Depends on what you mean by "happened." I'm with John Widtsoe on this one. Here's how
he answered the question regarding whether the Flood was universal: John A. Widtsoe,
Evidences and Reconciliations, p.126-127
The suggestion has been made that the flood filled every hollow and valley until the
earth was a great sphere of water covering the highest
mountain peaks twenty-six feet [12 metres] deep, Mount Ararat, seventeen thousand feet
high, "upon the mountains" of which the ark rested, would according to this view have
been completely under water. It is doubtful whether the water in the sky and all the
oceans would suffice to cover the earth so completely.
The fact remains that the exact nature of the flood is not known. We set up
assumptions, based upon our best knowledge, but can go no further. We should remember
that when inspired writers deal with historical incidents they relate that which they
have seen or that which may have been told them, unless indeed the past is opened to
them by revelation.
The details in the story of the flood are undoubtedly drawn from the experiences of
the writer. Under a downpour of rain, likened to the opening of the heavens, a
destructive torrent twenty-six feet deep [12 metres] or deeper would easily be formed.
The writer of Genesis made a faithful report of the facts known to him concerning the
flood. In other localities the depth of the water might have been more or
less. In fact, the details of the flood are not known to us.
Furthermore, I believe in the Articles of Faith, one of which reads, "We believe the
Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly...." and another one
of which reads, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal,
and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to
the Kingdom of God."
Furthermore, I would not go as far as Brigham Young, who referred to some Bible
stories as "baby stories."
Furthermore, I don't believe that just because the English language allows a given
question to be asked necessarily implies that it can be answered within the terms of
the question. That is part of the ambiguity of human language. In other words, I avoid
trick questions, whether they're intended as such or not.
And, in conclusion, my testimony is something that is a gift of the Holy Ghost, and is
not dependent upon the interpretations by man of any record of the word of God.
Mark Gregson wrote:
> > Israelites? In what way can it be said how willing and capable God is in
> > helping you succeed in following His commandments?
> > Dan:
> > They overcame the people of Jericho. I do not question that the city of
> > Jericho, or the people of Jericho were destroyed by the Israelites. God
> > promised that He would give that land to the Israelites if they would only
> > follow His commandments. They moved in, conquered the people that were
> > there, and God's promise was realized. _That's_ the principle,
> I'll answer Marc and Dan together here. Marc didn't address my questions but Dan
>does. So, Marc, what's your take on the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho, et al? Did
>they happen as described?
> Dan's answer has a hint of "When the Israelites say they crossed over the Red Sea on
>dry ground while the Egyptians perished, what really happened is that the Israelites
>found a path around on the north but the Egyptians got bogged down in quicksand."
> Dan, if the Israelites conquered Jericho without the aid of a miracle as you hint,
>then in what way did God help them? Didn't they just accomplish it all on their own?
> I hope that isn't what you are trying to say, Dan and Marc. If you really do
>believe that the Red Sea parted by the power of God, then I don't understand your
>point. I already understand the symbolism and the principles taught by that actual
>events. So I haven't disagreed with you. I just haven't heard you say, "Yes, of
>course the actual event happened as described". Instead, you seem to be waffling.
> As to Marc's use of Hebrews 11:1 - we only have faith in real things even though we
>cannot see them. So we really do need the events. Happening is believing even if
As I understand it, this is contrary to what we're taught in Alma 32, where knowledge
only comes *after* faith (see esp. vss. 16-21). Also, in Hebrews 11:1 "seeing" covers
all the senses -- drawing a distinction between the events and the perception of them
begs the question.
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
“Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick
himself up and continue on” – Winston Churchill
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely;
its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer, nor those of
any organization with which the author may be associated.
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