Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the Seventy shared the experiences he had after a massive earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, 2011.
Elder Aoyagi spoke in the Sunday afternoon session of the October 2015 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He said he was in Tokyo visiting the Japan Kobe Mission when he felt the 9.0 magnitude earthquake.
After viewing the footage of the destruction of the earthquake and learning that his family was safe, Elder Aoyagi began to pray for Heavenly Father’s protection of the people of the areas most impacted by the quake.
Much to his relief, all of the missionaries and church members were safe, but many of them had lost their homes, family members and belongings.
Elder Aoyagi then asked the question that many people ask in the midst of these tragedies, “Why do these things happen to me?” or “Why do I have to suffer?”
Elder Aoyagi then relayed a story from earlier in his life that helped him find clarity to these questions.
As he was driving to the airport with a companionship of elders, a large truck struck their car and threw the vehicle nearly 60 feet.
No one was injured initially after the accident, but in the days following Elder Aoyagi began to feel pain in his head, neck and shoulders, which lasted for about 10 years.
He began to ask why he had to suffer so much pain and why his desire to be healed was not answered.
After talking with a church leader, Elder Aoyagi began to understand that this trail was part of God’s plan for him and that eventually, he will be healed after the Resurrection.
“It is, that the God who created the heavens and the earth knows the grand design of this earth, that he has dominion over all things in the heavens and the earth, and that in order to bring to pass the plan of salvation he provides many different experiences, that is to say trials, while his children are on this earth.”
Elder Aoyagi soon began to realize the positives from the accident with the truck as well as the blessings he had received from the accident.
“Put God first, regardless of the trials you face. Love God. Have faith in Christ and entrust yourself to him in all things.”
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