One Year ago, on November 5th 2017, the worst and deadliest mass shooting happened in Texas, happened at the First Baptist Church In Sutherland Spring Texas. That day, a deranged gunman stepped into a church and cried, “Everybody Die!” That day 26 people died and 20 others were injured.
Although the Devil sent has destroying angel that day, God sent his own angel. You see when the shooter went out to his vehicle to get more ammunition, he was confronted by an NRA instructor, Stephen Willeford, who proceeded to shot the shooter twice before he was able to escape.
Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff pursued the shooter at high speeds, up to 95 MPH for about five to seven minutes. Until the shooter crashed his vehicle due to his loose of blood and suicide.
After this tragedy I remember some people mockingly ask the question, “Where was your God?”
Why does God allow bad things to happen in this world? Does He not care about us? Does he not listen to us? Does He not love us?
Many will look at situations like this and asked the question why. Why does God allow bad things happen to good people? If there was a God who actually loves and cares about us, why would he not stop evil things from happening to good and innocent people?
Many will say that there is no God, for if there were, then the world would not be as lost as it is today. It is those who are lost because it is they who have not found or do not believe that God has a plan for us. They do not understand where we came from, Why we are here, and where we will be going. They do not understand that salvation is upon us all. All we need to do is try. All we need to do is look. All we need to do is believe. All we need to do is be changed. All we need to do is love.
Although God has the power and Magisty to stop the hurt and suffering. That’s not how God works, that’s not his plan.
God has a plan. His plan is to prove each of us. His plan is for us to prove ourselves, whether we will seek the good or we will seek the evil. Whether we will make good choices or whether we will make the evil choice. When evIl is staring us in the eye, do we look away or do we cast it out? When we see suffering will we lend a shoulder to cry on or will we walk away. When others are being shot and murdered in cold blood will we cower in our homes or decide to protect our neighbors?
The reason is simple. How can we know the good unless we can see and understand the bad? How can we fill love if we don’t know and understand what is hate? How can we stand up for the innocent is their are no victims? How can we know joy if we don’t know and understand sorrow? How can we bear one another’s burdens if their are no burdens to bear? How can we serve others if everyone has already been served? How can we wrap our arms around those that are suffering if we never suffer.
You see God loves us so much that like a parent He has to let us make our own mistakes and learn for ourselves. Like a parent, He taught us right from wrong and gave each of us the gift to know good from evil. He taught us all the greatest of all the Commandments, Love.
Did he not teaches us to love our neighbor? Did he not teach us about his gift, that he gave to everyone? It is this gift, that is given to all that enables us all to be saved from evil and eternal death. Some feel that we have been asked so much and yet we have been only asked just to look and believe.
God has a plan for each of us. He even sent his own Son to teach and sanctify each and everyone of us. The Son not only taught us and confirmed this plan but he suffered and died for all of us.
He didn’t just feel pain and fatigue but He suffered it all. He knows what each and everyone of us have felt and feel. He had to suffer it all from the highest good to the lowest evil, from the most enlightened to the most egregious infirmities. He knows all because he suffered all. He tasted not only of death but also of spiritual death so that we could all live.
You see God is given us all gifts and he is no respecter of persons. This gift is giving to all of us. This gift is given to even those who don’t seek it or can’t find it.
Why can’t we be more like angels? Why can’t we be more willing to try? Why can’t we be brave? Why do we hide in the dark when their is so much light? Why do we always look for the bad when there is so much good.
Has God not give each of us empathy, which is one of the most precious gifts of all? Can we not feel as others feel even though we personally are not suffering? Can we not feel their pain and see their struggles? Are we not pricked in our hearts when we see someone suffering and in need? Does His Spirit not testify to your very soul to act and be more like Him? And in that very moment are we not called to be his Angel? Are we not all His Angels, sent to give his love, to give his Charity?
Charity is the pure love of Christ and it is powerful. This is why we are here. This is what we are to do. This is why he allows evil into the world. We are here to find good and to be willing to follow it. We are here to be a little better than we were yesterday. To love more than we do today. To make the choice to change and not be led astray.
To continually seek improvement and enlightenment. To be more like our Father. To know him better and to suffer so others can have the opportunity to give.
God has sent his angels and we have them all around us. Some you can see and others you can not. But they are not there to take away the evil of this world but they are there to help us bear one another’s burdens. They are there to help us know God more than we could have without them. And that is why we are here to learn and to grow and to follow his example because we, like Him, have a plan and He has prepared a paradise for us were we will all have the opportunity to continue to learn and to grow and become more like Him.
This paradise is a place that is so beautiful and spectacular that we all would be willing to die to get there and yet must live to be there.
Before coming to this world we lived with our Father and there God shared and taught all of us about His plan and when we heard it we all cheered. (Job 38:4-7) We all cheered because we all knew and were promised the opportunity to become more like Our Father. We all cheered because each and every one of us would be given the opportunity to live and to grow and to return.
We understood that there was going to be pain, suffering, and evil. But there would also be pleasure, relief and joy.
We were all taught about His plan for salvation and you and I cheered. We cheered because his plan wasn’t for a few but for all of His children. His plan was for every nation and race. His plan was for us all.
As part of his plan we were all promised not only to know about this plan but be given a series of gifts so precious and pure.
One of those gifts was a physical body, full of every kind of passion and emotion. A tabernacle of his own creation and his own design, much like his own. With this tabernacle we would become more like our Father. We all wanted what he had and wanted to know and feel as He does.
Another Gift we were given was freedom of choice. The freedom to choose and blaze our own journey through this life. But we were not to go alone, so He gave us another gift. He sent a portion of His Spirit with us. (D&C 88:5-15) This Spirit would have the power the speak and testify to our very souls. It would have the power to cleans and purify us. It would have the power to connect us. It would have the power to guide us through this life. We would never be completely alone.
Finally God had one last and most glorious gift of all. The gift of salvation. Even though we would be separated from our bodies for a time we would be able to take them again for all eternity. But the second time, these tabernacles would be pure and whole and perfect like Him.
Is it no wonder why we all cheered? Is it no wonder why we were all so willing and anxious to go? Yes there would be those who would choose not to follow and would be led away. Their would be those would wouldn’t listen. But their would be far more that would listen, always seeking, always choosing to do good and turning away from the wicked. There would be far more that would hear good and see good and become good. And it is those, who when they come before God and His Son, will beg them to come and to stay. It will be those who will want to stay. It will be those who will cheer again.
They will not feel guilt or shame but instead love and acceptance for who they are and who they have become. It is they who will want to be with the Father and His Son again where we will all be together as an eternal family.
It is here that we will be One with God because we would be like Him, knowing good from evil, feeling and partaking of the Spirit and Love of God, basking in his Grace. Knowing the highest highs and the lowest lows. It is here where we continue to learn and grow and truly knowing God and becoming more like Him for all eternity.
Is this not his plan? Does His Spirit not speak and prick your very soul that this is true?
I testify that He does and it is. And to all those who know and understand his plan it is our responsibility to share this good news and to share and to teach it to others.