A God Of Miracles
For some reason there are many people who do not believe in miracles. I for one do believe that miracles do exist. The hub will explain some of the beliefs of members of the LDS faith and their feelings about miracles.
The Miracles of the Old Testament provided undeniable proof of God’s Existence and His Love for His People
As we think of the many miracles that can be read about in the Old Testament we must examine each one of determine what the purpose of each of those miracles was. Take the story of Moses parting the Red Sea. Exodus 14: 21-27
25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the Lord fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
26 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
There is a key word that comes up in these scriptures and that is “the Lord”. Like the Children of Israel were taught, we are to learn that the Lord does exist, that He loves his Children, that He will protect us against our enemies.
Another of my favorite biblical miracle stories is the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. We should all be familiar with this story. Elijah asked Ahab to bring the 450 “prophets of Baal” to a duel on Mount Carmel. Elijah set forth the challenge that if Baal could bring fire down upon the bullock then he would be considered God. If Elijah’s God could bring the fire down then his God would be God. So the Prophets of Baal called upon Baal to bring fire down from morning until noon. Elijah started to poke fun with the prophets of Baal asking them if maybe their God was on vacation or was sleeping. The Prophets of Baal even began to cut themselves hoping this would bring the fire down from their God.
At the time of the evening sacrifice Elijah called the people together. He then repairs the alter and made a trench around the alter. Elijah prepared the sacrifice and then he got the people to fill 4 barrels with water and pour it on the alter and the sacrifice. He actually asks them to do this 2 more times, completely covering the alter and the sacrifice with water. When the time of the sacrifice came, Elijah prayed to the Lord and fire consumed the sacrifice.
What are we to learn from this and the other great miracles in the Old Testament? These miracles help us to realize that the Lord does exist and that he does love us.
The Saviors Miracles Were Recorded so that We might Believe That Jesus is the Christ
Let’s think for a moment about all the miracles that are recorded that were performed by the savior. I tried to come up with a list of miracles that the savior performed during his ministry:
Healed Lepers, Healed the Sick, Restored Sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, Cast out devils, Raised the Dead and many more.
Why were these miracles performed and recorded for us to read about today? In John 20:31 we read
That scripture sounds a lot like the ever popular statement found in the Title page to the Book of Mormon. “Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations”
This goes to show us that the reason for the Miracles of Jesus and the other miracles recorded in the scripture are to convince us that Jesus Christ is our Savior.
We have smaller Private Miracles that Teach Each of Us to Have Faith in the Lord
The question must be asked can each of us have Miracles that happen to us. The easy answer to that question is yes – we each can have miracles happen in our lives every day. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones”. I have experienced this in my life. I would like to share two miracles that I have experienced.
One experience I had as a youth would be considered a small miracle. I was 14 years old and one Friday after noon I was out playing basketball at the playground. During what turned out to be my last game for the day I stepped on an opponent’s foot and turned my ankle. To this day I can remember the excruciating pain that I instantly felt. With the help up a couple of buddies I was able to make it home. I knew I had done something serious because I was not able to even move my ankle. Even touching my foot caused severe pain and my ankle was very swollen. The worst part was I knew in my mind that I was going to be missing significant time away from baseball, let alone not playing basketball for awhile. My father came home for work that evening and offered to give me a blessing (I’m sure my mom told him too, I think she was getting sick of me whining about the pain). Once the blessing had been given a couple of things happened. One the excruciating pain subsided – it still hurt but just not nearly as bad. This allowed me to have some clarity as to treating the injury. Then the following Monday I had baseball practice. I was able to actually take batting practice, and the coaches had me do some light fielding work. Within one week of injuring the ankle I was back at 100%. Back playing basketball, baseball and doing activities a typical 14 year old normally does.
Another experience actually happened to my Jennifer’s niece and her husband. They had been trying to have their first child and finally got pregnant. They were pretty excited to be bringing this new spirit into this world. That day finally came for the baby to be born and that is when the problems actually began. The baby had a bowel movement, which subsequently led to her having a torn lung. She was rushed to ERMC as they prepared her for the trip to Salt Lake City. Audrey spent the first months of her life at Primary Children’s with tubs and needles all around her. There even was a point during this experience where the outlook was rather grim. Blessings and prayers were offered on her behalf and because of the faith of those around her those prayers were answered. Last month Jennifer and the girls were able to attend her 1 year old birthday party. Audrey0 has no effects of the events that began her life and if someone didn’t know the story they would have absolutely no idea how close she was to not being here today.
In a New Era Article, President Packer of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles talked about quiet miracles. He describes these miracles as the ones that are often unnoticed. One particular miracle that he mentions struck me.
I’m going to quote from President Packer:
“I recall a few years ago I was supervising the missions in western Europe. We needed a mission president with a certain language proficiency. Several names were brought forward, but none of them seemed to be right. Then one of the Brethren remembered that he had met a man—I think it was in Korea—several years before. He was a member of the Church who was in the customs service. Somehow just the mention of that name and the Spirit confirmed it. He was called, by virtue of the time pressures, by telephone to preside over the mission. I visited him a few weeks later. He was living in Washington, D.C. He was within reach of the number one office in his category. His lifetime had been spent progressing through the ranks, thinking that perhaps one day he would stand at the head of that division. His senior officer had indicated that because of a health problem he would retire early and that this man was being recommended for that position. It was just at that time that the telephone call came.
I wanted to get acquainted with him and was invited to stay overnight. He brought me a message from his superior. The message was this: “Tell that Brother Packer of yours that you’re no missionary; I’ve worked with you for 30 years, and you haven’t converted me. Tell them they’re making a mistake. And you’re making a mistake. You’re a fool.” (I’m leaving out one word.) “If you will give up your retirement and all that you’ve reached for—why? Why would you do it?”
Simple answer: he’d been called. We live to know, in this church, that the response to a call does not depend on the testimony and witness of the one who delivers the call. It depends, rather, on the testimony and witness of the one who receives it.
It was very interesting. We were looking for a man who spoke French. It was not until after he was in the mission field, and we had some opportunities and responsibilities relating to some of the problems of some members we had in Spain, that we discovered that he wrote and spoke Spanish fluently. I suppose if we’d searched through the Church for a man who spoke French, spoke Spanish, and had had some diplomatic experience, particularly as it related to customs work, we would have gone afar in the world and not found him. Yet it was through the “chance” memory of one of the Brethren that he’d met a man a few years before in Korea who spoke French that he was found.”
In this article President Packer talked about other quiet miracles that happen all the time. He mentioned personal spiritual promptings. It might be a bishop being prompted to visit a certain family, the mother being prompted to check on her child, or the answer to a question one might have at work. This last example is one I have personally experienced. Many times at work there are issues that might arise that there is no known solution for. Many times a quick prayer and some silent listening and the answer is given.
Elder Packer also talks about the calling of individuals to callings. Our Stake President as stated on more than one occasion that the stake presidency prays for each individual that they call. They also have prayed and been told no about some individuals for a variety of reasons. And let’s be honest its only through revelation that a 30 year old would be called onto the Stake High Council.
Brothers and sisters miracles do exist. They are all around us. If we are spiritually prepared to receive them and we look closely and pay attention we will see them in our lives everyday
About The Author
John Taylor has been a member of the LDS church his whole life. He is, in fact, a 8th generation member of the church. He is directly related with President John Taylor who was the third president of the LDS church.