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Does God Create Natural Disasters or Just Know When They Will Happen?



Where is God's hand in things?

These things have been prophesied of for many years and to watch it happening before us is somewhat surreal.


No one can look at the news these days without seeing something about hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, or a host of other disturbing events wreaking havoc across the globe. These things have been prophesied of for many years and to watch it happening before us is somewhat surreal.


Doctrine & Covenants 88:87-91 says “For not many days hence and the earth shall tremble and reel to and fro as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face, and shall refuse to give light; and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from off a fig tree. “And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.


“For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.

“And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.

“And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men’s hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people.”


The Lord has always given His people warnings of coming perils through His prophet. When the people failed to repent and turn back to God, they witnessed the calamities prophesied.  I believe that God has always known how men would fail in their stewardship of the earth and that surely brings its own consequences. Science shows us “how” many of the upheavals and disasters occur but the gospel teaches us the “why”. We know that all of nature obeys the voice of God, unlike mankind. When the Lord wishes to have man remember Him, those elements of nature obey His voice and work together for His purpose.

Cause or Effect?

In 3rd Nephi, we read about a great earthquake followed by three days of darkness. This happened to remove the wicked while at the same time, to prepare the believers to receive their God. I personally believe that the Lord orders most things to take place at the right time; His time. I also believe in other situations He permits events to occur as a natural result of our misuse of the elements. 

Natural disasters have a unique way of getting the attention of those who aren’t listening to their God. Not only do people start to remember Him but then many good groups of people who take on His work come to the rescue with gloves, shovels, blankets, and food. The hardest of hearts can change through these acts of compassion.

In our day, we will all be affected by these disasters. We will also be able to work in the recovery of these upheavals. Even the members of the Church will not be spared from these trials but He will bless us with His Spirit, with guidance and protection as we strive to stand in holy places.

Latter Days

Elder Holland said, “The latter days are not a time to fear and tremble. They are a time to be believing and remember our covenants.”1

We should be found in holy places, keeping our covenants, serving our brethren and sisters and looking to Christ in all things. It won’t matter if the calamities that come are appointed by the Lord or just come as a natural consequence, we can have peace knowing that we are doing what we should be doing. We can draw on the strength of our God even amidst the great tempests and storms that come and we will have confidence that Heavenly Father will see us through.  

  1. Jeffery R. Holland, “To My Friends: Messages of Counsel and Comfort”, Published by Deseret Book, 2014

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