June 3, 2012
Is arguing with God a virtue? Dennis Prager vs Mormon thought
Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. – Jacob 4:10 (Book of Mormon)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
Truth be told, I’m not too sure that most Jews, even religious ones, agree with Dennis on this point. The famous Oven of Aknai story from the Talmud teaches that God’s role vis-à-vis the Torah was to give it to Moses, with the rabbis left to interpret it without His help. Every time that I mention the story in a presentation to Jews in order to illustrate one of the differences between Jewish and LDS theology, several audience members make it a point to talk to me afterwards and make sure I know that Jews still value God’s opinion more than man’s.
For Mormons, prophets are special people chosen by God to carry out His work on earth. The fact that Moses and Abraham may have questioned God in a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone else is able to do likewise, just like everyone is not able to part the sea or to receive engraved tablets from Sinai’s summit.
Of course, Mormons experience disappointment, sadness, tragedy, and loss during this life. Sometimes we scratch our heads and wonder why God does what He does, why He seems to abandon us on occasion, why He allows injustice and evil to thrive and prosper. I know from firsthand experience what it is like to be angry with God following the death of a loved one. However, using my limited mortal reasoning and logic to argue with Deity is something that I have never attempted to do.