Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daniel Tyler on Signs and Miracles

The following is taken from Daniel Tyler, "The Gospel Principles: Signs and Miracles", Juvenile Instructor 13/19 (1 October 1878): 221.
"Give us a sign, and we will believe," is familiar to the ear of every Elder who has come into contact with the religious teachers of this generation. If there are cripples or sick persons in the vicinity they will say, "Heal them and we will all believe." If there are none, then they will ask the Elder to break or amputate some member of his body and restore it to its former place and strength. Now this proves two points against them; first, that, although they profess the religion of Jesus Christ, they are infidels. Second, that, although they profess virtue and purity, they are adulterers, and, instead of setting up a howl and cry against the pure principles of celestial marriage, they should remember the proverb, "Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

That they are infidels, is plain from the fact that Jesus said, "these signs shall follow them that believe," etc. (see Mark xvi. 17). Now, if they are believers, and hence not infidels, the signs must follow them, for it says they "shall follow them that believe." This language is positive; hence, if the signs do not follow them, they are not believers, as they were promised to all believers. They must be unbelievers, or infidels. Their God is also a nonentity - nothing, being without body or parts.

As to being adulterers we have the same authority as for the other. The statement of the Savior was "an evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign," and He refused to give any except that of His own death and resurrection. What, then, were and are signs given for? Not to convince an adulterous generation of hireling priests, of whose adulteries, the newspapers abound, but to confirm and strengthen the faith of those who already believed. Where they did not believe, Jesus "could do no mighty miracles." "So they went everywhere preaching and confirming the word with signs following." The word was, of course, confirmed to the believer, who alone had the promise, while unbelievers were hardened, and sought to destroy those who worked such wonderful miracles, to prevent the news from spreading, and even sought to kill Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead. The Latter-day Saints are the only true believers who enjoy these blessings. The signs follow them, and no others, in all of their varieties, such as speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, prophesying, healing the sick, etc. These blessings are not to our leaders alone, but to ourselves. The writer has witnessed all the gifts in the Church, and many sick have been healed under his administration, and evil spirits have been cast out and returned no more. Thousands of others have the same testimony to bear. Those relieved have been from infancy to old age.

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