In life, we experience many things which are completely unrelated to our righteousness or wickedness. Storms falls on the righteousness and the wicked alike. And we also see the wicked often prosper for a time. The prosperity Gospel that suggests that wealth is an indelible indicator of individual righteousness is a grievous lie that Satan uses to stir up pride and contention.
Despite all that, the Book of Mormon has much to teach us about the consequences of sin. I find King Limhi’s description of the destruction that came upon his people striking. Most striking of all is the emphasis that the Lord has put on the consequences of the covenant. His covenant people will be blessed and prospered when righteous, but will not be succored in transgression. And if they sow transgression, they will suffer immediate destruction. Covenants are a great promise but also a great responsibility.
The reason that others suffer or have trials is not for us to judge. But I have personally had the experience where I have felt that certain particularized trials or obstacles came about specifically becuase of my lack of faith or obedience. I have at times quickly felt the chastening hand of the Lord calling me to repentance. I am grateful for these moments when if I am sensitive to the spirit I can learn and be rebuked and corrected.
29 For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them.
30 And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison.
31 And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction.
32 And now, behold, the promise of the Lord is fulfilled, and ye are smitten and afflicted.