Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Spiritual Reasons Why Natural Disasters Occur

It feels like major natural disasters are happening with more frequency as we see natural disasters such as hurricane Katrina and Sandy, monstrous tornadoes, earthquakes in diverse places and volcanoes erupting in different parts of the world. Many people wonder if there is any meaning behind these natural disasters. 
The scripture explains that God uses these events for many purposes such calling people to repentance, administering punishment for wickedness and disobedience, separating the righteous from the wicked and warning as well as announcing Christ's return. 
Lets review the scriptures to see what the spiritual significance of these events could be:
  1. The Commotion in The Environment is the Earth's way of Testifying of Christ As the Savior. See D&C 88: 88-90.
  2. The Commotion in the Environment is to serve as a voice of warning of Christ's imminent return.
  3. Immediately prior to Christ's return on earth, there will be earthquakes, storms, tempests and thundering. This can be clearly seen prior to Christ's appearance somewhere on the American continent after his crucifixion in 3rd Nephi chapters 8 through 10. See also Isaiah 29:6, 2 Nephi 27:2, D&C 29:13 D&C 43:18; D&C 45:33, 48; D&C 49:23; D&C 84:118; and D&C 88:87.
  4. It is also a method by which God speaks to both the righteous and wicked JS—H 1:45 in the house of Israel in the latter days. See 1 Nephi 19:11
  5. It will be a means of shifting the wheat among the chaff as those who do not believe in Christ are destroyed by natural disasters, disease, warfare and famine while those who believe in Christ will be preserved.  See 1 Nephi 19:11, D&C 43:25, 2 Ne. 6:15
  6. Natural disasters will be used to show God's unhappiness and anger towards the wicked which will serve as means of chastening and punishing them for their sins and because they won't repent. (See Psalms 83:15, Psalms 11:6 , D&C 87:6, D&C 29:17, Moses 7:34, Moses 8:17, Moses 7:38 , D&C 97:26, D&C 97:22, D&C 112:24
  7. To punish those who have killed the Prophets. See 2 Ne. 26:5, 2 Ne. 26:6 
  8. He will use natural disasters such as famine to get people to repent. See Ether 9:28, D&C 43:22
  9. These natural disasters are an attempt to gather the nations of the earth under the protection of Christ. See D&C 43:25. However, such events can also be used to punish the wicked and scatter them throughout the earth. See 2 Ne. 10:6 and Isaiah 30:30.
  10. To release God's people from oppression. See Moses and the 10 plagues of Egypt.
  11. An earthquake will occur to initiate the resurrection of the righteous. See D&C 29:13 and  
  12. These natural events will be a part of God's judgment for earth. See D&C 97:26, JS—H 1:45
  13. These natural events are the natural consequences of sin, wickedness, spiritual and physical pollution on the earth and is considered one of the signs of the Last Days. See Mormon 8:31.
The Book of Mormon explains in 3rd Nuephi 10:14 that these events have been prophesied by God's prophets who have recorded these prophesies in the scriptures and that these prophecies about the natural disasters on earth have been or will be fulfilled.

Granted, it is difficult to tell if a natural disaster is just a natural occurrence or if there is something more deeper than that.  1 Kings 19: 11-12 reminds us that it is important to remember that not all natural disasters are messages from God. However, for whatever reasons why these events do happen, and despite the horrible things that do happen as a result of these natural disasters, its important to remember that God still interacts with His Children today as he did in the past and that we can use these events to draw closer to Him.

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