Matthew chapter 2 forces us to examine the nature of evil as it relates to the omnipotence of our Heavenly Father. Every teenager can relate with injustice. Most teens have a strong sense of right and wrong and feel that those that do wrong should face justice. We went through the text today and I asked this question, “How many of you would think it would be just for Herod to die of a heart attack just before he gives the order to kill all the children in Bethlehem?”
Most students like this alternate scenario. While this may be a better ending for Herod and a better beginning for those young children in Bethlehem, unfortunately this is not what happens. The events surrounding the birth of the Savior force the reader to confront what many call the problem of evil.
“The problem of evil is considered by many to be the ultimate test of any theological system”. 1
All of the standard works, The Old Testament, New Testament, The Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as the Pearl of Great Price have situations where evil seems to triumph. In the Pearl of Great Price we read of the daughters of Onitah who are slain for their testimony. The Book of Mormon has the converts of Ammonihah burned to death for their belief in Christ. We read of Job in the book named after him in the Old Testament. We have the ultimate example of the problem of evil in the crucifixion of the Savior of the World as recorded in the New Testament.
For a discussion on a great way to take this subject on, read my article entitled “Job: Addressing the problem of evil and suffering.”
1. Harold Kushner, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, New York: Schocken Books, 1981, 6.