Coincidences

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bridget_night
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Coincidences

Post by bridget_night » 27 Sep 2009, 16:08

I read a book once called,"When God Winks" and another one by Carol Lynn Pearson called, "Consider the Butterflies." They were about amazing coincidences that have happened to people. I have had a number of them in my life. Here are just a few :

1. When praying about moving from Oregon to Florida, we attended another ward in another city in Oregon we had never been to before. When I walked into the RS room there was a mural on a whole wall of Cypress Gardens, Florida painted. When we moved to Florida my husband found a whole bunch of his dad's relative and genealogy he had never been able to find.

2. When I met my husband, he was not a member of the church. My Patriarchal Blessing had told me to search out a mate the Lord had prepared for me but to not accept him under any circumstances accept that he was willing to take me to the temple. My dad had been pressuring him to join the church but he said he wouldn't because he did not know if the things he was learning about the church were true. We had only been dating two months at this time and he proposed to me by saying, "I want to ask you to marry me someday, but not until I can take you to your temple."

So, what do you all think about coincidences? Have you had any and do you think they are answers from God?

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bridget_night
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Re: Coincidences

Post by bridget_night » 27 Sep 2009, 16:26

Oh and speaking of coincidences, we had a 'linger longer' after church today where we have a 'break the fast' potluck to get to know one another better. They are really great. There I ran into a sister I visit teach who is never available. She is a school teacher and somewhat liberal. I was telling her about this staylds.com group and the types of discussions we have. She was very interested and liked the idea as she said there is really no place in the church you can ask questions if you are a doubter. She felt that the church was a church in progress and the Lord uses pressure from the government sometimes to bring about changes in the church (like with polygamy and the black issue). She said from what I have read, JS did give some blacks the preisthood at one time and then people with hang-ups changed it. She felt the same thing is happening on the gay issue and said that she would rather have her child happy in a gay marriage, then suicidle and self loathing. Anyway, I had been praying today to find a friend in the ward I could fit in with and I don't think this was a coindcidence.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Coincidences

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Sep 2009, 17:03

Three months ago, I got a phone call from my youngest brother telling me that my mother's medication had quit working again and she was starting to hallucinate. (schizophrenia) I had just started my new job in Missouri; my family still was in Ohio; I was driving to church on a Sunday morning - alone - when I got the call.

As I prayed while I drove, the phrase "Thy will, O Lord, be done" came into my mind - clearly and calmly.

When I got to church, I was quite early, so I went into the RS room and sat down at the piano to play some relaxing music and try to not think about my mother. When I open the hymnal, I saw hymn #188 - "Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done". I played it and sang the words silently in my head.

When I walked into the chapel to sit and wait for Sacrament Meeting to start, I looked at the program and saw the intermediate hymn - #188, "Thy Will, O Lord, Be Done".

I can't explain what happened that day, but I am grateful that it did.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

George
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Re: Coincidences

Post by George » 27 Sep 2009, 19:03

A few years ago I visited a son working on the East Coast. He took time off to travel with me. I talked him into visiting a city cemetery (w/25,000 burials), about 50 miles away, to look for an ancestor's stone. At the arched entrance, a lady in Southern clothes asked if we were part of a Rose Garden event. I said no, just looking for a Civil War grave. I described the stone only. She got a strange look and said, "You don't mean Col. _______ do you? I said, "Why yes." She pointed to a distant lawn and said, "talk to the old man dressed as a Confederate soldier." We drove there and found the guy standing beside a single grave. As we approached, he said, " Col. _______ here, how may I assist you? I smiled and showed him a tintype of the REAL Col. _______. He said, "Dang, he would be better looking than me." The rose committee had chose one soldier (2,500 Confederates buried) to honor on a Tuesday afternoon. The man was actually handing out poems entitled; "Col. ______ is fading away" (in reference to the stone's condition). As we stood talking, another woman dressed as a widow arrived to place flowers and mourn at the grave. My grown son was freaking out. He filmed it all on camcorder.

Later we learned the poem had been written decades earlier by the LDS bishop in the town. He was drawn to the stone one rainy afternoon while researching family history. We were probably the first actual family members who had visited in 80 years (the real widow never did make it, Southern people were financially ruined by the War). I tell the story often...

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Heber13
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Re: Coincidences

Post by Heber13 » 27 Sep 2009, 22:39

I think everyone has coincidental experiences, whether devote mormon, members of other religions, or atheists. They just happen.

I also have a belief that God can send angels to deliver messages, or the Holy Spirit can whisper confirmations that we are not alone in the universe. These greatly uplift me.

I also have accepted that many times, what I think is a message from God could very well be a random coincidence, yet if it something that has meaning, and inspires me, or is comforting for making me feel better...than I can accept it is a good thing, regardless of the source. Where it came from or why is less important than the fact I needed it to happen.

One of my recent experiences was shortly after my family crisis. I was overwhelmed with doubt and fear. I wondered why things in my life seem to be getting harder, not easier, the older I get. I wondered if I was doing something wrong because I continued on a path of faith with hopes for a brighter future and peace in living the gospel, yet why were things getting harder?

With these things on my mind, I went to General Priesthood meeting with a heavy heart. I sat in the parking lot, wondering if I should even go in. I cried. I went by myself to go get a bite to eat and decided I'd go home. After eating, I decided, I better just go to my priesthood meeting, but if it is all about doing more missionary work, or doing more service, or all about avoiding pornography warnings...I would leave. I can't handle being told I need to do more.

I walked in very late, sat in the last row...and said a prayer that I just needed to know God knew I was in need of strength.

The next speaker was President Eyring. He said,
You may have thought then, “Once I finish my mission, being a faithful priesthood holder will get easier.” But in a few years you found yourself getting even less sleep at night, while trying to support a wife and a new baby, being kind and loving, scrambling to get some education, reaching out to the members of your elders quorum, perhaps even helping them to move their furniture, and trying to find time to serve your ancestors in the temple. You may have kept a smile on your face with the thought: “When I get a little older, being a faithful priesthood holder will not require so much. It will get easier.”

Those of you further down the road are smiling because you know something about priesthood service. It is this: the more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you. Your smile is a happy one because you know that He increases our power to carry the heavier load.

The tough part of that reality, however, is that for Him to give you that increased power you must go in service and faith to your outer limits.

It is like building muscle strength. You must break down your muscles to build them up. You push muscles to the point of exhaustion. Then they repair themselves, and they develop greater strength. Increased spiritual strength is a gift from God which He can give when we push in His service to our limits. Through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our natures can be changed. Then our power to carry burdens can be increased more than enough to compensate for the increased service we will be asked to give.
I know that talk was prepared weeks ahead of time, for thousands of listeners...not specifically Heber. It was a coincidence. But it was exactly what I needed to hear. I cried some more, this time not out of desperation, but out of gratitude. I'm grateful for that coincidence.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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bridget_night
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Re: Coincidences

Post by bridget_night » 28 Sep 2009, 06:54

Thank you for all your replies. One of the strangest ones I ever had was when I was driving to Salt Lake City from St. George Utah to meet a Danish medical doctor friend. He is bi-polar and was very abused as a child but had read my book and it had changed his life. He ended up joining the church 4 years ago in Denmark but had some very bad experiences with members in his ward soon after that. He also discovered alot of bad stuff about on the internet a few years later that really shook his faith. He felt betrayed and he saw the church as his abuser (his step-dad-authority figure). It made him angry and he began tearing down the church all the time and showing me all this negative stuff about the church. It was really getting me down and I felt like I could no longer continue this friendship. So, as I was driving that Sunday morning I turned on the radio and "The Spoken Word' with the tabernacle choir was on. There were two solos sang by two young men that were beautiful. As I listened to the words one of the young men was singing, it was the answer to my frustration with my Danish friend. I stopped the car at the side of the rode and started writing down the words to the song. This song helped me realize I should not stop being this man's friend. The song basically asked questions like, "Why do you think we can't be friends anymore even though we believe so differently. And how agape love is the answer." Anyway, I was telling my Danish friend what happened and even showed him the lyrics to the words I had written down. I wanted to find out who sang that and what the name of the song was as I had missed that on the radio. So, we went to the Spoken word in the Tabernacle that following Sunday and the Ocherstra played, "Ode to Denmark' of all things. When I asked an usher if he had a program of last Sundays's Spoken word with who performed, he said he did. Well, the program showed no young men had sang and nothing about the words I had written down. It blew me away. To this day, I do not understand how this could have happened.

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