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S A I N T S: “BENDING GOD TO YOUR WILL”

“One day, Martin asked Joseph for permission to take the manuscript to Palmyra for a few weeks. Remembering how Lucy Harris had acted when she visited the house, Joseph was wary of the idea. Yet he wanted to please Martin, who had believed him when so many others had doubted his word.

“Unsure what to do, Joseph prayed for guidance, and the Lord told him not to let Martin take the pages. But Martin was sure showing them to his wife would change things, and he begged Joseph to ask again. Joseph did so, but the answer was the same. Martin pressed him to ask a third time, however, and this time God allowed them to do as they pleased.”

~Saints: The Standard of Truth 1815-1846, 1:5:51~

Those of us who have been active members of the faith understand forcing our will onto God to subvert the ‘less-desirable’ option of “Thy Will Be Done.” The selfless act of prayer is, at times, exchanged for pleading with God to change his mind for our own personal benefit.

This futile act not only shows an entire lack of faith on our part, but essentially spits in the face of the teachings of most religions.

Yet, in tossing aside many different historical stories to inspire the faithful, the church decides to include one that teaches that God will allow you to get your way. Of course, the result was an “I told you so” moment, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the ardent.

Forcing God’s hand shows Martin’s utter lack of faith in God’s chosen prophet, which itself begs the question of the divine nature of any of it. But the more lurid aspect is undoubtedly the fact that not only is petitioning God multiple times an option, but that at some point God will throw up his hands and say, “it’s on you!”

RE-rewrite: “One day, Martin asked Joseph for permission to take the manuscript to Palmyra for a few weeks. Remembering how Lucy Harris had acted when she visited the house, Joseph was wary of the idea. Yet he wanted to please Martin, who had believed him when so many others had doubted his word.

“Unsure what to do, Joseph prayed for guidance, and the Lord told him not to let Martin take the pages. But Martin was sure showing them to his wife would change things, and he begged Joseph to ask again. Joseph did so, but the answer was the same. Martin pressed him to ask a third time. God had spoken, yet Joseph and Martin unwisely disobeyed the answer he gave them. They were ultimately rebuked by revelation in July 1828” (D & C 3).