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President Russell M. Nelson: "Joy and Spiritual Survival"


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Another of my favorite people, President Russell M. Nelson, has spoken in conference on "joy and spiritual survival."

He said:

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As we diligently focus on the Savior and then follow His pattern of focusing on joy, we need to avoid those things that can interrupt our joy. Remember Korihor, the anti-Christ? Spewing falsehoods about the Savior, Korihor went from place to place until he was brought before a high priest who asked him, "Why do ye go about perverting the words of the Lord? Why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ, to interrupt their rejoicings?"

Anything that opposes Christ or his doctrine will interrupt our joy. That includes the philosophies of men, so abundant online and in the blogosphere, which do exactly what Korihor did."

 

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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I loved this talk.  My family has had many trials due to loss of employment.  I have a close friend who is dealing with adultery.  I have other close friends who have lost children and spouses.  It helps me to know that the most painful trials of life don't mean we can no longer experience joy (eventually and in different ways than we may think.  Mourning and sadness are valid emotions as well).

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I see this talk as absolutely monumental when you think about its implications

The next prophet of the church has defined religion THE SEARCH FOR JOY, not scientific understanding of evolution, the location of Zarahemla, whether or not Adam is God, not about the details of masonry, or progression between kingdoms.

It is about attitudes, changing them, matters of the heart, and finding JOY within a cohesive world view which teaches non-falsifiable and cohesive truths based on our practical experience of what thoughts and attitudes bring JOY into our lives, as confirmed by the spirit of God, not science, and not objective evidence

Objective evidence cannot change attitudes of the heart or give us joy.

Joy is given by a knowledge of our non-falsifiable beliefs in our place in the universe, where we came from, who we are, and where we are going.  It is these beliefs, which can become certainties as we practice the attitudes revealed to us and feel their fruit in our lives.

This talk definitively defines the true purpose of religion.

I see it as monumental and perfectly suited for our times. 

Indeed.

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy."

 

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46 minutes ago, SteveO said:

Whoa.  That's good insight.

There's a lot of unhappiness out there it seems.  Some members of my family just commented that it seems there was a lot of focus on repentance and progress towards getting back on the right track this conference.  

Not just within the church, but there's a lot of unhappiness in the world at large.  I think the dogma of moving away from religion is failing, and people are looking for places to find that joy Elder Nelson talked about.  

With the current political climate, and uncertainty about the future, I think this is absolutely a message that will turn hearts to Christ and serve as a strong hope for a better future.

As an aside, my little brother is a biomedical engineering student at U of Minnesota.  He's around some extremely bright minds.  Funny enough, they're having a lot of success in the student ward with new converts.  There's this stigma with millennials that we're more godless than previous generations--but he told me a few nights ago that a lot of students are simply looking for answers (as people of every age do).  He shares the gospel constantly and he doesn't even have to go out of his way to bring up the topic.  I think the message of joy is a winning one.

Yep I think that is the key word to use.

I have had a hard time explaining the epistemology of Rorty and the boys to folks not attuned to philosophy but I think it is clear that JOY is not created by scientific evidence.

We are in a scientific age- that's great= the benefits are amazing.  But those questions that cannot be answered by science are still there as you mention, in all generations, and understanding that all the scientific data in the world does not lead to "JOY" can be seen as the key way to teach the gospel to secular people, agnostics, and even some atheists.

Knowledgeable atheists already know that and have no problem in acknowledging that matters of the heart have nothing to do with science, and they understand even the role of faith in everyday life, but the rank and file atheists are still trapped by the outmoded idea of logical positivism- that if a belief cannot be backed up by data, it is meaningless.  Educated atheists often know the distinction but do not believe in God anyway.  That's fine really-at least they know the purpose of religion but just do not think that belief in God brings them joy, so they go after other secular causes for that in their lives.  But at least they know what religion is- it is just not for them.  But most do not even know what religion is.  They are so stuck in thinking that religion is about a young earth which they find factually incorrect that they scoff at religion, missing its whole point!

So rather than going into the philosophy, I think the idea that "Joy" does not equal "data" in anyone's mind or dictionary, is a simple way to explain it even to the most simple minded atheist.

It will be fun to try that out here- we have enough of those kind of people around here to give it a good run!

Religion is about giving joy and peace to the soul when contemplating our place in the universe - it never has been about scientific data.

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There was a lot of talk about joy in the addresses today, but none more poignant than Elder Renlund's firecracker story, wherein tears were turned to joy for a sincere young kid whose wise branch president helped him learn the most basic lesson of the Gospel.

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5 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

There was a lot of talk about joy in the addresses today, but none more poignant than Elder Renlund's firecracker story, wherein tears were turned to joy for a sincere young kid whose wise branch president helped him learn the most basic lesson of the Gospel.

I'm glad I wasn't the only one who noticed that. Its been a good reminder with all the trials I've been through lately. Though when I heard president Nelson I immediately thought of my friend who has been going through severe depression. She's been struggling to find joy in her lives. I know she heard the message too, I just hope that she can find it because of these messages.

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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I see this talk as absolutely monumental when you think about its implications

The next prophet of the church has defined religion THE SEARCH FOR JOY, not scientific understanding of evolution, the location of Zarahemla, whether or not Adam is God, not about the details of masonry, or progression between kingdoms.

Some might interpret this as an invitation to adopt alternative sources of joy, just as they might interpret Elder Ballard’s talk as an invitation to pause and ask to whom else to go; identifying such touches on Elder Cook’s talk about getting stuck on an extreme or contrary principle. Hopefully everyone can triangulate these three messages in a good way.

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16 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Some might interpret this as an invitation to adopt alternative sources of joy, just as they might interpret Elder Ballard’s talk as an invitation to pause and ask to whom else to go; identifying such touches on Elder Cook’s talk about getting stuck on an extreme or contrary principle. Hopefully everyone can triangulate these three messages in a good way.

Well that is the same problem as having a "testimony" of another religion etc, or the possibility that one finds more joy in helping the Democratic party or the Republicans for that matter, than serving in church.

One just has to trust in the spirit at that point.  It is theoretically a problem with Alma 32 and Moroni 10 that is already with us- "Oh- I prayed about the church and God told me it was wrong".  

The real issue as I see it is explaining what religion is, not how we know which religion is true.  I think that is another issue.  Rorty, an atheist sees "new religion" to be about human solidarity for example.  I don't know how we can combat that kind of view- there is no proof for God's existence which will communicate to those who cannot feel the spirit.

But that is not a new problem- the missionaries seek out those who are ready to hear the gospel, not those who reject it.

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12 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Well that is the same problem as having a "testimony" of another religion etc, or the possibility that one finds more joy in helping the Democratic party or the Republicans for that matter, than serving in church.

One just has to trust in the spirit at that point.  It is theoretically a problem with Alma 32 and Moroni 10 that is already with us- "Oh- I prayed about the church and God told me it was wrong".  

The real issue as I see it is explaining what religion is, not how we know which religion is true.  I think that is another issue.  Rorty, an atheist sees "new religion" to be about human solidarity for example.  I don't know how we can combat that kind of view- there is no proof for God's existence which will communicate to those who cannot feel the spirit.

But that is not a new problem- the missionaries seek out those who are ready to hear the gospel, not those who reject it.

I think explaining religion as human solidarity is actually pretty good (we seal couples, families, generations). As that explanation expands to "joyous human solidarity," explaining it without words by through action and interaction is even better because it nourishes and nurtures the idea of not wanting it to end.

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20 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Another of my favorite people, President Russell M. Nelson, has spoken in conference on "joy and spiritual survival."

He said:

Quote

As we diligently focus on the Savior and then follow His pattern of focusing on joy, we need to avoid those things that can interrupt our joy. Remember Korihor, the anti-Christ? Spewing falsehoods about the Savior, Korihor went from place to place until he was brought before a high priest who asked him, "Why do ye go about perverting the words of the Lord? Why do ye teach this people that there shall be no Christ, to interrupt their rejoicings?"

Anything that opposes Christ or his doctrine will interrupt our joy. That includes the philosophies of men, so abundant online and in the blogosphere, which do exactly what Korihor did."

 

Considering some fo the misery that came along with polygamy, I wonder if pursuing it opposes Christ and His doctrine?  Or the misery that came along with the priesthood ban?  Now what about the misery that is occurring due to homosexuality and the policies of the Church? 

In a different sense I question some fo this because, how are we supposed to go forward with joy with so many our in misery all around us? 

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I think explaining religion as human solidarity is actually pretty good (we seal couples, families, generations). As that explanation expands to "joyous human solidarity," explaining it without words by through action and interaction is even better because it nourishes and nurtures the idea of not wanting it to end.

That is the idea we need to get out to secular religions: we have all you have, and added to.it is infinite joy forever!

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42 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

Considering some fo the misery that came along with polygamy, I wonder if pursuing it opposes Christ and His doctrine?  Or the misery that came along with the priesthood ban?  Now what about the misery that is occurring due to homosexuality and the policies of the Church? 

In a different sense I question some fo this because, how are we supposed to go forward with joy with so many our in misery all around us? 

Alma 31:38 teaches that all manner of afflictions are swallowed up in the joy of Christ. In the Church, we are to provide so that none hunger or thirst, and strengthen each other in the faith so that all afflictions suffered are swallowed up in the joy of Christ (this is part of enduring to the end). Even the "sting of death" -- which is not death itself, but the difficulties that accompany it (Mosiah 16:10; Mormon 7:5). So if we are afflicted by something we don't understand or agree with about the Church teachings or requirements, our joy in Christ can help us endure well. This is why the fundamental principles of our religion are what they are (per Joseph Smith's quote, "The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it...").

 

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21 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Another of my favorite people, President Russell M. Nelson, has spoken in conference on "joy and spiritual survival."

He said:

 

The implication with this talk that I didn't like is that Joy is reserved for only members of the Mormon church.  Also, the implication that philosophy is somehow dangerous and that anything to challenge paradigms about Christ is antithetical to Joy, these are unfortunate ideas to perpetuate.  

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14 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That is the idea we need to get out to secular religions: we have all you have, and added to.it is infinite joy forever!

There's a oft-cited quote which in effect says, "Keep all the truth you have and let us offer you more." Who was that? I couldn't google it.

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28 minutes ago, CV75 said:

There's a oft-cited quote which in effect says, "Keep all the truth you have and let us offer you more." Who was that? I couldn't google it.

That's exactly it, yes.

We are spiritual humanists, we are spiritual materialists, and we are spiritual utopian "socialists". We are the greatest "human potential movement" ever known to man, offering God hood as a possibility. 

We have much to offer to our secularist friends!

Typing on a phone forgive errors

Edited by mfbukowski
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39 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

The implication with this talk that I didn't like is that Joy is reserved for only members of the Mormon church.  Also, the implication that philosophy is somehow dangerous and that anything to challenge paradigms about Christ is antithetical to Joy, these are unfortunate ideas to perpetuate.  

Philosophy has become a buzzword. Every word out of everyone's mouth is philosophy if it is about ideas or spiritual matters. It has just become a church convention. I ignore it. No biggie.

We have fallible Prophets criticizing philosophy while using it. That's the way it is.

We don't even believe the scriptures are God breathed. All Revelation comes through the mouths of men, and is therefore to some extent the philosophies of men.

Edited by mfbukowski
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7 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Philosophy has become a buzzword. Every word out of everyone's mouth is philosophy if it is about ideas or spiritual matters. It has just become a church convention. I ignore it. No biggie.

We have fallible Prophets criticizing philosophy while using it. That's the way it is.

Yes, but this is a problem, because they have no idea that what they say is a philosophy, they believe that their statements are inspired by God, and not influenced by philosophy.  

The other problem is that this puts a fear into members of the church to avoid reading, thinking about and listening to other sources of information.  It teaches a fear of worldly learning, and this has a huge effect on healthy thinking and mature development.  

13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

We don't even believe the scriptures are God breathed. All Revelation comes through the mouths of men, and is therefore to some extent the philosophies of men.

What?  I would say the majority of orthodox members believe the scriptures are God breathed.  I used to think so.  

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43 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That's exactly it, yes.

We are spiritual humanists, we are spiritual materialists, and we are spiritual utopian "socialists". We are the greatest "human potential movement" ever known to man, offering God hood as a possibility. 

We have much to offer to our secularist friends!

Typing on a phone forgive errors

And that's supposed to be a smart phone, eh?

phone menu

Edited by CV75
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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

The implication with this talk that I didn't like is that Joy is reserved for only members of the Mormon church.  

I don't see that as an accurate or fair re-statement of what Elder Ballard said.

For example, in the quote I attributed to him, he said:

Quote

Anything that opposes Christ or his doctrine will interrupt our joy.

That includes the philosophies of men, so abundant online and in the blogosphere, which do exactly what Korihor did."

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ by and large believe that some truth is found in most religious faiths, and that all truth is compatible with the doctrine of Christ.

Ergo, to the extent that others abide by the truth that they have, they can experience a measure of joy, and that only to the extent that they oppose "Christ or his doctrine" do they teach things that potentially interrupt joy.

Quote

Also, the implication that philosophy is somehow dangerous and that anything to challenge paradigms about Christ is antithetical to Joy, these are unfortunate ideas to perpetuate.  

See above. If one accepts the premise that anything true or good is compatible with the doctrine of Christ, then that which opposes Christ and his doctrine is antithetical to that which is true and good.
 

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55 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Yes, but this is a problem, because they have no idea that what they say is a philosophy, they believe that their statements are inspired by God, and not influenced by philosophy.  

The other problem is that this puts a fear into members of the church to avoid reading, thinking about and listening to other sources of information.  It teaches a fear of worldly learning, and this has a huge effect on healthy thinking and mature development.  

What?  I would say the majority of orthodox members believe the scriptures are God breathed.  I used to think so.  

Oh they are inspired by God all right!  Are you kidding me?  Did you LISTEN to those talks??

We are talking about the definition of one word, and I am the one with the specialized definition, not them.  Not everyone believes that every word out of a person's mouth is "philosophy", just good or bad philosophy.

They way I differentiate it is that there is philosophy which requires the confirmation of the spirit, and philosophy which is just about other stuff.

Scientific statements are statements within a particular theory which either work to make that theory more predictable or not, and are "philosophy".

The stuff Rorty and the boys write requires logic alone, not spiritual confirmation and that is philosophy

The stuff the prophets write including conference addresses and scripture are philosophy which requires spiritual confirmation.

So I admit my definitions are not the usual definitions, but never dismiss the ability of the brethren- they are all incredibly accomplished, brilliant men spiritually and intellectually.

Their specialty is spiritual communication and being close to the spirit- I have no doubt about that whatsoever!

 They may not be specialists in a discipline called "philosophy" in an academic sense but few in this world are, thank goodness.!

So I just see it as philosophical laymen using specialized terminology in a context with which they are not familiar, nothing more nothing less.  It is like us waving our hands and discussing "quantum physics" without any clue of what that term means to a specialist in that field.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

What?  I would say the majority of orthodox members believe the scriptures are God breathed.  I used to think so.  

I think you are wrong on that one- it is an article of faith that we believe the bible insofar as it is translated correctly.

We do not believe in God-breathed scripture.  Joseph re-wrote whole sections of the bible so it cannot be "God-breathed".  The number of errors and contradictions speak for themselves- if members are not aware of that, they are not reading them and using their minds.

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46 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I don't see that as an accurate or fair re-statement of what Elder Ballard said.

I don't know that the transcript has been posted, but I got the impression from listening to the talk that he was at least implying that true joy or complete joy is reserved only for members of the church.  

47 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

See above. If one accepts the premise that anything true or good is compatible with the doctrine of Christ, then that which opposes Christ and his doctrine is antithetical to that which is true and good.

I don't accept the premise that anything true or good is compatible with the doctrine of Christ.  Doctrines change over time, evolve, as well as our understanding of what is good and true, I think neither of those things are static, and all of them are contextual and relative.  So I strongly reject the idea that a teaching found outside the leadership of any particular organization, is automatically something to be avoided.  This kind of teaching is an insult to the maturity and intellect of individuals.  

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