“As Joseph reminded his followers, ‘I believe that God foreknew everything, but did not foreordain everything.’ Exaltation, is within the reach of all, even if the journey toward that divine end is fraught with suffering. If we had insurance against a painful journey, one-third of the heavenly hosts would not have abandoned the enterprise. The risks are real. Or, in the language of the Book of Mormon, we cannot assume that our afflictions come from God, but we can know that ‘God shall consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain.'”
“‘If God were good, He would wish to make His creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty He would be able to do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks wither goodness, or power, or both.’ This is the problem of pain, in its simplest form.”
“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of His blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the refiner’s fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.”
“The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy.
“It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle in our return to God; a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”
“God rarely infringes on the agency of any of His children by intervening against some for the relief of others. But He does ease the burdens of our afflictions and strengthen us to bear them…Through all mortal opposition, we have God’s assurance that He will ‘consecrate [our] afflictions for [our] gain’ (2 Nephi 2:2).”