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A Path To Faith


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I can not see into others hearts or know their personal path to faith. I can describe mine and see if this rings true to others or not.

Before I was ruled over by faith I was ruled over by the ideas of man. If it made reasonable sense to me I considered things true because I could trace things back to some kind of observation or measurement. Even theories that made more sense than just saying I don't know were embraced by me. I took pride in knowing many details as to why man knew what he did. I felt that I stood on the shoulders of all of the great men of the past. I never really believed in evolution because it did not fit into my world. I could not see me coming from dust and apes. It just did not feel right. I was more purpose driven and that path had no purpose and was an accident. I did not want to consider myself an accident. It was more pride based than logic.

Then when I was about 50 I decided to teach myself the basics of quantum mechanics. I had been reading many new developments in physics and did not want to be lost in the articles I read. I thought it would also be good to brush up on my math skills as well. Some of the things I learned were very strange and changed my view of the world. Where I was once very much a determinist for nature and gave free will some control I found myself wondering if all of nature was driven by unseen forces. The very small parts of nature seemed like a very fast film projection. I could not shake the feeling that there was more to this picture. I followed causation as far as I could and was not satisfied with what science offered. I also studied the anthropic principle and multiverse ideas. Both seemed to point to something else. I came to the conclusion that science did not offer the answers to the questions I was seeking. But the questions came from my new view of the components of nature.

So I picked up the Bible and read it for the first time. Most of the story seemed silly but this God guy sure was full of Himself. He even boasted about foretelling the future. So I decided to study some prophecy to see if I could find out if the prophecies were made up or were they from someone outside of time. But I also saw that God said that we were to come to Him by faith. So in my mind it had to be one or the other. Prophecy was true and thus evidence was available or prophecy was false and faith had to come from failed prophecies. After much study I found out there was a third option. One in which small pockets of people would receive in your face demonstrations of a prophecy but most would be left with some doubt. Just enough to say it did not happen if you did not believe but enough to say it did happen if you did believe. This dance spanned many people and many events. Things started to look like there was a being outside of time. At least it might be. I weighted my world view and found that I would change mine to include God. So I talked to God. Then I started to rethink about many events in my life that at the time seemed real lucky. I looked back and found that those decisions that saved my life or others came from an internal voice. Pretty well described as the Holy Ghost.

So my first little leap to faith was followed up by a little of foundation. Then over time as my faith grew I always led the way but spiritual witnessing happened after I took that next step. I now see it as a ladder. As I by faith take that next step the last step is made more solid. So my spiritual experience follows instead of leads. I wonder if this is common or do we each have our own path. I have heard of instant flooding of the Spirit. I have not experienced that.

What say you?

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I can not see into others hearts or know their personal path to faith. I can describe mine and see if this rings true to others or not.

:) I love reading the stories of others :)... so you are a convert? I'm a convert too!

Before I was ruled over by faith I was ruled over by the ideas of man. If it made reasonable sense to me I considered things true because I could trace things back to some kind of observation or measurement. Even theories that made more sense than just saying I don't know were embraced by me. I took pride in knowing many details as to why man knew what he did. I felt that I stood on the shoulders of all of the great men of the past. I never really believed in evolution because it did not fit into my world. I could not see me coming from dust and apes. It just did not feel right. I was more purpose driven and that path had no purpose and was an accident. I did not want to consider myself an accident. It was more pride based than logic.

there are some parts of evolution that I'm ok with, but I agree with you on the "accident/random" part of it. If it were just random point/line defects, then it seems like everything would evolve - the rocks, elements, everything... the crystalline structure of iron has never and will never evolve - alchemy?? just heat and stir? LOL... we evolve to survive? what even makes us want to survive? the rocks survive, have survived and will survive longer than us, and they do not evolve to do so... what survives with evolution? animals change and go extinct with evolution, they don't survive.. imo it is a proactive intelligence driven process, not a random phenomena... it illustrates the difference between what lives and what does not live - that what lives has a mind/intelligence/spirit/will to progress (rather than mere will to survive - but to progress) - that we are more than just matter/energy...

Then when I was about 50 I decided to teach myself the basics of quantum mechanics. I had been reading many new developments in physics and did not want to be lost in the articles I read. I thought it would also be good to brush up on my math skills as well. Some of the things I learned were very strange and changed my view of the world. Where I was once very much a determinist for nature and gave free will some control I found myself wondering if all of nature was driven by unseen forces. The very small parts of nature seemed like a very fast film projection. I could not shake the feeling that there was more to this picture. I followed causation as far as I could and was not satisfied with what science offered. I also studied the anthropic principle and multiverse ideas. Both seemed to point to something else. I came to the conclusion that science did not offer the answers to the questions I was seeking. But the questions came from my new view of the components of nature.

I am still a determinist - even after reading through some quantum stuff. Determinism does not destroy free will though - if we "determine" our own future, that is still deterministic...

So I picked up the Bible and read it for the first time. Most of the story seemed silly but this God guy sure was full of Himself. He even boasted about foretelling the future. So I decided to study some prophecy to see if I could find out if the prophecies were made up or were they from someone outside of time. But I also saw that God said that we were to come to Him by faith. So in my mind it had to be one or the other. Prophecy was true and thus evidence was available or prophecy was false and faith had to come from failed prophecies. After much study I found out there was a third option. One in which small pockets of people would receive in your face demonstrations of a prophecy but most would be left with some doubt. Just enough to say it did not happen if you did not believe but enough to say it did happen if you did believe. This dance spanned many people and many events. Things started to look like there was a being outside of time. At least it might be. I weighted my world view and found that I would change mine to include God. So I talked to God. Then I started to rethink about many events in my life that at the time seemed real lucky. I looked back and found that those decisions that saved my life or others came from an internal voice. Pretty well described as the Holy Ghost.

I have noticed that dance too - God really has given us agency to create what we will for ourselves hasn't he?

So my first little leap to faith was followed up by a little of foundation. Then over time as my faith grew I always led the way but spiritual witnessing happened after I took that next step. I now see it as a ladder. As I by faith take that next step the last step is made more solid. So my spiritual experience follows instead of leads. I wonder if this is common or do we each have our own path. I have heard of instant flooding of the Spirit. I have not experienced that.

What say you?

I had a spiritual experience - you could call it a flood - that led me to the truth rather than visa versa (I'm a stubborn one, prob would not have made it on my own;) I think your scenario is the more common one though.

Edited by changed
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I am pretty confident that my faith will stay and will not fall. It was a struggle to get here and now that I am here I guard it like a valuable gem. While in the flesh one can feel all alone and disconnected but with a strong faith in God that goes away. It is like someone is always there like a 24/7 hotline.

I have had dramatic things happen to me related to the spirit. For some reason I do not think I am done. Something is coming and I don't know what. I just pray for strength to do God's work. I feel that soon everyone will feel the spirit much more so than today. But with that comes a balance from the other side. It too will grow in strength. One of the reasons I am so blunt with people is to shake them. When the time comes it will be swift and strong nothing will be the same. Those who are attached to this world will lose their foundation and they will seek a source of power. Many will fall. But many will rise to the occasion.

A war will be fought and the tactics will be horrible. If you prepare for spiritual warfare you learn things that no one should have to know. Part of faith is to follow your calling. But I am not sure that all are called to do something. It is a mystery.

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What a beautiful story. I think your experience is rare in that it comes out of a science background and a lifetime of analytical knowledge. My guess is that most stories start more on the practical level --- seeing something they like in the way another saint's life is lived, or something missing in their own. If you are a member of the lds church, and you have not had your patriarchal blessing, you might find in it some hint of the future Heavenly Father means for you to have.

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So my first little leap to faith was followed up by a little of foundation. Then over time as my faith grew I always led the way but spiritual witnessing happened after I took that next step. I now see it as a ladder. As I by faith take that next step the last step is made more solid. So my spiritual experience follows instead of leads. I wonder if this is common or do we each have our own path. I have heard of instant flooding of the Spirit. I have not experienced that.

What say you?

I agree with faith being analogous to a ladder. I would be interested to learn, though, what you believe is at the top of the ladder, and what you figure is the process by which one may move up the rungs of faith?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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As I by faith take that next step the last step is made more solid. So my spiritual experience follows instead of leads. I wonder if this is common or do we each have our own path. I have heard of instant flooding of the Spirit. I have not experienced that.

What say you?

I find that for some parts of my life, spiritual experience leads. This is not to say that I have experienced sensational eye-popping spiritual drenching, or visions or feelings that had a sudden effect on me. (Those things happen for sure for some people, but perhaps there is some timing involved, and wisdom on God's part that it doesn't happen that way to us all.) It's more the day to day experiences with life and the trials of life that contribute to my faith. For some it may be a serious illness during which time it becomes apparent that one's character faults have been fully exposed before loved ones and family, and you are not as far along as you once thought. For some it may be the day-to-day struggles with financing, meeting the mortgage, or finding work. Somehow, and I don't know how He does it, but God sustains and supports those who put their trust in Him.

And though He does this, yet remains the nagging doubt of "He's supported me through everything I've done, and every day of my life so far, but will he do it TOMORROW?" Faith is much more than something you "have". More importantly, it is something you are growing and nurturing.

One of my favorite scriptures comes from Doctrine and Covenants 50:24

24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

I just a stubborn but assuring faith that if we continue seeking light in our lives, we will eventually be led to Christ, Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Eph 4:13)

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I agree with faith being analogous to a ladder. I would be interested to learn, though, what you believe is at the top of the ladder, and what you figure is the process by which one may move up the rungs of faith?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

The very first rung on that ladder is faith that there is a God. In some ways this is the most difficult. The natural man inside of you does not want to be foolish and talking to some Spirit is absolutely foolishness to the natural man. Since you have no real spiritual strength you must lean on your faith. But it may be way different than I describe. One could come to faith by fear. Fear of death will drive someone to hope that the things unseen are indeed real. Or it could be from sorrow. The passing of a loved one will seem easier if one knows that death is but a passage and there is another existence after this one. No matter how it comes one will ask "are you real?". It is faith that drives the question. You may not have faith that there is a God but the act of seeking is faith. Faith is NOT knowing. So asking is faith, it is the thing which drove you to ask. But then you start to talk to God as if He is real. You still don't know if He is real but you have still stepped to the next step. Then God touches your soul and you feel different. But not in a way that you really can describe but you know you are not the same as before you were touched.

Now the problem.

When your soul is touched it feels good. Real good. Normally it can come as relief or fulfillment of desire or a taken away of fear. But it feels good. Then the world preys on you. Many will try and make you feel good and say that they have a path for you to follow. The fellowship of groups of people who all wish to feel good. We all know what feeling good is. But many miss the fact that that feeling came after the touch. It is the touch they should be seeking but instead they seek the good feelings. They get so close but step on the wrong bus out of town. Instead of developing a relationship with God they instead develop a desire to study what others have written about God. They start to share their knowledge and become part of some group. I would venture to guess that most Christians of all Churches are these people. They missed their first love. Way more later.

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And though He does this, yet remains the nagging doubt of "He's supported me through everything I've done, and every day of my life so far, but will he do it TOMORROW?" Faith is much more than something you "have". More importantly, it is something you are growing and nurturing.

I think that faith is different than knowledge. It is acquired knowledge that gives us trust that God is consistent. It is through the message of the Word that we start to acquire a sense of the character of God. I have had long periods where the Holy Ghost did not respond. I just looked at these as faith building times. I am sure that God was there but I could not feel Him.

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Before I was ruled over by faith I was ruled over by the ideas of man. If it made reasonable sense to me I considered things true because I could trace things back to some kind of observation or measurement. Even theories that made more sense than just saying I don't know were embraced by me. I took pride in knowing many details as to why man knew what he did. I felt that I stood on the shoulders of all of the great men of the past.

This definitely rang true, for me. When I first started my journey back to God, about ten years ago, I was reading the Book of Mormon for the first time, and when I came to 2 Nephi 9:28

"28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not."

..I just started weeping, it touched me so profoundly. That has remained one of my all time favorite scriptures.

I have enjoyed reading all of the posts on this thread. Interesting stuff and I can relate to a lot of it.

Edited by Libs
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There is a war going on for our souls. We have powers of good that help towards the light. One day I was walking to a food store to get lunch about twenty years ago. A group of us waited at the curb for the light to change. The sign changed to WALK but a large truck ran the red light in front of us. A woman started to walk across the street. I grabbed the back of her coat and pulled her back just as the truck drove over the spot she was standing. It felt so good saving someone. But my eyes could not see. I was the woman. I was so focused that I could not see. God set the stage for me to see all of the players. Good, evil, and the blindness that I possessed. Yet I only saw what I wanted. Only now after many years do I see what was really going on. We live the message of the Bible.

There are over 200 million good angels helping us day to day. I am sure I met one one day. I was walking out of a store and a saw a man sitting against the wall of the store. As I looked at him he asked if I could help. He held out his hand. He appeared as a beggar but something was different. I walked over to him and gave him some money. Normally a beggar focuses on the money and mumbles something about thanks or bless you or something. But this man took my hand and looked straight into my eyes and said Jesus loves you or something similar. I noticed the clarity of his eyes. I noticed the clean skin yet dirty clothes. His touch touched my heart directly. I knew this was no man. Here it is ten years later and I can still see his eyes and feel his hand.

When I was just starting on my spiritual journey I had another experience. I went to the movies and got there before the person I was to meet. As I was standing there a very nice looking woman came over to me and introduced herself. I asked her if she was waiting for a movie. She said no. I knew what she was. She was a worker of Satan. The package was great, the voice was inviting. It was obvious that she was offering herself to be my "friend". I asked her where she was from. She said Santa Cruz. I had moved from the Santa Cruz area years earlier. It is a place of very strong demonic activity. The world was standing in front of me. I chose the movie and to stay on my spiritual path.

Such is the way of the world. We all have had these same kind of experiences. Most people do not see them for what they are. I am lucky. I know when I come into the presence of evil. I have asked that my eyes would open so I could see good and evil spirits on the earth. So far I can not. Maybe I will never be able to see them. That is not up to me. But I have asked because I think I am ready. But I don't know I am. It is faith that leads to the spiritual walk. Once you truly cast off the world the world loses it hold on you. You do start to see it all differently. I can't even imagine going back to blindness.

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The very first rung on that ladder is faith that there is a God. In some ways this is the most difficult. The natural man inside of you does not want to be foolish and talking to some Spirit is absolutely foolishness to the natural man. Since you have no real spiritual strength you must lean on your faith. But it may be way different than I describe. One could come to faith by fear. Fear of death will drive someone to hope that the things unseen are indeed real. Or it could be from sorrow. The passing of a loved one will seem easier if one knows that death is but a passage and there is another existence after this one. No matter how it comes one will ask "are you real?". It is faith that drives the question. You may not have faith that there is a God but the act of seeking is faith. Faith is NOT knowing. So asking is faith, it is the thing which drove you to ask. But then you start to talk to God as if He is real. You still don't know if He is real but you have still stepped to the next step. Then God touches your soul and you feel different. But not in a way that you really can describe but you know you are not the same as before you were touched.

To me, the first rung consists of Moroni 10, (particularly verses 4-5), and the means for movement up the ladder of faith, rung by rung, is explained in Alma 32, verses 22 - 43. The top of the ladder is the end of the path, the ultimate goal for which the gospel is intended--i.e. becoming like Christ, even as Christ is like the Father. And, the way to minimize the "problem" you mentioned, is to keep one's mind eye focused on the top of the ladder of faith and to continue to do and think those things that move one up the ladder.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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:) I love reading the stories of others :)... so you are a convert? I'm a convert too!

I came to Christ and God maybe six years ago. I became a Mormon in March. Of course I had a bunch of questions and took two years to decide about JS. I was in no rush. I still don't know all of the Church doctrine but I know my way around the Bible. My first read of the BoM was to see if it had issues with the Bible. From the way I read the Bible I saw no issues. Of course I take the Bible quite literal. I figured that the God who made us could also write verses for us to understand. When I was done reading the BoM my comment was "So, it is the same message."

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they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not

That is me far too often. :sorry:

Thankfully, God has found ways to humble me repetitively. I should really learn.

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I agree with faith being analogous to a ladder. I would be interested to learn, though, what you believe is at the top of the ladder, and what you figure is the process by which one may move up the rungs of faith?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

A ladder/staircase is a great analogy for all spiritual growth. JS was fond of it too (should show up in my sig in a quote)

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The top is the ladder is a tough one. I think it has to do with achieving all you can in the flesh and being taken by God. This does not mean that the ladder ends. It is just the end for the flesh. Since I have no experience in this area I must say it is an unknown. But I will add that I think we all could walk with God and be taken. But so very few actually do it. It could be that many have walked with God but to maintain the balance between good and evil they can't be taken. It is a hard one to answer.

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Once we believe in God then we can take many paths. Some revert back to evidence and look to ancient artifacts as their foundation. Many see the witness of the writers of the Bible as evidence. Just like someone would provide testimony in a trial under oath. There is truth to that but it is a matter of priority. The witness of the Holy Ghost is priority one. It is the more sure way of obtaining a message from God. There is spirit to spirit communication. While the message in the Bible is truth just how are we to understand the message? There is a wide range of interpretations of scripture. The preterist believe all of the prophecies of the Bible have been fulfilled and we are living in the Kingdom of God. They believe Jesus is in their hearts and they are His soldiers to conquer the world. So with Christ like authority they judge everything around them. They are considered mainstream Christianity by most Churches. They still love God but in my mind they are very confused. In order to get to this understanding of scripture the preterist take a very allegorical view of scripture. In my mind they twist scripture to the breaking point. Then on the other side of views is the quite literal view which is the one that I use. I am a futurist as is the LDS Church. This just means that many prophecies have not been fulfilled yet and the Kingdom on earth is yet to occur.

So with a wide range of scriptural interpretation can we use the Bible as our bedrock? No we can't. We can only if we know how to properly interpret scripture. This is why God sent a latter day prophet. This is why we have additional scriptures that in my eyes are easier to interpret in a uniform way. When we compare the two Books we should come to a common message. I know we do. But those people who would twist scripture see the BoM as an attempt to destroy scripture not support it. This is why they are so against the LDS Church. Now why do I include this talk of scripture in this thread on faith? Because most people rest their personal faith on scripture. This is why we have people of faith in God with different views of doctrine. Scripture can be a stumbling block for many. For many the world is a stumbling block. To me the ideas of Biblical scholars is the same as the theories of science. They are ideas of men and are subject to the pressures of the world. I do not want to discuss science except to point out that many modify their views of scripture based on the scientific ideas of man. They somehow feel that science holds the higher ground of truth and leave to God what is left over. But science denies miracles which is the foundation of scripture. To raise science up as the ultimate standard is to deny miracles which is something I won't do.

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I am pretty confident that my faith will stay and will not fall. It was a struggle to get here and now that I am here I guard it like a valuable gem. While in the flesh one can feel all alone and disconnected but with a strong faith in God that goes away. It is like someone is always there like a 24/7 hotline.

I have had dramatic things happen to me related to the spirit. For some reason I do not think I am done. Something is coming and I don't know what. I just pray for strength to do God's work. I feel that soon everyone will feel the spirit much more so than today. But with that comes a balance from the other side. It too will grow in strength. One of the reasons I am so blunt with people is to shake them. When the time comes it will be swift and strong nothing will be the same. Those who are attached to this world will lose their foundation and they will seek a source of power. Many will fall. But many will rise to the occasion.

A war will be fought and the tactics will be horrible. If you prepare for spiritual warfare you learn things that no one should have to know. Part of faith is to follow your calling. But I am not sure that all are called to do something. It is a mystery.

There are gifts of the Spirit; one is to know that Jesus is the Christ. I have “known” that from my earlier memories as a child…I have never doubted it. The sadness “is”, that is not enough…you must have faith in him; that has been a gradual process with many peeks and valleys. I know him, I just wonder at times if I know enough about him. I just pray “He” and my father have the patience to wait until I get my head and my heart in sink. Thanks for your comments.

This is what I have learned so far…

He Hath Called Me Friend

He stands upon the mountians-- Zech 14: 4

He walks upon the sea. --John 6: 19

He entered into prison --1 Peter 3: 18-21

To set the captive free. --1 Peter 4: 6

His name is Wonderful, Counselor, --Isaiah 9: 6

Everlasting Father, The Mighty God. -- 2 Nephi 19: 6

He leads those through the darkness --1 Nephi 8: 23-24

Who hold tight the iron rod. --1 Nephi 8: 19

He is one who builds a ship-- 1 Nephi 17: 8

With hands that have no skill, --Gen 6: 14

For nothing is impossible --Matt 19: 26

To those who seek his will. --1 Nephi 3: 7

He exalts the righteous King --Mosiah 2: 14

Who labors with his hands.

He burns the king as stubble --Mosiah 19: 20

Who reveals his wicked plans.

He is strength to the Stripling Warrior-- Alma 56: 56

Who pursues the righteous cause.

He destroys the wicked armies --Alma 44: 19

Who remember not his laws.

He is our source of courage

While facing all our fears, --1 Tim 1: 7

He is our source of comfort --Matt 5: 4

While in this veil of tears. --3 Nephi 12: 4

He was wounded for our transgressions, --Isaiah 53: 5

He was brusied for our iniquities.

By his stripes we are healed, -- Mosiah 14: 5

Once blind we now can see. --Matt 11: 5

He is Alpha and Omega

The Beginning and the End. --Rev 21: 6

The Author of Salvation-- Heb 5: 9

And, "He" hath called me friend.-- D&C 84: 77

William E Lee

Copyright 1996

Edited by Bill “Papa” Lee
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Pa Pa,

Nice post. It goes to Who is God. This is knowledge and it does lead to love of God for His character. It goes to what He does and how we relate to Him. It describes the love that God has for us. Just as God has unconditional love for us and we as His children should have unconditional love of God.

As we develop our picture of God we do so by using His Word. If we have faith in the Word then we have faith that God is who He says He is. This also developes into knowledge of His rules, His commandments to have a good life. If we believe on His Word then we know that there is good and there is evil. We know that there is a fight going on and we hang in the balance. As our faith grows we change, our own change is evidence. More evidence for us than anyone else. We know we are someone else. We know we are following different rules. We start to believe in absolutes and lose subjectiveness in many areas of life. The value of life increases and the fear of death lessens. These are big changes. Much of this we do ourself and the Holy Ghost does not give it to us. We start changing our focus. The world is but a part. We look towards the future and if this wonderful feeling we have is but a taste of heaven we want more. We realize that being closer to God gives us strength and we want more. We learn that some things are not helpful for our path. We learn self control. We realize that the lust of the world is like a drug, at best a temporary fix before the fall. Then we start to see others as spirits and not a body of flesh. The behavior of the body is not the spirit inside. To forgive your neighbor is easy when we see him as a captured spirit, trapped by the world. We seek to free our neighbor as we have been freed.

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That is me far too often. :sorry:

Thankfully, God has found ways to humble me repetitively. I should really learn.

That was me, all the time, until a series of tragedies showed me that I could not always lean on my own understandings. Some things, like the death of a loved one, or a serious illness, take more than "book knowledge" to cope with. I lost my father, very unexpectedly, in 1999, and that same year, I was diagnosed with cancer. Those were wakeup calls, for me. I used to worship at the feet of higher education. I was an education snob, you might say. I have a degree in psychology and studied all of the social sciences, looking for answers as to why we were here and how we could improve our lot here. When I started moving towards God, again, I had a deep awareness that I was looking for answers in all the wrong places. That verse I cited was one of the things that helped give me a new direction. Even though my path has not been very smooth, my life was, literally, changed forever. I may have had serious doubts about the church (not only the LDS Church, but all of the churches I have attended), but I have never, since that time, doubted that God exists (as I always had, before) or that Jesus Christ was my "Way". That has been a constant.

You are very blessed to have recognized the precious gifts God has given you, at such a young age. Hang onto that for dear life and don't ever take it for granted.

Edited by Libs
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There are gifts of the Spirit; one is to know that Jesus is the Christ. I have “known” that from my earlier memories as a child…I have never doubted it. The sadness “is”, that is not enough…you must have faith in him; that has been a gradual process with many peeks and valleys. I know him, I just wonder at times if I know enough about him. I just pray “He” and my father have the patience to wait until I get my head and my heart in sink. Thanks for your comments.

This is what I have learned so far…

He Hath Called Me Friend

He stands upon the mountians-- Zech 14: 4

He walks upon the sea. --John 6: 19

He entered into prison --1 Peter 3: 18-21

To set the captive free. --1 Peter 4: 6

His name is Wonderful, Counselor, --Isaiah 9: 6

Everlasting Father, The Mighty God. -- 2 Nephi 19: 6

He leads those through the darkness --1 Nephi 8: 23-24

Who hold tight the iron rod. --1 Nephi 8: 19

He is one who builds a ship-- 1 Nephi 17: 8

With hands that have no skill, --Gen 6: 14

For nothing is impossible --Matt 19: 26

To those who seek his will. --1 Nephi 3: 7

He exalts the righteous King --Mosiah 2: 14

Who labors with his hands.

He burns the king as stubble --Mosiah 19: 20

Who reveals his wicked plans.

He is strength to the Stripling Warrior-- Alma 56: 56

Who pursues the righteous cause.

He destroys the wicked armies --Alma 44: 19

Who remember not his laws.

He is our source of courage

While facing all our fears, --1 Tim 1: 7

He is our source of comfort --Matt 5: 4

While in this veil of tears. --3 Nephi 12: 4

He was wounded for our transgressions, --Isaiah 53: 5

He was brusied for our iniquities.

By his stripes we are healed, -- Mosiah 14: 5

Once blind we now can see. --Matt 11: 5

He is Alpha and Omega

The Beginning and the End. --Rev 21: 6

The Author of Salvation-- Heb 5: 9

And, "He" hath called me friend.-- D&C 84: 77

William E Lee

Copyright 1996

Papa, this is beautiful. I love how you did this with scripture references...just beautiful. This shows your very sweet soul.

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Papa, this is beautiful. I love how you did this with scripture references...just beautiful. This shows your very sweet soul.

I just wish I was a man like my father who gave me such a love of scripture. I miss him dearly. I pray I serve worthy to see him again and feel his love again. He was a man among men. He adopted my when my bio-father rejected us…he was why I believed there could be a Savior.

Edited by Bill “Papa” Lee
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That was me, all the time, until a series of tragedies showed me that I could not always lean on my own understandings. Some things, like the death of a loved one, or a serious illness, take more than "book knowledge" to cope with. I lost my father, very unexpectedly, in 1999, and that same year, I was diagnosed with cancer. Those were wakeup calls, for me. I used to worship at the feet of higher education. I was an education snob, you might say. I have a degree in psychology and studied all of the social sciences, looking for answers as to why we were here and how we could improve our lot here. When I started moving towards God, again, I had a deep awareness that I was looking for answers in all the wrong places. That verse I cited was one of the things that helped give me a new direction. Even though my path has not been very smooth, my life was, literally, changed forever. I may have had serious doubts about the church (not only the LDS Church, but all of the churches I have attended), but I have never, since that time, doubted that God exists (as I always had, before) or that Jesus Christ was my "Way". That has been a constant.

You are very blessed to have recognized the precious gifts God has given you, at such a young age. Hang onto that for dear life and don't ever take it for granted.

Thank you. :)

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I have recently joined the Church and came to Christ about six years ago. For me it was a struggle to get here and many questions needed to be asked. I had people coming over for two years talking about JS. I was not going to add to my knowledge of God and accept new doctrine unless I was sure. It would have been so much easier if I had been there at the time, I could have looked into his eyes and known instantly if he was a man of God or not. The written word is so much harder to weigh in the balance. It is but ink on paper. The words first have to come into my head then I have to understand the message. This is not as easy as some declare. We confuse the message all of the time. Then when we ask the Holy Ghost to confirm He will not. Not because the words are wrong but we are wrong or we ask the wrong questions. We have to be focused. For me the Holy Ghost would not confirm. I had to do the hard work of study. I had to check the message against the Bible. It was of course a great learning experience which the Holy Ghost knew from the start. So after a lot of unanswered prayers my studies led me to know that the BoM is in fact the same message in the Bible. It is changed a little in presentation but it is still the same. There are a couple of areas where new doctrine is written but I had already guessed of their existence before I picked up the BoM.

For instance the 70 week prophecy. How many know it is bounded by the Jews and Jerusalem. Now it may effect the whole world but the prophecy is bounded to the Holy City and the Jews. So when it says an end of sin then it applies to the city and to the Jews. By placing a boundary in the prophecy is that telling us that outside the boundary it is different? Could be. So if I asked the Holy Ghost if America is burned up in the 70th week I am not sure the Holy Ghost would answer. There is just so much subjectiveness to the question and the prophecy deals outside of that subject. Then I am sure there are other times in which the Holy Ghost does answer but we misunderstand the answer. We have to be real careful in answers. If we misunderstand it can lead us down rabbit holes. We may then assume that we are on the right track in our doctrines which may or may not be true.

Once we get to a point where we are beginning to feel good about our knowledge of scripture we can fall back to being the natural man. Our knowledge can give us the feeling that we know the mind of God. And if we feel that way then some start to judge everyone around them. They fall so far from the Gospel but feel good doing it. I have seen people on these boards tell others who profess a love of Christ that they are not eligible for salvation because they are not LDS. Just a hop skip and a jump from burning someone at the stake. That is sad to see. So faith in God can come full circle and return to faith in us being God. The ultimate fall. I don't know what to think of these fallen people. Did they never believe in God and are just using the power of religion for their own twisted ego or did they fall from knowledge to the point where they walk on the Gospel? I sure don't know. Some appear strong in faith but I think it is a cover. Like a sheeps cover over their real skin. Now some will see the passion of these people and mistake that for faith. Faith can manifest in emotion but it is not emotion.

Anyway just thoughts on faith.

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Frank, I tend to believe that God is much more loving and forgiving (and patient) than most of us realize. I am coming to believe we are on a journey and we will all end up in "God's House", even if it takes a trillion years.

I had people coming over for two years talking about JS. I was not going to add to my knowledge of God and accept new doctrine unless I was sure.I could have looked into his eyes and known instantly if he was a man of God or not.

I have thought, many times, that same thing, that it would have been so much easier, if I had been living during that time and could have actually known Joseph Smith, personally. But, a lot of people knew him, who didn't consider him a prophet (just the opposite), so maybe it wouldn't have been any easier (for me).

I don't know if he is a prophet, and I don't even know if the Book of Mormon is true history, but I do know there are things, in there, that have inspired me to move towards God and become a better person. I will settle for that, for the time being. For now, I am moving forward on faith and finding the good whereever it may be. It's everywhere, to some degree.

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