Scripture Roundtable 32: D&C Gospel Doctrine Lesson 28, “O God, Where Art Thou?”

(Originally published on 22 June 2013.)

This is Scripture Roundtable 32 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #28, “O God, Where Art Thou?,” focusing on D&C 121, 122, and 123, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.

Some of the interesting discussion in this roundtable includes:

  • Historical setting for D&C 121, 122, 123: Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and the tensions surrounding the “Mormon War” of 1838
  • Discussion of the LDS Theodicy as presented in those sections
  • This life is for us to gain experience, even and especially when that is hard, in order to make us more empathetic and Godlike.

Here is the link to “Sin, Suffering, and Soul-Making: Joseph Smith on the Problem of Evil,” by Blake T. Ostler and David L. Paulsen, as mentioned in the roundtable.

Panelists for this roundtable include Andrew Smith, Cassandra Hedelius, Lincoln Hale, and Stephen Smoot.

This roundtable is also available as an audio podcast, and will be included in the podcast feed. You can listen by pressing the play button or download the podcast below:


A Mormon Theodicy: Jacob and the Problem of Evil

Abstract: Lehi’s son Jacob was troubled by a great theological mystery of his and our day — the problem of evil. If God is both all good and all-powerful, how is it possible for the world to be so full of human and natural evils? Jacob was able to elicit from the Lord responses to the question of why He permits evil to flourish in this world. The Lord elucidates the perennial problem of evil for Jacob and us in three distinct genres and at three different levels of abstraction: at a metaphysical level in a philosophical patriarchal blessing, at a concrete level in the history of the emerging Nephite political economy, and in the Allegory of the Olive Tree. Continue reading