“[He] Took Our Infirmities, and Bare Our Sicknesses”
Class Member Reading: Mark 1-2; 4:35-41; 5; Luke 7:11-17
Scripture Chain: 2 Nephi 27:23; Mark 1:34; 3 Nephi 17:5–10; Ether 12:12; Mormon 9:15–21
Other Reading: None
Why do miracles happen sometimes to some people, but not all the time to everyone? What counts as a miracle, anyway?
Jana and Jonathan join the class.
You can access the Annotated Reading here (or PDF).
You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).
Miracles, talk by Elder Dallin Oaks
Miracles, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Miracles Then and Now, Elder Thomas Monson
Miracles, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Priesthood, Engaging Gospel Doctrine 054
Thanks to James Estrada for audio post production, and thanks to Marshall McDonald for the bumper music.
K D says:
Around 1:40 when you talk about selective telling of happenings, it made me think of the This American Life Episode called, “No coincidence, no story”- a phrased based on a …er chinese proverb? Check it out.
Jonathan Cannon says:
I never did give a response to the question of amputees. I have a speculation that I’m not at all certain about. I believe God works within the laws of nature, so even miracles obey those laws. It may be physically possible for microscale changes leading to curing of cancer and even raising from the dead are possible, but the changes required to regrow a limb in a short time are beyond the limits of natural law. Or it may be as you say, that miracles which are not subject to doubt are not allowed. Maybe limbs don’t regrow in miraculous ways because it’s too easily observable. Bottom line: no good answer, just speculations.
This conversation was very useful to me (I’m behind enough that I just got to it today), as I’ve been having a bit of a fight with God for about a year now, and it comes down to the check Jesus wrote with “Ask, and ye shall receive.” And “Who among you, if your child asks a fish, gives them a serpent….” And how God doesn’t really pay those checks off in the unqualified sense they are offered in. I know that there would be significant problems if every request was fulfilled as requested, but I’ve been resenting a quite worthy request I made being refused that I made about a year ago. It is very like asking for a fish and getting a serpent. And then he has the gall to say “Who am I that promises but does not fulfill?” To which the clear answer seems to me: “You are you who promises but does not fulfill.” I’m not questioning that his way is likely better than mine, but the statement wasn’t “Ask and ye might receive if I feel like doing it your way this time.” Your discussion about miracles, particularly the part about “Why didn’t I get my miracle?” was helpful. I’m going to be thinking through this and talking it over with God to see if we can reach some kind of reconciliation.