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teddyaware

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About teddyaware

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  • Birthday 09/11/1949

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  1. “If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves... These ideas are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; and I will show it from the Bible.” (King Follett Discourse) The prophet Joseph Smith tells us the only way men can know who and what they are is to first come to know the nature and character of God. But if what the prophet says is true, and if what you appear to be suggesting is also true, it means men on earth are doomed to never know who and what they are because the God whom Joseph Smith says they first need to come to know is, in actual reality, an incomprehensible mystery. But the prophet goes on to say that though most may say God is incomprehensible, the actual fact of the matter is that the character and nature of God are simple and easy things to understand. But why, in contradiction to the apparent popular consensus, does the prophet say knowing God is a first principle that’s simple easy to comprehend? It’s because God is simply a man who once went through the same kinds of experiences we are going through now, and that the only real difference between his nature and ours is that he is perfect at being human while we presently are not. God has perfect faith, while our faith is real but imperfect; God has perfect hope, while our hope is also real but not yet unconquerable; God also has perfect love, while our love is real but not yet infinite and eternal in nature and scope. God is fully human, just as we are, but he’s just better at it because his motives are perfectly pure, his knowledge unlimited, and his power to think and act righteously has no limit. Rather than following in the sad footsteps of those ancients who looked beyond the mark because they delighted in the mistaken notion that the important things we need to know about God are incomprehensible mysteries, we would all be better off in the realization that God the Father is a fully perfect human being, and his work and glory is to help all of his literal children to become fully perfect human beings as well. It’s all so simple and easy to understand that even little children can “get it.”
  2. It doesn’t matter that the Holy Ghost hasn’t had the experience that comes with having a body. The Holy Ghost doesn’t speak out of his own experience, but speaks only those things that the Father and the Son tell him to speak. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will she’s you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16)
  3. I’m fascinated to observe how long discussions on this topic go on and on in circles without the participants sooner coming to the realization that there will never be a satisfactory resolution to this debate until God Himself intervenes and reveals the truth of the matter. It should be plainly understood by all that until that day of divine intervention comes those on both sides of the argument — includimg those who know by the Spirit the restored gospel is true — would be wise to simply courteously agree to disagree and then go on their merry way. I say this because if it turns out that the general authorities are correct in their assertion that the only way one can gain a testimony of the restored Church is through personal revelation from God, it means that by the very nature of this issue there is nothing that can be said or done on an empirical basis that will ever be able to satisfactory settle the debate once and for all. The reason why an empirical approach is inadequate is because the receipt of revelation from God cannot be proven to be true or false by applying the standard earthly tools of inquiry usually employed to determine whether or not something is true. For the sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment that it will turn out to be true the leaders of the Church are correct when they insist the only way the secondary questions will ever be satisfactorily answered is to first gain a deep and abiding testimony of the truthfulness of the restored Church by first obtaining the answers to the primary gospel questions through personal revelation from the Holy Ghost. This would mean that no matter how zealous and sincere some might be in the desire to obtain satisfactiory answers to the secondary gospel questions before being willing to entertain the notion that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints might be true, such individuals will never be able to successfully obtain that objective. They will have been anxiously engaged in an exercise of utter futility. So the bottom line is that if the Church leaders do turn out to be correct, trying to gain a testimony of the restored Church by insisting the secondary questions be answered first will be a fool’s errand that’s doomed to utter failure from the start, and not even worth discussing except to point out that the secondary questions first approach doesn’t work. Did you ever stop to think it’s possible that God has allowed all the secondary questions to exist in orderto test our faith in the refiner’s fire, to see if we are going to trust in the voice of the Spirit (revelation) or in the arm of flesh? If the Church leaders are true prophets who are speaking the truth, those who fail the test will ultimately realize they have no one else to blame but themselves for their failure. If it proves to be true that the leaders are indeed giving correct counsel when it comes to how to go about obtaining an authentic testimony of the restored gospel, those who have spent nearly their entire lives insisting that the only way for them to hope to gain a testimony of the restored gospel would be by obtaining first satisfactory answers to the secondary questions may cry foul to the Lord and protest it’s unreasonable and unfair to expect people to believe the restored Church is true when there are so many unsettling questions that have been left unanswered. Even so, it must be understood that if the Church leaders really are teaching correct principles in this regard, it’s very likely He will inform them that if they had only been sincerely willing to faithfully follow the leaders’ counsel to obtain first the answers to the primary gospel questions that they would have just as surely been given affirmative revelatory answers to those questions as readily and powerfully as anyone else who is willing to faithfully come to Him in the same way. The only way the “secondary questions first”:group will be vindicated is if at some point God intervenes and declares the Church leaders are not living prophets of God. And that would be a pyrrhic victory at best, for where else is anyone going to turn to get such great and wonderfully comforting answers to life’s greatest questions?
  4. When I read the several recent threads that speak to this recurrent theme, I don’t know whether to gently smile and shake my head or throw up my hands in utter exasperation. It amazes me that as many times as the leaders of the Church try to patiently explain that the only effective way to deal with doubts and faith crises is to apply the revelatory method of Moroni’s challenge, not just to determine the divine authenticity Book of Mormon but to gain inspired answers to every other doctrinal and/or administrative issue that might present challenges to one’s testimony, but they still don’t get it. In essence, what President Oaks is saying is that the only way to gain a deeply rooted and unconquerable knowledge of the truthfulness of the restored gospel is for each member to do what’s necessary to become a prophet of God in his or her own right. President Oaks and the other leaders are attempting to help the members to understand that the only way to successfully wade through the seemingly endless morass of faith challenging questions is to go straight to the Source of all knowledge, even God, and receive from Him personal revelation that will powerfully confirm the restored gospel is true and the many prophecies of its ultimate glorious triumph will all be fulfilled. Yet as many times as this sound prophetic counsel is given there are always those who will, once again, reject the sage counsel while insisting it’s the prophets who don’t get it. But at the risk of raising winds of ill will, I will say that those who refuse to accept and apply the counsel of President Oaks, and the similar counsel given by several other Church leaders, are going to wake up one morning twenty years from now still complaining that the leaders haven’t given satisfactory answers to the secondary questions, and still wondering why they’re plagued by legions of raging doubts.
  5. In the Doctrine and Covenants, we’re are told father Abraham is, even now, a resurrected god seated on a throne of eternal power. How is this possible? Well, if one is left on his own to fend for himself to learn how to become like Heavenly Father and Christ it would take a lot longer than a mere few million years. In fact, if left to rely solely on his own human strength and wisdom he would never be able to become like the Father and the Son, worlds without end. But if a man chooses to do what’s required to bring the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost into his life, his divine enabling power (grace) is able to transform any individual to become like God much more rapidly than he ever could hope to achieve if left to his own puny human devices. Think of the divinely empowered Moses opening the Red Sea or the prophet Enoch teaching his human earthly followers how to become so righteous and holy that the population of an entire city were translated to dwell in the bosom of Gd and you’ll begin to get the picture.
  6. To each his own. In spite of the teachings of the scriptures, the prophets and apostles of the restoration, and the clear statement in the Family Proclamation that gender, male and female, is a criticality important component of eternal reality, you have every right to believe the Holy Ghost might be a genderless spiritual entity of some sort, while I will continue to exercise my right to believe the Holy Ghost is a Holy Spirit of the male gender. “The Spirit that is on me this morning is the Spirit of the Lord; it is the Holy Ghost, although some of you may not think that the Holy Ghost is ever cheerful. Well, let me tell you, the Holy Ghost is a man; he is one of the sons of our Father and our God; and he is that man that stood next to Jesus Christ, just as I stand by brother Brigham" (Heber C Kimball JD 5:179).
  7. The only individuals who will be damned to hell forever are those who seek to dethrone God and have not the slightest desire to exercise faith in Christ unto repentance. Do you believe in spite of the fact that Saviour Himself speaks of our Heaveny Father and the Holy Ghost as being men that they might turn out to be women?
  8. This is really cool and opens up a whole new world of very interesting possibilities! For instance, even though the Savior repeatedly refers to his Father as divine male personage, or a Man of holiness, it could actually be that Heavenly Father is a woman, or that she/he is a woman who identifies as a male. And it could just as well be true that Heavenly Mother is biological male who identifies as a woman. This new (for me) and much more fluid approach to LDS theology is kind of like comparing boring, one dimensional chess with the much more interesting and challenging world of three dementional chess.
  9. I enjoy your posts as well. So I guess what you’re saying is nearly everyone who participates on this board knows full well the scriptures plainly speak of the Holy Ghost as being a man, but in order to keep the conversation lively and stimulating board etiquette requires the scriptures be put aside as everyone pretends the question hasn’t been answered?
  10. There was a time in the history of the Church when the following excerpt from the book of John would have satisfied virtually every member as to whether or not the Holy Ghost is a male member of the Godhead, but today these words from the mouth of the Saviour Himself will likely carry little, if any, weight. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bearthem now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (John 16)
  11. Do you find the even harder hitting comments on the subject made by the ancient and modern prophets, quoted throughout the article, to be equally vainglorious and insufferable?
  12. It’s not like Elder Corbridge pulled this idea out of thin air because, as you must surely know, the Book of Mormon frequently repeats the exact same theme. Moroni’s challenge is just one among many examples of Book of Mormon prophets testifying of how critically important it is to place one’s central focus on obtaining revelatory answers to the primary questions from God Hiimself. Elder Corbridge’s point is that after one obtatins answers to the primary questions, by means of personal revelation from God, the secondary questions are placed into proper focus so that they won’t become an like endlessly turning intellectual hampster wheel on which one is forever learning and researching but never ultimately able to come to a knowledge of the truth. In addition, it needs to be understood that after one obtains revelatory answers to the primary questions he is in a much better position to satisfactorily answer the secondary questions because they are being addressed from a stance of powerful and enduring faith rather than from a position of doubt and cynicism. If one wants to address the secondary questions first without sufficient revelatory power and faith that’s his prerogative, but it needs to be clearly understood that such man will never, ever be able to come to a knowledge of the truth of the things of God. God is known by revelation or He is not really known at all.
  13. I’m surprised to see you missed the glaringly obvious weakness in this statement. An elementary school student does indeed have the right to refuse to draw things, but he must realize that by failing to comply with the teachers request there will be consequences, such as the receipt of poor grades. Now one may counter my point by saying the recalcitrant pupil could be compelled to comply by making threats of severe corporeal punishment, the deprivation of human contact, or the withholding of life-sustaining food and drink. But as the Doctrine & Covenants so gravely warns, the employment of such unrighteous compulsory means to gain compliance will leave those individuals who utilize such means with the greater sin. In a society that holds inviolate freedom of religion and conscience, the just consequences for the baker who refuses to violate his closely held religious beliefs would be a potential loss of income and negative reviews that might have an undesirable impact on his bottom line. And if there are enough of those who disagree with the man’s moral stance to put him out of business, I’m fairly sure he’d be at peace with that because it was a calculated risk he was willing to take.
  14. With regard to God still having to deal with opposition, I find it very interesting that of the few times in the scriptures when humans were allowed to peer into heaven to see what goes on there we see accounts of God and angels weeping because of wickedness prior to the flood (Book of Moses), a war in heaven and its aftermath, when God and angels bitterly weep because the son of the morning and his followers were cast out (Book of Revelation), God sending devastating plagues, fire and destructions to the earth because of wickedness (Book of Revelation), and Isaiah sitting in on a council in heaven when the destruction of Jerusalem is decreed (Isaiah and 1 Nephi). Sure doesn’t sound like Disney Land to me.
  15. Of course God faces opposition. That’s what the war in heaven was all about. And because God is filled with perfect love the rebellion and banishment of 1/3 of His children caused him to weep many bitter tears. That same kind of opposition is what caused Him to again cry an ocean of heartbroken tears when, in the presence of Enoch, He so profoundly mourned the wickedness of His earthly children prior to the flood. If you remember, Enoch truly marveled when he witnessed the eternal God of heaven lament and weep in such a human way, shedding tears like the rains of heaven. Enoch seemed to think that because God is from all eternity to all eternity He should have learned by then to not take things so personally. And God’s tears of endless love and devotion stand in stark contrast to Satan’s sadistic glee when the children of men rebel against heaven. And remember how the eternal Jehovah demonstrated both in Gethsemane, when He began to shrink from His Father’s will, and again on Calvary’s cross, when in fear he felt He’d been forsaken of God, that even God Himself can be put in such dire circumstances that even He truly feels He’s at the end of His rope. But there also may be something you haven’t considered. Within the framework of eternal opposition in all things, there will always be those on the dark side of the divide who will rise to great spiritual heights but then fall from grace into perdition; and happily, there will also always be those found on the bright side of the divide who, after rising rto great spiritual heights, never fall but remain magnificently firm, steadfast and true for all eternity. Such is the nature of opposition in all things. And know this, Lehi assures us that as long as things continue to exist there will always be opposition in all things. And that also means as long as things continue to exist we can be fully assured the perfect God of truth and love is reigning in heaven. The only time we will be justified in losing hope is when all things vanish away and cease to exist. For it’s then that we can be sure there is no God. But then we would no longer exist, so how could we know.
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