Updated on March 20, 2021
Doug Tales 11: Provoking God
On July 27, 2019, Doug Mendenhall spoke in Sandy, Utah, at a mini-seminar about “What is Upcoming in Our Area, Country, and More.” He began his portion of the seminar (which he was presenting on behalf of his sighted daughter), talking about an Old Testament event—the provocation—and applying it to our current attitude and actions towards God today.
The entire seminar can be listened to on this blog at “Talks” (August 19, 2019). The following comments of Doug speaking are from a transcript of the mini-seminar, which was printed at the end of Conquering Spiritual Evil Blog Posts 2017-2019 (2020), on pages 335-336:
You know, for years and years we did the Ezekiel seminars, the Jedi classes, and all types of stuff. In fact, in the Jedi classes, I was told to do a section on the provocation. Who here doesn’t know what the provocation is? It might be important to know what the provocation is. It talks about it in Jacob 1:7, Alma 12:36, Psalms 95:8, Hebrews 3:8, 15, and D&C 84:23-26….
Why does God have something called the provocation mentioned in five places in the scriptures? Do you think it might be something that is on His mind, and is so important that He has the prophets talk about it? A really quick synopsis is: Moses goes up the mountain and God says, “Okay, how about you cleanse yourselves for three days? Have Israel take a bath. Good heavens, those guys stink. They’ve been in the desert.” And so they do. They start going up the mountain. They see all the lightning and hear all the thunder and all types of noise. There’s a cloud overhead, and they get scared. They say to Moses, “You go up, and you talk to the Lord, we don’t want to see Him.”
They were offered to enter into His rest: “Moses, bring them up here and they’ll enter into My rest.” They were offered to receive the Second Comforter and meet the Lord face to face. And they rejected that.
All these years I thought, “Well, why did You want me to talk about this?” I never knew. We’ve mentioned the provocation in some of the Jedi classes. I was doing what I was supposed to do; I never understood it. This morning, I’m sharing what Denise is saying, and she’s talked about a lot of stuff. She mentioned a lot of things for today that she wanted talked about. And He wanted me to start with the provocation.
Have we provoked God today? Have we been offered to meet Him or see Him face to face, and we don’t talk about it anymore? About seven or eight years ago, in a Sunday School, they were doing D&C, and a former bishop was teaching our class…and I thought, “Yes! We’re going to talk about this.”…It was the section on receiving the Second Comforter (D&C 67:1, 93:1). And he skipped right over those scriptures. I raised my hand, and I said, “Why did you skip those scriptures that talk about the Second Comforter?” He looked at me, and pointed his finger at me, and said, “We will never discuss the Second Comforter in this class!”
Have we provoked God? For you people that are LDS, it hasn’t been discussed since 1979 in General Conference. Why not? Do you think those guys are doing the will of God? It’s in your scriptures. It should be your main goal in this life, which is to receive Him. So what’s going on? Do you think that’s why the Lord wanted me to talk about the provocation in all of those Jedi classes, because we’re provoking Him the way Israel provoked Him, and then they got cursed for forty years in the wilderness and on and on?
So how’s your wilderness experience?