Question: Has God used his power to enforce sleep on other occasions?

FairMormon Answers Wiki Table of Contents

Question: Has God used his power to enforce sleep on other occasions?

The scriptures record a number of instances in which God caused others not to perceive what was happening around them

One critical website claims that there "no precedent for our Heavenly Father using his divine powers to keep people from waking up during spectacular events."[1]

This is simply incorrect. Just a few examples from the Bible:

  • Jesus sleeping in the boat during a storm
  • Paul's companions not hearing or seeing Jesus appear to Paul
  • Stephen's vision while being stoned
  • The hosts of angels that Elijah couldn't see before him
  • The angel that freed the apostles in prison
  • Adam sleeping through his rib being removed
  • The Lord calling to Samuel and Eli sleeping through it

We also have this from the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 24:19),

And in the morning the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the Lamanites, yea, and all their task-masters were in a profound sleep.

The assertion that there is "no precedent" for using "divine power" to keep people from waking up is simply a bad argument.

God altering people's consciousness?

Now the critical website gets to the real point of this entire argument. The claim is presented that, "If God would actually use his powers to alter people's consciousness then how could anyone really ever trust their senses?" In other words, the entire argument is simply a setup to prove that you can't trust visions. Joseph's experience with Moroni is then characterized as "dream or a hallucination," or even a "inspired fantasy."

This entire hypothesis is based on their premature conclusion that there is no way Joseph's brothers could have slept through the experience.