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What spiritual experiences are exclusive to LDS?


maupayman

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Mmmm....not always.

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

At least those LDS are that much LDS. Totally non LDS aren't even LDS that much.

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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 think that multiverse theories are fun to discuss and speculate about, but I don't think that they should be taken too seriously (similar to how I feel about theories about God) for the following reasons:

1. There is no evidence of another universe outside of this one: I understand how the whole "multiverse" theory got started (partially as a way to explain the Ehrenberg

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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 really should read the KFD sometime =P.

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.

It seems to me, isn't time just a way to compare two objects? The cloeset thing I can think of really to it, is my programming... but even with programming, it is actually a 'jagged' time reference. It's frame-by-frame, whereas our universe is smoothe - and you can divide time into an infinite amount of parts. I am curious as to how this happens... it'll be something I will ask God when I meet with him... how and why time is smoothe =).

I like long stories =D. And I definitely agree... before human reference, there was no conception of time, that there wasn't.

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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.

Hehe, I don't actually know the source of the story - I just heard it, and it could be right, or it could be a rumor. But that was the picture it was identified with, either way XD.

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.

The act of hearing is actually as substantial as the act of seeing, particularly. You don't have just spiritual sight, I believe, but I believe you also have spiritual hearing. But again, that is just my speculation on the issue.

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.

Yes, I tend to agree. I don't even know if the plates were the actual things themselves, or whether they were models or not (he was able to translate without physically looking at the plates). But it doesn't really matter, does it, I guess. As long as God wanted it that way, that be fine with me.

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.

I think perhaps they should... but I think perhaps also they choose not to until the questions come, because it takes alot of research on the subject to know much about it. Same with alot of difficult issues really. In any case, I do know that many bishops know about things like this, so they should be able to answer such. =)

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.

Nah, you don't need faith for that... where faith is actually important is in determining the existance of God. You have to have faith that he will answer you, because he is just. If you don't have faith in that concept, you can in no way connect to him... you have to have a faith and hope for that. Really, once you have that, the rest of the building blocks just 'fall in'... or at least they did for me. Once I believed, I was in connection with the spirit, and recieved my own witness of the truth of what he asserted. But I don't think many people look at it the way I do... which is why faith is needed for them in other instances then it is needed for me, I guess =/.

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

I agree.

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.

Nah, your not getting what I am saying. I am saying that in order for something to have an effect on something else - in order for cause-effect to exist - you must be within space-time. If you are outside of space-time, you cannot cause or effect anything. Thus, since God effects things, he must be within some form of space-time (his own).

If you consider the idea of space-times within space-times, yes, God has seen the beginning to the end - of our space-time. He is in a separate one, a bigger one, and in a sense, our space-time is only like the blinking of an eye for him. But it still lasts time, which is the important part. If God doesn't have a sense of time, he cannot actually 'plan', as to 'plan' takes time.

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.

Nevertheless, 'entering' is an action, a motion, a use of energy. He cannot 'enter' unless he is in a space-time already. To do anything, to even think, is an act of energy, and thus, must be contained inside of a space-time field. The original is matter that is not organized into God's will (thus without form and void - not organized), and exists within it's own space-time field. It just hasn't been effected by God yet. But God can in no way effect, (be it enter or change), without already being in a space-time field.

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

I disagree, what I mean is that matter in and of itself (spiritual matter, physical matter, all forms of existence) cannot exist outside of space-time. That means God is made of nothing. Which isn't right either or else he could not effect us. Nothing cannot do something, after all.

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

Nah, the loop is like a recursive loop. It doesn't end. Space to grow is infinite (not limited like a computer) and as of such, there is no stack overflow error to stop it. It will continue going further and further out. Each space-time within another, infinitely recurring.

Its called the VOID, or NOTHING.

Nah, it says the earth was without form and void. Not space-time. Also, Abraham does not have that verse, I think because it isn't clear.

"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....

If he is void than he cannot effect anything. Nothing cannot cause something. 0 is not equal to 1 without breaking a math law (or using imaginary numbers).

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I think that multiverse theories are fun to discuss and speculate about, but I don't think that they should be taken too seriously (similar to how I feel about theories about God) for the following reasons:

I agree, it actually isn't very important. I was only using to articulate how first cause cannot exist... really... we should not be focusing on stuff like it =P.

1. There is no evidence of another universe outside of this one: I understand how the whole "multiverse" theory got started (partially as a way to explain the Ehrenberg
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1. There is no evidence of another universe outside of this one:

That's ok.

There was no evidence of your existence here either until recently.

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I like long stories =D. And I definitely agree... before human reference, there was no conception of time, that there wasn't.

Well you're a quick study, so it might not be that long with you! :P

The hardest part for most people is the idea that all we can TALK about are "human conceptions". The only thing we can talk about is human experience. We cannot talk about the "sound of radio waves" because we do not experience that. It is not conceivable for humans.

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:P

I was simply pointing out the fact that LDS receive and accept revelations from the Holy Spirit that other people do not receive and accept, and that the experience of receiving a revelation from the Holy Spirit is in itself a spiritual experience.

Perhaps you can come up with another example of a revelation from the Holy Spirit that nobody other than LDS receive and accept to illustrate my point, and whether or not you can, it is in fact a truth that LDS receive and accept revelations from the Holy Spirit that people who aren't LDS don't receive and accept, and it is also a truth that the experience of receiving a revelation from the Holy Spirit is in itself a spiritual experience.

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Are spiritual experiences "conceivable"?

Of course.

That is why they are as real as anything else.

No, I am not a solipsist. Name one thing which has never been experienced by a human.

You can't. It's either something you have experienced or others have experienced or both.

In language we can only speak in the first person- "I" experiences, second person- "you" experiences, and third person experiences "he, she, it".

All of these define what we can talk about, and therefore what exists.

If we can't talk about it, it doesn't matter much to anyone but ourselves- but such things DO "matter". A lot of important things matter only to ourselves- in fact that is the realm in which we live most of our lives.

Oh, and incidentally, God is a human you know.

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Nah, your not getting what I am saying. I am saying that in order for something to have an effect on something else - in order for cause-effect to exist - you must be within space-time. If you are outside of space-time, you cannot cause or effect anything. Thus, since God effects things, he must be within some form of space-time (his own).

If you consider the idea of space-times within space-times, yes, God has seen the beginning to the end - of our space-time. He is in a separate one, a bigger one, and in a sense, our space-time is only like the blinking of an eye for him. But it still lasts time, which is the important part. If God doesn't have a sense of time, he cannot actually 'plan', as to 'plan' takes time.

Not just "separate" but ORIGINAL and ONLY and UNCAUSED. All "other" space-times are "contained" within that.

Nevertheless, 'entering' is an action, a motion, a use of energy. He cannot 'enter' unless he is in a space-time already. To do anything, to even think, is an act of energy, and thus, must be contained inside of a space-time field.

You're still thinking anthropomorphically, like Joseph Smith.

The original is matter that is not organized into God's will (thus without form and void - not organized), and exists within it's own space-time field. It just hasn't been effected by God yet. But God can in no way effect, (be it enter or change), without already being in a space-time field.

Think about what you just implied here: an EXISTENCE of infinite "unorganized" stuff OUTSIDE of "God's" own Existence. That's TWO uncaused states coexisting: the "stuff" and "God", and he "goes" to the stuff and works his will upon it, and voila! we have the universe. This is a logical fallacy because if ONE "set of stuff" why not other stuff that exists by itself without any Cause? And suddenly we are playing the "turtles all the way down" game again. No. Regardless of how impossible it feels, we must accept that "God" is the only uncaused Cause; we cannot go further with it than that because our finite minds cannot comprehend even WHAT "God" is. But the fact that we peck at our keyboards and communicate proves that our minds Exist, ergo they require a Cause. Logic seems to prefer that NOTHING exist at all: that everything must have a Cause for its existence, yet the First Cause cannot have a cause, or else it must spring from NOTHING. And if effect requires Cause, what Cause ended the state of NOTHING and came forth with Existence in its place? And so we are reduced to accepting that "God" is the ONLY uncaused Cause, whatever that means: Existence itself, deduced by our sapience, proves the First Cause, which cannot in any way be caused. That is why the Ontological Argument only applies to "God" and nothing else.

... matter in and of itself (spiritual matter, physical matter, all forms of existence) cannot exist outside of space-time. That means God is made of nothing. Which isn't right either or else he could not effect us. Nothing cannot do something, after all.

Why leap to "God is nothing" simply because you have not got a concept that allows "matter" to be a manifestation of an infinitely greater Existence? Nothing in empirical space-time, no matter how infinite it appears to be, can transcend the Cause of its existence. The matter and space-time itself must have a Cause; it cannot BE the Cause. Einstein is supposed to have conjectured that IF there is a "God" then probably the universe itself is it. But that concept is also too puny; because we have the multiverse concept; and if the multiverse is itself "God", then it never was caused, it simply has always been. How then does ONE manifestation (the "man" that appeared to Joseph Smith) lay "claim" to the stature of being the One God? It makes no sense at all. But, IF the entire multiverse is Caused, including the space-time that "keeps everything from happening all at once", it is a simple and consistent step to form a concept of "God" as First Cause outside of the space-time that defines the multiverse of infinite Creation; and, at the same "time" we can hold a concept of "God" being only itself and NOTHING else: infinitely Void, as at the same "time" (NOW) "God" is infinitely fecund as the Creator. Where we get into trouble is laying anthropomorphic (limited, finite) concepts upon "God". Which is what the religions of the world have always done.

Nah, the loop is like a recursive loop. It doesn't end. Space to grow is infinite (not limited like a computer) and as of such, there is no stack overflow error to stop it. It will continue going further and further out. Each space-time within another, infinitely recurring.

A computer is unlimited too; all you have to do is keep increasing the "space" to accommodate memory and function; theoretically an infinitely expanding universe of sapient beings eternally linking "computers" together could accomplish this "forever". So there is no need to quibble over the difference. Infinitely recurring space-times still must have an Ultimate Cause.

Nah, it says the earth was without form and void. Not space-time. Also, Abraham does not have that verse, I think because it isn't clear.

The concept "space-time" was not conceived until the 20th century. Relativity and later quantum physics are NOT Bronze Age "tools" of examination/explanation. "Earth" is an English word substituted for an ancient word that probably allows for a much wider meaning than just speaking about this planet.

If he is void than he cannot effect anything. Nothing cannot cause something. 0 is not equal to 1 without breaking a math law (or using imaginary numbers).

When is a square round like a circle? Can "God" create a rock too big to lift? Etc. Apparently nonsensical proposals to show that "God" cannot possibly exist, because "he" can't violate obvious "laws" within our universe, ergo "he" is not omnipotent and does not exist, are fallacious on their face because imagination far exceeds their facile character. And if we admit a finite imagination originating through our finite brain, we accept that "God" as an infinite Prime Mover/First Cause cannot be comprehended while at the same time admitted as essential to explain Existence in the first place. As I said, "God" is VOID and fecund Creator, both; everything you can imagine and especially articulate with crude language. You are speaking from an even more limited anthropomorphic perspective, using assertions like "nothing" and "impossible" or "cannot"; which proves that you're not thinking BIG enough....

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Not just "separate" but ORIGINAL and ONLY and UNCAUSED. All "other" space-times are "contained" within that.

As I said, there is no such thing as something without cause. Why? Because otherwise they could not do anything.

You're still thinking anthropomorphically, like Joseph Smith.

Nah, I'm not. I'm saying that it is impossible to exist outside of space-time. Since all matter (including spiritual matter) is made of energy, and since energy requires time in order to exist, God cannot exist outside of a space-time field.

Think about what you just implied here: an EXISTENCE of infinite "unorganized" stuff OUTSIDE of "God's" own Existence.

Yes, I did imply it.

That's TWO uncaused states coexisting: the "stuff" and "God", and he "goes" to the stuff and works his will upon it, and voila!

No, it's not an uncaused state, it's an eternally existing and changing state. It's dynamic. A first cause is static - meaning that nothing happens before it. A dynamic scenario has an infinite regression of causes. The farther you look back, in other words, the more causes you find. And you can never find an orignial.

we have the universe. This is a logical fallacy because if ONE "set of stuff" why not other stuff that exists by itself without any Cause?

As I said, the stuff outside does have a cause. It's eternally dynamic, it's eternally in a time-field. It is always moving, and changing. No un-cause whatsoever.

And suddenly we are playing the "turtles all the way down" game again. No. Regardless of how impossible it feels, we must accept that "God" is the only uncaused Cause; we cannot go further with it than that because our finite minds cannot comprehend even WHAT "God" is.

I disagree. I am saying that your idea of God is not made of energy, and as of such, has no power over this universe. In order to effect something, an object must have energy. Energy cannot exist without time. After all, E=MC^2, and C is a distance/time measurement. Thus, things with energy consist of mass, distance (size)(space), and time.

But the fact that we peck at our keyboards and communicate proves that our minds Exist, ergo they require a Cause.

The fact that God communicates with us proves that he exists, ergo he requires a cause as well. He is no more proven than other people are proven, and as of such, he is subject to the same 'cause-needing' that regular people are.

Logic seems to prefer that NOTHING exist at all: that everything must have a Cause for its existence, yet the First Cause cannot have a cause, or else it must spring from NOTHING.

Which is why I think first cause does not exist. After all, if first cause has not a cause, it must spring from nothing. However, if everything has a cause, you just have to look at what caused it to find the cause. The only difficultly with everything having a cause is that it means that causing had no beginning nor an end.

And if effect requires Cause, what Cause ended the state of NOTHING and came forth with Existence in its place?

You are not understanding my point. I am saying that there is no first cause. Look at it this way. We exist. And we cause an effect. Those things we effect cause an effect. Etc. Infinitely in the future. Now look at it backwards. Infinitely into the past. That is what I am talking about. I am talking about everything having a cause - however, I am also talking about a never-ending search to find the cause before what you found cause something else.

And so we are reduced to accepting that "God" is the ONLY uncaused Cause, whatever that means:

As said, I disagree. God has a cause as much as we do. If he did not have a cause, he would have no reason to create us, for there would be no purpose in doing so. I don't believe in things that 'just are' - I believe God has a reason for doing things the way he does them.

Existence itself, deduced by our sapience, proves the First Cause, which cannot in any way be caused. That is why the Ontological Argument only applies to "God" and nothing else.

Again, I disagree - and I have provided a methodology which avoids the first cause, as you can see. Your method of first cause defies purpose, energy, and order. I believe there is no purpose in studying the universe if these things do not exist.

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Why leap to "God is nothing" simply because you have not got a concept that allows "matter" to be a manifestation of an infinitely greater Existence?

I am not saying God is nothing - I am saying your model makes him that. As I have pointed out, energy cannot exist outside of a space-time field, and if an object has not energy, it cannot effect things that have energy. Also, if an object has not energy, it has not mass, it has not size, and it has not time. In other words, it is completely un-characterizable - it is chaos. It is not orderly to the point that observing it is futile, because it cannot have a standard effect on the universe. Considering I believe God has a purpose, and thus, a standard effect on the universe, he cannot be outside of space-time.

Nothing in empirical space-time, no matter how infinite it appears to be, can transcend the Cause of its existence.

Thus why it is picture by some that the Father rose to glory, just as his son will inherit his glory from him.

The matter and space-time itself must have a Cause; it cannot BE the Cause.

Matter and space-time itself was caused by other matter and space-time - which was caused by other matter and space-time - infinitely in the past relative to the objects specified.

Einstein is supposed to have conjectured that IF there is a "God" then probably the universe itself is it.

I disagree with Einstein, God must be on a higher 'level' than our universe, thus why I think our universe is contained inside of another. If God is not on a higher level than our universe, he could not manipulate the matter inside of us like he does.

But that concept is also too puny; because we have the multiverse concept; and if the multiverse is itself "God", then it never was caused, it simply has always been.

I disagree - the multiverse was caused by another multiverse - which was caused by another multiverse - which was caused by another multiverse - again, infintely in the past relative to the object specified.

How then does ONE manifestation (the "man" that appeared to Joseph Smith) lay "claim" to the stature of being the One God?

Because God is a term for what you worship. We worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, though there may be others with glory as they do. We do not worship these others.

It makes no sense at all. But, IF the entire multiverse is Caused, including the space-time that "keeps everything from happening all at once", it is a simple and consistent step to form a concept of "God" as First Cause outside of the space-time that defines the multiverse of infinite Creation; and, at the same "time" we can hold a concept of "God" being only itself and NOTHING else: infinitely Void, as at the same "time" (NOW) "God" is infinitely fecund as the Creator. Where we get into trouble is laying anthropomorphic (limited, finite) concepts upon "God". Which is what the religions of the world have always done.

Nevertheless, you do not realize - there is a higher dimension than even the multiverses. No matter how high you go up, there is always another level. There is no 'stopping point' in time, or in space. You may look for a first cause, but all you will find is an object that has a cause.

The reason why God can be both infinite and finite is because we have a time-within-a-time sequence here. He is infinite in our time, and infinite in his own time, but finite in the time above him.

A computer is unlimited too; all you have to do is keep increasing the "space" to accommodate memory and function; theoretically an infinitely expanding universe of sapient beings eternally linking "computers" together could accomplish this "forever". So there is no need to quibble over the difference. Infinitely recurring space-times still must have an Ultimate Cause.

A computer is limited by it's memory capability. By it's space in other words. It is also limited by the speed of electrons. By time in other words. A computer is limited by both space, and time.

And no, infinitely recurring space-time's don't need to have an ultimate cause. Again, look at the future. You have a cause don't you? Yet you will cause something else to change. Now of the thing that caused you - it had a cause as well. And once you think of it, everything that exists has a cause. Even though it causes other things.

Your want of a first cause is because you want a 'finish' or a 'base'. There is no such thing. The farther you look, the more you realize there is. You can look infinitely far, but there will always be something more to it.

The concept "space-time" was not conceived until the 20th century. Relativity and later quantum physics are NOT Bronze Age "tools" of examination/explanation. "Earth" is an English word substituted for an ancient word that probably allows for a much wider meaning than just speaking about this planet.

Doesn't matter. As long as it is limited in size, my point is valid.

When is a square round like a circle?

Don't know. But using calculus, a limit of squares can be a circle.

Really, this is a giant limit equation - you look for what is beyond the limit, but you don't realize that you can never get there. The more accurate you try to get, the more places you realize you are missing. You can approach infinity - but you can never reach it.

Can "God" create a rock too big to lift?

As long as it has a size, nope. If it has a definable size, there is a way to lift it. It must be infinitely big in order to not be liftable.

Etc. Apparently nonsensical proposals to show that "God" cannot possibly exist, because "he" can't violate obvious "laws" within our universe, ergo "he" is not omnipotent and does not exist, are fallacious on their face because imagination far exceeds their facile character.

Again, if God does not obey laws, he is chaos. And by chaos, I mean utter randomness. It is utterly futile to study utter randomness. I believe God has a purpose.

And if we admit a finite imagination originating through our finite brain, we accept that "God" as an infinite Prime Mover/First Cause cannot be comprehended while at the same time admitted as essential to explain Existence in the first place.

Nevertheless, if you accept a finite imagination, you also accept that it is pointless to understand something.

Thus, I do not accept a God as a infinite prime mover/first cause. To do so is chaos.

As I said, "God" is VOID and fecund Creator, both; everything you can imagine and especially articulate with crude language. You are speaking from an even more limited anthropomorphic perspective, using assertions like "nothing" and "impossible" or "cannot"; which proves that you're not thinking BIG enough....

No, God is not everything, for God is not unjust. A god that is everything would include a god of injustice in there, which I disagree with. Do you not realize, that God is bound by his own laws also?

You are thinking of him as too big and non-understandable, that you are. I respectfully disagree.

In any case, this discussion is getting way too long XD. I think I will go and discuss something else; I believe neither of us gets each other's points.

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... God has a cause as much as we do. If he did not have a cause, he would have no reason to create us, for there would be no purpose in doing so. I don't believe in things that 'just are' - I believe God has a reason for doing things the way he does them.

So why do you worship THIS "God" and not the one that caused him? I could care less what any particular god's reason for doing what he does is; I won't be worshiping a being that is no different from myself.

... I have provided a methodology which avoids the first cause, as you can see. Your method of first cause defies purpose, energy, and order. I believe there is no purpose in studying the universe if these things do not exist.

No. All you've done is throw your hands in the air and say, "Cause and effect is just infinitely turtles all the way down". (my words, your concept, as I understand it) As long as you're "here" you may as well "study" what's around you. You've got the time. I lack the interest. My 'satiable sapience wants to see beyond this "place". Science is just a plaything. Minds that cannot ask the fundamental question ("Why existence instead of nothing?"), and I mean REALLY ask it, all the time, are focused on "fly specks".

"First Cause" is not the best term. I prefer a longer but more accurate one: "God = Existence in the First Place". How this appears to you to "defy purpose, energy and order" I don't understand. You seem bent on empirical definition of everything: your "God" must be no more separated from this order of things than we are. That is no "God" at all. As a concept of Cause it is puny; it doesn't even begin to stretch your imagination. Your "God" is no more significant than a fly speck. So you worship "The Lord of the Flies".

Sorry if this sounds like I am making light of your religious faith. That is not my intention at all. When I engage in these kinds of discussions, my intention is to further develop my woefully lacking ability to articulate what I sense is an infinite truth behind the illogical fact of Existence. And the only way that this begins to go anywhere is as the biggest concept for "God" that you can muster. Your concept is nowhere near big enough.

For one thing, how do you explain the existence of our "intelligence", our sapience? Is this endless cause and effect that you promote somehow intelligent/sapient itself? You assert that it simply exists; energy has always existed and there is no such thing as a Void or Nothing state to existence. So how does sapience arise out of mindless energy? Was it always there? If so, then would it not have to be aware of the whole of Existence in order to not be a liar when "it" says: "All things are before my face continually"; "I know the beginning and the end"; "my creations are numbered only to me"? If "God" (Brigham Young's "The only God with which we have to do") is merely one in an infinite string of gods then he's taking on airs, IMNSHO.

The biggest concept for "God" has to be bigger than one in a string of gods. Existence in the First Place is the origin of ALL sapience; in Total that Cause must be aware of every jot of matter that makes up the multiverse. And the only way that Omniscience makes sense out of infinity is if space-time is also a creation along with the energy that inhabits it. A being stuck in any part of space-time, as merely energy itself (no matter how intelligent), cannot be aware of the endless, always-existing cause-and-effect that you have accepted.

Next we have Omnipotent. How can "our God" be such if he's just one in a string of endless "gods"? "All powerful": what part of that is so hard to comprehend? It isn't qualified. ALL means EVERYTHING, the Full Monty; not just one "kingdom" in an endless string. If "God" is only talking about his kingdom, in which he's all powerful, then he's also a liar and a fool: because my sapience can come up with an infinitely greater Being to worship than that!

One of the reasons why "Omnipresent" has not survived the temple endowment drama is because the "preacher dude" made too much sense: orthodox theology makes too much sense for Mormonism. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young reduced "God" to a finite being, comprehensible and definable; they even "bragged" about how wonderful Mormonism's theology was compared to the incomprehensibility of orthodox theology. But Mormon theology raises far more questions than it answers. "God is everywhere" is a mystical, ENORMOUS concept, ergo it is a lot more true than "God the Father has a body as tangible as man's", relegating "God" to ONE physical location at a time. What a PUNY God!

So anytime you can come up with a concept that is bigger, go with it. Yours (Joseph Smith's) won't remotely qualify....

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I am not saying God is nothing - I am saying your model makes him that. As I have pointed out, energy cannot exist outside of a space-time field, and if an object has not energy, it cannot effect things that have energy. Also, if an object has not energy, it has not mass, it has not size, and it has not time. In other words, it is completely un-characterizable - it is chaos. It is not orderly to the point that observing it is futile, because it cannot have a standard effect on the universe. Considering I believe God has a purpose, and thus, a standard effect on the universe, he cannot be outside of space-time.

Here you are getting closer to the truth of what "God" IS, and at the same time denouncing it as ludicrous. That's known as irony.

Your finite mind has an apparently infinite capacity for imagination. We are made that way. Why do you insist on putting limits on your truth/imagination by relegating it to "impossible"? What is impossible is for our finite minds to imagine impossible things about infinity. You seem worried that a hint of "chaos" might be the horizon of your undiscovered country. Trust this: EVERYTHING you have imagined or ever will imagine throughout eternity is part of reality. It might not be, probably is not, part of THIS universe; but whatever you imagine is real. To deny this is to make "God" into a liar; for the scripture also says that nothing enters the mind of God but that he does it. And if you, a creation of "God", have a thought, it is the same as "God" having it first, ergo everything that you imagine is already part of reality, because "God" does not think a thing without it becoming reality.

Thus why it is picture by some that the Father rose to glory, just as his son will inherit his glory from him.

Sure. Yet this is only ONE possible permutation of immortality. To assert that it is the ONLY ONE is tantamount to clamping down on your own capacity to believe the largest reality possible. And if you recognize that that is in fact what you're doing, then is that not a "sin"? - the sin of denying your endless potential as a free will possessing manifestation of "God".

...

I disagree with Einstein, God must be on a higher 'level' than our universe, thus why I think our universe is contained inside of another. If God is not on a higher level than our universe, he could not manipulate the matter inside of us like he does.

And what about the "God" that is bigger than "ours"? You believe in a concept of the multiverse yet you will not accept the scriptural claim of "God's" which says "All things are before my face continually" (there is nothing known but God knows it, etc.).

... We worship Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, though there may be others with glory as they do. We do not worship these others.

If you are satisfied with being a minion within an endless pantheon, I can't understand it. Mythology is rife with the "wars of the gods". What makes "ours" so especially knowledgeable and powerful and present, that we can with utter confidence discount all the other "greater" universes and their gods?

...

The reason why God can be both infinite and finite is because we have a time-within-a-time sequence here. He is infinite in our time, and infinite in his own time, but finite in the time above him.

Just WOW! I can't imagine ever being satisfied with such a theology and cosmology. You are as satisfied as a fish in a bowl (another Einstein metaphor).

...

Your want of a first cause is because you want a 'finish' or a 'base'. There is no such thing. The farther you look, the more you realize there is. You can look infinitely far, but there will always be something more to it.

I've shared what I want; and it isn't a "finish or a base". Here it is again: I want to comprehend as much of "God" as I possibly can forever. How is THAT a "finish or a base"? Your "one in a string of endless gods is the one I worship" is the finite "finish or base" position!

... You can approach infinity - but you can never reach it.

No. "You" cannot approach infinity. That is an oxymoron. "God" is the only infinity. Without "God" there would be a finite measurement to Existence. Existence in the First Place has no space-time anymore than the Void/Nothing does. You are completely bound by your empirical science; which, ironically, cannot even admit the existence of metaphysics. So in effect your theology and cosmology is based on a dogmatic faith in the discoveries of science, which in turn does not acknowledge the existence of your metaphysics, and never will (being solely empirical, science has no "tools" with which to study or test for metaphysics).

...

Again, if God does not obey laws, he is chaos. And by chaos, I mean utter randomness. It is utterly futile to study utter randomness. I believe God has a purpose.

Laws are infinite. "God" places them and abolishes them at will. Existence in the First Place is the originator of laws. "God" binds itself to laws it imposes. To assume less than this is to imagine a lesser god, not the ultimate concept possible to conceive of.

No, God is not everything, for God is not unjust. A god that is everything would include a god of injustice in there, which I disagree with. Do you not realize, that God is bound by his own laws also?

The FAITH comes in when we assert that "God" would never do something to go back on the contract. "God" could, and "God" has; or else I could not even imagine it in order to say the words. BUT "God" does not do that "here".

In any case, this discussion is getting way too long XD. I think I will go and discuss something else; I believe neither of us gets each other's points.

Yes. It always "ends" this way. You have lasted longer than most! :P ....

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Yes. It always "ends" this way. You have lasted longer than most! :P ....

XD Yah it does. And no.. it's not that I don't want to discuss it... it's that it takes me about an hour to finish a post, and I don't have the time for it. I want to condense, and yet still respond to your posts. I'll respond to a few of your points though.

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NOTE: This post is way too long, so yah, just respond to the summary here, I guess:

-I love God because of the things he does for me

-A God that is infinitely big is chaotic

-If a God obeys moral laws, he is limiting himself.

-Omnipotent may be a name just as endless is

-I like my God being definable, understandable, and lovable.

You can read the full post here. But the summary is there to make sure our posts don't keep growing in length XD.

So why do you worship THIS "God" and not the one that caused him? I could care less what any particular god's reason for doing what he does is; I won't be worshiping a being that is no different from myself.

Ok...why do I worship him?

-Because he has sacrificed for me (both of them).

-Because he loves me

-Because there are things only he can give me

-Because the other God's do not want me to worship them, while this one does.

I'll see if I can come up with a few more.

No. All you've done is throw your hands in the air and say, "Cause and effect is just infinitely turtles all the way down".

Because it makes sense to me. Your method makes no sense, which is why I disagree with it.

(my words, your concept, as I understand it) As long as you're "here" you may as well "study" what's around you. You've got the time. I lack the interest. My 'satiable sapience wants to see beyond this "place". Science is just a plaything. Minds that cannot ask the fundamental question ("Why existence instead of nothing?"), and I mean REALLY ask it, all the time, are focused on "fly specks".

I've already asked and answered that question for you. I showed how it was impossible for 'time' to come out of a place with 'no-time'. You maintain that the rules are broken by that place, and you can believe that if you would like, however I will not, because it is chaos. Chaos makes studying something purposeless, and so I avoid it. Chaos in my terms means absolute randomness and no order whatsoever.

"First Cause" is not the best term. I prefer a longer but more accurate one: "God = Existence in the First Place". How this appears to you to "defy purpose, energy and order" I don't understand.

Okey... let me explain. Will you agree with me that:

-All matter is ultimately energy. Matter being everything in this universe. Including the space-time itself (you can read up on quantum foam for more information about it).

-Things can only move and effect other things in time. Meaning that all things outside of time are like an object at absolute zero.

-All things in space-time-fields have a cause.

If so, this is the conclusion that can be drawn:

-Because the universe changes, it must be contained inside of a time-field. (definition of time applied to the universe)

-Because the universe is in a time-field, there must be something before it. (definition of time applied to the universe)

-In order for God to cause something, he must use energy. (law of conservation of energy)

-In order for God to use energy, he must have energy himself. (law of conservation of energy)

-In order for God to have energy, he must be in a time-field. (law of conservation of energy combined with definition of time applied to God himself).

-Thus God has a cause. (conclusion)

You seem bent on empirical definition of everything: your "God" must be no more separated from this order of things than we are.

I believe that God must be orderly, and to some degree predictable, or else what is the point of talking to him, if he isn't reliable?

Your "God" is no more significant than a fly speck. So you worship "The Lord of the Flies".

No, my God is someone who isn't still, who isn't frozen in time. He is more interactive than a block of matter at absolute zero temperature. That's one of the things I like about him.

Consider your Lord of the Flies reference - was Simon not caused (he was born), I ask? He's the Christ-resembling figure in the book, after all.

Sorry if this sounds like I am making light of your religious faith. That is not my intention at all. When I engage in these kinds of discussions, my intention is to further develop my woefully lacking ability to articulate what I sense is an infinite truth behind the illogical fact of Existence. And the only way that this begins to go anywhere is as the biggest concept for "God" that you can muster. Your concept is nowhere near big enough.

Nah, don't worry about it. But I think your concept of God is too big, too random, too chaotic, too unpredictable, too unreliable too trust. I definitely don't agree with an infinitely big God. I agree with a God who has the capability to relate to me. Ask yourself, how is the number infinity going to relate to the number 42. He can't. Infinity, is by definition, undefinable, and undefinable, is, by definition, chaotic.

You assert that it simply exists; energy has always existed and there is no such thing as a Void or Nothing state to existence. So how does sapience arise out of mindless energy? Was it always there?

Correct for both. Although it is not a 'simply exists' I think. There is a higher existence for it as well. Kind of like how x^1, compares to x^2, compares to x^3 etc.

If so, then would it not have to be aware of the whole of Existence in order to not be a liar when "it" says: "All things are before my face continually"; "I know the beginning and the end"; "my creations are numbered only to me"? If "God" (Brigham Young's "The only God with which we have to do") is merely one in an infinite string of gods then he's taking on airs, IMNSHO.

The continuation series is not in-and-of-itself intelligent, I think. It is directed by a higher intelligence. I believe KFD goes over something that might get the picture across, but I've never read it myself.

Nah, Brigham Young's statement refers to that God is the only one which we have to do (worship). You'll recall that he says it doesn't really matter if it is his grandfather or him himself, only that he is the only one we have to worship.

The biggest concept for "God" has to be bigger than one in a string of gods. Existence in the First Place is the origin of ALL sapience; in Total that Cause must be aware of every jot of matter that makes up the multiverse. And the only way that Omniscience makes sense out of infinity is if space-time is also a creation along with the energy that inhabits it. A being stuck in any part of space-time, as merely energy itself (no matter how intelligent), cannot be aware of the endless, always-existing cause-and-effect that you have accepted.

As said, I disagree, and have never liked big Gods because they cannot have order or predictability. We know our God lives according to certain laws, and in order to do that, he must limit himself in some manner. No matter how you put it, an orderly God is limiting himself, though still progressing (in glory). I like order, so I favor this viewpoint.

I also think that God himself is aware of the cycle, but also, that he is still growing (in glory) for a reason. He hasn't chosen to reveal that reason to me, but I accept it.

Also, how do you know that a being cannot be aware of an endless cycle? He certainly cannot be aware of it all at once, but he can be aware of the things that he is focusing on, can he not?

Next we have Omnipotent. How can "our God" be such if he's just one in a string of endless "gods"? "All powerful": what part of that is so hard to comprehend? It isn't qualified. ALL means EVERYTHING, the Full Monty; not just one "kingdom" in an endless string. If "God" is only talking about his kingdom, in which he's all powerful, then he's also a liar and a fool: because my sapience can come up with an infinitely greater Being to worship than that!

Omnnipotent over us, no? Just as God is God over us. It's a relative position, I believe. But I could be wrong. And I disagree, 'all' doesn't always mean 'everything', as you can see if you look at certain D&C verses where 'endless punishment' means 'God's punishment', and not 'punishment without end'. Perhaps 'Omnipotent' is a name for God, just as 'Endless' is?

One of the reasons why "Omnipresent" has not survived the temple endowment drama is because the "preacher dude" made too much sense: orthodox theology makes too much sense for Mormonism. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young reduced "God" to a finite being, comprehensible and definable; they even "bragged" about how wonderful Mormonism's theology was compared to the incomprehensibility of orthodox theology. But Mormon theology raises far more questions than it answers. "God is everywhere" is a mystical, ENORMOUS concept, ergo it is a lot more true than "God the Father has a body as tangible as man's", relegating "God" to ONE physical location at a time. What a PUNY God!

So anytime you can come up with a concept that is bigger, go with it. Yours (Joseph Smith's) won't remotely qualify....

Of course. As said, I like an orderly God, a definable God, an understandable God. One who can relate to me and help me because he knows what it is like to be like me. One who has risen above me in compassion and glory and power. One whom I can truly be grateful for, for all of my existence.

I don't want a bigger God. I want an orderly, understandable, lovable one.

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So why do you worship THIS "God" and not the one that caused him? I could care less what any particular god's reason for doing what he does is; I won't be worshiping a being that is no different from myself.

No. All you've done is throw your hands in the air and say, "Cause and effect is just infinitely turtles all the way down". (my words, your concept, as I understand it) As long as you're "here" you may as well "study" what's around you. You've got the time. I lack the interest. My 'satiable sapience wants to see beyond this "place". Science is just a plaything. Minds that cannot ask the fundamental question ("Why existence instead of nothing?"), and I mean REALLY ask it, all the time, are focused on "fly specks".

"First Cause" is not the best term. I prefer a longer but more accurate one: "God = Existence in the First Place". How this appears to you to "defy purpose, energy and order" I don't understand. You seem bent on empirical definition of everything: your "God" must be no more separated from this order of things than we are. That is no "God" at all. As a concept of Cause it is puny; it doesn't even begin to stretch your imagination. Your "God" is no more significant than a fly speck. So you worship "The Lord of the Flies".

Sorry if this sounds like I am making light of your religious faith. That is not my intention at all. When I engage in these kinds of discussions, my intention is to further develop my woefully lacking ability to articulate what I sense is an infinite truth behind the illogical fact of Existence. And the only way that this begins to go anywhere is as the biggest concept for "God" that you can muster. Your concept is nowhere near big enough.

For one thing, how do you explain the existence of our "intelligence", our sapience? Is this endless cause and effect that you promote somehow intelligent/sapient itself? You assert that it simply exists; energy has always existed and there is no such thing as a Void or Nothing state to existence. So how does sapience arise out of mindless energy? Was it always there? If so, then would it not have to be aware of the whole of Existence in order to not be a liar when "it" says: "All things are before my face continually"; "I know the beginning and the end"; "my creations are numbered only to me"? If "God" (Brigham Young's "The only God with which we have to do") is merely one in an infinite string of gods then he's taking on airs, IMNSHO.

The biggest concept for "God" has to be bigger than one in a string of gods. Existence in the First Place is the origin of ALL sapience; in Total that Cause must be aware of every jot of matter that makes up the multiverse. And the only way that Omniscience makes sense out of infinity is if space-time is also a creation along with the energy that inhabits it. A being stuck in any part of space-time, as merely energy itself (no matter how intelligent), cannot be aware of the endless, always-existing cause-and-effect that you have accepted.

Next we have Omnipotent. How can "our God" be such if he's just one in a string of endless "gods"? "All powerful": what part of that is so hard to comprehend? It isn't qualified. ALL means EVERYTHING, the Full Monty; not just one "kingdom" in an endless string. If "God" is only talking about his kingdom, in which he's all powerful, then he's also a liar and a fool: because my sapience can come up with an infinitely greater Being to worship than that!

One of the reasons why "Omnipresent" has not survived the temple endowment drama is because the "preacher dude" made too much sense: orthodox theology makes too much sense for Mormonism. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young reduced "God" to a finite being, comprehensible and definable; they even "bragged" about how wonderful Mormonism's theology was compared to the incomprehensibility of orthodox theology. But Mormon theology raises far more questions than it answers. "God is everywhere" is a mystical, ENORMOUS concept, ergo it is a lot more true than "God the Father has a body as tangible as man's", relegating "God" to ONE physical location at a time. What a PUNY God!

So anytime you can come up with a concept that is bigger, go with it. Yours (Joseph Smith's) won't remotely qualify....

Good posts QB!

I believe our views on God and existence are very similar. If you have the time I'd be interested in hearing how you arrived at them. What path did you take? What books? How long from the first chink in the Mormon armor to the point where you said; I no longer believe in an anthropomorphic god?

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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.

Yes, we do have a unique relationship with the Holy Ghost, as someone who has had hand laid upon our head by the proper priesthood authority, we have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This means that we are in constant companionship with the Holy Ghost as long as we remain worthy. If we are living worthy of the presence of the Holy Ghost it will be with us at all times to help and guide us.

No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, as long as we live righteously, the Holy Ghost is with us in all things!

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Yes, we do have a unique relationship with the Holy Ghost, as someone who has had hand laid upon our head by the proper priesthood authority, we have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. This means that we are in constant companionship with the Holy Ghost as long as we remain worthy. If we are living worthy of the presence of the Holy Ghost it will be with us at all times to help and guide us.

No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing, as long as we live righteously, the Holy Ghost is with us in all things!

I don't know if you read the rest of the thread, but other christians claim they have the same thing. So, the whole point of the thread was to demonstrate how the HG manifests itself differently to those having the gift of the HG. Just saying you have it all the time, while others don't, is not helpful.

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I don't know if you read the rest of the thread, but other christians claim they have the same thing. So, the whole point of the thread was to demonstrate how the HG manifests itself differently to those having the gift of the HG. Just saying you have it all the time, while others don't, is not helpful.

I have never heard a denomination that claims constant companionship with the Holy Ghost besides LDS (I could be wrong though). The fact that we have constant communication with the Holy Ghost is what separates us, only those who have the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands by one holding the Melkesadek priesthood can have constant companionship.

As far as other denominations I attended the Holy Ghost was not a constant, this is what separates them from LDS.

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I have never heard a denomination that claims constant companionship with the Holy Ghost besides LDS (I could be wrong though). The fact that we have constant communication with the Holy Ghost is what separates us, only those who have the Gift of the Holy Ghost by laying on of hands by one holding the Melkesadek priesthood can have constant companionship.

As far as other denominations I attended the Holy Ghost was not a constant, this is what separates them from LDS.

Hughes, in this very thread said:

It is a subjective topic, one in which no one can say for sure what another actually feels or experiences, and in that vain I will only say that I do experience the indwelling of the Spirit of God everyday, as a born again believer.

There are many other faithful people, of other groups, who disagree with your claims of exclusivity. That's the whole point of this thread, prove that you have something more than others do. Otherwise, in the words of the great Ron Burgundy: "I guess I have to take you, at your word"

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