Elder Donald L. Hallstrom: ‘Has the Day of Miracles Ceased?’

Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

“We are living a miracle, and further miracles lie ahead,” Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, General Authority Seventy, said during the Sunday morning session of general conference on Oct. 1.

“Today, I testify of miracles,” he said. “Being a child of God is a miracle. Receiving a body in His image and likeness is a miracle. The gift of a Savior is a miracle. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a miracle. The potential for eternal life is a miracle.”

Sharing a story of a man who, despite great odds, survived a hiking accident that could have left him extremely disabled or even taken his life, Elder Hallstrom spoke of the “miracles” along the way that provided the positive outcome.

“In pondering the experience of [this family], I have thought much about the circumstances of so many others,” he said. “What about the innumerable faith-filled, priesthood-blessing-receiving, unendingly-prayed-for, covenant-keeping, full-of-hope Latter-day Saints whose miracle never comes? At least in the way they understand a miracle. At least in the way that others appear to receive miracles.

“What about those who suffer from profound afflictions — physically, mentally, emotionally — for years or for decades or for their entire mortal life? What about those who die so very young?”

After sharing a story of two faithful couples who were recently killed in a plane crash, Elder Hallstrom said, “Do good people and their loved ones have reason to ask the question posed by Mormon: ‘Has the day of miracles ceased?’”

“My limited knowledge cannot explain why sometimes there is divine intervention and other times there is not,” he said. “But perhaps we lack an understanding of what constitutes a miracle.”

Often a miracle is described as “being healed without a full explanation by medical science” or as “avoiding catastrophic danger by heeding a clear prompting.”

However, “defining a miracle as ‘a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand’ gives an expanded perspective into matters more eternal in nature,” he said. “This definition also allows us to contemplate the vital role of faith in the receipt of a miracle.”

Elder Hallstrom said a critical question to ponder is, “Where do we place our faith? Is our faith focused on simply wanting to be relieved of pain and suffering, or is it firmly centered on God the Father and His holy plan and in Jesus the Christ and His Atonement? Faith in the Father and the Son allows us to understand and accept Their will as we prepare for eternity.”

While it is good to pray for and work for physical protection and healing during one’s mortal existence, Elder Hallstrom said a person’s supreme focus should be on the spiritual miracles that are available to all of God’s children.

“No matter our ethnicity, no matter our nationality, no matter what we have done if we repent, no matter what may have been done to us — all of us have equal access to these miracles.”

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