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teddyaware

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About teddyaware

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  • Birthday 09/11/1949

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  1. The two great LDS biographers of the life of Christ, James E Talmage and Bruce R McConkie, both assert that in addition to the enormous physical and psychological sufferings attendant to crucifixion, Christ’s sufferings in Gethsemane recurred during the three hours of darkness while he hung in agony on the cross. If true, this means that while in Gethsemane Christ had to deal with infinite and eternal spiritual suffering, but while on the cross he had to endure that same infinite and eternal spiritual agony while simultaneously being cruelly physically tortured by crucifixion and emotionally tormented by his gathered mercilous enemies. And more recently, Jeffrey R Hunter also testified that he believes Christ’s greatest trial and suffering occurred while on the cross in his General Conference address, ‘None Were with Him.’ i believe part of the reason why many in the Church have emphasized Christ’s sufferings in Getsemane, over his sufferings on the cross, is because they were looking for a way to rationalize why the symbolism of the cross is not outwardly emphasized in the Church as a symbol of Chrit’s atonement. But for those with eyes to see and ears to hear, it’s plainly obvious that the Church does place extreme importance on the symbolism of Christ’s sufferings on the cross in the higher and more sacred ordinances of salvation found in the temple. In fact, though most members of the Church don’t seem to realize it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints places more symbolic importance and salvative efficacy on the symbolism of Christ’s crucifixion than does any other Christian church. For those with eyes to see, t’s clear that the reason why crosses don’t adorn the spires of the temples is not because the symbolism of the cross is less important but because it is too sacred. The symbolism of the crucified Christ is encountered within the temples, not outside of the temples.
  2. It would be most interesting to listen in on a conversation between President Hinkley and the Apostle Paul if they they were tp set forth their mutual views concerning the value of the cross of Christ as a symbol of the salvation of Christ: 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the CROSS of Christ: (Philippians 3) 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6) 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the CROSS of Christ should be made of none effect. 18 For the preaching of the CROSS is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1Corinthians 1) 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his CROSS; (Colossians 2) 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the CROSS, having slain the enmity thereby: (Ephesians 2) 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the CROSS, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12) 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the CROSS of Christ. (Galatians 6) And there are many more...
  3. Except for their respective positions of authority within the hierarchy of the eternal patriarchal order, the Son is everything the Father is and the Father is everything the Son is. The scriptures amply testify that Christ is the perfect revelation of the nature, character and attributes of God the Father to man. This being the case, there is so very much in the scriptures to learn about God the Father by observing the person and ministry of the Son that it seems rather silly to be concerned about a few obscure mysteries that are not even expedient to know until all that has already been revealed about the Father and the Son has been learned, internalized and made manifest in the conduct of one’s day-to-day life. As far as the supposed great mystery pertaining to the origin of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother is concerned, the King Follett Discourse unveils the easy to understand truth of the matter for all to see: Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother once lived on a fallen world, much like this one, and by proving themselves worthy through faithfully keeping their covenants they were exalted to rule and reign in celestial glory as eternal husband and wife, to carry forward the divine labor of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. As far as the Holy Ghost is concerned, the only spirits who will not eventually obtain bodies are the sons of perdition who rebelled against the Father and the Son in the war in heaven. Since the Holy Ghost obviously isn’t one of these sons of perdition, it seems overwhelmingly likely that he will eventually obtain the reward of a body, just as Christ left the spirit world and obtained a body. Simple common sense.
  4. “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.”
  5. 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)
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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?
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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)
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
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