“Sometimes God Does Intervene”



Enough to reinforce the confidence of believers,
not enough to force unbelievers to reconsider their worldview


My column for this morning in the Deseret News:




Thus far, the readers’ comments seem to agree that I’m a superstitious fool, and that no evidence that seems to contradict their worldview can possibly be admitted as real.  At least one simply reasserts the very proposition to which I was explicitly responding as decisive proof that I’m wrong.


I’m impressed.



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  • Collin

    And the commenters did not really engage your argument directly. They dismissed it, minimized it, left out important facts etc.

  • JL

    Decades ago, I wanted to make a Valentine message for a friend. The day before Valentine’s Day after unfruitful attempts to find paper, I was in University Mall standing in the middle of the pedestrian walkway pondering where to go, when a voice in my mind told me to go to a specific store down the mall and around the corner–a very small office supply store. At first I resisted the idea, and the same message repeated. Still resisting, the message repeated for a third time, and I began moving. When I got to the entrance, I paused. The sales clerk enthusiastically came to me and asked what I needed. “I’m looking for red paper, something long that could be rolled into a scroll,” I described for the first time. He asked, “Like register tape?” “Well, yes, but wider and heavier.” He said, “I think I have one roll of red register tape left,” as he headed to the back of the store, and I followed. Sure enough, on the last aisle, on the top shelf of many shelves of every kind of white register tape you could ask for stood one single roll of red register tape. This was not your average register tape. It was much wider and heavier weight, and it was the perfect red color. In a daze I followed him to the front to pay for this marvel thinking he has no idea what just happened. I went back to work where my coworkers were aware of my search and rolled the tape out across the office floor to a chorus of gasps. Never before or since have I seen red register tape–except the roll I have as evidence. One of these days I am going to publish the full story as a parable of my Heavenly Father’s love (or my guardian angel’s?) for me. If finding the perfect paper was worthy of intervention, then what else might I seek and receive help with? This and other experiences in my life have reinforced the message: Help is only a thought away.

  • Alan

    I have only been reading your blog over the last few months. And I have to say that I really enjoy it. It is, in fact, the only blog I read. I just have to finally post a comment and say that I am quite amazed at how much people hate you! Or at least, at how much they go out of their way to he nasty and let you know about it. Ridiculous.

    Keep up the good work!

    • danpeterson

      Thanks, Alan, for the kind note.

      I agree: I have to admit that the level of dislike for me in certain circles still surprises even me. I’m a pretty bland and polite guy, actually. Why I arouse such passions in a few people out there is something of a mystery.

      • Ken

        It’s not really a mystery. Newton said that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. To attract the level of vitriol and abuse that you regularly do, you must be accomplishing something great. Thanks for your eloquence, insight, and scholarship — there are many of us that find your work vital. Please don’t stop.

        • danpeterson

          I genuinely appreciate expressions like this. Sometimes, though I’ve developed a pretty thick skin, the nastiness and personal hostility aimed my way can become a bit disheartening. No sane human being enjoys being the target of such enmity.


        • Brian Jeffries

          I agree wholeheartedly with Ken, Dan. Hang in there and keep up the good work. Hopefully one day you will know the true effect your thinking and work has had on so many just like me. But not me, of course.

          Heh. Just kidding. I include myself gladly!

          • danpeterson

            Thanks, Brian.

  • Collin

    I think that a partial explanation to why we are blessed with small things while others are not blessed with the big things they need is that these small blessings may be a manifestation of spiritual gifts that have been given to us. They are not necessarily directed by God, but by the spiritual gift that God has given to us.

  • chris

    The more uncomfortable thought is to wonder if perhaps God is seeking to intervene in exactly such a manner (through promptings) in all our lives, but we aren’t listening and instead seeking after the desires of our own heart. Perhaps, when our desires become in tune with what the spirit is telling us, then finally we hear.

    • danpeterson

      An excellent point.

  • clau

    Thank you for the post. Uplifting.