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ADRIAN - Does the LDS Church have an opinion about the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, for example at Lourdes and Fatima? Also, about the miracles of the Saints officially recognized by the Catholic Church? Would this be a sign that the Heaven is approving in some way the status of this Church?
JOEL - The Church really has no opinion on each of those specific things, except that it generally mantains that, in regards to important doctrinal matters for the world, such things would only come through living prophets from God as the scriptures stipulate:
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."(Amos 3:7).
The scriptures do say that Satan can deceive people by appearing as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14, 2 Ne. 9:9), which could explain such phenomenea. There are many other possible explanations for what those people saw, but there really is no way that one can prove that they did or did not have those visions. The church teaches that most visions or
miracles that people experience are very personal things that have meaning only to the individual and are not intended for the general public. So if those really were true visions those people had I wouldn't say that they necessarilly validate the truthfulness of the Catholic Church, but rather the faith in God of the individual having them.
God answers the faithful prayers of anyone who humbly comes to Him, regardless of their faith. God is no respector of persons and so does not discriminate when it comes to answering prayers and providing miracles.
A true indication of the approval of heaven on a church are the fruits that come directly from the organization and its collective members.
"Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt 7:15-20)
Of course everyone will have their own opinion on what constitutes "good fruit". Here is a list of fruits that indicates the approval of heaven on the LDS Church:
New scripture (Book of Mormon) prophesies and latter-day revelations from God(Amos 3:7).
Church organization the same as Jesus established in the primative church with the authority to act in His name (Mark 3: 14, John 15: 16, Acts 8:18-19, Matt. 18:18, Eph 4:11-12)
Faith, repentence, baptism, and Holy Ghost. (Mark 16:16, John 3:5, Acts 2:38)
Expressions of the gifts of the spirit. (1 Cor 12:4-10)
Rejection and persecution by the world. (John 15:19).
One of the fastest growing religions in the world.
Millions of dollors worth of humanitarian aid distributed throughout the world.
Happy, healthy, stable families.
Members with a sense of love, devotion, and service to God and their fellow man. (1 Jn. 4: 7, 11-12, John 15: 12, 17)
Healing the sick through priesthood administrations. (James 5: 13-14)
Answers to life's questions. Why are we here? Where are we going? How do we get there? The plan of salvation.
No other Church besides the LDS Church offers salvation for the dead who never had the chance to hear and accept the gospel in this life (1 Corinthians 15:29 and 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6)
Missionary activity as commanded by Jesus(Matt. 28:18-20).