Did God really help you find a boat?

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DarkJedi
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Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Aug 2014, 06:21

This is at least in part a vent, but please know I have seriously tried to let it go and I am having difficulty doing so. I do realize that some people need these types of "faith reassuring" events to bolster their own faith, but that internal dissonance is not working for me at the moment on this one. So here goes.

I was in another ward this past Sunday for F&TM. Near the end this sister got up and among other things said that she and her husband had been looking for a used boat so they could go fishing on the lake. They had looked at a few boats they had found for sale but hadn't found what they wanted. One day she was out running errands and felt impressed to go down the street, and in doing so found the boat they are now buying. She said she normally wouldn't have gone down that far on the street because it was in the opposite direction of where she was headed, but that she followed the prompting of the Spirit. She added in the story that this boat will help them fellowship others because they can take them out on the lake, also. So I'm sitting there thinking "Really? There are children being abused right now. There are children starving right now. And God helped you find a boat? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds? God didn't save the Jews from the Holocaust but he directed you to a boat? Really? REALLY?" Things like this have been the biggest challenge to me in coming back.

Thanks for letting me vent.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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nibbler
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by nibbler » 05 Aug 2014, 06:30

I agree that a testimony like that can be insensitive to people facing real problems. It can even be insensitive to people that simply can't afford the luxury of a boat. If there's a lesson to be learned in all of this I'd say that it's something like: god loves us enough to be involved in the minutia of our lives.

[tangent]As far as Jews and Holocaust goes... perhaps god did save them from the Holocaust, he just had to wait while people changed their hearts enough to raise armies to do it.[/tangent]
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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DarkJedi
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Aug 2014, 06:46

Yes, Nibbler, I recognize that many (most?) latter-day saints believe God is intimately involved with their daily lives - I don't happen to believe so.I know this is more my problem than her's, but it is exactly this type of reasoning, along with my experiences, that lead me to believe God is not involved in our lives much (if at all).

Side note to your tangent: I believe God didn't save the Jews from the Holocaust because he refuses to interfere with our agency (and I don't think that's a bad thing). That idea could be applies to this situation, actually - this lady finding a boat really does not affect anyone's agency hence it's something God could willingly do. That mental gymnastic isn't working for me, either.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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SunbeltRed
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by SunbeltRed » 05 Aug 2014, 07:00

I am with you DJ as well.

Recently a friend of mine was on a plane with his dad, mom, wife, and sister flying out to Utah to his brothers graduation. His mom had a heart attack on the plane and died (I attended the funeral this past Saturday). Really? That was somehow in the plan? He couldn't have waited a few hours?

I think my biggest issue with this is if you do believe in the God helps me find my keys, then everything else must be attributed to Him as well. If you attribute all good, then all bad must be attributed to Him. I don't think you can have it both ways. Thus, I have a strong belief in agency, but most things are pretty hands off because those are the rules. Agency and choice are paramount.

I can't even fathom believing that God helped someone find a boat to go fishing on the weekend.

*Opinions are my own
Last edited by SunbeltRed on 05 Aug 2014, 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

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nibbler
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by nibbler » 05 Aug 2014, 07:18

In my little tangent people did the heavy lifting but the religious came along and gave god the credit ;)

The lady found a boat and credited god for it. Maybe god wasn't involved in the process whatsoever but the experience still served to build this lady's relationship with deity. I suppose that's something, maybe not much to people outside of her perspective, maybe meant just for her. It seemed to edify her.
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Aug 2014, 08:07

God has never helped me find a boat.

Of course, I don't believe in a micro-managing God, so I've never prayed and asked God to help me find a boat. Thus, depending on how you look at it, you could say I've never allowed God to help me in that way and wouldn't credit God with doing it even if I got that kind of help in different circumstances that would seem trivial to others.

However . . .

I can look back and see a few instances of obvious (to me) help in really important things and what appears to be a general guiding force my life that I believe God can and has helped me. It makes absolutely no logical sense to me, particularly in view of the type of things you mention where God hasn't interceded in obvious ways, but it is what it is.

Fwiw, I try NEVER to dismiss others' perspectives completely (with some extreme exceptions where real and serious harm to others is involved). I figure God works with people in whatever ways they can recognize (or even simply hope was divine help), so I try not to dismiss someone's personal view of divine help. I might not see it that way myself, but I want them to respect my own perspective, so I try not to reject theirs completely.

Finally, I believe if "God is within us" and we are "children of the most high God", then God works with us every day to whatever degree we are striving to be / become more divine ourselves or in tune with our best selves. For me, it might not be manifest exactly as the lady in the meeting sees it, but it still would fit the general framework of inspiration for things of our daily lives.
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

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Meh Mormon
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Meh Mormon » 05 Aug 2014, 08:45

I remember about a month after we had or stillborn child, we were sitting in F&TM and a lady in the ward got up and talked about how God had helped her find a spool of thread. I sat there and had the thought "Why on Earth would God help her find a spool of thread, but not stop the cord from wrapping around my son's throat and choking him?" It was shortly after that we asked to attend another ward.

I seem to have come to terms with this as I believe that God is really "hands off" in our daily lives. When we have a major decision or dilema, he's there. Otherwise, he lets us live our lives.

Now there are F&TM's where I think "Why didn't I bring a bag of popcorn. This is entertaining!!"

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SamBee
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by SamBee » 05 Aug 2014, 09:05

You could also ask why God hasn't saved thousands of Gazans, including children, who've died recently from Israeli bombing.

Although some Holocaust survivors have criticized this, the families of other Holocaust are responsible for devastating a third of Gaza.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by DarkJedi » 05 Aug 2014, 09:18

Ray, I also don't believe in a micromanaging God and I believe that God (usually the Holy Ghost, as it was in this case) can work with individuals as individuals and therefore I can't outright dismiss anyone else's spiritual experience, either. That doesn't mean I can't doubt it. I do not share your testimony of God guiding us, but as I have said here before, your experiences are yours and yours alone as are mine. FWIW, she never said she prayed about finding a boat, I suppose that could have been assumed or it could be she was just trying to say that God helps us when we don't necessarily expect (which was somewhat in line with some other things she said).

We're on the same page, Meh Mormon, although I'm not even sure of the major decisions. Likewise, I do sometimes find F&TM to be entertaining - if we weren't supposed to be fasting (I don't usually) popcorn would be a great idea.

Sam, good point. I was relating my actual thoughts as she was speaking, and the children and other innocents of Gaza did not come to mind at that moment. Nevertheless, I do believe we are all God's children and neither the Jews nor the Mormons have any special privileges or favors - if God really was as some believe he is, he certainly could have saved the Children in Gaza as well. I'm sure we could come up with countless of examples where God could intervene in serious situations (homicide, suicide, the aforementioned abuse, etc.) but does not.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Minyan Man » 05 Aug 2014, 09:34

When I went inactive, it was a F&T like this that was the final "straw".
When I decided to try church again, we had another F&T with a similar message.
My final conclusion was: God has a sense of humor.
I guess, we all have the right to interpret how God works in our own life & give Him credit when we think He is.

The big questions for me is: When do you know it is God's will that you're going through a particular situation?
When you pray for an answer, how do you know when it comes & who is providing the answer?

Interesting question DJ.

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