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Hoffer, Exclusivity and a Luther Quote Worthy of Ahab!


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You all know that I think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an exclusive place. Our bishop one day nicely scolded me for saying that in public, but ten minutes later acknowledged that indeed there probably is a certain exclusivity in the LDS faith.

I love the writing of Eric Hoffer. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was an adjunct professor at Cal-Berkeley – all straight from working in the dockyards of San Francisco. He had a fluid mind and pen. With almost no formal education, he became one of America’s best-known social philosophers. His book, The True Believer, is a classic on mass movements, including those of a religious nature.  

In one of my books I am currently revising, I include a quote from Hoffer in which he explains that this concept of exclusivity is a powerful tool in the hands of a mass movement. It also includes a quote from Martin Luther’s Table Talk. I cannot resist a quote by a great writer that reminds me of my LDS friends and includes a quote from Luther that I think our own Ahab might have written! It doesn’t get much better than that.  Here is the quote from p 246 of The True Believer:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . . The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

Edited by Navidad
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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Haven't we had this exact same conversation before?

I suppose in some way and to some degree we have had this discussion before. Doesn't that happen all the time on this forum? A forum member finds a new quote from an esteemed third party that he or she thinks is very interesting and well-written. It is shared with the forum for member's thoughts and a dialogue may or may not ensue. Probably the majority of topics on this forum have been discussed multiple times. Thanks for your first two points which are thoughtful and well-written.

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8 hours ago, Navidad said:

.................................So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

Eric Hoffer was called the American Socrates.  Pres Eisenhower considered The True Believer his favorite book, and I seem to recall a student at BYU who used that little book to analyze his own religion.

As a BYU undergraduate myself back in the early 60s, I got to see and hear Hoffer on campus.  He delivered a major lecture and came to some classrooms (including one of mine).  He fielded questions ferociously, like a stevedore.  In addition to True Believer, I also recommend his The Passionate State of Mind, and his The Ordeal of Change.  He is a joy to read.

One of his constant themes in particular sticks in my mind:  He made the point that "true believers" glom themselves onto a group (socio-political or religious) in order to give their sorry lives meaning.  It doesn't really matter what sort of group, but that they seek excelsior first and foremost.

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5 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Eric Hoffer was called the American Socrates.  Pres Eisenhower considered The True Believer his favorite book, and I seem to recall a student at BYU who used that little book to analyze his own religion.

As a BYU undergraduate myself back in the early 60s, I got to see and hear Hoffer on campus.  He delivered a major lecture and came to some classrooms (including one of mine).  He fielded questions ferociously, like a stevedore.  In addition to True Believer, I also recommend his The Passionate State of Mind, and his The Ordeal of Change.  He is a joy to read.

One of his constant themes in particular sticks in my mind:  He made the point that "true believers" glom themselves onto a group (socio-political or religious) in order to give their sorry lives meaning.  It doesn't really matter what sort of group, but that they seek excelsior first and foremost.

Thanks so much. Wow, would I love to have a tape of that lecture or those question and answer sessions. I guess he fielded questions like a stevedore, because first and foremost he was a stevedore! Right? Seeking excelsior reminds me of Longfellow's poem by the same or a similar name - "“The shades of night were falling fast - As through an Alpine village passed - A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, - A banner with the strange device, - Excelsior!” I never quite understood the concept, but it seems I have been seeking it most of my life! I stumble and am often clumsy as I trip over the search, but one thing I am is a seeker.

I find Hoffer's concepts very helpful as I study and write about early 20th century Mexico and as I seek to understand the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The entire Mexican revolution from 1910 to 1940 was a series of mass movements which people joined one after another to find meaning that was above and beyond what they had previously known. It also seems that the LDS message had a special appeal to the stevedore-type folks of late 19th century Europe, especially England. Some of them then found their way here to Mexico and the rest "as they say" is history! Brother Smith, methinks there may be some Hoffer and some stevedore in you! Thanks!

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19 minutes ago, Navidad said:

..................... Seeking excelsior reminds me of Longfellow's poem by the same or a similar name - "“The shades of night were falling fast - As through an Alpine village passed - A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice, - A banner with the strange device, - Excelsior!” .............

Thanks for that.

19 minutes ago, Navidad said:

..................... Brother Smith, methinks there may be some Hoffer and some stevedore in you! Thanks!

Probably not.  Hoffer was so uniquely down to earth and passionate, that I can't imagine me or anyone else I know being comparable.

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15 hours ago, Navidad said:

You all know that I think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an exclusive place. Our bishop one day nicely scolded me for saying that in public, but ten minutes later acknowledged that indeed there probably is a certain exclusivity in the LDS faith.

I love the writing of Eric Hoffer. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was an adjunct professor at Cal-Berkeley – all straight from working in the dockyards of San Francisco. He had a fluid mind and pen. With almost no formal education, he became one of America’s best-known social philosophers. His book, The True Believer, is a classic on mass movements, including those of a religious nature.  

In one of my books I am currently revising, I include a quote from Hoffer in which he explains that this concept of exclusivity is a powerful tool in the hands of a mass movement. It also includes a quote from Martin Luther’s Table Talk. I cannot resist a quote by a great writer that reminds me of my LDS friends and includes a quote from Luther that I think our own Ahab might have written! It doesn’t get much better than that.  Here is the quote from p 246 of The True Believer:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . . The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

Well of course this resonates with my experience in Mormonism, especially when I was most dangerous, and when it was most dangerous to me.

Certitude is not necessarily a virtue. It can be damning and I think it frequently is so.

The relationship between certitude and the faithful in this quote seem so transparently an attempt to consolidate power. 

It's not good.

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15 hours ago, Navidad said:

Here is the quote from p 246 of The True Believer:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . . The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

I found this assertion - They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. - to be somewhat of strange way of phrasing something that I think Latter-Day Saints do, in fact, believe.

I think it's fair to say that we believe the gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses all truth, but I don't think I've ever heard it expressed in a converse manner like this (i.e., that there is no truth outside the gospel of Jesus Christ). 

As for this part of the quote:

Quote

The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ.

This doesn't sound very LDS to me at all.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

Knowledge of the Divine is developed through experience - religious experience, obviously, but experience just the same.

I mean, what is a testimony if not the sum total of our own personal religious experiences?

 

Quote

“So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude.

Quite frankly, this made me think of those who ardently follow their belief in Sola Scriptura

 

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17 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

. Haven't we had this exact same conversation before?

Just check the number of posts

Every single one is on this topic. 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Navidad said:

You all know that I think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an exclusive place. Our bishop one day nicely scolded me for saying that in public, but ten minutes later acknowledged that indeed there probably is a certain exclusivity in the LDS faith.

I love the writing of Eric Hoffer. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was an adjunct professor at Cal-Berkeley – all straight from working in the dockyards of San Francisco. He had a fluid mind and pen. With almost no formal education, he became one of America’s best-known social philosophers. His book, The True Believer, is a classic on mass movements, including those of a religious nature.  

In one of my books I am currently revising, I include a quote from Hoffer in which he explains that this concept of exclusivity is a powerful tool in the hands of a mass movement. It also includes a quote from Martin Luther’s Table Talk. I cannot resist a quote by a great writer that reminds me of my LDS friends and includes a quote from Luther that I think our own Ahab might have written! It doesn’t get much better than that.  Here is the quote from p 246 of The True Believer:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . . The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

Sounds more like general "Christianity" to me.

Believe or burn.  Even if you have never heard the name of Jesus.

If you want to call virtual universalism "Exclusive" there's not much I can do about it.

Maybe you need new glasses to see what we really believe :)

Make sure they are wide angle and not looking at the jots and tittles.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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20 hours ago, Navidad said:

You all know that I think of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an exclusive place. Our bishop one day nicely scolded me for saying that in public, but ten minutes later acknowledged that indeed there probably is a certain exclusivity in the LDS faith.

I love the writing of Eric Hoffer. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was an adjunct professor at Cal-Berkeley – all straight from working in the dockyards of San Francisco. He had a fluid mind and pen. With almost no formal education, he became one of America’s best-known social philosophers. His book, The True Believer, is a classic on mass movements, including those of a religious nature.  

In one of my books I am currently revising, I include a quote from Hoffer in which he explains that this concept of exclusivity is a powerful tool in the hands of a mass movement. It also includes a quote from Martin Luther’s Table Talk. I cannot resist a quote by a great writer that reminds me of my LDS friends and includes a quote from Luther that I think our own Ahab might have written! It doesn’t get much better than that.  Here is the quote from p 246 of The True Believer:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it. The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .” The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude. No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . . The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

So what do you all think? Anything in the quote that floats your boat? Do Hoffer's or Luther's thoughts resonate? Thanks for your thoughts!

I think semantics makes everyone a potential offender for a word, depending on the spirit of contention or charity that are deployed in their use.

As to what I think about the quote (I’m not sure I understand it): can you paraphrase it first?

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20 hours ago, Navidad said:

All active mass movements strive, therefore, to interpose a fact-proof screen between the faithful and the realities of the world. They do this by claiming that the ultimate and absolute truth is already embodied in their doctrine and that there is no truth nor certitude outside it.

Isn't this the mindset of pretty much everybody who believes they know how to receive faith to help them to be sure of what the truth is? 

We say we believe everything God has revealed in the past, plus what he will reveal now in the present, plus what he may yet reveal in the future.  God is our source for our faith, who we turn to when we want to know what the truth is.

20 hours ago, Navidad said:

The facts on which the true believer bases his conclusions must not be derived from his experience or observation but from holy writ. “So tenaciously should we cling to the world revealed by the Gospel, that were I to see all the Angels of Heaven coming down to me to tell me something different, not only would I not be tempted to doubt a single syllable, but I would shut my eyes and stop my ears, for they would not deserve to be either seen or heard. . . .”

We don't rule out what we personally experience and observe, even if God or his son Jesus appear to us personally or send the Holy Ghost or angels to us as their messengers.

20 hours ago, Navidad said:

The effectiveness of a doctrine does not come from its meaning but from its certitude.

That sounds like another way of saying the effectiveness of a doctrine comes from how certain people are by having faith in that doctrine, but I think a doctrine can mean a lot more than just that.

20 hours ago, Navidad said:

No doctrine however profound and sublime will be effective unless it is presented as the embodiment of the one and only truth (emphasis mine). . . .

Well, sure.  That makes perfect sense.  Someone has to somehow become certain that a doctrine is true... and that there is one and only one truth... before that doctrine can become effective.

20 hours ago, Navidad said:

The true believer is emboldened to attempt the unprecedented and the impossible not only because his doctrine gives him a sense of omnipotence but also because it gives him unqualified confidence in the future.

Isn't this the mindset of pretty much everybody who believes they know what the truth is?  Maybe I'm just not seeing what this person you quoted sees as unprecedented or impossible.

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15 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Those who assert the infallibility of their religious leaders or Scripture may indeed take such an absolute view, but that is a major error.  Joseph Smith always asserted his own fallibility, and likewise asserted that other people and groups had truth -- and he welcomed such truth.

The false notion is also often asserted that the LDS religion is exclusive, but that is absurd:  Most of humanity has never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached, and those in the modern world are unlikely to hear it preached by LDS missionaries.  God's Plan of Salvation allows for that by being inclusive of all humanity, excluding no one simply because they were unable to get baptized or receive the Holy Spirit in this life.

This is it in a nutshell.

I wish Navidad would read and re-read this until he understands we are virtually universalists.

Every single person will have a chance to evaluate or re-evaluate his view of God - AFTER he/she passes on and review whether or not they want to stick with their worldly beliefs or include what they see for themselves while being on the other side!

It's taking the final exam with all the answers clearly displayed for you!!  

THAT is our belief.

So how could that possibly be considered an "exclusive salvation" when we postulate from the beginning that we will get to choose our path with the correct answers clearly displayed AFTER we die?

I just cannot fathom the logic of his perception - unless as I believe- he just does not understand that aspect of our doctrine.

Yes, a few might be "excluded" from that option- but I would wager that those who would choose that direction amount to probably less than 100 people in all of creation.  We would have to have seen Christ's glory directly and THEN deny it.

How many get to that point in their lives that they see the "Beatific Vision" directly in life?   And then how many of those actually would deny it after that event?

It almost doesn't make sense to even imagine that anyone would be in that position.

And so it seems very odd that Navidad- or anyone- would call that position "exclusivist"

I think we just need to have enough people saying this to him before he understands.

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On 9/8/2020 at 3:16 PM, Navidad said:

I love the writing of Eric Hoffer. He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom and was an adjunct professor at Cal-Berkeley – all straight from working in the dockyards of San Francisco. He had a fluid mind and pen. With almost no formal education, he became one of America’s best-known social philosophers. His book, The True Believer, is a classic on mass movements, including those of a religious nature.  

I just wanted to point out that it is clear that Hoffer was a genius, and additionally a very wise man, AND a good writer, a combination which is virtually impossible to find.

Also it is a simple fact that he was uneducated in philosophy which in his case was, I am sure, an advantage.  Philosophy as a discipline has a way of grinding the poetic creativity of everyone who becomes "trained" in it- and I do mean "trained".  "Indoctrinated" would also be a good description. 

On the other hand I would not ever call him a "philosopher" since this training was absent in his life.   Just as Joseph would dispute that "being trained in the ministry" ;) would be necessary for one to minister to others, I think Hoffer as a writer would have been spoiled by philosophical training and its attendant sophistry.

On the other hand, one should not call him, nor understand him to be a "philosopher" any more than a brilliant guy on the street corner with no formal training in medicine, should be called a "doctor" if called upon for medical advice.  In that sense Hoffer was not a philosopher at all.

Brilliance does not make one a "philosopher". 

 I have some formal training in philosophy and have studied it more than 50 years, several of those years were spent studying at the feet of some "REAL" philosophers, but I never finished my Master's degree.   I dropped out actually for "anti-philosophical" reasons, just like Rorty and Wittgenstein did.  I am an apostate from the religion of "philosophy"  ;).  

I don't think either R or W called themselves "philosophers" though even with the requisite degrees, and virtually known by all as among the greatest philosophers of the 20th century.  Rorty actually formally left the philosophy department and saw himself more as a critic of literature.

Just sayin' ;)

 

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Just check the number of posts

Every single one is on this topic. 

 

 

Ok I apologize, I guess. That seems to be what you want me to do. Maybe just spell it out clearly and I will know how to better conform to the group's expectations for what I post. Let me just say - this is the topic about the LDS faith that interests me the very most. It is the most critical component of LDS doctrine that I don't want to get wrong. So yes, I bring it up a lot. Mark, you bring up your philosophical perspectives in almost every post. Others may bring up BOM historicity and translation issues. Others LGBQT issues. I could go down a list of folks on this forum and predict with enough accuracy to declare myself a prophet about what they will post most of the time.  Am I to be criticized for my interest in a such a key LDS doctrine? Is there such a monolithic perspective on D&C 1:30 that I am not allowed to express interest when someone presents a unique perspective, one that is out of the box, so to speak? I simply thought the Luther quote embedded in the Hoffer quote was quite interesting and fascinating so I shared it. I didn't advocate anything about it in my OP, did I? I didn't present my opinion on these quotes in my OP, did I?  I did nothing more than ask for your thoughts.

Is it not enough to make it interesting that some respond by saying that to assert that the LDS religion is exclusive is absurd, while others assure me that of course the LDS faith is exclusive; a one of a kind faith! HUH? And it is not permissible for me to be confused? Is it not enough that Kevin is kind enough to explain his unique perspective on D&C 1:30, or that a well-respected former bishop (by all whom I have asked outside of this forum) gave a completely unique exposition of D&C 1:30 at last year's Sunstone Forum? Is this subject not more important for eternity than Nephite swords in Nicaragua? After all, I really have nothing to do in my life, so I just bore myself by perpetually coming back here to seek greater clarity on something that is very important to me, even knowing that your eyes will roll and I will be scorned in the attempt? Do you really think I just want to irritate you all?

So please help me out. . . are there any other topics I am not allowed to bring up on this forum? Certainly some of you must have a list in mind that are verboten for Navidad. I really want to fit in and learn from you all. In order to be accepted for who I am (not necessarily who you think I am), I will do my very best to conform.

I will just add one more thing for clarity's sake. When I use the word exclusive, I do not mean that in any pejorative way. I am neither scolding, mocking, nor criticizing. If Marriott offers exclusive discounts to its members with so many points, that is nothing to be criticized about by Wyndham members, is it?  If Walmart opens an hour early exclusively for shoppers 70 and over, is that really something for those who are thirty years old or who prefer Target to criticize?

It seems to me that the LDS faith exclusively restricts access to eternal life full-time with Heavenly Father and Christ to certain worthies. One must be even more worthy to be exalted to then become as God, or gods. To procreate spirit children in eternity is an exclusive privilege of the most worthy, is it not? Is that not why you teach that to start on the path of exaltation, one must open the dam by being baptized exclusively in an LDS ordinance by an LDS priesthood holder who is exclusively worthy to perform the same? Are there not necessary and LDS-exclusive endowments, sealings and perhaps other ordinances unknown to me, for one to be worthy enough for the many blessings the most worthy will exclusively achieve? Are not all or most all of the necessary prerequisites for worthiness only to be found exclusively in the LDS Church? Is this not more than kind-of-a-just-possibly-important-topic? My confusion and questions are about exaltation, not salvation. I really did not just come back from a several month absence to just start offending you all, all over again. Sorry.

 

Edited by Navidad
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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

This is it in a nutshell.

I wish Navidad would read and re-read this until he understands we are virtually universalists.

Every single person will have a chance to evaluate or re-evaluate his view of God - AFTER he/she passes on and review whether or not they want to stick with their worldly beliefs or include what they see for themselves while being on the other side!

It's taking the final exam with all the answers clearly displayed for you!!  

THAT is our belief.

So how could that possibly be considered an "exclusive salvation" when we postulate from the beginning that we will get to choose our path with the correct answers clearly displayed AFTER we die?

I just cannot fathom the logic of his perception - unless as I believe- he just does not understand that aspect of our doctrine.

Yes, a few might be "excluded" from that option- but I would wager that those who would choose that direction amount to probably less than 100 people in all of creation.  We would have to have seen Christ's glory directly and THEN deny it.

How many get to that point in their lives that they see the "Beatific Vision" directly in life?   And then how many of those actually would deny it after that event?

It almost doesn't make sense to even imagine that anyone would be in that position.

And so it seems very odd that Navidad- or anyone- would call that position "exclusivist"

I think we just need to have enough people saying this to him before he understands.

I said this in my last post, but perhaps it bears repeating. Probably not, but here goes. I am not asking about salvation, I think I understand that part. You are close to being universalists when it comes to salvation. All of my questions are about eternal life with the Father and Son - the exaltation part. I don't know if exaltation is a part of the plan of salvation; or is the something beyond salvation. So I ask about stuff related to exaltation. And I separately ask about the only true and living part of the curriculum vitae of the LDS church. Those are my two areas of interest. I haven't asked about salvation in a long time.

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36 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I just wanted to point out that it is clear that Hoffer was a genius, and additionally a very wise man, AND a good writer, a combination which is virtually impossible to find.

Also it is a simple fact that he was uneducated in philosophy which in his case was, I am sure, an advantage.  Philosophy as a discipline has a way of grinding the poetic creativity of everyone who becomes "trained" in it- and I do mean "trained".  "Indoctrinated" would also be a good description. 

On the other hand I would not ever call him a "philosopher" since this training was absent in his life.   Just as Joseph would dispute that "being trained in the ministry" ;) would be necessary for one to minister to others, I think Hoffer as a writer would have been spoiled by philosophical training and its attendant sophistry.

On the other hand, one should not call him, nor understand him to be a "philosopher" any more than a brilliant guy on the street corner with no formal training in medicine, should be called a "doctor" if called upon for medical advice.  In that sense Hoffer was not a philosopher at all.

Brilliance does not make one a "philosopher". 

 I have some formal training in philosophy and have studied it more than 50 years, several of those years were spent studying at the feet of some "REAL" philosophers, but I never finished my Master's degree.   I dropped out actually for "anti-philosophical" reasons, just like Rorty and Wittgenstein did.  I am an apostate from the religion of "philosophy"  ;).  

I don't think either R or W called themselves "philosophers" though even with the requisite degrees, and virtually known by all as among the greatest philosophers of the 20th century.  Rorty actually formally left the philosophy department and saw himself more as a critic of literature.

Just sayin' ;)

 

 

 

There you go again! Every post is about philosophy! I get so tired of hearing you talk about the same thing over and over! I didn't even get my last post completed and here you are talking about philosophy again! ............................................................................No I don't get tired of it at all! I am just busting your chops! I know how interested and fascinated in this topic you are. Just as others are interested enough in other topics to keep bringing them up over and over. I respect you for your enthusiasm in a topic that is way beyond most of us. It just wouldn't be you if you didn't post about your philosophical pragmatism. And this forum would be less rich if you stopped.

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23 minutes ago, Navidad said:

It seems to me that the LDS faith exclusively restricts access to eternal life full-time with Heavenly Father and Christ to certain worthies. One must be even more worthy to be exalted to then become as God, or gods. To procreate spirit children in eternity is an exclusive privilege of the most worthy, is it not? Is that not why you teach that to start on the path of exaltation, one must open the dam by being baptized exclusively in an LDS ordinance by an LDS priesthood holder who is exclusively worthy to perform the same? Are there not necessary and LDS-exclusive endowments, sealings and perhaps other ordinances unknown to me, for one to be worthy enough for the many blessings the most worthy will exclusively achieve? Are not all or most all of the necessary prerequisites for worthiness only to be found exclusively in the LDS Church? Is this not more than kind-of-a-just-possibly-important-topic? My confusion and questions are about exaltation, not salvation. I really did not just come back from a several month absence to just start offending you all, all over again. Sorry.

 

I think he's just bothered because he thinks you don't understand what he thinks he has already explained clearly enough so that what he has said should be clearly understood.  For example, my understanding of what he means when he says our faith or religion is NOT exclusive is that our faith and religion includes the idea that everyone can be and WILL BE taught our precepts clearly enough so that everyone WILL UNDERSTAND what God will require of them to qualify for EVERY blessing God is able to bestow upon his children.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN WILL EVENTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REQUIRED AND HOW THEY CAN QUALIFY.  So there will be no exclusive offers since EVERYONE will be able to qualify if they want to.  Which means the only ones who will NOT get ALL of the prizes and/or rewards that are available will be those who weren't willing to qualify for them.  

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35 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Ok I apologize, I guess. That seems to be what you want me to do. Maybe just spell it out clearly and I will know how to better conform to the group's expectations for what I post. Let me just say - this is the topic about the LDS faith that interests me the very most. It is the most critical component of LDS doctrine that I don't want to get wrong. So yes, I bring it up a lot. Mark, you bring up your philosophical perspectives in almost every post. Others may bring up BOM historicity and translation issues. Others LGBQT issues. I could go down a list of folks on this forum and predict with enough accuracy to declare myself a prophet about what they will post most of the time.  Am I to be criticized for my interest in a such a key LDS doctrine? Is there such a monolithic perspective on D&C 1:30 that I am not allowed to express interest when someone presents a unique perspective, one that is out of the box, so to speak? I simply thought the Luther quote embedded in the Hoffer quote was quite interesting and fascinating so I shared it. I didn't advocate anything about it in my OP, did I? I didn't present my opinion on these quotes in my OP, did I?  I did nothing more than ask for your thoughts.

Is it not enough to make it interesting that some respond by saying that to assert that the LDS religion is exclusive is absurd, while others assure me that of course the LDS faith is exclusive; a one of a kind faith! HUH? And it is not permissible for me to be confused? Is it not enough that Kevin is kind enough to explain his unique perspective on D&C 1:30, or that a well-respected former bishop (by all whom I have asked outside of this forum) gave a completely unique exposition of D&C 1:30 at last year's Sunstone Forum? Is this subject not more important for eternity than Nephite swords in Nicaragua? After all, I really have nothing to do in my life, so I just bore myself by perpetually coming back here to seek greater clarity on something that is very important to me, even knowing that your eyes will roll and I will be scorned in the attempt? Do you really think I just want to irritate you all?

So please help me out. . . are there any other topics I am not allowed to bring up on this forum? Certainly some of you must have a list in mind that are verboten for Navidad. I really want to fit in and learn from you all. In order to be accepted for who I am (not necessarily who you think I am), I will do my very best to conform.

I will just add one more thing for clarity's sake. When I use the word exclusive, I do not mean that in any pejorative way. I am neither scolding, mocking, nor criticizing. If Marriott offers exclusive discounts to its members with so many points, that is nothing to be criticized about by Wyndham members, is it?  If Walmart opens an hour early exclusively for shoppers 70 and over, is that really something for those who are thirty years old or who prefer Target to criticize?

It seems to me that the LDS faith exclusively restricts access to eternal life full-time with Heavenly Father and Christ to certain worthies. One must be even more worthy to be exalted to then become as God, or gods. To procreate spirit children in eternity is an exclusive privilege of the most worthy, is it not? Is that not why you teach that to start on the path of exaltation, one must open the dam by being baptized exclusively in an LDS ordinance by an LDS priesthood holder who is exclusively worthy to perform the same? Are there not necessary and LDS-exclusive endowments, sealings and perhaps other ordinances unknown to me, for one to be worthy enough for the many blessings the most worthy will exclusively achieve? Are not all or most all of the necessary prerequisites for worthiness only to be found exclusively in the LDS Church? Is this not more than kind-of-a-just-possibly-important-topic? My confusion and questions are about exaltation, not salvation. I really did not just come back from a several month absence to just start offending you all, all over again. Sorry.

 

Yes, nailed it. I believe that salvation isn't enough for many members, it's like playing a violin all day long in heaven (one person told me this on the board a few years ago) and that they'd rather progress for eons and become Gods of their own world. So they definitely believe non members will have salvation as you already know, but it isn't enough. But I believe salvation will be enough and that heaven won't be boring and that we will choose whatever we want in heaven. Hopefully my dad is fishing alongside my mom. :)

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8 hours ago, Ahab said:

I think he's just bothered because he thinks you don't understand what he thinks he has already explained clearly enough so that what he has said should be clearly understood.  For example, my understanding of what he means when he says our faith or religion is NOT exclusive is that our faith and religion includes the idea that everyone can be and WILL BE taught our precepts clearly enough so that everyone WILL UNDERSTAND what God will require of them to qualify for EVERY blessing God is able to bestow upon his children.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN WILL EVENTUALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS REQUIRED AND HOW THEY CAN QUALIFY.  So there will be no exclusive offers since EVERYONE will be able to qualify if they want to.  Which means the only ones who will NOT get ALL of the prizes and/or rewards that are available will be those who weren't willing to qualify for them.  

Yep. AND all MUST see that and have the opportunity or it is not equally fair to everyone 

Who would NOT see that as the best choice?  Only the impaired, and then they make it anyway because they are impaired !!  ;)

What else could it mean? Seriously?

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15 hours ago, Navidad said:

Ok I apologize, I guess. That seems to be what you want me to do. Maybe just spell it out clearly and I will know how to better conform to the group's expectations for what I post. Let me just say - this is the topic about the LDS faith that interests me the very most. It is the most critical component of LDS doctrine that I don't want to get wrong. So yes, I bring it up a lot. Mark, you bring up your philosophical perspectives in almost every post. Others may bring up BOM historicity and translation issues. Others LGBQT issues. I could go down a list of folks on this forum and predict with enough accuracy to declare myself a prophet about what they will post most of the time.  Am I to be criticized for my interest in a such a key LDS doctrine? Is there such a monolithic perspective on D&C 1:30 that I am not allowed to express interest when someone presents a unique perspective, one that is out of the box, so to speak? I simply thought the Luther quote embedded in the Hoffer quote was quite interesting and fascinating so I shared it. I didn't advocate anything about it in my OP, did I? I didn't present my opinion on these quotes in my OP, did I?  I did nothing more than ask for your thoughts.

Is it not enough to make it interesting that some respond by saying that to assert that the LDS religion is exclusive is absurd, while others assure me that of course the LDS faith is exclusive; a one of a kind faith! HUH? And it is not permissible for me to be confused? Is it not enough that Kevin is kind enough to explain his unique perspective on D&C 1:30, or that a well-respected former bishop (by all whom I have asked outside of this forum) gave a completely unique exposition of D&C 1:30 at last year's Sunstone Forum? Is this subject not more important for eternity than Nephite swords in Nicaragua? After all, I really have nothing to do in my life, so I just bore myself by perpetually coming back here to seek greater clarity on something that is very important to me, even knowing that your eyes will roll and I will be scorned in the attempt? Do you really think I just want to irritate you all?

So please help me out. . . are there any other topics I am not allowed to bring up on this forum? Certainly some of you must have a list in mind that are verboten for Navidad. I really want to fit in and learn from you all. In order to be accepted for who I am (not necessarily who you think I am), I will do my very best to conform.

I will just add one more thing for clarity's sake. When I use the word exclusive, I do not mean that in any pejorative way. I am neither scolding, mocking, nor criticizing. If Marriott offers exclusive discounts to its members with so many points, that is nothing to be criticized about by Wyndham members, is it?  If Walmart opens an hour early exclusively for shoppers 70 and over, is that really something for those who are thirty years old or who prefer Target to criticize?

It seems to me that the LDS faith exclusively restricts access to eternal life full-time with Heavenly Father and Christ to certain worthies. One must be even more worthy to be exalted to then become as God, or gods. To procreate spirit children in eternity is an exclusive privilege of the most worthy, is it not? Is that not why you teach that to start on the path of exaltation, one must open the dam by being baptized exclusively in an LDS ordinance by an LDS priesthood holder who is exclusively worthy to perform the same? Are there not necessary and LDS-exclusive endowments, sealings and perhaps other ordinances unknown to me, for one to be worthy enough for the many blessings the most worthy will exclusively achieve? Are not all or most all of the necessary prerequisites for worthiness only to be found exclusively in the LDS Church? Is this not more than kind-of-a-just-possibly-important-topic? My confusion and questions are about exaltation, not salvation. I really did not just come back from a several month absence to just start offending you all, all over again. Sorry.

 

I can see where you feel we are exclusive and I think I agree.

However, that would mean every Christian church (and many non Christian churches) are also exclusive.  I'm ok with that, but you seem to think we are the only, or one of the few that are exclusive.  

 

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9 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

All of what I have discussed, including exaltation is available to everyone, and all will understand that at least on the other side, if not here. Personally I believe that YOU and your sweetheart will have as much of an opportunity to actually be exalted, when you finally SEE IT, and receive a testimony, perhaps before death, perhaps after, as I have. 

So how is that exclusive? You get to heaven and find there is more available, and you either say yes to that option or no. It's your decision.

Universal exaltation is available to all even AFTER death when all will be able to understand that very clearly. We simply need to repent and sanctify ourselves

And you WILL see that eventually, of that I am positive, either here or in the hereafter. I hope we all can help you with that, to see it sooner rather than later.  

"This is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE of man."

That means immortality AND exaltation, hopefully for all, and that is contingent only on the desires of their hearts, and working consistently toward perfection

My entire life, even as an atheist, I have wanted to be the best human I can be

That now means a lot more than it once did

 

 

 

Hi Mark: I would appreciate it if you would care to - If you would respond to my response that the system says was posted 17 hours ago. It is now 11:03am on the tenth mountain time. My post begins with "OK, I apologize, I guess." The last paragraph is what is especially important for me, and is the gist of my confusion and concern.  Perhaps we can "get somewhere" then. Please , please, please accept that I am trying my very best to understand. It is incredibly hard.

I read every post here - several times over. One of you says "of course we are exclusive," one of you says, " to say we are exclusive is absurd." Some say all the blessings of eternity are or will be available to me. When I listen in the ward it is very clear to me that all the blessings of eternity are not going to even be a reality for most members of the Church (LDS church).  Just this morning, I received a WhatsApp message from a dear LDS friend who I respect so much who assured me that he doesn't believe that the LDS way is the only way to eternal blessings. He clearly believes the LDS church is not the only conduit to eternal blessings and glory. He makes it very clear that it is the way he has chosen. It is the only way he has ever known since being a child. But it is not the only (exclusive) way.

It seems that all of you are implying that a non-LDS member Christian who dies will after death receive the opportunity from an LDS missionary to accept the LDS way, ordinances, etc. because the LDS way, ordinances, etc. are collectively the one and only conduit, process, manner, method that God Himself has set up for His plan for eternal blessings for all humanity. It (the LDS faith or message, or pipeline) is the only conduit for eternal blessings, in this life or the next. It is God's way God has chosen and ordained - it is God's only way. God has ordained, not me and lot of other folks in the world to share His gospel, but He has only ordained members of the LDS Church to be the vehicle, conduit, method of all the blessings He has for us in eternity. Is that correct, or am I missing something? If I am correct, then the LDS Church is indeed God's exclusive manner to provide salvation and exaltation to the world of lost sinners. My friend's post, however kind, then is wrong! Right? For three years now I have been trying to grasp that so I can come to peace about it. If I don't think I understand it correctly, I cannot come to peace. How could I? Does that not make sense? Who speaks the doctrine of the LDS church accurately when so many fine members have so many differing perspectives on what the Church teaches?

I don't want to read or hear anyone else's view but your (the collective forum) own, as diverse members of the church. Oh, my goodness it is hard! I hope you can understand that and at least respect in some small degree my perseverance in trying to understand. It is so discouraging when you and others make fun of me. I simply guess I am an easy target. So be it I guess. I am not the enemy. I am really trying and will continue to try whether or not you all reject me, or not.

Edited by Navidad
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