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Navidad

Makes Me Proud to be a Mennonite!

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

I love this story, I would love to one day meet a Mennonite. My friend's parents own a cabin at Henry's Lake in Idaho and they said they love to visit with the Mennonites in the area because they are such good people. I guess there are quite a few there. Made me wonder if you were in this area or not.

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   I love the sentiments and the efforts by those gracious Mennonites. But if a crazed person with a gun or bomb had shown up, the reality is that many of them would be dead also.

Glenn

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

I love this story, I would love to one day meet a Mennonite. My friend's parents own a cabin at Henry's Lake in Idaho and they said they love to visit with the Mennonites in the area because they are such good people. I guess there are quite a few there. Made me wonder if you were in this area or not.

No, I live down in Mexico near the historic Mormon colonies. I was in Boise this year though, for the annual Mormon History Conference. I had a wonderful breakfast at a restaurant called "Bacon." I love bacon!

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19 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I love this story, I would love to one day meet a Mennonite. My friend's parents own a cabin at Henry's Lake in Idaho and they said they love to visit with the Mennonites in the area because they are such good people. I guess there are quite a few there. Made me wonder if you were in this area or not.

We had a lot of mennonites in Montana where I lived for a while.  I never got to know any but it was fun to see them out and about with their families.  

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22 hours ago, Glenn101 said:

   I love the sentiments and the efforts by those gracious Mennonites. But if a crazed person with a gun or bomb had shown up, the reality is that many of them would be dead also.

Glenn

The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a bomb is a good guy with a bomb.

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On 11/10/2018 at 3:55 PM, Glenn101 said:

   I love the sentiments and the efforts by those gracious Mennonites. But if a crazed person with a gun or bomb had shown up, the reality is that many of them would be dead also.

Glenn

Ghandi would approve.

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On 11/10/2018 at 3:06 PM, Tacenda said:

I love this story, I would love to one day meet a Mennonite. My friend's parents own a cabin at Henry's Lake in Idaho and they said they love to visit with the Mennonites in the area because they are such good people. I guess there are quite a few there. Made me wonder if you were in this area or not.

Fathers side came from Mennonite stock, PA dutch too.  They produced top notch people up till the last generation, now the younger ones are like many of the other people here, entitled trash people.

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On 11/10/2018 at 3:55 PM, Glenn101 said:

   I love the sentiments and the efforts by those gracious Mennonites. But if a crazed person with a gun or bomb had shown up, the reality is that many of them would be dead also.

Glenn

You are right. It is an important part of our heritage that thousands of us were martyred for our beliefs and in serving and protecting others. Many such accounts from WWII

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2 hours ago, poptart said:

Fathers side came from Mennonite stock, PA dutch too.  They produced top notch people up till the last generation, now the younger ones are like many of the other people here, entitled trash people.

Wow! Why don't you tell us what you really think!

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8 hours ago, Navidad said:

Wow! Why don't you tell us what you really think!

It's sad, 3 or so generations ago they all survived the depression by living on a block in illonois.  They took care of each other and everyone was ok.  By that time they weren't mennonite anymore but the family values were still there.  My father was a mean, violent drunk who almost murdered my mom and with my uncle passing there went the last German speaker.  My Aunt has had to tolorate disrespectful nonsense from an ungrateful grand daughter, had a child with someone she had co-habited with and now has to watch the rest of them act like the majority of people here.  She's fortunate, her sons look out for her despite the ingrate grand children but now the stress is catching up.  I see that all the time and it makes me sick, people are fortunate to come from a good family, develop an entitlement complex and just ruin it for everyone. 

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On 11/12/2018 at 9:36 AM, poptart said:

Fathers side came from Mennonite stock, PA dutch too.  They produced top notch people up till the last generation, now the younger ones are like many of the other people here, entitled trash people.

Isaiah said "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."  Isaiah 64:6

Today, in America at least, we live in a world with forces arrayed against good people, particularly youth, as never before.  The technology-- the education system-- the entertainment industry-- advertising-- government legislation.  Everything seems combined to first destroy the individual, then the family today.  Youth are prevented from learning responsibility through a job.  Families are overwhelmed in debt.  Who has time for family relationships or friendships?  The family is in a spiral.  We see it in the Church.  

I'm glad for the era in which I was raised.  We didn't have these soul destroying distractions.  

Good people like the Mennonites, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholics and probably most religions on this board do make a big difference in the world reaching out to "trash people," as you call them.

We homeschooled our children for 7 years with a wonderful Mennonite curriculum called Christian Light.  For a relatively small denomination, the Mennonites do a tremendous amount of good in the world.  And they, like many followers of Christ, will help anyone in need.  If I were Navidad, I'd be proud too.

Edited by Meerkat
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16 minutes ago, Meerkat said:

Today, we live in a world with forces arrayed against good people, particularly youth, as never before. 

I think on measurement of what's worse depends on how and where and what is being measured.  For example, I think industrialization prior to child labour laws was pretty soul destroying for many youth (see breaker boys:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaker_boy ) and even today there are areas that have massive numbers of children working in jobs detrimental to their health:

https://data.unicef.org/topic/child-protection/child-labour/

 

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I think what makes a significant difference is that issues aren't limited to a particular type of community (children on farms may have had to work, but had healthier lifestyles to miners for instance and likely didn't live in crowded areas where things like prostitution and alcoholism was constantly in their faces).  Nowadays messages for all types of moral or immoral choices are visible, constantly visible if desired through TV, etc. and internet and this is global, not isolated.

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4 hours ago, Meerkat said:

Isaiah said "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."  Isaiah 64:6

Today, we live in a world with forces arrayed against good people, particularly youth, as never before.  The technology-- the education system-- the entertainment industry-- advertising-- government legislation.  Everything seems combined to first destroy the individual, then the family today.  Youth are prevented from learning responsibility through a job.  Families are overwhelmed in debt.  Who has time for family relationships or friendships?  The family is in a spiral.  We see it in the Church.  

I'm glad for the era in which I was raised.  We didn't have the soul destroying distractions.  

Good people like the Mennonites, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Catholics and probably most religions on this board do make a big difference in the world reaching out to "trash people," as you call them.

We homeschooled our children for 7 years with a wonderful Mennonite curriculum called Christian Light.  For a relatively small denomination, the Mennonites do a tremendous amount of good in the world.  And they, like don't care who they are helping.  If I was Navidad, I'd be proud too.

I know people who have devoted their lives to their families and modeled their careers to make it happen.  Besides their day jobs most of their income is passive.  I get you, times are really rough and yeah, it does suck for the involved parties.  In my case, they have no excuse.  They literally had everything handed to them and they not only had the nerve to insult the family matriarch, they took having people who were literally a combination of Jesus and Thor in human form for granted, to someone like me who's life growing up was pure hell that's unforgivable, they deserve their misery.  In my Uncles case he was not particularly religious but he assimilated into a religious family line all for the sake of his children and his thanks was ungrateful grandchildren who just shot their mouths off. 

 

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

I think what makes a significant difference is that issues aren't limited to a particular type of community (children on farms may have had to work, but had healthier lifestyles to miners for instance and likely didn't live in crowded areas where things like prostitution and alcoholism was constantly in their faces).  Nowadays messages for all types of moral or immoral choices are visible, constantly visible if desired through TV, etc. and internet and this is global, not isolated.

Pretty much.  I like the idea of getting kids in sports, that's what mom did and most of the sucessful parents I knew did as well.  Knew a cardiologist who graduated from Harvard who was on their fencing team, was Chinese american and married a Japanese national who was a Biochem major.  Big suprise, two out of the three sons fenced as well, the oldest is now fencing for Harvard and will either go the engineering or medical route like his father.  Sports are an amazing thing as far as combating degeneracy goes.

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12 hours ago, poptart said:

I know people who have devoted their lives to their families and modeled their careers to make it happen.  Besides their day jobs most of their income is passive.  I get you, times are really rough and yeah, it does suck for the involved parties.  In my case, they have no excuse.  They literally had everything handed to them and they not only had the nerve to insult the family matriarch, they took having people who were literally a combination of Jesus and Thor in human form for granted, to someone like me who's life growing up was pure hell that's unforgivable, they deserve their misery.  In my Uncles case he was not particularly religious but he assimilated into a religious family line all for the sake of his children and his thanks was ungrateful grandchildren who just shot their mouths off. 

From these comments and earlier ones, it's sad and tragic that you had to endure what you did. It sounds like you didn't get a chance to be a kid and enjoy your childhood years. I can see it would be hard to forgive those people who should have known better and looked out for you, rather than persecuting you.  

You have a lot in common with the early Latter-day Saints.  They were persecuted and driven mercilessly from homes and cities they built with their own hands.  They were driven in the dead of winter, burying loved ones along the way.  Their plight was like that of the Savior, who Isaiah said was "...despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

I think, dealing with tragedies like that, it can be helpful to be philosophical.  "Jesus was persecuted.  Am I better that He?"  If any of us are going to follow Him, part of our lives (or much,) will involve walking in His shoes.

Responding in a class to one who criticized one of the leaders of the ill fated Martin handcart company, a member of that company said:

"Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.
            “‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’” He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
            “‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’”

When I think of my disappointments, small by comparison to yours, the scriptures give me comfort and encouragement.  I see the examples of Adam and Eve who walked and talked with God face to face in the Garden.  When they were cast out, and a barrier placed between them and God, what did they do?  In their desperation, they built an alter to reach out to God.

When Job had lost everything and was covered with boils, what did he say? "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

What probably brings me the most comfort, that I have lived long enough to see occur multiple times in my life, is this verse from Joel 2:25: "...I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..."

May the Lord bless you Poptart, and give you the comfort and peace that was taken from you and that you deserve.  You are a good man.

Edited by Meerkat

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I am glad to see this thread is still being followed. As the OP, I noted I was proud to be a Mennonite. I still am (Mennonite and proud - in a humble kind of way, of course). I am also proud, that with my wife, we have been attending a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for well over a year. It has been a blessing and has been very hard, both at the same time. You see, blessings and difficulties/challenges/pain are not exclusive in their character. Pretty soon we will have to make a choice as to whether or not to continue our attendance there. We often come home discouraged and feeling less-than. That isn't how you should come home from church. We love the fellowship. The people are so kind to us personally. We are active and involved. Aside from temple activities we minister, mow, vacuum, give (projects - not tithes), and participate as we are allowed and have opportunity. We have certainly not been "despised and rejected," but we have known grief and sorrow. The people of the ward have been wonderful, the doctrine of the Church is exclusive and arrogant, something that is very foreign to Mennonites. Not whining, or complaining. It is our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit to attend the ward. It is also our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit not to be baptized again. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a wonderful, complex, and thoroughly Christian organization. It just doesn't seem to know what to do with folks like us. It is hard for me not to draw a comparison with the Mormons in Missouri, but that will just alienate many of you, and I have no desire to do that.

Joseph Smith, in one of his letters from the Liberty jail, termed the Missourians "wimbling willows." I think that is a curious and meaningful appellation - there has to be a book title in there somewhere. You see we live within yards of a natural river which forms the border for 900 feet of our property. It has willows on both side of its banks. I often sit on our patio, watching the willow branches "wimble" in the water. I am not sure, if in our ward, we are the wimbling willows as the non-members who sometimes disturb the waters, or the members are the wimbling willows, not sure which way to go with us. Maybe, as in most cases, it is both.  I rarely post here anymore. I have disturbed the waters of this forum enough times in the past, and I regret much of what has been said. I no longer wish to stir the waters. A large majority of you have been very kind to me. I value and appreciate that. We have investigated, instigated, and alligated enough - ha! too much is probably more like it. You are all good folks - not just as my brothers and sisters in Christ, but as my fellow Christians. Blessings on you all. 

 

Wimbling Willows.jpg

Edited by Navidad

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3 hours ago, Meerkat said:

From these comments and earlier ones, it's sad and tragic that you had to endure what you did. It sounds like you didn't get a chance to be a kid and enjoy your childhood years. I can see it would be hard to forgive those people who should have known better and looked out for you, rather than persecuting you.  

You have a lot in common with the early Latter-day Saints.  They were persecuted and driven mercilessly from homes and cities they built with their own hands.  They were driven in the dead of winter, burying loved ones along the way.  Their plight was like that of the Savior, who Isaiah said was "...despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

I think, dealing with tragedies like that, it can be helpful to be philosophical.  "Jesus was persecuted.  Am I better that He?"  If any of us are going to follow Him, part of our lives (or much,) will involve walking in His shoes.

Responding in a class to one who criticized one of the leaders of the ill fated Martin handcart company, a member of that company said:

"Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes. But I was in that company and my wife was in it and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Not one of that company ever apostatized or left the Church, because everyone of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with him in our extremities.
            “‘I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it.’” He continues: “‘I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the angels of God were there.
            “‘Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company.’”

When I think of my disappointments, small by comparison to yours, the scriptures give me comfort and encouragement.  I see the examples of Adam and Eve who walked and talked with God face to face in the Garden.  When they were cast out, and a barrier placed between them and God, what did they do?  In their desperation, they built an alter to reach out to God.

When Job had lost everything and was covered with boils, what did he say? "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

What probably brings me the most comfort, that I have lived long enough to see occur multiple times in my life, is this verse from Joel 2:25: "...I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten..."

May the Lord bless you Poptart, and give you the comfort and peace that was taken from you and that you deserve.  You are a good man.

While the bible is an interesting book of alegories I don't believe in Christ the same way you do, i do not believe in his divinity.  Also, that was one of the biggest insults I would always hear.  yeah, my suffering is small compared to your but Jesus died for us!  Repent, be our beast of burden and give us our money!  If you stay poor it's because our God dislikes you, God bless!

That was something that always annoyed me about the bible, Yahweh is so unbelievably spiteful it's disgusting.  Only thing that made him look tame were the Jews of the old testament.  While Americans love to spam the LGBT community with sodom and gomorah they always leave out the part where they were uncharitable.  Big suprise they've lost so many people as of late, I really do think younger people especially men have had it with the spitefulness, the meanness, the hypocracy and the overall horrible behavior of US Christian population in general.  I'm waiting for them to finally make someone like Antifa mad to the point where they show up at a major house of worship and give everyone a real run for the money.  When I left WA state I sure got to see it, some of em are pretty scary.  Worst part is how liberal politicans let them get away with it  I pm'd you the vid, won't post it here.  Thing I'd keep in mind is there are a lot of very angry people in that part of the county who've been displaced by gentrification and entitlement.  Will never forget hearing from Christians LDS and non LDS I was poor because I had offended God, they would not help me.  Guilt by association is a thing, sucky as it is, hey that's life and a lot of these people hate you and well, your outnumbered.  I followed this closely, this guy was defending himself and shot no one, if he had not had that firearm those thugs would have rushed him and probably killed him.  Thing most people don't understand is a lot of these thugs are felons and have nothing to lose, that and the courts don't really want to deal with them, they're overloaded as it is.  I'm just waiting for someone to open their mouth about the LGBT community or some other oppressed group and really stir up the hornets next, won't be so funny when they show up at some megachurch on a sunday morning when everyones families are there.  Have to say, from my viewpoint they would deserve it, they made the bad karmic action, they get to reap the karmic affects.  This is also why I ultimatly said no to Christianity, esp. as it is here in the states, while there are good people like you and well, pretty much everyone I know on this board your religion is just loaded with a bunch of entitled bigots who've done nothing but make the poorer majority just hate them for being alive.  Have to admit, will chuckle a bit when this happens, karma applies to us all, be us mortal or a god, even the Buddha himself was subject to the laws of the universe.  It's because of how I was treated I re-connected with buddhism and at this point, may take the big step and take laypersons vows and go all out.  At least they're honest and disciplined, when a religion turns out that much entitled garbage and is the subject of assaults, it's time to take a look at the people and take responsibility for their behavior.

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21 hours ago, Navidad said:

I am glad to see this thread is still being followed. As the OP, I noted I was proud to be a Mennonite. I still am (Mennonite and proud - in a humble kind of way, of course). I am also proud, that with my wife, we have been attending a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for well over a year. It has been a blessing and has been very hard, both at the same time. You see, blessings and difficulties/challenges/pain are not exclusive in their character. Pretty soon we will have to make a choice as to whether or not to continue our attendance there. We often come home discouraged and feeling less-than. That isn't how you should come home from church. We love the fellowship. The people are so kind to us personally. We are active and involved. Aside from temple activities we minister, mow, vacuum, give (projects - not tithes), and participate as we are allowed and have opportunity. We have certainly not been "despised and rejected," but we have known grief and sorrow. The people of the ward have been wonderful, the doctrine of the Church is exclusive and arrogant, something that is very foreign to Mennonites. Not whining, or complaining. It is our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit to attend the ward. It is also our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit not to be baptized again. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a wonderful, complex, and thoroughly Christian organization. It just doesn't seem to know what to do with folks like us. It is hard for me not to draw a comparison with the Mormons in Missouri, but that will just alienate many of you, and I have no desire to do that.

Joseph Smith, in one of his letters from the Liberty jail, termed the Missourians "wimbling willows." I think that is a curious and meaningful appellation - there has to be a book title in there somewhere. You see we live within yards of a natural river which forms the border for 900 feet of our property. It has willows on both side of its banks. I often sit on our patio, watching the willow branches "wimble" in the water. I am not sure, if in our ward, we are the wimbling willows as the non-members who sometimes disturb the waters, or the members are the wimbling willows, not sure which way to go with us. Maybe, as in most cases, it is both.  I rarely post here anymore. I have disturbed the waters of this forum enough times in the past, and I regret much of what has been said. I no longer wish to stir the waters. A large majority of you have been very kind to me. I value and appreciate that. We have investigated, instigated, and alligated enough - ha! too much is probably more like it. You are all good folks - not just as my brothers and sisters in Christ, but as my fellow Christians. Blessings on you all. 

 

Wimbling Willows.jpg

Beautiful picture.

I'm having a hard time understanding your post. You really like your ward and the people, but you come home feeling less than? How can people so kind be arrogant and exclusive? Are you saying they don't live the doctrine? Is it possible that maybe you are missing something in your understanding in the doctrine that leads you to the conclusion it is arrogant and exclusive?  

I ask this sincerely, but I understand why it might not come across that way. I have not liked the way you have been treated here by some. I think their experiences and feelings of being attacked have caused them to misunderstand where you were coming from. I'm really sorry about that. 

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4 hours ago, Rain said:

Beautiful picture.

I'm having a hard time understanding your post. You really like your ward and the people, but you come home feeling less than? How can people so kind be arrogant and exclusive? Are you saying they don't live the doctrine? Is it possible that maybe you are missing something in your understanding in the doctrine that leads you to the conclusion it is arrogant and exclusive?  

I ask this sincerely, but I understand why it might not come across that way. I have not liked the way you have been treated here by some. I think their experiences and feelings of being attacked have caused them to misunderstand where you were coming from. I'm really sorry about that. 

Hi Rain: Thanks for your comment - you have always been very kind. I understand how my post can be confusing. It is confusing for us. I never meant to imply that the folks in our ward are arrogant and exclusive. They are not; in fact they are the opposite. That is where it gets complicated and sad. It is often said that we don't understand the doctrine well enough and that is why we struggle. Then after a 20 minute discussion our LDS friends inevitably say, "Well yes, that is what we believe, but we never thought about it being offensive to others. We now can understand why you feel less than, but we believe what we believe and we don't see our beliefs as offensive, but you have helped us to see it from a different perspective. We love you both and so sorry for the pain our doctrine is causing you." Ninety-five percent of the time that is how it goes. The other five percent of the times the conversations end with the "Yeh, did you hear the one about the fellow who died and went to heaven and was told by St. Peter to be quiet because the Mormons are right over there and they think they are the only ones here?" They tell the joke to lighten the situation, but it seems that we all leave the conversation with a sigh. 

Bottom line, my wife and are 70 years old, have been married 48 years, have dedicated our lives to ministry and service to Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have been baptized by immersion, and have lived our lives in as faithful a manner as we are able (and maybe just a little bit more). We believe with all our hearts that our Latter-day Saint Christian brothers and sisters are as Christian as we are. We have suffered within our own families and circle of Christian friends for that belief. Yet . . . when in the ward we study the Kingdom of God (current and future) as described in Daniel, we are assured that only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in the Kingdom of God. We study that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the the only true and living church. All others, according to III Nephi 27 are the works of men or the works of the devil. Try that on for making non-members feel less than. We are assured that only baptism for the forgiveness of sins administered by a LDS priesthood holder is valid in the eyes of God. All other baptisms by all others in authority in all other churches are invalid. I know of no other Christian group that teaches that any more. We are supposed to be comforted that we will have another chance for Mormon ordinances in the spirit world. That is more than fair, right? No, it is the same thing as believing it is the only valid ordinance here on earth. Last Sunday we were told by an older gentleman that he takes great comfort in knowing his marriage to his wife was an ordinance approved by God. When I commented that for Mennonites, marriage is also an ordinance, one of five in our church and is a very sacred event, the older gentleman said, "I didn't know that, but it still isn't an ordinance with authority." Eternal life? We studied the GC talk this past Sunday in which he mentioned "eternal life." It is clear that what is meant by that is that access for eternity to the practice of the presence of Christ and Heavenly Father is very limited and restricted. We are assured that is fair because even many, probably most Mormons won't make it there. So we will spend forever with unworthy Mormons outside of the presence of Christ and Heavenly Father, no matter how faithful we have lived!   Sigh! I could go on and on with examples, but I won't.

So, we still have an assurance about our LDS friends being Christians without needing any conversion or additional ordinances than what they already have. LDS doctrine keeps the faithful from saying the same about us. As a historian of the Saints, I think I understand how the single story of innocent persecution has helped shape the exclusive parts of LDS doctrine. Before 2018 that was just something I knew from a distance. I kept telling myself, "They really no kidding can't and don't believe that the 99.6% of Christians who are not LDS have a gospel that is of men or of the devil. But now, I have been confronted regularly with that very same belief. I personally have come to the conclusion that it makes God cry for one of the branches of His tree of life to hold such a view.

So, we are soon faced with a decision. Our bishop, one of the Godliest men, I have ever met and his wife asked to see us last week. We were so nervous about their visit. We were sure he was going to tell us it might be better if we stopped coming. We can feel that some folks (teachers, especially) are uncomfortable discussing the more exclusive LDS doctrines with us sitting there. But . . . he didn't say that. He just wanted to see how we were doing. That was very kind. Let me reiterate - the folks have been wonderful. Thanks so much for reading this missive. It is hard for us to know where to turn. We believe God has something for us to learn in this trial. We are open to that. It just gets a bit sadder each week when we get in the car after services to drive home with a lump in our respective throats. Oh, and I am glad you liked the photo. We live in a little bit of paradise with 900 feet on a lovely river. 

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

Hi Rain: Thanks for your comment - you have always been very kind. I understand how my post can be confusing. It is confusing for us. I never meant to imply that the folks in our ward are arrogant and exclusive. They are not; in fact they are the opposite. That is where it gets complicated and sad. It is often said that we don't understand the doctrine well enough and that is why we struggle. Then after a 20 minute discussion our LDS friends inevitably say, "Well yes, that is what we believe, but we never thought about it being offensive to others. We now can understand why you feel less than, but we believe what we believe and we don't see our beliefs as offensive, but you have helped us to see it from a different perspective. We love you both and so sorry for the pain our doctrine is causing you." Ninety-five percent of the time that is how it goes. The other five percent of the times the conversations end with the "Yeh, did you hear the one about the fellow who died and went to heaven and was told by St. Peter to be quiet because the Mormons are right over there and they think they are the only ones here?" They tell the joke to lighten the situation, but it seems that we all leave the conversation with a sigh. 

Bottom line, my wife and are 70 years old, have been married 48 years, have dedicated our lives to ministry and service to Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have been baptized by immersion, and have lived our lives in as faithful a manner as we are able (and maybe just a little bit more). We believe with all our hearts that our Latter-day Saint Christian brothers and sisters are as Christian as we are. We have suffered within our own families and circle of Christian friends for that belief. Yet . . . when in the ward we study the Kingdom of God (current and future) as described in Daniel, we are assured that only members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are in the Kingdom of God. We study that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the the only true and living church. All others, according to III Nephi 27 are the works of men or the works of the devil. Try that on for making non-members feel less than. We are assured that only baptism for the forgiveness of sins administered by a LDS priesthood holder is valid in the eyes of God. All other baptisms by all others in authority in all other churches are invalid. I know of no other Christian group that teaches that any more. We are supposed to be comforted that we will have another chance for Mormon ordinances in the spirit world. That is more than fair, right? No, it is the same thing as believing it is the only valid ordinance here on earth. Last Sunday we were told by an older gentleman that he takes great comfort in knowing his marriage to his wife was an ordinance approved by God. When I commented that for Mennonites, marriage is also an ordinance, one of five in our church and is a very sacred event, the older gentleman said, "I didn't know that, but it still isn't an ordinance with authority." Eternal life? We studied the GC talk this past Sunday in which he mentioned "eternal life." It is clear that what is meant by that is that access for eternity to the practice of the presence of Christ and Heavenly Father is very limited and restricted. We are assured that is fair because even many, probably most Mormons won't make it there. So we will spend forever with unworthy Mormons outside of the presence of Christ and Heavenly Father, no matter how faithful we have lived!   Sigh! I could go on and on with examples, but I won't.

So, we still have an assurance about our LDS friends being Christians without needing any conversion or additional ordinances than what they already have. LDS doctrine keeps the faithful from saying the same about us. As a historian of the Saints, I think I understand how the single story of innocent persecution has helped shape the exclusive parts of LDS doctrine. Before 2018 that was just something I knew from a distance. I kept telling myself, "They really no kidding can't and don't believe that the 99.6% of Christians who are not LDS have a gospel that is of men or of the devil. But now, I have been confronted regularly with that very same belief. I personally have come to the conclusion that it makes God cry for one of the branches of His tree of life to hold such a view.

So, we are soon faced with a decision. Our bishop, one of the Godliest men, I have ever met and his wife asked to see us last week. We were so nervous about their visit. We were sure he was going to tell us it might be better if we stopped coming. We can feel that some folks (teachers, especially) are uncomfortable discussing the more exclusive LDS doctrines with us sitting there. But . . . he didn't say that. He just wanted to see how we were doing. That was very kind. Let me reiterate - the folks have been wonderful. Thanks so much for reading this missive. It is hard for us to know where to turn. We believe God has something for us to learn in this trial. We are open to that. It just gets a bit sadder each week when we get in the car after services to drive home with a lump in our respective throats. Oh, and I am glad you liked the photo. We live in a little bit of paradise with 900 feet on a lovely river. 

I know you didn't mean to say the people are arrogant and exclusive.  Don't fear there! 

I wasn't asking if you are missing knowledge of our doctrine. I was talking about "understanding". They are so similar, but can be so far apart. 

By the way, I don't believe people or even leaders from other churches are of the devil. I believe so many are godly. I was greatly blessed by a pastor and his wife on Christmas Eve and cannot deny that this couple was called by God to care for the people he is caring for. 

President Hinckley talked about the many good similarities in our church and other churches and I feel that when these things lead people to Christ they cannot be of the devil. 

That is not to say that authority doesn't matter - I just think that there are few things where it matters and that God takes care of those things. Honestly, I don't have a lot of understanding of this and the more I learn, the more I know there is much more knowledge to be gained as well. 

I mean, think about parenthood. I have authority and responsibility as a mom to teach and care for my children well. No one ever set me apart for that, yet everything I learn about my role as a woman, as a member of the church shows me there is some kind of something to do with authority going on there. 

I have a friend who started a charity and there is no doubt in my mind as she talks about answers to prayers etc that she has been called to do this by God in some way and somehow she has the authority over the charity. 

And as I read passages such as you talked about I can understand how this all still fits with being ok with our doctrine. 

So I'm not asking if you have knowledge missing. I'm asking if maybe you have understanding missing. If your feelings for the people don't align with your feelings for the doctrine maybe you, or maybe we, are missing something. Before you walk away I just hope that you will ask God if you are missing understanding in the matter, and I hope that you will trust that I will not question you or your answers, because I have no right to judge them. I cannot say that others will trust your answers. 

If you have already prayed for understanding I apologize and do not mean offense. I just know that sometimes I miss that kind of thing as well.

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On 1/14/2019 at 8:57 AM, Navidad said:

I am glad to see this thread is still being followed. As the OP, I noted I was proud to be a Mennonite. I still am (Mennonite and proud - in a humble kind of way, of course). I am also proud, that with my wife, we have been attending a ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for well over a year. It has been a blessing and has been very hard, both at the same time. You see, blessings and difficulties/challenges/pain are not exclusive in their character. Pretty soon we will have to make a choice as to whether or not to continue our attendance there. 1.  We often come home discouraged and feeling less-than. That isn't how you should come home from church. We love the fellowship. The people are so kind to us personally. We are active and involved. Aside from temple activities we minister, mow, vacuum, participate, give (projects - not tithes), and participate as we are allowed and have opportunity. We have certainly not been "despised and rejected," but we have known grief and sorrow. The people of the ward have been wonderful,  2. the doctrine of the Church is exclusive and arrogant, something that is very foreign to Mennonites. Not whining, or complaining. 3.  It is our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit to attend the ward. It is also our choice, under I believe, the direction of the Holy Spirit not to be baptized again. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a wonderful, complex, and thoroughly Christian organization. It just doesn't seem to know what to do with folks like us. It is hard for me not to draw a comparison with the Mormons in Missouri, but that will just alienate many of you, and I have no desire to do that.

Joseph Smith, in one of his letters from the Liberty jail, termed the Missourians "wimbling willows." I think that is a curious and meaningful appellation - there has to be a book title in there somewhere. You see we live within yards of a natural river which forms the border for 900 feet of our property. It has willows on both side of its banks. I often sit on our patio, watching the willow branches "wimble" in the water. I am not sure, if in our ward, we are the wimbling willows as the non-members who sometimes disturb the waters, or the members are the wimbling willows, not sure which way to go with us. 4.  Maybe, as in most cases, it is both.  I rarely post here anymore. 5.  I have disturbed the waters of this forum enough times in the past, and I regret much of what has been said. I no longer wish to do so. A large majority of you have been very kind to me. I value and appreciate that. We have investigated, instigated, and alligated enough - ha! too much is probably more like it. You are all good folks - not just my brothers and sisters in Christ, but as my fellow Christians. Blessings on you all. 

 

 

 

Wimbling Willows.jpg

What a beautiful spot you live in.  It reminds me of a summer view of a stream not far from my childhood home in Ketchikan, Alaska.  

I do have some thoughts on your very interesting post.  I will only express my opinions.  Others may see things differently than I do.  What I am giving you is my two cents.  

1.  I have followed several of your posts, and you are an educated and interesting person.  I have found you to be intimidating at times.  Your "disturbing the waters" has always been well-intentioned, in my opinion.  Your posts are always interesting and worth reading.  You have also been a little aggravating to me at times, as I know I have been to you.  But you have influenced me for good.  I am trying to learn how to communicate in a more thoughtful way than I have in the past.  That is valuable, and I feel a debt to you on that point.  So please keep contributing.  You have some wonderful insights.

As far as feeling "less than," I remember attending the Church before we knew we could become members.  I felt something special walking into the Church.  I believe it was the Holy Ghost.  I saw these good people, listened to what they were saying, and I thought that if I could just sit in the pews among them, that would be enough for us.  Then the missionaries challenged us to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, which we did.  They then challenged us to be baptized.  I was excited at the prospect.  My wife, not so much.  She said she was baptized as a youth into the Presbyterian Church.  She felt it would be hypocritical for her to be baptized again.  But she supported me, if that's what I really wanted to do.  As it turned out, through fasting and prayer, my wife gained the same faith and testimony I had found reading the Book of Mormon.  We were baptized together about 45 years ago.  The only thing I can relate to feeling "less than" is when we attended as two newlyweds off the street, and felt the love and honesty of the people, and kind of put them on a pedestal.  We learned later that most all of them were sinners just like us, and we fit right in.  I had felt the influence of the Holy Ghost reading the Book of Mormon, and earlier when Jesus Christ came into my life.  As a newly baptized member, I found the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to be real and constant.  It helped me appreciate that other members suffered from the same insecurities and misgivings that I did.  I grew into a place of assuming that everyone had the best of intentions toward us, and being more concerned about my wife's and my personal relationship with God.  I also learned that what I hear is sometimes not what people meant to say, or would have said had they known I would misunderstand.  Like the poet said:  "These clumsy feet, still in the mire, Go crushing blossoms without end; These hard, well-meaning hands we thrust Among the heart-strings of a friend." (Edward Rowland Sill in "The Fool's Prayer.")

2.  Regarding the doctrine of the Church being exclusive and arrogant, I see it in a couple of different ways.  First, is it arrogant or exclusive for Jesus to say "Whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God."?  It would seem to exclude all those outside that group, such as Moslems, Buddhists, Athiests, and the thousands of others.  But if it is His Church, He can do that, right?  Is that the kind of arrogance and exclusivity you are talking about?  Or is it the arrogance and exclusivity of the people?  The Savior said in 3 Nephi 11:29-34 "For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.  Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.  Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.  And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.  And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.  And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he shall visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost."  That personal communication from God is what members are talking about when they say "I know God lives, that Jesus is my Savior.  I know His Gospel has been restored to the earth.  I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  And I know we are led by a prophet today, Russell M. Nelson."  I hope that such statements don't come across as exclusive or arrogant any more that you saying "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God." Job 19:25 I believe that is your testimony also.  It edifies, and uplifts.  Why?  Because you are expressing what you know, what you have learned from personal revelation from God, and it communicates to the heart.

"Repent, believe in Jesus Christ and be baptized" is the actual doctrine.  You probably don't find that offensive either, do you.  Is it the authority issue, and that is exclusive and arrogant?  We members may want to welcome everyone, regardless of whether they believe God has given His authority to one Church to officiate in His name.  For example, when my brothers were married in the Temple, my Lutheran parents remained in the waiting area.  We were sad about it, and would have preferred they be allowed in.  But we believe it is the Lord's Church.  He is the one who makes the rules, and we do our best to follow what He has instructed us to do.  The parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1 comes pretty close to explaining our belief that God doesn't let everyone into the wedding feast.  He doesn't let everyone into the Celestial Kingdom.  There are conditions: Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance and Baptism by one with authority from God.  Is it arrogant to have a belief?  Is it exclusive when God calls all people to come unto Christ through faith, repentance and baptism?  I don't see it as arrogant or exclusive.  If you do, I still say you are a good person and smarter than me in many ways.  One thing I know is that God will speak to His children when they ask, regardless of their religion.  Do we make mistakes?  Yes, of course.  But I believe God sustains our humble efforts to do what is right.

3.  You are absolutely right.  It is your choice, under the direction of the Holy Spirit to attend the ward. That was my choice too, and for the same reasons.  I felt God's encouragement.  It is also your choice, under the direction of the Holy Spirit not to be baptized again.  That is one thing we should all agree on.  You should not be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints UNLESS the Holy Spirit tells you that those administering the ordinance have authority to baptize, and that God wants you to be baptized.  With many members of the Church, we view it as it was presented in the New Testament.  John the Baptist was not just another believer who wanted to baptize.  Matt. 3:13-15 states: "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.  Then he suffered him."  We believe John was given the authority to baptize back then.  That is why Jesus went to him.  We also believe that the authority to baptize is in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.  I have many friends outside the Church who are better people than we are.  I would be surprised to live where God lives, and they not be there.  Doctrine and Covenants 138 explains what happens to people who have died without hearing or receiving the ordinances of the Gospel by one having authority.  Our loving Heavenly Father leaves no stone unturned to give all His children the opportunity to hear and receive it.  That's my belief.  I will lock arms with any good person who does not believe as I do.  May the Lord guide them by the Holy Ghost to do His will for them.  My faith is between me and God.  I am glad to know the same is true for good people like you and your wife.

4.  I think we are all "Wimbling Willows," members of the Church, and those who are not members of the Church alike.  We all want to do what's right, but we fail in our efforts.  We say the wrong things.  We do the wrong things.  But we all get better over time.  God will sort it all out, in my opinion.

5.  Regarding disturbing the waters, please continue.  You have a gift for it.  😁  (That's a joke.)  You get people thinking, and drive them into the scriptures.  That's a positive thing because we learn a thing or two that help us follow the Savior more diligently.  And that's important.  I hope you and your wife stay in the ward and continue to contribute for the same reason.  I am sure one of the reasons it is a great ward is because you are there.

Sincerely,

Meerkat

P.S.  You said in your response to Rain, " So, we still have an assurance about our LDS friends being Christians without needing any conversion or additional ordinances than what they already have. LDS doctrine keeps the faithful from saying the same about us."  

The way you have penned that sentence makes it difficult to answer without offending you.  You should not be offended.  If you are right, all who believe in Jesus Christ will be saved in the Kingdom of God.  If we are right, and authority is required for baptism, etc., that work will be done for every child who died without hearing the Gospel, or in ignorance that His Church had been restored to the earth and all those who accept it will join with Jesus Christ inheriting all that God has. What could be more fair?  I don't see that doctrine or anything like it in any other religion.  It is compassionate and merciful.  Do you not agree?  If Revelation 14:6-7 means what it appears to be saying, the Book of Mormon appears to fulfill that prophecy.   Our beliefs do not exclude other Christians.  They include them.  We see all people as children of God, who has given all a pathway back.  They are not condemned to hell fire for eternity because they did not hear about or believe in Jesus Christ during this lifetime.  In my Baptist's friend's faith, my Dad, my Exemplar, the best man I have ever known and who I aspire to be like, was condemned to hell at his death because he was agnostic.  He didn't know for sure that Jesus Christ was his Savior.  But he lived like a Christian.  He was good.  He was honest.  He loved his wife and family.  THAT belief, that he would be condemned to hell, is a belief that should make God cry-- not that belief that Mennonites and every other of God's children need to be baptized by one holding authority from God to dwell where God dwells. The Temples dot the earth to make that happen for everyone who will respond to God's invitation.

Edited by Meerkat
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I would like to respond to both Rain's and Meerkat's kind posts at the same time. I want to do so with what I hope and pray for after so much time spent with so many good folks in our ward, on this forum, and at various conferences. As an interesting interlude, just as I was sitting down to reply to you both, I received an email invitation to speak at a LDS-affiliated conference on the subject of "The Apostles in the Colonies" this year in Salt Lake City. Such is the complex relationship I have with our ward, the Church, and my LDS friends! Last year, I spoke at the same conference and was asked to pray before the final banquet and session - in front of several general authorities. The same hands who welcome me to partake in a spiritual act (prayer), with their doctrine ban me from returning to God (to use a LDS phrase) Just as I Am (to use a great Methodist invitational hymn). I feel like I am a victim of what family therapists term "The Go Away Closer Disease." With one arm the abused spouse or child (me) pushes the abuser away, while with the other longs to be held. Some marriage and family therapists believe this disease can lead to non-biologically based schizophrenia. Sometimes I feel a little schizophrenic about my relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

First, neither of you have or will offend me. When your LDS peers on this forum have dubbed me a son of Baal, and a follower of Canaan, that offends me and in some cases I have reacted badly. Shame on them and shame on me. My hope and prayer is that somehow LDS Christians and non-LDS Christians can bridge the great chasm of mean-spiritedness, disdain, the sense of being enemies, and competitiveness that divides us. I believe that chasm stems from a shared history since 1830 that has been toxic on all sides. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reacted to an identity clothed with a sense of persecution and has evolved a doctrine of onliness, specialness, and uniqueness that is designed to right the wrongs it has endured. The LDS faith is a relatively young faith - it continues to evolve in its doctrines, practices, and perspectives, as have all faiths over time. Add to that a robust and active revelation mechanism through its prophet and as our bishop said to us, "The Church is on a roller-coaster ride, we better hang on!"

Many in the non-LDS Christian community have also reacted to the engagement, growth, prosperity, and what I have termed the arrogance of the LDS Church with their own forms of toxicity. They become obsessive compulsive over doctrine (theology and christology specifically); they pick apart every real and imagined flaw in successive church leaders,  the financial governance of the church, and the missiological passion of the Church in a way they do not do with any other group. The ultimate put-down is to deny the member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the right to use the label Christian. Saints have used the "enemy," "apostate," "gentile," and "anti-Mormon" words while non-LDS Christians love to use the "heretic," "cult," and "exclusive" vernacular. My hope and prayer is that somehow this will all stop. It is indicative of the worst in all of us. That is what I believe makes God cry. Not that it means anything, but it makes my wife and I cry as well. I hope the LDS Church will continue to evolve and will be free some day from needing to be the "only." I hope the non-LDS Church will seek to be more embracing in its treatment of the Saints, and will welcome them into the Christianity family tree. My metaphor you may have seen me use is that the Christian community of 3 billion strong is a tree - the tree of life. Each Christian group is a branch on the tree. We are each called by God to produce the same fruit: the fruits of the Spirit. Most of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I interact with are not content to be a branch; they believe they are the whole tree, orchard, or kingdom! Non-LDS Christians vary widely in their view of the Christianity of the Saints based, in part on their own placement within the broader Christian community (fundamentalist, evangelical, or mainstream) and to some degree whether they are Protestant or Catholic, or like Mennonites and Mormons, neither Protestant or Catholic. Shame on them for keeping the Saints out of the orchard, off the tree, or worse of all, incapable of bearing fruit. They are wrong and I am much harder on them in my dialogues with, and speaking to them. 

I hope nothing I have said in turn, offends you. I guess the bottom line right now for me is that I welcome and embrace the Saints as my fellow-Christians; neither superior to, more favored by God; inferior to, or less favored by God than any other genuine Christian who seeks to live a life of righteousness and exhibit the fruits of the spirit. They are neither the only or His favorite. They are fully and completely part of the Christian family. There were other restorational, as opposed to reformational groups before the Saints, and there will most likely be others yet to come. Growing up as a pastor's son, I saw the strengths and weaknesses in Mennonites and Baptists as individuals. Neither group is hierarchical at all. Neither have a world-wide or national hierarchy. A different sermon and Sunday School lesson is preached in each individual church each Sunday. The concept of authority in a church where every believer is looked upon as holding the priesthood is not really very important. To the Saint, the concept of authority is one of the most important aspects of the faith. Perhaps we can each find a way to be what and who we are first and foremost as Christians, naming the name of Christ, and seeking His will in all that we do. My life's verse is Col. 3: 17 - "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ giving thanks to God the Father, by Him." As one of you said to me, I think you can agree with that. Blessings to you both. 

Edited by Navidad

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On 1/16/2019 at 3:48 PM, Navidad said:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reacted to an identity clothed with a sense of persecution and has evolved a doctrine of onliness, specialness, and uniqueness that is designed to right the wrongs it has endured.

I see your point.  Members of the Church don't see our identity as an act of self defense, rather the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, foretold in Acts 3 "20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you. 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Rev.14: "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." And several other places.  But you know that's what we believe.

On 1/16/2019 at 3:48 PM, Navidad said:

Most of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I interact with are not content to be a branch; they believe they are the whole tree, orchard, or kingdom!

It has nothing to do with "being content" to be one of many.  If that was what I believed God wanted of me, I would accept it.  I am a member because God invited me to be, and confirmed my decision.  I couldn't get around the authority issue in Hebrews 5: "1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.  4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." But you know that also.

On 1/16/2019 at 3:48 PM, Navidad said:

I guess the bottom line right now for me is that I welcome and embrace the Saints as my fellow-Christians; neither superior to, more favored by God; inferior to, or less favored by God than any other genuine Christian who seeks to live a life of righteousness and exhibit the fruits of the spirit. They are neither the only or His favorite.

I agree that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints Are "neither superior to, more favored by God; inferior to, or less favored by God than any other genuine Christian who seeks to live a life of righteousness and exhibit the fruits of the spirit." If we do feel superior, it is to our own condemnation because we are each and all beloved children of God, in my opinion.

Edited by Meerkat
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