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May 26, 2020

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JanetFebruary 19, 2020

I loved the article and I loved the humor. You made me laugh as I remembered too many of my own experiences in arguing with God. I'm very grateful He gives us second chances. In response to your additional comments above: I remember one day when I was a teenager, in frustration I "informed" God that the world was a big mess, but I had some good ideas on how He could fix it if He'd only ask me! I distinctly heard His response, "My dear, you can't even manage yourself so what makes you think you can manage the world?" He had a good point. Since that time, I've been less inclined to judge God's ability to manage His children as a loving Father, and I try harder to take counsel from His hand.

Jeff LindsayFebruary 18, 2020

Thanks for the comments! I should add that in sharing this, I recognize that some will wonder why God would help or attempt to help one individual on their journey while millions suffer, as if small miracles don't count when big problems remain unresolved. Why doesn't he solve global problems now and make everyone better off more directly? In fact, many of us are shocked that God doesn't do things our way. Some conclude that He either must not exist or is simply incompetent based on His failure to accept our arguments and comply with our logical demands. Incredibly, so far He has still failed to stop all disease, eliminate death now (not in the distant future!), ensure high wages for all, prevent climate change, stop tooth decay, provide us with more sustainable packaging materials, reduce traffic jams, redistribute wealth in our direction, and ensure that all students have above-average grades. It takes little more than a third-grade education to recognize the absurdity of God not doing everything our way and failing to distribute unlimited blessings uniformly and immediately. Instead, it seems that He only occasionally works miracles and often rather minor ones, healing a few random people long ago in Israel, for example, instead of providing cures for all globally. So unfair! Believers may opine that His purpose is not to make us as comfortable as possible on earth, but to send us here briefly to learn, grow, face trials, get a body, choose good over evil, etc., however brief the journey. The needs and purposes of each journey may differ, and God's personalized responses may differ wildly from person to person even if they seek Him in faith. For those who view God as a loving parent, some will say that the purpose of parenting is not to spoil kids with all the toys and treats they want now nor to ensure they never have to struggle, study, face consequences, or experience grief and pain, but rather to help them grow, mature, make decisions and realize their own potential, even if it means being sent away from home and facing painful trials, even the risk of failure. Believers will say that each of us are on a unique journey through mortality and that God is there with great love for us and sometimes inspiration, regardless of where our journey takes us or even if we make choices that take us far from His intended path. Some will die or suffer today by His will, others by their errors or the sins of someone else. Some will be guided to avoid a crisis such as a war or a pandemic, while others will be needed to stand in the heat of battle and play a painful role. Some He may try to guide one way or the other, but they may not listen. But many will testify that even in their darkest hours, they found His love and sometimes even tender mercies. We could complain about God allowing harmful viruses to spread at all. We could complain about why millions are trapped in Wuhan and so many are dying. The complaints are many. Answers are few. Certainly we should be concerned and pray for relief and do what we can to help, if we can do something. But whether one is trapped in a prison, a locked-down city raging with disease, or forced to leave home in an unprepared manner, when we turn to Him for guidance, there are blessings that await in our ongoing journey. There may be comfort and peace in times of trial. There may be the "tender mercies" like Nephi experienced on his painful 8-year trek through Arabia that helped shape and prepare him for great things. For some of us, there may be a second chance to get a valuable record that a stubborn soul should have brought. My journey has been a mix of trouble and joy, with many tender mercies but very few of the big miracles that I have wanted. But while His ways are not my ways, I'm gradually learning that for wise and eternal purposes, it's best for me to not criticize His ways and to endure in faith and patience. I fail frequently and am tempted to rail and moan, but am gradually learning that His ways are worth accepting and His gentle, personal whisperings are worth listening to when they come.

RenaissancenerdFebruary 17, 2020

Thanks for some much needed laughs! I was having a hard day, and it’s still hard, but doesn’t seem so bleak all of a sudden.

VardellFebruary 17, 2020

Jeff, loved how you made your point using humor. I think one reason God is a poor debater is that He is just gullible. You know, when we are in the depths of distress and we negotiate a deal with God, and we promise that we will never sin again. He always believes us and He blesses us. And then we renege on our promise. But the next time we are in distress, we do it all over again. So, take your pick, either God is Gullible or He just has a bad memory. Now that we have proven that God is a poor debater, gullible, and has a bad memory, one thing you will also discover is that although He has a sense of Humor, many members do not. As you are being burned at the stake for blasphemy, take some solace in knowing that you taught us a good lesson and made us smile. Thank you.

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