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Question

 

Gramps,

Why does Heavenly Father give us such hard trials and then when we are going through them he doesnt help us our answer us and it feels like he isn’t listening.  Why is that and what can I do to fix it?

Emily

 

Answer

 

Dear Emily,

If you are in the midst of one of those hard trials, my heart goes out to you.  Don’t give up.

First, not all trials come from God.  Some of our trials are a result of living in a fallen world, with people who misuse their agency.  God does not “give” us trials such as abuse, rape, or murder.  Those are from Satan not God.  God allows it because it is part of our earthly experience and because with Him even the most horrific problems of this world that Satan can devise, the Lord can heal, and make them as jewels in our crown of glory.

I believe that the Father is always near, but sometimes we cannot feel Him there.  In church we talk a lot about sin separating us from God, but sin is not the only thing that can create this feeling of distance.  Sometimes we unintentionally create it ourselves.  Sometimes victims of abuse feel terrible shame, for things that were not their fault, and that makes them feel separated from God.  Sometimes depression can make us feel very much alone even when we are surrounded by friends and family who care about us.  There are many ways to feel alone without actually being alone.  It is a terrible feeling.

Remember the Savior understands what you are going through because of his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemene.  He suffered not only for our sins, but for the consequences of those sins on others.  He suffered for all of our pain.  And when He was on the cross, there was a moment when He felt, as you do, that God had abandoned Him.  I believe this was so He could truly understand how we feel in such moments and succor us.

I have mentioned this before, but I will do so again because it relates so well to what you asked here.  Elder Holland gave a wonderful talk called, Lessons from Liberty Jail.  At the end, he offers his testimony, and beautiful words of comfort.  The closing song, My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee applies perfectly to your question.

Heavenly Father loves you and even though you can’t always feel Him, He is always there.

 

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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