After the senseless theatre shooting happened in Aurora, Colorado there have been many that have come out and openly said; “if there were a God; surely he would not let this happen”. I have pondered this thought for several days. First I have to say that what happened was terrible and innocent people died at the hands of a monster. My heart goes out to all affected.
I believe there is a God and that he is our loving Father in Heaven. I also believe that the logic used in saying that if there were a God he would not let bad things happen is deeply flawed. If none of us were ever allowed to experience pain whether it be emotional or physical; how are we to recognize or better yet enjoy good/happy things? God’s plan is to afford us agency so that we can experience good and bad and hopefully choose good. If you were only fed sweet things your whole life would you truly understand and appreciate it if you had never eaten something bitter? How can you truly appreciate a break if you’ve never worked? I agree it would be nice to only have good things happen in life but the only reason you know that is because you’ve experienced both sides.
Now because God gives us agency we are subject to consequences from our decisions whether they are good or bad. This also includes us sometimes being a victim to the choices of others; this is an unfortunate part of experience. Believing in God requires faith and faith is not something that just happens to someone. Faith requires effort on the part of the person; lots of prayer and reading the scriptures and the thought that God could actually be real.
I think it is very disturbing that during such a crisis some find it important to question the faith that others place in God especially during a tragedy. Anybody affected by this tragedy can find comfort in their belief in God and an understanding of the Atonement of Christ.