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Montgomery Price

Why Is Moroni'S Promise, A Mormon Belief, Considered A Valid Epistemic Test Of Mormon Belief?

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The epistemic test proposed by Mormonism is not exempt from justification, yet it seems often taken for granted. In fact, I haven't heard a conversion story yet that didn't simply presume the test as valid, before using it to test whether Mormonism is valid.

This is not to say that more substantial conversions stories exist... but to wonder is it not problematic that a great number of Mormons clearly overlooked the need to justify the basis of their conversion?

This is not to say that the justification does not exist, for I'm sure many here won't hesitate to provide justification soon enough... but to wonder if a believing Mormon failed to justify their conversion, are they rewarded for their credulity?

It's undisputed that these sorts of blind conversions have taken place. I think it is then required that blind faith be justified in order for a Mormon worldview to appear consistent.

But if we attempt to justify it, we should remember that Mormon doctrine prescribes a straight and narrow path, distinguishing itself as the best option among several. Declared revelation must obviously be given careful attention in comparison to other faiths. If the justification can be equally applied to a path that simply differs from the Plan of Salvation, then we are still left with an inconsistency. The argument cannot justify the optimal path and one or more non-optimal paths equally. This leaves no way to determine revealed doctrine as the superior, revealed path it is presumed to be. For this reason, the justification must be specific to Mormon doctrine.

So, condensed into a few questions...

Does Moroni's Promise require justification as a reliable epistemic test?

If it does, what is it and how do you explain the credulous, unjustified acceptance of Moroni's Promise by a significant number of Mormons?

If it does not, and you accept that blind faith and the credulous conversions of others are somehow valid, what explains the use of blind faith as conversion specifically to Mormonism?

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I don't need to justify that it works before I try. I don't need to justify the reasons why I might like salt before I try it too.

I just know this test does work. You want me to explain something that is personal to me in a way that you will understand it the way I do. I am sorry but that is impossible.

Of course I might now understand your questions.

What I did is I just took the promise to task and actually tested it. I really was not expecting anything to happen. All I said to myself is that "if this does work I will change my life". When that mind set set in is when I received my answer.

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I don't need to justify that it works before I try. I don't need to justify the reasons why I might like salt before I try it too.

I figured someone might say this right after I posted. But I'm sorry, I don't see how it's relevant. It doesn't negate any need for justification, and it only points out that you believe credulity is somehow acceptable. So you can be credulous until after you take the test, and then figure whether the test and its results are valid... but why wait?

I just know this test does work. You want me to explain something that is personal to me in a way that you will understand it the way I do. I am sorry but that is impossible.

Of course I might now understand your questions.

What I did is I just took the promise to task and actually tested it. I really was not expecting anything to happen. All I said to myself is that "if this does work I will change my life". When that mind set set in is when I received my answer.

What do you mean you took the promise and tested it? Did you test the test itself, or just take the test? You seem to be missing my point. How did you establish that the test can "work"?

And how is this specific to Mormonism? What prevents someone from saying that what you find too personal to explain is invalid because what they find too personal to explain invalidates it?

Edited by Montgomery Price

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So, condensed into a few questions...

Does Moroni's Promise require justification as a reliable epistemic test?

I believe there are justifications for it, but i don't believe it requires justification.

If it does not, and you accept that blind faith and the credulous conversions of others are somehow valid, what explains the use of blind faith as conversion specifically to Mormonism?

I would imagine that most people who sincerely take the test are doing so because they 1) believe that God exists because of experiences they have with Him and 2) believe He answers prayers because of experiences they've had with prayer.

Under such circumstances there is no 'blind faith' invovled, as i understand it.

To answer the question though, i don't believe that blind faith, if one wants to catagorize the 'test' as blind faith, as conversion is specific to mormonism. Many protestant churches require people to accept Jesus in some way in order to be saved with no justification required for such actions, other than that they are essential and that they will produce results.

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There is only one outcome to testing Moroni’s promise: validation that the Book of Mormon is true. The test originates from the book in question. The book in question can’t testify to its own truth so it proposes a test, and it wouldn’t possibly propose a test that results in the book being proven false, as evidenced by the reactions of book-believers when confronted by those who claim a result it is false. If one accepts the test will give a “result” then one already accepts the truthfulness of the book (to provide a valid way of measuring validity). Pity the poor soul who believed in the test but received an answer that the book is false; he never really believed in the test.

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I believe there are justifications for it, but i don't believe it requires justification.

Why?

I would imagine that most people who sincerely take the test are doing so because they 1) believe that God exists because of experiences they have with Him and 2) believe He answers prayers because of experiences they've had with prayer.

Under such circumstances there is no 'blind faith' invovled, as i understand it.

To answer the question though, i don't believe that blind faith, if one wants to catagorize the 'test' as blind faith, as conversion is specific to mormonism. Many protestant churches require people to accept Jesus in some way in order to be saved with no justification required for such actions, other than that they are essential and that they will produce results.

So, you are saying those experiences are justification for what seems to be blind faith in Moroni's Promise? Then what justifies those experiences?

And, why do these experiences and what follows lead specifically to Mormonism, and not something else? What about them cannot be equally applied to another faith?

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The epistemic test proposed by Mormonism is not exempt from justification, yet it seems often taken for granted. In fact, I haven't heard a conversion story yet that didn't simply presume the test as valid, before using it to test whether Mormonism is valid.

Ok... so you dispute the test is valid. That's nice...

So what would you propose to use instead?

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And, why do these experiences and what follows lead specifically to Mormonism, and not something else? What about them cannot be equally applied to another faith?

I guess you could say that test doesn't have to lead to the LDS flavor of Mormonism; but to any religion that accepts the Book of Mormon; since the test is about the truthfulness of that book.

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Moroni's Promise could only speak to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and says nothing about the LDS Church itself. The Book of Mormon can be true and the LDS Church can still be false. However, the LDS Church can't be true if the Book of Mormon is false.

I don't have much of an opinion of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I believe the LDS Church is false so I don't concern myself with how the Book of Mormon came to be

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Ok... so you dispute the test is valid. That's nice...

So what would you propose to use instead?

It's obvious that I don't have to, but if I wanted to talk about alternatives... I would consider how the qualities of the Mormon test compare to the epistemic methods we know to be reliable, and those we know to be unreliable.

I guess you could say that test doesn't have to lead to the LDS flavor of Mormonism; but to any religion that accepts the Book of Mormon; since the test is about the truthfulness of that book.

Ok. Then it seems we are left with the discrepancy between flavors of Mormonism, instead of that between BOM faiths and non-BOM faiths.

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It's obvious that I don't have to, but if I wanted to talk about alternatives... I would consider how the qualities of the Mormon test compare to the epistemic methods we know to be reliable, and those we know to be unreliable.

Ok. Then it seems we are left with the discrepancy between flavors of Mormonism, instead of that between BOM faiths and non-BOM faiths.

Or you could just skip the test entirely and go with what you "know".

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What do you mean you took the promise and tested it? Did you test the test itself, or just take the test? You seem to be missing my point. How did you establish that the test can "work"?

And how is this specific to Mormonism? What prevents someone from saying that what you find too personal to explain is invalid because what they find too personal to explain invalidates it?

I mean just what I said. I don't know how I can be any clearer. I actually tested Moroni's test. How did I do that? By actually doing it.

Some one else's personal experience cannot invalidate my experience. That is what is so interesting about threads like this. Is that you set out to some how invalidate my experience. That cannot be done.

people can say what ever they want it does not matter. Similarly what I say cannot invalidate some one else's experience.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram

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I believe there are justifications for it, but i don't believe it requires justification.

Why?

You tell us first why we need to justify first to begin with. As we see it there is no reason what so ever to "justify" it, what ever that means in this context.

That is why we are all saying you don't need to justify it first.

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It's obvious that I don't have to, but if I wanted to talk about alternatives... I would consider how the qualities of the Mormon test compare to the epistemic methods we know to be reliable, and those we know to be unreliable.

Well, if you aren't going to suggest a substitute, I suppose we don't have anything more to discuss.

I mean sure, we could spend hours bouncing off the walls discussing the validity of the test, but honestly if you don't have anything better to suggest, why bother?

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You tell us first why we need to justify first to begin with. As we see it there is no reason what so ever to "justify" it, what ever that means in this context.

That is why we are all saying you don't need to justify it first.

My only issue with the use of Moroni's promise it that the LDS Missionaries tell investigators that if they feel the spirit when praying about the Book of Mormon that they should extrapolate that to "The LDS Church is True". That is a little misleading. The LDS Church is not the only faith to use the BOM.

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Does Moroni's Promise require justification as a reliable epistemic test?

It is based on the assumption that the person addressed has a basic faith in God, and in His ability and willingness to answer sincere questions of the believers. That is the justification for it. If you want scriptural proof, here are some:

Matthew 7
:

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Luke 11
:

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

James 1
:

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

If it does, what is it and how do you explain the credulous, unjustified acceptance of Moroni's Promise by a significant number of Mormons?

See above. Having such a faith is neither credulous nor unjustified. On the contrary, it is the unbelieving and faithless that are condemned. You have the truth backwards.

If it does not, and you accept that blind faith and the credulous conversions of others are somehow valid, what explains the use of blind faith as conversion specifically to Mormonism?

That is what you like to call it. It shows that there is something wrong with your understanding of true Christian doctrine. I am guessing that you don’t really believe in any religion at all; or else you are pretending to. That is not the talk of someone who genuinely believes in God.

Edited by zerinus

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My only issue with the use of Moroni's promise it that the LDS Missionaries tell investigators that if they feel the spirit when praying about the Book of Mormon that they should extrapolate that to "The LDS Church is True". That is a little misleading. The LDS Church is not the only faith to use the BOM.

Not that it matters to you anyway...

I don't have much of an opinion of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I believe the LDS Church is false so I don't concern myself with how the Book of Mormon came to be.

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It isn't blind faith and it isn't a blind test. There are specific things that one must do:

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

If you aren't doing all these things then the promise is of no avail. Receiving implies that one has read the work and not with the purpose of disputing it but with the purpose of knowing if it's true.

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I mean just what I said. I don't know how I can be any clearer. I actually tested Moroni's test. How did I do that? By actually doing it.

If you don't know how to be any clearer, you should consider this a serious problem. You're missing what is meant by testing the test. I mean to critically evaluate whether the test can produce reliable results. How does simply taking the test establish this? It's very possible that the results of a unreliable test are perceived to be reliable, and therefore only taking the test and accepting its results is not good enough.

Some one else's personal experience cannot invalidate my experience. That is what is so interesting about threads like this. Is that you set out to some how invalidate my experience. That cannot be done.

people can say what ever they want it does not matter. Similarly what I say cannot invalidate some one else's experience.

Your experiences confirm to you certain beliefs, that in turn, disconfirm contradicting beliefs. Other people hold those contradicting beliefs, so from your perspective, their beliefs cannot be true, and are therefore invalidated. If their personal experience cannot be invalidated just as yours, then what justification do you have for choosing Mormons, that the other cannot use for his own faith? Because if we consider the fact that one type of justification can lead to contradicting conclusions, and one or both must be invalid, how can we know if our own justification happens to be the invalid one?

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My only issue with the use of Moroni's promise it that the LDS Missionaries tell investigators that if they feel the spirit when praying about the Book of Mormon that they should extrapolate that to "The LDS Church is True". That is a little misleading. The LDS Church is not the only faith to use the BOM.

Actually that is not true either. What we do say is to pray about the BoM and if JS is a true prophet. Most other churches that use the BoM through JS under the bus. We do not.

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You tell us first why we need to justify first to begin with. As we see it there is no reason what so ever to "justify" it, what ever that means in this context.

That is why we are all saying you don't need to justify it first.

I don't understand what you want me to explain. You want me to explain why you should justify a claim to knowledge, or why we should justify Moroni's Promise before we take the test?

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Why?

I don't see why justification is necessary. Humans make decisions without justification all the time and it doesn't say anything about whether or not their choices are valid.

So, you are saying those experiences are justification for what seems to be blind faith in Moroni's Promise? Then what justifies those experiences?

I'm saying that those experiences show that the faith being utilized isn't blind.

What about them cannot be equally applied to another faith?

As long as they were done in faith and sincerity, i think they can be equally applied to another faith.

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Well, if you aren't going to suggest a substitute, I suppose we don't have anything more to discuss.

I mean sure, we could spend hours bouncing off the walls discussing the validity of the test, but honestly if you don't have anything better to suggest, why bother?

Because if we can establish that one test that many people rely on is not actually reliable, and they're wasting their lives... that is important.

If we aren't going to suggest a substitute activity for a group of people who waste all their time stacking rocks, I suppose we don't have anything more to discuss.

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I would imagine that most people who sincerely take the test are doing so because they 1) believe that God exists because of experiences they have with Him and 2) believe He answers prayers because of experiences they've had with prayer.

I have to agree with this. Most people who put the BOM to the test are already people of faith and usually are seeking for something more. Therefore their minds and hearts will be open to receiving more and they will recognize it when they receive it.

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Because if we can establish that one test that many people rely on is not actually reliable, and they're wasting their lives... that is important.

Oh yes, of course, you're doing this because you care....

Thank you for pointing out that the test is invalid... I'll keep wasting my life the same. Thanks.

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