Q: My son died from cancer at the age of 21. Was it so much necessary to suffer and leave this world like that?

A: Your sad loss touches every caring mortal learning of it. It touches the angels too, who are endowed with greater love and compassion than we are. It touches Jesus and it touches our heavenly Father. Knowing this doesn’t make it easier to understand, but your sorrow is shared.

The Urantia Book says of God,

He has said of the mortal races, ‘In all your afflictions I am afflicted.’ He unquestionably experiences a fatherly and sympathetic understanding; he may truly suffer, but we do not comprehend the nature thereof.(3:6.6)

The Urantia Book helps to clarify the meaning of life, our purpose here, and our purpose hereafter. While we live here we’re subject to physical laws and the laws of nature, and of nature The Urantia Book relates,

… nature knows nothing of fairness–(84:5.2)

This physical world is the birthplace of the soul, the vessel needed to carry personality forward into the less material, more spiritual existence we have before us. Whatever happens to us beyond the circumstances necessary for this birth is subject to the “vicissitudes of time.”

In The Urantia Book, Jesus relates, regarding the Book of Job,

“And who can challenge the attitude of Job in view of the counsel of his friends and the erroneous ideas of God which occupied his own mind? Do you not see that Job longed for a human God, that he hungered to commune with a divine Being who knows man’s mortal estate and understands that the just must often suffer in innocence as a part of this first life of the long Paradise ascent? Wherefore has the Son of Man come forth from the Father to live such a life in the flesh that he will be able to comfort and succor all those who must henceforth be called upon to endure the afflictions of Job.” (149:6.7)

Perhaps there will be some comfort in considering the following inevitabilities of material existence (3:5.5):

The uncertainties of life and the vicissitudes of existence do not in any manner contradict the concept of the universal sovereignty of God. All evolutionary creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. Consider the following:

1. Is courage–strength of character–desirable? Then must man be reared in an environment which necessitates grappling with hardships and reacting to disappointments.

2. Is altruism–service of one’s fellows–desirable? Then must life experience provide for encountering situations of social inequality.

3. Is hope–the grandeur of trust–desirable? Then human existence must constantly be confronted with insecurities and recurrent uncertainties.

4. Is faith–the supreme assertion of human thought–desirable? Then must the mind of man find itself in that troublesome predicament where it ever knows less than it can believe.

5. Is the love of truth and the willingness to go wherever it leads, desirable? Then must man grow up in a world where error is present and falsehood always possible.

6. Is idealism–the approaching concept of the divine–desirable? Then must man struggle in an environment of relative goodness and beauty, surroundings stimulative of the irrepressible reach for better things.

7. Is loyaltydevotion to highest duty–desirable? Then must man carry on amid the possibilities of betrayal and desertion. The valor of devotion to duty consists in the implied danger of default.

8. Is unselfishness–the spirit of self-forgetfulness–desirable? Then must mortal man live face to face with the incessant clamoring of an inescapable self for recognition and honor. Man could not dynamically choose the divine life if there were no self-life to forsake. Man could never lay saving hold on righteousness if there were no potential evil to exalt and differentiate the good by contrast.

9. Is pleasure–the satisfaction of happiness–desirable? Then must man live in a world where the alternative of pain and the likelihood of suffering are ever-present experiential possibilities.”

Your question was “Was it so much necessary to suffer and leave the world like that?” and the answer that comes to mind is “no, ” it is not necessary to suffer – -suffering is not a prerequisite to entry to the world of the spirit although often suffering endows the sufferer and those closely associated with a new and more complete understanding of and spiritual awakening to the purpose, value, and meaning of life; and “yes, ” it is necessary to suffer because it is part of the material human existence. Earth is not heaven and it will never be so.

Your loss is great and your suffering is real. Your son is no longer suffering and is now taking the first steps in a thrilling adventure extending into eternity. We pray that that understanding will ease the pain in your heart.

Date published:
Author: Staff