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How I Was Made Better By Adhereing To Lessons In Lds Talks


johnNewingtonn

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How I was made better by the grace gained from the words of Latter Day Saints

 

 

 

Life gives struggles and hardship, and Life will test our spirit.  We may overcome our struggle or hardship but our spiritual test can still be lost. A person’s trials are like a toothache. To others, they are a tiny thing, but to the person who’s tooth aches,  it is central.  I have not overcome great hardship or a great test, but I have overcome.

 

I’d like to share a couple of moral challenges I’ve overcome. I believe I’ve succeeded in the moral aspect to these challenges due to the wisdom and insights that I’ve learned from watching so many deep and moving Devotional Addresses as well as talks by your Leadership, whom I greatly and deeply admire. I am grateful that the Latter Day Saints have kindly and generously made these talks available for all people who would seek them. So in gratitude for these, I feel it an obligation to ‘share back’ and show that by adhering to, and following the lessons from these talks, good things can come to those who listen, as I know they have come to me.

 

Riding overpriced bikes has become what I term an epidemic for the 50 plus year old crowd. If you look at bicyclists, you’re bound to see a disproportionate number of 50’something year old men riding. They’ll often be wearing ridiculous ‘team’ logo bike gear and will be riding on very expensive racing bicycles.  And so my brother-in-law Mike became interested in bicycle riding a couple of years ago. Soon he drew me into riding with him. I rode on my old 30 year old bicycle. But Mike always patiently explained the many benefits of the newer bikes, he even researched and found exceptional deals on high quality bikes which he would ‘kindly and persistently’ ; ) inform me of. At one point I agreed to take an extended test drive at Mike’s favorite bike shop. Needless to say, having ridden the lightening of a modern bicycle, it was no longer possible to be satisfied with my virtual antique. So I joined the epidemic and purchased a high priced bike.

 

The bike became my pride and joy, a means of improving fitness, and creating deep connections while on many days of long rides each lasting many hours with friends my age. Some wisdom is indeed acquired with age, and sharing thoughts with others of similar years of experience is a pleasant pastime.

 

In late August I returned home to find my new road bike and an older but good quality mountain bike gone. This was a loss of a nearly $5000.00 worth of goods. Equally hurtful is the violation of one’s property and its stinging pain. At that point I chose to pray to ask for peace of mind. This decision no doubt was influenced by my exposure to the LDS. I prayed for the grace to accept and be at peace with my loss. In doing so, I thought I’d like to emulate what I’d seen in so many of the talks. I reported the theft to the police as well as my insurance company, and was unsure what would happen. Many Homeowners insurance policies have many crafty ways of not covering expensive bicycles.

 

My insurance company was profoundly helpful. I was taken aback, as I’d only signed onto this policy in early spring, after having been given an offer far better than the company I’d used for a good 15 years.

 

“Just let us know how much you paid for the bikes, any receipts and pictures, including serial numbers. Now the bike I’d had lists now at around $3400.00 dollars. However, I’d paid $2000.00 in an unprecedented and great deal at a local bike shop. I considered the likelihood that by telling the agent the price I’d paid, that would limit the payout amount. My deduction would be substantial enough to assure that I would not step back into such a bike again. I also reasoned that I could very well tell him I’d paid $3400.00, and it would be taken without question, that is the fair value of the bike and I could then replace it, even without getting that glorious deal I’d gotten before.

 

But the thought came "You will not gain by deception". So I was moved to tell only the truth and not try to gain by any deception and when the time came I said to myself “No, I will not benefit from any deception.” I let the agent know that I’d paid an amazingly low $2000.00 for the bike. I was at least honest, and if that meant I’d not ever afford such a bike, so be it, at least I did the right thing. It felt like I’d overcome something by taking the moral stand. I felt so great in doing what was right, I was actually thankful to God that I’d had the grace to do the right thing. And I clearly knew that this issued by the lessons I'd learned from the LDS.

 

The very next day the agent phoned me, “Your policy requires that we reimburse the full current replacement value of the bike, even though you’d paid less, we are giving you full value of a bicycle.”  How glad I was, more that I’d been truthful and did not feel that I’d gained anything by deception. And also how wonderful that I’d been made whole again! I said no small prayer of thanks, and was elated; not by money, but by knowing that in a trial I was honest and yet had been made whole nonetheless.

 

No long after an old High School girlfriend invited me as a friend on Facebook. This happens now and then as people seek out old connections and I didn’t think much of it. Then she started texting me quite a lot. Still, I let it go. Then she started telling me about the many problems with her husband, asking about where I live and such. It became obvious to me where this was heading. I am single and not currently involved in any way. Of course as a man, one of the first things we do when friended by a woman, is to ‘check out her fb pictures”. She was as fit as any twenty-year old and quite an amazing sight to see. She works out daily and is quite active physically with jogging and the gym. Companionship is a great thing.  But still, the right thought came as a spoken sentence to my mind “I will not serve as the vehicle of damage to the sanctity of a family in order to gain temporary satisfaction.” And so I told her I felt compromised by her confiding in me, and that perhaps she should rather confide with her husband.

 

Again I felt that I’d done some good, or at least did not submit to a temptation, and the resulting damage it could cause to a family. I thank the lessons and examples I’ve learned and seen from the LDS.

 

My sincere thanks to the LDS. Their lessons create good things even for others, and allow us to learn to live better lives.

Edited by johnNewingtonn
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"And so I told her I felt compromised by her confiding in me, and that perhaps she should rather confide with her husband."

 

Good man.

 

Your example is a good one for us to follow as well.  

 

​Isn't it wonderful how that works?

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It is such an empowering feeling to do the right thing. Currently I'm at a crossroads on if I should stay in the church or go.

The only thing keeping me in is the magic (the people) in Mormonism, and it may well be that magic is from the lessons that you felt inspired by.

Now a question for you is, did you grow up with a religious backgound. And w/o any lessons from the LDS church are you so sure your moral compass wouldn't have kicked in?

And finally, doing the right thing is always the way to go, as you've said that making that moral stand beats any extra money you think you might have recieved. Integrity is much more valuable by far.

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I concur with what Calmoriah and rpn have said... I've had a few similar experiences in my years of life... 74... and have never been sorry... and I understand completely how you feel in your heart and soul... it is a wonderful feeling... I've learned that adhering to the "Choose the Right" LDS philosophy has been a very positive thing... a kind of freedom...

 

All good wishes... GG

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I concur with what Calmoriah and rpn have said... I've had a few similar experiences in my years of life... 74... and have never been sorry... and I understand completely how you feel in your heart and soul... it is a wonderful feeling... I've learned that adhering to the "Choose the Right" LDS philosophy has been a very positive thing... a kind of freedom...

 

All good wishes... GG

Is there any religious philosophy that would teach people to do anything other than what the gentleman did? 

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Is there any religious philosophy that would teach people to do anything other than what the gentleman did? 

 

No, but not all people follow their particular religious philosophy, no matter what Protestant, Mormon, or Catholic congregation they might attend... it has been my experience that when one faithfully adheres to their religious principles, they enjoy a sense of freedom... and happiness... this could even apply to an individual who, while not being affiliated with a religious faith, might hold similar high standards of ethical behavior... But to me, the spiritual element just enhances the life experience. 

 

GG

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Tacenda, As a child I was raised in the Catholic faith, I had not practiced it in many years. Our (Catholic) Saints were people from the distant past and cultures. Our Priests were unmarried and thus in many ways would not have the experience that marriage and raising a family brings to a life. The difference is relevance and proximity. The LDS have many different people who share their own experience. This is far different than it is in my religion. These are living people who live lives similar to my own. What they say is more relevant while being inspired.

 

Pseudo morality: In my youth, the 'boys I ran with' were good people, but we had our own moral code. 'anytime your offered an opportunity (by a woman) you take it', it was not even imaginable that a man would ever not enjoy that experience. 'We regret what we don't do' was another warped belief system, the implication  being that if you were offered, in time you'd look back and wish you had. Such morality was not really discussed by Priests in Church. Yes, they might say that abstinence is a good moral choice, but this message was by a person who was not likely to be involved in relational situations similar to ours. So my sense of morality was opportunistic, this has been changed now. This change has occurred perhaps by maturity but I'm sure by the guidance of the LDS talks.

 

An empowering doctrine of responsibility and promise: LDS talks are thus unique as is the manner of allowing people the empowerment to speak and share insights.

The religious beliefs are very empowering while demanding. The idea that people, here and now, are indeed Saints, that people here and now, are delivering divinely inspired testimonies, is of unimaginable relevance.

I admit that the many years in my faith make imagining that there are currently Prophets and Saints walking the earth, very, indeed extremely difficult.

But if this is so, then it carries with it a direct level of responsibility and promise, far higher than a religion of distant Prophets in distant times.

 

Even while contemplating these thoughts, it is obvious that the lessons given by the LDS in their published talks, carry good messages and sound principles gained by people like myself in real-life situations.

As to your own religious doubts, be cautious as the nature of doubt is that it only grows, and if you were to leave the LDS due to doubt, eventually it's likely you would begin to doubt religion itself. You can believe we are creatures of flesh and blood and of spirit, those who doubt deny the latter, and become blind to it.

 

As to maintaining a faithful outlook;

Here is a quote from "The Cycle of Becoming" BYU Devotional Address June 2, 2009 delivered by E. Daniel Johnson:

    "On the other hand, we need help in keeping an eternal perspective. How do we get and keep this eternal perspective? It starts with the basic things we hear on a regular basis. Daily prayer and scripture study are absolute musts. In my various ecclesiastical callings, I’ve never worked with anyone who had lost their testimony or fallen away while they were praying and studying the scriptures on a daily basis." Mr. Johnson says that daily reading and praying is a good step towards maintaining our belief. I would suggest that listening to and watching these valuable messages are themselves deeply inspiring. I know they are meant for children, but they are relevant to me, even at my age.

 

Thank You and I hope that you maintain and increase your dedication to the life taught by your wonderful Church.

Edited by johnNewingtonn
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Tacenda, As a child I was raised in the Catholic faith, I had not practiced it in many years. Our (Catholic) Saints were people from the distant past and cultures. Our Priests were unmarried and thus in many ways would not have the experience that marriage and raising a family brings to a life. The difference is relevance and proximity. The LDS have many different people who share their own experience. This is far different than it is in my religion. These are living people who live lives similar to my own. What they say is more relevant while being inspired.

 

Pseudo morality: In my youth, the 'boys I ran with' were good people, but we had our own moral code. 'anytime your offered an opportunity (by a woman) you take it', it was not even imaginable that a man would ever not enjoy that experience. 'We regret what we don't do' was another warped belief system, the implication  being that if you were offered, in time you'd look back and wish you had. Such morality was not really discussed by Priests in Church. Yes, they might say that abstinence is a good moral choice, but this message was by a person who was not likely to be involved in relational situations similar to ours. So my sense of morality was opportunistic, this has been changed now. This change has occurred perhaps by maturity but I'm sure by the guidance of the LDS talks.

 

An empowering doctrine of responsibility and promise: LDS talks are thus unique as is the manner of allowing people the empowerment to speak and share insights.

The religious beliefs are very empowering while demanding. The idea that people, here and now, are indeed Saints, that people here and now, are delivering divinely inspired testimonies, is of unimaginable relevance.

I admit that the many years in my faith make imagining that there are currently Prophets and Saints walking the earth, very, indeed extremely difficult.

But if this is so, then it carries with it a direct level of responsibility and promise, far higher than a religion of distant Prophets in distant times.

 

Even while contemplating these thoughts, it is obvious that the lessons given by the LDS in their published talks, carry good messages and sound principles gained by people like myself in real-life situations.

As to your own religious doubts, be cautious as the nature of doubt is that it only grows, and if you were to leave the LDS due to doubt, eventually it's likely you would begin to doubt religion itself. You can believe we are creatures of flesh and blood and of spirit, those who doubt deny the latter, and become blind to it.

 

As to maintaining a faithful outlook;

Here is a quote from "The Cycle of Becoming" BYU Devotional Address June 2, 2009 delivered by E. Daniel Johnson:

    "On the other hand, we need help in keeping an eternal perspective. How do we get and keep this eternal perspective? It starts with the basic things we hear on a regular basis. Daily prayer and scripture study are absolute musts. In my various ecclesiastical callings, I’ve never worked with anyone who had lost their testimony or fallen away while they were praying and studying the scriptures on a daily basis." Mr. Johnson says that daily reading and praying is a good step towards maintaining our belief. I would suggest that listening to and watching these valuable messages are themselves deeply inspiring. I know they are meant for children, but they are relevant to me, even at my age.

 

Thank You and I hope that you maintain and increase your dedication to the life taught by your wonderful Church.

Thank you!!

 

I will take all of what you've said to heart, thanks for sharing and reminding!  :good:

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No, but not all people follow their particular religious philosophy, no matter what Protestant, Mormon, or Catholic congregation they might attend... it has been my experience that when one faithfully adheres to their religious principles, they enjoy a sense of freedom... and happiness... this could even apply to an individual who, while not being affiliated with a religious faith, might hold similar high standards of ethical behavior... But to me, the spiritual element just enhances the life experience. 

 

GG

What I find odd is that many will not follow the guidance of their church, but then go and join another which teaches the exact same thing and complain about their last church.  All of a sudden it's important to read and follow the advice of religious leaders where before they just wouldn't bother.

Edited by Yirgacheffe
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I'm not here to persuade,  get attention, or find some sort of praise because I made a couple of moral decisions. I only posted this out of gratitude, there is no way to directly say "Thank You" so I posted this page as an indirect means.

 

The lessons I've watched are being taught to the college aged, so I'm far behind and a very late bloomer.

 

There are many reasons that guidance as presented in one church can differ dramatically from that  in another.

Here's a dramatic example, once, not so very long ago, the Catholic mass was in Latin!, How could people  listening to a language they don't even understand gain benefit of what is being said?

 

Another issue is how things are taught. We are human, with human needs, wants, and all people are different. Surely everyone's had a teacher that made an impression?

Why then, with so many teachers teaching the same subject, do some achieve great student success, while others chronic failure?

Why when so many schools follow the same curriculum, are some rated as highly successful, while others are schools of failure?

 

The same ingredients can be mixed by two different chefs, one is nonedible, the other a feast.

 

The  difference, as I see it, is in the insightful testimonies given in conjunction with scripture. 

The addition of people sharing their experience greatly enhances biblical messages or Book of Mormon message, it makes them current, and brings the scripture to life.

 

These testimonies give the scriptures a personal projection which people, even like myself,  can then relate clearly to situations in their own lives.

No sermon could hope to match these insights and their relevance to individuals, which is given without this sort of testimony.

 

And so this very address proves the point, giving relevant examples of teachers, schools, makes the differences in the Church guidance question more clear.

Even with the Book of Mormon, there  are passages which elude me, but when they are given in context of a persons experience, they gain meaning and become clear.

 

Another element is that of inspiration. There is a non-intellectual element of being inspired which transcends the logical mind. Some churches deliver a message without such life, while others carry this.

It's clear when heard and is felt beyond the intellect. The message I've watched convey a feeling of being inspired and thus inspired me.

 

Other churches do no have this type of testimony which allows such relevance and clarity of message. My Church does not have this type of testimony.

 

That is the difference and it is very great.

Edited by johnNewingtonn
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Have you thought about joining? You would make a fantastic member, I'm sure.

Last week a guy friend of my college aged neighbor, they're dating I think, came to our church's "Sharing Time" with children 11 and younger. And is going to be baptized in 3 weeks and become a member and wanted to see what it was like and told me he's Lutheran but didn't grow up active.

I was nosy and asked him if he'd felt the spirit or what made him want to join the church. He told me he had had a dream about JS in the grove of trees, but that's all he had time to tell me, since the "Sharing Time" was starting.

It's things like that and things you've said that add to why I stay.

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I'm not here to persuade,  get attention, or find some sort of praise because I made a couple of moral decisions. I only posted this out of gratitude, there is no way to directly say "Thank You" so I posted this page as an indirect means.

 

The lessons I've watched are being taught to the college aged, so I'm far behind and a very late bloomer.

 

There are many reasons that guidance as presented in one church can differ dramatically from that  in another.

Here's a dramatic example, once, not so very long ago, the Catholic mass was in Latin!, How could people  listening to a language they don't even understand gain benefit of what is being said?

 

Another issue is how things are taught. We are human, with human needs, wants, and all people are different. Surely everyone's had a teacher that made an impression?

Why then, with so many teachers teaching the same subject, do some achieve great student success, while others chronic failure?

Why when so many schools follow the same curriculum, are some rated as highly successful, while others are schools of failure?

 

The same ingredients can be mixed by two different chefs, one is nonedible, the other a feast.

 

The  difference, as I see it, is in the insightful testimonies given in conjunction with scripture. 

The addition of people sharing their experience greatly enhances biblical messages or Book of Mormon message, it makes them current, and brings the scripture to life.

 

These testimonies give the scriptures a personal projection which people, even like myself,  can then relate clearly to situations in their own lives.

No sermon could hope to match these insights and their relevance to individuals, which is given without this sort of testimony.

 

And so this very address proves the point, giving relevant examples of teachers, schools, makes the differences in the Church guidance question more clear.

Even with the Book of Mormon, there  are passages which elude me, but when they are given in context of a persons experience, they gain meaning and become clear.

 

Another element is that of inspiration. There is a non-intellectual element of being inspired which transcends the logical mind. Some churches deliver a message without such life, while others carry this.

It's clear when heard and is felt beyond the intellect. The message I've watched convey a feeling of being inspired and thus inspired me.

 

Other churches do no have this type of testimony which allows such relevance and clarity of message. My Church does not have this type of testimony.

 

That is the difference and it is very great.

A knowledgeable Catholic on this site recently explained how that worked.  It seems that the bible readings and the sermon were in the vernacular, no one should have had a problem understanding it.  Quit sniping at other churches and get about the business of joining the LDS one. 

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We have some devout Catholics (at least one is a convert to the RCC) on this site that have found their faith has been very spiritually uplifting and from their related experiences, I suspect if for some reason I felt the need to leave my own faith (LDS…I at this point think it highly unlikely I will ever feel that need) I think the Catholic faith is the one I would turn to as resonating the most with me of what I've learned in my life.  Their descriptions of their spiritual experiences do much the same for me (make me want to become a better person) as listening to the LDS material does for you.  I am lucky though because the LDS material uplifts me as well so I get the benefit of both.   :)

 

I am not saying your experience is wrong, just that our religious life is like using a unique language of combined ritual, beliefs, and practices that many are at home with and others are not.  I personally believe that the LDS faith has the greatest potential to become the universal language of faith (because I believe that it is the only true and living faith…which is a profound concept that needs serious discussion to explain), but we are not there yet and I am not the least surprised that the vast majority of people in this world find a greater sense of connection with other faiths at this point in their life (or no faith at all).  I trust when the time is right God will speak to all in the way they need to hear Him so as to desire to seek Him out in the way He directs them to.

 

BTW, Yirgacheffe is not LDS (my memory says he is not connected with a specific faith…am I brain dead tonight?), but likes to talk about the topics we discuss here and is right to remind us that this is Social Hall and needs to keep focus on positive things (kind of like moms telling the kids "if you can't say something nice, don't say it at all"…my mom never actually told me that though, she wanted us to look at life in a realistic way, both the good and bad and then figure out how to make the good part of our lives and dump the bad…even if it was stuff having to do with our Church; she believed we needed to focus more on the truths of the gospel and not be so prone to fill up our time with busy work even if that was good, there is a talk about not just focusing on the good or the better, but on the best which is how she has approached life).

 

3DOP gave the board a great lesson on the traditional vs. current liturgy (I hope I am using the right terminology) in the Catholic faith and why some prefer the traditional.  If you do a search on his name, you might find it interesting reading if you are not familiar with it.  I am thinking that he might see your not finding deep meaning and connection in the Catholic faith as a result of the more modern approach rather than not being relevant enough and you might find a new way of looking at your own faith tradition that can add to your life as well (not that such should stop you investigating the LDS faith and hopefully eventually becoming part of our community if that is what you desire, but I think it is always wise to compare the best of each faith with each other so that you end up with the best of the best in your life and not just dismiss a faith because of the bad things you believe you know about it).

 

As a side comment, studies show that it is the highly demanding faiths like the LDS and as the RCC can be for the very devout that appear to be keeping their members the best, making the deep connections both on a spiritual and a social level (service of others is a wonderful glue for a community).  Hopefully as time goes on, people will realize that as with almost all things, you need deep commitment to get to the real growth in your spiritual life, a superficial attention will give superficial, momentary lifts, not lasting, eternal changes.

Edited by calmoriah
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I'm glad you've found peace and value in the teachings of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  :)

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