Comments about ‘California Mormons and neighbors fast and pray during drought, receive rain’

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Published: Monday, Feb. 24 2014 2:05 p.m. MST

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American Fork, UT

Why did the big guy turn off the tap in the first place? Or is it all about shifting climate patterns?

Folsom, CA

Saturday night I checked the weather reports for Sunday in Los Angeles. It was supposed to be sunny and dry. The first rain came at 2pm and kids were excited that The Lord answered our prayers. Then at about 9pm it started to pour. We received more rain that night than previous 3 months combined.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Rain in the winter? Quite common. To end the drought in California, there will need to be at least 3 winters with well above average snowfall in the mountains.
A little rainstorm hardly ended the drought.

Russell Spencer
Boise, ID

The drought is a problem throughout the Western United States, though I'm not sure any place has been harder hit than California. Some of us participated in the fast up here in Boise, Idaho and, while I know it's just anecdote, I've been keeping track of every day since: We've yet to have a single day pass without some precipitation (and that's NOT common for this area). We're not getting deluged; it's often just scattered showers. But we believe it is a blessing from the fast and we're very grateful for the moisture. Have others, like Twardy, noticed anything similar in neighboring states?

Mrs T
Coalville, UT

Faith precedes miracles

orem, utah

Why fast for rain, why not just fast for the natural desert climate of California to change, then you only have to fast and pray once.


Parts of California indeed have desert or near desert climate. However, in January we visited a friend the Paradise CA. It was tinder dry and they were already praying for rain in sacrament meeting. Paradise has an average precipitation of about 55 in./year. In 2012-2013 they received under 28 inches and so far in 2013-2014 they've received under 12 inches. The drought is severe even in normally moist mountain areas and fasting and prayers do help.


@ Hutterite

You ask a good question and there is an answer found in the best of history books, namely the Bible and Book of Mormon.

I assume you don't believe in miracles or even God but I can say with assurity that all things in the earth and in the heavens above the earth witness of the reality of God and Christ.

Midwest City, USA, OK

Perhaps to give reason for people to come together in this event, reminded of their dependence on Him.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

Fast and pray for Summer to come and, sure enough, your prayers will eventually be "answered." Then you can confirm your faith again by fasting and praying for winter to come...

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Grand and glorious outpourings from God will be denied if we choose to think that there is no point in fasting and praying. Societies over the course of the mankind have operated in such manner and have been blessed. Any reliance we feel we can have in our own abilities should be tempered with a faith in a higher power who can help us in times of need and whom we should thank in times of plenty. Let's show a reliance to and gratitude for the things Diety sees fit to give us. And how empowering for whole communities to come together in such a way, this wasn't limited to just the members of one church or one congregation. Banding faith together as a group is very powerful.

reno, NV

The rain would have fallen either way. It is called climate. Sometimes there are droughts, sometimes there are floods. Why would god wait until a few people prayed to allow a little rain to come? Wouldn't he know they needed rain already? Would he have let people continue to suffer with no water had they not prayed? Unlikely. It is the same as me praying for the sun to come up in the morning. No matter what I say or how much I pray the sun will come up eventually regardless. And a little rain hardly ends the drought.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

With all due respect, can someone please explain to me how this article and many of the comments are not the epitome of superstition?

Do educated people today actually believe their depriving themselves of food and water can influence the weather?

Old But Not Stupid
Moorpark, CA


You are correct in that certain things such as the Sun rising or the season changing will occur without some amongst us depriving themselves of food and water.

However, I find that as analogous to the condition where no one has to be superstitious or accept deprivation to get inane comments on articles such as this one from the zealous cadre of naysayers. These just follow in the natural course of things, right?

salt lake city, UT

@ The Scientist-
Yes, educated people today do actually believe that fasting works. It's superstition for sure but every culture has always had them. Why would the Mormon culture be any different?

1.96 Standard Deviations

The Scientist:

Depriving ourselves of food and water does not influence the weather. However, God -- the creator of Earth -- can influence the weather. Fasting and prayer is a way to petition God and exercise faith. If it be His will, blessings can come.

Do you remember Alma the Younger's conversion? His father prayed with faith, and as a result, an angel was sent to warn Alma the Younger that his continued persecution of the church would result in his destruction. Alma the Younger was then struck in a coma-like state. More prayers were offered, and even fasts, and Alma the Younger himself stated he had to call upon the name of Jesus before he was taken from the coma-like state and also the bitterness of trying to destroy the church.

Also, prayer and fasting can also be a test if we have real intent. Are we willing to exercise faith and petition God for our righteous desires? But can we also handle God being more wise, and blessing us with something else unexpected with what we REALLY need?

Real intent is conditioning our heart to accept whatever answer/outcome is best -- from God's perspective.

Far East USA, SC

If you fast and pray for something, and it happens, it is confirmation that fasting and praying work.

If it does not happen, it is because God is testing us, or "insert justification here"

Either way, it is proof that prayer and fasting are the best course of action.

reno, NV

1.96 Standard Deviations

You mentioned the out for all unanswered prayers... if it be god's will. You pray for something.. if it happens it was due to that prayer. If it doesn't happen it wasn't gods will. Well, if god's will is going to come to pass no matter what, then there is no use in praying. His will will come to pass with or without your individual prayers.

Davis, CA


You may have read Thomas Kuhn's "On the structure of scientific revolutions"; its a classic, right? Its a matter of paradigms. To answer your question, education does not preclude someone from seriously considering potentially conflicting notions within or between paradigms; in the case of between-paradigms, science and faith can be both cherished, despite perceived conflicts. Further, education helps people deal rationally with the irrationalities within their knowledge framework.

This educated person does believe in fasting. Its an experiment that follows a faith-based paradigm, which by design operates on a different time-scale than modern science; often faith-based experimentation does not have ultimate control over the lengh of the experiment; so just be patient with the length of the experiment under way.

1.96 Standard Deviations


Christ prayed for Heavenly Father's will to be done. I'll follow his example.

For instance, Christ prayed to have the bitter cup of the sins of the world taken from him, if possible, but concluded with "Thy will be done."

Can you imagine if an unwise Heavenly Father withdrew all the pains/suffering of Christ's atonement based on that prayer? All mankind would unavoidibly perish because the atonement would have never taken place.

God's wisdom vastly exceeds our own, so sometimes not answering a prayer, as we utter them, is the very answer we need!

On the contrary, many blessings are conditional upon us asking for them. We are to exercise faith, recognize our nothingness, and learn to rely on Him. Prayers can still be answered the way we ask! But, again, it is God's will. (D&C has more insights on God being "bound" [obligated] to answer us when we are obedient).

Keep in mind the restoration of the gospel started with Joseph Smith's "first prayer." Heavenly Father and Christ could have appeared to him whenever. Don't you find it interesting they responded to Joseph after he prayed? Prayer works!

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