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The Uselessness Of Personal Revelation


elguanteloko

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We know that Satan can deceive us into thinking something was a revelation when it wasn't.

We know God will not command us about everything we have to do.

We know we will make mistakes.

If we receive a revelation and it clearly goes against the scriptures then it isn't from God.

Not everything is in the scriptures (what job you should take, what to make legal or illegal, etc).

Now, let's say you pray and you think you received a revelation. If it clearly goes against the scriptures then you know it isn't from God. However, you could be mistaken when interpreting the scriptures or when interpreting the revelation because of Satan. Satan may be the one deceiving you into thinking it is a revelation from God when it isn't in the first place. You know also that it could be just your mind since God will NOT admonish you in everything you have to do or should do. It seems that at the end of the day you have no sure source but you have to trust in the Lord (have faith).

Then, of what use is "personal revelation"?

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We know that Satan can deceive us into thinking something was a revelation when it wasn't.

We know God will not command us about everything we have to do.

We know we will make mistakes.

If we receive a revelation and it clearly goes against the scriptures then it isn't from God.

Not everything is in the scriptures (what job you should take, what to make legal or illegal, etc).

Now, let's say you pray and you think you received a revelation. If it clearly goes against the scriptures then you know it isn't from God. However, you could be mistaken when interpreting the scriptures or when interpreting the revelation because of Satan. Satan may be the one deceiving you into thinking it is a revelation from God when it isn't in the first place. You know also that it could be just your mind since God will NOT admonish you in everything you have to do or should do. It seems that at the end of the day you have no sure source but you have to trust in the Lord (have faith).

Then, of what use is "personal revelation"?

I don't think most religious people get bogged down in the logistical complexities you describe.

Rather, they pray about something, feel good about something, and incorporate it into their belief system because it works and makes them happy.

Aside from a few things like the divinity of Jesus and the reality of the Restoration, what sort of 'personal revelations' are there to be had?

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I don't think most religious people get bogged down in the logistical complexities you describe.

Rather, they pray about something, feel good about something, and incorporate it into their belief system because it works and makes them happy.

Aside from a few things like the divinity of Jesus and the reality of the Restoration, what sort of 'personal revelations' are there to be had?

Go to any testimony meeting. People say they received revelations and "spiritual hints" every month. I find it disturbing that people think the Spirit told them where their car keys were when they prayed but God doesn't do the same with the prayers of starving children or of mothers asking God to deliver their children from cancer.

The point is that there doesn't seem to be much of a point to personal revelation.

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Go to any testimony meeting. People say they received revelations and "spiritual hints" every month. I find it disturbing that people think the Spirit told them where their car keys were when they prayed but God doesn't do the same with the prayers of starving children or of mothers asking God to deliver their children from cancer.

I have never heard in my life someone say the spirit helped them find their car keys.

But I have heard people testify of divine help for seemingly trivial things like passing a test, averting an injury or getting lost in the woods.

When I hear 'personal revelation' I think more of God or the Spirit revealing some divine truth to someone, rather than helping them get out of some situation.

For example: someone reads the scriptures, prays to know if they're true, then has some metaphysical feeling of happiness, peace or understanding.

The relative 'usefulness' I guess depends on the person having the experience.

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It's pretty easy to kick someone's testimony when they're talking about something as mundane as finding your car keys. It's so easy to point at personal revelation and say "look how ridiculous this idea is" when you use that example.

You also confuse the bestowal of Godly wisdom by request with the request of Godly intervention in your example of the keys and the starving children with cancer.

~sigh~

The use of personal revelation is that it gives someone a catalyst to make a choice to believe that it either came from God or that it did not. The man or woman who has no such experience will have no impetus to act to serve God.

As for the starving children who are dying from cancer, I have no answer that would satisfy you. Yet, many who have died from cancer, watched young loved ones slip away under the pain and duress of the most vile diseases have found God as they sought Him. If they can affirm faith in God while losing children, and they've actually experienced it, then I don't think you get to use that example as a sweeping stroke of why personal revelation is folly.

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We know that Satan can deceive us into thinking something was a revelation when it wasn't.

We know God will not command us about everything we have to do.

We know we will make mistakes.

If we receive a revelation and it clearly goes against the scriptures then it isn't from God.

Not everything is in the scriptures (what job you should take, what to make legal or illegal, etc).

Now, let's say you pray and you think you received a revelation. If it clearly goes against the scriptures then you know it isn't from God. However, you could be mistaken when interpreting the scriptures or when interpreting the revelation because of Satan. Satan may be the one deceiving you into thinking it is a revelation from God when it isn't in the first place. You know also that it could be just your mind since God will NOT admonish you in everything you have to do or should do. It seems that at the end of the day you have no sure source but you have to trust in the Lord (have faith).

Then, of what use is "personal revelation"?

Assuming there is personal revelation, and it can be from God or some other source, how do you understand 1 John 4:2?

It says that "every spirit confessing Jesus Christ come in fleah is of God."

I know that no one here was in Joseph's grove when he claimed to have his first vision, but what if some here have had second hand experiences that seem to be beyond coincidence, and that seem to suggest that the BOM is true?

Suppose a spiritualist (who had no way of knowing I'd been reading The BOM) told me she saw two books joined and tied together with a blood red ribbon (after I'd been reading a passage about "the writtings of the Jew, and the writtings of the seed of Joseph" coming together to testify of Christ's atonement)?

Suppose my father (who has a shunt in his head, has had a stroke, and has episodes of impaired cognition), said something very unusual about two books within a few days of this?

If such coincedences have a spiritual source, wouldn't it have to be "of God" (given that the BOM teaches the atonement, says that Christ came in the flesh, and John says what he says in 1 John 4:2)?

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We know that Satan can deceive us into thinking something was a revelation when it wasn't.

We know God will not command us about everything we have to do.

We know we will make mistakes.

If we receive a revelation and it clearly goes against the scriptures then it isn't from God.

Not everything is in the scriptures (what job you should take, what to make legal or illegal, etc).

Now, let's say you pray and you think you received a revelation. If it clearly goes against the scriptures then you know it isn't from God. However, you could be mistaken when interpreting the scriptures or when interpreting the revelation because of Satan. Satan may be the one deceiving you into thinking it is a revelation from God when it isn't in the first place. You know also that it could be just your mind since God will NOT admonish you in everything you have to do or should do. It seems that at the end of the day you have no sure source but you have to trust in the Lord (have faith).

Then, of what use is "personal revelation"?

"we know".....

"we know".....

"we know".....

How do you personally know these things you listed are true?

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It's pretty easy to kick someone's testimony when they're talking about something as mundane as finding your car keys.

Indeed it is but that wasn't my only point.

It's so easy to point at personal revelation and say "look how ridiculous this idea is" when you use that example.

My main point is NOT to make personal revelation look ridiculous at all. I'm saying it is useless.

You also confuse the bestowal of Godly wisdom by request with the request of Godly intervention in your example of the keys and the starving children with cancer.

Well, all three are interventions of some sort. The first two are information and the third one is much more active. Both happening because of a request to heaven. That was the point though it isn't the main point (the one I really want to focus on).

The use of personal revelation is that it gives someone a catalyst to make a choice to believe that it either came from God or that it did not. The man or woman who has no such experience will have no impetus to act to serve God.

You are talking more about supernatural experiences than personal revelation. I'm speaking of information given, not spiritual experiences in general. Indeed if you are seeing miracles everyday you are much more compelled to serve God but that's not what I'm talking about.

As for the starving children who are dying from cancer, I have no answer that would satisfy you. Yet, many who have died from cancer, watched young loved ones slip away under the pain and duress of the most vile diseases have found God as they sought Him. If they can affirm faith in God while losing children, and they've actually experienced it, then I don't think you get to use that example as a sweeping stroke of why personal revelation is folly.

I shouldn't have brought that up here; I don't want the thread to go that way since that isn't the main point. Sorry about that.

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Assuming there is personal revelation, and it can be from God or some other source, how do you understand 1 John 4:2?

It says that "every spirit confessing Jesus Christ come in fleah is of God."

I know that no one here was in Joseph's grove when he claimed to have his first vision, but what if some here have had second hand experiences that seem to be beyond coincidence, and that seem to suggest that the BOM is true?

Suppose a spiritualist (who had no way of knowing I'd been reading The BOM) told me she saw two books joined and tied together with a blood red ribbon (after I'd been reading a passage about "the writtings of the Jew, and the writtings of the seed of Joseph" coming together to testify of Christ's atonement)?

Suppose my father (who has a shunt in his head, has had a stroke, and has episodes of impaired cognition), said something very unusual about two books within a few days of this?

If such coincedences have a spiritual source, wouldn't it have to be "of God" (given that the BOM teaches the atonement, says that Christ came in the flesh, and John says what he says in 1 John 4:2)?

Revelations for the last generations, for the whole church, for the whole of humanity are not personal revelations. I'm talking about personal revelations.

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I have never heard in my life someone say the spirit helped them find their car keys.

But I have heard people testify of divine help for seemingly trivial things like passing a test, averting an injury or getting lost in the woods.

When I hear 'personal revelation' I think more of God or the Spirit revealing some divine truth to someone, rather than helping them get out of some situation.

For example: someone reads the scriptures, prays to know if they're true, then has some metaphysical feeling of happiness, peace or understanding.

The relative 'usefulness' I guess depends on the person having the experience.

Let's take your example, then. Taking into account the information at the beginning of the OP, of what use is personal revelation?

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Let's take your example, then. Taking into account the information at the beginning of the OP, of what use is personal revelation?

That God exists, loves them, has a plan them?

That through Christ we will exist beyond death and live with our friends and family?

That we can become more like God, have joy in this life and eternal life to come?

This knowledge seems to have great practical utility for many people.

Or am I missing something?

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Revelations for the last generations, for the whole church, for the whole of humanity are not personal revelations. I'm talking about personal revelations.

If it was intended for me, what that spiritualist said she saw (in vision) was a personal revelation.

Would you agree that if it had a spiritual source, and it pointed to the BOM, both the BOM and the source of the vision would have to be "of God" (because the BOM teaches the atonement, says that Christ came in the flesh, and 1 ohn 4:2 says "every spirit...")?

That's how I tend to read the test of 1 John 4:2 (and I haven't really heard any other convincing interpretation.)

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If it was intended for me, what that spiritualist said she saw (in vision) was a personal revelation.

That's not what I'm talking about.

Would you agree that if it had a spiritual source, and it pointed to the BOM, both the BOM and the source of the vision would have to be "of God" (because the BOM teaches the atonement, says that Christ came in the flesh, and 1 ohn 4:2 says "every spirit...")?

That's how I tend to read the test of 1 John 4:2 (and I haven't really heard any other convincing interpretation.)

Go ahead but that doesn't do anything to the problem stated in the OP. Read it again.

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That God exists, loves them, has a plan them?

That through Christ we will exist beyond death and live with our friends and family?

That we can become more like God, have joy in this life and eternal life to come?

This knowledge seems to have great practical utility for many people.

Or am I missing something?

Brother, read the OP for Pete's sake. All the problems I mentioned still apply. Satan could be deceiving you, etc, etc. Don't expect me to do the thinking for you.

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That God exists, loves them, has a plan for them?

That through Christ we will exist beyond death and live with our friends and family?

That we can become more like God, have joy in this life and eternal life to come?

This knowledge seems to have great practical utility for many people.

Or am I missing something?

Brother, read the OP for Pete's sake. All the problems I mentioned still apply. Satan could be deceiving you, etc, etc. Don't expect me to do the thinking for you.

If 1 John 4:2 means what it says ("every spirit confessing Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God") how could Satan be decieving him with any personal revelation that testifies "that through Christ we will exist beyond death and live with our friends and family"?

How could Satan be decieving him with that revelation, if "every spirit cofessing Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God"?

I tend to agree with you concerning the need for an ontological Cause, and I have great difficulties with the Mormon concept of God, but I don't see how you could attribute any deception in the above "revelation" to Satan.

Please explain.

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You are talking more about supernatural experiences than personal revelation. I'm speaking of information given, not spiritual experiences in general. Indeed if you are seeing miracles everyday you are much more compelled to serve God but that's not what I'm talking about.

The supernatural experience is the vehicle by which the personal revelation - or information - is delivered. It's what makes the personal revelation distinguishable from the rest of the knowledge floating around in my head. The nature of the experience will help the individual determine the useful/lesness of the information imparted.

But when it really comes down to it, it's still a choice. I cannot unequivocally convince anyone, myself included, of the divine origins of my personal revelation and experience. I have made the choice to believe it came from God.

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Brother, read the OP for Pete's sake. All the problems I mentioned still apply. Satan could be deceiving you, etc, etc. Don't expect me to do the thinking for you.

Because this is just such an engaging, thought-provoking question you've posited.

How about you just cut to the chase, omit your usual "what's the point of anything" hyper-cynicism, and tell us why you feel the idea 'Personal Revelation' is useless.

"Yes 'Personal Revelation' is useless, pointless and meaningless because:

1) spiritually could all be in your head

2) Satan could be giving you false positives

3) it might just be your own thoughts

4) God could very well be imaginary

Agreed.

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The supernatural experience is the vehicle by which the personal revelation - or information - is delivered. It's what makes the personal revelation distinguishable from the rest of the knowledge floating around in my head.

The point is you can be so sure about something and it could be Satan deceiving you. You can also be so sure of something being revelation but you could be making a mistake. Also, since you know God won't help you in everything you can't say when he is helping you and when he isn't, can you?

The nature of the experience will help the individual determine the useful/lesness of the information imparted.

How?

But when it really comes down to it, it's still a choice. I cannot unequivocally convince anyone, myself included, of the divine origins of my personal revelation and experience. I have made the choice to believe it came from God.

...and that's the whole point.

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Because this is just such an engaging, thought-provoking question you've posited.

How about you just cut to the chase, omit your usual "what's the point of anything" hyper-cynicism, and tell us why you feel the idea 'Personal Revelation' is useless.

"Yes 'Personal Revelation' is useless, pointless and meaningless because:

1) spiritually could all be in your head

2) Satan could be giving you false positives

3) it might just be your own thoughts

4) God could very well be imaginary

Agreed.

You are still missing the point. I'm granting God exists as real extramental being. I'm granting spirituality is real. Now, think it through once more.

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If 1 John 4:2 means what it says ("every spirit confessing Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God") how could Satan be decieving him with any personal revelation that testifies "that through Christ we will exist beyond death and live with our friends and family"?

How could Satan be decieving him with that revelation, if "every spirit cofessing Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God"?

I tend to agree with you concerning the need for an ontological Cause, and I have great difficulties with the Mormon concept of God, but I don't see how you could attribute any deception in the above "revelation" to Satan.

Please explain.

Again, I'm granting that God exists and all that stuff but imagine that you are not a mormon but a protestant. You wouldn't doubt the information that mormonism is true is from God instead of the Devil? All those problems I mentioned in the OP still apply.

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The point is you can be so sure about something and it could be Satan deceiving you. You can also be so sure of something being revelation but you could be making a mistake. Also, since you know God won't help you in everything you can't say when he is helping you and when he isn't, can you?

Well of course I could be making a mistake. Are you looking for 100% unequivocal certainty, such that you believe in spite of yourself?

How?

I'm not sure how to delve into this. Suffice it to say that I believe the quiet, reverent atmosphere the LDS attempt to impart as a catalyst to spiritual experience is due to the fact that it's possible to be swept up emotionally. I don't for a moment think it never happens in an LDS medium, but more that we attempt to mitigate external influence and get you to focus on what God's telling you in your heart and in your mind. Experiences that would cloud or drown that kind of judgment are experiences that I personally would be more prone to dismiss as being in my head.

...and that's the whole point.

I know it is. I already made it. ;)

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Well of course I could be making a mistake. Are you looking for 100% unequivocal certainty, such that you believe in spite of yourself?

Not 100% but at least better than chance. Due to the large amount of people claiming spiritual revelations I'm surprise you don't see odds are you are wrong.

I'm not sure how to delve into this. Suffice it to say that I believe the quiet, reverent atmosphere the LDS attempt to impart as a catalyst to spiritual experience is due to the fact that it's possible to be swept up emotionally. I don't for a moment think it never happens in an LDS medium, but more that we attempt to mitigate external influence and get you to focus on what God's telling you in your heart and in your mind. Experiences that would cloud or drown that kind of judgment are experiences that I personally would be more prone to dismiss as being in my head.

I know it is. I already made it. wink.gif

OK

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You are still missing the point. I'm granting God exists as real extramental being. I'm granting spirituality is real. Now, think it through once more.

Actually, it's quite easy to divine "the point" of this thread within 2-seconds of glancing at the title.

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Not 100% but at least better than chance. Due to the large amount of people claiming spiritual revelations I'm surprise you don't see odds are you are wrong.

Strictly speaking, I do see that the odds are against me. However, the odds are against me in a lot of things. One of my advisors didn't think I'd pass my thesis defense, but my degree is hanging on my wall. :)

I don't worry about the odds.

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