Miracles: The Greatest Gift of All

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Advent: the season of miracles

This beautiful young boy speaks about dreams, how we all have them inside of us and how important it is for us all to live them out. As I watched and listened my thoughts went to Christmas and how the first Christmas was a dream come true. God always dreams that each one of us would have a life of love, joy, peace and freedom. For Him, this dream is so real and enormous, He was willing to give all that is truly precious to Him up and send His Son to earth as a baby.

God is the original Dreamer, He loves giving us dreams and watching us acting on them because when we do we live our destinies. But these wonders are explainable by physical laws understood by some mortals. I call them miracles because I do not personally understand them and therefore cannot duplicate them at will.

Another category of miracles, so-called, are the tricks that some magicians and religious practitioners stage in order to produce astonishing events in aid of their professions or ministries. Religious practitioners have employed similar deceptions in our own day. About 40 years ago a professional dramatic production planned for a midwestern city had to be postponed because the producers could not find enough professional actors to perform the required roles.

A great religious revival was under way in that city, and I was told the revivalists had hired all of the available professional actors to portray miraculous healings and conversions to enhance their position and goals with their audiences. Before we are too critical of such techniques, we should remember that we engage in similar deceptions whenever we exaggerate a happening in order to dazzle an audience into thinking we have experienced a miracle or to enhance our stature in other ways.

We know from the scriptures that persons without authority will use the name of Jesus Christ to work what seem to be miracles. You will remember that these pretenders were rejected by the Lord see Matt. Not every manifestation or miracle comes from God or from mortal deception. The adversary has great powers to deceive, and he will use these to give his corrupted copy of the genuine miracles worked by the power of God.

I will say no more of this, since I believe it is not desirable to say much about the powers of the evil one. It is sufficient for us to know that his power exists and that we have been warned against it see Rev. I will now describe two types of genuine miracles. These two fit all of the elements of the definition: they are brought about by divine power, mortals do not understand them, and mortals cannot duplicate them of themselves.

First, miracles worked by the power of the priesthood are always present in the true Church of Jesus Christ. The scriptures contain many accounts of such miracles. I will describe some modern examples later. A second type of genuine miracle is the miracle worked through the power of faith, without specifically invoking the power of the priesthood. Many of these miracles occur in our Church, such as by the prayers of faithful women, and many occur outside it.

Some miracles affect many people.

No miracle is more far-reaching or more magnificent. Thus, there is something miraculous about the way the members of our Church pay their tithing so faithfully and are blessed for doing so. To cite another far-reaching miracle, there is no rational way to explain why young men and women give a year and a half to two years of their lives in the middle of their education and marriage eligibility to suffer the hardships incident to an inconvenient and highly disciplined pattern of missionary service to their fellowmen.

Other miracles occur in funding missions by missionaries or families too poor to do so but who do so anyway. Still another miracle is the way missionaries are protected during their labors. But the official death rates for comparable-age young men and women in the United States are eight times higher than the death rates of our missionaries. In other words, our young men and women are eight times safer in the mission field than the general population of their peers at home.

In view of the hazards of missionary labor, this mortality record is nothing less than a miracle. After one year our Internet site averaged eight million hits per day, representing daily visits by about , persons.

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In this same one-year period, the site registered users from countries who downloaded over , copies of our Personal Ancestral File. This was an eight-fold increase in usage over the prior technology. Family history work is exploding in a miraculous way. In contrast to these far-reaching miracles are the more familiar categories of miracles that impact only a few individuals.

The scriptures abound with such miracles, and miracles as great as these still occur. I have seen them, and so have you. Elder Spencer W. Kimball — , then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said:. Where are they recorded? In the records of the Church, in journals, in news and magazine articles and in the minds and memories of many people. Most of us are acquainted with miracles that have occurred in our personal lives and the lives of those we love, such as miracles involving births and deaths and miraculous healings.

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I have been speaking of miracles that happen. Most of us have offered prayers that were not answered with the miracle we requested at the time we desired. Miracles are not available for the asking. The will of the Lord is always paramount. The priesthood of the Lord cannot be used to work a miracle contrary to the will of the Lord.

We must also remember that even when a miracle is to occur, it will not occur on our desired schedule. Most of the miracles we experience are not to be shared. Consistent with the teachings of the scriptures, we hold them sacred and share them only when the Spirit prompts us to do so. Latter-day Saints generally follow these directions. In bearing testimonies and in our public addresses we rarely mention our most miraculous experiences, and we rarely rely on signs that the gospel is true.

We usually just affirm our testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and give few details on how we obtained it. Why is this?

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton - The Greatest Gift Of All (Lyrics)

Signs follow those that believe. Seeking a miracle to convert someone is improper sign seeking. By the same token, it is usually inappropriate to recite miraculous circumstances to a general audience that includes people with very different levels of spiritual maturity. To a general audience, miracles will be faith-reinforcing for some but an inappropriate sign for others.

A Course in Miracles

There are good reasons why we do not seek conversions by exhibiting signs. Scriptural history attests that people converted by signs and wonders soon forget them and again become susceptible to the lies and distortions of Satan and his servants Hel. President George Q.

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Although we are generally counseled not to speak of sacred things like the miracles we have witnessed, there are times when the Spirit prompts us to share these experiences, sometimes even in a setting where our account will be published. The miracles written in the scriptures were obviously intended to be shared, usually to strengthen the faith of those who already believed.

Modern servants of the Lord have also felt impressed to describe miraculous events to strengthen the faith of believers. Many of these have been published. I have chosen to share some of these here. A few years after the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, a young man took an ox team up Millcreek Canyon on a cold winter day to get logs to build a house. It was extremely cold, and the snow was deep.

His sled held five large logs. After he loaded the first one, he turned around to load another. He was thrown face-forward across the four logs still on the ground and pinned there, alone, with no way to extract himself. He knew he would freeze to death and die alone in the mountains. The next thing this young pioneer remembered was waking up, sitting on a load of five logs nicely bound on his sled with his oxen pulling the load down the canyon.

Many miracles happen to aid individuals in pursuing their personal family histories. In an issue of the Church News, a woman told how she returned to her ancestral home in Japan to seek information about her ancestors. After finding nothing in official records, local libraries, and cemeteries, she gave up and was driving away empty-handed when she became lost and somehow drove past a cemetery she did not know existed.

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From the car window she saw a familiar name on a tombstone, stopped, and found many markers with the information she sought. Miraculous healings through priesthood blessings and the prayer of faith are familiar to most of us. An experience related in the Friend magazine is typical. She co-founded the organization Peace Alliance, and in , she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that has served, to date, over 11 million meals to homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Talk about a force for good! The lessons of higher consciousness can contribute to tipping the scales towards positivity, beauty, and hope, and Marianne is helping to lead that charge.

Miracles exist, and Marianne Williamson can direct you toward manifesting more of them in your life for deeper soul authenticity and expanded Light of Spirit. Those small stones of good energy that radiate into your life then radiate out into the universe. See you there!