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Do you ever feel like you are speaking a different language?


mercyngrace

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There seems to be a gulf that is almost impossible to bridge in some of the conversations we have about the gospel.

One example that comes up routinely is the back and forth over spiritual experiences. Unbelievers generally denounce these as easily dismissable learned emotional responses to cultural cues. Believers deny this descriptions holding that their spiritual witnesses are much more than emotions, declaring that the mere fact that unbelievers don't recognize such reveals more about the unbelievers than the believers.

A few scriptural principles came to mind this morning as I pondered this communication gap.

1. We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. In other words, one may not be prepared to receive spiritual knowledge no matter how articulately or reasonably it is presented unless they have an already established foundation of knowledge. (Hence the pearls before swine idea - you can't discuss angelic ministrations with someone who believes the Holy Ghost is a merely product of synapse firing and drippy tear ducts.)

2. In the post-mortal world, telestial beings will be ministered to (taught by) terrestrial beings. Terrestrial beings will be ministered to by Celestial beings. (D&C 76) The closer one gets to living the celestial law here, the more difficult it may be to communicate eternal truths to those who are embracing a telestial life. (Ever notice how as your personal spirituality grows, the scriptures and general conference talks have added dimension and seem even more profound?)

I should clarify that while this happens here on the board between LDS and apostates, it also happens plenty between active members of the church. As I've encountered this challenge personally, I've received the impression that so long as the person with whom I am speaking is trying to live up to the best of his knowledge, and I am trying to live up to the best of my knowledge, the Lord in His infinite wisdom will allow each of us the experiences we need to eventually come to the same understanding of eternal truths - whether in this life or the next. (Our experiences will work for our good D&C 122) Even steps in what appear to be the opposite direction can lead back home if our hearts are pure. And if they aren't pure no amount of preaching will matter but the Lord will give us opportunities to be humbled, repent, and return unto Him.

So, if we can't really cross the communication gulf, perhaps the best response is simply to follow the example of our church leaders and declare unequivically the truths we know without engaging in fruitless debate. In any case, denouncing an unbeliever who can't distinguish between a mouse and an elephant is ridiculous if unbeliever and animals alike are all standing in the dark.

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There seems to be a gulf that is almost impossible to bridge in some of the conversations we have about the gospel.

One example that comes up routinely is the back and forth over spiritual experiences. Unbelievers generally denounce these as easily dismissable learned emotional responses to cultural cues. Believers deny this descriptions holding that their spiritual witnesses are much more than emotions, declaring that the mere fact that unbelievers don't recognize such reveals more about the unbelievers than the believers.

A few scriptural principles came to mind this morning as I pondered this communication gap.

1. We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. In other words, one may not be prepared to receive spiritual knowledge no matter how articulately or reasonably it is presented unless they have an already established foundation of knowledge. (Hence the pearls before swine idea - you can't discuss angelic ministrations with someone who believes the Holy Ghost is a merely product of synapse firing and drippy tear ducts.)

2. In the post-mortal world, telestial beings will be ministered to (taught by) terrestrial beings. Terrestrial beings will be ministered to by Celestial beings. (D&C 76) The closer one gets to living the celestial law here, the more difficult it may be to communicate eternal truths to those who are embracing a telestial life. (Ever notice how as your personal spirituality grows, the scriptures and general conference talks have added dimension and seem even more profound?)

I should clarify that while this happens here on the board between LDS and apostates, it also happens plenty between active members of the church. As I've encountered this challenge personally, I've received the impression that so long as the person with whom I am speaking is trying to live up to the best of his knowledge, and I am trying to live up to the best of my knowledge, the Lord in His infinite wisdom will allow each of us the experiences we need to eventually come to the same understanding of eternal truths - whether in this life or the next. (Our experiences will work for our good D&C 122) Even steps in what appear to be the opposite direction can lead back home if our hearts are pure. And if they aren't pure no amount of preaching will matter but the Lord will give us opportunities to be humbled, repent, and return unto Him.

So, if we can't really cross the communication gulf, perhaps the best response is simply to follow the example of our church leaders and declare unequivically the truths we know without engaging in fruitless debate. In any case, denouncing an unbeliever who can't distinguish between a mouse and an elephant is ridiculous if unbeliever and animals alike are all standing in the dark.

A closed mind is an ugly thing to witness.

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A closed mind is an ugly thing to witness.

I was reading Harvey Siegel' analysis in Open-Mindedness, Critical Thinking, and Indoctrination. In which he concludes that an open-mind is in the least required for critical thinking, but just because one has an open-mind, doesn't mean one will utilize critical thinking effectively.

http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/conferences/pdfs/Siegel.pdf

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I was reading Harvey Siegel' analysis in Open-Mindedness, Critical Thinking, and Indoctrination. In which he concludes that an open-mind is in the least required for critical thinking, but just because one has an open-mind, doesn't mean one will utilize critical thinking effectively.

http://www.philosoph...pdfs/Siegel.pdf

I won't be closed-minded to that assement. Nice try.tongue.gif

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So, if we can't really cross the communication gulf, perhaps the best response is simply to follow the example of our church leaders and declare unequivically the truths we know without engaging in fruitless debate. In any case, denouncing an unbeliever who can't distinguish between a mouse and an elephant is ridiculous if unbeliever and animals alike are all standing in the dark.

We can't impose our beliefs on others. There will always be people who disagree with what we believe in and some of us won't believe everything at face-value. Instead of following the example of others, it's probably a good idea to also set your own example, follow your own heart and receive your own revelations. Sometimes it's also a good idea ot lead instead of just follow. There is no reason to denounce the unbeliever. This is not Islam. You may think that they're standing in the dark, but they're not. They simply don't believe the same things we do, the same way. According to scripture, that will change in the Millenium and after the Judgment Day.

According to scripture, God will only take in those He wants to have with Him for all eternities. The rest will be shifted to different Kingdoms (Telestial, Terrestial) and possibly some other interesting places depending on our deeds, level of destructiveness or disobedience. Our membership is ~13 million on record. The world has ~6,798,901,932 people. There is a whole lot of them than us. Do you really think everyone out there is going to become a Mormon? Not a chance.

People who do not share our beliefs is just part of life. It's going to be one here and one there that converts and joins the Church. It's always been that way. Look how long it's taken us to get 13 million members on record! There are more people living in the state of Illinois OR Florida than on church records and that's counting all the inactive ones, no? California's general population is nearly triple our total membership. Animals are actually pretty decent spirits, in my opinion, and I think there is a special place for them in the eternities. Apparently God deemed it worth creating them spiritually first and physically second, just like the rest of us.

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I was reading Harvey Siegel' analysis in Open-Mindedness, Critical Thinking, and Indoctrination. In which he concludes that an open-mind is in the least required for critical thinking, but just because one has an open-mind, doesn't mean one will utilize critical thinking effectively.

http://www.philosophy-of-education.org/conferences/pdfs/Siegel.pdf

Redefined,

This comment is a perfect example of how we are not communicating clearly.

Of course, open-mindedness is essential to critical thinking. But there is a point at which open-mindedness becomes irrelevant.

Take two children analyzing a Christmas gift. Both can look at the dimensions of the box, compare them to their wish lists and their parents finances. They can shake and rattle the box. They can make educated guesses. But let's say that in volunteering to help mother with her chores the day before, I got to help wrap the gifts. I held the toy inside that rattling box in my very hand. Guessing and even reasoning with the best logic at that point is silly. I know what I know.

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We can't impose our beliefs on others. There will always be people who disagree with what we believe in and some of us won't believe everything at face-value. Instead of following the example of others, it's probably a good idea to also set your own example, follow your own heart and receive your own revelations. Sometimes it's also a good idea ot lead instead of just follow. There is no reason to denounce the unbeliever. This is not Islam. You may think that they're standing in the dark, but they're not. They simply don't believe the same things we do, the same way. According to scripture, that will change in the Millenium and after the Judgment Day.

I'm referring to darkness in terms of a lack of spiritual knowledge.

"I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not."

"And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness."

"And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin."

If all men comprehended The Light as Peter did, because flesh had not revealed it unto them, but their Father in Heaven, we wouldn't spend nearly as much time on this board and elsewhere discussing the validity of spiritual experiences. That time is spent because those with whom we debate such topics have either not had such experiences or have dismissed them.

Animals are actually pretty decent spirits, in my opinion, and I think there is a special place for them in the eternities. Apparently God deemed it worth creating them spiritually first and physically second, just like the rest of us.

Yep. I wasn't saying unbelievers were like animals or that animals are without spiritual significance. I was simply using the mouse and elephant to illustrate how in darkness even very dissimilar entities may be masked to an observer.

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My response was in direct response to handys003's, not the OP. I was trying to enhance on the notion that close-mindedness is ugly, by pointing out that it isn't just close-mindedness because open-mindedness void of critical thinking is comparatively undesireable. Thanks for letting me clarify.

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There seems to be a gulf that is almost impossible to bridge in some of the conversations we have about the gospel.

One example that comes up routinely is the back and forth over spiritual experiences. Unbelievers generally denounce these as easily dismissable learned emotional responses to cultural cues. Believers deny this descriptions holding that their spiritual witnesses are much more than emotions, declaring that the mere fact that unbelievers don't recognize such reveals more about the unbelievers than the believers.

A few scriptural principles came to mind this morning as I pondered this communication gap.

1. We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. In other words, one may not be prepared to receive spiritual knowledge no matter how articulately or reasonably it is presented unless they have an already established foundation of knowledge. (Hence the pearls before swine idea - you can't discuss angelic ministrations with someone who believes the Holy Ghost is a merely product of synapse firing and drippy tear ducts.)

2. In the post-mortal world, telestial beings will be ministered to (taught by) terrestrial beings. Terrestrial beings will be ministered to by Celestial beings. (D&C 76) The closer one gets to living the celestial law here, the more difficult it may be to communicate eternal truths to those who are embracing a telestial life. (Ever notice how as your personal spirituality grows, the scriptures and general conference talks have added dimension and seem even more profound?)

I should clarify that while this happens here on the board between LDS and apostates, it also happens plenty between active members of the church. As I've encountered this challenge personally, I've received the impression that so long as the person with whom I am speaking is trying to live up to the best of his knowledge, and I am trying to live up to the best of my knowledge, the Lord in His infinite wisdom will allow each of us the experiences we need to eventually come to the same understanding of eternal truths - whether in this life or the next. (Our experiences will work for our good D&C 122) Even steps in what appear to be the opposite direction can lead back home if our hearts are pure. And if they aren't pure no amount of preaching will matter but the Lord will give us opportunities to be humbled, repent, and return unto Him.

So, if we can't really cross the communication gulf, perhaps the best response is simply to follow the example of our church leaders and declare unequivically the truths we know without engaging in fruitless debate. In any case, denouncing an unbeliever who can't distinguish between a mouse and an elephant is ridiculous if unbeliever and animals alike are all standing in the dark.

Fundamentally, the problem with communication between believers and non-believer is that the believers must claim access to special metaphysical knowledge that unbelievers do not have. This claim is not just a matter of degree of knowledge, but that there is a whole separate supernatural system of knowing that believers only have possession of. This knowledge also is the singular confirmation that this knowledge exists, there is nothing external to that knowledge that even remotely suggests that it exists. Additionally, believers claim all sorts of powers that derive from their occult knowledge, such as discernment, healing, financial success, health, etc. that simply do not show up statistically when compared to non-believers.

When one looks at it in the abstract, it takes a great deal of hubris to insist something completely internal and experienced only by yourself (i.e. internal confirmation or manifestation) should somehow be accepted as compelling evidence by those who have not experienced it.

You only have to apply this to any other endeavor to understand how absurd it sounds to a non-believer. It is the emperor's new clothing to the non-believer, only instead you guys keep saying, "no, for reals."

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John,

Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the respectful way you've always spoken to me in our past exchanges and was hoping for some thoughtful input here so I'm very glad you added your thoughts.

Fundamentally, the problem with communication between believers and non-believer is that the believers must claim access to special metaphysical knowledge that unbelievers do not have. This claim is not just a matter of degree of knowledge, but that there is a whole separate supernatural system of knowing that believers only have possession of. This knowledge also is the singular confirmation that this knowledge exists, there is nothing external to that knowledge that even remotely suggests that it exists. Additionally, believers claim all sorts of powers that derive from their occult knowledge, such as discernment, healing, financial success, health, etc. that simply do not show up statistically when compared to non-believers.

Mostly, I agree with you here. Two exceptions:

We do not believe that access to spiritual knowledge is limited to believers hence Moroni 10:3-5.

I see it as a matter of degree with those who accept the premise of revelation but who have experienced it personally in only a very limited way. As I mentioned in the OP, this communication problem occurs between members as well.

And one caveat:

There is no way that I can think of the measure faith or the will of God such that we could factor them into a measurement of spiritual efficiency.

When one looks at it in the abstract, it takes a great deal of hubris to insist something completely internal and experienced only by yourself (i.e internal confirmation or manifestation) should somehow be accepted as compelling evidence by those who have not experienced it.

Indeed it does! Which is what makes the request so intriguing. But it's also why we invite people to seek this experience out independently.

You only have to apply this to any other endeavor to understand how absurd it sounds to a non-believer. It is the emperor's new clothing to the non-believer, only instead you guys keep saying, "no, for reals."

Exactly. Which is why I think we LDS should have more patience with the fact that people don't see what we see. We talk about the parable of the sower as an analogy for how the gospel is received by different people. What I wonder is why when our seed bounces on that rocky ground, we don't just smile and move on trusting that life with all its wind and rain, sun and snow, may soften that ground so that another sower has more success. Why keep beating that hard soil? I have great faith that eventually the veil will be rent and we will all see with amazing clarity - nearly every heart will be fertile ground.

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I'm referring to darkness in terms of a lack of spiritual knowledge.

"I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not."

"And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness."

"And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin."

If all men comprehended The Light as Peter did, because flesh had not revealed it unto them, but their Father in Heaven, we wouldn't spend nearly as much time on this board and elsewhere discussing the validity of spiritual experiences. That time is spent because those with whom we debate such topics have either not had such experiences or have dismissed them.

Yep. I wasn't saying unbelievers were like animals or that animals are without spiritual significance. I was simply using the mouse and elephant to illustrate how in darkness even very dissimilar entities may be masked to an observer.

Sorry if I misunderstood you. Do you think that "the others" lack spiritual knowledge? How so? Do you think that's to be expected given that not all people will follow Christ, Christianity or Mormonism? As for the scriptures above, I guess that's where missionary work comes in, to try to bring people to THIS Church and the Gospel. Do you think the Lord is referring to missionary work in those verses? Why keep shining a light in a place known not to comprehend it unless there is some hope that it will, eventually?

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Sorry if I misunderstood you. Do you think that "the others" lack spiritual knowledge? How so? Do you think that's to be expected given that not all people will follow Christ, Christianity or Mormonism? As for the scriptures above, I guess that's where missionary work comes in, to try to bring people to THIS Church and the Gospel. Do you think the Lord is referring to missionary work in those verses? Why keep shining a light in a place known not to comprehend it unless there is some hope that it will, eventually?

Yes - I think many others lack spiritual knowledge. Some are blinded by "the subtle craftiness of men" which teaches that no such knowledge is attainable. Others are in the dark because they sin against the knowledge they do have (i.e. they break commandments that they already accept). Still others are in darkness because of their unbelief (this is true of people in and out of every church).

Every spirit comes to the earth with the light of Christ but that connection to God can be severed by lifestyle or intentional disregard.

Of course, it is to be expected. Hence the missionary work. What needs to change, IMO, is that we need to be willing to trust that the Lord will prepare the hearts of men (in this life or the next) so rather than engage contentiously, we should be willing to walk away from those who are just looking for a fight or clamoring for a podium, knowingly full well that at some point every knee will bow and every tongue confess...

We should keep shining a light - no question! - but I think the minute we engage in contention that light dims. If we were as much the Zion people as we could be, we wouldn't be able to build chapels fast enough. As an example, 40 years ago, my hometown had a fledgling branch that belonged to a district 90 minutes away. Deep in the heart of a Southern Baptist stronghold, no one could have predicted that in 4 short decades we'd have 2 HUGE stakes and temple just minutes away.

While the local churches were circulating the Godmakers and preaching against our church, a small group of saints organized monthly trips to the nearest temple, 7 hours away. They went about helping each other and setting good examples. Few, if any, were scholars but they were salt of the earth saints and they pressed forward, never wearying in their well-doing. They worked with missionaries, when people fell inactive, they sought them out and were true friends, even to those who never returned.

The churches that preached against "The Mormons" sit largely empty on Sundays while ward after ward rotates through two stake centers just 10 minutes apart. All I'm saying is that if the goal is winning people to the faith - exchanges characterized by charity are invariably the better way.

"Love it the way of the disciple." (Elder Uchtdorf Oct 2009 GC)

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How do you deal with the fact that so many of us nonbelievers were once strong believers, who relied on the same (one assumes) spirit, yet later came to the conclusion that it was most likely an internally generated self confirmation?

We have not had the same spiritual experiences.

edited to add: There was a time when I felt things that I could reason away. Despite the internal struggle, I held firm. In response, I received greater witnesses. That pattern has continued over the course of my life.

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John,

Mostly, I agree with you here. Two exceptions:

We do not believe that access to spiritual knowledge is limited to believers hence Moroni 10:3-5.

I see it as a matter of degree with those who accept the premise of revelation but who have experienced it personally in only a very limited way. As I mentioned in the OP, this communication problem occurs between members as well.

How do you explain the many millions of people who have been issued Moroni's promise but for whom there was no spiritual witness given (such as me)?

Even if they had all received a spiritual witness, how could you possibly know that they are real? In other words, how do you know that spiritual witnesses are not just manufactured by your own mind? Or by an evil trickster, for that matter? You seem to think that this sort of confirmation is superior to normal intellectual or emotional confirmation of the common variety, but on what grounds do you believe that?

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Yes - I think many others lack spiritual knowledge. Some are blinded by "the subtle craftiness of men" which teaches that no such knowledge is attainable. Others are in the dark because they sin against the knowledge they do have (i.e. they break commandments that they already accept). Still others are in darkness because of their unbelief (this is true of people in and out of every church).

Every spirit comes to the earth with the light of Christ but that connection to God can be severed by lifestyle or intentional disregard.

Of course, it is to be expected. Hence the missionary work. What needs to change, IMO, is that we need to be willing to trust that the Lord will prepare the hearts of men (in this life or the next) so rather than engage contentiously, we should be willing to walk away from those who are just looking for a fight or clamoring for a podium, knowingly full well that at some point every knee will bow and every tongue confess...

We should keep shining a light - no question! - but I think the minute we engage in contention that light dims. If we were as much the Zion people as we could be, we wouldn't be able to build chapels fast enough. As an example, 40 years ago, my hometown had a fledgling branch that belonged to a district 90 minutes away. Deep in the heart of a Southern Baptist stronghold, no one could have predicted that in 4 short decades we'd have 2 HUGE stakes and temple just minutes away.

While the local churches were circulating the Godmakers and preaching against our church, a small group of saints organized monthly trips to the nearest temple, 7 hours away. They went about helping each other and setting good examples. Few, if any, were scholars but they were salt of the earth saints and they pressed forward, never wearying in their well-doing. They worked with missionaries, when people fell inactive, they sought them out and were true friends, even to those who never returned.

The churches that preached against "The Mormons" sit largely empty on Sundays while ward after ward rotates through two stake centers just 10 minutes apart. All I'm saying is that if the goal is winning people to the faith - exchanges characterized by charity are invariably the better way.

"Love it the way of the disciple." (Elder Uchtdorf Oct 2009 GC)

I like what you just posted. It seems very reasonable to me. It seems to follow the "blessed are the peacemakers" part of the Gospel. Yet, Christ did expell the money changers by force, he even made the whip to use on them(?)

Do you think those who got whipped or had their tables turned felt "loved?"

He called some people hypocrites when they tried to quarrel over doctrine and other issues and he also said that "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." M10:34

Are we required to be aggressive or passive when defending the Gospel? Neither?

Good thing we no longer go by the OT in regards to anti-Mormons or non-believers, here's why:

"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die." Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

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I like what you just posted. It seems very reasonable to me. It seems to follow the "blessed are the peacemakers" part of the Gospel. Yet, Christ did expell the money changers by force, he even made the whip to use on them(?)

Do you think those who got whipped or had their tables turned felt "loved?"

He called some people hypocrites when they tried to quarrel over doctrine and other issues and he also said that "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." M10:34

Are we required to be aggressive or passive when defending the Gospel? Neither?

Good thing we no longer go by the OT in regards to anti-Mormons or non-believers, here's why:

"If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; ... Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die." Deuteronomy, Chapter 17:2-3,5

I don't think they felt loved. But I don't think they converted either. And if any did, it probably wasn't until after Christ performed the greatest act of love known to man. Of all Christ's exchanges with unbelievers, we have a single account of Him being angry. A word used much more often in the NT to describe Christ's interactions was compassion.

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You must be speaking another language, because I haven't the slightest idea what the word "spiritual" actually means. And I get nowhere asking people what they really mean. Do you mean peaceful? No...not that. Do you mean a feeling of awe? No, not that either. So when someone says "I'm a very spiritual person" or "the spirit was strong last night," it's just gibberish to me. The closest I can get is to translate it into what I think they actually mean: "I'm a very spiritual person" means "I'm superstitious, emotional, and irrational." "The spirit was strong last night" means "I was interested in what a speaker said. So much so that I didn't doze off."

Awaiting the obligatory "describe the taste of salt" analogy,

MC

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I don't think they felt loved. But I don't think they converted either. And if any did, it probably wasn't until after Christ performed the greatest act of love known to man. Of all Christ's exchanges with unbelievers, we have a single account of Him being angry. A word used much more often in the NT to describe Christ's interactions was compassion.

Actually, that was not the ONLY account of the Lord being angry. The point I'm trying to make is that being passive is not always the best course of action. Don't you think Christ could have simply asked them to leave instead of turning their tables and whipping them as He went? Say yes. He could have. He chose not to because for those types of people, talking would not get them to leave, true? Christ chose the best method to deal with that particular group.

Deut. 9: 8

Also in Horeb ye provoked the Lord to wrath, so that the Lord was angry with you to have destroyed you.

The fig tree?

1 Ne. 18: 10

10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.

D&C 61: 20

20 I, the Lord, was angry with you yesterday, but today mine anger is turned away.

D&C 63: 32

I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.

Moses 6: 27

27 And he heard a voice from heaven, saying: Enoch, my son, prophesy unto this people, and say unto them

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How do you deal with the fact that so many of us nonbelievers were once strong believers, who relied on the same (one assumes) spirit, yet later came to the conclusion that it was most likely an internally generated self confirmation?

There are experiences that cannot be explained away without doing some serious damage to the validity of all experience. At some point I would have to decide if I am sane, I suppose...not that something was "internally generated". I am unconcerned with what nonbelievers experience or don't experience...until they come looking for a fight. What I do wonder, however, is why one would want to explain away such experiences. If I were to decide to do that....and it would have to be a deliberate choice...all learning about such experiences would obviously stop because there is some work required. If you were to look at mysticism and take away the "Mormon" stigma that should be very clear. The very basis of the Mormon belief in revelation is that learning process. Like Mercy, I prefer to keep learning about that experience instead of explaining it away.

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How do you explain the many millions of people who have been issued Moroni's promise but for whom there was no spiritual witness given (such as me)?

Even if they had all received a spiritual witness, how could you possibly know that they are real? In other words, how do you know that spiritual witnesses are not just manufactured by your own mind? Or by an evil trickster, for that matter? You seem to think that this sort of confirmation is superior to normal intellectual or emotional confirmation of the common variety, but on what grounds do you believe that?

I don't explain them. I am not privy to their experiences.

On what grounds do I believe that spiritual witnesses are superior to emotional and intellectual witnesses? Having experienced all three forms of confirmation provides me with a pretty good basis for prioritizing them.

John, the questions you pose go right to the heart of the OP. If you've read my other comments in this thread, you'll know what I mean when I say... You are trying to convince me that I didn't hold the toy that's in the Christmas present. But I did. And no amount of trying to convince me that it isn't what it is, will change the truth.

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As you can see the Lord got angry more than once and there are dozens of instances of the Lord's anger in the OT. Being Christ-like may entitle us to be angry at

certain things that are not right.

Sorry - before I tinkered with my response to you, it read a single account in the NT (which is why the following statement refers to the NT). I'll respond more thoroughly in a few minutes - my kids are in the car waiting for me to take them out to pick up pizza.... BRB

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Sorry - before I tinkered with my response to you, it read a single account in the NT (which is why the following statement refers to the NT). I'll respond more thoroughly in a few minutes - my kids are in the car waiting for me to take them out to pick up pizza.... BRB

You may not realize this, but the goodness of your heart is showing through your words here. FYI. Enjoy the Pizza. And never mind most of this. It's just brain exercise for fun.

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