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TAO

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  1. Yeah, I do wish he had talked a bit more about the blessing of forgiveness. He has to spend a lot of time condemning sin (because there's lots of different types), but I wish he had devoted a bit more of the book to talking about how wonderful restitution is. Still, all is done, and as said, there's a lot of good in it.

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  2. Miracle of Forgiveness is a fine book. People might find it a bit abrasive, but honestly, there are few books which will be just as blunt to you as to what you need to do to follow God. If frankness is what you need, this is quite good at it.

    Like others have said, it's not doctrine, but it's full of a lot of good sound things. Sometimes a bit blunt, but good and sound nonetheless.

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  3. Now there's a shocker.

    It actually probably is... I'm of two minds when it comes to other people. I'm both skeptical and trusting... it's kinda weird I guess XD. In any case, the fact that I've quelled my skeptical side should speak to something.

    How would you know if you don't know what it is you weren't taught?

    Why does the stuff that ultimately won't matter, matter?

    And who are you to determine this for everyone else?

    I don't. I just said that I was happy it wasn't brought up. It'd be a distraction to what I value in the gospel.

    Obviously most people find these things uncomfortable and it makes a huge difference to them, especially when they find out that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and that all his truth claims were undermined by the things you prefer never to be taught.

    Mmm... I don't think you've talked to 'most people', so I doubt your claim =p. Furthermore, I think you underestimate the faith of our members. It's greater than you would expect. Far greater, I'd guess, in fact. And I know this because I've been around so many good examples of it. It may not be universal, but certainly the people I'm around have much greater faith than you would estimate.

    Obviously it does or else the Church wouldn't go through so much trouble to avoid telling it and apologists wouldn't go through so much trouble to dance around the evidence in order to paint a misleading, yet faith-promoting picture.

    Let me alter that sentence a bit. "All that extra stuff just really doesn't matter a bit to me."

    Why doesn't it matter to me? Because it doesn't deal with the core stuff, that I value from the gospel. It doesn't even address why I believe in the gospel. I'm not like most people, I'm distrusting of truth claims. Their attempt to make truth claims in response to truth claims, completely misses why I believe in the gospel in the first place (it doesn't even address the truth claims that matter to me). That's why it's pointless. They aren't even hitting the right target.

    Everything else what?

    The gospel essentials. The things that make the gospel worth breathing and living. The things that actually matter to me emotionally. That is everything for me in the church. It's why I'm here. My entire reason for believing is based on only a few truth claims, which rarely are addressed by critics, and even when they do address them, they fail to convince because there is no right answer to them, and I think my choice is more practical than the critic's choice is. That's what I mean by 'nothing else really matters'. Because it doesn't matter to me. The gospel is delicious and the alternative will never be worth it.

    Of course, most don't see it this way. But that's how I see it.

    The Church doesn't teach anything unique or special that isn't taught in other religions.

    But it's given me my experience. That's something no other religion has given to me. That is completely Mormon.

    All the other stuff is just "details" that apologists won't tie into "official doctrine" anyway.

    Yeah, and why? Because what is the gospel essentials? What is the value of religion? Why believe in it? That's what really matters.

    If the Church is so wonderful, then why do most members leave it?

    It depends how you define leave. If you mean actually send in a leaving letter and going off the rolls, then no, you wouldn't be correct if the stats don't lie. If you mean inactivity, that happens for various reasons, a lot of times more related to personal issues (or so it has been in my experience). Many of the inactives I have met haven't suffered from any disbelief of any sort, it's more that they just don't spend the time to go to church or other activities. Other times there are other issues. It's a very varying thing, at least from what I've seen.

    Here is a great experiment. How many people here think Joseph Smith was a completely innocent victim who did nothing to create discontent with others? By reading Church approved material, the guy was a saint. Lamb to the slaughter and all that jazz, right?

    I rather doubt completely innocent. Joseph Smith wasn't sinless, you know. I'm pretty sure most members, though thinking he did many good things, would tell you he was far from perfect. Because that's the way all people are.

    But how many people here know about a rarely talked about incident when Joseph Smith declared a small grocery store a public nuisance because it sold alcohol, and then had it destroyed when the owner tried to defend his property. Joseph Smith showed up with some men, got into a fight, knocked him out and said something like "this is how we do it here." The owner of that grocery store turned out to be one of the leaders of the Mob that eventually killed Joseph Smith.

    How come we never hear stories like this from the Church? Gee, I wonder.

    Of course. Because that isn't what really matters. It's not what church is for. It's not Church's purpose.

  4. Often, you cannot disentangle the "hidden history" from the "essentials of the gospel." For example: (a) the history of the First Vision and the various additions and elaborations it gathered during Smith's lifetime; (b) the history of the translation of the Book of Mormon and Smith's earlier use of exactly the same process in magic treasure seeking; © the history of basic Mormon theology, which only assumed its modern form in about 1915 after the church concluded that the prophet Brigham Young's fundamental view of god was false doctrine; (d) the history of the Book of Abraham scrolls and their modern Egyptological translations; or (e) the history of the Doctrine and Covenants, and the various revisions, canonizations, uncanonizations, and doctrinal reversals in this essential book of our canon. None of these things are "extra stuff." These go to the heart of Mormon theology and doctrine.

    No, these things are only tangents. You tell me, would you expect this stuff to be taught in 'Gospel Essentials' or 'Gospel Doctrine'. The obvious answer is doctrine. It isn't the core of the gospel - that's what essentials is. And essentials is what matters most. That isn't to say the gospel doctrine class isn't important, but the essentials are what's really critical.

    For several decades now, up until very recently, the church has essentially been actively or tacitly discouraging access to any source of information about LDS history that is not published by a "safe" church source. Mormons are supposed to read only from the "best books," which is generally taken to mean books that you can purchase at Deseret Book.

    Perhaps that's because sources which aren't 'safe' tend to criticize the church oftentimes one-sidedly?

    So to argue that "nothing is hidden" within a culture in which all the "hidden stuff" can only be found in frowned-upon sources, is a little disingenuous.

    I never said that there wasn't anything hidden. I said the hidden stuff ultimately doesn't matter. It's tangential to the gospel essentials.

    Nobody should be surprised when Mormons who were originally taught only the official history in the official or church-approved "safe" sources feel betrayed and lied to when they find out the rest of the story on the internet or in scholarly publications.

    Of course. And nobody should be surprised when we use apologetics to counter it, nah?

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  5. To be quite honest, I'm glad it isn't talked about. After all, it's really all details, when compared to the essentials of the gospel. All that extra stuff just really doesn't matter a bit, when compared to everything else. I guess I don't care much about 'hidden history', I care more about important principles that I can use in day to day life. Then again, I know not everyone thinks this way.

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  6. Well, I heard of someone who put Ether 14:23 on the front of a Bathroom door...

    "And the scent thereof went forth upon the face of the land, even upon all the face of the land; wherefore the people became troubled by day and by night, because of the scent thereof."

    I guess that's pretty funny.

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  7. thanks. already did check out mormon.org. liked the German gentleman they had, guy walks/hikes about as much as I do.

    A place like this is more what i am interested in. Its the day to day folk I want to get to know not the official people who are supposed to always be on their best behavior. Not that it's a bad thing.

    Hehe, well I'm not quite sure we're much in terms of normal Mormon folk here, but welcome nonetheless. =)

  8. Heya, and welcome =).

    While this board deals with a good amount of stuff, I'm not sure if it covers a ton of the basics, so if you ever find yourself confused about one thing or another, please leave me a shout. Thanks!

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  9. I would think that if Alma was visited by an angel to receive the priesthood that the event would be recorded in the Book of Mormon. It seems more likely that Alma received the priesthood from the same Nephite lineage as the other Book of Mormon prophets. Even if he received it from apostates (which I don't think is a given). Also, could an un-resurrected spirit even confer the priesthood? It seems doubtful.

    Well it depends on the nature of the vision, but I suppose it could have. I'm sure there's quite a few of incidents that are rather private, and so they don't get mentioned... well... at least very clearly. So while it's definitely plausible that he received it through lineage, I wouldn't write off an angelic visitation either, if you know what I mean =).

    Do you have any references to support the idea that baptism requires "keys" in the same sense that the sealing ordinance apparently requires keys?

    Well, here's an example for the sealing power... I like it a lot because it actually tells what the sealing power is... it's pretty cool: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/hel/10.7?lang=eng#6

    As for baptism, outside of the D&C (where there is a ton), there's always this one: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/3-ne/11.25?lang=eng#24

    In any case, this article kinda outlines things pretty well, though I'm not sure if you will find what you want in it: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bd/baptism?lang=eng

    Edit: D&C 107 says that the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood are held by the bishopric. I wonder if this refers specifically to the Presiding Bishopric or if each bishopric independently holds the keys.

    Well, the reference doesn't make it super clear... I guess we'll have to ask someone a bit more knowledgeable on the subject.

  10. Brian, does God see death as a horrible thing, like we do (considering we will be Resurrected) ? At least in my opinion, I don't think so. He just sees it as the next step in life. Albight, I'm sure he wants some of us to do certain things before we die (repent? I know I need to do that more!), but for others, I'm sure he thinks the time to return is good at this point. And so he takes us when the time for us has come. Sometimes it's because the time is right, and other times it's because we've run out of time, but he will take each one of us back to him.

    I wouldn't worry so much about it, as because he is just, recompense is always there, in some sense of the word. He wouldn't do things unjustly, I know that.

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  11. What about the baptisms performed by John the Baptist? Do you think they were "legitimate" baptisms? And from whom did John the Baptist and Alma (the elder) receive their priesthood authority?

    Uh, CV75 pretty much said what I was trying to get it. In essence, things were a bit different with Alma and John the Baptist (not that they weren't authentic, just different). In any case, God, for the reasons he has, chose to remove the priesthood from the Earth for a time, planning to restore it at a later date. And so he has done. I'll trust that his reasons for it were good enough =).

  12. From what I understand, the baptisms of Alma were more of a hope for things to come, of sorts. I don't know if they constituted baptisms in the same way they did after Christ atoned for our sins. They could have, or they could have not.

    In any case, I just sort of trust God that the apostasy occurred. Technically that's what I do for everything religious actually =). Why view partially muddled history when you can get it from the source.

  13. The infinitely long time exists into eternity past whether it is an infinitely long chain or an infinitely long existing being/First Cause.

    True true. But motion and matter of some sort have to always exist.

    And I just gotta say this... I don't think it means everything has happened since there is many powers to the infinity of possibilities in terms of things happening. So I still think the amount of things that would happen, though infinite, would not consist of everything, ironic as that is.

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