Unknown 'angel' priest prays with 19-year-old at accident scene

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    Aug. 13, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Another DesNews article published "Mystery angel priest revealed" 8/13 states the priest has now revealed himself. The oil used is apparently part of the Catholic rite involved in anointing the critical ill or dying.
    This puts to rest all speculation. My speculative point on an early post was mainly that God, being all wise, provides us with opportunities we will understand that strengthen our faith.
    That has to be taken into context with Twin Lights' comments on this story. We all know how we led our own children into adulthood. If we expected them to become adults too quickly, or if we kept them children past the time they were ready for adulthood, we most likely had problems. And we definitely had to allow them space to learn on their own.

  • agentbb007 Lehi, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    This is really a great story, I hope the girl will recover quickly. FYI the priest has been identified as Rev. Patrick Dowling but still a very cool story.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 13, 2013 8:51 a.m.

    Joe Moe -

    I see what you are saying, I just disagree. Maybe in some small instances I could maybe see god changing his mind based on the faith of people. I cannot, under any circumstance see god altering a life or death situation based on faith. Have faith and you live, don't have faith and you will die. I especially can't see him changing the outcome based on the faith of a third party, in this case a priest. I don't think prayer will hurt anything, but I don't think it changes anything either.

    Example: My sister had a horse accident and got hit in the eye. She recieved a priesthood blessing that she wouldn't lose her vision in that eye. The whole family also prayed individually that she wouldn't lose her vision. Her eyeball was shattered - she could not see out of that eye. The prayers and blessings did nothing to help her to have her vision. The eye did not magically reconstruct. She is left with this all due to bad luck. I don't see where god stepped in, despite all the prayers and faith that she would still see.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 13, 2013 6:28 a.m.

    Tyler D,

    You are right. Our lives can lack vision and understanding. In the LDS view, transmigration of souls is unnecessary. The learning curve is extended via the Spirit World where we work, learn, and progress in anticipation of the end of the mortal world and the beginning of the celestial.

    I have no argument that we need far more empathy in this world. As we understand the reach and power of Christ's Atonement we search inward and see in starker relief our own flaws and the need for a forgiving attitude toward others. I see much of the final judgment as being internal - as we look at our lives in contrast with what we could have done/been. I do not think that will be a kind revelation to many (I am not sure I expect it to be so for myself).

    As far as rebelling against God. I suppose that all lack of obedience could be seen as rebellion. But in the context of a son of perdition, no, non-belief does not count. To be such we rebel against knowledge. A rather high bar (thankfully).

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “We need to learn to be adults in order to enter a celestial world where jealousies and ill temper cannot be tolerated.”

    That view makes some sense to me if it was combined with an eastern view of transmigration of souls (i.e., reincarnation)? Given the simple and even myopic lives many lead – where it is arguable that even small lessons are learned so deeply that the soul is permanently altered – this view makes little sense if we’re only talking one blink-of-an-eye lifetime.

    By the way, reincarnation also seems intriguing in that it solves nicely the ubiquitous problem of empathy. If there’s a chance that in your next life you could be born anywhere on the planet, seems we would have a much higher incentive to treat everyone, everywhere with kindness, fairness and justice.

    As far as rebelling against God, does non-belief count? Agnosticism due to lack of evidence hardly strikes me as rebellion. Now if I were convinced, but then said “to heck with you big guy” then OK…

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    In(Luke13:1–5)Some people asked Jesus a question about an atrocity that had occurred at the hands of Pontius Pilate, It seems that some people who were in the midst of worship were massacred by Pilate’s soldiers.
    The people who came to Jesus and asked Him how God could have allowed it to happen to His chosen people. Those who were killed by the Romans and those who died when the tower fell may have been upstanding citizens.

    RE: A Scientist show the difference,

    But in the vertical dimension, in their relationship to God, none of them was innocent, and the same is true for us. Jesus was saying, “Instead of asking Me why a good God allowed this catastrophe, you should be asking why your own blood wasn’t spilled.”
    Jesus was reminding His hearers that there is ultimately no such thing as an innocent person (except Him).
    “We should not be amazed by “the Justice of God but by the Grace of God”. We should be asking why towers do not fall on us each and every day.

    Amazing Grace God saved a wretch like me.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 12, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    A Scientist,

    Agreed. We are supposed to learn correct principles and then govern ourselves.

    D&C 58: “For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. But he that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned.”

    As an adult here on earth, I became self-sufficient but never was I without my parents. Nor would I have wanted to be.

    You assume that we can be adults here and now. Not within the LDS doctrinal sphere (in which I framed my answer and within which we are talking).

    And BTW, I agree that there is a randomness in Nature. I do not believe it is an argument against God. I believe that is part of the Telestial world in which we live.

    Though I believe that God is behind the nature we see, from our limited viewpoint, the most difference is likely the influence and teaching of the Holy Ghost.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    Moreover, if you take ANY and ALL of the explanations the faithful have given for why, when, how their god supposedly does or does not "answer prayers", and you replace the so-called "god" in those explanations with the randomness of Nature, then they work just as well.

    A universe with the kind of "god" you all have described, placed side by side with a universe with NO god, but instead the randomness of Nature - I challenge any of you to show the difference.

    Nature sometimes "answers our prayers" and sometimes doesn't. Nature spares some and kills others. Nature makes it rain fall on the just and on the unjust. Nature demands that we "grow up" and act like adults rather than whimpering in our superstitious moods demanding that Nature treat us special.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    Twin Lights wrote:

    "In the LDS view we are as children. We need to learn to be adults in order to enter a celestial world where jealousies and ill temper cannot be tolerated."

    That metaphor has interesting implications.

    The child who constantly runs to its parent for "answers" and help never learns to become an adult. The adult is fundamentally self-sufficient without the parent.

    As such, it seems atheists are the only ones of "god's children" who have grown up and live their lives self-sufficiently, without a "heavenly parent" looking over their shoulder.

    I can go along with that.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    In the LDS view we are as children. We need to learn to be adults in order to enter a celestial world where jealousies and ill temper cannot be tolerated.

    You can argue that “with great power comes great responsibility” (Ben Parker). But the LDS view is “that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.”

    True adulthood requires us to learn certain principles and bring them into our soul. Unless we do so, we cannot enter that celestial state. In LDS theology there are other states depending on what we are willing to receive. There is nothing bad here.

    D&C 76: “That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him; Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him. Wherefore, he saves all except them”

    A son of perdition repeats Satan’s sin and knowingly rebels against God. It is thought that those who so “qualify” will be relatively few.

    Aug. 12, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    Chris B: I'm curious if the girl was Catholic. If she was, and the priest truly was an angel, wouldn't he come in clothing that would enhance her faith? (This is speculative, of course. I'm basically leaving the door open to any possibility beyond our own human understanding.)

    A curious detail--he apparently used oil as part of his blessing. LDS people do in our anointing of those needing a healing blessing. Do Catholics or any other modern religions? The use of oil for an anointing of one type or another is mentioned many places in the Bible.

    Aug. 12, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    Tyler D. to Joe Moe: "Thanks for the cordial dialogue"... Hopefully, we're all learning through these comments; I know I have. I appreciate the understanding I'm gaining from those with different viewpoints.

    As to answers to prayer: one who doesn't try with diligence will never find out if prayer works or not.

    As to one person's prayer answered and another's not: If God answers every one of our prayers immediately upon request, we would never learn nor grow.

    As to the question on the necessity of prayer and God's will: God is omniscient. The argument has been made over time: "If he knows all about how our lives will turn out, why send us here in the first place?" The answer to both questions is the same: His work is to bring about our salvation. He can't do that without subjecting us to the experiences of mortality, including the learning we gain when we draw our own wills congruent to His through prayer and other experiences.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “That is what I find in the Gospel. The means to salvation.”

    Always enjoy your perspective and if I were a religious person would no doubt share many conceptions of “how it all works” you have articulated in this and many past comments.

    But as you know my take is a bit different… for example your comment above. What exactly do we need saving from? Why would a God create us just so he (or his fallen proxy) can do bad things to us if we don’t follow a certain religion (yet generally try to live good lives)?

    Nice “wish granting machine” line!

    @samuelbradshaw – “In short, it gave people comfort and made them feel good despite a challenging situation. That's what a belief in God offers.”

    There are many agnostics/atheists who would say precisely the same thing…

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    More than likely the priest was a real person who happened to be in the right place at the right time to provide comfort to the young victim. He did not appear out of nowhere nor did he disappear into nowhere. The words he spoke when he prayed with the victim are not reported so we do not know if he asked God to spare her life. Perhaps the comfort she received upon hearing the words of the prayer helped her to survive the ordeal.

  • samuelbradshaw Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    To answer Brahmabull's question about why a prayer was necessary if it was "God's will" – it's because prayer strengthens the faith of those who want to believe. The girl requested a prayer because she knew it would give her comfort. It reminded everyone there (again, everyone who wanted to believe in God) that it was God who was in control, and not just chance. In short, it gave people comfort and made them feel good despite a challenging situation. That's what a belief in God offers.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 4:17 p.m.


    He clarifies " at times God will act a certain way regardless of our faith"


    Then back to the original issue raised by Brahmabull:

    If God's will is going to be fulfilled regardless of the prayer, then why pray?

    It seems the responses keep flip flopping.

    If anyone is confused as to what is being asked, please read Brahambull questions.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:55 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    I think that Joe Moe would disagree with your assessment of his statements. He clarifies " at times God will act a certain way regardless of our faith" Thank goodness God does. I'm sure I've benefitted many times when my own faith in him was lacking.

    And thank goodness for the Catholic priest who was there and able to provide support during that time of need.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    @Joe Moe

    For me all of this can be explained by simple chance, especially given our propensity for confirmation bias? Most of the petition-type prayers people make are of the “yes/no” variety so statistically some things are going to go your way and some are not.

    Given the apparent randomness of the outcomes (although an “answered prayer” to an individual no doubt does not seem random – see confirmation bias) and the millions who’s prayers go unanswered (e.g., holocaust victims, victims of crimes against children, etc…), I just don’t see any evidence of an intelligent being behind it all?

    And if all prayers are answered regardless of whether the answer was yes or no, does it make any sense that we should be grateful for one outcome and not another (since, as you say, it’s all for the benefit of our eternal self)?

    But I agree that for a believer, you’re forced to just accept it all as the will of God (i.e., from our perspective, a mystery).

    Thanks for the cordial dialogue…

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    Having been in such a circumstance, I can tell you it was one of the greatest tests of my faith.

    Many look to how God will keep his promises found in D&C 82:10. But I like the two prior verses:

    “And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you; Or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.”

    That is what I find in the Gospel. The means to salvation. Keeping the commandments does not indebt God to me so that I can use him as a wish granting machine. Rather I follow his commandments and gain the blessing of learning to act for my salvation and that of others.

    The scriptures and church history are full of stories of those who were not protected. We (naturally) concentrate on the stories where they were.

    For me the point is that I follow God where he leads. Not necessarily through the good and the pleasant. In the meantime, I live in a telestial world with the attendant griefs.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 3:05 p.m.

    @Joe Moe,

    "Both generally must be present for the miracle to occur"

    So just to be clear, you then must believe that God generally does NOT give blessings to those people in the world who do not believe in him is that right?

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Brahmabull, you raise a good point that should be clarified. I believe simply that answers to prayers (and other miracles) hinge on two points: God's will and our faith/work. Both generally must be present for the miracle to occur; absence of either can preclude the blessing. It is not hard for me to picture a loving God that wishes to share blessings, but is guided by several principles: respect for man's agency, a far-reaching and far-looking desire to help man learn to be his best eternal self, and a desire to grant man peace and happiness insofar as it does not hinder the two prior principles.

    I absolutely believe that there are times God will act a certain way regardless of our faith, and there are times he will NOT act regardless of our faith, and many many other times when he acts precisely based on our faith. Thus we learn faith (in the aggregate rather than based on one incident) in God. Whether this incident is one where the girl would have lived regardless of faith, we perhaps cannot tell (sometimes a spiritual person can discern this, but never a casual observer).

  • BYR Woods Cross, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Chris B, I suggest a thorough understanding of Mark 9:38-40. Allow me to make it easy for you.

    38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.

    39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

    40 For he that is not against us is on our part.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 12, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    Joe Moe

    If the will of god was for her to survive then a prayer for her by the priest made no difference. I don't think god would suddenly change his mind about her ultimate fate just by somebody praying. Like Tyler D. stated... what about those who prayed for a loved one and they didn't make it? Must have been the will of god, correct? Why, then do we pray? If his will is going to be the final result no matter what, then what is the purpose?

  • Joe Moe Logan, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    Tyler D, interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing them in an eloquent way. As a believer, I can say that in some cases I have had sincere prayers answered in the way I wanted, and other times answered differently. As any child experiences, "no" is an answer, and sometimes the best one in the lng run. But they've all been answered. And I know that part of the purpose of life is learning through suffering, so I (and most believers) understand that not every prayer for relief from suffering will come when and how we want. But when it does, such as in this case, we have an added level of gratitude. In the end, a believer accepts the will of God and moves on to the best of his ability.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 12, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Stories like this really cut both ways and it’s difficult to see them in only a positive light. After first thinking, “good for her that she survived this horrible accident” I can’t help but think that we have such a long way to go before we outgrow our child-like affinity for supernatural explanations.

    I also find stories like this troubling because of how it must make other not so lucky victims (and their families) feel. Think of the literally thousands of believers who pray every day for relief from their own horrible suffering, only to have their prayers go unanswered. I wonder how many of them become bitter or remain faithful while feeling some degree of unworthiness or guilt because they were “not good enough” for God to answer their prayers.

    On balance I find it difficult to know whether belief comforts more that it causes unnecessary suffering.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:43 a.m.

    No surprise from me that God sent a Catholic Priest. His messengers here on earth.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    Such a neat story! Maybe more details will come out that will explain better what happened. Nevertheless, I believe there are miracles large and small that happen everyday, this could very well be one of them.