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If You Were Wrong, Would You Want To Know It?


merlin0152

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Hello everyone.

I hope the title caught your attention as much as the question itself catches mine. Think about it...Let's not kid ourselves, there are certain day to day habits and comfort zones that would completely be altered if we (and I include myself in this) were to do an about face, and come to the conclusion that we were incorrect about something as important and life-altering as our Religious beliefs. Remember Jesus said that we would have to hate our own family members in comparison to our love and devotion to him in order to be his disciple (Luke 14:26). Which I take to mean, it doesn't matter how tough or rocky the decision to go with Truth is, we have to walk that road to find eternity with Him. I doubt if most are willing to make that sacrifice if put to it.

I have pondered this scenario for a good while and can't help but think that most of us take on the religious beliefs of our parents, or whomever raised us. It seems logical, but were they right? Just because we love and respect them doesn't, by a long shot, mean their best effort led us to Truth. And to make matters worse, if we were to come to the conclusion that our parents and/or grandparents were wrong, what does that mean for their souls?!!! That's a hard pill to swallow, and some may want to turn a blind eye to that hard fact of seeking a Truth that wasn't necessarily in line with those that they love. Are we willing to hang our eternal soul on what someone else told us, or does it require some real unbiased soul searching and investigation?...

So to conclude, I would sincerely like to hear the opinions of everyone out in forum land, LDS or other, concerning this first step to Truth and your journey which you may already be on.

I leave you with this quote that I think is painfully appropriate:

"It is a lot easier to see the Truth if you don't already assume that you have It."

In Christian Love,

-Merlin0152

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Hello everyone.

Hello merlin0152.

Think about it...Let's not kid ourselves, there are certain day to day habits and comfort zones that would completely be altered if we (and I include myself in this) were to do an about face, and come to the conclusion that we were incorrect about something as important and life-altering as our Religious beliefs.

I guess that would depend on what I was wrong about, or what I turned to. Changes would likely be made, yes.

Remember Jesus said that we would have to hate our own family members in comparison to our love and devotion to him in order to be his disciple (Luke 14:26). Which I take to mean, it doesn't matter how tough or rocky the decision to go with Truth is, we have to walk that road to find eternity with Him. I doubt if most are willing to make that sacrifice if put to it.

Personally, rather than 'doubting' many will be willing to make the sacrifice, I live my own life, try to be concerned with myself in that regard. Not that you don't, but you brought it up.

I have pondered this scenario for a good while and can't help but think that most of us take on the religious beliefs of our parents, or whomever raised us.

I think this can cut both ways. Some people forsake the beliefs of the parents. Some don't. Ultimately, it would take a special kind of laziness for me to keep going to Church every week and doing a bunch of things just because my parents told me to.

It seems logical, but were they right? Just because we love and respect them doesn't, by a long shot, mean their best effort led us to Truth. And to make matters worse, if we were to come to the conclusion that our parents and/or grandparents were wrong, what does that mean for their souls?!!!

Now we's getting dramatic. But I see your point.

That's a hard pill to swallow, and some may want to turn a blind eye to that hard fact of seeking a Truth that wasn't necessarily in line with those that they love. Are we willing to hang our eternal soul on what someone else told us, or does it require some real unbiased soul searching and investigation?...

Both. Mostly the latter.

So to conclude, I would sincerely like to hear the opinions of everyone out in forum land, LDS or other, concerning this first step to Truth and your journey which you may already be on.

James 1:5.

I leave you with this quote that I think is painfully appropriate:

"It is a lot easier to see the Truth if you don't already assume that you have It."

In Christian Love,

-Merlin0152

Thanks.

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I agree that most cases we are raised in the belief of our parents, and once we do start to question and ultimately come up with with the fact that our parents beliefs do not coincide with our beliefs it can be a painful process.

We can be so in-trenched in our parents teachings that it takes a bit of time to see change and get over the fear. For example, if you are taught the eternal family concept, we must all go to the temple to obtain celestial glory.

If a child is sealed to his parents, grows up, marries someone who is sealed to their parents, and in turn have children who are sealed to them who grow up and marry spouse who are sealed to their families, and so on, how does that fit into the scope of things?

And the fact that a good person, who really doesn't do anything offensive to God or man, chooses not to believe and go to the temple is somehow punished and can't be with the family in the next life?

This makes no sense to me.

A person is sealed to their father, whom they love dearly, but as situations in life occur leave the teachings of the father, comes to realize that their father was not all the child thought that they were.

I cannot fault the parents beliefs because they truly believed what they were teaching, and the pain of leaving the parents teaching behind can be painful, but it isn't the parents fault.

When I became in active, the pain was more, what if, I have my children sealed to me, now they won't have a mother in heaven. But as time goes on, and you realize that if you are a good person, and try to love your fellow man and do what is right, God will not separate you.

Getting over the mindset and setting out on a different belief system can be scary, but that doesn't mean I am wrong or that my parents were wrong in teaching me what they believed.

What does that mean for their souls? the same thing that it means for mine, God will judge them on their lives and their intent not if they were teaching wrong precepts.

I don't blame my dad for teaching me what he thought was right, and in turn I don't want to be blamed for not eventually coming to believe something else.

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No one can go through their entire lives without questioning and finding answers on their own, regardless of their upbringing. In the LDS church all must come to their own testimony or they will eventually fall away. You can only depend on someone else to carry you so far.

I by the way have been wrong about many things, but never about joining the COJCOLDS.

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I recognized the title of this thread as the exact title of a thread from a year or so ago so I googled "would you want to know" and got 2,370,000 hits. Apparently the majority are from evangelical sites. Maybe there is a 'how to witness" tract out there somewhere.

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"It is a lot easier to see the Truth if you don't already assume that you have It."

Okey dokey.

Let's actually start with the basics. You assume that you actually exist, and that the people around you exist as well.

You are **assuming** that is reality.

So, now that we can get rid of that assumption, let's "find the truth".

Let me hear all about truth, shall we?

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"It is a lot easier to see the Truth if you don't already assume that you have It."

Okey dokey.

Let's actually start with the basics. You assume that you actually exist, and that the people around you exist as well.

You are **assuming** that is reality.

So, now that we can get rid of that assumption, let's "find the truth".

Let me hear all about truth, shall we?

I suppose you have to determine what is real before you can determine what is true. I've been wrong about both before. How do you know what you perceive is real?

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I recognized the title of this thread as the exact title of a thread from a year or so ago so I googled "would you want to know" and got 2,370,000 hits. Apparently the majority are from evangelical sites. Maybe there is a 'how to witness" tract out there somewhere.

It probably is-but there's no harm in answering the question honestly anyways. (not that you were claiming otherwise, i'm just thinking out loud)

If it is just a way to 'witness' to us poor lost mormons, then our answers will show merlin (who sounds like a good, well intentioned person) that the majority of LDS are that religion because they converted in their adulthood or have seriously studied the religion and come to a conclusion on their own about the truth claims of the church, even if raised in it.

And that LDS church teaches that we all must have our own testimonies and to absolutely not rely on the testimonies of our parents or others to sustain us.

If it's not a 'witness' tool-then it's still an interesting, self examining topic.

:P

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Hello everyone.

Are we willing to hang our eternal soul on what someone else told us, or does it require some real unbiased soul searching and investigation?...

In Christian Love,

-Merlin0152

In the truest sence, does not everybody "hang our eternal soul on what someone else told us"? Looking at the Bible, every word was writen by somebody that died long ago.

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Is this one of those posts where if you answer yes...then the attack of all you hold sacred?

Pa pa :P

I think the answer is yes. But I like to not jump to such hasty conclusions. We will see soon enough.

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Merlin,

I don't think you are going to find anyone on this (particular) board who isn't an expert at soul searching. All of us daily are examining and re-examining and refining and expanding our beliefs and our commitments to life practices (and even forsaking obsolete ones). That is sort of why we all wandered ourselves here to this particular online community. Again, on this board, I would venture to say 100% of the posters haven't believed something based solely on their parents teachings for a loooong time.

As for testing truth, one of the tests I give myself most often is to ask myself, "Well, what DO I want? And is my present course getting me there?" I've had to make many adjustments based on that test; none of those adjustments have warranted me eschewing my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ. BTW, the answer to what do I want hopefully lines up with what God wants -- that's what I want.

I don't walk around thinking other people are 'wrong'. I don't generally find it my place to tell them that, even if I'm witnessing. If I witness, I talk about what I have found for myself. I trust 1) that all individuals are doing their best; 2) they are on the same life journey I am; that is, their Father is teaching them the Truth and all things as fast as they are able to receive it; same as me; and I could not possibly know if I was 'ahead' of (or 'behind') a certain individual, if for no other reason than all is not always as it seems.

Happy Seeking and God Bless;

M

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And some of us have done the same and reached the opposite conclusion. To each his or her own, I suppose.

Certainly. However, your conclusions don't invalidate mine.

The OP, of course, is an example of one tactic critics of the Church and the restored gospel use - try to cast doubt on the validity of the LDS experience and have people question what they have experienced.

The think such posters do not understand is the depth and breadth of the true LDS conversion experience, and the ongoing fortifying (thru trials and spiritual experiences) that cement that conversion. The quote at the end of the OP was painfully, if subtly, arrogant:

I leave you with this quote that I think is painfully appropriate:

"It is a lot easier to see the Truth if you don't already assume that you have It."

Such a trite truism is contradictory in and of itself (if you see the Truth, then you then have it, so you must not be able to see any other Truth until you don't have the Truth that was shown to you because you didn't really claim to have it in the first place), if you think through the implications of what it says.

One of the things LDS do not deny is the validity of spiritual experiences that non-LDS may have. Such things are personal, not organizational. One of the greatest testimonies against traditional Christianity is the exclusive nature of their claims that no one can have spiritual experiences outside of their own traditional / orthodox/ evenagelical / fundamentalist doctrinal structures. This OP is a prime example of that attitude.

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Certainly. However, your conclusions don't invalidate mine.

I didn't claim they did. Yours don't invalidate mine, either.

The OP, of course, is an example of one tactic critics of the Church and the restored gospel use - try to cast doubt on the validity of the LDS experience and have people question what they have experienced.

I don't try to cast doubt on anyone's experience. I only know that when the spiritual experiences I had testified of things that are manifestly false, I had to question where they came from. I would certainly not extend my experience to other people.

The think such posters do not understand is the depth and breadth of the true LDS conversion experience, and the ongoing fortifying (thru trials and spiritual experiences) that cement that conversion.

Is it not also arrogant to think that we don't understand the depth and breadth of the conversion experience? How do you know what we do and don't understand?

The quote at the end of the OP was painfully, if subtly, arrogant:

Such a trite truism is contradictory in and of itself (if you see the Truth, then you then have it, so you must not be able to see any other Truth until you don't have the Truth that was shown to you because you didn't really claim to have it in the first place), if you think through the implications of what it says.

I agree with you here.

One of the things LDS do not deny is the validity of spiritual experiences that non-LDS may have. Such things are personal, not organizational. One of the greatest testimonies against traditional Christianity is the exclusive nature of their claims that no one can have spiritual experiences outside of their own traditional / orthodox/ evenagelical / fundamentalist doctrinal structures. This OP is a prime example of that attitude.

You are absolutely right that spiritual experiences are personal. Trying to prove that someone else's experience is "wrong" is rather pointless.

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I didn't claim they did. Yours don't invalidate mine, either.

Glad you were able to clarify that. Your original comment of "To each his or her own, I suppose." could have been taken negatively - much like DCP's "so-called" phrase.

I don't try to cast doubt on anyone's experience. I only know that when the spiritual experiences I had testified of things that are manifestly false, I had to question where they came from. I would certainly not extend my experience to other people.

Glad you're able to do so. Many critics of the Church and its members are not so circumspect.

Is it not also arrogant to think that we don't understand the depth and breadth of the conversion experience? How do you know what we do and don't understand?

We? As in whom? Certainly, many critics (and the OP) display such ignorance of the LDS spiritual experience, and it's not arrogance to note that they do. Especially since it's my personal experience that is being questioned by such critics.

What would be arrogant is for me to question their spiritual experience on the basis of being non-LDS, which hasn't been done here at all. On the other hand, it is not arrogant for me to question their understanding or their motivations when my spiritual experiences are called into question.

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We? As in whom?

Your statement lumped all critics together generically. I object to that.

Certainly, many critics (and the OP) display such ignorance of the LDS spiritual experience, and it's not arrogance to note that they do. Especially since it's my personal experience that is being questioned by such critics.

Thank you for clarifying your statement.

What would be arrogant is for me to question their spiritual experience on the basis of being non-LDS, which hasn't been done here at all. On the other hand, it is not arrogant for me to question their understanding or their motivations when my spiritual experiences are called into question.

I've seen lots of people here question the validity of others' experiences. When people have said that they received a spiritual answer that the Book of Mormon is not true, many people tend to invalidate that particular answer.

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Joseph Smith is quoted as saying that through contrarieties, truth is made manifest. I like that take. That means testing waters, and having the faith that the more you test, the more you will be able to glean truth more clearly.

My parents taught me, but encouraged me in my pursuits to better understand things that I wondered about. We would find truths in alot of different places as a result. I am still like that-religious books that have given me insight lately to my faith include a Jewish scholar, a poet whose return to organized religion was instigated by coming in contact with Benedictine monks, and Walter Wink.

Searching for truth has always been a part of my experience as a Mormon, wherever that search may lead you-I don't know any other way as a Mormon.

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I've seen lots of people here question the validity of others' experiences. When people have said that they received a spiritual answer that the Book of Mormon is not true, many people tend to invalidate that particular answer.

When the intent of such a response (I received a spiritual answer that the BofM is not true) is to invalidate my experience (I received a witness that it is true), then I will question that critic's particular experience.

Indeed, there is a difference between the two approaches. I have had too many people tell me that they had received a "spiritual" witness that what I had experienced (witnesses of the Church, Joseph Smith, the BofM, etc.) was false. Upon further exploration of why they said what they said, it became apparent that it was more of a debate technique (trying to defuse my witness) than an actual witness on their part.

When someone non-LDS says that they have seen Christ work in their lives, they have felt the joy of the Spirit, and seen the hand of God preserving them, I see no particular reason to disbelieve or contradict them. It may or may not be true, but it's not my place to judge those particular things. In fact, I do believe that such things happen quite often.

On the other hand, when I say that I have seen Christ work in my life, I have felt Him speak in the pages of the BofM and the Bible, I have felt Him and the Spirit in the temple, at Church, and in my life in the context of me being a Latter-day Saint, many critics of the Church will not accept that. And one of the methods they use is to claim that they have a "witness" that Christ has nothing to do with the BofM, or the temple, or the Church, or the mission of Joseph Smith, etc.

There's a difference between the two types of experiences. And when someone claims to have an experience whose sole purpose appears to be to counteract mine, then it is appropriate for me to question the motivations of such experiences.

I posted earlier that I do not invalidate spiritual experiences others claim to have for themselves. However, not everything that is claimed to be a spiritual experience falls under the "hands off" category, especially when its motivation appears to be to counteract the positives that I have experienced.

Before you respond, one more item of clarification. It really doesn't matter, for instance, to me if someone says that they feel through the Spirit that the BofM is false, and they don't want to follow it. That's their choice and they can choose whatever path they want. But when they then use that claim to try to invalidate my experience through debate or argument, then I feel it appropriate to respond in kind.

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When the intent of such a response (I received a spiritual answer that the BofM is not true) is to invalidate my experience (I received a witness that it is true), then I will question that critic's particular experience.

Indeed, there is a difference between the two approaches. I have had too many people tell me that they had received a "spiritual" witness that what I had experienced (witnesses of the Church, Joseph Smith, the BofM, etc.) was false. Upon further exploration of why they said what they said, it became apparent that it was more of a debate technique (trying to defuse my witness) than an actual witness on their part.

When someone non-LDS says that they have seen Christ work in their lives, they have felt the joy of the Spirit, and seen the hand of God preserving them, I see no particular reason to disbelieve or contradict them. It may or may not be true, but it's not my place to judge those particular things. In fact, I do believe that such things happen quite often.

On the other hand, when I say that I have seen Christ work in my life, I have felt Him speak in the pages of the BofM and the Bible, I have felt Him and the Spirit in the temple, at Church, and in my life in the context of me being a Latter-day Saint, many critics of the Church will not accept that. And one of the methods they use is to claim that they have a "witness" that Christ has nothing to do with the BofM, or the temple, or the Church, or the mission of Joseph Smith, etc.

There's a difference between the two types of experiences. And when someone claims to have an experience whose sole purpose appears to be to counteract mine, then it is appropriate for me to question the motivations of such experiences.

I posted earlier that I do not invalidate spiritual experiences others claim to have for themselves. However, not everything that is claimed to be a spiritual experience falls under the "hands off" category, especially when its motivation appears to be to counteract the positives that I have experienced.

Before you respond, one more item of clarification. It really doesn't matter, for instance, to me if someone says that they feel through the Spirit that the BofM is false, and they don't want to follow it. That's their choice and they can choose whatever path they want. But when they then use that claim to try to invalidate my experience through debate or argument, then I feel it appropriate to respond in kind.

I sometimes wonder if I'm a "countermo" (to borrow Juliann's word). I guess I am, in that if I really think about it, I believe the world would have been better off without Joseph Smith's new religion. That said, I've been around long enough to know that religious experience is intensely personal. I spent 40 years as an active, believing member of the church. I had a testimony. I had deep and personal spiritual experiences. So I believe I know what you're talking about, but then I'm not you, and you aren't me.

I have no interest in counteracting your spiritual experiences. But I have no reason to believe they are any more or less valid than anyone else's.

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