Without Requirement or Demand…
I have said and written before that I am a believer in miracles. I believe in a God of miracles. It is not that I have asked for miracles in order to believe, but because I believe and walk in the paths of the Savior as best I have been able, I have witnessed mighty and powerful works provided by the hand of God. We are in the midst of a terrible drought that is affecting most of the western United States. I believe that God will relieve us of this drought and will bring rain in answer to our faith and prayers, but I do not seek signs and wonders in order to believe in the power of His divine hand.
During the mortal ministry of the Savior Jesus Christ he performed many miracles on behalf of the faithful that also drew the attention of the faithless. Of such He said, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Matthew 16:4).
Many who have asked for signs and wonders in order to force those possessing godly power to perform for faith have suffered the consequences of seeking signs by the signs being afflicted upon them. For the faithless to seek a wonder without thinking who might be negatively affected, often ultimately results in a curse for a sign. To be struck dumb seems an answer to not knowing when to shut one’s harmful mouth in the face of a servant of God. The sign that Jonah was given seemed adequate to bringing repentance after spending three days in the whale and being spit up on the shores of Nineveh, where he had been called to preach. Miracles are better offered to the faithful than sought for signs by the faithless.
The Lord said, “Behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs come by faith, unto mighty works” (Doctrine and Covenants 63:9-11).
There is no question in my heart or mind that miracles will happen, and that we are more than welcome to ask for such in the course of our faithful dealings with God. If we are a people of faith, willing to place our trust in Him, regardless of the outcomes and trials that we must endure, miracles will follow and we will have joy and rejoicing in the same. Nevertheless, to seek for a sign strictly to benefit our own faithless curiosity, or for selfish gain, will never bring the God sent blessings that we desire.
If we are a people of faith, willing to place our trust in Him, regardless of the outcomes and trials that we must endure, miracles will follow and we will have joy and rejoicing in the same.
In the New Testament we hear the Lord’s answer to those who would seek a sign in His day or ours. “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, ‘Master, we would see a sign from thee.’ But he answered and said unto them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here’” (Matthew 12:38-41).
Miracles will come, but they will come in answer to true faith as followers of Jesus Christ place their faith in Him without requirement or demand. While it may be required of us through this great growth and learning process of mortality to endure much and exercise true faith, miracles will follow our honest and humble requests of the Lord as we put faith in Him first.
“First came the test of faith—and then the miracle. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.”
Portrait of President Thomas S. Monson by Knud Edsberg
President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) taught us that through trial our faithful efforts will be rewarded. “Faith precedes the miracle. It has ever been so and shall ever be. It was not raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark. There was no visible ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Two heavenly personages were not yet seen when Joseph knelt and prayed. First came the test of faith—and then the miracle. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith” (“The Call to Serve,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 48–49).
Do not seek after a sign, but seek to do the will of God and miracles will follow. As our faith grows so shall wonders abound, and our faith will continue to increase until such day that we have cultivated a perfect faith, one that can never be called into question or fall to self-doubt. I believe in a God of miracles, and I know that if we cultivate our faith, our pre-mortal, mortal and post-mortal journey will lead us to a perfection of faith in He who deserves our trust like none other. May we all place our enduring faith deservedly in Heavenly Father, whose love, blessings and miracles are without limit, even unto blessing us with rain. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.