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I’m just wanting some dialogue on something I think about often. I’m active in the LDS church. I believe that it teaches good pronciples and I believe in Christ. I believe families are forever. What I have a hard time with is believing families are only forever IF certain rituals are done in an LDS temple. My heart and mind can’t quite wrap around any possible reason for that....but I’ve tried to have faith. The problem is; it’s the BASIS of our religion. “Families can be together forever”, and “go to the temple”  are pounded in us. But (for example) when a very righteous non LDS friend whose husband has died tells me she knows she will be with her husband again, and sees no reason why some ritual would need to be done....one that she can’t even do now until she’s dead....I tend to agree with her! Did Christ teach that at all? It seems to me that He would have taught us about sealing to a spouse, etc. if that were the bottom line. There are so many examples in life where the ideals we are taught just can’t work out. Blended families, deaths, etc. So, yeah....I do have faith that it will all work out in heaven and that maybe we just don’t have all the understanding needed. BUT shouldn’t we have a logical reason with the minds God gave us? I can’t see it. I want to but I can’t. 

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In this day and age the idea that there is truth, objective truth, is beyond the grasp of many. Instead, the masses are taught that they have their truth, subjective truth, that may be good for you, but it is not for everyone. The fundamental assumption of this philosophy is the self and satisfying its desires, wants, and passions. This is in direct conflict with the reality of God and the fact that he teaches the truth to his children.

Jesus taught that baptism was a requirement for salvation. The vast majority of Christians recognize this truth. It opens the door to required ordinances for salvation and stepping stones for Exaltation.

Your question deals directly with the ordinances of Exaltation. You seem to accept the requirement of baptism but stumble over the existence of another ordinance for Exaltation.  

I don't quite understand your statement regarding your non-LDS friend....she can't even do now until she is dead?  How is that? She can do it now while she is living. The fact that God has designed a plan that everyone will either be able to receive the ordinances of salvation and Exaltation in this life or in the next sets the restored gospel of all other teachings of other Christain denominations. Your friend seems to be saying, I want to be saved, but in only want to be saved based upon what I think and want to do rather than humbly following after the Savior.

Lastly, I have never known a teaching from God that we should understand his logic and reasoning for what he does. In fact, we can discuss numerous scriptures that teach the exact opposite - his ways are not our ways.  A foundational stone of discipleship is humility; that we will accept his will for our lives rather than our own. 

If this continues to be a problem for you then get to the temple and begin and never stop doing temple work for the dead. In this process, you will be known as a savior on Mount Zion. Many will say things - they will talk about Jesus and they will even say they have done many wonderful things in Jesus' name, and yet the Savior will say, "I never knew you...".  The lynchpin is to hear and obey

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2 hours ago, Cyclingmom said:

I’m just wanting some dialogue on something I think about often. I’m active in the LDS church. I believe that it teaches good pronciples and I believe in Christ. I believe families are forever. What I have a hard time with is believing families are only forever IF certain rituals are done in an LDS temple. My heart and mind can’t quite wrap around any possible reason for that....but I’ve tried to have faith. The problem is; it’s the BASIS of our religion. “Families can be together forever”, and “go to the temple”  are pounded in us. But (for example) when a very righteous non LDS friend whose husband has died tells me she knows she will be with her husband again, and sees no reason why some ritual would need to be done....one that she can’t even do now until she’s dead....I tend to agree with her! Did Christ teach that at all? It seems to me that He would have taught us about sealing to a spouse, etc. if that were the bottom line. There are so many examples in life where the ideals we are taught just can’t work out. Blended families, deaths, etc. So, yeah....I do have faith that it will all work out in heaven and that maybe we just don’t have all the understanding needed. BUT shouldn’t we have a logical reason with the minds God gave us? I can’t see it. I want to but I can’t. 

In the scriptures, the Lord teaches-

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

That seems very logical to me and I think this is true regardless of the topic, including eternal families.  

I've run into people who belong to Christian denominations that teach that people will not be married in Heaven and they still believe they will be with their spouse after death (even though some of them were specifically married 'until death do us part').  I think that a lot of people recognize that it would not be God's desire to split up people who love each other but they don't bother going much deeper than that.  It's kind of a 'God wouldn't do that to me" way of looking at blessings (or not getting a blessing) rather than actually studying the issue out.  But we know that simply wanting a blessing isn't what determines whether or not we will receive it.  

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There are 3 degrees in the Celestial Kingdom.  The highest of the highest (top degree) will be entered into only by those who have made serious Temple Covenants.  The purpose is to qualify for the work God is doing.  Which is to invite intelligences to become Spirit Children and to participate in the Great Plan of Happiness.  The SCOPE is far greater than merely to have our "earthly family" to be sealed together for Eternity or even to bind all the righteous generations one after another from Adam to the end of the Millenium (The House of Israel).

Those who are NOT interested in committing to that kind of work can simply occupy the lower orders.  But they will NOT have an "increase".  I suppose anyone can be free to associate with beings at their level (or lower) but will not "bear" anymore children.

D&C 131:1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;  2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];  3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.  4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

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But all people will at some point choose to accept the ordinances that have been done by proxy for them on earth.  

We don't know much about what Jesus actually taught when He was born in the meridian of time:  we have only a couple hundred pages, none of it contemporaneous with His life and all of it come down through people who may not have even known (they didn't have the internet), much less preserved biblical mention of various teachings.   We also know (presumably because we presently have the ability to make and keep records that did not exist when Christ was on the earth or even later until fairly recently) that work for the dead is one of the important duties of this dispensation (yes it IS mentioned in the bible and there are rare other Christian faiths who taught baptism for the dead).

To say that Jesus didn't teach something assumes the bible preserved everything, but we factually disavow that, and it is practically, highly unlikely.

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9 hours ago, Cyclingmom said:

.................I believe families are forever. What I have a hard time with is believing families are only forever IF certain rituals are done in an LDS temple. My heart and mind can’t quite wrap around any possible reason for that....but I’ve tried to have faith. The problem is; it’s the BASIS of our religion. “Families can be together forever”, and “go to the temple”  are pounded in us. But (for example) when a very righteous non LDS friend whose husband has died tells me she knows she will be with her husband again, and sees no reason why some ritual would need to be done....one that she can’t even do now until she’s dead....I tend to agree with her! Did Christ teach that at all? ........

 

8 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

...................................

Jesus taught that baptism was a requirement for salvation. The vast majority of Christians recognize this truth. It opens the door to required ordinances for salvation and stepping stones for Exaltation.

Your question deals directly with the ordinances of Exaltation. You seem to accept the requirement of baptism but stumble over the existence of another ordinance for Exaltation.  ........................................

Jesus insisted on being baptized by John, even though he and John both knew that he did not need baptism of repentance.  So why did he insist on it?  "To fulfill all righteousness."  In other words, the sacraments (holy acts) must be done by everyone here or hereafter.  No exceptions, and Jesus sets that example for us.  This includes marriage sealings, and all other sacraments.  A Roman Catholic instinctively understands that need, but a Protestant does not.  Seems alien to those not engaged in such practices.  How can an oath or covenant have eternal value?  Under formal priesthood supervision, they are acts done in the name of God.

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Hello Cycling Mom...

One of the things I love most about the Church is the doctrine of eternal marriage and eternal families, sealed on earth and sealed in heaven... As a widow for the past 20 years, it is comforting to me to think of my husband, to whom I'm married not just "until death do you part," but for "time and all eternity."   And my being sealed to my mom, dad, and sister as an eternal family on Oct 3, 1955 in the Salt Lake temple... I remember the feeling of kneeling together around the altar, joining hands as the sealing was performed.  I am the only one left, but I take comfort that my family is waiting for me.

My faith in these principles is strengthened by the scriptures... For instance... Matthew 16:19 where Jesus gives the Apostle Peter the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" that "whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."  This is further explained in D&C 132:45-46... "For I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.  And verily, verily I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens..."

Just as Christ bestowed power and authority or "keys" upon Peter, so he restored these in our dispensation through Joseph Smith... and why we have the temple ordinances and covenants for the sealings...  and why we do these ordinances on behalf of our departed loved ones.  And as rpn points out... our loved ones will be able to accept or refuse the proxy ordinances.  But I doubt there will be very many who do not accept them...

GG 

 

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One of my favourite ideas about the Temple comes from this article by Pres. Marion G. Romney

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/03/temples-the-gates-to-heaven?lang=eng

I like the idea of the Temple as a gate, baptism as a gate that puts us on the path that leads back to God through Christ. I like the idea of ordinances as rungs on the ladder, we all fell from the prescence of God and the atonement of Christ is the ladder and the rungs are his ordinances leading back to God. Our Stake about 10 years ago had this mission vision thing, "the Pathway back to Christ"or something, I thought it should be "the Pathway with Christ" our covenants and ordinances link us with Christ, who's other name is also known as "Immanuel" aka. "God with us". My 2 cents

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On 9/22/2018 at 9:54 AM, Cyclingmom said:

 when a very righteous non LDS friend whose husband has died tells me she knows she will be with her husband again, and sees no reason why some ritual would need to be done

I don't think there is anything in LDS theology that teaches that people won't see or be with their loved ones in the afterlife without temple ordinances. I believe Joseph Smith stated that the same sociality that exists here will exist there as well. I think temple sealings are only necessary for the "exaltation" track. God allows us to associate closely with one another on this earth without any ordinances. I don't see how that will be any different in the afterlife. Frankly, I think its petty for anyone to think that God would completely ban people from seeing their loved ones who end up in the same kingdom for rejecting LDS doctrines (they can see and be with other people, just not their spouses?) I've never read any doctrine that states that but have met people who actually believe that. 

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10 hours ago, katherine the great said:

I don't think there is anything in LDS theology that teaches that people won't see or be with their loved ones in the afterlife without temple ordinances. I believe Joseph Smith stated that the same sociality that exists here will exist there as well. I think temple sealings are only necessary for the "exaltation" track. God allows us to associate closely with one another on this earth without any ordinances. I don't see how that will be any different in the afterlife. Frankly, I think its petty for anyone to think that God would completely ban people from seeing their loved ones who end up in the same kingdom for rejecting LDS doctrines (they can see and be with other people, just not their spouses?) I've never read any doctrine that states that but have met people who actually believe that. 

I'm sure I can find quotes to the contrary, but heading to work soon so I will come back to this. Here's this one: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1979/10/the-importance-of-celestial-marriage?lang=eng

Edited by Tacenda

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5 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I'm sure I can find quotes to the contrary, but heading to work soon so I will come back to this. Here's this one: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1979/10/the-importance-of-celestial-marriage?lang=eng

Yes. President Kimball was fervent in his encouragement of temple marriage. He states:

"No one who rejects the covenant of celestial marriage can reach exaltation in the eternal kingdom of God".

I agree that this is doctrinal, hence my comment that it is only required for those on the exaltation track. If a person wishes to reach exaltation which includes having "eternal increase" (i.e.: create spirits to populate their own worlds and become gods themselves), they must be in a valid, covenant temple marriage. Everyone else with the exception of the sons of perdition will be relegated to the average protestant view of heaven: all together and serving God, but not necessarily living together in a state of matrimony as we know it here. I'm not aware of any doctrine that says that we cannot see each other and be together in heaven outside of temple marriage.

 

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23 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Yes. President Kimball was fervent in his encouragement of temple marriage. He states:

"No one who rejects the covenant of celestial marriage can reach exaltation in the eternal kingdom of God".

I agree that this is doctrinal, hence my comment that it is only required for those on the exaltation track. If a person wishes to reach exaltation which includes having "eternal increase" (i.e.: create spirits to populate their own worlds and become gods themselves), they must be in a valid, covenant temple marriage. Everyone else with the exception of the sons of perdition will be relegated to the average protestant view of heaven: all together and serving God, but not necessarily living together in a state of matrimony as we know it here. I'm not aware of any doctrine that says that we cannot see each other and be together in heaven outside of temple marriage.

 

Hello Katharine... I'm always so glad to see you here and hope this finds you well...

I'm glad for your above further clarification... that has been my understanding also... and I think it is made clear in the scriptures...

GG

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On 9/22/2018 at 9:54 AM, Cyclingmom said:

I’m just wanting some dialogue on something I think about often. I’m active in the LDS church. I believe that it teaches good pronciples and I believe in Christ. I believe families are forever. What I have a hard time with is believing families are only forever IF certain rituals are done in an LDS temple. My heart and mind can’t quite wrap around any possible reason for that....but I’ve tried to have faith. The problem is; it’s the BASIS of our religion. “Families can be together forever”, and “go to the temple”  are pounded in us. But (for example) when a very righteous non LDS friend whose husband has died tells me she knows she will be with her husband again, and sees no reason why some ritual would need to be done....one that she can’t even do now until she’s dead....I tend to agree with her! Did Christ teach that at all? It seems to me that He would have taught us about sealing to a spouse, etc. if that were the bottom line. There are so many examples in life where the ideals we are taught just can’t work out. Blended families, deaths, etc. So, yeah....I do have faith that it will all work out in heaven and that maybe we just don’t have all the understanding needed. BUT shouldn’t we have a logical reason with the minds God gave us? I can’t see it. I want to but I can’t. 

Boy...do I hear you.  Long story....but I am one who understands that it is difficult to even imagine that I would not see my husband because of temple rituals etc.  🙁 What a cruel thing that would be for so many.

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After reading Katherine's response to me above, I realized I continually forget that I've had it wrong in my mind all of these years and once again maybe did that again. So couples and families can be together without the temple? It's only when they want to increase their families in heaven? Do I have that right. Or they will not be with God if they don't get married or get endowed in the temple? I'm not sure I'm fine with that. I'm fine to just keep my earthly family and not increase it. But I'm not fine with not living with God so much. But I don't even know God. He doesn't seem to want to be in my life since day one, or has and I've not known it.

So when the church advertises families can be together forever when they marry in the temple, is that false advertising? My question is for whomever would like to answer. I know someone in the past has mentioned that we can be together but they probably mean we won't be together like we are together here on earth. That we won't be able to have love relations, avoiding the "s" word here. Is this the case? I'm sure fine with that. Here's an article from Swedenborg, of which I'm positive Joseph Smith got from it some ideas. https://leewoof.org/2017/01/29/will-happily-married-couples-be-together-in-heaven/ I have a feeling the hereafter will be totally different than earth life. But apparently our doctrine mentions worlds without end. I believe it may be like Jesus mentions in the Bible, again people will comment on this portion. But maybe what he said is just that. We'll be together but not married any longer. Since in some civil marriages they say till death do you part. Still confused thought, I found this online, I like what it said, and I'm sure if she's reading, Jeanne will too! https://billygraham.org/answer/will-we-be-reunited-with-our-loved-ones-whove-gone-to-heaven-before-us/

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42 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

After reading Katherine's response to me above, I realized I continually forget that I've had it wrong in my mind all of these years and once again maybe did that again. So couples and families can be together without the temple? It's only when they want to increase their families in heaven? Do I have that right. Or they will not be with God if they don't get married or get endowed in the temple? I'm not sure I'm fine with that. I'm fine to just keep my earthly family and not increase it. But I'm not fine with not living with God so much. But I don't even know God. He doesn't seem to want to be in my life since day one, or has and I've not known it.

So when the church advertises families can be together forever when they marry in the temple, is that false advertising? My question is for whomever would like to answer. I know someone in the past has mentioned that we can be together but they probably mean we won't be together like we are together here on earth. That we won't be able to have love relations, avoiding the "s" word here. Is this the case? I'm sure fine with that. Here's an article from Swedenborg, of which I'm positive Joseph Smith got from it some ideas. https://leewoof.org/2017/01/29/will-happily-married-couples-be-together-in-heaven/ I have a feeling the hereafter will be totally different than earth life. But apparently our doctrine mentions worlds without end. I believe it may be like Jesus mentions in the Bible, again people will comment on this portion. But maybe what he said is just that. We'll be together but not married any longer. Since in some civil marriages they say till death do you part. Still confused thought, I found this online, I like what it said, and I'm sure if she's reading, Jeanne will too! https://billygraham.org/answer/will-we-be-reunited-with-our-loved-ones-whove-gone-to-heaven-before-us/

Thank you Tacenda!!

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19 hours ago, Tacenda said:

After reading Katherine's response to me above, I realized I continually forget that I've had it wrong in my mind all of these years and once again maybe did that again. So couples and families can be together without the temple? It's only when they want to increase their families in heaven? Do I have that right. Or they will not be with God if they don't get married or get endowed in the temple? I'm not sure I'm fine with that. I'm fine to just keep my earthly family and not increase it. But I'm not fine with not living with God so much. But I don't even know God. He doesn't seem to want to be in my life since day one, or has and I've not known it.

 

Bless you Tacenda. I always love your posts. I'm basing my post on my understanding of doctrine. I've heard members here and there go off on tangents and speculation (always so, so judgmental) and I can't not roll my eyes. I don't think we can really know all the particulars of the afterlife and I feel terrible that God has abandoned you. I can't imagine how that would feel. In spite of my countless flaws, I've always felt that God is there no matter what. Maybe its more to do with genetics and personality type-I don't know. But just looking at scripture, I don't read anything that requires temple ordinances to simply see our loved ones again. Maybe through temple work for the dead there will come a time when the entire human family is simply sealed together, I don't know. (Of course being an anthropologist it makes me wonder about how far back into our fragmentary history we could possible go and how neanderthals and other species of humans fit into this...) Lots of questions and very few answers. <3

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Another thought: "till death do us part" was never meant to imply that people should accept that they will never be together again. It was simply a way announcing the intent to stay together for the rest of their lives and of allowing married people to remarry after the death of their spouse.

Edited by katherine the great
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49 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

Another thought: "till death do us part" was never meant to imply that people should accept that they will never be together again. It was simply a way announcing the intent to stay together for the rest of their lives and of allowing married people to remarry after the death of their spouse.

There are churches though which specifically teach that people will not be spouses after death. There will be no parents, no children, no relationships of any kind other than fellow follower/brother/sister in Christ, who they will recognize but nothing beyond that.

I have a couple friends who belong to such churches. One, if I’m remembering right, is seventh day Adventist’s. The other is Lutheran. 

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51 minutes ago, bluebell said:

There are churches though which specifically teach that people will not be spouses after death. There will be no parents, no children, no relationships of any kind other than fellow follower/brother/sister in Christ, who they will recognize but nothing beyond that.

I have a couple friends who belong to such churches. One, if I’m remembering right, is seventh day Adventist’s. The other is Lutheran. 

Absolutely! Most of my protestant friends believe some version of that because of Matthew 22. Although I have never heard them express that they will literally not recognize their spouse and children. 

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There is this vision that Pres. Jedediah M. Grant had and he related it to Pres. Heber C. Kimball and he shared it at Pres. Grant's funeral. It appears to have happened a week or so prior to his death. According to this it appears there is family unity among the righteous and family disunity among the unrighteous

the righteous

"I saw the order of righteous men and women; beheld them organized in their several grades, and there appeared to be no obstruction to my vision; I could see every man and woman in their grade and order. I looked to see whether there was any disorder there, but there was none; neither could I see any death nor any darkness, disorder or confusion. He said that the people he there saw were organized in family capacities;"

the unrighteous

“when I looked at families there was a deficiency in some, there was a lack, for I saw families that would not be permitted to come and dwell together, because they had not honored their calling here.”

now, I don't know what he means by "calling" as in are they unrighteous non members or unrighteous members, I have no idea!

I would imagine that the gospel is going forward there to both the righteous and unrighteous people of all churches or none at all

http://jod.mrm.org/4/135

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3 hours ago, katherine the great said:

Bless you Tacenda. I always love your posts. I'm basing my post on my understanding of doctrine. I've heard members here and there go off on tangents and speculation (always so, so judgmental) and I can't not roll my eyes. I don't think we can really know all the particulars of the afterlife and I feel terrible that God has abandoned you. I can't imagine how that would feel. In spite of my countless flaws, I've always felt that God is there no matter what. Maybe its more to do with genetics and personality type-I don't know. But just looking at scripture, I don't read anything that requires temple ordinances to simply see our loved ones again. Maybe through temple work for the dead there will come a time when the entire human family is simply sealed together, I don't know. (Of course being an anthropologist it makes me wonder about how far back into our fragmentary history we could possible go and how neanderthals and other species of humans fit into this...) Lots of questions and very few answers. ❤️

Bless you back Katherine!

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On 9/25/2018 at 1:03 AM, Tacenda said:

Here's an article from Swedenborg, of which I'm positive Joseph Smith got from it some ideas

Please note that I don't mean to sound critical of you in saying this, and it's not directed at you particularly. But I find it a bit amusing that people speak of Joseph Smith as if they believe he was a widely read scholar, that his family's bookshelves or the local lending library were simply bursting with books about the Arabian peninsula, the geography of the middle east, and had a generous selection of the works of Immanuel Swedenborg, among other things. People living in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are spoiled for choice about where to find information. It's at our fingertips all the time, and we forget that 150 years ago, especially on the frontiers of settlement, that if families had more than the Bible and the Old Farmers Almanac on their bookshelves (even assuming they had a bookshelf) they were very unusual.

Isn't it possible that Swedenborg and Smith got their information indepenently from the same source?

Edited by Stargazer
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6 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Please note that I don't mean to sound critical of you in saying this, and it's not directed at you particularly. But I find it a bit amusing that people speak of Joseph Smith as if they believe he was a widely read scholar, that his family's bookshelves or the local lending library were simply bursting with books about the Arabian peninsula, the geography of the middle east, and had a generous selection of the works of Immanuel Swedenborg, among other things. People living in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are spoiled for choice about where to find information. It's at our fingertips all the time, and we forget that 150 years ago, especially on the frontiers of settlement, that if families had more than the Bible and the Old Farmers Almanac on their bookshelves (even assuming they had a bookshelf) they were very unusual.

Isn't it possible that Swedenborg and Smith got their information indepenently from the same source?

Yes, that's possible. :)

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I am aware of several people who will be more than happy to NOT be with their dysfunctional families for eternity. Those of us who grew up with loving and caring  parents and siblings see joy in our reunion. A good chunk of humanity won't see it that way.

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      I have the popcorn out.....
       
       
       
    • By why me
      My daughter just told me about one of her mission companions who had a strong testimony has now left the church. My daughter said that when she was on her mission this missionary companion would bear her testimony with strength and conviction. But now, after her mission she has left the church. So my question is: are lds testimonies built on sand or rock? Now, when I hear testimonies, I have difficulties believing such testimonies because of the examples that I have seen about people who gave their testimonies with conviction but who have since left the church.
    • By Snoogins
      Hello, new to the boards. A little background... I no longer consider myself belonging to any religion and guess if I had to call myself anything I'd say spiritual. I've also lived in Utah all my life and was raised in a Mormon family. I still have a lot of family that is Mormon and some of my best friends are Mormon. I like to discuss religion and I'm not here to offend anyone. If I do that is not my intention. I hope I can give good conversation and something to think about from time to time as I hope to get the same out of anyone else.
      To the subject... something from my Mormon days that always bothered me from a pretty young age is about when anyone gives their testimony. Everyone who is familiar with the church knows what is generally said in most people's testimonies. The part I want to bring up is when anyone says (and everyone says this), "I know this church is true" and "I know" this and that is true. This is where the fact vs. faith part comes in. It's technically a lie and breaking a commandment to say, "I know", when it would be appropriate to say, "I believe this church is true" or "I have faith that this church is true". I realize that the Mormon religion isn't the only religion that talks in this way. I've heard pastors, priests, etc. say the same types of things. I've always felt that it's technically a lie to say that no matter how much you believe it in your heart. I'm not saying anyone is wrong for believing what they choose to believe but fact and faith are not the same thing. I think an atheist would be lying to say, "I know there is no God" no matter how much they believe it.
      Curious what others think about this. Thoughts, comments?
    • By Bill "Papa" Lee
      It is true, this is how they get you. While serving in the Army in Germany (West Germany then) I had a platoon Sargent who was an inactive Later-day Saint. I had an assignment to go out to a firing rage for a couple of weeks. So when my neighbor gave me the Book of Mormon as I was getting ready to leave, she gave me a copy. Upon receiving it in my hand (touching it) I was overcome with awe. I not no time to discuss it, but with whispered breath, I asked "what is this". I was so overcome that even if I had the time, I doubt I would have understood. In was in Jan 1979 that it was given to me. For the next four hours I drove the jeep through a blizzard. All the while my mind was on the odd book. When I arrived I took the Book to my platoon Sargent, along with many pamphlets I was given, believing them to be for him. He tried to tell me the story and raped it compleatley. 
      As I came out later than others, I was required to man the switchboard that night. Of course everyone was sleeping, so I began to read, and the Spirit of God rested upon me, in a way that I had never before experienced. I read through to the Book of Mosiah and then turned my attention to the many pamphlets I had been given. The next time I saw my wife, I told her I wanted every piece of paper printed by this Church. Little did I know for what I was asking. But digested them all, but from that first night I was a convert.
      I tell you this because, I have had two very serious brushes with death...the last one this weekend. I share this so that all might know, before I leave the board or this earth. I am a believer, and make no excuses. 
      So yes, reading the Book of Mormon can get you and is why our detractors fear us and warn others to stat away from the most precious book!
       
      Bill (Papa) Lee
      Atlanta, GA
      God bless you all, and God love you all enough to have the same experience.  
    • By Tony Frank
      Putting this out there for discussion. I know this is a long post, but I say that anyone who believes the Bible and believes in Jesus Christ, and who carefully reads this post, will know that the Bible proves the Book of Mormon is the word of God. (If you are a faithful Latter-day Saint, you will really like this post.)
       
      In the Bible, 1 John, chapter 4, we can clearly read the criteria for true prophets and false in verses 1-3:
       
      “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
       
      “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
       
      “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
       
      Now that we know God’s criteria for knowing true prophets from false prophets, let’s see if the Book of Mormon prophets confess that “Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”
       
      600 years before the coming of the Savior, a Book of Mormon prophet named Nephi wrote that the Messiah of whom the prophets had spoken was the Son of God, and he declared, “The way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world if it so be that they repent and come unto him.”
       
      Lehi, another prophet, told his son Jacob, “There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.
       
      “Wherefore, he is the firstfruits unto God, inasmuch as he shall make intercession for all the children of men; and they that believe in him shall be saved.”
       
      Nephi prophesied to his people, “Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days, he shall rise from the dead with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Wherefore, my soul delighteth to prophesy concerning him, for I have seen his day and my heart doth magnify his holy name.
       
      “For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
       
      “And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this, ye shall in nowise be cast out.”
       
      We read in the Book of Mormon that a King named Benjamin foretold the coming of the Savior about 120 years before his birth: “For behold, the time cometh and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
       
      “And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.”
       
      After King Benjamin finished his lengthy talk putting forth the precepts of eternal salvation, the people responded: “We believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also we know of their surety and truth because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil but to do good continually.”
       
      Abinadi, another prophet, testified to wicked King Noah and his priests, “I say unto you that salvation doth not come by the law alone, and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses.
       
      “For behold, did not Moses prophesy concerning the coming of the Messiah and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?
       
      “Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men and take upon him the form of man and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth?
       
      “And have they not said also that he should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead and that he, himself, should be oppressed and afflicted?
       
      “I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men and shall redeem his people.”
       
      Abinadi prophesied that the Lord would suffer temptation “and yieldeth not to the temptation but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.
       
      “And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
       
      “Even so, he shall be led, crucified, and slain.”
       
      Abinadi continued, “And thus God breaketh the bands of death, having gained the victory over death; giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men.
       
      “And now if Christ had not come into the world, speaking of things to come as though they had already come, there could have been no redemption.
       
      “And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death, that the grave should have no victory and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection.
       
      “But there is a resurrection, therefore, the grave hath no victory and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
       
      “He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless that there can be no more death.
       
      “And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?”
       
      Alma the elder, who believed the words of Abinadi, went among the people of King Noah teaching the words of Abinadi. He taught them about the resurrection of the dead and the redemption that would be brought to pass through the power, and sufferings, and death of Christ and his resurrection and ascension into heaven.
       
      In due time, Alma returned to the land of Zarahemla and organized the Church of Christ among the Nephites throughout the land, and all those who desired to take upon them the name of Christ joined themselves to the Church.
       
      Not long afterwards, the Lord spoke unto Alma these words: “Blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine.”
       
      The Lord also said to Alma, “Thou art my servant; and I covenant with thee that thou shalt have eternal life; and thou shalt serve me and go forth in my name and shalt gather together my sheep.
       
      “And he that will hear my voice shall be my sheep; and him shall ye receive into the church and him will I also receive.
       
      “For behold, this is my church; whosoever is baptized shall be baptized unto repentance. And whomsoever ye receive shall believe in my name and him will I freely forgive.
       
      “For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand.
       
      “For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me, they shall come forth and shall have a place eternally at my right hand.
       
      “And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound, then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before me. (That would include all those who have rejected the true gospel of Jesus Christ that he has restored in these latter days.)
       
      “And then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, that I am their Redeemer; but they would not be redeemed.”
       
      Alma the younger, after having gone about with the sons of Mosiah seeking to destroy the church of God, and after having had an angel appear unto him to admonish him of his iniquity, and after having been racked with the pains of eternal torment for three days, testified to the people, “I have repented of my sins and have been redeemed of the Lord; behold I am born of the Spirit.
       
      “And the Lord said unto me: Marvel not that all mankind, yea, men and women, all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, must be born again; yea, born of God, changed from their carnal and fallen state to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters;
       
      “And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.”
       
      Alma explained, “Unless this be the case, they must be cast off; and this I know, because I was like to be cast off.
       
      “Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me out of an everlasting burning, and I am born of God.
       
      “My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched and my soul is pained no more.
       
      “I rejected my Redeemer and denied that which had been spoken of by our fathers; but now that they may foresee that he will come and that he remembereth every creature of his creating, he will make himself manifest unto all.
       
      “Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.”
       
      King Lamoni, a Lamanite who found salvation thru the preaching of Ammon, proclaimed, “Behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name.”
       
      Aaron taught the Lamanites “concerning the coming of Christ, and also concerning the resurrection of the dead, and that there could be no redemption for mankind save it were through the death and sufferings of Christ and the atonement of his blood.”
       
      Aaron also expounded unto Lamoni’s father that “since man had fallen, he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins through faith and repentance and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory.”
       
      In Mormon’s narrative, he wrote, “Thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life.”
       
      Alma taught the Zoramites to “believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him to be judged at the last and judgment day.”
       
      Alma instructed his son Helaman to bring the message of salvation to the Nephites, stating, “Preach unto them repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ; teach them to humble themselves and to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
       
      Just prior to the birth of the Savior, the Lord spoke to Nephi, this Nephi being the son of Nephi, who was the son of Helaman, and the Lord said, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.”
       
      After his resurrection and ascension into Heaven, the risen Savior appeared to the Nephites and the first thing he said was: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
       
      “And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.”
       
      And after the Nephites fell to the earth in astonishment, the Savior said: “Arise and come forth unto me that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.”
       
      All of these scriptures and more are in the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon truly is a testimony of Jesus Christ written by prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ.
       
      Again, the Biblical criteria for true prophets and false prophets is in 1 John, chapter 4, verses 1-3.
       
      “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
       
      “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
       
      “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
       
      Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and believes what the Bible says will believe the Book of Mormon, and they will know that it is the word of God.
       
      Give heed to the words of Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet who wrote, “And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you with power and great glory that they are his words at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things.”
       
      If you have carefully read every word of this post, then I ask do you agree that the Bible proves the Book of Mormon is the word of God?
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