Today my MIL came over, and we talked about what needs to be done. My work involves calling many of the companies that she will have to deal with, and helping customers set up or change their direct deposits and automatic payments. I know how to navigate the automated system for Social Security like no body's business. So I'll be sitting down with her soon and making some calls to let everyone know about her father's passing and handle the business. It feels nice to be able to do something for her for once.
I had a few minutes to talk with her this afternoon, and I let her know that I'd spoken to TB and that he'd taken it well. I told her that I felt that church and our faith had been a huge support for him. She told me that even though she know that he's in a better place, she doesn't feel comforted by it. I was a little confused and felt really bad. She had said something about us having to suffer and deal with the things we do, while the Powers look on, to prove a point. I didn't understand what she was talking about and it stayed with me all day. All I could do was think about how bleak that seemed and how much harder it is to grieve if that was where her head was at.
It wasn't until later that I spoke to my husband to ask him what that was about, as she is a Jehovah's Witness and he studied it in his teen years. He told me the basis of their beliefs and that they believe that Jehovah and Satan had an argument about power, and when things didn't go as planned, Satan was jealous and decided to leave and see how many people he could get to go with him, and Jehovah was said to go along with it and allow this contest. They believe that there were only angels and God in heaven, and that we didn't live there. Our souls don't come into existence until we're conceived. In this point of view (if I'm understanding this correctly) we are pawns in a larger struggle for power. If this is true, then our Father allow us to struggle and suffer to prove that we will obey him regardless, and he doesn't interfere as Satan torments us to try to get us to rebel against God. What a depressing view of our purpose, or lack of purpose in the world. It leads her to ask, as a parent herself, how God could allow his child to suffer on principal, and all for what?
I realize now how lucky I am to know about the restored gospel and what it means to me. To know that there is a Prophet to guide us and that Heavenly Father still talks to us to this day. That we lived with him in the pre-mortal world and that he loves us. That we have to suffer some adversity in our lives to be able to grow and progress towards our goal of being like him. To be polished through the trials, and to be able to have compassion towards others because of our experiences. It was made to perfect us, and for us to choose for ourselves what is right. That little thing called "free will" makes it so that bad things happen to us, because he can't stop someone from drinking and getting behind the wheel of a car, or taking drugs, or going into a bank with a gun to hold up the place. Sometimes acts of Nature or "acts of God" cause us adversity, but that only allow others a chance to serve and He know that those of us affected are strong enough to handle it. We are all tested, and we agreed to, and looked forward to being tested and tried in this life. It is so sad that there are so many who don't have the benefit of the true and restored Gospel to guide and comfort them.
And so I think that I will continue to pray on this, and that maybe this will be time for me to give my spare copy of the BofM to my MIL and ask her to look it over. She's searching for the truth, and finding her faith lacking. Maybe it's time.