@GeoMan – “Given how easily fooled our senses are, it is interesting
how much faith people put in them (myself included). Our senses are very useful,
but they are most decidedly not "fool" proof.”Not sure
that’s really the issue for most non-believers. It would be incredibly
easy for Jesus to “prove” he is who the gospels claim (a 5 minute
demonstration of God-like powers would suffice), and in doing so Christianity
would go from being a religion/myth to a science over night.The real
issue is that most non-believers simply don’t buy the collection of
writings made by highly superstitious Iron Age shepherds and fishermen who had
virtually no correct explanations for how almost anything in the world happened
(sickness, death, the weather, etc, etc, etc…).
Not only were the first apostles flawed men, but many Mormons seem to forget
that leaders from Joseph Smith to the current apostles and leaders are also men
who have made mistakes and continue to make mistakes. Some church members seem
to lose their faith when a church leader says something that is obviously wrong
or is in direct contradiction to something another church leader might have
said. I have no doubt that the apostles and the members of the first presidency
are men who are called of God to receive revelations pertinent to our generation
and to lead the church through the promptings of the holy spirit. That
doesn't mean they are infallible. I am not one to murmur against my
leaders; rather, I have faith that my leaders from President Monson down to my
local priesthood leaders are striving to do the will of the Lord, and it is
incumbent upon me to perform my duties and to live the gospel as well as I can.
I do not question my bishop if he calls an imperfect person to a position. It
is not my job to question that, for we are all imperfect.
I find it interesting the "The Atheist" seems to be asserting that even
if presented physical evidence he/she would not believe. That would seem to be
the epitome of "faith in something that doesn't exist." Thus we
see that he/she is just the same as he/she claims that believers are.As
for "Red Corvette," he/she is not so different from Thomas. Thomas said
that except he should experience the resurrected Lord with his senses, he would
not believe. "Red Corvette" states that he too won't believe
something that isn't based on his/her senses (nonsense).Given how
easily fooled our senses are, it is interesting how much faith people put in
them (myself included). Our senses are very useful, but they are most decidedly
not "fool" proof.
Luke 24:38-41 (emphasis added)38 ...And he said unto them, Why are
ye troubled? and why do athoughts arise in your hearts?39 Behold my hands
and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not
flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he
shewed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they YET BELIEVED NOT FOR
JOY, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?Seems to
me Thomas didn't have any more trouble than the other disciples did.
Indeed, the others believed not in spite of what they saw and heard, in the
beginning. We ought to give Thomas credit for believing on first sight.
Thomas’ skepticism of hearsay reports that Jesus had risen from the dead
stands out in the gospel of John. It doesn’t reflect negatively on Thomas.
It makes him sound more authentic. It's striking that Jesus does not
reprove Thomas for his initial incredulity.
Thomas has always been my hero among all the disciples as he is the clearest
example of what distinguishes justified faith from blind faith. I
wonder how much misery the world could have avoided had Thomas' example
been held up as a model of how to be faithful while simultaneously using our God
given intellects by maintaining healthy skepticism and rightful demands for
Just because Thomas didn't have faith in his fellow disciples didn't
mean he didn't have faith that Jesus could rise after he had been
crucified. Look how hard it was for those who experienced the actual presence
and teachings of Jesus to accept Him. No doubt they took him as we often take
today's spiritual leaders, yet many also recognized who He was, and Thomas
certainly did, as did the others. We, today, without His actual presence,
without seeing Him in real time, hearing His actual voice, do we, really,
believe as fully as Thomas? He, at least, knew what proof he would require, and
it wasn't as much as many today require. Just my thoughts.
As was pointed out Thomas was no different than the others. He did not doubt his
Savior; he had his doubts about others of fellow human beings. Faith is a gift,
if we will accept it. Too many of us doubt both the gift and the giver of the
gift. Exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if [we] can no more than desire to
believe… I don't know how much easier the Lord can make it for us. We
really shouldn't expect Him to do everything, should we?
I am not so easily fooled as was my naive twin brother, Thomas.
Yes, let us not judge Thomas as the world simplifies his life to one
instance. Let us regard Thomas with all the scriptures tell us about
him.Where Thomas went when the Apostles scattered tells us even more about
this man ofsupposed little faith.
One of the stories of Thomas that most overlook, or never notice, is found in
John 11, the most significant verse being nubmer 16. This is just prior to
Jesus going to raise Lazarus. The disciples are worried sick that the Savior
plans to travel back to Judea since the people there had recently wanted to
stone Him. When it becomes apparent that Jesus is going to return, though, John
records this: "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his
fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." That Thomas
"doubts" the account of his friends and fellow apostles later is all
that most remember which is tragic because he was the one to only weeks early
state his willingness to die with Him. Also, few recall that it took the Savior
appearing to the others before they were willing to believe the testimony of the
women who'd gone to the tomb first, though John seems to believe them on
finding the tomb empty. Thomas was no more a doubter than the others were, was
a man of faith as much as they were, and hopefully can be remembered as such.
@donnNot mentioning a quality or characteristic of a person,doesn't mean that that person lacks or doesn't possess that
quality or characteristic.And for Jesus to have perfection and
Godhood like his father he would have to have every characteristic and quality
of his Father, no more and no less,or he not be like the Father, he
not have the same perfection as his Father and therefore not perfect as his
Father, --Back to article, the scriptures quite clearly
say that Jesus says of Thomas that Thomas lacked faith.Thomas did
not believe what the other apostles has told him, he did not have faith, it had
nothing to do with being 'realistic' or Jesus would have said
What a wonderful article. Thanks for printing it. To those of us who
"ponder", it will be the basis for many enlightening conversations.
Thank you.I have often thought that we give Thomas a bad rap as we
do with Peter as well.With the benefit of perspective, we often
think negatively of Thomas or of Peter. Surely we would never be faithless,
right?As the author indicates, I appreciate the stories of flawed
men and women in gospel history. It gives me hope that I too can rise the to
challenges ahead of me.
Re;Christ lovingly beckons us. He does not reproach us for our lack of faith. He
will answer our questions.Jesus Appears to the Disciples. Behold my
hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a Spirit has not
flesh and bones, as you see me have(Luke 24:39 )God [is] Spirit
=(pneuma)( John 4:24 Greek N.T.)J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is
the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son?
First, he is a personage of tabernacle.