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Dear Gramps,

One of my friend asked me this question.  Could you please help me to answer?  Thank you. Why do young children get ill with cancers or other illnesses? Why are children born with birth defects? You can’t say it is because they are not walking right with Go, since most of them are too young to even understand the concept of that.







This is a heart-wrenching question for me, with not only my own children, but grandchildren to consider in such a situation. Nobody wants to see such innocent youth having to struggle with simply being alive. Because we know God was aware of what we’d face, its only right that he would have warned us about any and all problems we’d have to deal with when coming to this life. The fact that we’re here tells us we all accepted the risks of this life in the face of all the blessings available to us should we fulfill our destinies here.

Yes it is a tragedy that such suffering happens, but it is not due to anything Heavenly Father wanted us to go through. Nor would it ever be due to unworthiness or sin on the part of the children themselves. Rather it is, and ever will be, the natural consequence of coming into mortality. Our world is imperfect, through and through. No part of this world is perfect, or safe from damage. Even the earth itself has countless changes, earthquakes, and eruptions that disfigure its face and cloud its skies.

All life suffers pain, sickness, and death in this life, and yes it is most sorrowing to see it occur. What we must do, then, is to remember that this life is not the sole purpose of our existence, but merely an essential step along the path in our eternal lives. We are intended for far greater destinies than can be realized in this life.

The Atonement of Christ is the focal point of such a promise. Through his sacrifice, Christ has assured us all not only an end to the suffering and pain of this life, but the gift of a perfect immortal body as well, no longer prone to illness or injury of any kind.

Even further than this the promise is that we can become “Heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” to receive the fullness of our potential at Heavenly Father’s hand and become as he is.

Perhaps in light of such promises, our willingness to accept the pains of this temporary life becomes easier to understand.

What humbles me greatly is to see the courage and faith these young children display in facing their own mortality so soon. If only we all showed such poise and confidence, peace would be realized in this world far sooner, I believe.





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