The prophet Nephi wrote and prophesied about our day. He referred to us as Gentiles and said that we would “put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning… (2 Nephi 26:20).
Unfortunately, I think we are living in that day. But at the same time we live in a day where God’s miracles are available to those with faith. I believe all men and women have access to miracles at some level, be of whatever faith they may. However, Latter Day Saints have been given additional access to miracles because of the restoration of the gospel. We are eligible to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (if we seek diligently for it). In addition, we have the priesthood, restored by angelic messengers.
Miracles Follow Those Who Believe
There are two kinds of miracles according to Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
“First, miracles worked by the power of the priesthood are always present in the true Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon teaches that “God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles” (Mosiah 8:18). The “means” provided is priesthood power (see James 5:14-15; D&C 42:43-48), and that power works miracles through faith (see Ether 12:12; Moro. 7:37).”
“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. As Nephi taught, God “manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith” (2 Ne. 26:13; see also 1 Ne. 7:12; James 5:15).” Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, Jun 2001, 6
What is a Miracle?
The scriptures refer to the Lord as a God of miracles (Mormon 9:11). The following scripture gives insight to the question: What is a miracle?.
“For I am God, and mine arm is not shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders, unto all those who believe on my name.
And whoso shall ask it in my name in faith, they shall cast out devils; they shall heal the sick; they shall cause the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk.” D&C 35:8 – 9
The verse above refers to casting out devils and healing the body.
There are other kind of miracles. These miracles have to do with the mighty change of heart that comes to us individually as we experience the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost.
“Therefore they were called after this holy order, and were sanctified, and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb.
Now they, after being sanctified by the Holy Ghost, having their garments made white, being pure and spotless before God, could not look upon sin save it were with abhorrence; and there were many, exceedingly great many, who were made pure and entered into the rest of the Lord their God. ” Alma 13:11 – 12
There are many miracles that come from our Father in Heaven to bless our lives. In general there are three kinds of miracles:
1. Unconscious miracles—events in our lives where God provided a miracle but we are unaware of it.
2. Suspected miracles—events in our lives we can’t account for, but suspect that it is a miracle from God.
3. Obvious Miracles—miracles that we know came from God because there is no other reasonable explanation.
When we’re the recipient of a miracle we should thank our Father in Heaven. We should then record the details of the miracle to preserve a record of those things the Lord has done for us.
There are many accounts of miracles recorded in the scriptures. The purpose of relating miracles is to increase faith. How many times has your faith been added to because someone was willing to acknowledge a miracle they experienced? Miracles are meant to be shared, but care must be taken when sharing sacred experiences. The concern is that the one telling about their sacred experience will fall prey to the natural man and develop an appetite to “be seen of men”.
Elders Oaks said:
“Why don’t our talks in general conference and local meetings say more about the miracles we have seen? 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.”
“…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.” Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, Jun 2001, 6
Click here to go to Elders Oaks talk and read some very sacred miracles. Look for the heading, Sharing Miracles, about a third the way down the page.