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The Spirit & religious diversity

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

We need the teachings of leaders (arm of flesh), and we need the light to decipher for ourselves what we will believe.  As I said before, they work in concert. 

I would hesitate to say that any personal testimony is entirely independent of any leader except the Godhead.  My testimony, as it is, would not exist without prophets and other sources.  My testimony in most areas is dependent upon the teaching of other men.  I have very few original ideas that I have a testimony of.  Our leaders job is to guide us to personal testimony, therefore we are indebted to them and rely on them for it.   

We shouldn't cut off the hand that feeds us and take all credit for our own spiritual wisdom and testimony.   We need to recognize that we primarily believe what we believe because a man or woman taught it to us.

If I may add to your comments.  The problem with those who say that the "inner light" is what will guide us are either very incomplete, deluding themselves, or are simply ignorant to the reality of that light.

We have the Light of Christ, which is an inner light.  But that is a very weak compass.  So many earthy forces can interfere with it.  We must be in the right circumstance to feel it and trust it.  Otherwise, we tend to get very mixed up between our inner light and our inner desires.

Instead, we need to remember that the Light we truly seek is that of the Holy Ghost.  And that is indeed external.  Too many religions and philosophies call it an INNER light because they believe it is within us.  No, it is not.  Potential is within us.  But that potential can only be catalyzed by the Holy Ghost (an external source of light).

Crabs do not pull each other out of the bucket.  We need a higher power to send down a rope or ladder or something.  We have no access to a ladder while stuck in a bucket.
Two fools cannot teach each other wisdom.  We need a wise man to teach it to us.
The blind cannot lead the blind.

I see no logic in saying that looking for the source from another person (arm of flesh) is different than looking for the source within ourselves (arm of flesh).

The only thing that makes prophets different is that they do not say anything of themselves (as far as the doctrine/belief which is binding on us).  They only repeat what the Lord has revealed to them to the best of their ability and knowledge.

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32 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

If I may add to your comments.  The problem with those who say that the "inner light" is what will guide us are either very incomplete, deluding themselves, or are simply ignorant to the reality of that light.

We have the Light of Christ, which is an inner light.  But that is a very weak compass.  So many earthy forces can interfere with it.  We must be in the right circumstance to feel it and trust it.  Otherwise, we tend to get very mixed up between our inner light and our inner desires.

Instead, we need to remember that the Light we truly seek is that of the Holy Ghost.  And that is indeed external.  Too many religions and philosophies call it an INNER light because they believe it is within us.  No, it is not.  Potential is within us.  But that potential can only be catalyzed by the Holy Ghost (an external source of light).

Crabs do not pull each other out of the bucket.  We need a higher power to send down a rope or ladder or something.  We have no access to a ladder while stuck in a bucket.
Two fools cannot teach each other wisdom.  We need a wise man to teach it to us.
The blind cannot lead the blind.

I see no logic in saying that looking for the source from another person (arm of flesh) is different than looking for the source within ourselves (arm of flesh).

The only thing that makes prophets different is that they do not say anything of themselves (as far as the doctrine/belief which is binding on us).  They only repeat what the Lord has revealed to them to the best of their ability and knowledge.

I agree with the theology here, thanks

But practically speaking othe Faith's claim guidance by the Spirit as well, which leaves us in the position of defending "My spirit is better than yours" which is not a great missionary message. Perhaps the distinction between the conscience and the spirit is for some people not as great as it is with you perhaps. Though the spirit is external it speaks to our hearts just as the conscience does.

That externality can be difficult to distinguish.

I am a convert. I am a very skeptical person who needed to find my own way. I actually found at this church by studying philosophies of men and finding the requirements that I needed in order to believe in a church. This church has it and then the spirit reached down to me as you suggest, and clobbered me big time with multiple spiritual messages that I could not deny were external.

I think everyone needs to find their own way.

There is truth in all religions but my belief is that we are the Great River the all the tributaries flow into, but each of us as little drops of rain need to find our way over all the obstacles to get there.

And getting stuck in a puddle might be exactly what the spirit needs for us to do to get splashed into the right drain to get into the sea.

Or something like that ;)

The point is that there may be diversions that we actually need to make to find the correct way for us individually.

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

But practically speaking othe Faith's claim guidance by the Spirit as well, which leaves us in the position of defending "My spirit is better than yours" which is not a great missionary message.

You're right.  There is always that danger.  The matter of having the sure word of prophecy vs a strong impression from the Holy Ghost is another matter entirely.  And I'm not addressing that at this time.

Quote

Perhaps the distinction between the conscience and the spirit is for some people not as great as it is with you perhaps. Though the spirit is external it speaks to our hearts just as the conscience does.

That externality can be difficult to distinguish.

I am a convert. I am a very skeptical person who needed to find my own way. I actually found at this church by studying philosophies of men and finding the requirements that I needed in order to believe in a church. This church has it and then the spirit reached down to me as you suggest, and clobbered me big time with multiple spiritual messages that I could not deny were external.

I think everyone needs to find their own way.

There is truth in all religions but my belief is that we are the Great River the all the tributaries flow into, but each of us as little drops of rain need to find our way over all the obstacles to get there.

And getting stuck in a puddle might be exactly what the spirit needs for us to do to get splashed into the right drain to get into the sea.

Or something like that ;)

The point is that there may be diversions that we actually need to make to find the correct way for us individually.

Well, there is one think you're not mentioning.  Humility.

Those who only look inside themselves may have some insights due to introspection.  But only those who look to the Lord can be inspired by a power greater than themselves.  It is only by admitting that we are nothing in and of ourselves, but by leaning on the Lord that we can truly be edified beyond mortality.  And if all we have is our own introspection and our own discovery by our own intellect, I don't see how that is a credible claim to having learned the things of Eternity.

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5 hours ago, Carborendum said:

If I may add to your comments.  The problem with those who say that the "inner light" is what will guide us are either very incomplete, deluding themselves, or are simply ignorant to the reality of that light.

We have the Light of Christ, which is an inner light.  But that is a very weak compass.  So many earthy forces can interfere with it.  We must be in the right circumstance to feel it and trust it.  Otherwise, we tend to get very mixed up between our inner light and our inner desires.

Instead, we need to remember that the Light we truly seek is that of the Holy Ghost.  And that is indeed external.  Too many religions and philosophies call it an INNER light because they believe it is within us.  No, it is not.  Potential is within us.  But that potential can only be catalyzed by the Holy Ghost (an external source of light).

Crabs do not pull each other out of the bucket.  We need a higher power to send down a rope or ladder or something.  We have no access to a ladder while stuck in a bucket.
Two fools cannot teach each other wisdom.  We need a wise man to teach it to us.
The blind cannot lead the blind.

I see no logic in saying that looking for the source from another person (arm of flesh) is different than looking for the source within ourselves (arm of flesh).

The only thing that makes prophets different is that they do not say anything of themselves (as far as the doctrine/belief which is binding on us).  They only repeat what the Lord has revealed to them to the best of their ability and knowledge.

Quote

Those who only look inside themselves may have some insights due to introspection.  But only those who look to the Lord can be inspired by a power greater than themselves.  It is only by admitting that we are nothing in and of ourselves, but by leaning on the Lord that we can truly be edified beyond mortality.  And if all we have is our own introspection and our own discovery by our own intellect, I don't see how that is a credible claim to having learned the things of Eternity.

While I agree with the sentiment.  I think you are perhaps making too great a gulf between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost - under emphasizing the power/influence/role of the light of Christ and the power of introspection.

I fear that the light of Christ is misunderstood and underappreciated in our church.  According to scripture It is the conduit of all truth, power, and authority.  Exaltation is the endowment of it's fullness - the fullness of light.  All spiritual inclinations, impressions, inspiration, revelation, etc. all happen via the light of Christ.  It is the the conduit that God/s (the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) utilize to speak to and influence man.  It all happens inside our heart.  We experience God internally not externally.  If the Holy Ghost is external, how do we feel him internally?  The prophets have answered that question for us - he uses the light of Christ.  To discover God we do not look externally.  We use introspection and look to our heart.  That is where he makes his abode via the light of Christ.  That is where we KNOW him.  Not out there; but in here.       

The very priesthood power and authority of God can only be utilized via the light of Christ.  It is the authority and power of God which created the heavens and all things according to the D&C.  

This is one of my favorite passages of all time:

Quote

“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”

You distinguish the light of Christ as "inner/internal" and therefore "weak", and the Holy Ghost as "external" and therefore strong, but if you would look closely, they are not that different in terms of internal/external nature.  The light of Christ emanates from God/Christ himself (external), but it fills us internally.  Just like the Holy Ghost.  In fact, when we speak of "feeling the spirit", it can only be one spirit that we are feeling internally - the light of Christ.  The Holy Ghost might utilize that spirit to endow gifts and messages to us, as may Christ himself, but they both utilize the one and same spirit which is both external and internal - it is actually omnipresent.  I hope you don't mind but I have copied and pasted a lot of material below that might explain it better than I can:

Quote

 

Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave this explanation about what the Light of Christ is: “There is a spirit—the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ, the light of truth, the light of Christ—that defies description and is beyond mortal comprehension. It is in us and in all things; it is around us and around all things; it fills the earth and the heavens and the universe. It is everywhere, in all immensity, without exception; it is an indwelling, immanent, ever-present, never-absent spirit. It has neither shape nor form nor personality. It is not an entity nor a person nor a personage. It has no agency, does not act independently, and exists not to act but to be acted upon.”2

The scriptures tell us that the Light of Christ, which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space,” is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God.”3 It is manifested in the light of the sun, moon, and stars and is the power by which they and the earth were made. It is also the light that quickens our understanding.4

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught that the Light of Christ “is the agency of God’s power; it is the means and way whereby ‘he comprehendeth all things,’ so that ‘all things are before him, and all things are round about him.’ It is the way whereby ‘he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things.’”5

The Holy Ghost makes use of the Light of Christ to perform his work. “The Spirit of Christ (or Light of Christ) is the agency through which the Holy Ghost operates,” Elder McConkie explained.6 Moroni wrote that all spiritual gifts come through the Spirit of Christ,7 meaning that when the Holy Ghost works with us, he transmits his gifts by the agency of the light of Christ.

After we are baptized and confirmed and we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we may enjoy the gifts of the Holy Ghost through the Holy Ghost’s ministration. Since the Holy Ghost uses the Spirit of Christ or Light of Christ to minister to the Saints of God, the term “Spirit of Christ” is sometimes used to refer to the Holy Ghost’s ministration through that Spirit.8

In a general conference address, President Marion G. Romney helped clarify the nature of the connection between the Light of Christ and the Holy Ghost. “There are three phases of the light of Christ that I want to mention,” said President Romney.

“The first one is the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world;

“The second phase is the gift of the Holy Ghost;

“And the third is the more sure word of prophecy.”9

The first phase of the Light of Christ is referred to in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

“And the spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world.”10 Mormon taught that “the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.”11 In this respect, the Light of Christ is associated with what we often call conscience. Everyone who is born into mortality receives the Light of Christ.

What is the effect of the Light of Christ on an individual? Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote that “if a man who has never heard the gospel will hearken to the teachings and manifestations of the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Truth, which come to him, often spoken of as conscience … it will lead him eventually to the fulness of the gospel.”12

Similarly, President Harold B. Lee said, “Every one of you born into this world enjoys the blessing of this Light that shall never cease to strive with you until you are led to that further light from the gift of the Holy Ghost that may be received only upon condition of repentance and baptism into the Kingdom of God.”13

The second phase of the Light of Christ spoken of by President Romney is received after baptism. President John Taylor taught that the world has “a portion of the Spirit of God,” but that “we have something more than that portion of the Spirit of God which is given to every man, and it is called the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is received through obedience to the first principles of the Gospel of Christ, by the laying on of hands of the servants of God.”14

President Brigham Young spoke of the Holy Ghost’s influence as “the increased rays of that light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”15 Elder Charles W. Penrose taught that a person who receives the gift of the Holy Ghost receives “a greater and higher endowment of the same spirit which enlightens every man that comes into the world.”16 Through this greater endowment of the Light of Christ the Holy Ghost conveys to the Saints such gifts of the Spirit as testimony, revelation, healing, prophecy, and many others.17 President Romney also explained that “one is born again by actually receiving and experiencing the light and power inherent in the gift of the Holy Ghost.”18

The third phase of the Light of Christ spoken of by President Romney is “‘the more sure word of prophecy’ (D&C 131:5), which is obtained by making one’s ‘calling and election sure’ (2 Pet. 1:10).”19 The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “after a person has faith in Christ, repents of his sins, and is baptized for the remission of his sins and receives the Holy Ghost, … then let him continue to humble himself before God, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and living by every word of God, and the Lord will soon say unto him, Son, thou shalt be exalted. When the Lord has thoroughly proved him, and finds that the man is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the man will find his calling and election made sure, then it will be his privilege to receive the other Comforter, which the Lord hath promised the Saints, as is recorded in the testimony of St. John.”20

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that a person who receives the more sure word of prophecy is “sealed in the heavens and [has] the promise of eternal life in the kingdom of God.”21 Such persons may then, “by making [their] calling and election sure, enjoy the full light of Christ.”22

The Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost are not the same. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit in the form of a man. He is separate and distinct from the Father and the Son, yet they all work together in perfect unity. The Father and the Son have resurrected bodies of flesh and bone, which the Holy Ghost does not have.23

The body of the Holy Ghost is like the spirit body of the Lord, which the Lord showed unto the brother of Jared before His mortal birth. Such a body resembles that of a man, but consists of spirit matter, a substance finer and purer than temporal matter.24 The Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. He does not transform himself into any other form or manifest himself in any other image than that of a spirit man.

Unlike the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost does not fill the universe and cannot be personally present everywhere at the same time; however, his power and influence, through the Light of Christ, can be manifest at the same time throughout all the immensity of space.25

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the right or blessing extended to those who are baptized whereby they may enjoy the companionship and ministration of the Holy Ghost as long as they are faithful. Often in the scriptures, the term Holy Ghost is used to refer not to the personage of the Holy Ghost, but to the gifts of the Holy Ghost, or his power, influence, or ministrations.26

There is still much that we do not know about the nature and power of the Holy Ghost and the Light of Christ. However, we can have unshaken confidence that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father.”27 The Doctrine and Covenants tells us, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”28 It also says that “he that keepeth [the Lord’s] commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.”29

Greater understanding about the Light of Christ, the Holy Ghost, and other things of God will come to us as we obey the Lord and seek knowledge with pure intent.30 While we are growing in such knowledge, our greatest concern and effort should be to listen to and follow the voice of the Spirit that we might do the will of our Father in Heaven, to accomplish what he would have us do.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1989/06/i-have-a-question/what-is-the-difference-between-the-holy-ghost-the-spirit-of-christ-and-the-light-of-christ?lang=eng

 

 

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21 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Not anymore. Some years ago, when I was serving as my ward's Young Men president, I was in the temple praying for my boys. I asked Heavenly Father what more I could do for them. I told him that I would 'do anything'.

The answer came in a clear voice: 'You could fast for them'.

I pointed out that I already fasted for them every month.

'You could fast for them every week'.

I was appalled at this suggestion and started to argue against it.

'I thought you said you would do anything'.

So I started fasting every week. I was released from that callling and called to serve in the bishopric (with Young Men responsibilities) in 2012. I was relased from the bishopric and called to serve as ward mission leader 18 months later. But I've never felt that that personal request has been rescinded, so I've continued to fast for my boys every week for more than a decade. I no longer have any interest in food when I fast, though I do sometimes get thirsty, especially when it's really hot.

Oh, I face all kinds of temptations. And I wrestle with myself on many occasions. But there is a whole world of difference between arguing within myself and hearing the voice of God correct and guide me.

Wrestling with yourself - that inner conflict - your conscience tugging you one way, and natural man another, everyone does that.  We call one thing "light" or one thing "dark" - most people see God in anything within which entices to do do good.  No scriptures needed, no authority figures, we all have that light, and direction, within ourselves.  

How the Cherokee's described it:  

wolves.jpg

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21 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

It is a misunderstanding of Freud to characterize the superego as the angel on one shoulder and the id as the devil on the other. Freud’s ideas about this aren’t really accepted anymore in psychology anyway.  But back to his ideas. He did argue that the id has its place. We do need to survive, after all. And the superego can become a neurosis — overwhelming guilt and shame, the inability to function as an individual free from parental and societal control, etc. 

Many people have many different names for it - I agree, Freud was messed up in a few things.  The point is, everyone has an inner light - call it the light of Christ, or call it God, call it conscience, or a superego - a rose by any other name, but everyone is talking about the same thing.  We all know right from wrong - regardless of where we were born, or what culture we were raised in - regardless of religious denomination or non-religious - everyone has an inner light.  

In the end, I believe this is all we will be judged on, is how we followed our inner light.  It is just - given to all, it is merciful, loving - no religious organization needed, no authority figures needed - all we need is that little inner light.  

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21 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I don't get it.

I agree with every word, so why are you knocking the church?

Moroni 10, James 1, Alma 32, and a dozen others say exactly this, Perry says this, Joseph Smith says this-- why don't you see that?

Why put yourself with the dualists and simple "Mormons just believe" crowd while you espouse this??

 

Great - so why do the TR ?'s force Mormons to follow authority figures?  if, you know, the upper stages reject authority figures?

3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

 

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10 hours ago, pogi said:

The identification of this inner light as an actual power and influence that emanates from God and fills the hearts of all men is not something that has been identified and recognized as something that "actually exists" by the scientific community.  You suggest that the secularists recognize the superego, however, their interpretation of that experience is quite different from yours.  They attribute the superego to  the influences of your upbringing, i.e. the teachings of men, and not some power/influence from God.  The understanding of the experience is based entirely upon what you have been taught about it by others.  You are absolutely dependent upon prophets for your spiritual understanding.  All Christian interpretations of this influence point to the prophetic writings of the Bible (John 1:9, etc.)  We need to give credit where credit is due.  If you are a Christian, your beliefs are primarily the result of prophetic teachings and from the teachings of other spiritual leaders.  My point simply being that yes, even you rely on the arm of flesh for your understanding.  There is no avoiding it. 

I really like what you say here and agree.  But ultimately you are still looking to other men/women ("multiple sources") for influence.  You are not really saying anything different that what I have suggested.  We need the teachings of leaders (arm of flesh), and we need the light to decipher for ourselves what we will believe.  As I said before, they work in concert. 

I would hesitate to say that any personal testimony is entirely independent of any leader except the Godhead.  My testimony, as it is, would not exist without prophets and other sources.  My testimony in most areas is dependent upon the teaching of other men.  I have very few original ideas that I have a testimony of.  Our leaders job is to guide us to personal testimony, therefore we are indebted to them and rely on them for it.   

We shouldn't cut off the hand that feeds us and take all credit for our own spiritual wisdom and testimony.   We need to recognize that we primarily believe what we believe because a man or woman taught it to us.

I love that.  I am glad that a man taught it to me ;)

 

The scientific community would group any selfless, loving, altruistic desires to survival of the herd instincts - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_(biology)

The concept of an inner driving force extends beyond religious dogma - it is found in native American tales, Hindu etc.  Everyone recognizes and talks about it because it is real, and everyone experiences it.  It is like talking about the ocean, mountains, or anything else that is real.  

 

light Hindu.jpg

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1 hour ago, changed said:

Many people have many different names for it - I agree, Freud was messed up in a few things.  The point is, everyone has an inner light - call it the light of Christ, or call it God, call it conscience, or a superego - a rose by any other name, but everyone is talking about the same thing.  We all know right from wrong - regardless of where we were born, or what culture we were raised in - regardless of religious denomination or non-religious - everyone has an inner light.  

In the end, I believe this is all we will be judged on, is how we followed our inner light.  It is just - given to all, it is merciful, loving - no religious organization needed, no authority figures needed - all we need is that little inner light.  

It sounds beautiful but in my experience the Light of Christ is a flashlight while the Holy Ghost is a burning sun. The first is fine to keep you from stumbling too bad or stepping or tripping on other people but the latter can burn away your sins and lead you to perfection.

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2 hours ago, changed said:

Many people have many different names for it - I agree, Freud was messed up in a few things.  The point is, everyone has an inner light - call it the light of Christ, or call it God, call it conscience, or a superego - a rose by any other name, but everyone is talking about the same thing.  We all know right from wrong - regardless of where we were born, or what culture we were raised in - regardless of religious denomination or non-religious - everyone has an inner light.  

In the end, I believe this is all we will be judged on, is how we followed our inner light.  It is just - given to all, it is merciful, loving - no religious organization needed, no authority figures needed - all we need is that little inner light.  

Oh, but the ethical relativist will argue against you. You seem to be claiming a universal sense of right and wrong. Incest, a universal wrong? What about Egyptian royalty? Murder based on revenge? What about the headhunters (not to mention Hamlet)?

Your argument now is to prove some sort of universal ethics... but the problem is, for every ethical statement, there is/has been a culture that denies it.

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3 hours ago, changed said:

Great - so why do the TR ?'s force Mormons to follow authority figures?  if, you know, the upper stages reject authority figures?

3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

 

Not sure what this has to do anything

Let's suppose our hypothetical Perry Scheme Stage 9 is  a famous professor of literature at Harvard. Suppose you ask him if the President of Harvard is authorized to hire and fire him, or that the founder of Harvard WAS the founder of Harvard? 

Do Perry Scheme 9 people acknowledge the authority of the police? The IRS?

Of course!! It's not about that kind of authority 

Perry's Scheme is about unquestioned acceptance of beliefs because someone told them the idea was true, not organizational authority!

Asking about if one has a testimony that Joseph restored the church is a question about your beliefs, not about who told you that Joseph restored the church and your unquestioning acceptance of THEIR authority.

If you accept the Perry Scheme do you accept it because Perry told you it was true Or because YOU believe it on your own?

Can you see the difference?

Nobody forces anybody to believe anything. If you don't believe you walk

Who forced all the exmos to stay?

No one!

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9 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Oh, but the ethical relativist will argue against you. You seem to be claiming a universal sense of right and wrong. Incest, a universal wrong? What about Egyptian royalty? Murder based on revenge? What about the headhunters (not to mention Hamlet)?

Your argument now is to prove some sort of universal ethics... but the problem is, for every ethical statement, there is/has been a culture that denies it.

 

Just because we all have a conscience, does not mean we are all led by it - there is that natural man voice in there too.  

For agreement see: https://afterall.net/papers/illustrations-of-the-tao/ 

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10 hours ago, The Nehor said:

It sounds beautiful but in my experience the Light of Christ is a flashlight while the Holy Ghost is a burning sun. The first is fine to keep you from stumbling too bad or stepping or tripping on other people but the latter can burn away your sins and lead you to perfection.

Have you been perfected Nehor?

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8 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Oh, but the ethical relativist will argue against you. You seem to be claiming a universal sense of right and wrong. Incest, a universal wrong? What about Egyptian royalty? Murder based on revenge? What about the headhunters (not to mention Hamlet)?

Your argument now is to prove some sort of universal ethics... but the problem is, for every ethical statement, there is/has been a culture that denies it.

There are no universal ethics because there are criminals?

How well did the world react to Nazism?

Criminal cultures don't survive. Their neighbors can't allow it.

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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Not sure what this has to do anything

Let's suppose our hypothetical Perry Scheme Stage 9 is  a famous professor of literature at Harvard. Suppose you ask him if the President of Harvard is authorized to hire and fire him, or that the founder of Harvard WAS the founder of Harvard? 

Do Perry Scheme 9 people acknowledge the authority of the police? The IRS?

Of course!! It's not about that kind of authority 

Perry's Scheme is about unquestioned acceptance of beliefs because someone told them the idea was true, not organizational authority!

Asking about if one has a testimony that Joseph restored the church is a question about your beliefs, not about who told you that Joseph restored the church and your unquestioning acceptance of THEIR authority.

If you accept the Perry Scheme do you accept it because Perry told you it was true Or because YOU believe it on your own?

Can you see the difference?

Nobody forces anybody to believe anything. If you don't believe you walk

Who forced all the exmos to stay?

No one!

 

Are you familiar with the scientific method, or the engineering method - you know, you collect data, multiple institutions perform the same experiments etc.?  Authority does not come from a person, it comes from many different measurements taken by many different people - the more data, the more confident someone can be in the results.  

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11 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Agreed.

And this is where we disagree. Severely. My interactions with the Lord are not some fancy dress I put on my own inner conflicts. He's not my conscience or an inner light. He's a real man. My Father, in fact. And when I welcome His involvement in whatever inner conflict I'm engaged in, everything changes.

The two Beings who spoke to Joseph in the grove were not mere projections of his conscience, nor were they a metaphor for an 'inner light'. After all his questioning, he didn't have the answer he needed anywhere inside of himself. He needed outside help. That's kind of the whole point of the Restoration. We have the same access to an actual Heavenly Father and an actual Saviour that Joseph did.

I find it perplexing that, as a Latter-day Saint, you don't want God to be any bigger than your own best thoughts. 

 

Haha - I wish people did not feel the need to put on some fancy dress to go to church, or to go to the temple.  ... you are familiar with all of the different versions of the 1st vision, right?  How in the original account there was only one being, and then the second was added on, the disagreements over it being an actual event, or a dream etc. etc.  ... there are more than a few scholars who have studied historical documents who have come to the conclusion that it was, in fact, projections of his conscience... 

Never-the-less, multiple resources, many data points - there is evidence for the Bible - I have been to Israel, those places are real, I can see how accounts of Jesus are real.  Prayer is real, receiving answers to prayer is real. 

Edited by changed

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37 minutes ago, changed said:

there is evidence for the Bible - I have been to Israel, those places are real, I can see how accounts of Jesus are real.  

I've never understood this argument.  Athens and Rome are real, but few if any in this day and age ever uses that as evidence to support the existence of the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods.  

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12 hours ago, changed said:

The scientific community would group any selfless, loving, altruistic desires to survival of the herd instincts - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_(biology)

Exactly. Perhaps I am not communicating clearly, because that demonstrates my point.  That is very different from a light that emanates from God which helps establish divine morals in the hearts of men - as your understanding goes.

Again, my point is that your understanding of this light is derived from the teachings of men - you rely on them.  You can't tell me that you have gained all of your understanding without help and reliance on other human leaders that you place your trust in. The light of Christ helps us know who and what we can trust, but we still have to rely on the words and teachings of other humans.

12 hours ago, changed said:

The concept of an inner driving force extends beyond religious dogma - it is found in native American tales, Hindu etc.  Everyone recognizes and talks about it because it is real, and everyone experiences it.  It is like talking about the ocean, mountains, or anything else that is real.  

I am not denying that it exists - but no one really agrees on what exactly it is, how it works, where it comes from, etc. (so it is not really the same as talking about mountains and oceans which we can objectively observe and measure) 

All of our diverse understandings of what it actually is, is derived from the teachings of men.  You can't escape it.  You rely on man. 

 

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13 hours ago, changed said:

Great - so why do the TR ?'s force Mormons to follow authority figures?  if, you know, the upper stages reject authority figures?

3 Do you have a testimony of the restoration of the gospel in these the latter days?

4 Do you sustain the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?

First, the temple recommend questions don't "force" anyone to do anything. 

Second, the upper stages of the Perry scheme do not "reject" authority figures, but simply makes them subject to scrutiny.  It suggests that we should evaluate different sources (a.k.a human authority figures) and make commitments to the values that matter most to us.  How is that different from what the church teaches?  They teach us that our leaders are fallible, they teach us that we cannot live on borrowed light but that we should gain testimonies for ourselves.  They teach us to seek out truth in other sources of religion, science, etc. and make commitments to the values that matter most to us.  

What am I missing here?

 

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7 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I've never understood this argument.  Athens and Rome are real, but few if any in this day and age ever uses that as evidence to support the existence of the Greek and Roman pantheon of gods.  

Those ancient cities provide excellent evidence.  They have structures dedicated to polytheistic gods such as temples, fountains and altars.  They have statues depicting the various gods:  Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus.  All of which help the archeologists understand the imagery and power of the gods.  Their records are better understood when various stories are depicted in various statues.  Even the coins testify of their devotion to the gods.

The same holds true for sites in ancient Israel.  Such as synagogues, coins, Masada, etc, etc.

The point is the citizens believed in their gods and worshipped them.  Verifying truth claims is a whole other thing.  If we could improve the archeology we might be able to learn more what transpired with the crossing of the Red Sea, the destruction of Jericho, world wide flood and other events.  We might actually prove the miracles did happen.

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12 minutes ago, longview said:

Those ancient cities provide excellent evidence.  They have structures dedicated to polytheistic gods such as temples, fountains and altars.  They have statues depicting the various gods:  Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus.  All of which help the archeologists understand the imagery and power of the gods.  Their records are better understood when various stories are depicted in various statues.  Even the coins testify of their devotion to the gods.

The same holds true for sites in ancient Israel.  Such as synagogues, coins, Masada, etc, etc.

The point is the citizens believed in their gods and worshipped them.  Verifying truth claims is a whole other thing.  If we could improve the archeology we might be able to learn more what transpired with the crossing of the Red Sea, the destruction of Jericho, world wide flood and other events.  We might actually prove the miracles did happen.

I don't understand those who argue that the existence of ancient cities provides excellent evidences of the truthfulness of that culture's religious claims.

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5 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I saw the sacred grove. It’s true. 

;)

If the archeology was advanced enough to discern traces of the supernatural effects of that location, the investigator could recreate what transpired.  Or if scientists could understand enough of the multiple dimensions to the degree of being able to build devices that will allow us to peer into that time and place.

In any case I am confident in the next stage we will be able to review the histories in a very real manner so that we will know without a doubt what actually did happen.

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17 hours ago, pogi said:

While I agree with the sentiment.  I think you are perhaps making too great a gulf between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost - under emphasizing the power/influence/role of the light of Christ and the power of introspection.

You may be right.  Perhaps I was speaking too generally.

What I was more focused on is the idea that when people depend upon themselves so much that they tend to come up with the wrong answers.  And for the most part, the more spiritual and eternal the subject, the less accurate "looking inside oneself" tends to be.

I believe that when we look inside ourselves we tend to feel more about what we ourselves "want to be right" rather than what we feel/know to "be right."

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