Comments about ‘Wright Words: Aided by angels, 2-year-old boy and his dog survive night in Virginia forest’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Tyler D
Meridian, ID

All the metaphysical mumbo jumbo aside, this was a nice story about a fortunate boy who was the beneficiary of well-trained responders and a hound dog named Judge.

Rexburg, Madison, ID

Tyler D, may you or your loved ones be similarly watched over and blessed by Heaven to reach a happy ending if ever confronted by such a frightening situation.

Boise, ID

I expected more than just one negative comment here. I'm so far duly impressed. Amazing that no one yet has come out to scream about "separation of church and state" because responders dared to pray as they began their work and all through it. A push back scenario like that plays out in the headlines in one form or another these days from time to time.

To experience God's hand in a family's rescue, even to merely read about it, is a faith inspiring, life affirming thing. Whether one recognizes what saved the boy or not is immaterial to the fact that Heavenly Father and many other angels were involved. Someday every person will no longer be able to deny it.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@NorthOfHere – “Tyler D, may you or your loved ones be similarly watched over and blessed by Heaven to reach a happy ending if ever confronted by such a frightening situation.”

Thank you – and in that horrible situation I would take help wherever it came from. But for every story like this we can read similar stories every day that end in tragedy, and often involving faithful believers who prayed non-stop throughout the ordeal. How do we explain those cases?

Or what about this Solomon-like choice – if you (God forbid) were in a similar situation and had to choose between the responders with their hound dog on the one hand or only prayers and the seemingly capricious & unpredictable nature of heavenly helpers on the other, which would you choose?

Setting aside any cop out answer like “I would choose both” do you know anyone who would choose the later?

@Gracie – “… Heavenly Father and many other angels were involved.”

You may be right (no way to prove it either way). I am simply taking the Occam’s Razor approach to explaining the outcome. Sorry you feel that is negative.

Altamont, UT

Personally, I would not read or take time to comment on a viewpoint I so vehemently disagreed with. Just sayin.

And, pray tell...WHEN would a person ever have to depend on just one situation (responders and hound dogs) or another (prayer only)? Seems like a question designed to just create controversy. Not exactly the way to sway someone's testimony of prayer.

sandy, ut

Where in the story does it say that the boy was helped by angels? The boy didn't say that, so where is that idea coming from?

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

I've known for many years that animals ARE angels. I love and loved them all, even the ones I couldn't housebreak.

Boise, ID

@Tyler D -- "Occam’s Razor": the principle that entities should not be multiplied needlessly; the simplest of two competing theories is to be preferred (Googled)

The simplest of competing theories between trusting God and trusting man's ability to rescue is a solid combination of both because God is all powerful and lets us share in His power and knowledge, recognized or not. Regardless, I am one of those who, if I did have only one choice to make, would choose to trust God. Been there, done that, under the worst circumstances. You're right that there's "no way to prove it either way"--not to those who have no faith to feel the proof. I haven't learned calculus but I know it's essential to get a rocket to the moon. Safety for me is only experienced within His power, understood or not, accompanied by humans and/or animals or not. Angels are helpers of various types. They don't have to be invisible.

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

If God/angels get credit for the boy's positive outcome, who gets the credit if there was an unfortunate negative outcome?

Seems to me that there is a lot of confirmation bias going on.

Very happy that the boy is alright.

G L W8

God does not intervene in every situation, to do so would take away our agency and ability to progress. Yes, there are those who pray and a different, often tragic, response comes. Nevertheless, we who call ourselves believers accept as part of that belief that we must "wait upon the Lord", trusting that his omniscience is best and accept of the outcome.
Our own family had an instance where a younger brother was taken in an untimely death. When our parents refused to blame anyone for the tragedy, including the Lord, it set a strong example for us children in matters of faith, forgiveness, and love. It also produced strong bonds of friendship for those that could have been blamed for the accident resulting in my brother's death. I don't question that the Lord is in charge and His will is supreme, and that if we follow and accept, we will be blessed.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Gracie – “…not to those who have no faith to feel the proof. I haven't learned calculus but I know it's essential to get a rocket to the moon.”

I guess this is what troubles me about religious faith. If there is an all-powerful being watching over us and taking a personal interest in our lives, why is my belief in him necessary for him to manifest himself in some way?

If you were to learn the calculus involved in sending a rocket to the moon, do you think it would be necessary that you believe it first prior to doing the math and proving it?

And you might think our outlooks a very different but I bet that’s not the case. I bet we believe in many of the same things – the goodness of people, that the world is often “on our side” in ways difficult to explain, in the power of cooperation, goodwill and love, etc…

Perhaps our only difference is I don’t tack a metaphysical story on top of all those facts to explain them.

Each to his own I guess… peace.

Boise, ID

@Tyler D: "If there is an all-powerful being watching over us and taking a personal interest in our lives, why is my belief in him necessary for him to manifest himself in some way?"

It isn't necessary, but infinitely preferable. Scriptural accounts relate His appearance even to those who hate Him. After multiple loving invitations to share in His goodness, and the refusal of many of his children to do so and thereby increase their faith, sometimes He or an angel (messenger) appears with a divine version of a 2'x4' to stop them from harming someone else, or to accomplish other objectives. He won't suffer fools gladly forever.

"If you were to learn the calculus involved in sending a rocket to the moon, do you think it would be necessary that you believe it first prior to doing the math and proving it?"

Of course! Why would I want to invest my time and energy learning something so difficult if I didn't have the faith to believe it would work? I could discount its effectiveness by pointing out that not all moon shots are successful. As in religion, faith in supporting principles is essential.

sandy, ut

G L W8

your comment proves my point. If god's will always trumps our prayers, then what is the point to pray? If, ultimately, god gets the final say, then our pleas go unanswered. If he wants a child to survive a cold night lost, they will survive with or without anybody's prayers because it is god's will. If god wants another child to not survive a similar scenario, then they won't, with or without the prayers. Because his will ultimately takes over no matter what or if we pray.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@Gracie – “Scriptural accounts relate His appearance even to those who hate Him.”

Yes, the sacred books are filled with such accounts as well as non-believers being “smited” in all sorts of unpleasant ways for their disbelief.

And those might be proofs of a deity, but there doesn’t seem to be much (i.e., any) of this stuff going on these days… I find that curious, don’t you?

@Gracie – “Why would I want to invest my time… if I didn't have the faith to believe it would work?”

The question was, do you think your faith would be “necessary” in order for the math to work?

As to discounting something based on effectiveness (or accuracy, or predictive power, etc.) we could literally fill volumes with respect to religious faith, but I’ll sum it up this way:

1.Name a demonstrable fact that once had a religious explanation but has been superseded by a scientific explanation.

2.Name a demonstrable fact that once had a scientific explanation but now has a better (more effective) religious explanation.

The answers I hope are obvious… and I’ve reached comment limit.

Allen, TX

Angels that were mentioned in the story:

Chance, the bloodhound
Dead Grandparents
All the volunteers who, many without knowing the family, served them, if only to eliminate countless possibilities so their real location could be discovered.

Tyler: As far as science vs faith, there are myriad miracles in the scriptures that have been able to be reproduced by science. So God, who knows all science and the laws of nature can use those laws to act on the faith of men who know only that He can do all.

Example: The parting of the Red Sea, which saved the Israelites and wiped out Pharaoh's armies. In recent years, science has been able, with focused sound waves imperceptible to the human ear, to manipulate water and suspend it in the air. Did Moses know this science? No. But he knew that God could do it.

As far as some prayers being answered and others not. The goal is to align our will with God's. When my wife got Thyroid cancer, we prayed that she would be healed, according to God's will. Passing through the experience brought us huge unanticipated blessings. He saw the big picture. We trusted Him.

G L W8

Bramabull,I've proved your point? Nope. Read my comment more carefully. God sent us here to grow, to progress. Prayer is an essential ingredient in that process. Just because an omniscient God knows how things will turn out; we don't! Our growth is expanded when we learn to bring our will into alignment with His. There is no force involved, as you suggest.
We are all children under the care of a loving, patient father, who knows exactly what is needed for us to grow. Just as a mortal father knows there are differences in each of his children, God treats each of us in ways we may learn from whatever happens to us in this mortal life. The rest is up to us. If we are patient, we will "wait upon the Lord" to perform his work, knowing we'll be blessed for doing so.

Portland, Oregon

It really doesn't matter where the thought about "angels" comes from, if it helped the family of the little boy deal with his absence.

Prayer and faith are not always going to resolve issues in the way those who engage in their use WANT them to turn out, because the world is not designed to work that way. Even those with the greatest faith in God are sometimes disappointed. It's not because God is cruel or capricious, but because God will not necessarily step in to change the natural outcome of things if it is not necessary for his purpose or plan.

That is a difficult concept for most people who believe in a loving and caring God to grasp. But God is not our servant and is not at our beck and call. We serve Him. Understanding that he knows what is best for us and that this life will be difficult because its purpose is for us to learn to live by faith, regardless of how painful it may be, is one of the greatest lessons we can learn.

Boise, ID

@Tyler D: I don't believe the answers are "obvious" at all. Man's current understanding of science is a terribly important but extremely limited version of God's science. Both have science. True religion isn't magic. It's God's sharing of information with us. Hopefully we will use it to better the human condition. "Name one" statements are inconclusive in this realm. Not understanding or appreciating the power of faith, a person has only a tiny portion of the facts. Much like a teenager whose starting to learn a great deal and thinks he/she already knows everything worth knowing.

Beaverton, OR

Beautifully written of a scary story with a happy ending. Love the fact that the sheriff had a word of prayer before going forward with this search and rescue.
I believe in angels of all sorts, shapes and sizes. I believe our ancestors are our guardian angels, and they do watch over us. I have felt their presence many times. Those that believe, know. That's just MHO.

sandy, ut

G L W8

So then tell me again what is the point of praying for one's safety if ultimately the prayer has no effect on the outcome of the situation. If you are implying that loved ones around us dying as part of our personal growth, then you are way off base.

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