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Lucian Hodoboc

In case it turns out you are wrong...

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On 12/24/2018 at 10:43 AM, Stargazer said:

Are you an atheist because you failed to find objective evidence of God's existence? Or is it something else?  I realize that you may have explained yourself before, but I don't think I've ever read your story.

I am an atheist because I failed to find objective or spiritual evidence of God's existence. I prayed, pondered, studied, fasted, etc. for years in the LDS faith and never gained a true testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I left the LDS faith and attended, prayed and pondered on other christian faiths, and did not gain a testimony of Christ. I studied Buddhism and meditated with monks and did not find absolute truth in that belief system either (though I found their perspective to have the most truth and meaning in my life). Upon further study of science, philosophy and religion, I came to peace in accepting that God does not exist.

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On 12/9/2018 at 10:57 AM, Tacenda said:

Had my reading, went pretty good. A few things he said could have been from my FB photos. Like my mother's hair being brunette and short. And he mentioned a dog being with my parents which was a small lap dog and could be a lot like a Shitzu. I thought of my little Yorkie that was hit by a car and died. And on FB there are a couple of photos of Biscuit he would have to have searched in albums for. But pretty sweet to think all dogs do go to heaven. And he mentioned my mother loving to cook, but she worked a lot so hadn't had a lot of time to cook. My dad who was on disability later in life would cook a lot. So these things were disappointing.

There were a few things that he said and one thing that happened that gave me hope. Right off the bat he said my mom came through and she said she really liked my hair and just that morning I had been worried I'd fried my hair because of coloring it and was worried about it falling out.

And then he said that my mom wanted to comment on my childhood, and he said it was that I loved to dance and twirl around the house and was in a dance group. Well that is right, and maybe the majority of girls are like this, so there's that. But I was an oddball and would dance in slips to the stereo all around the living room when I was like 7 or 8.

Then in the middle he mentioned that I had been going through a faith crisis, and trying to figure out what my path is to be. He nailed that! There is nothing on FB about that! And he didn't ask me anything about myself, I was pretty silent the whole time. The only thing he'd ask was a couple of names and who they were, other than that he said he preferred I didn't offer things at all. 

And he nailed that both my father-in-law and my dad died from heart conditions. My dad a heart attack, and FIL had heart failure, so there's that. Then toward the very end, a song came on the stereo that I had picked for my dad's funeral CD I made. It was absolutely awesome and I'm hoping it was not a coincidence. And no, he didn't have all songs on the stereo that had to do with loved ones moving one, I was paying attention to the songs. It was "Hero" by Mariah Carey. I'll post for your listening pleasure!

 

Interesting reading.  I have tried to contact people to do for me...but with no success.  More curious than anything.  I have had experiences lately that reflect that someone, somewhere is watching over me...that is more than just typical guardian angel stuff...things are happening and I need some answers.

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2 hours ago, Jeanne said:

Interesting reading.  I have tried to contact people to do for me...but with no success.  More curious than anything.  I have had experiences lately that reflect that someone, somewhere is watching over me...that is more than just typical guardian angel stuff...things are happening and I need some answers.

Wow Jeanne, I think that is very possible and with your faith, of course people will come through I'm thinking!

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Posted (edited)
On 12/26/2018 at 8:54 AM, changed said:

can forgive my students for not studying, but it does not mean they know the material... 

We have existed for a past eternity.  My guess is we probably already know most of the "facts" that we could learn and at this point, it is learning about ourselves...what we would do given ________.  Thus we are learning what it is we want out of our existence, not about existence itself.  And I don't think we need to live a mortal life over and over in all its variations in order to learn what we want.  Instead I think we need to experience enough mortality that we can empathize fully with others in the next life, so that not only will we learn from our own experiences, but from others as well.

Christ's atonement is part of how we gain that level of empathy.  His life and death were the ultimate expression of empathy and by somehow linking into his experience, becoming one with him, we will be able to become one with all others who seek him as their Redeemer.  

I see no need for reincarnation if oneness with God is truly a possibility.

Edited by Calm

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On 12/3/2018 at 10:19 AM, Lucian Hodoboc said:

In the afterlife, in case it turns out that your beliefs were not the correct ones and, because of this, God sentences you to eternity in hell, will you consider yourself wronged? Will you try to bring arguments to support your cause or will you obediently accept the sentence?

Probably to the same degree you would.

On 12/4/2018 at 5:54 AM, JAHS said:

If it turns out that when I die I find out that my beliefs are the wrong ones, I think I can make the adjustment to accepting what is the truth. But regardless of which religion is right I don't think I or anyone would burn in Hell for what I have believed and how I have lived my life, treating others as I want them to treat me. 

If we follow the "Golden Rule," which encompasses the two great commandments, I believe God will judge us based on our behavior compared with what He expects of us.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

"11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
            12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.."  Matt. 7:11-12

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Walden said:

I am an atheist because I failed to find objective or spiritual evidence of God's existence. I prayed, pondered, studied, fasted, etc. for years in the LDS faith and never gained a true testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I left the LDS faith and attended, prayed and pondered on other christian faiths, and did not gain a testimony of Christ. I studied Buddhism and meditated with monks and did not find absolute truth in that belief system either (though I found their perspective to have the most truth and meaning in my life). Upon further study of science, philosophy and religion, I came to peace in accepting that God does not exist.

My conscience is in harmony with the Commandments.  As an athiest, do you find that you live according the Commandments, such as love thy neighbor as thyself?  Or do you find yourself experimenting with other values?  Just curious.  My view is that people who live the Christian life eventually gain a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Are you an old, young or in between?

Edited by Meerkat

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On 1/3/2019 at 3:36 PM, Walden said:

I am an atheist because I failed to find objective or spiritual evidence of God's existence. I prayed, pondered, studied, fasted, etc. for years in the LDS faith and never gained a true testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel. I left the LDS faith and attended, prayed and pondered on other christian faiths, and did not gain a testimony of Christ. I studied Buddhism and meditated with monks and did not find absolute truth in that belief system either (though I found their perspective to have the most truth and meaning in my life). Upon further study of science, philosophy and religion, I came to peace in accepting that God does not exist.

Thankyou.

I confess that I find it a bit hard to relate to this, because my similar efforts resulted in abundant spiritual evidence of God's existence, and not only that, but clear evidence to me that he knows who I am.  I suppose that it is possible that had you gotten exactly what I got, you might have judged it to be insufficient, or untrustworthy -- in other words, my standards might be lower than yours.  When it comes to "true testimony", I don't know what you were expecting that you didn't get. 

 

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On 1/4/2019 at 5:16 AM, Meerkat said:

My conscience is in harmony with the Commandments.  As an athiest, do you find that you live according the Commandments, such as love thy neighbor as thyself?  Or do you find yourself experimenting with other values?  Just curious.  My view is that people who live the Christian life eventually gain a personal knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Are you an old, young or in between?

I guess I adhere to Commandments 5 through 10; Commandments 1-4 don't hold any value for me. I try to live by the Golden Rule, to treat others as I hope to be treated. Outside of Christian values, I have experimented with Buddhist values (the 4 Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are much more applicable to my life than the 10 Commandments) and Humanist values.

 

On 1/4/2019 at 8:45 AM, Stargazer said:

Thankyou.

I confess that I find it a bit hard to relate to this, because my similar efforts resulted in abundant spiritual evidence of God's existence, and not only that, but clear evidence to me that he knows who I am.  I suppose that it is possible that had you gotten exactly what I got, you might have judged it to be insufficient, or untrustworthy -- in other words, my standards might be lower than yours.  When it comes to "true testimony", I don't know what you were expecting that you didn't get. 

 

Yes, I hear this a lot from devout Latter Day Saints, they have a hard time wrapping their head around any other outcome of Moroni's Promise than the one that they have experienced. They generally consider that I must have not interpreted some sign, feeling, prompting, etc. correctly, or that I didn't pray/ponder/study/fast with enough diligence or humility to receive a true answer. What was I expecting regarding a "true testimony"? I suppose a burning in the bosom would have been nice, I would have settled for a still, small voice, or even an internal confidence that what I was to believe was actual truth. I felt nothing but more doubts, questions, etc.

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1 hour ago, Walden said:

Yes, I hear this a lot from devout Latter Day Saints, they have a hard time wrapping their head around any other outcome of Moroni's Promise than the one that they have experienced. They generally consider that I must have not interpreted some sign, feeling, prompting, etc. correctly, or that I didn't pray/ponder/study/fast with enough diligence or humility to receive a true answer. What was I expecting regarding a "true testimony"? I suppose a burning in the bosom would have been nice, I would have settled for a still, small voice, or even an internal confidence that what I was to believe was actual truth. I felt nothing but more doubts, questions, etc.

I wasn't trying to minimize your efforts or excuse the lack of response.  I truly don't know what the problem might be, whether it's in you, or something else is in play.

But I would like to point out something that you yourself bring up, and that is that lots of other people have received a positive answer to Moroni's promise.  Are you not able to credit their answers with some belief based on their faith?  I know it would be something like a blind person hearing reports about the color blue, but bear with me on that for a moment.

In DC 46, where the various gifts of the spirit are mentioned, it is written:

11 For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.
12 To some is given one, and to some is given another, that all may be profited thereby.
13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.

I can't tell you what to believe, but even Alma 32 doesn't promise instant revelation, or any at all. In fact, it urges steadfastness even while proof is not forthcoming:

41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
43 Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

Perhaps Moroni's Promise takes longer in your case, is all I am saying.  

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5 hours ago, Walden said:

I suppose a burning in the bosom would have been nice, I would have settled for a still, small voice, or even an internal confidence that what I was to believe was actual truth. I felt nothing but more doubts, questions, etc.

Even weak faith can work miracles.  I know that many of us need to be at a point of desperation before Christ reveals Himself to us.  Prior to that, it's easy and even ego satisfying to profess athiesm.  At least that was my experience.  I felt smart, and (inwardly) condescending to those who needed the "crutch" of faith in Jesus Christ.

In the AA twelve step program, many people start attending a meetings before believing there is a higher power.  But working through the steps, such as acknowledging there is something in their lives they are powerless to overcome, apologizing to people we have harmed or offended, and other steps, many find God and  their lives are changed.  

Mark 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;
            18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
            19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
            20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
            21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
            22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
            23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
            24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."

The father knew his faith was weak.  But he was desperate and at his wits end to save his son.  His prayer was "Help thou mine unbelief."  And that was enough for Jesus.  The son was healed, and the man's faith justified.

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14 hours ago, Stargazer said:

I wasn't trying to minimize your efforts or excuse the lack of response.  I truly don't know what the problem might be, whether it's in you, or something else is in play.

But I would like to point out something that you yourself bring up, and that is that lots of other people have received a positive answer to Moroni's promise.  Are you not able to credit their answers with some belief based on their faith?  I know it would be something like a blind person hearing reports about the color blue, but bear with me on that for a moment.

There is no "problem", I am happy, content and fulfilled in my current path, I do not feel that I am missing out on anything in not having received a testimony of Christ. Many people, my family included, have received an affirming answer to Moroni's promise, and their faith makes them happy, so good for them too. Personally, I do not credit it to an actual higher power, but they do, and they are happy, and if their faith brings happiness to them and compels them to be better friends, neighbors, family, spouses, workers, citizens, etc, who am I to judge?

 

11 hours ago, Meerkat said:

Even weak faith can work miracles.  I know that many of us need to be at a point of desperation before Christ reveals Himself to us.  Prior to that, it's easy and even ego satisfying to profess athiesm.  At least that was my experience.  I felt smart, and (inwardly) condescending to those who needed the "crutch" of faith in Jesus Christ.

In the AA twelve step program, many people start attending a meetings before believing there is a higher power.  But working through the steps, such as acknowledging there is something in their lives they are powerless to overcome, apologizing to people we have harmed or offended, and other steps, many find God and  their lives are changed.  

I love the false premise that it is easy to profess atheism, a common refrain amongst believers. Is it easier to adhere to belief that one will be saved and blessed throughout eternity for following their God's rules, or is it easier to realize that life is finite, this earth life is all we have and there is not some omniscient, all-loving being who we can attribute our mistakes, choices, outcomes, etc. to? And Mormon's defining anyone as "condescending" due to their belief system is rich....coming from a belief system that considers themselves the one, true church in all of existence throughout the history of the world.

Funny you should mention AA in the same post as your argument that one must sometimes reach a point of desperation before Christ reveals himself to us. AA is exactly where my faith crisis led me in the end, my excessive drinking for several years being partly a product of my faith crisis. I did work the 12 steps, though I revised my own 12 steps to involve a higher power that was not otherwordly, instead replacing it with an image of my potential. I am sober now over 19 years.

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2 hours ago, Walden said:

There is no "problem", I am happy, content and fulfilled in my current path, I do not feel that I am missing out on anything in not having received a testimony of Christ. Many people, my family included, have received an affirming answer to Moroni's promise, and their faith makes them happy, so good for them too.

I feel the same way. Good for them, and good for you too!

Personally, I do not credit it to an actual higher power, but they do, and they are happy, and if their faith brings happiness to them and compels them to be better friends, neighbors, family, spouses, workers, citizens, etc, who am I to judge?

I agree 100 percent!

I love the false premise that it is easy to profess atheism, a common refrain amongst believers.

I wasn't talking about anyone but myself.  That was my experience before Christ came into my life.  Do you think most believers were always believers?  

Is it easier to adhere to belief that one will be saved and blessed throughout eternity for following their God's rules, or is it easier to realize that life is finite, this earth life is all we have and there is not some omniscient, all-loving being who we can attribute our mistakes, choices, outcomes, etc. to?

For me, It's not a question of which is easier.  It's a question of which is right for me.  I walked for years on the athiest side, (actually more agnostic than athiests because, looking back, I hoped there was a God.) I was quite impressed with how I could put down religionists.  When Christ came into my life in a way I could not deny, my perspective changed.  That's all.

And Mormon's defining anyone as "condescending" due to their belief system is rich....coming from a belief system that considers themselves the one, true church in all of existence throughout the history of the world.

I can see how a person could view the Church as condescending especially if they were raised in a hyper religious environment.  I think our home could have been such a place when our children were young.

I was talking about me being condescending before I gained faith in Jesus Christ.  I don't believe members of the Church see ourselves as condescending.  We are more of a live and let live people, and allow others the same privilege.   But I see how it can seem that way.

Honestly, condescending attitudes can happen to anyone.  Your comment, saying in effect "That's rich," struck me as slightly condescending.  Am I wrong about that?

Funny you should mention AA in the same post as your argument that one must sometimes reach a point of desperation before Christ reveals himself to us. AA is exactly where my faith crisis led me in the end, my excessive drinking for several years being partly a product of my faith crisis. I did work the 12 steps, though I revised my own 12 steps to involve a higher power that was not otherwordly, instead replacing it with an image of my potential. I am sober now over 19 years.

Thank you for sharing that.  I salute you for your great accomplishment.  I wish everyone suffering from any addiction could find that help and had the strength to live as you have to deal with it. 

 

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5 hours ago, Walden said:

There is no "problem", I am happy, content and fulfilled in my current path, I do not feel that I am missing out on anything in not having received a testimony of Christ.

The "problem" I was referring to was not your fulfillment in your current path. 😊 The problem I meant was the lack of an answer that would lead you to faith and progression in the gospel path.

Since you do not have that, all I can do is wish you well in your current path, and hope for your enlightenment at some future time!

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