It is a given that bad things happen to good people, said Randy L. Bott during the Sidney B. Sperry Symposium Oct. 19.
Brother Bott of the BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine said several purposes for the suffering that good people encounter are found in the Doctrine and Covenants.- God allows His children to suffer the natural consequences of improperly placed priorities. "You can go through the Doctrine and Covenants and find those who suffer because they put other men and other things ahead of God," said Brother Bott.
- Failure to repent results in suffering. "In Section 19 the Lord talked to us about the things that will happen if we refuse to repent," he said.
- Afflictions come to help people learn patience. "Tribulation will end at the Second Coming and the Lord will bring the rewards for us enduring suffering," he said.
- Afflictions come from various sources and have multiple lessons that can move Church members toward their eternal goal of becoming like God. "We are here to be tried and tested in all things," Brother Bott explained.
- Trials come from Satan because of the failure to follow directives from the Lord. "When you set your own house in order, then and only then, will you be liberated from Satan," he said.
- Failing to do all the Lord has commanded will result in afflictions. "Suffering," Brother Bott said, "is one way to learn how to be obedient to God."
- Tribulations seem to be the forerunner of blessings. "If you are faithful through tribulation, greater blessings will come," said Brother Bott. "To exercise faith is to know that what the Lord is doing is for the greater good."
- Trials are to prepare God's children for sanctification. "God tries each of us for our own good, that we may know ourself," he said.
- Sometimes afflictions are necessary to soften Church members' hearts, so they can receive the blessings the Lord intends to bestow on them.
- Trials, tribulations, afflictions, and chastisements will result in exaltation for the faithful.
"I know there is purpose in suffering," Brother Bott concluded. "May you and I endure faithfully to the end, that we may receive our reward."