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Thank You For Allowing Me Here


stevedallas

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I know I may debate with you, but I want you to know I hold no ill will. I actually LOVE what the LDS Church stands for. Who can watch GC and not be impressed with the LDS Church?

As you might have seen in my few posts, I have problems with the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but not with 99% of the LDS teachings. About 2 years ago, I believed I would get baptized. I was attending Sac Meetings, reading, studying, and praying. I would go to the Temple and sit in the foyer and relish the peace while I studied. I went to do lessons with the missionaries. Two of my best friends, LDS, placed my name in the Temple prayer list. But, no matter how hard I prayed, I could never get an answer that the Book of Mormon is the inspired Word of God.

Please do not take my debates as anti. I am striving to learn. If I offend, let me know so that I might apologize. I do not wish to offend.

In Christ

Edited by stevedallas
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I would suggest that in order to convey the attitude you portray here you might want to state your opinions in a somewhat softer tone.

Mudcat and 3DOP are excellent examples of those who have figured out how to state their disagreements with the least amount of misunderstandings IMO. If you want to get a feel for the type of post that will not draw out the wrong type of assumptions and conclusions, I'd take a look at them. (can't remember coding for thumbsup smilie so imagine it here).

Oh, and also remember that many of us are not here to primarily debate, but more for curiosity about how others view things so not all questions or CFRs are challenges, many will just be attempts to understand your reasoning.

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I know I may debate with you, but I want you to know I hold no ill will. I actually LOVE what the LDS Church stands for. Who can watch GC and not be impressed with the LDS Church?

As you might have seen in my few posts, I have problems with the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, but not with 99% of the LDS teachings. About 2 years ago, I believed I would get baptized. I was attending Sac Meetings, reading, studying, and praying. I would go to the Temple and sit in the foyer and relish the peace while I studied. I went to do lessons with the missionaries. Two of my best friends, LDS, placed my name in the Temple prayer list. But, no matter how hard I prayed, I could never get an answer that the Book of Mormon is the inspired Word of God.

Please do not take my debates as anti. I am striving to learn. If I offend, let me know so that I might apologize. I do not wish to offend.

In Christ

Thank you for the post. You are welcome here. The book of mormon is a hard nut to crack. I prayed about the book of mormon and received a very powerful witness as to its truthfulness. But that being said, at times people get a different witness. It is more subliminal . The interesting thing about the book of mormon is that I have no idea how Joseph could have written it. And if Sidney Rigdon wrote it, I have no idea how JS put the book to memory, stuck his head in a hat, and gave a translation to the scribe. At least this was one way he did it. How to explain such an accomplishment? I can't.

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I would suggest that in order to convey the attitude you portray here you might want to state your opinions in a somewhat softer tone.

Mudcat and 3DOP are excellent examples of those who have figured out how to state their disagreements with the least amount of misunderstandings IMO. If you want to get a feel for the type of post that will not draw out the wrong type of assumptions and conclusions, I'd take a look at them. (can't remember coding for thumbsup smilie so imagine it here).

Oh, and also remember that many of us are not here to primarily debate, but more for curiosity about how others view things so not all questions or CFRs are challenges, many will just be attempts to understand your reasoning.

Thank you. Can you point to a harsh tone I have used? I was accused of ouiji boards and entrails......I do not think I responded in kind.

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Thank you for the post. You are welcome here. The book of mormon is a hard nut to crack. I prayed about the book of mormon and received a very powerful witness as to its truthfulness. But that being said, at times people get a different witness. It is more subliminal . The interesting thing about the book of mormon is that I have no idea how Joseph could have written it. And if Sidney Rigdon wrote it, I have no idea how JS put the book to memory, stuck his head in a hat, and gave a translation to the scribe. At least this was one way he did it. How to explain such an accomplishment? I can't.

I watch GC and want so badly to believe. I want it to be true. I pray so hard. Why does it elude me? Does it elude you?

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I also suggest you review how you present things. To keep insisting for example that BY, a beloved prophet, was responsible for a massacre in light of evidence to the contrary others have presented doesn't win you any points. It is one thing to question and quite another to keep pounding a point already refuted.

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I also suggest you review how you present things. To keep insisting for example that BY, a beloved prophet, was responsible for a massacre in light of evidence to the contrary others have presented doesn't win you any points. It is one thing to question and quite another to keep pounding a point already refuted.

I apologize, but nothing has been refuted. I have simply stated that I have reviewed the evidence and come to my own opinion. I am sorry if you think that it is wrong to hold onto an opinion that is different from yours.

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I watch GC and want so badly to believe. I want it to be true. I pray so hard. Why does it elude me? Does it elude you?

No it doesn't elude me. If you enjoy watching GC, then I would guess that it doesn't elude you either. Perhaps that is your answer.

With regard to the other matters, have you read the Book of Mormon, I mean thoughtfully, and all the way to the end?

Edited by zerinus
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I watch GC and want so badly to believe. I want it to be true. I pray so hard. Why does it elude me? Does it elude you?

I am not the greatest member in the world. But when I did pray about it I got a powerful answer. But for others, the answer can come more rationally. I would look into the hat trick and attempt to answer just how he could do it without a manuscript in front of him. Also, the 11 witnesses who never denied their testimonies and how some of them related what happened again on their deathbeds. Even John Whitmer claimed when he was riding among a group of antimormons that he saw and felt the plates.

http://www.moroni10.com/witnesses/John_Whitmer.html

How to explain it?

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stevedallas:

Ultimately you alone are responsible for what evidence you accept or reject be it spiritual or physical. No one, not God himself, is going to force you to believe.

We all have questions concerning Church history. I still have plenty of questions after 40 years in the Church. Questions are good. But answering those questions will never give you a testimony of the Restored Gospel.

You say you want to believe. I believe you do. Put aside your doubts, and go with what your heart is telling you.

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If you would like a more receptive welcome then it would help for you to go back to the MMM thread and answer the CFR's.

Your approach is very reminicent of trolling.

I am sorry you feel that way. I had thought that my opening post on that thread was anything but. I clearly said MMM was nothing that other Christians should dwell on as all sects have their skeletons. If that is considered trolling, I apologize.

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@ stevedallas: I am BIC, active my entire life, have served in many callings, married in the temple, am into my 60th year on earth, and for the last c. 7.5 of that I have not believed in the dogmatic truth claims to exclusivity that Mormonism asserts for itself. My problem areas are the same two as you have: for my whole adult life, the Bofm formed the lynch pin of my beliefs: it was the reason why I could try and believe in the Bible and Jesus Christ; and why I could try and believe in Joseph Smith. You know the mantra: "If the BofM is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet."

I have read the BofM cover-to-cover well over two-dozen times and continue to read from it. But imho it cannot possibly be a history of ancient "Americans." I don't know what it is, but it isn't that. I also don't know what methodology Joseph Smith used to come up with it. I have a working hypothesis that Joseph Smith had a prodigious imagination and equally developed memory for such things. I see enough evidence to believe that he was working on the story of the BofM for many years. Whenever he heard or read something that tied into it he inculcated those details into his world view of ancient America: and that collected "history" was always founded on religious beliefs. He believed the popular idea that the Amerinds were descended from Hebrews. Everything built on that premise. Nobody in his lifetime was remotely disabused of that imaginative idea: it remained for many years after his death a viable theory. I believe that the textual evidence of the book shows enough connection to 19th century elements familiar to Joseph Smith to say that he created the book. Under inspiration? Yes. I will give him that much: I do not believe that at any point in his life, Joseph Smith was a fraud: he believed in his inspirations and revelations.

That raises the issue of exclusivity: Mormons are taught, and teach, that the religion is a restored one, "the only true and living church on the earth in which [the Lord is] well pleased", etc. But Joseph Smith is a problem with that assertion. I did not learn of the full depth of his plural marriage practices until c. 7.5 years ago: that was the deal breaker for me. I do not believe in exclusive prophets and oracles. The evidence is clear: "authority" is claimed by the prophets, oracles and believers: and there have always been plenty to go around. Imho, "God" does not require any dogmatic ordinances or doctrines: belief in "God" is not even required: people are naturally, predominantly good. That is why the world gets along as well as it does almost everywhere almost all the time. People naturally choose good over bad the vast majority of the time. Most do not even require religion to convince them to do so. Look at the religious statistics: Mormons have one of the highest activity rates, and it is only c. 25% at best. Most people don't even associate with a religion actively or consistently. They are predominantly honest and moral. Most first-time marriages succeed, and most are not afflicted with infidelity. Has it ever been different? Not as far as I can deduce from reading about history. Bad times come and go, and good people get better. The net effect of all our shared centuries on this planet is a betterment, not a worsening, of moral fiber and integrity. I see the world improving, not growing darker, like elder Bednar just asserted again in our combined stake conference this morning.

If I am right, then Mormonism is just one religion among thousands; that I believe it is as good as a dogmatic, organized religion can get is my opinion only....

Edited by Questing Beast
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Maybe, as another poster alluded, you were told the answer to your prayers when you listened to GC and sat in the temple grounds. What do you suppose that feeling you had was?

That is my conundrum. I absolutely love GC. I have several LDS apps on my iphone and ipad. I listen to the talks (my favorite is Jeffrey Holland). I have a good feeling in the temple. But yet, despite my prayers and efforts, I cannot bring myself to accept the Book of Mormon. It is frustrating.

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stevedallas:

Ultimately you alone are responsible for what evidence you accept or reject be it spiritual or physical. No one, not God himself, is going to force you to believe.

We all have questions concerning Church history. I still have plenty of questions after 40 years in the Church. Questions are good. But answering those questions will never give you a testimony of the Restored Gospel.

You say you want to believe. I believe you do. Put aside your doubts, and go with what your heart is telling you.

I do not want to be forced to believe. I just want to gain the testimony that others talk about.

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Thank you. Can you point to a harsh tone I have used? I was accused of ouiji boards and entrails......I do not think I responded in kind.

I don't think Cal was saying that you have responded in the past in bads way necessarily, but rather, that you have sometimes responded in ways that present your board personality in a non-flattering way.

For example: your response to Deborah in this very thread. You obvious disagree with her assessment of your post on BY, but you disagreed in a very passive agressive manner. You told her that you came to your own opinions, which is obviously a valid response, but at the same time you buried an insult to her in your post by presenting her as a narcisist who can't abide not being agreed with. You also used sarcasm to drive the point home how flawed her post was to you with the 'I am sorry...' phrase, which obviously wasn't said sincerely.

Again, there's nothing that says you can't keep responding in similar ways to other people you disagree with. All Cal was saying (i think) is that when you do things like being passive agressive in a post, people assume things about you and your motives that aren't flattering and worse, may not even be true about who you actually are.

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I do not want to be forced to believe. I just want to gain the testimony that others talk about.

That is the first step. Those geat feelings you have about GC and in the shadows of the temple are answers. The Temples and GC and The Book of Mormon are the fruits of Joseph Smith's prophetic calling. The words of the Holy Ghost are more often felt than heard.

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