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About Glenn101

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  • Birthday 04/26/1946

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    Seven Springs, North Carolina

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  1. I know that I cannot really understand your situation. I do not believe that anyone that is not gay really understand. I do sympathize and I do not judge. That is for God to do. But I do trust Him, that He is just and he will deal righteously with all of us. I do really wish you all the best in this life and I know that the next life will be better for all of us. I wish that I could do more. Glenn
  2. No problem at all. David reported that he had physically seen the plates, that they were shown to him by an angel. His belief that Joseph was a fallen prophet had to do with his own interpretations of some of the scriptures and the Book of Commandments. He also was opposed to the practice of polygamy. I hope that you can see the difference. Glenn
  3. Yes, David did think that Joseph had become a fallen prophet. But he never denied the his witness of seeing an angel that showed him the plates. He believed in the restoration but believed Joseph had gone astray, as noted in the excerpts that you quoted. Glenn
  4. There really is not much more that I can say about our differing beliefs as to the Bible etc. We have different opinions based upon some of the same type of reasoning, i.e. you feel that the miraculous parts of the Bible are fantastical because you haven't been presented with any empirical proof that they did happen. I believe, based upon the data that the scientists have presented as to the improbability of the universe being created by a random event that it is more likely that the universe was actually created by a sentient being of tremendous power, a God. The rest of my my logic flowed from that. You may not believe it but you cannot refute it, mush as I cannot prove that the miraculous events cited by the Bible actually happened. As for Joseph Smith's character, I was not even debating it or whether or not you have enough information to make a judgment. I think you missed my point entirely, which was that the truth claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not rest upon the any person's opinion of his character. You are free to draw any conclusions you wish There were people in Joseph's day that had jaundiced opinions of Joseph also. Yet, as I pointed out, some of those people also were witnesses to the existence of the plates and the appearance of angels which they never denied. The point there is that their opinion of Joseph's character did not cause them to negate their very powerful spiritual experiences. It is those experiences of which you seem to be so chary. I do not know if you have ever had any such or whether you have had some type of experiences which you have reconsidered in light of information that has come down the pike. All I know is what I have experienced which is the basis for my continued belief and faith. Glenn
  5. i do not mind anyone disagreeing with the things I have to say. I do not recall you ever making anything personal in the different discussions we have had and I appreciate that. There are a lot of things about the Bible, especially the Old Testament that I have questions about myself. Even when I was a youngster I had questions about the ark, i.e. the huge size that it would have taken to hold two of each of one kind or animal and seven of another kind. Then there is a chronology from the flood to the time when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedec was less than three hundred years but evidently there was a very sizable population on the earth again, including the Chaldean and Egyptian civilizations. So I do not know what to make of the flood narrative. Those and others are "shelf questions" because there are no answers available. I have had my own periods of doubts, but I have also had one really profound spiritual experience which actually turned my life around. It is something I cannot describe in words. Maybe I can explain myself with a quote or example from the Book of Mormon. When Alma the Younger was preaching to the poor people among the Zoramites he told them "to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." This is something that you spoke about in your first response to me. But yet, one has to be willing to believe, to want to believe, before it can happen. So, in a way, you are correct in your assessment. Of course there are stories of people having experiences that caused them to believe even when they did not want to, but this was after an initial conversion. But, at this point in my life, all that does not matter. I have thought this through pretty well, and what comes next is pretty much emotional. When I was having my doubts I looked at this old world and what unbelief offered me. I looked at a world full of strife, war, and injustice. I looked at a world where whole peoples are killed in tribal warfare, where children are left alone to starve and no one is there to alleviate their suffering. I looked at those things and I wanted to believe, to have hope that there was and is hope for those people, for a justice that extends beyond this life. When my first wife died while I was in the middle of that faith crisis, I wanted to have hope that I would see her again, and to see my mother again who died a slow agonizing death while I tried to care for her. That was the point that started me on a downward faith spiral and bottomed out with the death of my first wife. It was not a pretty sight. When I looked at all of those things, how really miserable I was, I decided that I wanted to believe. And yes, it was during that point of time that I had my defining spiritual experience. It turned my life around and has given me the hope that the injustices of this world will righted. Despite all of the questions, I have hope that they will a;; be answered in the Lord's own due time. I have faith and trust that whatever misgivings that I and anyone else may have about the next life, that what God has in store for us is something better than any mortal can imagine. It keeps me going despite all of the other physical and mental challenges in my life. That is the emotional part. Now, back to a logical part. What if everything I believe is wrong? What if there is no God and no life after death? Am I a fool? Well, no, because no one will ever know. Not me, not, you, no one. Because I am on the whole in a maybe not happy place but a place filled with hope for now and forever. Only a person that has lost all hope and then found it again can fully understand that. Glenn
  6. What you quoted does not negate anything that Bluebell said. Most of the things that we receive from our current prophets are things for our day and may or may not be relevant for the next generation. But, even so, when such a prophet "stands before a congregation of the people today, and the inspiration of the Lord is upon him, he speaks that which the Lord would have him speak. It is just as much scripture as anything you will find written in any of these records." Glenn
  7. I think that you have missed the point that I was trying to make. If we had verifiable documents showing that Jesus was actually condemned to death by Pontius Pilate for a crime that would not change anything how one would try to ascertain whether or not Jesus is the Christ. As for Joseph Smith, I would assume that you are speaking of the civil judgment against Joseph concerning the Kirkland Banking Society. Of the forty some felony lawsuits filed against Joseph during his lifetime he was definitely acquitted in each case except maybe one. The 1826 case is at the best ambiguous so one can draw their own conclusions. But again, none of that has anything to do with whether Joseph Smith had a vision where he saw God the Father and Jesus the Christ. None of that determines how the truth of such an event can be determined. Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and a few others testified that they actually saw angels, etc. But for mankind in general throughout the ages the truth of any spiritual claim has only been able to be obtained through spiritual means. You can read about the life of Jesus, the Atonement, His death, and resurrection in the Bible, but in order to ascertain if it indeed did happen, one has to learn about it spiritually. There is no other way. Your contention that people are only believing what they want to believe when it comes to spiritual revelation has the counter argument that people who do not receive a confirming revelation are refusing to accept something they do not want to believe. Would you want the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to be the one true church? Now, can you tell me how a person today could determine if Jesus is the Christ if not by a revelation from the Holy Ghost? Glenn
  8. Oh, you were not talking about Jesus??? More Fantastical than even the Joseph Smith story. Oh well. However any belief in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints must begin with a belief in God and in Jesus the Christ. If one were to rely on secular history to decide whether to decide to spend the time and effort to determine if the Jesus that is portrayed in the New testament is Jesus the Anointed, scanty as the information is, the conclusion could very well be that He was actually a rebel, a dangerous agitator advocating the downfall of the Roman government. The only way to determine that would be through a spiritual experience. Once that has been accepted, one can move on to other things, looking through the lens of the New Testament about the way Jesus organized His church while he was here on the earth. Just looking at the Catholic Church of today and the various reformation churches and the few others that have come into being professing a belief in Jesus to see how they conform to what we can glean from the New Testament. Yet, the stark differences that are exposed by those comparisons do not necessarily indicate that are not the one true church. After all, as the head of His Church, Jesus could make any changes to the structure and ordinances that He wishes. Their truth claims do not hinge upon their secular history or the actions of any of their leaders. They hinge upon confirmation by the Holy Ghost. The same applies to the truth claims of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You may feel that you have learned enough from secular history to make a judgment on Joseph Smith's character and trustworthiness. I do not think so. But even if Joseph had become a fallen prophet, as it was supposed by quite a few of the members of the church in his day before he was murdered, that would not invalidate truths that were restored through him. Those claims were not rejected by the Whitmers that fell away nor by any of the others that were witnesses to the restoration events. They fell away because the felt Joseph had become a fallen prophet because of the things that happened. Oliver Cowdery also fell away because they felt that Joseph had become a fallen prophet but returned because of the spiritual events they had witnessed. Then there were the great number of people who were privy to all of the information that we have now, and more who did not fall away. People who were faced with some great physical and spiritual trials who were forged in that refiner's fire and came out stronger than ever to follow their own trail of tears to the Great Salt lake Valley in order to find a place to worship as they wished. Those are some of the many reasons I think that it would be logical to invest the time and spiritual effort to find out if the message Joseph delivered to the world is true. And the crowning jewel of those revelations concerning the eternal nature of the family and the redemptive work for our ancestors. Glenn
  9. Glenn101

    King Solomon the Wise how did it become

    I believe that God, through the Holy Ghost enlightened Solomon's mind and heart to be able to understand how to best apply the knowledge he had and the power he had for the best of all concerned. It is evident from the scriptures that he left oft heeding the very fount of his wisdom at some point also. Glenn
  10. It is possible that secular research can make such a determination but it has its limits because it cannot determine if in fact such interactions happened. And it has its limits as to whether such a person claiming such events happened can be trusted because we are looking through that glass darkly, through the lens of the narrators some who are friendly and some not so friendly. In order for one to consider whether a spiritual confirmation is worth the effort, one must understand what may be at stake in making such a decision. When considering the plausibility as to whether out universe happened by a random event or whether by design, I look at the odds that have been calculated by the scientists. The odds against the universe happening through a random event are so great that they really are incomprehensible to the human mind.That is a very high bar for anyone to overcome to convince me that I am the result of a series of improbable accidents or random events and mutations. Glenn
  11. I think that you are mostly correct in this assessment. I think that the church leaders are urging us to lead with our faith rather than our intellect. They are not suggesting that we abandon research, but that we put research into context rather than recontextualizing our spiritual experiences based upon secular research. Secular research cannot determine if Joseph Smith actually saw God the father and Jesus the Christ in his first vision. It cannot determine whether Joseph Smith received section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants from the Lord. It cannot determine if the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. It cannot determine if there is a God. It cannot determine if the universe as we can understand it was created by God or whether it just happened. The spiritual things must be spiritually discerned. They are not open to confirmation by our physical senses, and never will be. As I pointed out in another post, the greater portion of humanity is not well enough equipped by training and possibly intellect to be able to understand the arguments for and against the formation of the universe with or without the intervention of a Divine Designer. Now, some research can help in that matter to a person who is so inclined, but it can be sufficient for a person who is content just to lead with their faith and not worry about the math. That is essentially what I do. After reading what the scientists are saying about the incredible odds against the universe in which we live being created randomly "fine tuned for life" I am more than comfortable with my approach. After all, the scientists have recognized that improbability and have postulated theories such as an infinite number of universes of which our life friendly universe is just one. Since these universes are not detectable and the theories are not testable. And there is the dark energy theory to explain the astonishing discovery that the universe is expanding at an ever greater rate rather than slowing down as the force of gravity slowly overcomes the momentum caused by the big bang as was initially predicted. This dark energy, a force so powerful that it does not just negate the force of gravity but actually overcomes it, yet our most sensitive instruments cannot detect it. Sounds sort of mystical to me. 😎 Yes, I believe in secular studies, academic learning, but I am not going to let it cause me to doubt the very real spiritual events I have experienced. After all, we do have scriptures that tell us " And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." (D&C 130:19) What is so blissful about this is that if I am wrong, if there is no God, I will never know. But if there is a life after death, and there is a god, Stephen Hawking is wondering what is going on right now. Glenn
  12. I did not say that LDS people are being persecuted for their beliefs. A persistent bias against "Mormonism" though is well documented. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/the-ignorance-of-mocking-mormonism/545975/ http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1956386/posts If you have not done so, just do a bit of research. I have always lived in areas where the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have been very much in the minority and have witnessed that bias first hand. To be fair it was not always widespread and members of the Seventh Day Adventist congregations also faced the same type of bias. Now, if you will go back to the original statement, you will note that it says "Additionally, many members — “and you are surely among them” — live in areas where they are a small minority. Each day they associate, and are sometimes governed by, persons who have “radically different” beliefs and standards." I do not think that President Oaks was just talking about the U.S. I do not believe that you are characterizing my response fairly or accurately. I will quote again what I was referring to from President Oaks talk. Now, I do not see how prayer, study, and service can be brainwashing. I do not know what the actual percentages may be, but there are very few people that are equipped by their educational levels and areas of expertise to understand the ongoing arguments about things like how the universe came to be and the origins of life, et cetera. So, a person has to be well grounded in their own faith, by prayer, study, and service else they will wind up like you. I do not mean that to be personal or offensive, but you seem to have lost your faith because of things that you have learned from the secular world which have overwhelmed the things you learned spiritually. Glenn
  13. Depends upon the type of persuasion. The main problem that I have observed in living and socializing in areas with different beliefs is that those of the other beliefs may not be very tolerant of LDS doctrines and their persuasion is often social pressure. There is nothing wrong with diversity as long as most of the diverse groups are tolerant of the viewpoints of others. That is something that President Oaks was referring to. And here is his advice as to how best to deal with those situations: If a person is not well grounded in the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by those methods, he pr she will be the more easily swayed by secular arguments and social pressures. Glenn
  14. Glenn101

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    That is a problem because not all members actually get those emails. I get some but I think gmail may send some to my spam folder. Did this email ask the bishops and branch presidents read it in a Sacrament meeting? Glenn
  15. Glenn101

    "Why some people leave the Church"

    Thanks. I was wondering about a letter or the like read in the various congregations. A lot of people do not check into a lot of the stuff there. Glenn