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“Is a Christian a Christian;” instead of “Is a Mormon a Christian?”

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3 hours ago, sheilauk said:

Maybe it's because I'm a convert

I am BIC as well as my parents and grandparents so growing up I was never really exposed to a convert's perspective on this topic save through perhaps some testimonies at Church which I never interpreted as different from what I was hearing at home.  My experience is consistent with yours.  Nothing that my parents or grandparents said led me to believe our leaders were the sole conduit to Christ and the Father.  Every week at church I saw numerous members give prayers to God and I was taught God hears those prayers.  Testimonies were given about the very personal nature of the Spirit speaking to individuals in their hearts and minds.

Edited by Calm
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How it is generally taught...

Quote

On this personal line of communication with the Lord, our belief and practice is similar to that of those Christians who insist that human mediators between God and man are unnecessary because all have direct access to God under the principle Martin Luther espoused that is now known as “the priesthood of all believers.” I will say more of that later.

The personal line is of paramount importance in personal decisions and in the governance of the family. Unfortunately, some members of our church underestimate the need for this direct, personal line. Responding to the undoubted importance of prophetic leadership—the priesthood line, which operates principally to govern heavenly communications on Church matters—some seek to have their priesthood leaders make personal decisions for them, decisions they should make for themselves by inspiration through their personal line. Personal decisions and family governance are principally a matter for the personal line....

First, the priesthood line does not supersede the need for the personal line. We all need a personal testimony of truth. As our faith develops, we necessarily rely on the words and faith of others, like our parents, teachers, or priesthood leaders (see D&C 46:14). But if we are solely dependent on one particular priesthood leader or teacher for our personal testimony of the truth instead of getting that testimony through the personal line, we will be forever vulnerable to disillusionment by the action of that person. When it comes to a mature knowledge or testimony of the truth, we should not be dependent on a mortal mediator between us and our Heavenly Father.

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/10/two-lines-of-communication?lang=eng

My summary of this talk is the Priesthood line of communication is necessary, but when it comes to our personal interaction with God it is meant to be supportive and is to strengthen our personal relationship, not substitute for it.  Leaders have long recognized that those members who do substitute a leader's voice for God's weaken their connection with the Spirit (last paragraph and especially last sentence of the above).

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I am BIC as well as my parents and grandparents so growing up I was never really exposed to a concert's perspective on this topic save through perhaps some testimonies at Church which I never interpreted as different from what I was hearing at home.  My experience is consistent with yours.  Nothing that my parents or grandparents said led me to believe our leaders were the sole conduit to Christ and the Father.  Every week at church I saw numerous members give prayers to God and I was taught God hears those prayers.  Testimonies were given about the very personal nature of the Spirit speaking to individuals in their hearts and minds.

BIC - Brethren in Christ?

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Sorry...born in the covenant, shorthand for parents sealed before I was born so I didn't go through a sealing ceremony with them ( something I felt a bit cheated on as a kid).  Basically I was saying I grew up immersed in the LDS environment at home, so that viewpoint is what I grew up with...a viewpoint that never had leaders as mediators between me and God.

In fact, it was pretty well drilled into me at home and at church as I remember that I needed to speak to God myself and invest a lot of time on my knees and otherwise listening for his response.  Plus I needed to study the scriptures for myself rather than depending on leaders' interpretation for benefit of my personal life.

A semi decent analogy I think is to view the personal line and the priesthood line as a pair of scissors, to really work well you need both sharp, the sharper the better.  Also they need to be in proper alignment, too much of a gap and they don't cut.  By themselves they are still functional as knives for rough jobs, but don't do the fine work they can achieve together.  In this analogy, I would say a lot of people who have only half of the scissors (also known as a shear) whether by choice or circumstance have sharpened that so well they surpassed the cutting ability of many that use both, but they could achieve even more with both.

add-on:  there are members who think that if the priesthood line shear is perfectly sharp, that means they don't need to sharpened the personal line shear, but what it ends up really meaning imo is the scissors never cut because they don't actually pick them up to communicate with God themselves.  I also think it is unrealistic to assume the priesthood line is always as sharp as it should be.  Nicks and dullness can happen to both shears.

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

BIC - Brethren in Christ?

Deleted so as not to duplicate Calm.

Edited by Okrahomer

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11 minutes ago, Calm said:

Sorry...born in the covenant, shorthand for parents sealed before I was born so I didn't go through a sealing ceremony with them ( something I felt a bit cheated on as a kid).

My folks were not married in the Temple.  They had several children by the time they were able to go.  My oldest brothers actually remember the sealing, and I have felt a bit “cheated” about that as well.  But would you believe me if I told you that I feel like I “remember” it too?

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16 minutes ago, Calm said:

Sorry...born in the covenant, shorthand for parents sealed before I was born so I didn't go through a sealing ceremony with them ( something I felt a bit cheated on as a kid).  Basically I was saying I grew up immersed in the LDS environment at home, so that viewpoint is what I grew up with...a viewpoint that never had leaders as mediators between me and God.

In fact, it was pretty well drilled into me at home and at church as I remember that I needed to speak to God myself and invest a lot of time on my knees and otherwise listening for his response.  Plus I needed to study the scriptures for myself rather than depending on leaders' interpretation for benefit of my personal life.

A semi decent analogy I think is to view the personal line and the priesthood line as a pair of scissors, to really work well you need both sharp, the sharper the better.  Also they need to be in proper alignment, too much of a gap and they don't cut.  By themselves they are still functional as knives for rough jobs, but don't do the fine work they can achieve together.

It is funny (interesting?) how we filter comments through our own lenses. BIC is an oft used abbreviation for the Brethren in Christ group within Anabaptism. I understood perfectly your entire post that you grew up Brethren in Christ and everything else your wrote fell in line perfectly with Brethren in Christ teachings about prayer, testimonies, and the family. I just assumed you converted to Mormonism from a BIC background and the rest of your comment about your early years made perfect sense. I was totally and completely wrong, but it made perfect sense to me! There is a lesson in that somewhere! Thanks for the clarification! 

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9 minutes ago, Navidad said:

There is a lesson in that somewhere!

Very much so.  Our understanding is extremely dependent on our expectations, what we bring to conversations.  We need to examine and understand and then communicate these if we are to understand what we are trying to communicate with each other.

If we use the same 'language' base (jargon) as others we are communicating with or we have enough experience with each other's jargon, we can be lazy and skip the explaining of expectations (such as how we define things, but also the connotations and background we place our definitions in) and still communicate well, but often we are fooled by our shared set of expectations into believing all our expectations are the same and we end up talking at cross purposes (which I have seen happen between immediate family members who you would think understood each other well enough, but they walked away thinking the opposite of the other).

Edited by Calm
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