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Extreme Weather, A Call To Repentance?


Biz

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My prayers go out to the people in the South who have been visited by, “thundering, lightnings, and tempest.” With that said, when is a storm a natural occurrence of the laws of nature versus when is a storm a testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent?

Perhaps the most modern admonition that God causes these storms is by Elder Holland’s talk this last general conference.

(Elder Holland April Conference 2011) Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to His prophets. “[And] after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, … of thunderings, … lightnings, and … tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. …”

Should we treat the weather like an on/off switch like we are forced to do as we listen to Church leaders in high positions give revelation as compared to their opinions?

At least through the observance of my own study it seems like the Church in modern times has distanced themselves from ever claiming a storm is a warning from God.

Biz

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My prayers go out to the people in the South who have been visited by, “thundering, lightnings, and tempest.” With that said, when is a storm a natural occurrence of the laws of nature versus when is a storm a testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent?

Perhaps the most modern admonition that God causes these storms is by Elder Holland’s talk this last general conference.

(Elder Holland April Conference 2011) Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to His prophets. “[And] after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, … of thunderings, … lightnings, and … tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. …”

Should we treat the weather like an on/off switch like we are forced to do as we listen to Church leaders in high positions give revelation as compared to their opinions?

At least through the observance of my own study it seems like the Church in modern times has distanced themselves from ever claiming a storm is a warning from God.

Biz

Not surprisingly, I am of the opinion that all "storm(s) (are) a natural occurrence of the laws of nature" and have nothing whatsoever to do with a "testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent"

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The only legitimate call to repentance is to those in the area who are able to assist with relieving the suffering of the victims, and choose not to.

Could you elaborate further? I don't understand what you mean.

Biz

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Could you elaborate further? I don't understand what you mean.

Biz

Sure.

I don't believe God manipulates nature to violently punish people, interpretations by the ancients and rhetorical devices found in scriptural writings aside.

However, when such a disaster does happen, those who are most accountable and are being judged in the moment are those who have now been given an opportunity (and are able) to serve their fellow man (the newly poor and afflicted), and choose not to do so. It is those who are under condemnation - not the victims of a random natural disaster.

In other words, when individuals do not serve the afflicted when the possibility and opportunity is made very clear and public as a result of a major disaster, that is when the voice of the disasters stand to condemn and present hypocrisy and wickedness and selfishness to the world... and its not the physical storm victims who are the ones being condemned.

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Well said, nackhadlow, I agree with you. Natural disasters are natural occurrences, and I do not believe God sends them as warnings or punishments. What parent, if his children were not living righteously, would kill one or two of them as a warning to the remaining ones that they'd better get their act together? He would be sent to prison, and rightly labeled a monster. God is not a monster.

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Scriptural assertions that "God" is seen in natural disasters are equally refuted by Elijah: "A still, small voice". God was not found in the tempest, earthquake or whirlwind. But, people are reminded of the dangerous, transitory nature of mortality by the moving and shaking of Mother Nature. Like death itself, reminders of it do work on the most hidebound "sinner", to cause them to pause and perhaps change their ways. So when prophets use nature to whip the guilty, perhaps they are exercising nothing more than a rhetorical "ends justify the means" approach at getting through to the spiritually dense and wayward....

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Sure.

I don't believe God manipulates nature to violently punish people, interpretations by the ancients and rhetorical devices found in scriptural writings aside.

However, when such a disaster does happen, those who are most accountable and are being judged in the moment are those who have now been given an opportunity (and are able) to serve their fellow man (the newly poor and afflicted), and choose not to do so. It is those who are under condemnation - not the victims of a random natural disaster.

In other words, when individuals do not serve the afflicted when the possibility and opportunity is made very clear and public as a result of a major disaster, that is when the voice of the disasters stand to condemn and present hypocrisy and wickedness and selfishness to the world... and its not the physical storm victims who are the ones being condemned.

Great explanation, thanks for taking the time to help me understand your comment. I have helped in clean up efforts before with the pure mindset of service, but your explanation provides even a greater understanding of our responsibility and opportunity.

Biz

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Scriptural assertions that "God" is seen in natural disasters are equally refuted by Elijah: "A still, small voice". God was not found in the tempest, earthquake or whirlwind. But, people are reminded of the dangerous, transitory nature of mortality by the moving and shaking of Mother Nature. Like death itself, reminders of it do work on the most hidebound "sinner", to cause them to pause and perhaps change their ways. So when prophets use nature to whip the guilty, perhaps they are exercising nothing more than a rhetorical "ends justify the means" approach at getting through to the spiritually dense and wayward....

Thanks for contributing. I had not thought of that before other than in practice. I currently live in the South and luckily was not close to the major tornado in Alabama, however, I have been close to some other large ones this month. I never felt as if a they were warnings, with that said the second the sirens turns on I always drop to my knees to pray. What you and others have said correlate with Elder Hollands message which together has taught me some new insights.

Biz

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My prayers go out to the people in the South who have been visited by, “thundering, lightnings, and tempest.” With that said, when is a storm a natural occurrence of the laws of nature versus when is a storm a testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent?

Perhaps the most modern admonition that God causes these storms is by Elder Holland’s talk this last general conference.

(Elder Holland April Conference 2011) Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to His prophets. “[And] after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, … of thunderings, … lightnings, and … tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. …”

Should we treat the weather like an on/off switch like we are forced to do as we listen to Church leaders in high positions give revelation as compared to their opinions?

At least through the observance of my own study it seems like the Church in modern times has distanced themselves from ever claiming a storm is a warning from God.

Biz

At some point those who have ears to hear will recognize the Lord’s voice in natural disasters. Someone pointed out these disasters are not always punishments, and are sometimes tests. Even for the saints, it is an opportunity for serious reflection and improved reliance upon the Lord (3 Nephi 9:13). For those that believe that all things testify of Him (Alma 30:44), disasters do call for our reliance upon Him for any form of rescue, whether it be temporal or spiritual in this world (whether in general or specific to preparation and response to disaster) or in the blessings of immortality and eternal life. The testimonies we’ve been given show that He causes, permits, and prevents natural disasters large and small as fitting His purposes. Nephi's drought is an example; the flood another; calming the storm in the New Testament; causing the storm to disrupt the soldiers going after a party of saints (my church history is rusty on the specifics); the sky clearing at temple dedications; etc.

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Though I don't think natural disasters are necessarily sent to an area, I do believe they are still a call to repentance. We've been warned since Biblical times that these things will happen and we've been warned to be prepared. I think they are a wake-up call when they do happen, whether we are part of the disaster or not. I think they teach us many things, certainly showing how willing people are to help, reminding us that we are not exempt and need to have our houses in order and seeing how when it comes right down to what is important, it is the safety of our loved ones that matters, and not all the things we have accumulated.

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My prayers go out to the people in the South who have been visited by, “thundering, lightnings, and tempest.” With that said, when is a storm a natural occurrence of the laws of nature versus when is a storm a testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent?

Perhaps the most modern admonition that God causes these storms is by Elder Holland’s talk this last general conference.

(Elder Holland April Conference 2011) Brothers and sisters, in general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard. “I sent you out to testify and warn the people,” the Lord has said to His prophets. “[And] after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, … of thunderings, … lightnings, and … tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds. …”

Should we treat the weather like an on/off switch like we are forced to do as we listen to Church leaders in high positions give revelation as compared to their opinions?

At least through the observance of my own study it seems like the Church in modern times has distanced themselves from ever claiming a storm is a warning from God.

Biz

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With that said, when is a storm a natural occurrence of the laws of nature versus when is a storm a testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent?

Short of direct revelation you will never know. Nor should it truly matter to you. Nor is each storm likely to exist for one and only one purpose.

One storm could easily exist to:

Humble Stan

Make Margaret realize how fragile life is and shake her out of complacency.

Bring George home to God

Help Leslie learn the joy of helping others in the aftermath.

Punish Paul for his extortion and greed by stripping him of his property.

And other purposes I haven't thought of and probably some I wouldn't understand in any case.

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Not surprisingly, I am of the opinion that all "storm(s) (are) a natural occurrence of the laws of nature" and have nothing whatsoever to do with a "testimony sent from God himself as a warning to repent"

I tend to agree but I do believe God can 1) control nature and 2) protect us from the ravages of nature.

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My son was with a construction crew in Tuscaloosa, near the university.

The electrician they were working with got a phone call from his wife telling him to get home right now. Since the crew couldn't work without an electrician, they went back to the apartment. A short time later the tornadoes came down, focusing on the area where he was working. There was alot of construction crews there, and someone had called the police over a robbery and there were five police cars in the area.

After the tornado, he tried to go back but the area was completely devistated and could not get there. He saw alot of bodies lying on the ground. He spoke to one girl who had been talking with her boyfriend on the cell phone. Suddenly there was silence. When she was able to get to his apartment, it was completely destroyed, and the workers could not find him anywhere.

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I’m open to the idea that extreme weather can be viewed as a call to repentance from God – after all we have been taught that these kinds of events will happen more frequently prior to the second coming of Christ. That’s certainly not a new concept for anybody familiar with LDS doctrine.

That said, I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the more scientific explanation – i.e. Global Warming/Climate Change from greenhouse gas emissions as a possible factor in more frequent extreme weather events.

I happen to believe both hypotheses are true, but it seems like I’m more in the minority on that…

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I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the more scientific explanation – i.e. Global Warming/Climate Change from greenhouse gas emissions as a possible factor in more frequent extreme weather events

That's because human-caused greenhouse gasses have negligible effect on so-called global climate change. It's a hoax.

CO2 levels rise after the cyclical rise in earth temperatures.

The only significant cause of rising (or falling) temperatures on Earth, Venus, Mars, etc., which all rise and fall together, is Sol's activities.

The hypothesis of human-caused climate change is arrogance. We are trivial in the grand scheme of things that affect the Earth.

Lehi

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Another concept in religion that is not logical. If God wants to get our attention all he has to do is tell us in a direct manner what he wants. No need to kill a few thousand people to get a point across. This would be a vindictive God who relishes in the pain of his children.

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Another concept in religion that is not logical. If God wants to get our attention all he has to do is tell us in a direct manner what he wants.

Historically that hasn't worked so well.

No need to kill a few thousand people to get a point across.

But if it is the only thing that works?

This would be a vindictive God who relishes in the pain of his children.

Nope. If you put your children in time-out or spank them or punish them in some other way presumably (hopefully) you don't relish their pain. God works on a larger scale and uses pain to fulfill his purposes.

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That's because human-caused greenhouse gasses have negligible effect on so-called global climate change. It's a hoax.

CO2 levels rise after the cyclical rise in earth temperatures.

The only significant cause of rising (or falling) temperatures on Earth, Venus, Mars, etc., which all rise and fall together, is Sol's activities.

The hypothesis of human-caused climate change is arrogance. We are trivial in the grand scheme of things that affect the Earth.

Lehi

I don’t agree with you that human-caused climate change is a hoax or arrogant. It’s the predominant scientific consensus and a fact.

Even the Church is starting to get on the bandwagon with the 'green' movement - by reducing its carbon footprint and being good stewards of the earth's resources – see Church’s Second Solar-Powered Meetinghouse on Track for Prestigious Construction Industry Achievement

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I don’t agree with you that human-caused climate change is a hoax or arrogant. It’s the predominant scientific consensus and a fact.

Even the Church is starting to get on the bandwagon with the 'green' movement - by reducing its carbon footprint and being good stewards of the earth's resources

I do think it's arrogant to assume that man who is described in the words of Moses as "nothing" will affect the climate of this earth to a greater degree than solar flares, volcanic eruptions or the shifting of the poles which is currently taking place.

The "church" has always supported being wise stewards of the earth, and we even read about this in Helaman 3.

I seriously want to know what those who decry man's actions expect us to do and maintain our level of living. The U.S. is already far ahead of the rest of the world in taking seriously its stewardship of the earth and her resources. It is other countries over which we have no control which will continue to pollute and abuse the planet. Yet we are being asked to support the brunt of the cost and "sacrifice." God created the world for man to use and there is plenty here for all. I hardly think we will be able to do near as much damage as the exploding volcano, or violent winds or overwhelming surge of water. Climate change may be happening but to say that humans cause the brunt of it with all the other things going on and with the natural shifts in weather throughout even recorded history is a little extreme.

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