"Yeah, yeah," she said. "That's the standard answer. But do you think it possible to bend the will of God?"
I had to think about that one for a while, but the next day I remembered the story of Joseph Smith and the loss of the 116 page manuscript. For anyone who doesn't know the story, you can read it here. Basically, Joseph goes to Lord several times to ask for permission to do something and the answer is no. After the third time or so, the Lord finally says okay, but gives him some strict conditions.
When I was younger I really liked this story because it taught me what I had been hoping all along: if you bugged high powers long enough, you could sometimes get them to change their mind. It wasn't till much later that I realized there was more to it.
As we all know, the results of Joseph's decision were bad. Those 116 pages, which contained the book of Lehi, were lost and God would not allow them to be re-translated (for reasons we can speculate about but don't totally know), but amazingly, God already had a back-up plan (or maybe the real plan. Who knows?). A back up plan that he had put into place almost 2400 years prior. In 1 Nephi 1:17, Nephi says:
"But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life."For some reason Nephi was inspired to make an abridgment of his father's record. He didn't know why, but he trusted there was a wise purpose behind it. I have to remind myself that this was not an easy task. Making plates out of ore and engraving them takes a lot more time than journaling in ballpoint on the perfect bound journals that arrive to me in the mail bulk from Amazon.
I like to plan ahead for some things, hence the ordering in bulk, but this blows my mind. 2400 years ahead of time, God was planning ahead so that the Book of Mormon would not start en medias res.
So, while this story illustrates that we may be able to bend the will of God on occasion, it will never frustrate His plan. "Remember remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men."(D&C 3:3)
So is it wrong to keep asking God for something? No. In fact, in the Parable of the Widow and the Magistrate, which Jesus tells in Luke 18:1-9, He is instructing us to persist in asking for what we know is right. If we do this, we will be blessed.
How does this all relate to pregnancy and birth? I have some ideas, but I'd like to hear yours.