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Everything posted by Meerkat

  1. Is it possible for a person to impelled to a certain course of action as part of the process gaining or strengthening a valiant testimony, by the definition you gave? For example Eve saying in Moses 5:11 “And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” Or is obedience, such as the prodigal’s brother, more valiant?
  2. Webster defines Valiant as “possessing or acting with bravery or boldness: COURAGEOUS.” I am thinking along the lines of Noble effort, or heroic quest. Best effort, etc. Any of those definitions gets close enough to the question.
  3. Who will be judged valiant, the prodigal son or the brother who stayed behind?
  4. Early in our faith journey, many of us have a spiritual experience that result in our claim to be part of an exclusive club of true believers. As we get older, and experience failures in what we thought we knew, for example formulas that guarantee a successful outcome (FHE, Eagle Scout, YW Medallion, Seminary grad, missions, Temple Marriage, etc.) our individual faith may become stronger in a way, but more egalitarian. We begin to look for truth wherever we can find it and embrace it into our chosen state. We find that there are multitudes of tender hearted, kind people in and out of the Church who have experienced challenges like Lehi and Sariah and their disfunctional family. Those apparent family failures have made the faith of some family members, solidifying their "chosen" state. The state of the other family members is unknown because we don't know for sure how they are responding in the Spirit World (D&C 138.) Whether they are chosen or not (likely they are,) is not our concern. Our concern as Christians is to love our enemies, and apparently treat them as if they are chosen also. Does God ask us to do anything He hasn't already done Himself? "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." Matt. 5:45-46 When we were young and unjust sinners, it was probably that very rain that rained on us that gave us the desire to be chosen out of that sinful state. When we love, we become part of that Godly rain that leads to the chosen state. I know people who have no professed faith in God. I know others who hope for faith in God, but honestly don't know if there is a God. And yet, due to their experience with failure, sadness and/or tragedy in their lives, the love they have for their fellow beings is palpable. Just sitting in the room with them, their spirit radiates. No words need to be spoken. I believe they have placed themselves in a chosen state, perhaps without knowing what they have done. They have discovered how to live the great plan of happiness. Regardless of whether they realize that they are actually chosen, I believe the day will come in this life or beyond, that God's promise will be fulfilled upon their heads "If any man will do his will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." John 7:17. That is a promise from the mouth of Jesus Christ. There is another aspect of becoming chosen I think. That would be focusing on our own salvation, and not judging where any other person is in their faith journey. When you look at how the Savior treated sinners, He loved them. He ate with them. He visited with them. He interceded for them. His harshest, often only implied, criticisms were reserved for those apparently righteous people who would cast the first stone. To the sinner "Neither do I judge thee. Go thy way and sin no more." "And behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment." Then Jesus shared the story in Luke 7, speaking a parable of the debt we all owe: "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged." In the end, I think that's what chosen means... Forgiven.
  5. The Anti-Nephi Lehi's make a good case for pacifism. The 2000 Stripling Warriers make a good case against it. When it comes right down to it, Jiminy Cricket had the solution: "Always let your conscience be your guide."
  6. Unless I missed it, I didn’t see a reference to economics. Sharing the Gospel in prosperous areas is more challenging because when a person’s financial needs are met, why do they need faith in God? Today, we are at near full employment. Add to that the issues of pornography and liberal bias in k-12 through university level education Add to that media general condescension and social pressure against religion. Add to that the ever increasing hours at work due to labor shortage and the mind numbing access to entertainment and electronic devices during off hours. Add to that the breakdown of the family, where faith in God used to be taught and we see the perfect storm we have today. It takes an unusually self assured person to stand against those forces to seek faith in God, in my opinion. Who wants or needs faith in God these days? Simplistic? Maybe. Accurate? I’m 🤔.
  7. I will say “Amen” to that. Nice post! Matt.13:33 “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”
  8. Acts 10:34-36 ”Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:)” I agree. I see no harm in being honest about what we believe, nor in allowing others to have strong feelings about their religion, and even encouraging them. I’m not sure why there is a tendency for many of us to say to denominationalists, “I do worship the same Christ as you do.” The Christ I worship was probably married. He has a corporeal body, as does His Father, who are separate and distinct from each other and the Holy Ghost. He speaks to us today through the Scriptures, living modern-day prophets, and through the Holy Ghost. Those are just a few of the differences between the Christ I worship, and the Christ of my Evangelical or other creed bound Christians. The thing that makes them right, and me right is that when I truly invite Jesus Christ into my life, my behavior changes for the better. That is more important than mere belief, imo. The Gospel Jesus taught was “...in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” There are enough ambiguities in the Scriptures that probably the most reasonable plea is “..Help Thou mine unbelief.” That is what my Dad said near his time of death because he just didn’t know which version of Jesus Christ was the correct one. Yet I hold him up as one of the most authentic Christians I have ever known. He was a very active Lutheran. In my opinion, there is UNITY in repentance. There is unity in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, to wit we change our actual behavior(and hopefully thoughts,) from a life of sin and sorrow to becoming disciplined. I believe the key is not which doctrines or dogmas we believed. The key is, were we good. Many worship God unaware. I believe we will receive all sacred ordinances by proper authority eventually IF we are good and live according to the light we have received.
  9. Go through a stop sign? Get in a wreck. Lesson learned. Stop on a track, stay in the car,? Get killed. Harsh lesson, but not entirely the responsibility of the engineer. Laws and regulations govern speeds on the highways and railways. There doesn’t seem much communities can do to slow them down. Similar to Gospel laws, they may have a certain strictness, and we have responsibilities and a brain to analyze circumstances. Are we supposed to expect others to learn their lessons to eliminate our adversity? How do we expect to learn? I think we can analyze and learn from our circumstances. I think the process requires a certain amount of surrender and humility to learn our responsibility. No so much blaming the engineer.
  10. Yep. Synthroid or Lavoxyl every day for life.
  11. THC is much stronger these days than the 60s. I know some young people who smoked it regularly who developed paranoia and depression, and were told by their therapist it could be long lasting, maybe permanent. Maybe liquid THC has a similar effect. Please be careful.
  12. I don’t like the idea of supporting the marijuana industry here in Washington State. But I have severe arthritis in my knees, shoulders, thumb, feet and elbow. I have been given prescriptions that leave me foggy brained. A brother whom I respect recommended I try CBD cream. My doctor could not prescribe it, but said he he had many patients who were getting a good result. Since this was before pharmacies started carrying it, I drove to the other side of town, put on my hoodie and sunglasses, and entered the pot shop. (Just kidding about the hoodie. And the sunglasses.) I purchased the CBD cream that included some THC, and applied it to my arthritic joints. The relief was immediate (within 30 seconds,) and long lasting. I only needed to use it once per week to once per month. The 2 oz. of cream cost me about $15.00 at the time and lasted quite awhile. By the time I went through that jar, pharmacies were selling hemp based CBD products with no THC. Not wanting to support the THC industry, I bought some Hemp based CBD. $30 for 1 ounce. I applied it, and found that it only lasts a few hours. I need to apply it multiple times per day, and it doesn’t take effect immediately. I don’t know why the medical industry has not researched this and come out with a prescribable product. It probably has something to do with the cost of research and approval and competition from cannibas shops. It may also have something to do with the ease in which a person can make their own. It may also compete favorably with more profitable (and less effective) pharmaceuticals. I don’t see any of those options as fair, or my problem. I can listen to my own body, and decide the best course for me to take. I will probably go to a pot shop to get my next CBD cream. It may have some THC in it. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves.” That’s not a bad guideline, in my opinion. Culturally, some of us judge worthiness based on irrelevant outward appearance. For years, I secretly held the opinion that those who drink caffeine were breaking the Word of Wisdom. Then, due to age and declining energy, I have taken up having a Coke every now and then and feel fine about it. I also get more done when I do. The same applies to CBD cream (externally applied in my case,) and maybe even CBD oil taken internally. I’m not sure about that one. I would probably try an experiment, if I had a treatable ailment that wasn’t responding favorably to other medications. The issue with that is THC is a powerful psychotropic that can have long lasting negative effects such as depression and paranoia. If I were taking THC internally, I would want a medical doctor’s supervision.
  13. Everything you say makes sense. How should the Church of Jesus Christ relate differently to Islam and governments in the Middle East than it is already doing?
  14. I don’t know much about Islam. Even a small number of radicals can cause problems for everyone, in my opinion. Based on our son’s experience, and others who have lived in the Middle East, most Muslims they’ve known are good, kind people who embrace family values similar to ours. I have known some in the USA who appear to be kind and friendly, who I would lock arms with. Many people go through many years without knowing Christ. That is what Doctrine and Covenants 138 is all about. Bottom line, treat people the way we want to be treated. From Alma 41: 14 “Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again. 15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.”
  15. Line upon line. “17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower...”. From Matt. 13. Our son was at a meeting in Dubai where Elder Holland was asked about the state of the Muslim faith. He said it was a “preparatory religion.” Asked if he had more information on the subject, he said “No, this is the first I’ve heard of it,” or words to that effect.
  16. Most of us are probably doubters until we are ready to see. The Church requires an apparently high price of its members. The First Vision story is fantastic on its face. WHO would believe it without a means of proving it? The Gospel was fantastic in Jesus’ day. Many had to see or experience miracles. Jesus gave them the proof they needed. He explained in Matt. 13 why He doesn’t go about willy nilly giving people knowledge they are not prepared to be accountable for. 10 “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matt. 13:10-17 Joseph Smith doubted the religionists of his day until he was ready to obtain the answer and went into the woods to pray. For those who would be aided by the testimony of witnesses, God provided 11 witnesses. For others, He provided the Book of Mormon and the Holy Ghost (Mor. 10:3-5). Probably for most all of us, there is some kind of wrestling with the angel we have had to endure to obtain the knowledge we need.
  17. Go to addictionrecovery.lds.org. They have a meeting finder there. If there is not one nearby, you can search for a phone group meeting. I agree with Bro. Gui. Those who attend the meetings are truly blessed. Unfortunately, there are precious few who attend on the family side, in our area. We attend a meeting for family members. There is a separate one for those who suffer from the compulsive behavior (addiction.) The reason there are fewer meetings for family members is the shame/embarrassment factor, in my opinion. Many in the Church who suffer from the actual addiction are so motivated to change, they will attend their meeting regardless of their shame or embarrassment. When they experience the benefits, I’ve heard some say they don’t care who knows. They just want to help some other child of God find their way out too. I say “Lord, bless them.”
  18. Yes. I’d also like to see 70 videos for family members who have been estranged by their loved ones who suffer with compulsive behaviors. I would also like to see 70 videos on how to put a family back together who have been shattered by the loss of a loved one through suicide. There are many tentacles to this problem. The Church’s approach seems to be to apply the healing balm of the Atonement of Jesus Christ through a number of resources including Family Addiction Support group and many high quality videos and articles. I am glad the Church is not sitting on its hands doing nothing. They seem to be carefully replacing old approaches with thoughtful new ones. I haven’t seen any on estrangement or suicide yet, which are sad and real Those are two I’d love to find and watch.
  19. That’s a good question for another thread. I would put them on nearly equal footing (due to “as far as the Bible is translated correctly,”) with the edge going to the Book of Mormon. My personal opinion is that I am more spiritually fortified reading the Book of Mormon than the Bible. I love it. My faith in Jesus Christ is strengthened every time I read it. My gratitude for the Prophet Joseph Smith is reaffirmed every time I read it. In my opinion, the Book of Mormon is a miraculous work that has been proved true to my satisfaction through reading and answered prayer. I also love the Holy Bible, and am enjoying reading the New Testament this year. It also testifies of Jesus Christ to me in a powerful way.
  20. The role of the Holy Ghost confirming true religion and other facts.
  21. Here’s an interesting comment from “The New Testament Study Guide Start to Finish” by Thomas R Valetta: “President Joseph F. Smith noted that whether Judas was “qualified to commit the unpardonable sin, is not at all clear to me. To my mind it strongly appears that not one of the disciples possessed sufficient light, knowledge nor wisdom, at the time of the crucifixion, for either exaltation or condemnation; for it was afterward that their minds were opened to understand the scriptures, and that they were endowed with power from on high; without which they were only children in knowledge, in comparison to what they afterwards become under the influence of the Spirit. . . . “But not knowing that Judas did commit the unpardonable sin; nor that he was a ‘son of perdition without hope’ who will die the second death, nor what knowledge he possessed by which he was able to commit so great a sin, I prefer, until I know better, to take the merciful view that he may be numbered among those for whom the blessed Master prayed, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’” (Gospel Doctrine, 433–35).
  22. Jesus knew the end from the beginning. He knew how to direct His disciples to the upper room. He knew Judas would betray Him. Why couldn’t the Romans have just arrested Jesus without Judas’ betrayal? I wonder the Savior wanted to point out that we should be aware that some individuals can do a lot of damage to us individually, and as a society and world, if we let them. “Judas” is a cliche, as is “Benedict Arnold,” “Hitler” and probably many others. I have been tempted in years past to have sympathy for Judas and the role he played in the Atonement, when the Romans could have done it without him. “Poor Judas.” But Jesus said: “24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” Matt. 26:24. Woe unto any of us who would be tempted to betray anyone for money (or power, or influence, or anything else.). It’s not worth the money. I’m thinking of the Pharisees who devour widows houses. I believe honor and honesty are the premier virtues.
  23. I get that, and agree that many frameworks influence for the good. I often think of my wonderful Baptist neighbors, that if they don’t make it to Heaven, neither will I. Yet they have let me know they believe Mormons are good people, just “deceived.” Maybe that falls into the “overreach” category you are uncomfortable with in our church. I think, as time goes by, the Church is taking a more ecumenical approach, recognizing that if the Elect don’t embrace the authority and sacred ordinances of the Church while here in mortality, many will embrace the Temple ordinances done for them when they are in the Spirit World. The important thing, in my opinion, is how did we live and treat others? Did we love God? Did we love our fellow man? If we lived right, I think our understanding of what is true will come.
  24. Can a lasting conversion be obtained through reason alone?.
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