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Hoffer, Exclusivity and a Luther Quote Worthy of Ahab!


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20 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Why? How does she know he is her Savior and what does that mean? What did she have to do to make him her savior.?

I have to run some errands for that very same wife. She has to have her contacts out for a whole month prior to her eye surgeries. It is very hard on her. I will think about a list; it is hard for me to think of it that way. That is how a fundamentalist (don't smoke, drink or chew or go with girls who do!) thinks and I just don't think that way. How does my wife know He is her Savior? I guess because the Bible tells her He is. Because she has a testimony that he is. Perhaps I don't understand the question. He is her Savior because the Bible is clear Christ suffered and died for her sins, allowing her to claim His death as an adequate and final sacrifice for her sin. That same claim is available to everyone. She didn't have to do anything to "make him her savior." He did all that. It is all on Him. I can't think of anything she could have done to make Him her savior. He became a human - the Son of Man as well as the Son of God (I know we won't agree on that, but you are asking me), suffered, died, rose again, and ascended as a glorified being. From the day of the resurrection forward He is the savior and redeemer. He was her redeemer before she was born. We go to church to worship God, to learn of him, to praise him and thank him for what he did - the Father for sending the Son, the Son for being the sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding us in this life. We don't go to church to do things to merit his favor. His death and suffering was a gift he offered as a free-will offering to humans. Baptism doesn't gain favor, it is a testimony of acknowledging what is already true - he is the crucified, risen, and coming again savior and we acknowledge that to the all present by immersion - signifying his death, burial, and resurrection. So that gets me back to the question, where is the list for what she has to be to inherit eternal life. I will have to put that together later. It certainly won't involved doing  as much as being, because I think Christ is much more interested in who we are than in what we do. I just don't have time to write more now. Take care and best wishes.

Edited by Navidad
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@Navidad I know you've got to go, but a thought occurred to me. I know you enjoy visiting the ward there in Mexico. And are active and involved, why not just accept it to be a place to visit, make friends, and take in the good parts of Mormonism? Don't worry about the doctrine, or orthodoxy. Don't many religions have their own doctrine, that more or less set them apart? Of all the churches out there the LDS seem like they'd accept a non member very well, as they have you. I even know some members that don't actually believe everything in the church but they love the community. Nothing wrong with that, and the leaders are fine with that too and only ask members to continually work on their testimonies. Someone not a member but is able to be part of the community without trying to sway members away from faith, should be totally fine. And what a lucky bunch they are in the ward to have you and your wife, everybody needs different perspectives like yours, to be healthy mentally, I believe.

Edited by Tacenda
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Quick question for the group. . . . From the LDS perspective, does God have the ability or the right to offer salvation and exaltation to whomever He wants? I hope that question makes sense to you. I am pretty confident that the LDS Church believes that God can impact and transcend nature and can cause the supernatural to occur as He wills. We certainly pray enough for rain in this area. Can he transcend His own plan of salvation when and if He desires? Can he save and exalt whom He will, as He wills? Thanks, Phil

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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

I have to run some errands for that very same wife. She has to have her contacts out for a whole month prior to her eye surgeries. It is very hard on her. I will think about a list; it is hard for me to think of it that way. That is how a fundamentalist (don't smoke, drink or chew or go with girls who do!) thinks and I just don't think that way. How does my wife know He is her Savior? I guess because the Bible tells her He is. Because she has a testimony that he is. Perhaps I don't understand the question. He is her Savior because the Bible is clear Christ suffered and died for her sins, allowing her to claim His death as an adequate and final sacrifice for her sin. That same claim is available to everyone. She didn't have to do anything to "make him her savior." He did all that. It is all on Him. I can't think of anything she could have done to make Him her savior. He became a human - the Son of Man as well as the Son of God (I know we won't agree on that, but you are asking me), suffered, died, rose again, and ascended as a glorified being. From the day of the resurrection forward He is the savior and redeemer. He was her redeemer before she was born. We go to church to worship God, to learn of him, to praise him and thank him for what he did - the Father for sending the Son, the Son for being the sacrifice, and the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding us in this life. We don't go to church to do things to merit his favor. His death and suffering was a gift he offered as a free-will offering to humans. Baptism doesn't gain favor, it is a testimony of acknowledging what is already true - he is the crucified, risen, and coming again savior and we acknowledge that to the all present by immersion - signifying his death, burial, and resurrection. So that gets me back to the question, where is the list for what she has to be to inherit eternal life. I will have to put that together later. It certainly won't involved doing  as much as being, because I think Christ is much more interested in who we are than in what we do. I just don't have time to write more now. Take care and best wishes.

Why does she believe in the Bible?

Are you aware of the Documentary Hypothesis?

Why is she not a Buddhist or Muslim or Parsi?  Did she study all religions before deciding what she wanted to be?

Doesn't that seem to be a logical thing to do?

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5 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

He is her Savior because the Bible is clear Christ suffered and died for her sins, allowing her to claim His death as an adequate and final sacrifice for her sin.

Why does sin require sacrifice, and how do you know that the Bible is from God?

Isn't that very exclusive to not accept all scriptures?

Why pick something with unknown sources and lots of redactions of volumes pasted together centuries after the documents are written?

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

Can he transcend His own plan of salvation when and if He desires? Can he save and exalt whom He will, as He wills?

If He can, then sending His Son into the world was an act of unnecessary and therefore murderous cruelty.  

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3 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

If He can, then sending His Son into the world was an act of unnecessary and therefore murderous cruelty.  

And he is not actually abiding by the laws that he himself created.

Why would God break his own rules?

The Plan of Salvation is his design. Why would he break it?

Edited by mfbukowski
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Simply getting too toxic. I surrender!

 

Edited by Navidad
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4 hours ago, Navidad said:

Quick question for the group. . . . From the LDS perspective, does God have the ability or the right to offer salvation and exaltation to whomever He wants? I hope that question makes sense to you. I am pretty confident that the LDS Church believes that God can impact and transcend nature and can cause the supernatural to occur as He wills. We certainly pray enough for rain in this area. Can he transcend His own plan of salvation when and if He desires? Can he save and exalt whom He will, as He wills? Thanks, Phil

No

We believe that HIS sacrifice was to give up transcendence so he could truly be our Father, just as Christ is his Son.   We have the same nature.  God does not use supernatural means simply because he has taken it upon himself not to do so.  Whatever appears to be "supernatural" is done through natural law that we do not presently understand- like say, showing a television image to people in the 15th century.  They would see it as witchcraft or a miracle, but we would recognize it as technology which the present audience did not understand

It is like putting yourself on a diet.  You voluntarily give up something to get something greater.

This is called self-determination and to me it is the highest form of freedom.   He gave up transcendence and determined himself to immanence, to be our Father.

I think probably we have finished our conversation, my goal recently was to show you that what is "exclusive" to one is not necessarily exclusive to another.

Exclusivity is a relative term, and everyone is exclusive about something.  E V E R Y O N E.

If you stand for nothing you ARE nothing.

Best wishes.  I was attempting to give you some tough love- I hope it was not too tough

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Congratulations. Your unkindness and mocking of my wife have now made up my mind for me. There is nothing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for us. As representatives of the love of Jesus Christ you are frauds. Congratulations! You have destroyed our faith in the LDS church. Good luck with that at the judgment seat of Christ! Tacenda, you had good advice. Thanks for that but thanks to Mark and Hamba we won't be going back to the ward. Shame on you both for attacking the faith of my wife.

I am sorry that you feel victimized yet again, but you are the one who picked your wife to be a proxy for your beliefs.   It was never about her as far as I am concerned and was never intended to be personal in any way.  It was always about your accusations that we are "exclusive" when virtually every active member here tried to tell you that that was inappropriate because it was not true and because it was also insulting to us, showing a deliberate desire to never accept what we told you.   We are virtually Universalists and still are, but you refuse to see it.

To me it was a discussion and I was asking legitimate questions which you refused to answer because you had no answers.   And then YOU brought your wife into it instead of facing and owning up that these were YOUR beliefs all along.

It was your choice to make her your proxy, and now you have blown it up into insults against your wife when it was the contradictions in your own prejudices against "exclusivity" that caused the rift.  

And now you are judging me, something which you repeatedly said could only be done by Christ.

I am truly sorry you decided to react instead of respond- I was trying to teach you the other side of exclusivity, and that you yourself is as exclusive as anyone.

Nobody can make anybody do anything- and the strategy of "Look what you made me do!" seldom works well.

I really do wish you well in your life, and I will do my best to repent for all I have done wrong here. Obviously I made mistakes.  I would not have put all this now clearly wasted time into trying to help you if I thought for one second that I was not doing that.  It would have been - and apparently was- completely a waste of time.

Daily for weeks and months

There are times to turn over the tables of the money lenders, and Christ will judge me whether or not that is what I was doing or not.  There is a time and purpose for everything.

Christ- not you- will be my judge, and I am ready to stand before Him for what I have done.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

Thanks for that but thanks to Mark and Hamba we won't be going back to the ward. Shame on you both for attacking the faith of my wife.

You have borne false witness against me, and I ask that you please stop.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You have borne false witness against me, and I ask that you please stop.

An excellent point.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You have borne false witness against me, and I ask that you please stop.

I did not bear false witness against you. You joined in by agreeing with Mark's attack on my wife's faith with your "heart." You, therefore actively supported his denigration of her and her faith.

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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

It was always about your accusations that we are "exclusive" when virtually every active member here tried to tell you that that was inappropriate because it was not true and because it was also insulting to us,

Active members are certainly not the only members or people who have a valid perspective on the exclusivity of the church. Of course the people on the inside are more likely to feel included. People are less likely to stay somewhere where they feel excluded or are excluded.

 

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I am sorry that you feel victimized yet again, but you are the one who picked your wife to be a proxy for your beliefs.   It was never about her as far as I am concerned and was never intended to be personal in any way.  It was always about your accusations that we are "exclusive" when virtually every active member here tried to tell you that that was inappropriate because it was not true and because it was also insulting to us, showing a deliberate desire to never accept what we told you.   We are virtually Universalists and still are, but you refuse to see it.

To me it was a discussion and I was asking legitimate questions which you refused to answer because you had no answers.   And then YOU brought your wife into it instead of facing and owning up that these were YOUR beliefs all along.

It was your choice to make her your proxy, and now you have blown it up into insults against your wife when it was the contradictions in your own prejudices against "exclusivity" that caused the rift.  

And now you are judging me, something which you repeatedly said could only be done by Christ.

I am truly sorry you decided to react instead of respond- I was trying to teach you the other side of exclusivity, and that you yourself is as exclusive as anyone.

Nobody can make anybody do anything- and the strategy of "Look what you made me do!" seldom works well.

I really do wish you well in your life, and I will do my best to repent for all I have done wrong here. Obviously I made mistakes.  I would not have put all this now clearly wasted time into trying to help you if I thought for one second that I was not doing that.  It would have been - and apparently was- completely a waste of time.

Daily for weeks and months

There are times to turn over the tables of the money lenders, and Christ will judge me whether or not that is what I was doing or not.  There is a time and purpose for everything.

Christ- not you- will be my judge, and I am ready to stand before Him for what I have done.

 

Hi Mark. I did not pick my wife to be a proxy for my beliefs. I simply said she would most likely stand with tears in her eyes when standing before her Savior. From there you proceeded to make her the object of your keyboard in challenging her and her faith How you connect the two is beyond me. This is not the place for me to grow in grace. I take responsibility for anything and everything I have said and done here. Call me a money lender if you must. I am fully aware of what that implies. Or, perhaps you are clever enough that you said it obliquely so you can deny ever calling me that. You are so correct, I will never be your judge. I do however, bear witness to your unkindness  in bringing my wife into this conversation in such a strong and inappropriate way. Why, why, why why? you ask. My question to you, rhetorical I guess, is why did you choose her and her faith to demean? Why not stick with me? At least I now understand that you view my statements about exclusivity as accusations. So now I understand your anger a bit better. I simply regret you went after her instead of me.

Edited by Navidad
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8 hours ago, Tacenda said:

@Navidad I know you've got to go, but a thought occurred to me. I know you enjoy visiting the ward there in Mexico. And are active and involved, why not just accept it to be a place to visit, make friends, and take in the good parts of Mormonism? Don't worry about the doctrine, or orthodoxy. Don't many religions have their own doctrine, that more or less set them apart? Of all the churches out there the LDS seem like they'd accept a non member very well, as they have you. I even know some members that don't actually believe everything in the church but they love the community. Nothing wrong with that, and the leaders are fine with that too and only ask members to continually work on their testimonies. Someone not a member but is able to be part of the community without trying to sway members away from faith, should be totally fine. And what a lucky bunch they are in the ward to have you and your wife, everybody needs different perspectives like yours, to be healthy mentally, I believe.

Your kind response deserves a reply. We do enjoy the ward. We have never ever tried to sway members away from their own faith. We work very hard never to do that. There is much wisdom in what you say. Thanks for that. I think however we are probably done with our journey into the LDS world. I for one, am not sure it is any longer spiritually healthy for us. Thanks again and very best wishes.

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19 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Your kind response deserves a reply. We do enjoy the ward. We have never ever tried to sway members away from their own faith. We work very hard never to do that. There is much wisdom in what you say. Thanks for that. I think however we are probably done with our journey into the LDS world. I for one, am not sure it is any longer spiritually healthy for us. Thanks again and very best wishes.

In a way, I'm certainly sorry to hear that.  (I say "in a way" because we all have to find our own paths.  If you find a path where God speaks to you more clearly than other paths you might've been on, more power to you.)  I hope I speak for your ward or branch when I say you'd be welcomed back with open arms, whether for a short-term visit or for a longer-term one.  Certainly, you'd be welcome in my ward.  I would be sure of that personally.  I wish you well.  Godspeed. :)

 

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8 hours ago, Navidad said:

Quick question for the group. . . . From the LDS perspective, does God have the ability or the right to offer salvation and exaltation to whomever He wants? I hope that question makes sense to you. I am pretty confident that the LDS Church believes that God can impact and transcend nature and can cause the supernatural to occur as He wills. We certainly pray enough for rain in this area. Can he transcend His own plan of salvation when and if He desires? Can he save and exalt whom He will, as He wills? Thanks, Phil

I would say that the one thing that God cannot overcome (and, hence, the only thing I have to give to Him that He did not give me in the first place) is my will.  Yes, He is merciful, kind, just, omnipotent (with the caveat I just mentioned), omniscient (perhaps in the sense that He knows all that can be known), et cetera.  But I must give Him my will in order for him to exalt me.  Even Christ had to do that: "Father, if Thou be willing, let this cup pass from me.  Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

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16 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

In a way, I'm certainly sorry to hear that.  (I say "in a way" because we all have to find our own paths.  If you find a path where God speaks to you more clearly than other paths you might've been on, more power to you.)  I hope I speak for your ward or branch when I say you'd be welcomed back with open arms, whether for a short-term visit or for a longer-term one.  Certainly, you'd be welcome in my ward.  I would be sure of that personally.  I wish you well.  Godspeed. :)

 

Thank you. We will be speaking with or bishop about all of this. We need, respect, and want his counsel. As we say here in Mexico, "Igualmente!" Best wishes!

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9 minutes ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I would say that the one thing that God cannot overcome (and, hence, the only thing I have to give to Him that He did not give me in the first place) is my will.  Yes, He is merciful, kind, just, omnipotent (with the caveat I just mentioned), omniscient (perhaps in the sense that He knows all that can be known), et cetera.  But I must give Him my will in order for him to exalt me.  Even Christ had to do that: "Father, if Thou be willing, let this cup pass from me.  Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt."

Thank you for interacting with my question instead of blasting me for it. I asked because an essential part of my belief system is that Christ, looking at us through his eyes of mercy and justice may grant eternal life to the very least likely person from our perspective. I believe He will look at the heart, the mind, and yes, the will as he makes his decisions about each of us from the vantage of His judgment seat, which may be more appropriately termed his "mercy seat." I was asked here for a list of what people must do in my perspective to gain eternal life. I have thought about that a lot this evening. I keep falling back to what I believe - which is that Christ's decisions about us will be based on who we are, not what we do. It is much harder to be than to do. I believe the New Testament is much more about who God wants us to be, rather than what God wants us to do. Just my perspective. I am afraid some here wouldn't be very happy with my list. At any rate, it doesn't matter now.

It is often suggested here in Mexico that we pray for God to give us rain for our crops. I agree with doing that in spite of the fact that God has designed and set up weather patterns in his plan for the earth and its inhabitants. We ask his intervention in his order of things. So we do believe He intervenes. My question was related to the same thing from a spiritual destiny perspective. Won't he save and exalt who, in his own wisdom he chooses to save and exalt? If his plan is to judge each of us one at a time at some point in the future, doesn't that, by its very nature require that He has agency to do so as He chooses and sees fit in the course of his decision-making?  I guess by the vehemence of the replies I have gotten, the answer is no, or maybe no way! OK - sorry I asked! Best wishes!

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I did not bear false witness against you. You joined in by agreeing with Mark's attack on my wife's faith with your "heart." You, therefore actively supported his denigration of her and her faith.

Please quote exactly what you see as an attack as it will help to see where you see the offense and understand what upset you so much. Perhaps I read too quickly, but I don’t see an attack. Especially if you don’t see your own perceptions about our beliefs, etc as attacks. ...which I don’t even if I see several mistakes based on what I see as likely faulty assumptions.

I don’t see an attack myself, he is not denigrating your wife and the quality, the goodness and purity of her faith; rather he was just pointing out we understand certain aspects of how Christ is our Savior and how he becomes that for us differently...that doesn’t mean he sees your wife is sinning or intent in wrong because she sees it differently, just that from our POV you and she are mistaken in her description of how it was done....mistakes are something to be expected as we are all in error, groping our way through mists of ignorance, seeing things darkly, altered. Even if one has managed to find truth in somethings, it is both incomplete (we teach there are many things yet to be revealed by God) and coupled with error, the mistakes of man, an inherent condition of mortality.  Even if we believe the description of how Christ became her Saviour is missing a step or two (desiring Christ to be one’s savior and giving our will to him to change our hearts and minds are two steps Latter-day Saints believe it is important to recognize as acts on our part to come to God, we must desire to knock and then knock even after God has told us that he answers knocks).

Someone who is seen as mistaken in their faith is not being denigrated by someone else if the perceived mistake is unintentional and not intended to be derogatory or harmful to others (she is not intent on setting herself up as superior), which I assume no one here believes of your wife.  A belief can be sincere, faithful, loving, charitable  and still inaccurate, but what is most important in the long run are the first four attributes and not the last, most easily changed for the better one. 
 

 One thing that is wonderful about the Atonement is God counts the charitable intent as much more important than the accuracy according to scripture. Saints believe that all of our (as in all humans) errors of ignorance will be corrected in time.  We ‘won’t be saved in ignorance’ means God will be sure we get it right in understanding eventually  rather than those in error being condemned.  I suspect God finds it much easier to correct the head, the ideas, than he does the heart, how we feel and care about others.  Probably in part why Charity is the greatest.  Not only is that experience of expressing godly love for others probably the best thing we can do for others, but it is imo the closest experience we can have of how God feels towards us.  No way can we understand how God thinks or his ideas that encompass the universe while being aware of the sparrows, but I think with love/charity towards our own sparrows our hearts can feel in a tiny way the love God feels for his work...and that feeling can pull us closer to God in ways abstract ideas and knowledge cannot.

———

If you decide to not go to the ward because of what is said here, isn’t that holding someone else responsible for the error you see here?  Why assume that members of the ward think the same way anyone here does, especially since they have personal experiences with your wife, which no one here besides yourself does.

 

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2. Are there christian churches who it is their beliefs (doctrine/whatever you want to call it) who believe that a practicing muslim with no belief of Jesus as our Saviour can not have eternal life?

 

2) Trickier, but I have to say "Yes" because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints immediately comes to my mind. I certainly believe the LDS church is a Christian church.

This appears to mean that you believe the LDS Church is a Christian Church who has as its doctrine that a practicing Muslim with no belief of Jesus as our Saviour can not have eternal life (live forever with the Father in the Celestail Kingdom).

This is wrong. LDS doctrine allows for someone who does not believe in Christ in this life to be in the Celestial Kingdom in the next. This is even so fundamentally wrong as written I am going to likely spend way too much time responding to it.
 

Perhaps you weren’t clear in what you meant and you understand how Saints believe, if so I had fun passing the night anyway  

———

Navidad, the way you present ideas leads me to assume you have a faulty assumption about how Latter-day Saints view judgment, when and how it is done not only of nonmembers, but of members themselves.  Much you may already know, but I am including just in case.  I have often found it is an assumption about a very basic concept that leads to confusion (I assumed me saying “clean the kitchen” meant wall to wall, the entire room, floor to ceiling while my son and husband assumed it meant loading the dishwasher and washing pans, if I wanted more I learned to list individual tasks.)

You seem to see a fundamental difference between members and nonmembers in an area (righteousness) where we see differences probably more as ones of degree...even if in other areas there are ones of quality, such as the difference of having authority or not and all that implies for ordinances such as baptism.  Worthiness is often used to substitute for righteousness, but is doctrinally a combination of righteousness and being eligible for certain areas of progression through having the necessary authorized ordinance. Thus temple worthiness is being righteous as well as having the ordinance of baptism and confirmation. Worthiness for exaltation would be righteousness and all the ordinances God has or will command.  

It also is not logical for a Saint if they are being careful to be doctrinal to speak of someone as being a Muslim or Hindu at judgment time.  Mistakes of doctrine or ignorance will not exist then.  They may not choose to live the principles of the Gospel, but the truth of the Gospel will be known.

I am going to try to get pass those assumptions by going into detail and way too much extended description in hopes that whatever connection I am missing or you are gets covered. So please pardon the length on that basis. Whether it works or not, I had a bit of fun thinking about the nuances including many I didn’t include.
 

The best way I can think of to isolate the issue is an analogy, imperfect as they are because description and explanation of the actual concepts appear to have failed as you continue to present our belief in an inaccurate way (unintentional I am certain).  I assume we are defining words in ways you do not, so in our use of them it takes us down different paths of understanding, implications, etc  so I am trying to skip using terms by using the analogy.

——

First....When it comes to judgment and acceptance of the Atonement (which is another way of saying accepting Christ as our saviour or seeking to become one with God), we (speaking generally as individual Saints may have framed it differently as we do not test doctrinal nuances) do not see it as occurring at a particular moment in time after which we are saved and before we are not. Therefore isolating an individual at a certain time in their life, even death, and asking are they saved or is Christ their redeemer asks a question that is more or less nonsense for us.  We often speak of Becoming instead, either explicitly or implicitly.  We see salvation not only as a final destination, but also the path we choose to walk on...the one Christ talks of when he says he is the Way.  We could say Salvation is the name of the path we are walking to Become fully one with God.

 So we may speak of salvation in multiple ways and if one isn’t familiar with the concepts we attached to signal which version it is, it can be very confusing...even for other members when we assume the nuances to identify are there when they are not.  So sometimes we say someone is saved if they are on the Salvation path and at other times we might say we can’t tell someone is saved until the Judgment.
 

If you don’t want to invest time in the analogy, just skip to the ***** for the point it appears to me you are consistently lacking (unintentionally of course, due most likely to the limits of online discussion) in how Saints frame our discussion about Salvation as a process.

To the analogy...the path to salvation is like being at university. For this analogy, there is only one university in existence and everyone is attending it as students though they may be also be teaching assistants later on in their spiritual development and can always be study buddies helping others understand what is being taught and helping with class work whatever level they are at, sometimes they are great lab assistants, other times they actually confuse students and make it harder to learn. (the issue of having fallible church leaders)

  Mortality is only part of our time to learn, the whole world——physical and spiritual—— can be the campus of the university if we choose to make it such, our life prior to resurrection (Mortality and the Afterlife of ‘Spirit Prison’ and Paradise) is our college life——including our breaks from trying to learn and live spiritually—— in this analogy.  Not everyone understands the University is for learning the Gospel at the beginning and it may take a long time for them to reach that understanding (that Christ is our Redeemer if we accept him as such and the Good News that implies), they may see it as another spiritual path and God, the president of the university, is okay with that.  The purpose is to help students learn, not to exclude those who are currently in ignorance (which would be everyone actually, since no one in mortality has a perfect understanding).

This university is open enrollment, classes (organized learning from lab assistants/church leaders as well as professors——spirits or resurrected beings chosen by God to be his messengers later on) are not required every semester to have access to the labs, libraries, professors, other students, etc.  We learn of what is available through the Spirit or word of mouth from other students rather than infallible schedules and manuals at least while mortals, so we might even think a class is something that it is not, even the lab assistants...thus they may believe they are teaching the gospel or a spiritual truth when we are actually there for God’s purpose of learning something else.  Thus the misunderstandings of different religions being taught by the ‘lab assistants’. 

Tuition is free, enrollment is a gift from God as are all our texts, dorms, etc,  but learning is not passive. We have to at the very least desire to learn, willingly and intentionally accept all the gifts and blessings that give us the chance to learn. We are not graded on how much work we do, but if we make an effort to learn we will eventually learn, so effort matters.  However, God eventually provides whatever we need to make whatever little efforts we can make sufficient to learn, so even the smallest of effort, just having the desire/hope to make an effort is enough to begin the process of Becoming.

The highest end of learning is getting a doctorate in the Gospel (fully becoming one with Christ) with tons of minors in whatever specialties of truth we desired to explore.  The goal of the university is to ensure everyone gets the opportunity to get the doctorate no matter what that requires, including taking many extra years to repeat courses or study on one’s own, providing tutors if desired or needed at times, holding one’s spot if an extended vacation is taken, etc.  No one is expelled, though some choose to walk out either because they are confused over the purpose or perhaps at that point they don’t see it as having value or actual truth (understandable given the lab assistants and fellow students may be confused themselves), hopefully coming back eventually.

No attendance is taken but learning can’t happen if one removes oneself from the opportunity; some classes are open...anyone can sit in on a lecture and of course a lot of the knowledge can be learned by checking out texts from the library and studying them.  (Spiritual learning of the Gospel occurs in a variety of places, not only religious classes and can be learn on one’s own or in a group.) However, there are a few classes that require the professor’s approval to join (endowment and other temple ordinances and likely imo others in other faiths).  Generally there is no set schedule in which to take classes and many classes aren’t even required, but can be passed by taking a test to see if you already have the knowledge.

The university exists from birth to death to judgment day, in fact it may be possible the majority of class work or learning takes place after death.  All we know about postdeath learning is that it occurs, how we learn may be very different than how we learn in mortality or it may overlap in many ways.  

Learning includes the possibility of learning directly through the Spirit, a certain professor in our analogy that not only helps us in other classes, but teaches us some very, very important courses himself all through our study. Once we are baptized/are grad students (not all baptized are automatically grad students) we have access to him through the internet, but depending on how much we have invested in ensuring our tech is up to date, that connection may be less clear than it could be (all tech/spiritual connection is freely available, but we have to request and maintain it for best reception).

It is possibly that any coursework done after death may either be more difficult due to the lack of one of our tools for learning——our bodies, or easier because we have more direct access to more precise and accurate texts as well as professors, including the university president, who not only oversees the professors and lab assistants (though takes a more hands off approach with the later as being a lab assistant is part of the learning process and making mistakes can be valuable for the assistants and other students as they learn to check the work themselves with the President and Spirit), but also functions as a professor himself as well as having been the example of Perfect Student we should all imitate as best we can to learn most effectively and fully that students are introduced to in some fashion in a student orientation that occurs sometime during their undergraduate work (if this happens in mortality, we would call them Christian).

 There are freshmen to seniors and then many at different levels of post graduate work. All are learning and progressing in knowledge. In the analogy, the goal of the university owner is not for students to have a certain degree or credential at the end of college life when they move onto ‘real life’ (the eternities after their judgment day, postresurrection), but to eventually possess all knowledge available at the university. That is salvation in this analogy, having that level of knowledge of the Gospel and accepting it fully, thus becoming one with Christ, the possessor of the knowledge and the one who grants us access to the abilities that allow us to use it to create, to connect with others who are resurrected, perhaps even to continue to learn....to have access to all forms of progression. (Exaltation is a certain category of progression here, salvation is necessary for it, so discussing only that for now as complicated enough.)

Knowledge can be learned in a variety of ways, hands on experiences (lab work, PE courses) or lectures or spending time in the library studying on one’s own.  The university doesn’t value one form of learning over another, the tests are about the knowledge and not how a student got it.  Thus a class from a lab assistant who got tons of stuff wrong (he was an atheist at the time) might be very beneficial because of what was learned by the student...maybe it was a class in charity mistaken by the lab assistant and students as a class in atheism).  Many classes overlap so that by taking a certain set, it is unnecessary to take others as all concepts taught in a particular class can be found through other ways, but there are a few classes that provide unique teachings and must eventually be taken, the concepts and skills they teach cannot be learned in other ways.

Baptism is a necessary part of the process as it gives access to areas of learning not available to those not baptized, baptism can be symbolized by having a bachelor’s degree. Such can only be given by the university  officials.  While baptism opens up previously closed doors, there are still many accessible areas of learning that are available to anyone, baptized or not, that are both interesting and necessary to learn. If someone has been baptized prior to learning these things, they still will need to take those required classes or in some fashion acquire that knowledge (independent study).

Many doing postgraduate work still need to take classes or otherwise do the work others took as freshmen (kind of like me taking the required General Ed Fitness For Life PE course my last semester as a senior as I could put it off no longer).  Gaps in knowledge will eventually be filled and correct teachings will replace any errors for all in some fashion as students progress and get better and better teachers as well as developing stronger skills in learning and having a bette grasp of truth so as to be able to discern when taught mistakes.

At the end of all the learning, the post graduate work we are then judged/make our choices and resurrected at the level of knowledge of God that we desire, were willing to sacrifice for. The final graduation time is not determined by the level of knowledge we have received, but by the level of knowledge we want to receive. If we don’t want to do postgraduate work, we don’t have to accept baptism, for example. All must do their general education work as that purifies them from sin allowing them to receive a kingdom of glory.  All can take as long as they need to learn whatever they want. Thus the slowest, low IQ student can achieve a doctorate in every subject offered if that is what they desire and a brilliant postgraduate student may end up with nothing much because not only did they stop attending classes or the library or study groups (faith communities), they filled their time with video games and such so they forgot what they learned and didn’t care. They might even invalidate their bachelor’s degree (baptism) through actions that show they don’t want to be a part of the university post graduate community.

—————

*****I could keep going on and on (and probably introduce some nuances some of my fellow saints disagree with) because I am in that kind of mood as the original intent was a paragraph or two but I fell in love with the idea :), but to get to the purpose of my analogy...when you (Navidad) ask questions of Saints like ‘can a faithful, believing Muslim or Hindu receive salvation?’, you are from our point of view asking us not to look at the end result or where they are at post resurrection, but rather asking us to look at them as a senior and then asking us to judge if they have that doctorate....Which makes no real sense.  Even guessing if someday they will get a doctorate/salvation is impossible for us. 

The implications of the spirit world as Saints are taught are that there are no Muslims or Hindus in terms of having a faith community after death, but simply people with different levels of understanding of the Gospel.  The Lord does not set up part of the university teaching the dead with professors who have incomplete knowledge of the Gospel, so there won’t be Muslims or Hindus or even Mormons being our spiritual teachers, but rather fully informed and accepted members of the fully revealed and actualized Church of Jesus Christ, whatever the name will be (Church of the Firstborn perhaps).  Mortality may be confusing due to messed up teachers and fellow students, but post death work allows us to eliminate misunderstandings as only truth it taught be teachers (even if perhaps fellow students want to argue...Satan will be bound it is said, maybe that means even fellow students can’t argue for falsehoods in the Spirit World while we are still in the process of learning).
 

Any faith in mortality is at best only a limited selection of the ultimate vehicle of the Gospel (Church of the Firstborn, Church of the Son of God, Church of Christ, Family of God, whatever it is called), even the authorized organized Church in whatever form it takes in a particular mortal dispensation, currently in our belief The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Personally I think the Lord told us to name it that so we would realize the current organization is not the ultimate end result of God’s work or  the Celestial version of it (surely that would be at least The Church of Jesus Christ of Celestialized Saints), even if we are the version God has commanded to  function in the here and now. 

A mortal faith community cannot be the ultimate community of God because not all is yet revealed.  Joseph Smith taught it would be a long time after death before we would fully understand the Endowment and that is only one part of the Eternal Gospel. There is also Eternal Marriage, taking on God’s name, and all the gifts of the Spirit and principles of the Gospel including Charity, we are only able to know in part, to see through a glass darkly, to experience a childish form of it rather than the mature, glorified Gospel that Christ is offering to us. 
 

In my view, there are many faith communities that God allows and wants to exist such as Shinto or Catholic or Protestant as its members are able through some of the teachings and through the essential interaction with others through service and acceptance become closer to God in what they are becoming.  There is though as far as we Saints are taught by the Spirit only one faith community, our own, that provides necessary ordinances for the process of becoming fully Saved, fully one with Christ to be fully realized.  

So when Saints are asked is a particular person who is not of our faith is saved, some may answer based on the snapshot they are given of a particular state of being for that individual that includes behaviour choices and collection of their knowledge, but that snapshot is not necessarily what that person will become at judgment time any more than Saints will be “Mormon” then after learning so much more than what is currently available to us in mortality.
 

There is so much more to learn than what any of us mortals have now, so that it is no more accurate to say anyone who is saved must be a Mormon because all must at sometime experience an authorized baptism (currently available in our faith community only) as commanded by God in order to fully receive his Atonement as it is to say a doctoral candidate taking his orals is a freshman because at one point if their life they had to be accepted into college that first year or is a college graduate because they got their bachelor’s prior to moving on to graduate work (this point is why I needed the analogy in the first place).  Such a label locks them into a particular part of the process only and ignores all the rest of the process/life they went or will eventually go through to be able to fully accept the intimate and ultimate gift from Christ, his Atonement.  
 

In order to understand therefore the Latter-day Saint view of Salvation, one must see it first as a process where as we progress we accept over time different aspects of the Atonement, the order and amount varying with each person. Membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints only guarantees one has had the ordinance of baptism and confirmation done for them, it does not guarantee acceptance or even understanding at that moment in time or any other during mortality.  Nonmembers through their experiences, including those in their faith communities may have at a particular place in their progress have more acceptance and understanding of certain principles of the Gospel than a member has at a particular place in their progress. The only place we can be sure of that all have had the opportunity to fully learn and experience the Gospel in my opinion is at Judgment Day, whenever and whatever that actually is. 
 

 As long as we humans are working towards full acceptance of the Gospel, Saints looking at an individual to judge their standing for some reason (hopefully only in abstract to teach how we view things) may choose to label someone as already saved in anticipation because they appear sincere seekers or because they have appeare to have grabbed hold of what they can of God’s gift of Atonement as a Saint, a Christian, a theist, or even as an atheist who experiences the Light of Christ without recognizing it.  Or a Saint may focus on what ordinances someone has and judge as if no others are received before judgment.  Or judge based on assumptions about how much the individual appears to intellectually know about Christ and the Gospel (a big mistake imo because I believe it is more important how we live the Gospel as taught us by the Spirit which may not include ‘book learning’ or doctrinal correctness).  This means there will be times a Saint may describe someone as saved and other times as not depending on what they think is being asked  

Iow, to sum it all up, Saints in general typically when speaking about judgment, focus on the totality of actual opportunities someone receives by the end of the process of Becoming, which we have been promised is ultimately fair and just and merciful, which I and most Saints I have talked to about it means everyone receives in essence the same opportunities at the same levels of abilities of accepting or rejecting them at the end of the process of Salvation. How that works out when our circumstances are so different in mortality and with our choices made here understood to have a meaningful impact of some kind on our eternal state, no one knows. It is beyond mortal comprehension to understand how it can be fair. This is something we must take on faith because we trust the Lord’s promises. 
 

Pardon errors, I have proofed everything at least once, but need to post it. 
 

Ach...now it is done, I am wondering if I should delete is as more confusing than helpful. It was so simple and clear in my brain, but to explain needs so many conditions and insertions. Language is fun, but ultimately pretty useless it seems. 

Edited by Calm
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19 hours ago, Navidad said:

I wish you had said "could have" then I would answer Yes, he certainly could. I think one way we are failing to communicate is that I believe all these decisions are individual, for the Mormon, the Muslim, and the Mennonites (the three Musketeers!). At the judgment seat all three - the Muslim, Mormon, and Mennonite will be judged by Christ, as individuals - no need for me to tell him I was baptized by my father in Niagara Falls, NY in 1956 in XYZ church. I don't believe He will care about any of that. If anything He will look into each person's heart, mind, and eyes, and will see something that indeed is of importance to Him. I hope he can see one half in me what He will see in my wife's eyes, heart, and mind. Her eyes will be filled with tears and wonder just to be in her beloved Savior's presence. He will render a decision, perhaps as the scripture says after each one gives an account (the totality of which Christ will know anyway). People tried to invent denominations in the first century. I am of Peter! Ha! I am of Paul! Ha, I am of Apollos! BTW, I always liked Apollos - I think he wrote Hebrews. None of that mattered then, and what denomination or religious group won't matter at the judgment seat either. I will stand there as me, myself and I. Thanks - now I really have failed the yes or no test. Sorry.

Ok, I don't know if you will be back or not, but I hope so.

So another request for a yes or no first and then the explanation.

So you believe that at judgment a good, faithful muslim can be there with Christ and say "I don't believe you are my Savior.  I don't need you to live with Allah." And Christ could say, "that's ok.  You were a good man.  Come have eternal life anyway"?

Edited by Rain
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I was trying to get him to talk about his beliefs, and have been trying for months, and he would not answer

Many here also tried to show him that even requiring accepting Christ as Savior was more "exclusive" than our beliefs, since we believe that after death virtually all will accept Christ, because it will be so obvious!

But he did not respond to that approach 

Finally, he started speaking of his wife's beliefs, and naturally I assumed, as Mennonites, they were the same as his.

So I thought I would ask about her beliefs since that was the only Doctrine he would discus.  I was trying to show him that we are virtually Universalists, and even accepting the bible as scripture in this life was more "exclusive" than what we require to achieve eternal life.

And he took it as insulting his wife?

I was dumbfounded. 

I'm leaving for a bit, I need a vacation from here for a bit.

See y'all later!

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Edited by mfbukowski
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