Why No Mighty Miracles in our Time?
Why are there no miracles today like there were in the old testament/new testament? I'm talking about huge, verifiable miracles like parting the red sea and moving mountains.
The typical answer I get from people is "well, something like that would void our faith. God needs to remain hidden so our free wills won't be affected." But if that's the case, then God must not have cared about the free wills of all the people with Moses at the time he parted the red sea. Add to that, Christ's resurrection, appearing to hundreds of people. All of their free wills must have been null and void. I would pretty much have no choice but to believe Jesus was the son of God if I lived at that time and saw what they saw. Yet for some reason, miracles like that just "lie dormant". Why? If God is the same today, yesterday, and forever, why so different now? Don't the inconsistencies and contradictions in the scriptures bug you?
Christ gave the parable of Lazareth and the rich man in Luke chapter 16. At the end of the parable the rich man asks Abraham to send a dead person to visit his family to warn them. Christ concludes by stating "... If they don't hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persauded, even if one rose from the dead."
This logic is a bit out of our normal perception. We think that surely if a dead person appears to you it would change your outlook.
Paul had Christ appear to him on the road to Damascus. He then followed Christ. So question would come, wasn't this miraculous appearance effective? Yes, is the obvious answer. But what did it acheive? Did it make Paul believe in God? No. He already believed in God. What it did was help Paul to realise that Jesus was the Lord and promised Messiah. So the miracle didn't interfere in the growth of his faith. He already had so much faith that he was prepared to devote his time to getting rid of this sect that he regarded to be against God.
The Jews saw Christ perform many miracles yet few accepted him. The church administrators of his time said that it was by Satan that he did these things. So seeing those miracles didn't make them believe in him.
In spite of all the miracles that the Israelites saw in Egypt they still didn't trust in God when the Egyptians came out after them. So miracles were of no value to them. It is true that seeing miracles without first exercising faith can be damaging to faith. And God does know this. But some people are not going to move spiritually. And God knows who these people are. Almost all the Israelites went into this catagory. But some things need to be noted. There were some priests at that time that prophesied. There were 72 priests who saw the Lord and ate there. Joshua was among these people. So all wasn't quite as bad as the perception we can get at times reading. These men obviously already had some faith. Seeing miracles after you have faith doesn't affect you adversly - to the contrary.
Laman and Lemuel saw many miracles and only hardened their hearts. Yet these miracles helped Nephi's faith to grow because he had exercised the faith first. Faith preceeds the miracle. God knew that Laman and Lemuel wouldn't gain from these miracles but that Nephi would. God encourages people to become whom they really choose to become. God knows who is who. It was no loss to Laman and Lemuel because seeing these miracles didn't change their hearts deepest desires nor would they ever have produced the faith to see such anyway.
Moroni states,"... has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear to the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face of it to be saved? Look, I say to you, No; for it is by faith that miracles are made to happen; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister to men; so, if these things have ceased problems shall be on the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain." Moroni 7:35-37
Unfortunately we live in a time when the church's doctrine has been sent backward because of inability to obey higher laws (D&C 119 Heading - for example). Many truths have been discarded as the doctrine has been watered down. So why are you surprised that there aren't any great miracles in our day? When we return to the original doctrines and higher laws and move foreward you will start to see the miracles you desire. Make sure you are on the right side of the fence, however, as those will be hard days.
So these things that have seemed a contradiction to you aren't as you have perceived them. God knows what he is doing.
While I haven't personally parted the ocean while here on earth, I would have to say, however, that I have seen seemingly endless miracles of reasonable proportion. I have seen the rain stopped hundreds of times when I have asked. I have been cured of medical problems. And I have seen cars do things they just shouldn't be able to do. I have seen time slow down. And I could go on. So I can't exactly say that no great miracles happen at all. Yes, we haven't had any international miracles. But God didn't perform too many of those anyway. If you look through the Scriptures miracles of that magnitude were rare.
One further thing that I should add in regard miracles is that even Satan knows that God exists and can perform "tricks." This doesn't make anyone believe IN God only OF God. Believing OF God isn't the point. Believing IN God is what matters. I may see a rope coming down from a hill I wish to climb. I know OF the rope. But only if I risk my life by using it do I believe IN the rope.
Knowing God can do tricks doesn't make me obey him. The greatest miracle I have seen God perform is the change that Christ made in my life when I accepted to follow him with open heart. That miracle and other ones I have seen as I have put off the old man and accepted further light from him, are the miracles that make me believe IN Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.