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Navidad

Yesterday's Lesson with a Revised Version

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Yesterday I sat through a lesson in Elder's Quorum. We were taught from a talk that included the following:

"A man who grew up in the Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Church and the Prophet Joseph Smith.  After a time they left the Church and tried to persuade him to follow. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by critics, most of who were themselves disaffected former members of the Church. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled. He didn't have answers for all their assertions, and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition. He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children."

I sat there happy for the man in the story that he found a renewed witness of truth in his faith, and sad for this stereotypical and one-sided illustration. Of course I said nothing. I wondered what the priesthood holders would say if I changed just a few words?

"A man who grew up in the Mennonite Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Mennonite Church and its founder Menno Simons..  After a time they left the Mennonite Church and tried to persuade him to follow them into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by many who were themselves disaffected former members of the Mennonite Church and other Christian groups. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled, following a church created by man, or maybe even the Devil and pursuing a life of dead works. He didn't have answers for all their assertions that they were now in the "only true and living Church," and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition and accusations of being a "so-called Christian." He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled many occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children." 

Would the elders be equally happy for this man?

 

Edited by Navidad
clarification
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12 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I don’t know how your elders would react to that story. 

I believe I’m in the minority when I truly believe people can find happiness outside the church.  I don’t however think the siblings in the story are happy.  Happy people don’t try to tear down others thoughts and feelings and belief systems ****imo***.  

I think one of the cruelest things we do to each other is to yuck someone else’s yum. 

Love this, and love the don't "yuck someone else's yum". I hope I can use this, and not forget it. 

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What is your point?  Are you trying to say that we believe someone can only find Christ, live a godly life, feel the Spirit  as a member of our church.  That God has influenced and inspired  Joseph Smith alone  and none else.

I resent the premise of your question, the implication.  We recognize Truths of the Gospel as found in all religions, and fealty  and respect to inspired  religious leaders.

Edited by cdowis

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59 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Yesterday I sat through a lesson in Elder's Quorum. We were taught from a talk that included the following:

"A man who grew up in the Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Church and the Prophet Joseph Smith.  After a time they left the Church and tried to persuade him to follow. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by critics, most of who were themselves disaffected former members of the Church. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled. He didn't have answers for all their assertions, and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition. He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children."

I sat there happy for the man in the story that he found a renewed witness of truth in his faith, and sad for this stereotypical and one-sided illustration. Of course I said nothing. I wondered what the priesthood holders would say if I changed just a few words?

"A man who grew up in the Mennonite Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Mennonite Church and its founder Menno Simons..  After a time they left the Mennonite Church and tried to persuade him to follow them into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by many who were themselves disaffected former members of the Mennonite Church and other Christian groups. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled, following a church created by man, or maybe even the Devil and pursuing a life of dead works. He didn't have answers for all their assertions that they were now in the "only true and living Church," and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition and accusations of being a "so-called Christian." He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled many occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children." 

Would the elders be equally happy for this man?

Good points.  The conclusion by the authors of these stories are always that allegiance to the CoJCoLDS needs to be the only valid path to take.  This kind of simple thinking is what retards actual growth in my opinion.  If a person takes the metaphors of taking up your cross, and dying and rebirth seriously, one of the best ways to grow according to these metaphors is having your naive approaches to religion die, and going through a process of rebirth with a much more complicated approach to life coming out the other side of that journey.   People end up being much more humble about what they can really place confidence in and ultimately have knowledge about.  

The deepest thinkers in human history all seem to acknowledge the necessity of having our naive approaches to life broken down.  This can be an extremely challenging process, but I believe it is the path towards greater understanding.  

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31 minutes ago, cdowis said:

What is your point?  Are you trying to say that we believe someone can only find Christ, live a godly life, feel the Spirit  as a member of our church.  That God has influenced and inspired  Joseph Smith alone  and none else.

I resent the premise of your question, the implication.  We recognize Truths of the Gospel as found in all religions, and fealty  and respect to inspired  religious leaders.

I think we members believe all of this.  And we also have plenty of behaviors that suggest that we believe we have the only truth, the whole truth, and everything else while good is not the truth. 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Yesterday I sat through a lesson in Elder's Quorum. We were taught from a talk that included the following:

"A man who grew up in the Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Church and the Prophet Joseph Smith.  After a time they left the Church and tried to persuade him to follow. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by critics, most of who were themselves disaffected former members of the Church. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled. He didn't have answers for all their assertions, and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition. He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children."

I sat there happy for the man in the story that he found a renewed witness of truth in his faith, and sad for this stereotypical and one-sided illustration. Of course I said nothing. I wondered what the priesthood holders would say if I changed just a few words?

"A man who grew up in the Mennonite Church, served as a full-time missionary and married a lovely woman was surprised when some of his siblings began speaking critically of the Mennonite Church and its founder Menno Simons..  After a time they left the Mennonite Church and tried to persuade him to follow them into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As often happens in such cases, they bombarded him with essays, podcasts, and videos produced by many who were themselves disaffected former members of the Mennonite Church and other Christian groups. His siblings mocked his faith, telling him he was gullible and misled, following a church created by man, or maybe even the Devil and pursuing a life of dead works. He didn't have answers for all their assertions that they were now in the "only true and living Church," and his faith began to waver under the relentless opposition and accusations of being a "so-called Christian." He wondered if he should stop attending church. He talked with his wife. He talked with people he trusted. He prayed. As he meditated in this troubled state of mind, he recalled many occasions when he had felt the Holy Spirit and had received a witness of truth by the Spirit. He concluded, "If I am honest with myself, I must admit that the Spirit has touched me more than once and the testimony of the Spirit is real." He has a renewed sense of happiness and peace that is shared by his wife and children." 

Would the elders be equally happy for this man?

I think they would at least listen in good faith if you shared this as one of "three examples of which I have personal knowledge." https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/10/firm-and-steadfast-in-the-faith-of-christ?lang=eng like Elder Christofferson did.

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Elders schmelders ;)

That hypothetical person (  ;) ) should follow his heart, let go, and let God direct his life

 God is the chessmaster and he tells us where we should be on the board, and what direction to move to fulfill his purposes. We never know what those purposes are. 

But if one admits we are all directed by the Lord one must take the consequences that God leads others in different directions for their own good.

Let go and let God take the wheel.

Earth life is just one VERY short segment of an eternity of becoming what God wants us to become

Wow! What a great reply. Are you a country music fan. Isn't 'Jesus take the wheel" a country song? I sincerely thank you for your reply. 

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

Love this, and love the don't "yuck someone else's yum". I hope I can use this, and not forget it. 

I completely agree. That is a classic phrase . . . I need to remember it as well. 

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If all faiths are equal I think I am going to convert to a less demanding faith. Maybe start my own sex cult or something......

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

If all faiths are equal I think I am going to convert to a less demanding faith. Maybe start my own sex cult or something......

A lot of people have already done that. 

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36 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

A lot of people have already done that. 

Yeah, but mine will be better. It will include free ice cream.

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

I think we members believe all of this.  And we also have plenty of behaviors that suggest that we believe we have the only truth, the whole truth, and everything else while good is not the truth. 

There are indeed many narrow and superficial LDS Church members, and plenty also in other religions.  But is everything to be measured only by the ignorance of the yokels among us?

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15 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There are indeed many narrow and superficial LDS Church members, and plenty also in other religions.  But is everything to be measured only by the ignorance of the yokels among us?

Well we are.  

 

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43 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There are indeed many narrow and superficial LDS Church members, and plenty also in other religions.  But is everything to be measured only by the ignorance of the yokels among us?

I was very careful to include in my revised version only statements from LDS scripture - both canonical and from the Brethren - other works are of man or of the devil; dead works; the only true and living church; so called Christians - these are all from LDS scripture, not from yokels. This makes them even more hurtful.

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24 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I was very careful to include in my revised version only statements from LDS scripture - both canonical and from the Brethren - other works are of man or of the devil; dead works; the only true and living church; so called Christians - these are all from LDS scripture, not from yokels. This makes them even more hurtful.

Context (or perception) is everything.  Like proof-texting (text abuse), it may indeed be hurtful, but it does not represent the broader truth.  As with Brigham's descent into racism (and away from Joseph's teachings), it may seem authentic, but is actually anything but.

God's Church is run by fallible humans who have no training in history or theology.  We should probably curb our expectations a bit as we muddle and stumble forward toward the eschaton.

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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Context (or perception) is everything.  Like proof-texting (text abuse), it may indeed be hurtful, but it does not represent the broader truth.  As with Brigham's descent into racism (and away from Joseph's teachings), it may seem authentic, but is actually anything but.

God's Church is run by fallible humans who have no training in history or theology.  We should probably curb our expectations a bit as we muddle and stumble forward toward the eschaton.

Fair enough! Thanks for your patience with my concerns.

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15 hours ago, The Nehor said:

If all faiths are equal I think I am going to convert to a less demanding faith. Maybe start my own sex cult or something......

Bring polygamy back!

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13 minutes ago, snowflake said:

Bring polygamy back!

I need to find one wife before I am comfortable letting others find a second.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I need to find one wife before I am comfortable letting others find a second.

You might have better luck if you stopped asking women if they'll be your first wife.

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19 hours ago, cdowis said:

What is your point?  Are you trying to say that we believe someone can only find Christ, live a godly life, feel the Spirit  as a member of our church.  That God has influenced and inspired  Joseph Smith alone  and none else.

I resent the premise of your question, the implication.  We recognize Truths of the Gospel as found in all religions, and fealty  and respect to inspired  religious leaders.

I think you are illustrating one of the fatal flaws of modern ecumenism in the LDS Church.  Joseph McConkie saw this:

Quote

We know there are decent, respectable, humble people in many churches, Christian and otherwise. In turn, sadly enough, there are so-called Latter-day Saints who by comparison are not as worthy, for they do not keep their covenants.

But it is not a matter of comparing individuals. We are not baptized collectively, nor will we be judged collectively. Good conduct without the ordinances of the gospel will neither redeem nor exalt mankind; covenants and the ordinances are essential. We are required to teach the doctrines, even the unpopular ones.

Yield on this doctrine, and you cannot justify the Restoration. The doctrine is true; it is logical. The opposite is not. . . . I find it so interesting that those who condemn us reject the parallel path philosophy themselves when it comes to non-Christian religions. For if they do not, they have no reason to accept the Lord as our Redeemer or regard the Atonement as essential . . . (Mark 16:16). While the converging path idea is very appealing, it really is not reasonable.

And if God is inspiring people to join other churches, then I want my money back for my mission.  It is extremely insulting to make the truth claims that the Church does, and focus on missionary work like the Church does, and then suggest that people are praying to God to find churches and God is saying anything other than "Find your nearest LDS Church and get baptized!" 

The Church is constantly putting pressure on members to provide referrals to the missionaries, but hey, instead of coming up with a new program for member referrals, why doesn't God just stop telling people to join other religions?

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20 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Love this, and love the don't "yuck someone else's yum". I hope I can use this, and not forget it. 

It's a cute saying but the corollary doesn't sound so good, "yumming someone else's yuck".

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

I think you are illustrating one of the fatal flaws of modern ecumenism in the LDS Church.  Joseph McConkie saw this:

And if God is inspiring people to join other churches, then I want my money back for my mission.  It is extremely insulting to make the truth claims that the Church does, and focus on missionary work like the Church does, and then suggest that people are praying to God to find churches and God is saying anything other than "Find your nearest LDS Church and get baptized!" 

The Church is constantly putting pressure on members to provide referrals to the missionaries, but hey, instead of coming up with a new program for member referrals, why doesn't God just stop telling people to join other religions?

Repeatedly we are reminded that the Lord is seeking out Israel and the elect.

If I were a drunk on skid row and the  Church available to me was the Salvation Army, do you think that God would say to me "don't join that wait for the Mormons?"

If I were raised in China say do you think it would be better to be any kind of Christian or perhaps remain Godless or in some other Eastern religion, or not?

We all climb Jacob's ladder at our own speed, influenced by our lives and our environment and countless other variables.

In my opinion God wants us to move closer to him no matter what the name of the church is.

Surely you don't think that our loving father would not want us to move forward would you?

We are told that even in the spirit world the gospel will be preached and we will then be able to make a decision.

We will all have an opportunity to eventually hear the true gospel preached perfectly to us.  I hear tell that some Mormon elders actually make mistakes and some of the things and ways they teach. Can you possibly imagine that? ;)

Could it be possible that a nineteen-year-old elder might make a mistake that turns someone off?

Stuff happens. There have been times in my life when I was an atheist and I would have laughed at the church, and rolled around on the floor laughing at the elders. 

When the time was right I went to a meeting house and try to find someone to baptize me. I read about the church on my own and it correlated perfectly with my personal philosophy at that time. They told me I had to take the lessons and I was sad. I was ready to go and they didn't want me yet. So I sat through the lessons and then thank goodness they finally baptized me. I taught them things about the church they didn't know.

True story.

So yes I am perfectly positive in my testimony that God leads and directs us closer to him step by step until we are ready for the message, and we have all our ducks in a row to accept the message. That has exactly been my life.

Quite honestly I don't think that if you are born into the church you can understand what it is like to be a convert.

There are so many messages out there and 2 young "Jehovah's Witnesses  or some other cult" at your door aren't going to make much of a difference unless God has prepared you.

And in other cases perhaps like Navidad, you are actually called to build bridges between Christians. 

I heard of a story where someone was in a Protestant denomination and then received a strong testimony to join the COJCLDS. He developed a strong testimony of the church.

Soon however, puzzlingly, he felt called back to his original denomination. 

Because of his familiarity with the LDS, he became involved in an ecumenical project between the two groups.  It went well and good will was established.

Soon after that he felt called back to the LDS Church. 

This story was told by a notable member of this board who has good credibility here. I don't want to mention the name because I cannot find the reference.

Anyway I'm certain that God asked to bring us closer to him hey calls us in the direction that will do so most effectively at the time when we are seeking him. 

we have all eternity to draw closer and become more than we are. And that's true for all of us. We know that even the church will not exist for the celestial kingdom. It will serve no function. It is but a stepping block to get us there. 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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