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What Do You Believe As Absolute?


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Thank you to all those who have replied so far.

It's nice to see that there are still SOME beliefs that are held sacred and inviolable among the members that post here.

For a while there I was feeling like the entire gospel had become relativistic and subjective in nature, in which case I would find it useless.

 

But to be fair, for every person here who has stated a firm, absolute, inviolate belief, there is probably another person who believes the opposite.

 

Can we identify any other truths that are absolute in Mormonism?

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I like this.  Very good explanation of absolute truth.  Some snippets I particularly liked:

 

"This church of Jesus Christ (nicknamed Mormon) is the “only true and living church” that is fully recognized with the authority to perform for him, and the only one with a total and comprehensive and true program which will carry men to powers unbelievable and to realms incredible.

This is an absolute truth. It cannot be disproved. It is as true and the near-spherical shape of the earth, and as gravity; as true as the shining of the sun—as positive as the truth that we live. Most of the world disbelieves it, ministers attempt to disprove it, intellectuals think to rationalize it out of existence; but when all the people of the world are dead, and ministers and priests are ashes, and the highly trained are mouldering in their graves, the truth will go forward—the Church will continue triumphant and the gospel will still be true."

 

"Opinion? Of course, there is a difference of opinion but again, opinion cannot change laws or absolute truths. Opinions will never make the earth to be flat, the sun to dim its light, God to die, or the Savior to cease being the Son of God."

 

"The Gods organized the earth of materials at hand, over which they had control and power. This truth is absolute. A million educated folk might speculate and determine in their minds that the earth came into being by chance. The truth remains. The earth was made by the Gods as was the watch by the watchmaker. Opinions do not change that.

The Gods organized and gave life to man and placed him on the earth. This is absolute. It cannot be disproved. A million brilliant minds might conjecture otherwise, but it is still true."

 

"May I repeat, the time will come when there will be surrender of every person who has ever lived on this earth, who is now living, or who ever will live on this earth; and it will be an unforced surrender, an unconditional surrender. When will it be for you? Today? In twenty years? Two hundred years? Two thousand or a million? When? Again, to you, John, I say, it is not if you will capitulate to the great truth; it is when, for I know that you cannot indefinitely resist the power and pressure of truth."

 

Glad President Kimball recognizes some absolute truths.

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JLHPROF, I appreciate your question but doubt this board can provide any real answer. The inherent problem is that everyone here is a very young, ignorant mortal. None of us has any real basis to speak of things being eternal. You might as well ask the kids in nursery to explain the purpose of the large hadron collider.

 

With that caveat, I will say that I do not hold any absolutes simply because I don't trust myself enough. Instead, I have varying levels of confidence in certain teachings/promises/people based on my (again limited) experience. So for me it is a spectrum of confidence, not a binary between "things that can never change" vs. "things open to change." On this spectrum, some of the things I'm most trustful are

  1. The atonement works. Not just in some future judgement, but here and now. Giving to Christ the role of justice allows for real peace, forgiveness, and joy in this life.
  2. The spirit directs me to what is good, though often that good is mixed up with not so good stuff (e.g., BOM)
  3. The spirit speaks strongly through LDS scriptures. It also speaks through non-LDS scriptures and even books/media that are not considered canonized 'scripture.' In short, it speaks all the time.
  4. The world is glorious to behold. Even the parts that initially repulse me.
  5. Losing oneself in service to others is the surest way to find happiness.
  6. Family is the best form of government, though we haven't yet found a way to scale it up.
  7. Most all people have good intentions. This includes church leaders, family, and even people on this board.
  8. I will always cheer for BYU even though it leads to perpetual misery. :sad:
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Pure love.

 

And I am very willing to believe, and even more so, hope, that there is a nexus to such love, and He being Jesus Christ.

 

From there would be a list of associated prinicples and virtues, that by my experience, I do belive and hope are eternal in nature.

 

Beyond this I have a hard time attaching absolutes to any person, place, or thing.

 

 

JLHPROF,

 

I gave you a good faith answer, eventhough I don't believe you initiated this thread with a good faith question.

Edited by Senator
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I have a couple of absolutes: God lives, loves me and guides me. Also, as someone mentioned above there are eternal truths that I need to discover.

On the next level: He guided me and guides me to stay in this church.

Because of the things above this I accept the things below as truth.

Now, within the church I think there are absolutes that cannot be changed or it would not be the same church. Changing them would make them a different church, I feel with my limited understanding. Some are:

Christ and the atonement.

God sent prophets and the ones in this church are guided by Him.

(Answering specifically to the OP) Women and men need each other to make a whole. They need to be sealed. Because of this, SSM could not work in the church and be the same church and be a part of eternal progression. I also find it highly unlikely, and personally disappointing, if women were ordained exactly as men are, though I feel we could use a whole lot more revelation about women and their roles in the priesthood.

Work for the dead. This one is as close to absolute truths come to me in my beliefs in the church. If certain ordinances are required (and I believe they are) then there needs to be some way for the dead to receive them. Time and time again when I have doubted, this is the thing that holds me here like no other.

Edited by Rain
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Teancum, I am glad to hear that hope is still alive. I think questioning is healthy, but might I suggest that to live in skepticism and hope simultaneously is to live in discord. A skeptic is inclined to doubt which cannot exist in true hope. Questioning does not require doubt or skepticism. One cannot be a true skeptic and have pure hope at the same time. Man cannot serve two masters.

It reminds me of the old Cherokee parable:

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life...



"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy. 
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.



"One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego.



"The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. 



"This same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."



The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, 
"Which wolf will win?"



The old chief simply replied, 
"The one you feed."

One wolf is doubt, the other is hope. Which will you feed?

I agree that what you listed does not require a belief in God if you claim that it is only true for you (relative morality). Once you cross into absolute truths however, it either 1) requires a belief in God, or 2) requires universal human values (which doesn't exist).

Sounds like he is feeding the hope for a God and maybe doubting a particular church of brick and mortar.
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Well, the office of High Priest didn't exist in the restored church until 1831, so I would say yes.

 

But it always existed...at least as far back as Abraham.

Edited by JLHPROF
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Perhaps I may find myself in the minority with this response, but a few of my absolutes when it comes to the Church/Gospel are 1)  The LDS is the only true and living church upon the face of the earth  2) All of the Priesthood keys are found resident within the FP and Qo12 with the President being able to exercise all      3)  Proclamation on the Family by FP/Q12       4)  Proclamation on the Living Christ by the FP/Q12      5) The Scriptures as found in the LDS Church are true and faithful

 

 

....dang it.....I really should learn to read all of the thread before posting....having scrolled up a bit to read I see President Kimball said it best...and I concur completely.

Edited by randyj
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Thank you to all those who have replied so far.

It's nice to see that there are still SOME beliefs that are held sacred and inviolable among the members that post here.

For a while there I was feeling like the entire gospel had become relativistic and subjective in nature, in which case I would find it useless.

But to be fair, for every person here who has stated a firm, absolute, inviolate belief, there is probably another person who believes the opposite.

Can we identify any other truths that are absolute in Mormonism?

There will always be opposition in all things.

There will always be good just as there will always be evil.

There will always be people who do not accept some of the truth even if there are a WHOLE LOT of people who accept ALL things that are true.

There will never be total agreement among all people, not even on only one issue.

You will never see a day when everyone agrees with everyone else about everything.

Expect to always see opposition in all things.

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There will never be total agreement among all people, not even on only one issue.

 

"Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess..."

 

Do you see how quickly a perceived "absolute" can change right before our eyes? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I believe full heartedly in absolute truths, but I acknowledge my limitations in knowing them absolutely.  This keeps me teachable and open to promptings from the spirit.  It is the prophylactic to a stiff neck.  

 

"I will go where you ask me to go, dear Lord..."  I think that is the best approach.  Steer clear of creeds whereby we set bounds for the Lord and His church.

Edited by pogi
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JLHPROF,

 

I gave you a good faith answer, eventhough I don't believe you initiated this thread with a good faith question.

 

That's a bit of an unfair assumption.  I legitimately see my perspective as different from the majority of posters on this board.  I am trying to understand how such good and faithful saints can take such a relativistic subjective approach to the gospel.  I get accused of being too literal, too closed minded, on gospel truths.

I don't see how asking people where they personally draw the line shows a lack of good faith.

 

I promise you, I'm not looking to pounce with a "gotcha".

I view ordinances as unchangeable.  The majority here don't.

I view many principles as eternal.  The majority here think that continuing revelation can change them.

I view continuing revelation as additive only, never contradictory.  Others think it is designed to fix error.

I view many things as revelatory.  Others view them as administrative or opinion in nature.

 

I just want to know where and how others draw the line so differently from me.

Edited by JLHPROF
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I disagree with that, but fine.

How about the office of Presiding Patriarch, which is no longer an office in the church?

 

The "Presiding" part is a calling.

The "Patriarch" part is a priesthood office.

 

Patriarch (the office) still exists, and has, at least since Christ's day.  (See 6th Article of Faith and D&C 109:39 and HC 3:381)

 

Priesthood offices are the same throughout eternities.  Callings change.

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How do you define the difference between a calling and a priesthood office? We seem to agree that High Priest is an office, but would you consider the role of Apostle or Seventy to be a calling or a priesthood office?

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"Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess..."

That's speaking about those who will be saved.

You don't seriously think Satan and his followers who will be following him into Hell will be bowing their knee to Jesus, do you?

Do you see how quickly a perceived "absolute" can change right before our eyes?

I see that it's important or at least helpful to see things in their proper contexts.

Don't get me wrong, I believe full heartedly in absolute truths, but I acknowledge my limitations in knowing them absolutely. This keeps me teachable and open to promptings from the spirit. It is the prophylactic to a stiff neck.

"I will go where you ask me to go, dear Lord..." I think that is the best approach. Steer clear of creeds whereby we set bounds for the Lord and His church.

When you get to the point that you know anything, and I mean really know it, then you will know that absolutely.
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In light of several recent discussions centering around changes to the Church and its teachings and practices I have noticed I am one of very few who takes a more objective, less subjective view to these things.  That's not to say I don't believe anything can ever change, but I apparently believe far less can change than most members and still be approved by God.

 

So here is my question:

What elements of your testimony and the teachings you believe and accept do you believe are absolute, not open for interpretation and unchangeable?

 

I anticipate a lot of people will respond that the Savior and his atonement are the only things so I will agree to that.  Is there nothing else in Mormonism that is absolute?

 

I will give an example - there are people on this board arguing that either SSM or women being ordained to the priesthood can be revealed from heaven as acceptable.  There are others who state that these are absolutes and cannot be changed ever.

 

So I ask again?  What are your absolutes?

The basic plan of salvation, Gods role, Jesus role, and who Satan is are all absolutes- those things willnot change. The ten commandments are also absolutes. Laws such as those will never change. Marriage between man and woman/women will never change. The way the priesthood is organized and administered will also never change due to the nature of eternal gender identity and roles of gender in eternity.

Some things I see as not absolutes- the way we have interpreted the three kingdoms is not an absolute and will eventually change to correct problems with it. The true reason and cause for races/skins of different color will change to have a better understanding. Some of the temple endowment ceremony and other temple procedures/practices will continue to change as needed to come more in line with the truth. The true nature of prayerand priesthood authority will change in due time to better reflect a patriarchal form of priesthood like the gods use.

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How do you define the difference between a calling and a priesthood office? We seem to agree that High Priest is an office, but would you consider the role of Apostle or Seventy to be a calling or a priesthood office?

 

Apostle is an office (although it has a specific calling/role attached).

Wilford Woodruff taught that there are Elder Apostles, Seventy Apostles, and High Priest Apostles.

 

Seventy used to be an office but was changed to a calling.

 

An office is what you are ordained to.  A calling is what you are set apart to do.

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Love God

Love thy neighbor

 

Everything else is details. 

 

Then being Mormon has no benefit and gets you no closer to God than any other religion, or even no religion.

And how do we define "love"?

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An office is what you are ordained to.  A calling is what you are set apart to do.

That is an excellent definition. Thanks.

 

 

 

Seventy used to be an office but was changed to a calling.

Wouldn't that be an example right there of an office that no longer exists in the church?

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Wouldn't that be an example right there of an office that no longer exists in the church?

No, that would be an example of somebody being absolutely wrong about something.

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Then being Mormon has no benefit and gets you no closer to God than any other religion, or even no religion.

And how do we define "love"?

 

I agree with Gray.  Everything else really is details that "hang" on these two commandments. 

 

No one said the details weren't important, but a perfect fulfillment of the command to love God and neighbor culminates in the fruition of the details, and vise versa.  

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No, that would be an example of somebody being absolutely wrong about something.

 

How am I wrong?

 

"Another subject of vital importance to the Church was the establishing of the grades of the different quorums. It was ascertained that all but one or two of the Presidents of the Seventies were High Priests, this was declared to be wrong, and not according to the order of heaven."

Joseph Smith, TPJS p. 111

"The Seventy are to be taken from the quorum of the Elders, and are not to be High Priests."

TPJS p. 112.

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I see that it's important or at least helpful to see things in their proper contexts.

 
Yes, I agree, context is important:
 
Alma 27:31
Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.
 
Philip. 2: 10 (9-11)
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
 
Mosiah 16: 1 (1-2)
And now, it came to pass that after Abinadi had spoken these words he stretched forth his hand and said: The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just.
 
D&C 88: 104.

 

And this shall be the sound of his trump, saying to all people, both in heaven and in earth, and that are under the earth—for every ear shall hear it, and every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess, while they hear the sound of the trump, saying: Fear God, and give glory to him who sitteth upon the throne, forever and ever; for the hour of his judgment is come.
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