Signs are events or experiences that demonstrate the power of God. They are often miraculous. They identify and announce great events, such as the Savior’s birth, death, and Second Coming. They remind the children of God of covenants the Lord has made with them. Signs may also bear witness of a divine calling or indicate the Lord’s disapproval. The word sign is also used in scripture to denote a memorial of an event that is to be remembered (see Exodus 13:1–10).
Signs are associated with gifts of the Spirit. They are often an indication of faith in God. The resurrected Jesus Christ taught His disciples, “Signs shall follow them that believe” (Mark 16:17; see also Mormon 9:24–25).
Some people claim that they would believe in God or His work if they were able to receive a sign. But faith does not come by signs; it comes through the Holy Ghost as individuals study the scriptures and prayerfully seek to learn the plan of God. The Lord revealed, “Faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe” (Doctrine and Covenants 63:9). Such signs are given to those who are faithful and obedient to strengthen them in their faith and to help them carry out the will of God.
Because signs are associated with faithfulness, nonbelievers often mock believers with requests for a sign. In tempting Jesus Christ, Satan made this mocking request (see Matthew 4:3, 6), as did those who crucified the Christ (see Matthew 27:40, 42). Jesus taught, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” (Matthew 12:39). Signs are not given to produce faith but to confirm faith and to bless the faithful.
“The Lord Will Return to Earth in Glory,” Ensign or Liahona, December 2013
“The Second Coming,” Friend, December 2002
“What are we to understand about signs and miracles?” Ensign, December 1994