In 3 Nephi 16 it is clear that God our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are actively participating in the history of the world. They are working. They are doing things. And those things are all intended to bring about our belief in Him (see 3 Nephi 16:4).
A lot of us fail to see all that They are doing. Most of the world is not even cognizent that He lives and does anything at all.
This is nothing new. Even ancient Israel struggled believing that God is real (remember the calf???) – and they saw the plagues and the Red Sea get split in two!
It’s also nothing new that today there are those who refuse to believe that God exists, who feel there is sufficient “evidence” to discredit His existence. The Book of Mormon chronicles many who preached such things among the Nephites and the Lamanites.
The truth is there have always been unbelievers. But what is unique in our day – and perhaps a touch worse than not believing at all – are those who believe in Him and yet don’t believe that He is doing or saying anything anymore.
There are those who claim a belief in the scriptures and in God who do not actually believe that He is participating with us anymore. According to them He doesn’t do miracles anymore and He doesn’t give revelation. God did His work and He’s just sitting back in His great eternal recliner watching the history of mankind play itself out as a spectator watching a sporting event on TV.
I suppose it could be very easy to not recognize the hand of God in the world around us – especially if you’re expecting to see things of Old Testament proportions taking place on a regular basis. Though we are seeing significantly more natural disasters with a massive impact on humanity most of us are not seeing fire coming down from heaven, oceans being split in two, or floods big enough to wipe out every living thing on earth – though some have experienced something close to this last one on a more local scale in recent years.
With these events in mind I am reminded that the Lord said to Isaiah:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.Isaiah 55:8-11
What God does is different than what we would do because He is different from us, so it would be really easy for us to miss what He does or even ignore it when it is plain in our face because we don’t think like He does. And why is it this way? Because God is better than we are. He is higher than we are. And so are His ways, His work, and His deeds.
God still lives! And He is still actively involved in the history of the world, and just as importanly – in our lives. His works are more personal, more individual than ever before. Ask Him to open your eyes and help you see all that He does – and you will see that He is still there, still acting, still doing in ways that are both different and better than our own ways would be.