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Holding onto beliefs

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In a discussion on the priesthood ban someone said:

"if we hold to what we truly believe to be true, and have faith that God will straighten things out if we are faithful, then...He will straighten things out. "

 

... if we hold to what we truly believe...

I do not think it is good to hold onto beliefs.  We are all misinformed, when we get new information we should let go of old beliefs, and follow where the new information leads, correct?

Example:  Let's say your church taught the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe, and you believed your church leaders and thought holding onto that belief was somehow showing faith in God.

Then - new information comes along, people are saying the earth is not flat afterall.... so.... do you

a) ignore what everyone is saying, and "hold onto your beliefs"

b) study it out using only church approved material, and rationalize how the church beliefs in a flat earth are correct

c) study it out using materials from multiple organizations, test it out yourself, and come to your own conclusion - then re-evaluate your beliefs.  (Keep some beliefs, get rid of others)

So... what beliefs have you discarded?  what beliefs would you have a hard time getting rid of?  What pieces of your faith do you hold onto, and what pieces are you willing to let go of?

 

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Just now, The Nehor said:

D) Pray about it.

Probably best not to jettison the belief that prayer is a reliable way to find truth then. That was just one of my mistakes ;)

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3 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

D) Pray about it.

So, what pieces of your belief are you wiling to get rid of?  

I recently read an interesting book named "the sin of certainty" which equated holding onto one particular belief over another to idolatry - making God in the image we think God should be, like carving it in unchanging stone - refusing to admit being wrong, refusing to change our image of God or of religion, and then getting stuck.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Probably best not to jettison the belief that prayer is a reliable way to find truth then. That was just one of my mistakes ;)

A lot of people pray and receive conflicting answers.  What do you do with that?  Just think you are special or different or doing it better than everyone else?  Not trying to be rude or anything, and personal spiritual guidance would be great - I've thought I have felt that before, but then you start reading about how the mind works, and talk with others who have had similar experiences with other very different things, and start thinking you interpreted something wrong etc. etc. There needs to be a balance - acceptance of personal limitations, willing to be wrong, humble enough to listen to others.  

 

Compare to a diet - to food.  Let's say you eat this one type of food - it tastes really really good, makes you feel good, but then all these other people start saying it is carcinogenic.  You argue - you love this food, but then ... there is all this evidence, peer reviewed journal articles, documented case after case - so.... do you hold onto your own personal feelings? or do you start reading the medical journals and decide to change your diet?  Not saying you give up all food altogether - you just allow yourself to change a few things based on research and data.

 

I think I have shared this before - my new beliefs are a mixture - cafeteria.  I think all religious organizations are perfect enough to take everyone the first few steps of the journey, and imperfect enough to allow everyone freedom to think for themselves, travel an independent path, find personal individual connections with God outside of the organization.  Two parts - community, balanced with personal testimony.  

Like being proud to be from this university or that, or proud member of some political party - but still retaining individual freedom of thought, not agreeing with every politician or faculty member, taking ownership of yourself rather than allowing any group to dictate everything.  

Edited by changed
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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

If I gave up all of the beliefs I have questions about, I wouldn't believe anything.  If that's the alternative, I would rather believe something and be wrong.

Not "give up", change.  

The alternative - if something better comes along, change.... 

... have to be willing to look, and honestly evaluate the fruits - who is happier, who does more service, what is honest, what are good research practices. 

Let's say your neighbors family is happier, healthier, better off than you... It does not mean you leave behind your loved ones, abandon your home to live next door - but it does mean it's good to learn from the neighbors.

Edited by changed
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46 minutes ago, changed said:

So, what pieces of your belief are you wiling to get rid of?  

I recently read an interesting book named "the sin of certainty" which equated holding onto one particular belief over another to idolatry - making God in the image we think God should be, like carving it in unchanging stone - refusing to admit being wrong, refusing to change our image of God or of religion, and then getting stuck.

I am willing to get rid of anything revelation corrects though more usually it expands instead of replacing beliefs.

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50 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Probably best not to jettison the belief that prayer is a reliable way to find truth then. That was just one of my mistakes ;)

I will avoid it then. Thank you for serving as a cautionary tale. :) 

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53 minutes ago, changed said:

So, what pieces of your belief are you wiling to get rid of?  

My belief that you are a real human being posting these comments and not just a figment of my imagination. I mean, how would I really know?

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Changed, I' m genuinely curious.  Are you asking for yourself?  or trying to influence?  

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56 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

If I gave up all of the beliefs I have questions about, I wouldn't believe anything.  If that's the alternative, I would rather believe something and be wrong.

Which is not to say that I don't have an open mind, but I do try to avoid having a mind that's so open, my brain falls out. ;)

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1 hour ago, changed said:

A lot of people pray and receive conflicting answers.  What do you do with that?  Just think you are special or different or doing it better than everyone else?  Not trying to be rude or anything, and personal spiritual guidance would be great - I've thought I have felt that before, but then you start reading about how the mind works, and talk with others who have had similar experiences with other very different things, and start thinking you interpreted something wrong etc. etc. There needs to be a balance - acceptance of personal limitations, willing to be wrong, humble enough to listen to others.  

 

Compare to a diet - to food.  Let's say you eat this one type of food - it tastes really really good, makes you feel good, but then all these other people start saying it is carcinogenic.  You argue - you love this food, but then ... there is all this evidence, peer reviewed journal articles, documented case after case - so.... do you hold onto your own personal feelings? or do you start reading the medical journals and decide to change your diet?  Not saying you give up all food altogether - you just allow yourself to change a few things based on research and data.

 

I think I have shared this before - my new beliefs are a mixture - cafeteria.  I think all religious organizations are perfect enough to take everyone the first few steps of the journey, and imperfect enough to allow everyone freedom to think for themselves, travel an independent path, find personal individual connections with God outside of the organization.  Two parts - community, balanced with personal testimony.  

Like being proud to be from this university or that, or proud member of some political party - but still retaining individual freedom of thought, not agreeing with every politician or faculty member, taking ownership of yourself rather than allowing any group to dictate everything.  

My comment was intended to convey the meaning that I let go of my belief in knowledge through prayer. In my view prayer is nothing but a form of meditation. Sometimes the insights we gain can be valuable, but I don’t believe there is any access to anything outside of ourself. 

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4 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

In my view prayer is nothing but a form of meditation. Sometimes the insights we gain can be valuable, but I don’t believe there is any access to anything outside of ourself. 

Then I'm pretty damn smart to be able to tell myself things I didn't already know. Or believe even.

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2 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Then I'm pretty damn smart to be able to tell myself things I didn't already know. Or believe even.

Yes you are!

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I appreciate the concept of truth. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are seekers of truth at all times. The process of discipleship is a constant process of winnowing our beliefs to arrive at truth. I know of no other religion that is quite as clear as to study out of the best books, that truth is taught in all religions, and that we claim all truth as our own. We should always be seeking truth and refining our beliefs so that we understand true principles properly. 

It seems to be that some individuals are afraid of truth. Knowing truth tries or weighs the individual. Finding and knowing truth, does one grab it or reject it. Knowing truth presents the truth of taking a stand on that truth. Some people reject all truth in order to be tolerant and humble. This is not wisdom; this is being led about by the evil one to ensure that one is neither cold or hot, but completely lukewarm. 

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35 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Which is not to say that I don't have an open mind, but I do try to avoid having a mind that's so open, my brain falls out. ;)

See Groucho below.

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14 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Yes you are!

And get them right. Even events in the future and things I can't see.

This reminds me of something one of my undergraduate lecturers once said: Freud didn't like the idea of God, so he shrunk Him down and put Him inside man's brain. But it takes as much faith to believe in either case.

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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

Changed, I' m genuinely curious.  Are you asking for yourself?  or trying to influence?  

Influence to what? Everyone holds onto some beliefs and everyone lets some go all the time. They just vary in the specifics: of which, how long, for what reasons, etc. It´s these details that I assume Changed is looking for.

This is true for religious beliefs too. It does not have to be beliefs that exactly match church doctrine. They could and probably are just one´s beliefs/understanding of church doctrines.

In the case of Mormonism, it seems members are supposed to change their beliefs whenever new light/revelation comes (or when revelation becomes just policy and/or policy becomes a product of one´s time and society in history😉). With continuous revelation should come continuous change in beliefs. If continuous revelation reveals something too different to retain the old simultaneously with the new, then it´s more than a simple change or modification in belief - then old is supposed to be let go and new is now to be held onto.

Even without a change in teaching/new revelation, one would have to assume that God never brings about change in true beliefs except through revelation (which that one ¨God does nothing¨ Bible verse LDS use a lot would seem to indicate, if you read it the LDS way). But then are we to explain non-LDS coming to a belief before it is revealed to the LDS leadership as non-LDS having received revelation from God before the LDS leadership did? Or was it just dumb luck that non-LDS belief stumbled upon current/true beliefs?

For these reasons, I think the OP can be interpreted as being in good faith to what it presents itself to be - sharing and exploration.  Now, if Changed starts arguing (instead of just exploring the specifics) for certain person´s beliefs to be changed on this thread, then she betrays the OP.  She can even offer beliefs as possible ones that could be dropped and even give reasons why they might without necessarily ¨trying to influence¨. But until then, I wonder why your first response to the OP by Changed would be this one, MustardSeed. Maybe it´s just previous interactions, I don´t know.

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2 hours ago, changed said:

..........................

So... what beliefs have you discarded?  what beliefs would you have a hard time getting rid of?  What pieces of your faith do you hold onto, and what pieces are you willing to let go of?

I held some frankly false beliefs when I was very young.  I can recall pledging allegiance to the flag in elementary school, first grade.  I believed that the final phrase was "and just as fraw."  I didn't know what "fraw" meant, and later found out that I was wrong.  I liked the idea of "justice for all," so changing my belief didn't do me any harm at all.

I similarly thought the "Doctrine and Covenants" I heard about in Church were the tablets of the Law received by Moses on Mt Sinai.  Later I found out that I was wrong and changed my belief to fit the facts.

I also thought that the "Land Northward" in the BofM was North America, and that the "Land Southward" was South America.  When I later learned about the  various travels of people in the text going specific numbers of days, I realized that it was impossible to envision a hemisphere-wide geography.

I had no trouble dropping the Steady State theory of cosmology in favor of the Big Bang, but I find it difficult to conceptualize quantum entanglement, spooky action at a distance, string theory, and the like.

I have had to alter thousands of misunderstandings and false beliefs over the years, particularly in rapidly changing areas of scholarship (science, history, etc.).

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I had to give up my belief that the prophet was the single authority for the entire world and that this church is the only “true” church on earth. I had to completely rework my testimony and core beliefs in order to stay in the church. 

 

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4 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I would rather believe something and be wrong.

I believed the Dodgers were going to win the World Series that last two years, but I was wrong. Still, I wouldn't want to believe anything else because I am a fan of the Dodgers.

Matters of salvation, however, rise to a higher level than rooting for a sports team (though some might disagree). What if your erroneous belief puts you on a path that takes you away from God? What then? Would you still rather believe in something and be wrong?

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7 minutes ago, Thinking said:

What if your erroneous belief puts you on a path that takes you away from God? What then? Would you still rather believe in something and be wrong?

If you don't believe in anything, then you are just floundering and that ends up taking you away from God as well, imo.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, changed said:

In a discussion on the priesthood ban someone said:

"if we hold to what we truly believe to be true, and have faith that God will straighten things out if we are faithful, then...He will straighten things out. "

 

... if we hold to what we truly believe...

I do not think it is good to hold onto beliefs.  We are all misinformed, when we get new information we should let go of old beliefs, and follow where the new information leads, correct?

Example:  Let's say your church taught the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe, and you believed your church leaders and thought holding onto that belief was somehow showing faith in God.

Then - new information comes along, people are saying the earth is not flat afterall.... so.... do you

a) ignore what everyone is saying, and "hold onto your beliefs"

b) study it out using only church approved material, and rationalize how the church beliefs in a flat earth are correct

c) study it out using materials from multiple organizations, test it out yourself, and come to your own conclusion - then re-evaluate your beliefs.  (Keep some beliefs, get rid of others)

So... what beliefs have you discarded?  what beliefs would you have a hard time getting rid of?  What pieces of your faith do you hold onto, and what pieces are you willing to let go of?

 

I haven't read any of the other responses yet, so as usual, I will be wading into a debate basically unarmed. I believe that one of the biggest problems with people in all religions is thath they develop paradigms based upon what they think their religion says about a secular subject and those paradigms take on an air of doctrine over the years, become traditions that maybe are even reinforced by the opinions of some of the leadership. Then when evidence that refutes one or the other of those paradigms comes to light it can result in a serious faith crisis. There are many to choose from, but I will just take one example. The young earth belief endemic to most Christian religions that believe the earth is only several thousand years old based upon the creation narrative from the Book of Genesis. It was (and probably still is) held by most members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is actually indicated by Doctrine and Covenants 77:6. Science and those religious beliefs surely have some conflict there and if a person is rigid in his or her paradigms he or she can either ignore or not accept the scientific data or lose faith.

I really do not know (or care) what category of categories I may fall into on this matter. I have what I consider to be a firm belief in the core doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in God, the father, Jesus the Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Book of Mormon, etc. I don't care whether it took seven thousand, seven million, seven billion, or seven epochs of whatever time it actually took God to create the earth. But I have adjusted my paradigms to include the data that science has provided and continue blithely on my TBM way.

And I do believe that God will make right those things that are not right, the injustices that happen here upon this earth. We also will be able to see clearly what those injustices were, which may not always be according to what we may think.

Glenn

Edited by Glenn101
A further thought.
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