Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The signs that follow them that believe are generally for the benefit of those that believe

The scriptures say:

 Mormon 9:24 And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

Remarkably, there are very few of the great teachers in the scriptures of whom we have recorded instances of doing any of these things. Sure, some do. But for most, we don't.

And why is that? Is the scripture wrong?

No, but those signs that follow them that believe are generally given for the benefit of those who believe. Joseph Smith gave a great sermon on this, noting that even on the day of Pentecost those who were spiritually unprepared did not perceive the miracle.

Thus the signs that follow them that believe are generally given for the benefit of those that believe. They are frequently private, and not made part of the record of the scriptures. They are private because they are not primarily for the purpose of convincing unbelievers, but for benefit of those who believe. Thus, certainly, such signs did follow those prophets in the scriptures. But they were probably mostly private affairs, being for the benefit of those believers then present, rather than for the convincing of nonbelievers, and thus did not enter the scriptures.

After all, this is in the case in many of our homes these days I believe, particularly for healings. For we have them among us, but they are not published.

We generally have the sense, and certainly those who wrote the scriptures did as well, to follow God's counsel to Oliver Cowdery.

D&C 6:12 Make not thy gift known unto any save it be those who are of thy faith. Trifle not with sacred things.

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