Friday, May 17, 2013

Answers to Prayer

Once, there was a little girl who was told by her mother that god would answer her prayers.  She prayed to have blue eyes instead of brown, but when she awoke the next morning her eyes were as brown as ever.  She told her mother "you said god would answer my prayer, but I prayed for blue eyes and they are still brown."  Her mother laughed knowingly and answered," my child, god did answer your prayer, but this time his answer was 'no.'"

Then, there was this dude who prayed "God, give me a sign if you don't want me to rob this liquor store."  Nothing happened for 10 min, so he broke in and stole the cash box as well as a couple of bottles of whiskey for himself.  God answers prayers!

Seriously, though, a big fat nothing is not at all similar to a "no."  I worked very hard while still clinging desperately to my faith to try to get an answer from god.  I even ran experiments to see if prayer would increase my chance of predicting the outcome of a die toss.  Nothing.

God is held up as a loving parent, but all of the supposed "answers" that people like me are missing do not fit that mold.  For example, people will tell me "the answers are right in front of you, in the scriptures."  So... my loving father's answer to my desperate pleas for help is "read my autobiography and see what you find?"  Actually, no, even that would be something.  It's never showing up, but leaving his autobiography on the coffee table with never a word to me about it.  Awesome.

Seriously, I understand not wanting to grant every frivolous request, but if god is a personal god, you'd think he'd be a bit more personal.  We don't expect our 3-year-olds to communicate with us in writing, so why would god expect us to communicate using some difficult-to-reach "spiritual sense" that we have to develop for years just to get a half-clear answer?

Answers to prayer are not consistent, either.  Honestly, in the LDS church a lot of time is spent explaining why we can only receive revelation in our own "stewardship," so you personally can't receive answers about the general function of the church.  But, if there were ANY clarity or consistency in answers to prayer, that rule wouldn't be needed.  If someone said something weird, you'd just ask god "Steve said you said blahdy-blah...?" and God would be like "No, I never said that.  Steve just wants attention."

In fact, so many people who thought god was talking to them were wrong / crazy so famously often that it's a little funny that anyone takes this seriously anymore.  Our sky-daddy left us a long time ago, and he's not coming home for supper just because we ask.


  1. I love your posts, but this one was especially salient to some discussions I've had recently with a couple of still-believing friends. Your average Mormon knows that hearing answers from god is probably a sign of psychosis, but still believes that god really did command Nephi to chop off Laban's head.

    I think it's just evidence that most Mormons realize that the "reality" portrayed in the scriptures has nothing to do with real life.