It still feels so surreal. How could something like that happen? How could those little children be taken so heartlessly? And what of the teachers and administrators? We are indeed thankful for their bravery and courage as they protected those precious souls.
I feel a need to offer peace and hope to those struggling. I don’t know who will read these things or if it’s of any benefit, but I can’t stop thinking about it, so for my sake at the very least, I continue to study and find peace on the revealed light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
From our dear Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, God’s mouthpiece on Earth:
“The darkness of death, however, can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth.
“I am theresurrection, and the life,” spoke the Master. “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26)
This reassurance—yes, even holy confirmation—of life beyond the grave could will provide the peace promised by the Savior when He assured His disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Out of the darkness and the horror of Calvary came the voice of the Lamb, saying, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) And the dark was no longer dark, for He was with His Father. He had come from God, and to Him He had returned. So also those who walk with God in this earthly pilgrimage know from blessed experience that He will not abandon His children who trust in Him. In the night of death, His presence will be “better than [a] light and safer than a known way.” 4
Saul, on the road to Damascus, had a vision of the risen, exalted Christ. Later, as Paul, defender of truth and fearless missionary in the service of the Master, he bore witness of the risen Lord as he declared to the Saints at Corinth:
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
“… he was buried, and … he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
“… he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
“After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once. …
“After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
“And last of all he was seen of me.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
In our dispensation this same testimony was spoken boldly by the Prophet Joseph Smith, as he and Sidney Rigdon testified:
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—
“That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:22-24)
This is the knowledge that sustains. This is the truth that comforts. This is the assurance that guides those bowed down with grief out of the shadows and into the light. It is available to all.
Someone posted yesterday that God either doesn’t care, or He isn’t there. I understand this perspective…it’s hard to believe that a loving God could allow such young children to be brutally murdered. I have been pondering this question, and while I can’t find an answer…I found counsel in the words of modern prophets and apostles. It is not for us to understand all the workings of God. He has a plan and a purpose. He has given us agency, the right to choose. He doesn’t control our actions. But He lives and He loves.
From Quentin L. Cook, Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Something stirs us when we become aware of such tragedy, especially when suffered by innocent people.
“…Whenever tragedy occurs, we mourn and strive to bear one another’s burdens. We lament the things that will not be accomplished and the songs that will not be sung.
Among the most frequently asked questions of Church leaders are, Why does a just God allow bad things to happen, especially to good people? Why are those who are righteous and in the Lord’s service not immune from such tragedies?
While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us. Some of the most important principles are:
First, we have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves us personally and understands our suffering perfectly.
Second, His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer, whose Atonement not only provides for salvation and exaltation but also will compensate for all the unfairness of life.
Third, the Father’s plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding.”
I look forward to that day when I can understand with perfect clarity why these things happen. But until that day comes and we are ready to learn, we must have faith and hope in God, His son, Jesus, Christ, and in the good of humanity.