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Another Revelation Thread...this Time It's Personal

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So in light of the "Modern Revelation", "Psychic Healer", "Those Who Have Left" and "Holy Spirit" threads, I want to readdress an old topic.

 

When we are receiving what we believe to be a personal revelation (whether of the inspiration or more direct kind) how do we KNOW that it's from God?

 

I have had direct answers to my prayers, promptings, strokes of insight, even heard spoken words.  I believe they came from God.  But how can we KNOW?  If I pray to know that something I want to be right is right and I get a positive response, how can I know it's God and not me.  If I pray to know if I should do something that I don't want to and I get an answer not to do it, how can I know it's God and not me?  If I read the BOM and like it and want it to be true and then follow Moroni 10:4 how do I know the confirmation isn't just "self-fulfilling" or if I read it full of doubt and get no answer or even a bad feeling is that just self-fulfilling revelation too?

 

I know this is an old question but I would like some new opinions.  Our own emotions and thoughts are so strong and influential in our decisions and desires and God never overrides our agency.  So how do the board members know when it's from God and not from another source?

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I think this is why, even in Moroni's promise, it emphasized having "faith in Christ" to receive an answer.  Ultimately you must have faith, as there is no way to know for sure, there is always a way to rationalize away something.  

 

I think there is a difference between meditation (pondering) and prayer.  Meditation involves using parts of the brain that usually are dormant and that is why it can sometimes seem like supernatural, but can help us make decisions.  Whereas prayer is communicating with God, and sometimes we receive an immediate answer or sometimes it can take time.  I think that ultimately knowing the difference between the two comes with time and spiritual maturity.

 

Some try to say that Satan can counterfeit the feeling that come from God.  However, I think there are ways to make sure that doesn't happen.  For instance, Satan would not do things to increase a person's faith in Christ.  I think if we follow a revelation in the long-term, and it helps us and increases our faith, we know it was not from Satan but from God.  After doing this over time we come to better recognize the difference.

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I too have a hermeneutical suspicion about my own spiritual confirmations, particular if I am praying for confirmation that I should do something that I want to do. For that reason, I have much greater faith in those times when I don't get the confirmation that I want. And I have the most confidence when I get an answer that wasn't even one of the options I prayed about.

For example, if I got a job offer to work, in, say New York. I'd pray about it. If I really wanted to go and got a confirmation that I should, I wouldn't take much stock in it. In that case, I would turn to natural reason and TRY to make the best choice I could. On the other hand, if I wanted to go and I received an answer to stay, I'd most likely heed that command (after a fair amount of whining and bargaining on my part). On the other hand, if I was told to go to Cleveland, then I'm on the next flight out because I KNOW that moving to Cleveland isn't my selfish desire (or anyone else's for that matter ... rimshot).

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This is a pretty ironic thread imo.  How do you even know there IS a God for these messages to be "from"?

 

At least look at the right question.

 

If there is a god who cannot communicate there might as well not be one at all so it doesn't matter anyway

 

If we are going to doubt our doubts at least do it right.

Edited by mfbukowski

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I think this is why, even in Moroni's promise, it emphasized having "faith in Christ" to receive an answer.  Ultimately you must have faith, as there is no way to know for sure, there is always a way to rationalize away something.  

 

I think there is a difference between meditation (pondering) and prayer.  Meditation involves using parts of the brain that usually are dormant and that is why it can sometimes seem like supernatural, but can help us make decisions.  Whereas prayer is communicating with God, and sometimes we receive an immediate answer or sometimes it can take time.  I think that ultimately knowing the difference between the two comes with time and spiritual maturity.

 

Some try to say that Satan can counterfeit the feeling that come from God.  However, I think there are ways to make sure that doesn't happen.  For instance, Satan would not do things to increase a person's faith in Christ.  I think if we follow a revelation in the long-term, and it helps us and increases our faith, we know it was not from Satan but from God.  After doing this over time we come to better recognize the difference.

It makes no practical difference in my life if God "really" exists or is just in my mind.

 

It is unknowable.

 

I choose to believe and know my life is better for it.  Nothing else makes sense.  The unknowable is unknowable so why worry about it

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Give us an example of how you would KNOW anything at all. I have never been to Paris. I say I know Paris exists. How? Obviously there is a vast amount of evidence that there is such a place as Paris ,ie. photos, movies, testimonies of others , etc. At what point do I accept the reality of Paris? There are , however, at least 2 places called Paris( more like 20) and I have personally seen neither of them. Does the second Paris not exist because there is much less evidence in my experience for it? At what point do I accept the reality of the second Paris?

Edited by strappinglad

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You might as well ask how we know if the ideas we get are good ideas or bad ideas.

Basic principle #X: good ideas are derived from God, and bad/evil ideas are derived from Satan.

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I know God lives because of all the incredible creations...

Today I learned polar bears have webbed feet to swim with, and can smell it's prey, like seals, 20 miles away and that is just one example out of millions of creations that God helps survive. Evolution with lots of help. I've met God through this and that, and you and you...

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I know God lives because of all the incredible creations...

Today I learned polar bears have webbed feet to swim with, and can smell it's prey, like seals, 20 miles away and that is just one example out of millions of creations that God helps survive. Evolution with lots of help. I've met God through this and that, and you and you...

 

And this enables polar bears to eat baby seals. Why do you hate baby seals? ;)

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And this enables polar bears to eat baby seals. Why do you hate baby seals? ;)

That part sucks, good catch Nehor, the students at school didn't like it either

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For the record, I am as certain that God is real as I can be that Paris or Antarctica exists.  But certainty is not immune to error.

 

It's kind of like doubting if  I am dreaming or awake.  I can play that game but I don't worry about it in real life.  It's irrelevant to the reality I live every day in which I act on reality as I experience it.

 

I never ask if I am certain I am hungry or just imagining it.  What would it mean to wonder if murder was "really" wrong or if I was imagining it?

 

Can you imagine that you love your wife but are mistaken?  I see that as being about identical to doubting God's messages.  They are as real to me as my love for my wife.

Edited by mfbukowski

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Q. What testimony have men, in the first instance, that there is a God?

A. Human testimony, and human testimony only. (2:56. )

Q. What excited the ancient saints to seek diligently after a knowledge of the glory of God, his perfections and attributes?

A. The credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers. (2:56.)

Q. How do men obtain a knowledge of the glory of God, his perfections and attributes?

A. By devoting themselves to his service, through prayer and supplication incessantly, strengthening their faith in him, until like Enoch, the brother of Jared, and Moses, they obtain a manifestation of God to themselves. (2:55.)

Q. Is the knowledge of the existence of God a matter of mere tradition, founded upon human testimony alone, until a person receives a manifestation of God to themselves?

A. It is.

One of my favorite teachings from the lectures on faith

Edited by Coreyb

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It's like, Duh!

Beautifully simple and obvious to anyone who will just take the time to think about it.

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I find that this question is what several educated people stumble over. If there is truth in the world it must be relative or everyone would follow or know the same truth. How can I know truth if another also knows truth?  How does Jesus save me and not the individual in (pick a place)?

 

It does not matter how many burning bushes, visions, visitations, or simple communication from the Holy Spirit, humanity can find a way to walk away, to doubt, and/or abandon that which they know to be true.  I do think it is harder to walk away from a testimony obtained through the Holy Spirit than actually "seeing" things.  After all, the early apostles walked away from Jesus after being with him for three years; it was the Comforter that strengthened them to stand against the persecution and inspired them to teach and guide the people.  

 

I know the guidance of the Holy Spirit; it is unmistakable and I recognize it when I feel he presence. There are those who will argue with themselves and say it was just a warm-fuzzy. I have never confused the Holy Spirit with a good feeling I got from reading a book or watching a movie or from being with friends. There is a difference.  There is no use demanding that God re-testify repeatedly to that which he has already revealed to you. At some point he will smack you up side the head and say, "I have already told you that" and get busy with being obedient.  I know this by sad experience. 

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So in light of the "Modern Revelation", "Psychic Healer", "Those Who Have Left" and "Holy Spirit" threads, I want to readdress an old topic.

 

When we are receiving what we believe to be a personal revelation (whether of the inspiration or more direct kind) how do we KNOW that it's from God?

 

I have had direct answers to my prayers, promptings, strokes of insight, even heard spoken words.  I believe they came from God.  But how can we KNOW?  If I pray to know that something I want to be right is right and I get a positive response, how can I know it's God and not me.  If I pray to know if I should do something that I don't want to and I get an answer not to do it, how can I know it's God and not me?  If I read the BOM and like it and want it to be true and then follow Moroni 10:4 how do I know the confirmation isn't just "self-fulfilling" or if I read it full of doubt and get no answer or even a bad feeling is that just self-fulfilling revelation too?

 

I know this is an old question but I would like some new opinions.  Our own emotions and thoughts are so strong and influential in our decisions and desires and God never overrides our agency.  So how do the board members know when it's from God and not from another source?

It is a conclusion that one has to come to by himself.

I prayed to God and got an answer, thus my conclusion that the answer was from God. Ever since then, I realize more and more that He has always answered my need even when I wasn’t aware of it and didn’t ask.

If find the following to be an incorrect premise in light of D&C 88:40: “Our own emotions and thoughts are so strong and influential in our decisions and desires and God never overrides our agency.”

The true premise is that “intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own…” Whenever we exhibit a particle of these, God blesses us in return. A particle of faith is all it takes to get the process going, which leads to the connection between exercising faith and then knowing (per Alma 32).

Then we have the fruit(s) upon which we can base our conclusion (Alma 32:37-43).

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I think it helps to just stick to basic principles, like good thoughts are derived from God and bad/evil thoughts (the opposites of good thoughts) are derived from Satan (the opposite/mirror image of God). So if we think we get a good thought or idea and we later find out it was a bad/evil idea the thought/idea was from Satan instead of from God because God is the one who gives us the good ideas, whether God gives them to us directly or through someone who is just passing along a message/thought/idea that person got from God. So all we really need to have or get is knowledge of good and evil.

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God and Satan heaven and hell are within us. How can you mistake what you are feeling ?

 

By over thinking it.

 

Your reality is inside YOU.  Who else is it who knows what you know or doubts what you doubt?

 

Your attitude toward reality IS reality for all you know.

Edited by mfbukowski

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I think it helps to just stick to basic principles, like good thoughts are derived from God and bad/evil thoughts (the opposites of good thoughts) are derived from Satan (the opposite/mirror image of God). So if we think we get a good thought or idea and we later find out it was a bad/evil idea the thought/idea was from Satan instead of from God because God is the one who gives us the good ideas, whether God gives them to us directly or through someone who is just passing along a message/thought/idea that person got from God. So all we really need to have or get is knowledge of good and evil.

 

I like to think my good thoughts and my bad thoughts are my own. It certainly seems that way. 

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I like to think my good thoughts and my bad thoughts are my own. It certainly seems that way.

Thoughts that come to your mind become your own thoughts when you accept them, but you don't automatically accept every thought that comes to your mind. So consider the thought that God has been sharing good thoughts and Satan has been sharing bad/evil thoughts with people before you were born on this planet and let me know if that thought is a thought you accept as your own now.

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So in light of the "Modern Revelation", "Psychic Healer", "Those Who Have Left" and "Holy Spirit" threads, I want to readdress an old topic.

 

When we are receiving what we believe to be a personal revelation (whether of the inspiration or more direct kind) how do we KNOW that it's from God?

 

I have had direct answers to my prayers, promptings, strokes of insight, even heard spoken words.  I believe they came from God.  But how can we KNOW?  If I pray to know that something I want to be right is right and I get a positive response, how can I know it's God and not me.  If I pray to know if I should do something that I don't want to and I get an answer not to do it, how can I know it's God and not me?  If I read the BOM and like it and want it to be true and then follow Moroni 10:4 how do I know the confirmation isn't just "self-fulfilling" or if I read it full of doubt and get no answer or even a bad feeling is that just self-fulfilling revelation too?

 

I know this is an old question but I would like some new opinions.  Our own emotions and thoughts are so strong and influential in our decisions and desires and God never overrides our agency.  So how do the board members know when it's from God and not from another source?

I have received many, click on my link and see all poems by William E Lee...for good or I'll they are my revelations. I can hardly write a well worded sentence except when writing his words too me.

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God and Satan heaven and hell are within us. How can you mistake what you are feeling ?

 

By over thinking it.

 

Your reality is inside YOU.  Who else is it who knows what you know or doubts what you doubt?

 

Your attitude toward reality IS reality for all you know.

 

Sometimes you are such a hippie :P

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Thoughts that come to your mind become your own thoughts when you accept them, but you don't automatically accept every thought that comes to your mind. So consider the thought that God has been sharing good thoughts and Satan has been sharing bad/evil thoughts with people before you were born on this planet and let me know if that thought is a thought you accept as your own now.

 

I'm not sure God or Satan are telepathically beaming all my thoughts into my brain, and my only contribution is whether I accept God's messages or Satan's messages. Seems like a waste of all the computational power I have in my head.

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My experience has taught me that personal revelation is not about concreteness. Revelations that are concrete don't seem to be reliable.  I used to pray and whatever notion came into my head I called revelation, but I don't think that's how it works. I don't think you can get a revelation about something you don't already know at some level - for example, predicting the future, or telling you what the afterlife will be like. I don't think that sort of revelation exists for anyone, but I could be wrong.

 

For me the purpose of what I'll call inspiration or communing with the divine (or if you like, feeling the Spirit) is to put us in a place where we can become more loving, where we can be more accepting of others, where we can have more forgiveness in our hearts. Less of a downloading of literal information and more about becoming one. Revelation seems to me to be about  personal transformation. 

Edited by Gray

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Sometimes you are such a hippie :P

Yah I know, man.  Like wow dude.

 

I have thought about that post and how some will now be positive I am some kind of atheist, but the more I think about it the more I like it.

 

I am becoming convinced that religious belief- (even wrong beliefs like yours  ;) ) are more a "Way of Life" than anything else- a way of Being in the world, for those who like Heidegger.   They are not beliefs really, like a belief in Santa Claus who might or might not "really exist" but are more a way of life.  If you suddenly do not believe in the "truth claims" - whatever those are supposed to be- of your faith, you are just as likely I think to find another path toward God as to become an atheist.

 

Christ said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" and I am wondering if we should almost take that literally.  God has decided to make his existence "non-factual" in the usual scientific sense of "facts" (and in the sense Nietzsche meant in saying there are no "facts") and has indeed taught us ways of life and modes of understanding truth which fit with those ways of life.

 

So the certainty we have about the existence of God is as much a certainty about a way of life- that it is pragmatically the best way to live.  I suppose some are based in the positivistic view that God does not "exist" in a scientifically verifiable way- those are the guys like Dawkins who just plain don't get it.  They are stuck in a dualistic way to seeing things- there are outside things mirrored in our minds somehow magically, either accurately or inaccurately. 

 

Christ IS the "path" or "way" of life TO a life of happiness joy and peace.  Understanding the truth of that requires a non-dualistic way of seeing truth- a truth which does not need a world split between reality and our experience of it.  Phenomenology and Pragmatism philosophically present that path.

 

I am getting convinced that you either see it this way or you don't.  I see it here all the time- there are those who get this and those who just plain don't and never will.  They are stuck in dualism and cannot get out of it.  And there are those who intuitively know there is a problem and see a "conflict" between science and religion and continually try to resolve it when there is nothing to resolve except by seeing it as a non-problem.

 

Oh well just ramblings of a hippie -  ;)

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