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|Title||What have our authorities said about the account in Joshua 10:12–14 about the sun standing still? What is known about it by anyone?|
|Publication Type||Magazine Article|
|Year of Publication||1974|
|Authors||Meservy, Keith H.|
|Date Published||February 1974|
|Keywords||Joshua (Prophet); Miracle|
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What have our authorities said about the account in Joshua 10:12–14 about the sun standing still? What is known about it by anyone?
Keith H. Meservy
Assistant Professor of Ancient Scripture, Brigham Young University
In his book Evidences and Reconciliations (Bookcraft, Inc., 1960), pp. 129–30, John A. Widtsoe says that: “A miracle is an occurrence which, first, cannot be repeated at will by man, or, second, is not understood in its cause and effect relationship.” If it is repeatable at will by man or explainable to the mind of man, it loses its miraculous connotation. Oddly enough, we take for granted today that man can walk in space or on the moon, control space probes millions of miles from earth, destroy a city by the use of a single bomb, save lives by controlling disease, and we regard these as nonmiraculous! But if we had lived one hundred years ago and someone had told us that he had heard his brother’s voice from a distance of one hundred miles or had seen a picture of him moving about at the very time he was talking to him, we would have accepted these as miraculous, if we felt that we could even believe our informant. It seems that we only feel uncomfortable mentally when we, by human power, cannot understand.
Elder Widtsoe continues: “A miraculous event, properly authenticated, must be accepted as any other occurrence. An explanation of a miracle must however be held in doubt until fully confirmed by acceptable knowledge. … There is no good reason to doubt the historicity of this event, that during the battle between Israel and the Amorites, daylight was extended far beyond the usual limits of day. …
“Divine power may stop the rotation of the earth, let that be clearly accepted, but it certainly may have at its command other means for extending the hours of light in a day.” Daylight lasted through a night in the Book of Mormon on another occasion. (3 Ne. 1:15–21.)
“The real quibble in the field of miracles,” says Elder Widtsoe, “arises over the intervention of divine power in the affairs of men. As to this, Latter-day Saints can take but one side, for they believe in the existence of God, whose intelligence permeates the universe. They believe that divine power and intelligence may and do help weak humanity, true sons and daughters of God.”
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