Recently, we had the opportunity to visit Oklahoma City. While we were there we went up to the Oklahoma City Memorial. My dad has been in town visiting and it was all his idea so we decided lets go ahead and take the 3 hour up and back to go see the museum. I will be 100% honest, I had NO idea that the Oklahoma City Bombing had taken place. I was barely one years old when it happened. I will say, that the drive up there and back was worth it and I want to share my thoughts on it today.
As I was walking through the self guided tour of the bombing that took place. I kept having thoughts poor into my head that people might ask who are non-believers in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Questions like – “Where is your God in all this?” or “How could your God let such evil exist?”. As I continued through the memorial I read a quote that was on the wall specifically talking about the rescue of many people. It said something along the lines of, “No matter the race, religion, political affiliation, ethnicity, or gender all ran to help save people from that building.” I was taken back by this quote because in a moment of need as great as this one it didn’t matter who you were you were helping to save human lives despite no knowing what had actually happened.
Those questions I had thoughts of earlier…thoughts came pouring in as I reached this quote and saw how the town came together. The answer to “Where is God in all this?” is that he is everywhere, He knew this horrible act would take place. He knew that some of His children would be coming home to him that day, He knew loved ones would grieve their loss, and He knew the end from the beginning. So where is he? He was in the moments of people running to save others, He was in the moments to welcome those who were passing over to the other side. He was in the moments of comforting loved ones of their losses and He was there to have justice served to Timothy McVeigh. I have a testimony that God is there even in the midst of horrible acts – such as the Oklahoma City Bombing. I know that it is hard to see Him in the moment, but He is all around in the people who serve as His instruments.
The other question was “How could your God let such evil exist?”. Well let me reference The Book of Mormon to answer this question, ” For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, . . . righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.” (2nd Nephi 2:11) To put it in simple terms (although I do believe it is pretty simple right now) it means that if we didn’t have evil how could we know joy and happiness? You can also state the reverse if we didn’t have joy and happiness how could we know evil? We need the two to understand each one. While the Oklahoma City bombing was nothing we would ever wish or want, it did allow us to feel grief, pain, misery, and woes. It also allowed us to see the town of Oklahoma City come and mourn together, feel comfort, and find joy in the midst of such a horrific act. Please watch this clip about opposition by Howard W. Hunter:
I love the end of this clip and how he reiterates the importance of having both evil and happiness exist. I hope my thoughts have been clear today — I know that without a doubt God exists and He is real. His son Jesus Christ is real. We are sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and he cares for us more than I think we could ever imagine.