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About Navidad

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    Senior Member: Divides Heaven & Earth

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  1. Well, my use of the concept of the moving into the neighborhood was a literary take on the recent thread on Saints not letting their children play with non-members who move into their neighborhood. I didn't want to hijack that thread so I started a fresh one. As for being triggered as a Generation Z'er, you really make me laugh. Thanks for that. I am almost 71 years old and hardly easily triggered. Of all the people on this forum who caused me pain, you were number one. If I had to guess, I would think you are probably pretty proud of that. I was hoping that someone someday would disavow your hateful accusations towards me. That never happened. That is when I knew I had to leave.
  2. Once upon a time I moved into an LDS neighborhood. It was at the corner of dialogue and discussion street. I lived there for almost two years. I had lots of questions. At first, I was encouraged to ask questions and I felt welcome. Over time I kept on asking, sometimes the same questions because I didn’t understand. Pretty soon my neighbors seemed to get irritated. They complained because I asked questions I had asked before and they were sure their answers had been adequate. Over time I felt like they sent me mixed messages. “Please go away closer,” they told me. I got more and more confused and anxious. I couldn’t sleep. My neighbors seemed to be oblivious to what I was going through. Soon, they called me every negative epithet a Mormon could muster. I was “a son of Canaan,” a “follower of Baal,” a “fraud,” an “anti-Mormon.” What worse could a Mormon call someone? With that much hatred towards me I began to realize I could never belong. They wouldn’t let me play in their neighborhood without reminding me I was immature, not ready, obviously had ulterior motives, and they simply grew tired of me. The tireder they got, they meaner their reactions. I began to question my interest in their faith. I began to wonder why I cared about whether they cared. My interest in wanting to know more was genuine and sincere. They never accepted that. I had to move away. They seemed to be blind to how their epithets hurt me. When I pointed out that I thought they were blind to how they had made me feel, they just got madder and meaner. Oh, and I know I was not always kind and loving as Christ would have wanted me to be. I know that. But I did call my neighbors my Christian brothers and sisters. I defended them to my family and my friends. That never seemed to sink in. They never understood that it cost me to move into their neighborhood and to be their friend. They never thanked me for that. It seemed more and more to me that they just wanted to focus on their intra-neighborhood banter and their exaltation. I worried that if they were so unkind and unloving to me, a stranger in their midst, wouldn’t that have a negative impact on their exaltation chances? Oh well, that would really have gotten me into trouble had I shared that with them! Phew, my house would have gotten egged over that one! They were content with their own clique in their own neighborhood at discussion and dialogue streets. I shared with them that I needed to move away. It seemed not to bother them. They assured me they had others who had moved into their neighborhood just like me in the past, and they would have more in the future. They never even waved goodbye. I moved out. They said "good riddance" and I cried. In truth, after I moved out, I did begin to get some of my self confidence and self-respect back. I no longer felt as wounded. I felt wholer. I haven’t been struck with such mean blows since I moved out. I think I would have enjoyed living in the Mormon neighborhood; it just wasn’t meant to be. I thought I was about as faithful a non-member as a non-member can be. I was wrong. I was in the wrong neighborhood. I had questions on my mind and coffee on my counter. It just wasn’t meant to be.
  3. I am nobody and I know my thinking doesn't really count, but I must simply say that I have found Richard Turley to be extremely knowledgeable of the history of the Church and very kind in sharing that knowledge.
  4. I have no idea how to respond to this post. I must first "show a true desire to learn the things of God . . . because God will not be mocked by those who do not hold His oracles sacred?" I have no words to express how saddened I am by this reply. I don't have a testimony of some of the truths of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I don't have a true desire to learn the things of God and because I mock God. Wow! So sad. I guess I have nothing more to say on this topic, except that I find it an interesting church that blames and devalues the commitment of its seekers (and not even one by one) for not coming up with the right answer to a question that obviously has only one correct answer. Any and all other answers indicate a fault in the seeker, and in this case, terrible faults.
  5. Hi Calm - that might be a great other thread. If it is a consensus then it isn't only what I think. We spend so much time debating and discussing our differences. Wouldn't it be wonderful and uplifting to develop a list of all the truths we hold in common as Christians? God is love . . . Christ is our Redeemer . . . grace is the gift of God, and on and on.
  6. This is what I enjoy about this forum. MiserereNobis and I are non-LDS Christians, but I have a different view of the LDS priesthood, and perhaps of priesthood in general than he does. I may be wrong in that. He certainly can and should speak for himself. I certainly can only speak for me. I believe the LDS have a valid priesthood. I believe their ordained priesthood authority is valid in their church. Mine isn't. Their's isn't valid in mine. Certain LDS members, based on their level of authority may administer the ordinances in their church. I can't. They, with all their ordained priesthood authority cannot administer ordinances in my church. I can. All of that refers to administrative authority. As Christians, I believe all LDS believers also have the priesthood of all believers. This is the sacred or spiritual priesthood authority. It is the right and privilege of all believers. No one can deny that right to any other Christian. So yes, LDS priesthood holders have a valid priesthood authority within their own church. They also have the ubiquitous priesthood authority of all believers. Now I also understand that the concept of the priesthood of all believers is not a consensus among all Christians. Therefore I have to pause before I declare it to be "God's truth." I believe it to be true, but I would hesitate to encourage others to pray about it to come to the same conclusion as me.
  7. This is a wonderful example of what we might all define as "God's truth." These seven things are something that all of the big wide wonderful world of Christianity might come to consensus upon. That consensus may be only one test, but it is an important test of ascertaining "God's truth." Can anyone here think of any belief upon which the Christian community has reached a consensus that is false?
  8. Of course it could. The challenge in my mind is to figure out how to test truth to know for sure it is God's truth and not the product of many other causative factors (dogma, culture, group consensus and identity, history, experiences, etc.). One test, in my thinking is that if there is no consensus in the Christian community for a belief it may not be "God's truth," such as those things I have already listed - dancing as a sin, conscientious objection as a tenet, that an apostasy gripped the Christian world for 1700 years, or that only LDS ordinances are valid for all of Christianity. We could list such idiosyncratic beliefs for every single Christian group. I am not trying to convince anyone of anything......these are all things I think about a lot. Perhaps they are not of particular interest to anyone else. I come from a small historic Christian community with many assured "God's truths." I have had to sift and sort through them for most of my 70 years. I have come to the conclusion that some are and some aren't "God's truth" even though all have at one time or another been presented to me as such.
  9. I couldn't agree more that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. My point, however weakly made is that I do not believe His role is to advocate for unique Mennonite truths, unique LDS truths, or unique Pentecostal truths (just to cite a few). I simply don't believe it is right to predict the answer the Holy Spirit will give to anyone about what is at its core a unique individual group's truth. Is it ok to assure me that if I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal to me the apostasy of the Christian Church for seventeen hundred years when my faith, doctrine, and historical knowledge already inform me otherwise? Should I encourage my LDS friends to pray to seek confirmation from the Holy Spirit that dancing is a sin? Oh, that is silly, she says - not to me its not. I simply believe we all at times triangulate the Holy Spirit into our unique belief systems and I think that does damage to His real mission.
  10. I understand that. It is all very complicated. Epistemology is the study of beliefs and knowledge. A cornerstone of epistemology is that a belief does not have to be true to be believed. Hence, we look at the same set of facts and come up with different truths. MiserereNobis, has the Holy Spirit convinced you of the truth that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the only valid ordinances and the only valid priesthood in all the Christian community? He has not done so to me and I think that is a miss characterization of His role. I for sure don't expect folks here to agree with me. I am expressing nothing more than my understanding of the role of the Holy Spirit. I would never think of asking you to pray to the Spirit to see if you shouldn't become a conscientious objector, a key and unique tenet of being Anabaptist. I know that is unique to my faith; First, I have no right to ask others to pray to see if the Holy Spirit doesn't lead them to the same conclusion and second I do not believe that is His role.
  11. I would respectfully disagree. The role of the Holy Spirit is to comfort, lead, teach, and guide toward righteousness. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables us to be the physical visible presence of God to a lost and dying world. I am unaware that convincing others of the truth of any one branch of Christianity is in His job description.
  12. Oh my goodness! You are the King of Mexico?! Wow, can I speak with you about some property issues I am having? Seriously I think your point is very interesting. One of the great logical fallacies in the world is argument where the evidence and the conclusion are the same with no other probative data involved. I think this happens a lot in religious dialogue. Mennonites believe they hold the definitive position in Christianity on peace, conflict resolution, and conscientious objection. How do they know? Because that is what the Mennonite Church has always taught for almost 500 years. This might be a less than optimal example because there probably is independent data that demonstrates the unique position of Mennonites in the world of religious peace/social justice activity. I know of no independent data to demonstrate or prove, nor any way to conduct a study that shows the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the only priesthood authority and the only ordinances approved by God. That is by its very nature a faith statement. Nothing wrong with that - in fact there are advantages, because it is impossible to disprove except with another faith statement. It is a statement that cannot be proved or disproved on its own; it is therefore impossible to draw any conclusions about it outside of the mind (not brain) of the believer or disbeliever. Speaking of Mexico, it is the Virgin of Guadalupe vision paradox.
  13. I believe Christ has a church for sure. It is the Christian Church - a tree composed of many branches of which Christ is the trunk. How does He lead His followers in modern times? Ever since Pentecost he leads his followers by means of the Holy Spirit. We, his followers are the temples that are indwelt by the Spirit who according to John 16:13 leads us into all truth. That's it!
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