Spencer Kimball on Trolley Square
Many Latter-day Saints throughout the state recently read a lesson in Priesthood and Relief Society meetings based on statements from Spencer Kimball, a past president of the church. The lesson was titled “Tragedy or Destiny?” President Kimball said the following.
“Could the Lord have prevented these tragedies? The answer is, Yes. The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death, if he will. But he will not.”
Later, he went on to say, “If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.
“If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.”
Trials are hard while we endure them and it can take many years of perspective to find appreciation. In the meantime, our hearts go out to those who are hurting today because of this and so many other tragedies around the globe.
UPDATE: I just noticed that audio of President Kimball's talk, Tragedy or Destiny, is available from BYU Speeches.