(October 1, 2015)
Here we have another perfect example that suffering is not always tied into unrighteousness. I have heard that belief espoused from time to time (ordinarily by those who are living comfortable lives and wish that to be evidence of their righteousness), but there is no evidence from the scriptures that adversity and suffering are solely self-generated.
The best example, of course, is that of Christ. He suffered all things and yet He lived a perfect life. But we have another example in Aaron, who was righteous and converted to the Gospel, and yet he suffered greatly at the hands of the Nehorites.
When we face suffering, there are times when that suffering is our fault. There are times when it is the fault of others. And there are times when it simply seems to be the naturalistic consequences of living in mortality. We do not have a promise that if we dedicate ourselves fully to the Lord He will take away all of our suffering (in fact, walking the path of discipleship often seems to bring with it greater challenges than the comfortable path of religious apathy). But what we are promised is that if we turn ourselves fully over to the Lord He will use our suffering to help us to progress and none of our tears will be wasted.