their everlasting destruction” (Ether 14:25). The Nephites faced a purging at the death of Christ, which He personally took credit for. “Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof.” And if that’s not enough, he belabors the point for 11 verses. “And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, and the inhabitants thereof, to hide their iniquities and their abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come any more unto me against them.” He calls out 16 cities by name and confesses to destroying them because of “their iniquity and abominations” (3 Nephi 9:1-12).

God’s anger comes to play because of two of His attributes: justice and judgment, both of which are required for us to have faith in Him. If God were not just, if He didn’t reward and punish based on some predictable laws, it wouldn’t matter if we believed in Him or were obedient – we would receive from Him arbitrarily. Thankfully, God is just and reserves His wrath for those who defy Him, and pours His mercy out liberally. If God did not have judgment – the power to execute His justice and mercy – it would again not matter if we believed in Him or were obedient. In gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts; in these eternal principles, we desperately need execution. God’s wrath is a display of His judgment.






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