Monday, October 3, 2011

Isn't there an app for that?

I feel cheated.  I have ever since I was a kid, but especially now that I am an adult.  This sense of unfairness that I have felt may be the over riding reason why I am no longer a believer.  It boils down to one unequivocal statement.  God is stingy.

Let me explain why I feel this way.  Growing up in a religious household, I was taught all the many stories of the Bible and (since I was raised Mormon) the Book of Mormon also.  The Bible primarily, but the Book of Mormon also, is chock full of wonderful miracles that seem to happen on a daily basis to those whom are participating in the narrative.  If you google "Bible Miracles" you will quickly be able to find thousands of web pages that list the hundreds of miracles that the bible describes.  Many of us can name dozens just off the top of our heads.  Some of them are real doozies.  Creation.  That one was huge.  The flood.  The opposite of creation, but still a major undertaking.  Sampson's strength, the vast number of plagues called down on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, manna from heaven, being guided by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire by night, the survival of the three youths (no, I'm not going to spend the time trying to spell their names correctly) from the fiery furnace, turning water to wine, voices from heaven, mass hysteria.  Sorry, started quoting from Ghost Busters there for a minute.

My point is that it would seem that people back in the day were much more likely to be treated to a pretty seriously cool miracle now and again.  When some of your uppity brethren get swallowed up by the earth because they wanted the priesthood and God had already told them no, and then the prophet says the words and the ground opens up and then slams shut on them, that is some faith promoting action right there.  Not to mention entire armies being defeated by angels without the opposing side having to lift a finger.  These types of circumstances would effect entire generations.  I mean, even if you didn't see it, but instead were told by your father or grandfather, it would be something to cause you to meander towards God.

Then we fast forward in time to Christ coming and we see more cool miracles.  Not necessarily so brash as some of the earlier miracles but definitely cool and faith promoting.  Jesus never caused two she bears to come out of the woods and tear up 42 children, but he did raise the dead, cure leprosy, and cause those that were blind since childhood to see.  Pretty good stuff.  Not to mention raising himself from the dead, appearing to his apostles, and if you believe the Book of Mormon, flying across the Atlantic ocean and hanging out with the people of this continent after they have been bumping around in the dark for three days.

Even after Jesus left the scene for good, his apostles still did some pretty cool stuff.  Miracles followed them around also.  But then, nothing much.  The catholic church would sometimes report some small miracle or other, usually a statue bleeding or a person with wounds on their hands that wouldn't heal.  Even the church though, caused these to be investigated thoroughly before they would get behind it.  Then we go a couple of thousand years with not much happening.  Enter Joseph Smith.  I have hope again.  If you believe the press there was some pretty good miracles that happened around the early part of 1800s.  Of course, the best ones were only witnessed by one or two people at a time, so even though Joseph claimed to see God and Jesus, it doesn't have the same impact as a million people seeing the Red Sea part.  Still, we may be getting something going.

But then, not so much.  After Joseph was killed the miracles dried up.  Revelations stopped coming for the most part and the modern day prophets aren't even close.  Joseph supposedly received the news right from God himself, having many revelations pertaining to both weighty spiritual matters as well as when people should sell their farms.  God was active in the lives of his saints and things were going to be great (unless you count the constantly having to migrate somewhere else because you had pissed off the local population, and your leaders were constantly getting arrested, but other than that, good times.)

Today, when asked, the modern prophet, the president of the church, to whom I always knew was the man that actually talked face to face with God and Jesus, will say that they don't actually talk to God, or have even seen him face to face, but instead get feelings and impressions as to what to do.  Feelings?  Impressions?  Really?  Why is God being so stingy with his miracles and face time?  We are told over and over that these are the last days, and they are tough.  So why is it when the going gets tough, that God stops.  Wouldn't it make more sense to step up the hard sell now that there is so much that is competing for our attention.  I mean, the modern devices that we use would have been considered miraculous by ancient standards, but were created by man, not God.  If God wants to compete he needs to get his own app or something.  I mean, compared to what he has done in the past, how hard would it be for a pillar of fire to come down and shake everything up around here?  Maybe a voice from heaven saying "Knock that shit off!"  I'm just saying, that I feel cheated.  I think that God doesn't care anymore.  Maybe it's possible that we have created our own miracles so much that God doesn't want to compete.  Maybe sheep herders a few thousand years ago were easy to impress.  Is it possible that God fears that even if he were to fire up the old miracle machine again, that we would be so busy playing with our various electronic devices that we wouldn't even notice?  Or would we just say, "big deal, I've got an app for that?"

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