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Five Solas

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About Five Solas

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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  1. You, my friend, are making a bald assertion. I read Calm's top three links. And then I took the trouble to give brief examples from each to demonstrate how they missed the mark. You may object that I did so in a way that injected a little humor--but it's highly unlikely you'll be able to refute any of it. Because those brief summations I wrote are accurate reflections of the content as they pertain to our topic at hand (the Moroni 10:4 prerequisites). If you think they are inaccurate and that I overlooked relevant content--the burden is on you to demonstrate my error. Bald assertion that I'm wrong won't cut it, Meerkat. Writing & reading contracts is a significant part of my work. As you might imagine, my reading comprehension is pretty good. But I occasionally make a mistake. And I'll gladly take correction, if you've got one to give. But you're going to need to make at least as much effort as I did. Maybe it's not worth it to you. But I promise I'll read and consider anything you come up with from those links. And again, that can't be worth nothing. --Erik
  2. You and I disagree from time to time, Calm--but in all honestly, most of the time I find you to be a fair and thoughtful voice on the forum. And so it's with initial disappointment that I clink these links and find no substance in any of it (okay, truth told, I gave up after the first 3). Is it possible you agree with my previous point and you recognize the vacuity of the content will serve to reinforce it? Hmmm... Perhaps I don't give you enough credit... ;0) James B. Martino gets off to a promising start with his title. But does he offer any techniques, any guidance to evaluate our sincerity and/or whether our intent is real? Far from it. He merely asserts "wanting" to know a thing is different than curiosity. He alleges that wanting implies a willingness to respond in some manner, while curiosity does not. As if a person could see the future and accurately predict his/her response to an uncertain outcome. Right. Regardless of what one thinks of his use of English, none of this serves to answer the question--how can I be certain my sincerity is uncompromised? How do I know my intent is real? And if I suspect my motives may be compromised, for whatever reason, what should I do about it? (I gave one illustrative example, which you no doubt read.) Martino doesn't tell us. Perhaps because Martino doesn't know, or maybe Martino doesn't think it's worth the keystrokes. Hard to say. Henry B. Eyring doesn't even get us that far. He quotes Moroni 10:4 (along with verses 3 & 5) and then he bears his testimony at the reader--"That promise is sure." Uh, okay, if you say so. He then rabbit-trails onto "giving a generous fast offering" and a few other things. The substance of verse 4 certainly didn't hold his attention for long. No doubt he had more pressing thoughts to pursue. Randall L. Ridd is the closest you get, Calm. Unlike the others, Randall actually acknowledges the question I've asked concerning the meaning and implication of "real intent." He thinks the point I'm making on this thread has a little merit. SWEET VALIDATION!!! TAKE THAT ALL YOU HATERS!!! Ah, don't get so excited. As you'll soon discover, he doesn't actually have a answer. Instead, he gives us "The Parable of the Oranges." In Ridd's parable, there are two "young men." One is motivated by money, the other is a people-pleaser and finds his satisfaction in the approval of others. They are both idolaters, in the strictest sense. But Ridd thinks it's obvious the latter is better in God's eyes (obvious, because Ridd feels no need to explain why people-pleasers are superior beings). And... And that's as far as we get. Ridd wanders off the topic immediately thereafter, never to return. Honestly Calm, I'm conflicted. I don't know whether to be annoyed at the waste of time digging through this, or amused at the prospect you could be playing some deeper game. I'd welcome a little guidance on the proper way to feel. If anyone does have a serious treatment of what I've been calling the Moroni 10:4 "prerequisites"--please do share. At least you know it will be read and considered. And that's not nothing, right? --Erik ____________________________ However far away I will always love you However long I stay I will always love you Whatever words I say I will always love you I will always love you --The Cure, 1989
  3. You and SteveO miss the point, Okrahomer. Recall how I opened the OP - 1. Read the Book of Mormon 2. Ask God 3. With a sincere heart 4. With real intent 5. Having faith in Christ LDS love talking about the first two - that's how they think of the "promise." You've no cause to doubt me when I tell you I was on the receiving end of that for many years. But they say remarkably little about the last three. How do you examine your sincerity, your intentions, Okrahomer? Do you just intuitively feel it when your motive has been compromised? I used the example of dating a young woman who wouldn't marry outside the temple as compromising the motive of a young man--not a hypothetical example either, at the time. Where do LDS examine this, in talks, in articles? And where does that last one come from, faith in Christ? Do you really just will yourself to have some? Again, in my experience these topics were glossed over, at best. Do you have a link or example where they weren't? --Erik
  4. I haven't disrespected anyone here, Jane_Doe. And it's hard to see how such accusation aids dialogue. I stand by my point--LDS don't talk much about the prerequisites stipulated in Moroni 10:4, a few comments on this little thread notwithstanding. Which is astonishing given a person's testimony of the Book of Mormon HINGES upon them (if you believe the author). And I offered a hypothesis for the absence of such discussion. Rather than uselessly banging your head and imagining fault with me--go to lds.org & enter the words 'Moroni' and 'prerequisite' yourself (or the synonym of your choice). There's nothing about it. So how can you insist I have "selective hearing" and disregard "the vast majority?" I'm calling you on this, Jane_Doe: Furnish the links & prove your assertions against me. Demonstrate LDS really do take the Moroni 10:4 prerequisites seriously, that introspective methods to explore and ascertain one's personal sincerity, real intent and faith in Christ are explained and documented, in General Conferences, Ensign articles, and/or wherever else. I'll certainly own any mistake & make retraction if you do. I trust you'll likewise own the mistake if it turns out you're the one who can't deliver. Our readers await. --Erik
  5. If by read you mean straight-through cover-to-cover, as an LDS bishop or missionary might admonish, the answer is 2004. Obviously I've read many excerpts since then, as I've dialogued with various members including my extended family and of course, folks on this forum. You should consider me *very* familiar with its contents, certainly in the top 1% of Americans. Why do you think the date is important? --Erik
  6. I have my reasons for investing a bit of time to explore topics here, Storm Rider. I haven't made them any secret. You want to know something? Mine are just as valid as yours. :0) That said, this may not have been my most coherent thread. There were really two ideas I hoped to explore. One was the Moroni 10:4 prerequisites. They played a role in my own journey--driving me to make a concerted study of the Bible. So a very personal interest there. And in all honesty, I haven't heard much discussion from LDS on the subject. You read, you pray, you get an answer--and if you don't then you repeat the process until you do (and I had many admonitions from LDS bishops to keep rereading that book). But I can't recall anyone ever making a serious attempt to address the prerequisites that its author considered necessary. I appear to be the only one who even uses the word prerequisite to describe the author's stipulations. Where does Faith in Christ come from? Do you just attain it by following a similar process by which you get a testimony of the Book of Mormon? And how do you search your motives to know if you really are sincere, that your intentions are really real--that you're not corrupted/compromised by other motive, other desire (e.g., that lovely young woman you're dating has told you she won't marry outside the temple)? Once upon a time these were critical, unanswered questions. Now they are merely interesting. Are you good with that? The second idea is closely related. LDS make much of "agency" (which most others would call free will). Even their Heavenly Father is bound to honor & respect it. And while the forum may not have Dr. Louis Midgley around anymore to label Calvinism "demonic"--there's more than a little hostility towards the doctrines that came out of the Protestant Reformation from LDS. (I once devoted a whole thread to the subject.) The expression, "God initiates, we respond" is anathema to LDS. You can't have it both ways: A God who takes the initiative steps all over human agency. But I cannot help think there has to be room for a sovereign, initiating God implicit in those prerequisites: That a person can't bootstrap herself to faith, or even to a proper motivation. That many LDS, if they really thought about it, would have to concede the point. (I think the poll and the division over historical Nephites points that direction.) Perhaps I'm wrong about that. Or perhaps that's why LDS really don't care to make the Moroni 10:4 prerequisites their focus, or even call them prerequisites. To do so puts at risk a value/doctrine they hold even more dear. Pure speculation. But hopefully it aids understanding. And a small debt of gratitude to Alaris, whose thread, "The Seven Levels of Mankind" triggered these most recent thoughts. --Erik ___________________________________________________________ 'Darling, you were wonderful, you really were quite good I enjoyed it, though, of course, no one understood a word of what was going on, they didn't have a clue They couldn't understand your sense of humour like I do' You're much too kind I smiled with murder on my mind --Pet Shop Boys "Yesterday, When I Was Mad"
  7. 1. Read the Book of Mormon 2. Ask God 3. With a sincere heart 4. With real intent 5. Having faith in Christ Failure is not an option, if you believe Moroni. First, you must read. Next, you must follow with prayer while meeting his remaining 3 prerequisites. Then the truth of the Book of Mormon will be manifested to you. Full stop. Therefore if the truth is not manifested, the reason is as plain as the nose on your face: One or more of the prerequisites were not met. There is no alternate possibility. "It’s very simple"—as President Trump is fond of saying in his press conferences. 5 possible ways to fail, and only 5. So here is a question: With LDS Church growth stalling and 70+% of millennials going inactive/leaving the LDS Church by age 20 (courtesy of Mormonleaks), which of the 5 do you think represents the greatest challenge? Or are they all equally challenging? Or do you think it's some combination of them that present difficulty? And while we’re on the question, how exactly does one go about achieving the last three prerequisites? Would any LDS seriously admonish an investigator to read the Bible first in order to attain “faith in Christ” prior to attempting the Book of Mormon? --Erik _____________________________________________ For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. --H.L. Mencken
  8. Five Solas

    The Seven Levels of Mankind

    When you dismiss my examples as exceptions and tell me you know this because of your superior humility, prayers & study--yes, I agree we're probably done here. But you are welcome for the bump. :0) --Erik _________________________________________________ The snake behind me hisses What my damage could have been My blood before me begs me Open up my heart again And I feel this coming over like a storm again Considerately --Tool, 1996
  9. Five Solas

    The Seven Levels of Mankind

    But your exact words were-- Maybe you think levels are uncovered one way and layers another--but your readers must be forgiven any resulting confusion, as the fault is unlikely theirs. God can teach and He can radically change anyone, in any moment He chooses. Recall the story of Saul's conversion in Acts 9. As for your last part, well it feels a little awkward in our moment of disagreement. You're implying you've obtained your levels/layers/insights, at least to some degree, by exercising humility--and now you admonish me to do the same. It's an indirect boast that you're more humble than I am--and this discrepancy is the root of our difference. Actually, that's more than a little awkward. Undone you are, my friend. --Erik ____________________________ I saw a light from heaven --Paul of Tarsus
  10. Five Solas

    The Seven Levels of Mankind

    I will observe LDS like to use Matthew 13:10 and its counterpart in Mark 4:11-12 in curious ways. On another recent thread a poster pressed the explanation for parables into service to justify the lack of physical evidence for places described in the Book of Mormon. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you? But it all ended nicely, with a fine old photo of a split-window bus & his lovely young bride. :0) I do find your belief in "layers of understanding to be had by studying" much at odds with the New Testament. When Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes oppose Jesus, it's not for a want of study. These were highly committed and sincere scholars of the Hebrew Bible/Greek Septuagint. And they see Jesus a blasphemer. I suggest that simple fact is the undoing of your whole argument, that like a video game we can work to reach higher levels with increasing insight and power. We just need the key to unlock the encryption. As though that were how the Holy Spirit worked. I'll close with what Mark 4:11-12 actually says. From the ESV-- 11 And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that 'they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.'" It's not about achieving levels. It doesn't explain absent Nephite artifacts. I submit it illustrates election, as Paul will expound upon in later books. --Erik ______________________________________________ Dance like no one is watching Encrypt like everyone is --Werner Vogels, AWS re:Invent 2017
  11. Five Solas

    The Seven Levels of Mankind

    The idea of the Bible containing encoded messages has strong appeal to some folks. I had an LDS Institute instructor who was a big fan, and that encounter didn't go well for me (at least I felt pretty bad about it at the time, although things can look very different in the rear-view mirror). I shared it here. Why do you think God would use such a technique, Alaris? And does it change your analysis to know modern Bible translations aren't consistent with the KJV's rendering "overcometh?" --Erik ___________________________________________ Under the iron bridge we kissed And although I ended up with sore lips It just wasn't like the old days anymore No, it wasn't like those days Am I still ill? --The Smiths, 1984
  12. Five Solas

    Billy Graham (1918 - 2018)

    Ah, what conservatism used to look like. It's cool the Hoover Institute took the trouble to dust this off and make it available. I'll try to finish it later. Interesting how Graham speaks of a revolt against the organized Church and distinguishes it from a revolt against Christ. This could be confusing for LDS who I think struggle with such distinction... Much obliged for the post, Mr. Smith. --Erik
  13. Five Solas

    The enemies of the Church are wrong again

    My goodness, cdowis, all this in response to my suggestion there ought to be a little due diligence & some peer review by independent parties. You think your attitude is harmless? You think I'm the real problem? Then consider this: Utah regularly gets called out for its inordinate share of fraud, Ponzi schemes and various white-collar crime. Even the Church-owed Deseret News has covered the problem. We don't need no facts, we don't need no due diligence. We can just pray & trust our feelings, that's how we came to believe in the Book of Mormon in the first place, and it's how we'll come to trust Sorenson's 800+ page book is worth our investment of time. I'm half-joking, but only half. ;0) --Erik _____________________________________ See I wanna believe you And I wanted to trust you And I wanna have faith to Put away the dagger But you lie, cheat and steal --Tool "Intolerance"
  14. Five Solas

    The enemies of the Church are wrong again

    Okay, I'll bite. Who is Trevor Holyoak and why should his opinion matter to anyone? --Erik
  15. Five Solas

    Patriarchal Blessings: Are You Ready?

    We've probably strayed as far from the thread topic as we should (I did feel it necessary to respond to Alaris). Maybe we could have a Romans 9 thread at some point and discuss the sovereignty of God and human will. I think you may already have some appreciation for the former and the limits of the latter. But let's not do it here or now. :0) --Erik