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Makes Me Proud to be a Mennonite!

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2 hours ago, Meerkat said:

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.

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.

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 belived children of God, in my opinion.

Hi Meerkat: Thanks so much for your great and insightful reply. Let me clarify a few things about what I wrote. My observations were in no way to discredit the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or its members. I am in no way saying they are "wrong." In fact I stress in all conversations I have with members of the church or with non-LDS Christians that I believe Mormons are as Christian, "saved," being "sanctified" as any other true Christian from any other Christian group. People. including my own family shake their heads and begin praying for me - almost as my LDS Christian friends pray for me to see the light and join the church! It is good to have so many folks praying for me!

What I am trying to say and which I know many or most LDS Christians will not agree with me (and that is ok) is that all beliefs, all religious texts, experiences, etc. are interpreted through a human lens. Good folks, good Christians, faithful Christians interpret things differently, even at times from fellow members of their own faith tradition. This forum is evidence of that. You and I as members of this forum have read many different interpretations of the same scripture - general conference talk. My goodness the long long thread on here about the talk about doubt, boats, faith, and trust brought 17 pages of discussion and debate! I can speak from personal experience that the members of the Church here in the colonies have some different sensitivities, values, and heritage that come from their shared communal experience here in Mexico which includes being  outsiders to a culture, sensitivities to discussions about plural marriage, an agricultural interpretation, and even debates about Mitt Romney! They have gone through things, as did their ancestors that are different from the suited LDS lawyer in a high-rise in SLC.

Everything I said about Mormons in my post you quoted, I would also say about Mennonites. There is a common shared history that is amazing. The biggest difference is how the two groups responded and reacted to that shared common history. We have developed a doctrine that highlights non-violence, pacifism, conscientious objector status, etc. I could quote you 100 verses supporting those beliefs that you would interpret differently.  Who is right, who is wrong? Who cares? The Saints have no shared experience of conscientious objection - in fact they (you) seem to share more of a patriotic focus. Therefore in WWI there were probably no more than eight Saints who claimed conscientious objector status when drafted into the military in England and the United States. There were thousand of Mennonites who did the same. Many were imprisoned. The huge Mennonite colonies here in Mexico are a product of that shared experience, especially in Canada. Both groups use the same Bible (KJV), but interpret it very differently in this regard. While some Mennonites might think differently, this difference in interpretation is not essential to whether or not someone is a true believer in Christ, saved by His grace and atonement. In fact, I once was criticized while in a church (Mennonite) position because I wasn't strong enough on a contentious objector status as a spiritual condition. I am not all about who is right and who is wrong because I don't know. I am not as certain in the absolute veracity and singular correctness of my beliefs. What I do believe is that I see no difference in the lifestyle, spirituality, integrity, standards, and faithfulness of the faithful Mennonite and the faithful Mormon. That is my experience and as I sift my beliefs though that experience, my conclusion is that neither group is in and of itself particularly special. That separates me from my Mormon friends who are much more confident and certain (in general) of the correctness of their interpretation of Scripture, especially canonical scripture and the singular "only" status that gives them in their own eyes and the eyes of God. 

Thank you for your reply and your good spirit. I respect your beliefs, and the shared heritage that you have come to know as a convert to the LDS faith. I have yet to figure out if certainty is a virtue or not. I like being a bit uncertain, it helps me to learn, reflect and grow on belief, especially the beliefs of those of other Christian groups. Blessings....

Edited by Navidad

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14 hours ago, Navidad said:

The biggest difference is how the two groups responded and reacted to that shared common history. We have developed a doctrine that highlights non-violence, pacifism, conscientious objector status, etc. I could quote you 100 verses supporting those beliefs that you would interpret differently.  Who is right, who is wrong? Who cares? 

As I have said many times in many places, I have high respect for the Mennonites, and have taught our children from their curriculum.  I respect the Mennonite stance on pacifism, and acknowledge their sacrifice providing alternate service in devotion to God.  I agree with equal goodness in Mennonites, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS and other faithful Christians.  The biggest difference, not to beat a dead horse, is the importance of authority to perform ordinances such as baptism.  Not just anyone can do it, but he that was called by authority, as was Aaron.

14 hours ago, Navidad said:

I am not all about who is right and who is wrong because I don't know.

I have no problem with your devotion to The Mennonite faith based on your strong conversion to pacifism.  I have no problem with Catholics holding to Peter as their first Pope.  I hold to what I believe because I believe that I do know that I am right about the Book of Mormon and therefore that Joseph Smith was a prophet and we have a prophet today as we did ancient.  All of us should live according to our faith and share what we do know about it to the best of our ability.  

You said "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."

It's not the doctrine.  We believe it is God who has spoken to us and told is personally, this is in fact, right.  The doors to salvation are wider than many Christians think.  Hence, the restored doctrine of baptism for the dead, baptism by authority, and other doctrines that were confusing, corrupted or missing and needed to be restored and prophesies of the last days that needed to be fulfilled.  Bro. Navidad, Lord bless you and your wife to better understand what members of the Restored Church really believe about these things. This isn't meant to be critical of your or any other religion.  It is what we believe and why we believe it.  We converts are "true believers" in the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.  This isn't just an opinion we can be persuaded out of.  God has spoken to many and I believe most of us, in a way we can't deny,  nor would we want to.  Plus we have the fruits of living the religion that also testify.  Keep up the good work, Bro. Navidad.

Edited by Meerkat

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