Article of the Week | BYU Studies

Article of the Week

Joseph Smith and the Problem of Evil
June 18, 2018
Article of the Week
Joseph Smith and the Problem of Evil
Author David L. Paulsen,

This daily feature is the introduction to a full article by David L. Paulsen that was published in issue 39:1. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

Nothing challenges the rationality of our belief in God or tests our trust in him more severely than human suffering and wickedness. Both are pervasive in our common experience. If this is not immediately evident, a glance at the morning paper of the evening news will make it so. At the moment, names like "Oklahoma City," "Columbine," "Kosovo," and "Turkey" evoke image upon image of unspeakable human cruelty or grief. But still "Auschwitz" and "Belsen" haunt our memories. And who can fathom the anguish of family members in West Valley, Utah, when they discovered their precious little girls suffocated together in the trunk of an automobile, the tragic outcome of an innocent game of hide–and–seek. Or the trauma of a dear friend of mine and his five young children who day by day for several months watched their lovely wife and mother wither down to an emaciated skeleton of eighty–five pounds as she endured a slow and painful death from inoperable cancer of the throat. Scenes like these are repeated daily a thousand and a thousand times.