(November 12, 2015)
On the one hand, we are repeatedly told that we should not seek for signs. On the other hand, we have examples from the scriptures of those who did seek for signs (a certain damp fleece comes to mind, or the response of the five in this chapter). So what makes what they are doing acceptable and what other sign-seekers do worthy of condemnation.
First, I choose the word acceptable deliberately. I am struck by the thought of a paraphrase of Christ’s words to Thomas – more blessed are those who do not seek after signs. But by the same token, I have been overwhelmingly blessed by seeing signs and miracles in my life, and they have been such an assistance to me (particularly in this difficult time).
The difference between those which are acceptable and those which are worthy of condemnation is the desire to know and do the will of the Lord. These five clearly were willing to follow the truth – they just needed to know that Nephi was teaching that truth. Others saw the same miracle and were not convinced, but these five not only were convinced but subsequently became converted. That, I believe, is the difference.