Calamities

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In Mosiah 12:7, Abinadi preaches to King Noah’s people and says, in part:

[They] shall be smitten with a great pestilence?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùand all this will I do because of their iniquities and abominations.

Can we infer from this that all calamities and pestilence are a result of a people’s iniquities and abominations?

37 thoughts on “Calamities

  1. No, I don’t believe so. Though maybe in a round about way. Generally when people act stupid the eventual effect can create disaster and calamity.

  2. I believe so… people can’t actually cause a flood or tornado etc no matter what the movies say… but you look at the great flood at Noah’s time, all the times of the pestilence etc… there are numerous scriptural references that show God is mad at the people for disobedience and punishes them. Why would our time of life be any different then in the scriptures?

  3. The truth that God sometimes causes X to happen does not lead, logically, to the conclusion that every instance of X was caused by God.

    On the other hand, the whole operation of nature depends on God, so…(inconclusive mumbling)

  4. This is the old ‘all dolphins are swimmers, but not all swimmers are dolphins’ argument.

    (completely Off Topic)
    Oh, and Sally – do you believe the biblical story of the flood is *literally* what happened?

    That’s interesting.

  5. President Hinckley has steadfastly refused to say that recent calamities such as the Tsunami were punishments of God. I would find it arrogant of anyone who believes President Hinckley is a Prophet to presume to say they were punishments of God.

  6. Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

  7. In regard to another off-topic point of discussion (sorry Kim) – why is it that every article which defends the LDS version of north-american history seems to be written by someone with a vested interest in the LDS being correct?

    Are there no un-biased correlative sources for the LDS-Lamanite DNA system?

  8. Rick, do you think there’s an absence of bias or interest on the part of those who attack write articles on the other side of the issue?

  9. In response to Kim’s original question, I would have to say “No, NOT ALL calamities and pestilence are a result of a people’s iniquities and abominations”. Some are, but not all. Examples of both have already been cited here.

    But this made me think of a similar, but slightly different question:

    When a person is going through a tough time in their life, how can they know whether they are being tested or being punished?

    I recently lost my job. Am I being punished for my sins or am I just going through a trial?

  10. I’d don’t know, Mike, is there anything you’d like to confess to? ;)

    But seriously, doesn’t anyone think that sometimes things happen and it has nothing to do with a higher order?

    I mean every time my cake doesn’t rise, is it the hand of God trying to tell me something?

  11. “on the other side of the issue”

    ltbugaf, I am reasonably sure that there are DNA experts who have never heard of mormons, nor their claims about the aboriginal people of North America.

    So, when these people talk about the reliability of the tracing of lineages by using specific types of DNA structures, I figure they are pretty unbiased – in that they a completely unaware of the implications of their opinion on this argument.

  12. “I recently lost my job. Am I being punished for my sins or am I just going through a trial?”

    It’s because you read the Dalai Lama, Mike.

    “I mean every time my cake doesn’t rise, is it the hand of God trying to tell me something?”

    Yes, he’s telling you to stick with printers and leave the cake baking to someone else.

  13. Roland, how is that anti-Mormon literature. The article seems pretty objective to me: citing comments from critics, apologetics, academia and the Church spokesperson. In fact, we blogged about this topic before.

  14. “The basic fact is that all sentinent beings, particularly human beings, want happiness and do not want pain and suffering.”
    Illustrated Teachings of the Dalai Lama (page 175).

    “Men are that they might have joy”
    2 Nephi 2:25.

    That was for you, Kim

  15. “But seriously, doesn’t anyone think that sometimes things happen and it has nothing to do with a higher order?”

    Yes. Your cake example is a good one. God is mainly concerned with our earthly and eternal progression. Things that don’t have any impact on that are probably not a big priority for Him. But who am I to say what is important to God and how He spends his time.

    “Are you saying Joseph Smith wrote the entire Book of Mormon, based on the writings of the Dalai Lama?”

    Yes, and page 159 states that the flood of Noah’s day was a global flood and page 88 says that Lamanite DNA is the same as the DNA of modern American Indians. If the Dalai Lama says it, then it is true.

  16. You want to know the craziest thing?

    The Dalai Lama would probably ask,”Does the belief that the flood was global make you feel better? If it does then believe it. Does the belief that the Lamanaite DNA corresponds make you feel more whole? If it does, then embrace it.”

    That dude is so polite, and calm – it’s a bit unnerving.

  17. The Dalai Lama is very polite and calm. He has a lot of attributes that I admire and aspire to obtain. Same goes for President Gordon B. Hinckley. Two great men who I wish I could become more like.

  18. Aren’t we ignoring the obvious?

    Somes calamities and pestilence are a result of a people’s collective iniquities and abominations, as stated by Abinadi and many OT prophets.

    As in the case of the Lamanites destroying the Nephites, I don’t think God had to cause or initiate anything. He merely removed his hand of protection from the Nephites, and let things proceed on their own.

    His removal of protection was one of the first things I thought of on September 11, 2001.

    And to the person who’s going to point out that the victims of Sept 11 were not sinners who deserved to die, I agree with you. And, let us remember the words of our own modern prophets: The innocent suffer along with the wicked in all tragedies.

  19. Mike Peterson, #16: “I recently lost my job. Am I being punished for my sins or am I just going through a trial?”

    Either/or, both or neither. Regardless, God had a hand in it. It could be to put you on a path to obtain a better job or receive higher blessings.

    D&C 59: 21 “And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”

    And maybe give thanks for it, 1 Thes 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

  20. In response to #16: Have you considered that “punishment” is more than it appears to be? When we’re not behaving as we should, doesn’t our Father in heaven give us experiences that can help us choose to repent and do better? Sometimes those experiences are extremely stressful, but adversity has an interesting effect: it tends to bring out either the best or the worst in people. So rather than leave us drifting along in the same path, our Father shakes things up a bit. He puts some adversity in our way and gives us the chance to choose whether we will be better or worse because of it.

    Now consider that ALL of us need to repent. So when experiences come along that are the result of interventions, seen and unseen, of God (and I’m not saying every experience does result from such an intervention), are we being “punished” for our sins? In a way, I think. We’re being given a chance to react to something either by becoming better or becoming worse.

    In some cases, of course, the calamities result in death, ending our chance to repent. Is that a punishment? I don’t know. I know that we need to repent before it’s too late without ever knowing for certain when “too late” will be. The uncertainty of life and the calamities we see around us may be meant to help us remember that.

  21. Rick, your portrayal of the Dalai Lama gives the impression of a philosophy that amounts to, “If it feels good, do it.” Egads, I hope there’s more to it than that.

  22. Rick, in response to #18, I think Simon Southerton is a particularly poor example of an uninterested party. He’s applying other people’s scientific research to questions it wasn’t meant to address, and applying his own anti-Church biases at the same time.

  23. “Either/or, both or neither. Regardless, God had a hand in it. It could be to put you on a path to obtain a better job or receive higher blessings.” (#30)

    “…adversity has an interesting effect: it tends to bring out either the best or the worst in people. So rather than leave us drifting along in the same path, our Father shakes things up a bit. He puts some adversity in our way and gives us the chance to choose whether we will be better or worse because of it.” (#31)

    I think both of those could be true. I really hated that job anyway, but the money was kind of necessary considering I have a mortgage to pay and a baby on the way. Hopefully I can choose to “be better … because of it” and “put [myself] on a path to obtain a better job or receive higher blessings.”

  24. ltbugaf, I’d agree that Simon is certainly not without bias in this discussion – so I’d not classify him in the group of scientists which I believe are without bias.

    But there certainly are scientiests who discuss methods and conclusions which back Simon’s assertions, who have no knowledge of the debate at all.

    …and no, the Dalai Lama does not mean ‘if it feels good do it’. He means (as far as I can speak for the man) if there’s no harm to be done, things which make you feel better, or which make the world a better place – regardless of their truthfullness – care things which can be embraced and enjoyed.

  25. Sorry typo, that should be:
    “their truthfullness – are things which can be embraced and enjoyed.”

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