Ye Receive No Witness Until after the Trial of Your Faith

God expects his children to seek after Him in faith during this mortal life. One comes to know God through the concerted exercise of faith and not by waiting for God to reveal himself separate from this faith in action.

“…Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith…For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them…And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.” (Ether 11:6,12,18)

Questions:

-Will those who learn to earnestly seek God’s influence in this life, through faith, be in a natural position in the eternities to continue to learn from God?

The Reason Why God Ceaseth to Do Miracles among the Children of Men is Because They Dwindle in Unbelief

The prophet Moroni describes the only circumstance under which God ceases to do miracles among the people of the Earth.

“…Who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? …And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust. Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.” (Mormon 9:18-21)

Questions:

-Do some believe in God but misunderstand who He is (in that they do not trust that He works miracles in our time)?

God Has Not Ceased to Be a God of Miracles

The prophet Moroni continues to speak to those who do not believe God continues to perform miracles among the inhabitants of the Earth.

“Behold, [God] created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.” (Mormon 9:12-13)

“And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still. And now, O all ye that have imagined up unto yourselves a God who can do no miracles, I would ask of you, have all these things passed, of which I have spoken? Has the end come yet? Behold I say unto you, Nay; and God has not ceased to be a God of miracles.” (Mormon 9:14-15)

Questions:

-Is there a greater miracle than the Resurrection?

-Does the theological stance that God has ceased to do miracles make sense when the resurrection of most of the world’s population is still to occur?

Out of the Earth Shall They Come, by the Hand of the Lord, and None Can Stay It

The Nephite prophet who buried the Gold Plates (knowing that a portion would be translated by the power of God at a later date as the Book of Mormon) offers a warning to those who are tempted to set themselves against God’s work and His word.

“…I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord [and] the record…is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless. For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord. And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God. And if there be faults they be the faults of a man. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth, let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire. And he that saith: Show unto me, or ye shall be smitten—let him beware lest he commandeth that which is forbidden of the Lord. For behold, the same that judgeth rashly shall be judged rashly again; for according to his works shall his wages be; therefore, he that smiteth shall be smitten again, of the Lord. Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.” (Mormon 8:14-20)

“And he that shall breathe out wrath and strifes against the work of the Lord, and against the covenant people of the Lord who are the house of Israel, and shall say: We will destroy the work of the Lord, and the Lord will not remember his covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel—the same is in danger to be hewn down and cast into the fire. For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all his promises shall be fulfilled. Search the prophecies of Isaiah. Behold, I cannot write them. Yea, behold I say unto you, that those saints who have gone before me, who have possessed this land, shall cry, yea, even from the dust will they cry unto the Lord; and as the Lord liveth he will remember the covenant which he hath made with them…And no one need say that these things shall not come, for they surely shall, for the Lord hath spoken it; for out of the earth shall they come, by the hand of the Lord, and none can stay it; and it shall come in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away; and it shall come even as if one should speak from the dead.” (Mormon 8:21-23; 26)

Questions:

-Do you believe that giving God glory is always tied (to one degree or another) to pursuing the welfare of His ancient covenant people and their descendants (physical and spiritual)?

Wo unto Him That Spurneth at the Doings of the Lord

Leading up to Christ’s Second Coming, those who reject Christ’s work of gathering Israel — which will be accomplished to a large degree through miraculous revelation, prophecy, gifts of the Spirit, tongues, healing, and the power of the Holy Ghost — will be overtaken by the momentum of a devilish culture that mocks the idea of God’s power and, through social reinforcement, perpetuates the condemnation of those in its clutches.

“And now I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings [from the Book of Mormon] shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled. And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel. And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you. Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works! Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost! Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!” (3 Nephi 29:1-7)

Questions:

-Are there some who profess to believe in God but also proclaim that He is no longer working with mankind as a God of miracles?

-Will those who do not seek revelation, prophecy, the gifts of the Spirit, and the power of the Holy Ghost be able to avoid succumbing to the anti-Christ culture that is building up prior to the Savior’s return?

-How many are working with a theological understanding that the events leading up to the Second Coming of Christ will be closely tied to the physical and spiritual gathering of the house of Israel according to the ancient covenants God has made?

If the Church Is Built upon My Gospel Then Will the Father Show Forth His Own Works in It

God’s power is the only non-entropic force in the universe. Every organization that does not keep His authority and His gospel tightly at its center will come to naught in the end. In the verses below, Jesus teaches this principle (in the context of church organization) to His disciples in the Americas:  

“…If it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it. But if be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they shall have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you.” (3 Nephi 27:10-12)

Questions:

-Is the search for God the search for things that last forever?

-Does it make sense to stop that search at any point and resign oneself to the temporal and fleeting?

-Is there a church on the Earth that has the authority from God to seal loving and committed family relationships as eternal relationships?

The Spirit of the Lord Doth not Dwell in Unholy Temples

Wickedness and weakness are closely tied together. The Nephites became weak when they committed sin and no longer sought a connection (through revelation and prophecy) with God.

“Because of their iniquity the church had begun to dwindle and they began to disbelieve in the spirit of prophecy and in the spirit of revelation; and the judgments of God did stare them in the face. And they saw that they had become weak…and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples…” (Helaman 4:23-24)

Questions:

-Are there some who believe God is still a God of miracles and, therefore, seek the spirit of revelation and prophecy in our times?

-Is seeking revelation and prophetic insight even a consideration for most?

-Without revelation and prophetic insight, is it possible to truly be in line with God’s will?

All Is as One Day with God

Alma teaches his son that God does not experience time as we on Earth do.

“All is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men.” (Alma 40:8)

Questions:

-Could a God who sees and comprehends all be within the confines of time as we know it?

Gratitude: I am grateful to worship a living God who works beyond our current understanding of time and space. The highest level of comprehension available to humans through scientific and linguistic inquiry is but a small fraction of His knowledge. God’s miraculous interventions in our lives, for which I am also grateful, are based on His mastery of the fullness of eternal truth and are not limited to our understanding of what is and isn’t “possible.”

A Seer Can Know of Things Which Are Past, and Also of Things Which Are to Come

Ammon describes the special powers given by God to a seer.

“…A man may have great power given him from God. But a seer can know of things which are past, and also of things which are to come, and by them shall all things be revealed, or, rather, shall secret things be made manifest, and hidden things shall come to light, and things which are not known shall be made known by them, and also things shall be made known by them which otherwise could not be known. Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.” (Mosiah 8:16-18)

Questions:

-Are there seers on the earth today?

-If so, do they serve as a great benefit to their fellow beings?

-Does God limit what they proclaim based on how ready the world is for truth?

He Shall Suffer Temptations, Pain of Body, Hunger, Thirst and Fatigue, Even More Than Man Can Suffer, Except It Be unto Death

King Benjamin retells the words of an angel who visited him in the night in about 124 B.C. The angel foretells the most important life, and related events, that would ever take place on earth:

“…The time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.” (Mosiah 3:5)

“And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and abominations of his people.” (Mosiah 3:6-7)

Questions:

-Do you believe Jesus Christ worked miracles during His lifetime as the angel speaking to King Benjamin testified He would?

-Was there any event more worthy of clear foretelling (in prophetic vision and angelic visitation) than the life and Atonement of Jesus Christ?

-Do you believe Christ suffered more than any human being has, or ever will, suffer (in order to work at the Atonement in each individual’s behalf)?