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About StandForever

  • Birthday November 14

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  1. Thank you for the welcome and for your thoughts on faith. I agree with your position that we depend on faith more than we may realize. A lot of what we think we know is really only faith in what we have heard from others. But I don’t agree that we are without knowledge on everything. Alma 32 indicates that we can have knowledge and we can have faith. Faith itself is not necessarily independent of knowledge. When faith is independent of knowledge, then it is only blind faith, and it is indeed based entirely on feelings. And feelings are often based on our inner desires, passions, temptations, and biases. According to the Bible, our feelings are not trustworthy, and therefore not useful in discerning truth. He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered. (Proverbs 28:26; see also Jeremiah 17:9 & Luke 12:34) On the other hand, faith that is built upon knowledge is rational faith. The apostle Paul directs us to “test everything”. And regarding feelings, the apostle John wrote “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” The apostle Peter instructs us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason” for your faith. In his original Greek, the word answer means logical answer, and the word reason means logical reason. In a criminal court of law, a jury listens to testimonies and evidence and reaches an informed verdict based on that information. Such decisions are often (and perhaps always) based on faith. But it is informed faith “beyond a reasonable doubt”. A jury decision should not be based on blind faith, relying on feelings alone. A jury does not simply reach their decision based on warm feelings.
  2. The verb encounter was a bad word choice on my part, and it is not exactly what I meant. A better word choice would be to observe either directly or indirectly. I meant that in: - in all my in-person experiences in attending churches of all of these denominations, - talking to members and leaders of these denominations, - visiting them on the internet, - reading articles about them, and - receiving information about them through other media I have never observed a church that teaches anything other than Christian love towards everyone, transgender or otherwise.
  3. Regardless of a church's position on the organizational status of transgender, whether it is LDS, conservative evangelical, liberal protestant, or Roman Catholic, I have never encountered a church that teaches anything other than Christian love towards everyone, transgender or otherwise. I have heard that there are exceptions, but they are just that - exceptions. And in my mind any church that teaches hate, or even personal bias, between individuals is rejecting Christ and his teachings. Even when there are theological or doctrinal disagreements between people, we are taught in the Bible to love and respect one another.
  4. Can anyone ever be certain if the church is on the "right side"? It was clearly on the wrong side when it restricted blacks from the priesthood. It was on the wrong side when it required women to pledge obedience to their husbands. It seems that any "law" is subject to change. So how can anyone be certain the position on transgender in the current Handbook is correct?
  5. I noticed your quote from Michelle D. Craig, Oct 2019 General Conference. It reminded me of something that C.S Lewis wrote in his book MERE CHRISTIANITY in 1952: “The Christian says, 'Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or to be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.”
  6. When I was teaching an adult education class at church, one of the members of the class regularly brought along her elderly father who was from Greece and a member of the Greek Orthodox Church. He brought with him each day his Greek Bible. He was the most helpful participant that I have ever had in a class because his Bible contained the Septuagint for the Old Testament, the original translation of the Bible. And, more importantly, the Greek New Testament, which is the original untranslated New Testament containing the very words used by the original writers. He was able to provide a level of insight and understanding that those of who need to study the Bible through the filter of translation don't have!
  7. I may have missed it, but did anyone quote this scripture on this topic of repentance yet? In response to a question from the Pharisees, Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32) Jesus makes two statements here: 1. People who aren't sinners don't need a Savior. Don't overlook that Jesus used all kinds of figures of speech. In this case, He is using sarcasm. The Bible states over and over in both the Old and New Testaments that all people are sinners. The point that He is making through sarcasm is that anyone who thinks that he is perfect can receive no benefit from a Savior. You cannot receive the benefit of the atonement if you don't seek it. 2. Jesus did not come to save self-righteous people. He only came to save sinners. In other words, if you are not a sinner, you can't be a Christian. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) This doesn't mean that we should go on sinning following repentance. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 John3:6)
  8. I agree with "First recognition of the sin as a sin...." As a student of the Bible, I believe that this is the reason that Jesus is the Savior: He saves us from our sins and their consequence, which is death. If we don't recognize our fallen nature, we can't comprehend the need for a Savior. Furthermore, Jesus taught us to pray: "And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors." The implication is that we shouldn't expect to be forgiven if we are unable to forgive others.
  9. I'm new to this forum. I don't understand why Charles ****ens name was not spelled out my previous post. (****ens was somehow substituted by the system.)
  10. A CHRISTMAS CAROL 1984 made for TV film starring George C. Scott. For my wife and I, this is our favorite film version of this classic story by Charles ****ens. The original story is one of my favorite fictional stories.
  11. I agree. And furthermore, there are many examples of Jehovah and Elohim being the same in the Old Testament. For example, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD..." (Psalm 33:12) This and other verses state that Elohim (God) is Jehovah (the LORD). Elohim is the word for God, and Jehovah is the name of God.
  12. I have been the gospel doctrine class teacher in my ward, which included a year of teaching the Book of Mormon. I took my calling seriously and studied the Book of Mormon diligently during that year. I have also read it and studied it many other times.
  13. The Book of Mormon opens with Lehi's vision that implies the distinction of Persons between the Father and the Son. Yet it explicitly states in multiple places thereafter that the Father and the Son are the same Person. This is at best a paradox and at worst a contradiction. This makes it impossible to claim that the Book of Mormon is a source of clarity in doctrine.
  14. Can anyone show where the Book of Mormon explicitly states that there are distinct Persons in the Godhead? Mosiah 15:1-4, Mosiah 16:15, and Alma 11:38-39 all seem to indicate that Jesus and the Father are the very same Person. 1 Nephi 11:26-27 and 2 Nephi 11:7 also support that theology. Furthermore, 2 Nephi 31:21 and the Testimony of 3 witnesses state that the Godhead is "one God", not three. The doctrine that the Godhead is one Person who operates in three modes is called Modalism. (See the Wikipedia article on Modalism.) Contrary to common belief among LDS, modalism is considered heresy by mainstream Bible-believing Christians. (Again, see the Wikipedia article.) It is also considered heretical by LDS. But the Book Mormon seems to support it, while failing to provide support for a three Person Godhead. On the other hand, the Bible clearly teaches that the Godhead (or Trinity as it is called by non-LDS) is composed of three distinct Persons. (It is true that many people who call themselves Christians do not study the Bible, and therefore believe in modalism out of ignorance.)
  15. Welcome to Mormon Dialogue & Discussion Board. 
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