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41 minutes ago, Kevin Christensen said:

I haven't seen any percentage studies, haven't looked, and wouldn't know where to look, and I see far more discussion of Fowler's Stages of Faith (which sorts people by the conclusions they come to) than of the Perry Scheme (which sorts people by how they process information), alas.

I've been beating my drum on this for decades.  Most people march to the sound of the drummers they hear, and few hear mine in all the hubbub.  Being an out of the way amateur without institutional backing, I should not expect much.  When I first figured out True and Living in the early 90s, I presented at a Bay Area Sunstone, expecting that intellectual community there would get it.   But they looked like stunned bunnies.  As a consequence of such experiences, I often think of a place in Structure of Scientific Revolutions where Kuhn discusses an experiment where subjects are asked to identify playing cards, without being told that some of the cards are anomalous, such as a red Queen of Spades.  Because they anomalous cards are unexpected, most people simply do not see them for what they are, and instead see what they expect.  This sort of thing is every day for me in my writing, where it is easy to overlook misspelled words because the brain adjusts and shows me what I expected rather than what is there.  People have to seek, looking for greater light and knowledge, rather than re-enforcement of existing expectations.  When I edit my own work, I have to do so with an awareness of my own weakness, and be willing to make the extra effort to see my own mistakes, to remove the beam from my own eye, that I might then see clearly.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

People just need to understand that, if they actually read this paper AND contemplated its implications, there would be no need for threads like this one.

And as much as I love your paper I think it is important to point out that you are not the only one that has this stance, that it has been around for a long time, and is a point of view which would elevate our faith and our level of discussion significantly.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think. ;)

 

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2 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

I find this misunderstanding relatively often among Latter-day Saints. The Body of Christ enfolds all those who look upon Jesus Christ as the Son of God. This knowledge immediately emphasizes that God is working with diverse groups/churches to preach his gospel. Further, scripture tells us that God works with all his children and gives them the truths they are capable of living. The understanding further emphasizes that God not only works with his children that follow his Son, but he works with and through all cultures, peoples, and religions. 

One of the pitfalls of thinking that God has claimed that he has a true Church on the earth; one that has the authority to act in his name and seal his ordinances on both earth and in heaven is that ergo all other churches and religions are false. This paints with too broad a brush stroke and is not what God has said. There are false teachers everywhere - it does not take long to recognize false teachers on this board much less in the world at large. 

I appreciate Brigham's statement regarding truth - we claim it wherever it is found as our own. God's church may possess his authority and the truths necessary to exalt its members, but it is not the sole source of all truth. That is falsehood and our teachings indicate that. We have yet to receive many great and precious truths. We should learn from other faiths, religions, and holy individuals upon the earth how best to serve God and his children. 

thank you for your reply, I think many hold similar views.

only "gives them the truths they are capable of living" - then how does one explain those who leave the church, or those like Judas who were apparently not able to live the truth they were given?  It seems failure to live a truth indicates an inability to live the truth.  Also consider other religious systems which require so much more of their followers - stricter dietary codes, stricter dress codes, greater commitment to care for the poor and needy, greater commitment to being selfless and non-materialistic - should the most demanding religious traditions be honored above others?

"There are false teachers everywhere" - I agree.  All humans are imperfect, so I believe that all teachers preach things that are false.  To me this leaves room for everyone to find their own personal voice, and not feel confined to following any fallible human leader 100%.  

 

2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

That's if you believe in the CK, when you let that go it's a lot easier to swallow. And the fact that everyone will have salvation with Jesus Christ being our Saviour, but the COJCOLDS believes you can go one better and become gods or be exalted. That is what this church is all about, and the meat of the gospel. And while I was true believing, I believed that it was the only place God is so that was a driving force. Now I'm fine with Jesus because in many faiths He is God. And God really hasn't been in my life, I've tried but He never comes through, therefore what I don't know won't hurt me. I'd be fine with Jesus, He at least came down to sacrifice. Still trying to hold onto that belief anyhow. 

 

I love Jesus as well.  I also love the idea of reincarnation - life after life until a spirit is refined and comes to a full knowledge and wisdom - infinite lives, infinite number of times to fall and stand back up again.  

The atonement makes everyone feel loved, but does not impart wisdom.  I could give someone an "A" for a test or a class they did not deserve or earn, could "forgive" them for not studying, but that does not help them learn the material and would be counterproductive as an example.  Let them take the class again, give them more time, more tries at it until they understand the material without anyone else's help - this seems a more reasonable approach.  

 

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3 hours ago, changed said:

Saying people would be happy in lower degrees of glory tome is like sitting in a castle, saying others would be happy in the slums.  I do not understand how anyone  can be filled with love for others (which is one definition of God), while also saying they do not want to live eternally with everyone, and do not wish what is best for everyone.  

To me, the celestial kingdom is best for all.  The most glorious ending would be everyone together forever.  I could never be happy in heaven if I knew others were suffering in hell.  I do not understand how anyone would be happy without being together with everyone.  

If this life is really just a holographic simulation (no harm, no foul), none of that matters.  Once we get through the matrix, we are all exalted.  Right?

“Scientists Confirm That Reality is an Illusion - Our 3D Universe Is A Hologram,” May 4, 2012, online at     
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qngieHWZXcM .

Kevin Loria, “ Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks there's a 'very high' chance the universe is just a simulation,” Business Insider, April 22, 2016, online at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-thinks-theres-130300649.html .

Ethan Siegel, “Are Space, Time, And Gravity All Just Illusions?” Forbes, Oct 4, 2017, online at https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/868a5d8d-9ef8-3d2d-9a41-d8f4f80aba0c/ss_are-space%2C-time%2C-and-gravity.html .

And isn't that what the Buddha learned while sitting under the Bodhi Tree -- that reality is just an illusion (Maya)?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Kevin Christensen said:

look to the Perry Scheme of Cognitive and Ethical Growth. 

 

I am familiar with the Perry scheme, and use it within the courses I design and teach.  I disagree with the conclusions of your papers though... and interpret the higher levels a bit differently ;) My goal is for students to graduate to be colleagues - not students - not followers.  That they rely on no authority figure by the end of their education.    I do not see this as being the goal within the LDS church, as the church is highly dependent upon authority figures.

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13 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If this life is really just a holographic simulation (no harm, no foul), none of that matters.  Once we get through the matrix, we are all exalted.  Right?

“Scientists Confirm That Reality is an Illusion - Our 3D Universe Is A Hologram,” May 4, 2012, online at     
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qngieHWZXcM .

Kevin Loria, “ Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks there's a 'very high' chance the universe is just a simulation,” Business Insider, April 22, 2016, online at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-thinks-theres-130300649.html .

Ethan Siegel, “Are Space, Time, And Gravity All Just Illusions?” Forbes, Oct 4, 2017, online at https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/868a5d8d-9ef8-3d2d-9a41-d8f4f80aba0c/ss_are-space%2C-time%2C-and-gravity.html .

And isn't that what the Buddha learned while sitting under the Bodhi Tree -- that reality is just an illusion (Maya)?

 

 

 

Haha - the new AI stuff going on, yea, Mandelbrots and the Matrix :)

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13 minutes ago, changed said:

thank you for your reply, I think many hold similar views.

only "gives them the truths they are capable of living" - then how does one explain those who leave the church, or those like Judas who were apparently not able to live the truth they were given?  It seems failure to live a truth indicates an inability to live the truth.  Also consider other religious systems which require so much more of their followers - stricter dietary codes, stricter dress codes, greater commitment to care for the poor and needy, greater commitment to being selfless and non-materialistic - should the most demanding religious traditions be honored above others?

"There are false teachers everywhere" - I agree.  All humans are imperfect, so I believe that all teachers preach things that are false.  To me this leaves room for everyone to find their own personal voice, and not feel confined to following any fallible human leader 100%.  

 

 

I love Jesus as well.  I also love the idea of reincarnation - life after life until a spirit is refined and comes to a full knowledge and wisdom - infinite lives, infinite number of times to fall and stand back up again.  

The atonement makes everyone feel loved, but does not impart wisdom.  I could give someone an "A" for a test or a class they did not deserve or earn, could "forgive" them for not studying, but that does not help them learn the material and would be counterproductive as an example.  Let them take the class again, give them more time, more tries at it until they understand the material without anyone else's help - this seems a more reasonable approach.  

 

You know, I'm leaning reincarnation and many lives to get it right, haha. Never would have gone there a few years ago. But it sounds better than staying pregnant and never communicating with my children, like a goddess would do. Lower case because I don't know if I believe there is one. The church has pretty much nixed any contact with her anyway. 

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4 minutes ago, changed said:

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

"There are false teachers everywhere" - I agree.  All humans are imperfect, so I believe that all teachers preach things that are false.  To me this leaves room for everyone to find their own personal voice, and not feel confined to following any fallible human leader 100%.  

I love Jesus as well.  I also love the idea of reincarnation - life after life until a spirit is refined and comes to a full knowledge and wisdom - infinite lives, infinite number of times to fall and stand back up again.  

The atonement makes everyone feel loved, but does not impart wisdom.  I could give someone an "A" for a test or a class they did not deserve or earn, could "forgive" them for not studying, but that does not help them learn the material and would be counterproductive as an example.  

The Buddha said that desire is the beginning of sorrows.  Does this mean that emptying one's self of desire eliminates sorrow?  Jesus is said to have "emptied" himself of all will and power, the kenosis (Philippians 2:7).  Did that eliminate sorrow for him?

Buddhism is based on the notion of reincarnation (the wheel of samsara), the cycle only ceasing when desire has been extinguished -- when one reaches the liberation of enlightenment.

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59 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Very interesting video.  I don't think I've encountered this powerful a challenge to my testimony in decades.  Bad enough the Islamic lady prayed so earnestly to choose between Christianity and Islam.  The Heaven's Gate suicide cult's spiritual witness?  Dang - sounds waaaay too similar to mine.   Heh.  I appreciate the apologetic way you open this post - I believe you when you say you're not trying to upset anyone.  

I think my testimony remains intact.  Things I've said and believed for a while:
- Ultimately, the only valid reason to be a member of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, is you believe God wants you to be one.

- I've personally witnessed people going through an intense period of spiritual growth, drawing them away from one faith and towards another.  And I've also personally witnessed that person crossing paths going through a very similar experience, heading in the exact opposite direction. 

- Life got ten, a hundred, a thousand times easier when I read this article from Elder Oaks, and discovered that it's often ok to just sit there with a dumb look on my face and cast no judgment.  More than ok, I'm best off not judging in many situations.   

- The Oaks article, judge a tree by its fruit, and "Be still and trust in God" gets me through this video.  I don't have to know the answer to everything.  Although my testimony is based on an undeniable (and recurring) spiritual witness, which moved me from "I believe" to "I know", I can still place my trust in the Lord and walk in faith.  If He wants me to go be a scientologist, He knows how to pull me in that direction.  Until then, my testimony remains as unblemished as before I encountered this thread. 

- Paul's discourse on charity in 1st Corinthians put me in my place whenever I want to start disrespecting someone else because of their beliefs.

My best advice for you, is be true to what you've experienced - not what others have experienced just because it took them in a different direction.  

 

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold...  I canot find peace within only one religious system - have to find a way to connect, and make it work for everyone.  

What we share: http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/02/illustrations-of-the-tao/

Benevolence, responsibility, balancing mercy and justice - those are the important things to me now, principles, with many different stories and experiences which allow everyone to find the same things - the same refined character traits.  

 

... It is an uncomfortable thing... to see "the writing on the other side of the box" as some would say...  but it is also uncomfortable to stay in the box.  Separate the wheat and the tares in all of it, not throwing away the baby with the bath water...

 

My own cognitive dissonance - I was faced with it, that day, that phone call, that changed everything I thought was true, and trustworthy, and from God... it was not a video, not historical studies that shook my faith, but a reality I was forced to face - am still facing and dealing with.  

Edited by changed
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24 minutes ago, changed said:

 

I am familiar with the Perry scheme, and use it within the courses I design and teach.  I disagree with the conclusions of your papers though... and interpret the higher levels a bit differently ;) My goal is for students to graduate to be colleages - not students - not followers.  That they rely on no authority figure by the end of their education.    I do not see this as being the goal within the LDS church.

Then perhaps you have not considered these statements:

Quote

And for this cause ye shall have afulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are bone; (3 Nephi 28:10)

And this:

Quote

For behold, this is my awork and my bglory—to bring to pass the cimmortality and deternal elife of man.  (Moses 1:40)

And this:

Quote

67 And thou art after the aorder of him who was without beginning of days or end of years, from all eternity to all eternity.

68 Behold, thou art aone in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my bsons. (Moses 6:67-68)

And this:

Quote

They who are of a celestial aspirit shall receive the same bbody which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your cglory shall be that glory by which your bodies are dquickened.

29 Ye who are aquickened by a portion of the bcelestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.  (D&C 88:28-29)

And this:

Quote

20 For if you keep my acommandments you shall receive of his bfulness, and be cglorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive dgrace for grace.

21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the abeginning with the Father, and am the bFirstborn;

22 And all those who are begotten through me are apartakers of the bglory of the same, and are the cchurch of the Firstborn. (D&C 93:20-22)

And this:

Quote

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from aeverlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be bgods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.  (D&C 132:20)

And this:

Quote

7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the achildren of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are bchanged through faith on his name; therefore, ye are cborn of him and have become his dsons and his daughters.

8 And under this head ye are made afree, and there is bno other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other cname given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should dtake upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. (Mosiah 5:7-8)

And this:

Quote

According as his divine power hath given unto us aall things that pertain unto blife and cgodliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us dto glory and evirtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious apromises: that by these ye might be bpartakers of the cdivine dnature, having eescaped the fcorruption that is in the world through glust.

5 And beside this, giving all adiligence, add to your faith bvirtue; and to virtue cknowledge;

6 And to knowledge atemperance; and to temperance bpatience; and to patience cgodliness;

7 And to godliness abrotherly bkindness; and to brotherly kindness ccharity.

8 For if these things be in you, and aabound, they make you that ye shall neither be bbarren nor cunfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Peter1:3-8)

In all of this, obedience to authority is not an end in itself, but a means to an end.  That particular end is not something we can achieve on our own.  But the end that upon which all the law stands.

(My most detailed exploration of how the Joseph Smith urges us to Position 9 in the Perry Scheme is here:

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/sophic-box-and-mantic-vista-a-review-of-deconstructing-mormonism/

And my "Model of Mormon Spiritual Experience" essay does not refer to the Perry Scheme.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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4 hours ago, changed said:

  I could never be happy in heaven if I knew others were suffering in hell. 

Who is likely suffering in hell by the time those who have chosen to accept the gift of exaltation get to exaltation?  As well as all those who choose the other blessings/gifts of God right down to those who choose the Telestial Kingdom? (The hell that was the former residence of those that end up living in the Telestial Kingdom is emptied at Final Judgment).

I believe we will be ready as a family to move on to the next stage of our existence just as happened before mortality rather than dribbling in piecemeal as each of us completes the long, long process of preparation (long even for those who might have advanced a great deal during mortality and premortality if .Joseph is right).

We were all there as a family being informed it was time for the next step at the Council when we made our choice to follow or reject God's Plan and his chosen Redeemer.  There might have been many ready for birth long before the Council took place, but if the story of the Council is not solely symbolic, it appears those waited until all could be there as God prepared it.

Makes sense the next stage is approached the same way, as a family rejoicing it is time.  Only those that reject the family, reject God in all ways are not joyful, but they may not be suffering but triumphant in their own way...after all their wishes came true just as they did for the rest of us.  Scripture tells us God knows their destination, not us; so whatever Outer Darkness is, it doesn't sound like hell that ends at the latest at the end of the Millennium for those who choose the Telestial Kingdom since we have been told of that already.

Quote

28 They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive....

29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

30 And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

31 And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift....

35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain ffilthy still.

Those who remain seem to be only Sons of Perdition, enjoying what they are willing to receive.

Edited by Calm

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3 minutes ago, changed said:

 

Other sheep I have which are not of this fold...  I canot find peace within only one religious system - have to find a way to connect, and make it work for everyone.  

What we share: http://www.scifiwright.com/2013/02/illustrations-of-the-tao/

Benevolence, responsibility, balancing mercy and justice - those are the important things to me now, principles, with many different stories and experiences which allow everyone to find the same things - the same refined character traits.  

 

... It is an uncomfortable thing... to see "the writing on the other side of the box" as some would say...  but it is also uncomfortable to stay in the box.  Separate the wheat and the tares in all of it, not throwing away the baby with the bath water...

 

My own cognitive dissonance - I was faced with it, that day, that phone call, that changed everything I thought was true, and trustworthy, and from God... it was not a video, not historical studies that shook my faith, but a reality I was forced to face - am still facing and dealing with.  

Wish more could step outside the box, way to go changed. I'm sorry your cog dis had to come the way it did though. Hugs!! I love to read your posts and can tell you're really well read and super intelligent. I'm not, but still glad I get to conversate with all the smarties on this board! :)

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58 minutes ago, changed said:

seems failure to live a truth indicates an inability to live the truth

Someone can be very good at being a student, teacher, banker, doctor, whatever, and still hate doing it because they have no love for that career.  Why not the same for living the truth?

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1 hour ago, changed said:

The atonement makes everyone feel loved, but does not impart wisdom. 

I don't think you understand what the Atonement is said to do or the process as far as we know to fully access it.

First, if we become one with Christ through the Atonement, won't we have full access to his wisdom and experience?

And it seems we are given time to process it all since Joseph taught it would be a long while into the next life before we came to fully understand and thus be able to fully accept the endowment (which is an essential part of exaltation).  We likely have at least a thousand years or 100 lifetimes to prepare if the Millennium is really 1000 years long (or it could just be symbolic for 'as long as we need').  Who needs reincarnation after that?

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Because that is not our belief.

Even if one accepts your interpretation for what it means in mortality (I don't), there is a lot more progression prejudgment than that.  There was premortality and postmortality where Joseph Smith said it would take a long while even for those who got there already endowed to fully understand what that means.  There is no reason to assume that simple because a person is currently operating on partial truth and some falsehoods that in the end they will fall short.  If that were true even Saints would be doomed because we don't have all truth and being human, we likely understand at least some of the truth that we have incorrectly.

All things are possible with God including him stepping in and pulling us the rest of the way when we can't walk it by ourselves.

Then why the missionary work?  Why the emphasis on getting people to the temple?  Are the signs and tokens even necessary?  Why should I come back to this if it really doesn't matter?

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5 hours ago, changed said:

How do those who are Mormon view the many other religious faiths?     My Brothers & Sisters who have different values, faiths, and experiences than I do.  Most all of them are really decent people!

 

 Do you believe God only works with one group of people?   No.  God works with ALL people.

Do you believe some were privileged because of their pre-mortal life to be born into Mormon families?     I don't speak for others but I don't consider myself like that.  I consider myself lucky to be born where, when, and to whom I was.   

 Do you believe God is no respecter of persons and loves everyone?   Of course. 

 Do you believe everyone will make it to the celestial kingdom?    No, but more than the proverbial top 1%.   More like an overwhelming majority.

If you do believe in 3 degrees of glory, do you not want to live with others?  Are you happy to be separated from others?     I'm betting our understanding of the next phase of our existence is severely limited and skewed.  If you aren't 'happy' in the next life it will be by choice, not by punishment from God.   That doesn't seem to be his way IMHO.    I try not to speculate on the details of post-death reality.

How do you reconcile "one true faith, one prophet, one church" beliefs with what in reality exists? with a loving God?               I don't understand the question.

 

 

Edited by The Mean Farmer

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55 minutes ago, changed said:

thank you for your reply, I think many hold similar views.

only "gives them the truths they are capable of living" - then how does one explain those who leave the church, or those like Judas who were apparently not able to live the truth they were given?  It seems failure to live a truth indicates an inability to live the truth.  Also consider other religious systems which require so much more of their followers - stricter dietary codes, stricter dress codes, greater commitment to care for the poor and needy, greater commitment to being selfless and non-materialistic - should the most demanding religious traditions be honored above others?

"There are false teachers everywhere" - I agree.  All humans are imperfect, so I believe that all teachers preach things that are false.  To me this leaves room for everyone to find their own personal voice, and not feel confined to following any fallible human leader 100%.  

 

 

I love Jesus as well.  I also love the idea of reincarnation - life after life until a spirit is refined and comes to a full knowledge and wisdom - infinite lives, infinite number of times to fall and stand back up again.  

The atonement makes everyone feel loved, but does not impart wisdom.  I could give someone an "A" for a test or a class they did not deserve or earn, could "forgive" them for not studying, but that does not help them learn the material and would be counterproductive as an example.  Let them take the class again, give them more time, more tries at it until they understand the material without anyone else's help - this seems a more reasonable approach.  

 

I knew a very good individual who left the Church and became a Catholic. He was very happy within Catholicism and, to the best of my knowledge, remains happy (we have lost contact the last several years). Catholicism works for them and I am happy for him. I feel bad that they were not able to live up to the covenants they made, but they seem to have found a better home. I don't think they left due to sin; they just found something that worked better for them. This is what I believe in a broad range of kingdoms in heaven. For some, the Celestial kingdom just does not work as well as a kingdom in the Terrestrial glory. 

Judas was not able to live the truths he was given because he chose sin. I don't think these two situations are very similar unless we talk in extremes. 

I think humans choose whom they will serve every day. Some of us fail daily and yet awake and remain committed to the path - our hand remains firmly on the Iron Rod. I think there are others that consciously choose to let go of the Iron Rod and wander in a dark, misty fog. It is more comfortable for them. 

Christ hung on the cross for us - pretty demanding. I think all who follow God will come to a time where we each will choose to either sacrifice our all and accept him as our Lord and Savior or not. I have studied religions all of my life; if there is no sacrifice there is no religion. So, I guess I would have to say, if a religion demands sacrifice then it is certainly better than one that does not. 

No, just because there are false teachers does not mean we follow whatever we want - or follow own voice. What it means is that we each have a responsibility to develop a relationship with God and learn to hear him; to distinguish his voice from all others and follow him. 

Loving Jesus has no relationship to loving a concept or teaching. The Atonement exists outside of each individual. It impacts each individual whether they acknowledge Jesus Christ or not. We are each judged on how we live the truths we are given in this life. Exaltation will be filled by those who have sincerely lived those truths - Buddhists, Muslims, Agnostics, etc. The Atonement makes that possible because our sins have been washed away. Reincarnation is a false teaching and a distortion of the Plan of Salvation because it limits what the Son of God has done. It excludes him from the picture and puts salvation solely on the backs of each individual. If reincarnation were true, then all would go to hell. None would achieve Nirvana/Heaven.  

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6 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Then why the missionary work?  Why the emphasis on getting people to the temple?  Are the signs and tokens even necessary?  Why should I come back to this if it really doesn't matter?

Be sure you can go back.  I did not go to Church for fifteen years.  It was no small thing to go back, took many attempts.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

But it sounds better than staying pregnant and never communicating with my children, like a goddess would do. 

Not my vision of what Goddeses are doing.  That wasn't the kind of mother I was, why would me as goddess be like that when opportunities are infinitely more than when I was mortal mom?

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, changed said:

There are false teachers everywhere" - I agree.  All humans are imperfect, so I believe that all teachers preach things that are false.  To me this leaves room for everyone to find their own personal voice, and not feel confined to following any fallible human leader 100%.  

I can't count the number of talks that have said we all need our own testimonies of each principle, and that leaders are fallible.

Why has this not sunk in?

It's standard doctrine.

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16 minutes ago, The Mean Farmer said:

 

 

 

Agreed 

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4 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

Be sure you can go back.  I did not go to Church for fifteen years.  It was no small thing to go back, took many attempts.

The problem is that it isn't what it claims to be.  I originally left back in the late 90's, came back some years later, and then started looking into all the issues that have been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere.  Sometimes assigning one to be a gospel doctrine teacher is not the best for continued activity as it led me to research what I had been hearing since I was a child but had discounted as mere nonsense from the anti's like the Tanners.  I don't think there is a chance of my return as a believer.  For me, it doesn't add up.  I may go to church, if the occasion arises and I will always identify with the church in some areas.  I grew up in SLC and will always have the "mormon" label put on me by those I meet.  Once a "mormon" always one to some.  But thanks for the charitable encouragement.

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3 minutes ago, Exiled said:

I don't think there is a chance of my return as a believer.  For me, it doesn't add up.  I may go to church, if the occasion arises and I will always identify with the church in some areas.  I grew up in SLC and will always have the "mormon" label put on me by those I meet.  Once a "mormon" always one to some.  But thanks for the charitable encouragement.

You do not have to answer of course.  Question: If you were shown how things really are (by miraculous power) do you feel that you could accept or is your mind made up?

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25 minutes ago, Exiled said:

Then why the missionary work?  Why the emphasis on getting people to the temple?  Are the signs and tokens even necessary?  Why should I come back to this if it really doesn't matter?

Who says it doesn't matter?

Would you prefer to go to college when young or old?  Get that postdoctorate degree so you can be called Dr. ______.  After all, as long as you end up with that degree, does it matter?  Your obit says Dr. _____.  Why not take the courses when you have the time when retired or no longer dating, getting used to your partner, or raising kids?

It certainly does matter if it is not just about the degree to you, but what the degree gives you both in learning experiences while getting it and benefits in opportunities once gotten.

And if you are one who has been educated in some ways and felt the benefits, why wouldn't you be out there letting others know they have the same opportunity to learn and progress in this way now if they choose?

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1 hour ago, changed said:

.. It is an uncomfortable thing... to see "the writing on the other side of the box" as some would say...  but it is also uncomfortable to stay in the box.  Separate the wheat and the tares in all of it, not throwing away the baby with the bath water...

The box only exists if we think it exists.  The gospel is not a box for those who see it as an experience of divinity in mortality.

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16 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

You do not have to answer of course.  Question: If you were shown how things really are (by miraculous power) do you feel that you could accept or is your mind made up?

I am always open to evidence and if something new comes, I will definitely look at it.

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