Home Life Challenges Suffering Do children die for the sins of the parents?

Do children die for the sins of the parents?

Q: Why do children die? It for the sins of the parents or is their mission on earth completed?

A:  It is always a sadness when a child dies. It touches our hearts so deeply that we feel there must be an explanation, and we ask "Why? It is such a difficult thing to understand that we feel there has to be a good reason, known only to God. It is hard to realize that an innocent child is denied the chance to live a long life, when so many not-so-innocent folks live to a ripe old age.

The Urantia Book teaches us that affliction—any kind of affliction—is never a judgment from God. On a planet such as ours, many things happen which seem heartless and cruel, but this does not mean that we are being punished by God, or that our children are bearing divine retribution for our sins.

The phenomenon of death is occurring all over the planet at every moment. People are born and people die all the time. Death is not a curse, but an inevitability. None of us is guaranteed a long life on this earth, but we are all guaranteed to die in one way or another. In our attempts to fathom some reason in a child's death, we may grasp at the explanation that it was due to some sin that the parents committed—a sin against God, and so God claimed the life of this innocent in retribution...but this is just not the case. The sins of the fathers are not visited on subsequent generations in the form of a death curse. Death simply comes due to disease and the accidents of time—sometimes through violence or war—but the fact of death is simply a part of life, and will ever be so. Death is an equal-opportunity event, whether early or late. This is not to say that it is easy to accept the untimely passing of a child. No matter how they meet death, it is an especially sorrowful thing to bear the loss of a young person, and I can understand why it seems to need an explanation. But the fact is that our lives here are transient, and none of us will avoid death.

The Urantia Book reveals and enlarges the concept of a loving, fatherly God. Our Heavenly Father loves all of his children as individual members of the universal family, and his love encompasses even the smallest and the weakest of lives. With God, no life is ever lost. Even if a child should unfortunately lose its life before it is able to choose an eternity with God, it is saved, and kept safe. The child is raised in one of the many stopping-places in the Father's universe and is ultimately given a chance to enjoy an eternal existence just as is the oldest, most experienced survivor of this earth life. So, even if their earth life may be cut short, they still have the potential of an eternal life in the Father's care.

God is not an angry, vengeful tyrant who demands harsh payments for our transgressions. The Heavenly Father is incapable of wrath and anger. He is so great and good that he has no need for such base emotional reactions. In our attempts to make sense of the seemingly insensible, we have to be careful not to place upon God our most disagreeable human traits.

As for a "life-mission," I cannot presume to say that there is a pre-determined purpose for anyone's life. Our lives are shaped by our free-will decisions. I suppose that many of us feel that we do have a life-mission, but this is usually arrived at after some life experience and is predicated on one's interests and desires and goals for the future.

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:: Author: Staff