Faith? Prayer? Skill? Luck? Fate? This situation could validate any of them, and
more. I do not claim to know by what means this lad survived his ordeal. I
don't permit myself to claim what I cannot know. But I do ask why any
intervention capable of preventing his death from the accident didn't
prevent the accident itself.
Re: "I don't permit myself to claim what I cannot know."Neither does the Tullis family.
@ HuttAh, the problem of evil. We've seen in the last week two
different outcomes for two different missionaries. We cannot know why in this
life, only speculate.In the mix are intangibles like faith, prayer, agency
(of the victim and those around him), the will of God.Greater thinkers
than you and I have grappled with this issue since humans first walked the
earth.For myself, I am convinced that God doesn't run the lawnmowers
for us, nor does He sweep for nails. But I believe he does answer prayers. The
boy had excellent medical care from the moment it happened.He was
lucky/blessed/fortunate.I'll meet you on the other side to talk about
"He heared the lawn mower give a soft purr that grew to a mild roar."He heared it....Only in Utah.
I have been through some extraordinarily trying circumstances, some based on my
own deficiencies. I have a brother for whom one could say the same thing. We
have chosen to respond differently; I have viewed my trials as a wakeup call; he
has given up. Tellingly, he has not been content to let things go, but instead
has taken every opportunity to prove that what he once believed was instead
untrue. It is a pattern we have seen with early members of the Church that
turned their backs on it, and it is a pattern that we continue to see today
through various media. This should be a big red flag, but the ability to see it
requires humility. And of course, if humility were there in the first place, my
brother and others like him would have allowed themselves to see the positive
along with the negative. In so doing, they would instead have been able to
continue to grow "line upon line, precept upon precept" until their
experiences had become sufficient to change faith into knowledge.
Say No to BOSo do you really believe that god wouldn't have
blessed him if people wouldn't have prayed for him?? That makes little
sense. Why would god make the fate of ones life rest in the hands of other
people? Surely people have survived horrific things without prayer, and people
who have been prayed upon die. So what do the prayers actually do? I have a hard
time believing that god would let somebody suffer more for not praying, or make
them suffer less just because they prayed.
I am not sure that the outcome was changed because of the prayers that were
offered. However I do believe that the comfort and the peace that they received
was because of the prayers. Prayer is an act of aligning our will to God's
will not the other way around.
@BrahmabullI believe that is something our mortal minds cannot
connect with and understand. I believe prayer is a way to show our faith and
belief that God can perform miracles in our life. "For if there be no faith
among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them;"
Prayer brings the will of God in alignment with the will of the supplicant.Those who prayed for the boy were obviously sincere. Most of our prayers are
not.C S Lewis wrote an interesting essay on Petitionary Prayer, revealing
his ignorance in the matter. There's a fair amount of misunderstanding all
around when it comes to placing orders with God.
Say No to BOthat in no way answers the questions I asked you.
Essentially you are saying that what would happen would happen anyway, but pray
to help what was already going to happen anyway to still happen. Does that kind
of logic make any sense?
It's the latest fashion around here to throw out the term "tender
mercies" when what is really meant is "coincidences". I'm
frankly quite surprised no one has used it yet in response to this story. Oh
well, the day's not over.
Theistic folks in general believe god is an all-knowing being; he already knows
precisely what is going to happen to each of us in every instant. And yet,
these same people pray to god believing that if they have sufficient faith, they
can change his all-knowing mind, and the more friends they can recruit to offer
up additional prayers, the better their chances. It seems so clearly
contradictory, I think I must somehow misunderstand the whole idea. I suspect
Abe survived because his father and others had sufficient medical training to
know to do the right things to optimize Abe's odds of survival. It's
difficult to envision a god who would have let Abe die because he was one prayer
short, especially since he supposedly knew the outcome from the beginning. And
as Hutterite points out, why would any intervention capable of preventing his
death from the accident not prevent the accident itself?
Are people to whom bad things happen unimportant? Are people who aren't
spared less loved? I'm happy that all turned out well, but we should
remember not to insult people who have to go through horrible, merciless, brutal
trials in life. I'm an atheist. Based on the year I've had, if
I weren't an atheist, I'd conclude that God hates me. I'd rather
be an atheist, frankly.
Universal Truth: (no irony in that moniker)I don't think you have the
right to judge your brother, nor do you have the right to judge early members of
"the church" with whom you have never even spoken. I understand that
when one attends church, they are given generalized, "universal truth"
explanations for why a person might leave. There are typically about three of
them: Apathy. Sin. Misunderstanding. Nevertheless, there are likely stories
you haven't heard and things you haven't considered. Even if you are
a very smart person. People get through things differently and you simply
don't know enough to adequately judge a person's heart or their
decisions. I would suggest that you spend less time trying to make assumptions
about people who have come to different conclusions about life and more time
trying to help your brother, in a nonjudgmental way, overcome his problems. Not
necessarily what you perceive to be "spiritual" problems. There might be
other ways you can help that don't involve judgment or a lecture. Maybe
what he needs is different from what you need. Maybe for him, peace will come in
a different package.
What I don't understand is all the hate on this column. If you don't
believe in God who cares that these parents attribute the survival, and well
being of their son on divine intervention. Them believing that does not hurt
you, or infringe on you in any way! Can't we all just be happy that the boy
is ok? Or is it necessary to ridicule what others sincerely believe?
I'm surprised...no, actually shocked by the comments posted about this
story. Regardless of what you believe, this is an amazing story. I, for one,
am so glad that he is ok. I can see the love this family has for each other.
Maybe a kind word and empathy for what this family has gone through would be
more appropriate for such a story. Hopefully none of us will have to experience
something like this. It's always easy to judge others when we are not in
their position. I wish health and happiness for this family :)
bricha,If it is not okay to ridicule a person for what they believe, then
it should go to reason that it is unacceptable to ridicule them for what they
choose not to believe. This was my point in my response to "universal
truth". I am happy that the boy survived. But if you want to talk
about humility (as universal truth did), then I believe it's not humble to
assume that God (if you believe in God) decided to show mercy to somebody
because of how special they are or their faith or the love shown to them by
others. Such thinking is, in my opinion, prideful- the opposite of humble. Of
course, I've also heard it said a time or two that if a person is not
spared, it is because were so special that God needed them on the other side.
I'm no expert on faith. But it seems that the explanation is being
tailored to fit the scenario. In any case, losing a child is the worst
thing that can happen to somebody. Ask anybody whose child is not spared.
I attempted to file a comment critical of the Deseret News' journalistic
judgement for turning a story about a simple accident into a faith-promoting
homily. It was rejected on the ground that I indulged in "personal
attack," yet no individual was attacked in my comment. I have posted both
the comment and the rejection on Facebook, in hopes that a wider audience will
see the paper's true tactics in what it calls "a civil dialogue among
its readers." Now to see if the Deseret News has the courage to even post
Joe, it happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. I would love to take a day and read all
those reader comnents that go into a black hole. I may be a bit snarky, but I
think it's in an endearing way. I can't be the only one. Somebody
should put together a website of denied comments. Lol.
It is good to hear stories like this.From what I have learned of
prayer -- it is often an exercise in learning to better understand the will of
God. I have ached and yearned and prayed for good outcomes. Some times those
outcomes were not as I had prayed for. Yet, during the efforts, I came to
understand more fully that the Lord was present and aware of my pain; as well as
the needs of the person I was praying for. My prayers may not have changed the
outcome, but they helped to change me. I have come to understand better that
prayer is not futile, it is a blessing. I know that God hears and answers my
prayers -- because the answer was not always what I wanted, does not mean there
was no answer. To the contrary, I have learned through prayer to better
understand the concepts of eternity and to focus more on that.
@BrahmaWould you believe that God generally doesn't "make"
things happen? Nor does He go around tinkering in our lives. It's MY life,
not HIS. I'm being judged by my actions.There are times when God
intervenes, like when people pray.
All the comments here from those who don't believe in God have a very
different perspective from those who do believe in God. This life is but a
blink in eternity. We can't see what happened before, nor do we see what
happens after. We're here to learn, and everything that happens here in
this life is given to us to help us learn. Some of those things will be
extremely difficult to experience with that limited perspective. The point is
not what happens, or whether the outcome is bad or good, but how we respond to
it, and the kind of people we become as a result. In a hundred years,
we'll all be dead, and all of this will be long in the past. If we really
are eternal beings, as I believe, then the kind of people we became will be all
Moniker:You fail to see my point, if this were an article were the parents
attributed their sons survival on the generosity of Zues, ridiculing them would
not be appropriate, if they attributed it to Allah, Budda, the universe, or even
on the skill of the doctor it is not our place to ridicule!! These people had a
very traumatic experience let them believe what they may regardless of what you
The world's flimsiest argument is often used by people who say that God
could not exist because God does not think the way that they think. Do they
really think that a supreme being who can set planets into orbit and then
populate those planets with spiritual offspring would ever have a
"eureka" moment when He would say, "Why didn't I think of
that?"God's purposes are profound. We are given exactly
the experiences in life that we need to enable each of us to "get over
ourselves".The article touched the heart strings of those who
allowed the Spirit to teach them. Those who have not yet learned to hear and
feel the Spirit's quiet voice have something wonderful to look forward to -
when they are ready.