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What spiritual experiences are exclusive to LDS?


maupayman

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I can tell you, with all sincerity, that for every affirmation of a truth about the gospel, I hear about 100 affirmations of meaningless, "a member of the godhead found my keys/told me not to take that route to work/told me to look up just in time to see a piano dropping on my head" type stories. And, of those affirmations of gospel truth, most have been stories about how the member felt prior to baptism.

Here's one experience: many years after my baptism, while studying the scriptures on my mission, I had a profound spiritual experience. I literally felt enveloped in something which I can only describe as Pure Love. I knew exactly what that was, because it felt familiar. I knew exactly whose Love it was. This was pure knowledge, and pure emotion, and it was completely unrelated to the scriptures I had been reading or the recent experiences I had. I now can testify with absolute certainty that God's love is infinite, unconditional and universal.

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Here's one experience: many years after my baptism, while studying the scriptures on my mission, I had a profound spiritual experience. I literally felt enveloped in something which I can only describe as Pure Love. I knew exactly what that was, because it felt familiar. I knew exactly whose Love it was. This was pure knowledge, and pure emotion, and it was completely unrelated to the scriptures I had been reading or the recent experiences I had. I now can testify with absolute certainty that God's love is infinite, unconditional and universal.

:P

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I now can testify with absolute certainty that God's love is infinite, unconditional and universal.

THAT is very cool. It is inconsistent with my understanding of Mormon doctrine on the subject, but Mormon doctrine is not my litmus test.

I had an experience that carried a similar message, but delivered in a very different setting. It kinda redrew my roadmap.

stYro

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I had started a thread about a similar topic, but it appears to have been removed during the switch to the new domain name etc. I have been discussing this subject with LDS for years, but have never been shown an official answer. The answers are usually anecdotal evidence, vague, or that it is different for everyone.

The question is straightforward: Given the LDS claim, of exclusive access to the Gift of the Holy Ghost, what experiences, feelings, abilities etc are only available to LDS members with the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

Many people, such as Hamba Tuhan and mercyandgrace shared very special experiences, for which I thank them, and I do not seek to claim that these experiences were fraudulent, or meaningless. My point is that similar things happen to people of all beliefs, including irreligous people. So, if LDS do have access to something unique, what is it?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

I have only just had a chance to look at this thread, but haven't read all the posts, so what I say may have been said by someone else. In Mormonism, the gifts of the Spirit are not exclusive to members of the Church. The Book of Mormon teaches that any righteous person who does any good, does so by the gift and power of God, which is the same as the Holy Ghost:

Moroni 10
:

24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth
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How so?

Okay I don't have a stack of Ensigns handy so I'm not going to be able to come up with a reference here. Therefore, the following is my OPINION and nothing more.

I recall a conference talk from the late 80's or early 90's by Richard G. Scott which said that God's unconditional love is reserved for those who qualify for it. And I recall a more recent talk (M. Russell Nelson?) that said God's love was not unconditional. At least that was my interpretation, and is my recollection, of those talks.

stYro

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Okay I don't have a stack of Ensigns handy so I'm not going to be able to come up with a reference here. Therefore, the following is my OPINION and nothing more.

I recall a conference talk from the late 80's or early 90's by Richard G. Scott which said that God's unconditional love is reserved for those who qualify for it. And I recall a more recent talk (M. Russell Nelson?) that said God's love was not unconditional. At least that was my interpretation, and is my recollection, of those talks.

stYro

Well, there are these.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father

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Okay I don't have a stack of Ensigns handy so I'm not going to be able to come up with a reference here. Therefore, the following is my OPINION and nothing more.

I recall a conference talk from the late 80's or early 90's by Richard G. Scott which said that God's unconditional love is reserved for those who qualify for it. And I recall a more recent talk (M. Russell Nelson?) that said God's love was not unconditional. At least that was my interpretation, and is my recollection, of those talks.

stYro

You don't need a stack of Ensigns to find them, you can search the online database at LDS.org, it contains all ensigns since 1970.

However, I doubt you will find conclusive evidence. The doctrine you describe doesn't go very well with common LDS belief.

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Okay I don't have a stack of Ensigns handy so I'm not going to be able to come up with a reference here. Therefore, the following is my OPINION and nothing more.

I recall a conference talk from the late 80's or early 90's by Richard G. Scott which said that God's unconditional love is reserved for those who qualify for it. And I recall a more recent talk (M. Russell Nelson?) that said God's love was not unconditional. At least that was my interpretation, and is my recollection, of those talks.

stYro

Is this the article you had in mind? I think God's love is unconditional in the sense that He never hates anyone; but it is conditional in the sense that He cannot allow for "mercy to rob justice". The demands of justice has to be satisfied, regardless of how much He may love us, and would not want us to suffer the consequences of our actions.

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Is this the article you had in mind? I think God's love is unconditional in the sense that He never hates anyone; but it is conditional in the sense that He cannot allow for "mercy to rob justice". The demands of justice has to be satisfied, regardless of how much He may love us, and would not want us to suffer the consequences of our actions.

God's blessings are not contingent on his love. We often make the mistake of withdrawing our love from others when we disapprove of their behaviour. God doesn't.

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I don't know what church you attend, but at the one I go to, testimonies about the Holy Ghost finding car keys are nonexistent - a mormon cliche that I have never actually heard in person. Testimonies about God helping someone out with something trivial are in the minority.

You clearly do not have Facebook account. I had three trivial testimonies pass by my wall.......just today.

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I cannot explain this other than it being a gift from God. When I got in my pickup this morning I looked at the gas gauge because I knew my tank was getting low & I wanted to make sure I could make it into town. There was almost half a tank more gas than there had been when I parked it Sunday.

I've seen miracles like this before. Like a car going a lot further than it normally would & the gas gauge says it's empty. I was a passenger in a car that did this on a trip to Salt Lake.
It's a good thing I'm not sick like this very often. *** isn't feeling very good either & we needed to feed the dogs so we decided to do it together. *** didn't move fast enough & Doc & Holly pushed their way out the gate while he was going in. So we had to chase them down. God helped us though. The dogs cornered themselves in an empty pen across the road. All we had to do was wait by the gate until they came our way. *** carried Holly home while I sat on a ladder & hung on to Doc by the collar until *** came back with a leash - fighting nausea the whole time (both of us). All are back in their pen & fed & watered now. *** & I may recover eventually.
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My former stake president told me the story firsthand; how President Gosslind (sp) of the Seventy was looking at Chamber's painting in (iirc H. B. Lee's) office, when he came in behind him and remarked that it was the portrait that most looked like Christ; or, conversely (my stake pres couldn't recall which Gosslind said) the other portraits known of did not look as much like Christ as this one does. So I am naturally intrigued to see YOUR painting, asap. Thank you.

Actually, I had a talk with the lady today, and apparently it was this one (not that one):

http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dlds%2Bchrist%2Bpainting%26ei%3Dutf-8%26y%3DSearch%26fr%3Dyfp-t-317&w=512&h=640&imgurl=mormonchurch.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2009%2F11%2Fjesus-christ-mormon.jpg&rurl=http%3A%2F%2Fmormonchurch.org%2Ftag%2Fmormon-service&size=89KB&name=over+300+latter+...&p=lds+christ+painting&oid=797936065792c9ec0cedcccc98e805ca&fr2=&no=14&tt=333&sigr=11a17i40p&sigi=1232ov3ce&sigb=131jvo1an&.crumb=4RfSs6PAODC

She said President Kimball said it was most closely related to Christ, but I can't seem to find a quote with him saying it.

Ah, my mistake. I agree with this.

XD no prob.

I wasn't saying the state of happiness/joy doesn't exist without knowledge: I am saying that happiness/joy is wasted on any sapient being that is unaware of what its opposite is. One cannot apprehend a thing without having knowledge of its opposite. Therefore without apprehension of opposition (as Lehi pounded home perfectly) sapience is of no worth, being created as a thing of naught. Or in other words, without knowledge existence itself has no meaning. The more we attain to the knowledge of "God" the more like "God" we become; the more appreciative of Existence we become.

Ah, so what you mean is you cannot realize happiness. I agree with that.

Of course they were PERFECTLY happy. But neither of them knew it until they became less than perfectly happy and could make the comparison.

I thought you were talking of happiness, not realization of it =P.

The "as scales" that fell off Paul's eyes were a physical manifestation. Others in his party either saw a light or heard a voice; so the empirical quality of what Paul saw in vision was there too; it was not entirely metaphysical.

CFR for the party saw a light or heard a voice... I need a link to which verse you are talking about.

This story is one of the reasons why the Church teaches these events as possessing a physical/empirical component. I do not have any trouble at all with "saw with my spiritual eyes"; that's the way all metaphysical manifestations occur. But Martin Harris signed the testimony of the Three Witnesses making it a real, that is to say empirical (five sense) occurrence, not a "spiritual only" one.

He never said it was spiritual only. He said he saw with his spiritual eyes. People exclude the physical one, but he never said anything concerning it. He said he saw with his spiritual eyes, and whether his physical ones were involved or not, I do not know.

In any case, even if it was a spiritual manifestation, there have been many before, and that does not make them less genuine (see 'Christ standing on the right hand of God' in the Bible - it's in a dream).

I agree. That's why the Church ought to be teaching that these kinds of visionary experiences are not detectable scientifically, but only "spiritually".

For all we know, they could be detected scientifically. But I wouldn't count on it... it would destroy the purpose of having faith.

I was only pointing out the fact that the First Vision was a metaphysical event, like a powerful realistic dream; and not a meeting with God the Father and Jesus Christ in the woods, like bumping into each other and Joseph Smith being made aware by his five senses; which is the ONLY way that physical beings apprehend each other.

If you read in Moses and Abraham, you will see that the spiritual creation is just as real as this one. So I'll agree, perhaps not physical - but certainly no less real. Indeed... I would think it was partially physical, at least with Christ.

Your diagram is WITHIN space-time. It cannot show the state that "God" IS outside of space-time. The Creator of space-time comprehends every particle within it, being the Author of it all. To "God" it is all NOW. "God" is the ONLY Cause that is not caused. "God" = Existence in the first place: the only Existence that is....

Yes, my diagram is from within space time. But I don't think you are getting what I am saying. I am saying it is IMPOSSIBLE to be outside of a space-time. Why? Because if you are outside of a space-time, you cannot move whatsoever - you cannot have energy - you cannot be made of matter - you cannot do anything. For this reason, outside of every space-time, there must be another spacetime - or else the universe could not have been cause to exist in the first place.

In other words, to be out of spacetime is to be motionless - absolutely still. God cannot be outside off spacetime, or else he would be motionless, and absolutely still (and absolutely unable to do anything). He must be within a spacetime of some form to act, to think... to do anything, really.

In other words, God cannot act, he cannot live, he cannot even exist in any form of matter whatsoever - if he is outside of all spacetime. He may be outside of our spacetime, and still be fine, but he may not be outside of all layers of spacetime. In fact... I don't think there is such a thing as being outside of all layers of spacetime - each time you go out a shell you reach another one surrounding it.

I don't think I explained that all that well... but if you do AS3 programming, you can imagine outside of spacetime as the program without the stage initialized. It's just a black screen. And, considering that you must write code to initialize the stage (it doesn't do it automatically), outside of spacetime is a place where nothing happens.

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Huh?

Essentially the diagram shows how our universe is inside of another universe. Each universe has it's own form of spacetime. And each universe no matter how far you go up is contained inside of another universe. Infinite recursion upwards. There is no end.

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Essentially the diagram shows how our universe is inside of another universe. Each universe has it's own form of spacetime. And each universe no matter how far you go up is contained inside of another universe. Infinite recursion upwards. There is no end.

I have often thought that some model like this is the only way the KFD makes sense. You need at least two different time contexts to make it work.

I taught an elder's quorum lesson about this many years ago- in the class was a movie maker who later made a movie called "The Land Before Time".

I have often wondered if that lesson influenced the title any. The problem of course is that if God was once a man, he must have lived in a different time reference than we do- he would have had to live in a "time before time" as we know it.

But there is another, less literal way to understand it, and that is that there was no human reference for time until there were people with a language to, in a sense, "create" time in a human reference. Before a human reference there was no human conception of time- or in a sense no "time" (the concept) at all. And of course the scriptures talk about God's "reckoning" of time being different than ours. But that is a long story having nothing to do with the OP.

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Here's one experience: many years after my baptism, while studying the scriptures on my mission, I had a profound spiritual experience. I literally felt enveloped in something which I can only describe as Pure Love. I knew exactly what that was, because it felt familiar. I knew exactly whose Love it was. This was pure knowledge, and pure emotion, and it was completely unrelated to the scriptures I had been reading or the recent experiences I had. I now can testify with absolute certainty that God's love is infinite, unconditional and universal.

Yep. Happened to me in 1993(many years after my baptism) while sitting on the stand in Sacrament meeting. Life changing.

I think of it as 1 of 3 different yet related experiences that are the pillars of initiation into the mysteries of Godliness.

HiJolly

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I had started a thread about a similar topic, but it appears to have been removed during the switch to the new domain name etc. I have been discussing this subject with LDS for years, but have never been shown an official answer. The answers are usually anecdotal evidence, vague, or that it is different for everyone.

The question is straightforward: Given the LDS claim, of exclusive access to the Gift of the Holy Ghost, what experiences, feelings, abilities etc are only available to LDS members with the Gift of the Holy Ghost?

Many people, such as Hamba Tuhan and mercyandgrace shared very special experiences, for which I thank them, and I do not seek to claim that these experiences were fraudulent, or meaningless. My point is that similar things happen to people of all beliefs, including irreligous people. So, if LDS do have access to something unique, what is it?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Receiving truth from the Holy Spirit, aka the Spirit of Truth, is a spiritual experience, and LDS receive many such experiences that non-LDS simply don't get.

For example, the Holy Spirit has told me Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and not just any ole prophet, but one who was key and instrumental in bringing about the restoration of our Lord's Church in these latter days.

Non LDS simply don't get that one, or if they do they are then considered to be LDS.

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... or if they do they are then considered to be LDS.

Mmmm....not always.

There's a whole buch of people that have a spiritual witness to the Prophethood of Joseph Smith, but are not LDS. (at least not SLC LDS)

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Mmmm....not always.

There's a whole buch of people that have a spiritual witness to the Prophethood of Joseph Smith, but are not LDS. (at least not SLC LDS)

<----------------------- Like that guy.

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Don Bluth was in your EQ class??

Many years ago in Culver City Ca, yep.

Would have been 1986 or so? I think I was his home teacher at the time, but not a very good one unfortunately. I think he was working for Disney at the time?

Edit: I dunno I just looked him up and the dates don't seem to add up- it had to be between 82 and 88 and at least this bio mentions Culver City. I think he maintained that as his home for a while after he made it fairly big? I dunno. Or maybe it was during the period when the arcade market went under and he was back in his modest home. I just knew at the time that he was some kind of animator and that is about all. I think he said he worked for Disney- I had no clue at the time what he had done.

I moved from the area in 1988.

http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800015398/bio

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Actually, I had a talk with the lady today, and apparently it was this one (not that one):

http://images.search...umb=4RfSs6PAODC

She said President Kimball said it was most closely related to Christ, but I can't seem to find a quote with him saying it.

I've only pursued this topic this far for two reasons: curiosity to see which painting you were talking about; and because I find such "grapevine" stories fascinating. I don't attach any credence whatsoever to anyone's opinion on which picture of Jesus Christ looks the most like him. I surely don't hold "my" painting to be superior to any other. I have a dislike of Del Parson's pictures, as I do for the vast majority of religious art. Liz Lemon Swindle's pictures are by and large the best around, imho; but even many of hers are less than satisfying to me.

CFR for the party saw a light or heard a voice... I need a link to which verse you are talking about.

Acts 9:7; 22:9; 26:14. Discrepancy: those with Paul saw or did not see a light; heard or did not hear a voice; stood speechless or fell to the ground. In any case, there were empirical manifestations with this vision to Paul: whereas in the Kirtland temple there were no manifestations that the "audience" could see or hear on the other side of a hanging curtain.

He never said it was spiritual only. He said he saw with his spiritual eyes. People exclude the physical one, but he never said anything concerning it. He said he saw with his spiritual eyes, and whether his physical ones were involved or not, I do not know.

Both. I don't have the references in front of me, but Harris began with his signing of the Testimony of the Three Witnesses. A few years later in Kirtland he was asked on the street by skeptics/apostates to explain what he had actually experienced; and Harris said he had "seen" with his spiritual eyes; when asked if he had seen the plates and angel like he was looking at them, he explained that he had seen with his spiritual eyes. In other words, the vision was not exactly like looking with empirical/physical eyes; it was MORE than that, because it was spiritual "seeing" as well. But the skeptics/apostates only heard that Harris had said he hadn't actually SEEN with his physical eyes; so they started telling everyone in Kirtland that Harris had denied his testimony: he hadn't actually SEEN the angel and the plates. Later in life (as I recall the anecdote), in N. Utah, Harris pointed to a fence post across the street from where he was talking to someone about his vision experience, and said that he had seen the angel and plates just as clearly as his hearer could see that fence post. So this sounds like an empirical sight involved, not just a metaphysical vision.

In any case, even if it was a spiritual manifestation, there have been many before, and that does not make them less genuine (see 'Christ standing on the right hand of God' in the Bible - it's in a dream).

I agree. But the skeptics/apostates on the street in Kirtland who cornered Martin Harris were not interested in asserted visions that remained "safely" behind a metaphysical barrier; they wanted assurance that Harris had actually seen physical plates and angels, not just something that the rest of the world would denounce as a delusion perpetrated by Joseph Smith.

The Church ought to teach these things, these differences, imho.

For all we know, they could be detected scientifically. But I wouldn't count on it... it would destroy the purpose of having faith.

I think that "faith" is overrated. "Doubting Thomas" was completely reasonable in his demand for equal treatment. And I feel completely justified in asserting that Joseph Smith believed in his own visions. But unless I receive my own telling me to follow Smith's I am not bound by what he asserted to have seen and heard and felt.

If you read in Moses and Abraham, you will see that the spiritual creation is just as real as this one. So I'll agree, perhaps not physical - but certainly no less real. Indeed... I would think it was partially physical, at least with Christ.

Spiritual = metaphysical. So yes just as real as physical. Just "residing" in a parallel realm to the physical one.

Yes, my diagram is from within space time. But I don't think you are getting what I am saying. I am saying it is IMPOSSIBLE to be outside of a space-time.

Impossible for us, unless "God" takes out of it. But "God" is not within space-time. The scripture clearly says this with "God" talking about seeing the end from the beginning and all things (all his numberless-to-man creations) being before his face continually.

Why? Because if you are outside of a space-time, you cannot move whatsoever - you cannot have energy - you cannot be made of matter - you cannot do anything. For this reason, outside of every space-time, there must be another spacetime - or else the universe could not have been cause to exist in the first place.

In other words, to be out of spacetime is to be motionless - absolutely still. God cannot be outside off spacetime, or else he would be motionless, and absolutely still (and absolutely unable to do anything). He must be within a spacetime of some form to act, to think... to do anything, really.

In order to manifest, "God" must enter creation itself. You are right: "out of space-time" means no motion, no energy, no matter: these are all empirical traits: the "original" is metaphysical only, "without form and void"; there is no dimension to it. There is only EXISTENCE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

In other words, God cannot act, he cannot live, he cannot even exist in any form of matter whatsoever - if he is outside of all spacetime.

Precisely, "God" cannot live because "God" cannot die. Existence is quite a different concept however.

He may be outside of our spacetime, and still be fine, but he may not be outside of all layers of spacetime. In fact... I don't think there is such a thing as being outside of all layers of spacetime - each time you go out a shell you reach another one surrounding it.

I think that you are bound into a logical loop. Maybe you'll break out of it sometime!

I don't think I explained that all that well... but if you do AS3 programming, you can imagine outside of spacetime as the program without the stage initialized. It's just a black screen. And, considering that you must write code to initialize the stage (it doesn't do it automatically), outside of spacetime is a place where nothing happens.

Its called the VOID, or NOTHING. "God" is both fecund Creator and is Void together: both "states" Exist as NOW where there is no such thing as cause and effect, before and after, or space-time, or anyTHING at all: just EXISTENCE uncaused, which Causes everything to be that we call creation; the empirical multiverse of egocentric universes, or sapient beings, the souls possessing free will: "God" manifesting infinitely as US....

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...

The problem of course is that if God was once a man, he must have lived in a different time reference than we do- he would have had to live in a "time before time" as we know it.

But there is another, less literal way to understand it, and that is that there was no human reference for time until there were people with a language to, in a sense, "create" time in a human reference. Before a human reference there was no human conception of time- or in a sense no "time" (the concept) at all. And of course the scriptures talk about God's "reckoning" of time being different than ours. But that is a long story having nothing to do with the OP.

The concept of "God" as a glorified homo sapien is logical since that is our species. But obviously "God" is infinitely more than a finite, physical being housing an infinite genius for creation. That concept is puny compared to what my 'satiable sapience (imagination) can come up with. And if there is a First Rule to conceiving "God", it is the Ontological Argument (which only works when applied to "God" and nothing else): "God", furthermore, is infinitely more than ALL concepts of ALL sapient beings combined together. Our concepts for "God" cannot even form a beginning of a comprehension of "God": because even taken at any given moment within space-time "we" are a quantifiable, finite number of sapient beings conceiving "God", who is infinite: the finite cannot comprehend the infinite; even though we may imagine such being possible. In order to comprehend all that "God" does we would have to be reunited/absorbed back into "God", i.e. cease to be in space-time individually. Once returned to our finite sapient Existence, however, only the memory of the experience would remain; the actual comprehension of infinity would be severed from our finite, moment-by-moment minds....

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The concept of "God" as a glorified homo sapien is logical since that is our species. But obviously "God" is infinitely more than a finite, physical being housing an infinite genius for creation. That concept is puny compared to what my 'satiable sapience (imagination) can come up with. And if there is a First Rule to conceiving "God", it is the Ontological Argument (which only works when applied to "God" and nothing else): "God", furthermore, is infinitely more than ALL concepts of ALL sapient beings combined together. Our concepts for "God" cannot even form a beginning of a comprehension of "God": because even taken at any given moment within space-time "we" are a quantifiable, finite number of sapient beings conceiving "God", who is infinite: the finite cannot comprehend the infinite; even though we may imagine such being possible. In order to comprehend all that "God" does we would have to be reunited/absorbed back into "God", i.e. cease to be in space-time individually. Once returned to our finite sapient Existence, however, only the memory of the experience would remain; the actual comprehension of infinity would be severed from our finite, moment-by-moment minds....

Yeah, like I said, I think our disagreements are semantic.

Having a body has not limited the savior from having what we see as "infinite" and "transcendent" powers to accomplish the atonement.

I think there is no basis for the ontological argument, but that is a philosophical issue which has been discussed here many times before.

It is based on 800 year old philosophy which in my opinion is seriously flawed, and as I said, based on Thomas Aquinas and ultimately Plato whom I think were both "apostates" by LDS standards.

But that is my opinion, if it works for you, go with it!

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