Quotes on Miracles

See also: D&C 35:10; D&C 63:7  

I bear my witness to you that if a record had been made of all those who have been afflicted, those who have been given up to die, and who have been healed by the power of God, since the establishment of the Church of Christ in our day, it would make a book much larger than the New Testament.  More miracles have been performed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints than we have any account of in the days of the Savior and His Apostles.  Today, sickness is cured by spiritual power. . . . The dead have been raised.  My own brother was announced to be dead, but by the prayer of faith he lives and presides over one of the stakes of Zion.  I know, as I know I live, that the healing power of Almighty God . . . is in the Church of Christ of which you and I are members.  (President Heber J. Grant, Conference Report, October 6, 1910, p. 119) Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 146

Miracles are gifts of the Spirit (Holy Ghost) bestowed upon those who believe and obey the gospel of Christ and are intended not to convert people to the truth but to bless those who are already converted. . . . the miracle is performed in behalf of one who believes and is, therefore, a sign of his faith. Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 50

President George Q. Cannon (1827-1901), who served for more than a quarter century in the First Presidency, observed: “It has been a matter of remark among those who have had experience in this Church that where men have been brought into the Church by such manifestations [a miracle or viewing of a sign], it has required a constant succession of them to keep them in the Church; their faith has had to be constantly strengthened by witnessing some such manifestations; but where they have been convinced by the outpouring of the spirit of God, . . . they have been more likely to stand, more likely to endure persecution and trial than those who have been convinced through some supernatural manifestation.” — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, p. 10

A few years after the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, a young man took an ox team up Millcreek Canyon on a cold winter day to get logs to build a house.  It was extremely cold, and the snow was deep.  His sled held five large logs.  After he loaded the first one, he turned around to load another.  In that instant, the log already on the sled –  22 feet long and about 10 inches in diameter – slipped off the sled and rolled down on him, striking him in the hollow of his legs.  He was thrown face-forward across the four logs still on the ground and pinned there, alone, with no way to extract himself.  He knew he would freeze to death and die alone in the mountains.

The next thing this young pioneer remembered was waking up, sitting on a load of five logs nicely bound on his sled with his oxen pulling the load down the canyon.  In his personal history he wrote, “Who it was that extricated me from under the log, loaded my sled, hitched my oxen to it, and placed me on it, I cannot say.”  Thirty-three years later, that young pioneer, Mariner Wood Merrill, was ordained an Apostle. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, p. 10

In our time, we seem to have forgotten the miracle of the five loaves and the two fishes in favor of the miracles wrought by the mind and hand of men.  I refer to the marvels of modern transportation and the increasing sophistication of all scientific knowledge, including the new electronic highway.  We have forgotten that this amazing knowledge comes to mankind only as God chooses to reveal it, and it should be used for purposes nobler and wiser than mere entertainment.  This knowledge permits the words of the prophets of God to be bounced off satellites hovering over the earth so it is possible for much of mankind to hear their messages.

With this great knowledge has come also some skepticism about the simple and profound eternal truths taught in the miracle of the loaves and of the fishes – namely, that God rules in the heavens and the earth through his infinite intelligence and goodness.

We are also to understand and remember that we too, like the lad in the New Testament account, are the spirit children of our Heavenly Father, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, and the Redeemer of the world.  We believe that in the centuries following the establishment of his kingdom upon the earth, the doctrines and the ordinances were changed, resulting in a falling away and the loss of the keys of priesthood authority from the earth.  A miracle even greater than that of the loaves and the fishes was the vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith, who saw the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove near Palmyra, New York. Subsequently the keys, the priesthood, and the saving ordinances were restored in their fulness, and Christ’s church was reestablished in our time.  Thus God has again “fed” us and filled our “baskets” to overflowing. — President James E. Faust, “Five Loaves and Two Fishes,” Ensign, May 1994, pp. 4-5

Miracles are extraordinary results flowing from superior means and methods of doing things.   When a man wants light he strikes a match, or presses a button, or turns a switch, and lo! there is light.  When God wants light, he says: “Let there be light.”  It is simply a matter or knowing how to do things in a superior way, and having the power to do them.  Man is gradually acquiring this power.  It is a far call from the tallow dip to the electric light.  But the end is not yet.  Improvements will continue to be made, and some day, perhaps men may be able to make light just as the Lord makes it.  Paradoxically, it might be said that the time will come when miracles will be so common that there will be none. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1925, pp. 17-20

People often desire to see a sign or hear a voice from the unseen world.  This desire may be manifest in some members of the Church at some stage of their spiritual development.  A few honestly believe that such an experience would greatly strengthen their testimony or convince nonbelievers of the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  People who possess such a notion should remember that signs are not usually given before faith is shown, for such desires and manifestations are a detriment to the development of true faith and are the symptoms of wickedness (see Matthew 12:39).  The truth of the matter is that signs are the natural offspring of faith and serve as the sweet confirmation of righteousness.  Signs follow faith, and without faith, which links man with the source of power, no miracle can occur (see Mark 16:17; Ether 12:12). Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 144

My testimony to you is that miracles do happen!  They are happening on the earth today, and they will continue to happen, particularly to those who believe and have great faith.  Miracles occur frequently in the lives of humble, fine Latter-day Saints who have the faith to make them possible.  My feeling is that the greatest of all miracles is the one that happens in the life of a person who really learns how to pray, who exercises faith to repent, and who lives the gospel in a simple and obedient way. — Elder Glen L. Rudd, Ensign, January 1989. p. 69

When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first founded, you could see persons rise up and ask, “What sign will you show us that we may be able to believe?” I recollect a Campbellite preacher who came to Joseph Smith, I think his name was Hayden.  He came in and made himself known to Joseph, and said that he had come a considerable distance to be convinced of the truth.  “Why,” said he, “Mr. Smith, I want to know the truth, and when I am convinced, I will spend all my talents and time in defending and spreading the doctrines of your religion, and I will give you to understand that to convince me is equivalent to convincing all my society, amounting to several hundreds.” Well, Joseph commenced laying before him the coming forth of the work, and the first principles of the Gospel, when Mr. Hayden exclaimed, “O this is not the evidence I want, the evidence that I wish to have is a notable miracle; I want to see some powerful manifestation of the power of God, I want to see a notable miracle performed; and if you perform such a one, then I will believe with all my heart and soul, and will exert all my power and all my extensive influence to convince others; and if you will not perform a miracle of this kind, then I am your worst and bitterest enemy.”

“Well,” said Joseph, “what will you have done?  Will you be struck blind, or dumb? Will you be paralyzed, or will you have one hand withered?  Take your choice, choose which you please, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ it shall be done.”  

“That is not the kind of miracle I want,” said the preacher. “Then, sir,” replied Joseph, “I can perform none; I am not going to bring any trouble upon any body else, sir, to convince you.” — President George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, 2:326

“The greatest miracles I see today,” declared President Harold B. Lee, “are not necessarily the healing of sick bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls, those who are sick in soul and spirit and are downhearted and distraught, on the verge of nervous breakdowns.” — President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, April 1973, p. 178

The greatest miracle is not in such things as restoring sight to the blind, healing an illness, or even raising the dead, since all of these restorations will happen, in any event, in the Resurrection.  Changing bodies or protecting temples are miracles, but an even greater miracle is a mighty change of heart by a son or daughter of God (see Mosiah 5:2). . . . If of the right kind, this change opens the door to the process of repentance that cleanses us to dwell in the presence of God.  It introduces the perspective and priorities that lead us to make the choices that qualify us for eternal life, “the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7). — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Miracles,” Ensign, June 2001, p. 6

I delight in the Lord’s mercies and miracles.  I know that His tender mercies and His miracles, large and small, are real.  They come in His way and on His timetable. Sometimes it is not until we have reached our extremity.  Jesus’s disciples on the Sea of Galilee had to toil in rowing against a contrary wind all through the night before Jesus finally came to their aid.  He did not come until the “fourth watch,” meaning near dawn.  Yet He did come. (See Mark 6:45–51.) My testimony is that miracles do come, though sometimes not until the fourth watch. — Susan W. Tanner, Young Women General President, Conference Report, April 2008