God is a God of miracles. Hence, God’s church is a church of miracles. There are countless miracles surrounding the restoration and operation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here are a few:
The miracle of the church being founded in undeveloped America
It doesn’t make much sense that the Lord would restore his church in the early 1800’s in a brand-new third-rate backwater country like America. It would be more logical to restore the church in the great power centers like London, Paris, Berlin, or Madrid.
Who would have thought that in a little over a hundred years, America would lead the world militarily, economically, politically, and culturally?
Because of the international influence of America, the church has been able to ride its coattails to spread the gospel throughout the world.
The miracle of the restoration through an obscure young uneducated rural farm boy
If I wanted to create a large and lasting church organization, I would start with a well-trained and highly-regarded theologian, like John Wesley, John Calvin, or Martin Luther.
Miraculously, Joseph Smith, a young uneducated unsophisticated rural farm boy, founded a church that has grown to 16 million members worldwide.
The miracle of the church settling in Salt Lake Valley
When the saints first settled in the Salt Lake Valley, it was a barren wasteland that no one wanted. Mountain men thought it was impossible to grow enough food to sustain people. It was arid, uninhabitable, and isolated.
Now it is the “cross-roads of the West.”
The two branches of the trans-continental railroad met near Ogden in 1869. This allowed for a safer and cheaper way for tens of thousands of European converts to “come to Zion.”
Salt Lake City is now at the intersection of I-15 and I-80. This makes it convenient for the 5 million people who visit Temple Square each year. Salt Lake City has become a stopping point for the tour groups traveling between Las Vegas and Yellowstone.
Salt Lake City has its own international airport. This makes is possible for the world leaders and missionaries to travel throughout the globe.
The miracle of avoiding the Civil War
By being in Utah during the Civil War the church was spared the death and devastation that plagued the rest of the country. It is estimated that tens of thousands of saints would have lost their lives if the church had still been in Illinois or Missouri.
The miracle of the crickets and the seagulls
Just when the prospect of the first full spring harvest in 1848 lifted pioneer spirits, hordes of “Mormon crickets” swarmed over the spouting grain.
Neither fire nor water nor broomsticks could halt the invasion. At the height of the plague, one church leader cautioned the pioneers not to dismantle their wagons “for we might need them.” Many members contemplated moving to fertile California.
The church members fasted and prayed for relief. Soon, flocks of sea gulls flew into in the fields, devouring the crickets. This intervention was miraculous. A remnant of the harvest was spared, allowing the Saints to remain in the valley. A downtown Salt Lake City Seagull Monument now commemorates the timely rescue by the seagulls. (Leonard Arrington, The Mormon Experience, p. 104)
The miracle of the Gold Rush merchandise
The Latter-day Saints faced a gloomy future in the winter of 1848-1849. In their two years in the valley they had yet to reap a bountiful harvest.
As reports of the gold strike in California trickled in, even the most loyal saints began to wonder at their leaders’ wisdom in choosing the inhospitable Great Basis for settlement. A few departed for the gold fields. Some returned to the East.
Brigham Young and the bulk of the members faithfully stood firm. President Heber C. Kimball prophesied that the saints in the valley would soon be able to buy eastern manufactured goods cheaper than they could in the East. Even the most faithful members shook their heads in doubt. One apostle wrote in his journal, “I didn’t believe a word of it.”
Within weeks, thousands of “forty-niners” began streaming through the Salt Lake Valley on their way to the gold fields in California. They left a trail of abandoned or cheaply traded goods and wagons in their wake. The prophesy was miraculously fulfilled. (Leonard Arrington, The Mormon Experience, p. 105)
The miracle of the lay unpaid ministry
Almost every major religion is led by highly trained and paid professional clergy. These priests and pastors have training in theology, sermonizing, counseling, and so on.
Local LDS leaders come from every conceivable background and livelihood. They are not formally trained. They are not paid. They keep their day jobs. This works, and it works incredibly well. It is miraculous!
The miracle of teenage missionaries
What large international businesses or governmental organizations use teenagers as their world representatives? None. This doesn’t make sense.
Some people snidely say that the church must be true, or else the teenage missionaries would have destroyed it a long time ago. These young missionaries are miraculously fluent, spiritual, and effective. They are miraculous!
The miraculous selection of stake presidents
The selection of stake presidents is very unique. Typically, a general authority flies to a stake where they don’t know anybody. On Saturday, these authorities interview the current stake presidency, high council, bishops and other potential “candidates.” These interviews last only a few minutes.
After prayer, and with guidance of the spirit, the authority turns over the reins to the new stake president, and then he flies back to church headquarters. Amazingly this works, and it works incredibly well. What a miracle!
Countless Extraordinary Miracles Permeate the Church
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a church of countless and extraordinary miracles. If we have open eyes and hearts, we will witness them. The church is indeed “a marvelous work and a wonder.”
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