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How to recognize the spirit (+more)


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I imagine this thread has been done in the past (and surely discussed often in many other discussions). But I’m fairly new here so humor me :)

Its the age old question, how do we recognize the spirit? How do we differentiate between my feelings and the spirit?

Additional questions to ask ourselves:

- Feeling the spirit has been described as a burning of the bosom, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, an audible voice, thoughts in our mind, visions, dreams and more. Does experiencing just one of these things constitute spiritual confirmation?

- Are there things the devil can recreate? If so, how accurately?

- If the devil can fabricate spiritual experiences, or if a single experience isn’t meant to confirm a doctrine or principle, how are we to proceed?

- What spiritual experiences are reliable and what aren’t?

- 1 Nephi 10:19 says “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come”. What are the mysteries of God? Are the mysteries things like “how does one truely have charity?” Or are they things like “did God once live as a man, and if he did, did he ever sin?”

- Are there things that the spirit simply won’t speak on? Moses asked God about the specific plan for other works and God told him not to worry about it. Is that a sign that there are things the spirit may not confirm to us simply because it doesn’t matter for this earthly life?

- Is this supposed to be so difficult to figure out? Is there any wisdom in making the spirit so difficult to lock down?

 

EDIT:

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

ie. Spiritual confirmations that:

- The teaching that blacks were not valiant in ore earth life.

- Adam is our Heavenly Father

- God had multiple wives

- God has one wife

Or what about a spiritual experience after hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

- Japanese bomber not being able to bomb the Hawaii temple during Pearl Harbor

- John Taylor’s watch stopping a bullet

- The story of the seagulls and crickets in SLC

- The false stories told by that one general authority (spoken  of in a different thread… can’t remember his name)

- The SLC temple being built with elevator shafts before elevators were invented

- Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

- The many stories of a person burning in a fire except where his garments covereD

- Del parson’s painting of Christ in the red robe is exactly what Christ looks like

- Those that killed Joseph smith all suffered terrible deaths


 

none of these require action… it’s just a spiritual experience that tells you “this is true”

 

Edited by Fether
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In my experience, the only way to know for certain is to act on it and see what happens. If someone appears in your bedroom at night and tells you about an ancient record buried nearby, it's probably a crazy dream. If the record is actually buried nearby, you may be dealing with an angel.

Repeating that process over a lifetime helps us more clearly identify the voice of God, but I'm unsure we ever reach 100 per cent in this life.

And FWIW, someone asked this question of Elder Bednar in the Q&A section of a training meeting I was in. His answer: God usually reserves revelation to tell us that we are wrong.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

I imagine this thread has been done in the past (and surely discussed often in many other discussions). But I’m fairly new here so humor me :)

Its the age old question, how do we recognize the spirit? How do we differentiate between my feelings and the spirit?

Additional questions to ask ourselves:

- Feeling the spirit has been described as a burning of the bosom, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, an audible voice, thoughts in our mind, visions, dreams and more. Does experiencing just one of these things constitute spiritual confirmation?

- Are there things the devil can recreate? If so, how accurately?

- If the devil can fabricate spiritual experiences, or if a single experience isn’t meant to confirm a doctrine or principle, how are we to proceed?

- What spiritual experiences are reliable and what aren’t?

- 1 Nephi 10:19 says “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come”. What are the mysteries of God? Are the mysteries things like “how does one truely have charity?” Or are they things like “did God once live as a man, and if he did, did he ever sin?”

- Are there things that the spirit simply won’t speak on? Moses asked God about the specific plan for other works and God told him not to worry about it. Is that a sign that there are things the spirit may not confirm to us simply because it doesn’t matter for this earthly life?

- Is this supposed to be so difficult to figure out? Is there any wisdom in making the spirit so difficult to lock down?

My 2 cents: If one has to ask, it isn't the Sprit, at least it isn't the Spirit anymore. If you are doing good, it doesn't matter anyway (sometimes the still, small voice is very still and very small). All you (and the Lord) have to work with are your perceptions, so keep yourself clean with the basics. Well, that's maybe 4 or 5 cents... :)

I take "mysteries" to be the priesthood ordinances, the highest of which are the temple ordinances. These take on greater meaning and impact as time goes by, by the power of the Holy Ghost. I do not take them to be dispensations of interesting facts, but advancing distillations of various applications of God's grace. Everything Joseph Smith and his successors offered in the way of new light and knowledge came as a result of their having obtained these mysteries.

 

Edited by CV75
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@The Nehor @CV75 @Hamba Tuhan
 

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

ie. Spiritual confirmations that:

- The teaching that blacks were not valiant in ore earth life.

- Adam is our Heavenly Father

- God had multiple wives

- God has one wife

Or what about spiritual experiences hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

- Japanese bomber not being able to bomb the Hawaii temple during Pearl Harbor

- John Taylor’s watch stopping a bullet

- The story of the seagulls and crickets in SLC

- The false stories told by that one general authority (spoken  of in a different thread… can’t remember his name)

- The SLC temple being built with elevator shafts before elevators were invented

- Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

- The many stories of a person burning in a fire except where his garments covered

Del parson’s painting of Christ in the red robe is exactly what Christ looks like

- Those that killed Joseph smith all suffered terrible deaths


 

none of these require action… it’s just a spiritual experience that tells you “this is true”

I’m going to add this to the main post

 

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

@The Nehor @CV75 @Hamba Tuhan
 

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

ie. Spiritual confirmations that:

- The teaching that blacks were not valiant in ore earth life.

- Adam is our Heavenly Father

- God had multiple wives

- God has one wife

I have no idea. Never had one.

1 hour ago, Fether said:

@The Nehor @CV75 @Hamba Tuhan
Or what about spiritual experiences hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

- Japanese bomber not being able to bomb the Hawaii temple during Pearl Harbor

- John Taylor’s watch stopping a bullet

- The story of the seagulls and crickets in SLC

- The false stories told by that one general authority (spoken  of in a different thread… can’t remember his name)

- The SLC temple being built with elevator shafts before elevators were invented

- Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

- The many stories of a person burning in a fire except where his garments covered

Del parson’s painting of Christ in the red robe is exactly what Christ looks like

- Those that killed Joseph smith all suffered terrible deaths

I would say those are not revelation so I am not sure how they relate.

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

I would say those are not revelation so I am not sure how they relate.

I agree completely. There are, however, a lot of people who feel they experience spiritual experiences on these sort of things.

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

Hadn’t heard that one.  What is faith promoting about that?

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

I agree completely. There are, however, a lot of people who feel they experience spiritual experiences on these sort of things.

Breaking News! People call emotional reaction spiritual experience. Details at 11.

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8 hours ago, Fether said:

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

I don't actually know what that would even look like. It has always been my experience that God speaks to us in order to spur action. The explanation in D&C 82:8-9 aligns with what I know personally:

Quote

And again, I say unto you, I give unto you a new commandment, that you may understand my will concerning you; or, in other words, I give unto you directions how you may act before me, that it may turn to you for your salvation.

It has likewise been my personal experience that spiritual promptings are only confirmed in the process of acting upon them. Over time, the voice of God has grown more and more recognisable in my life, with the result that I many times feel confident of the outcome before I act, but the action is still necessary. It not only confirms the spiritual impression but often brings others that, when acted upon, extend and clarify the original. 

What would be the purpose of revelation that doesn't answer 'so what?'

Quote

Or what about spiritual experiences hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

I don't know what you mean here by 'spiritual experiences'.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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For many years, I searched out scriptures that described how the spirit operates.

Quote

Appendix A: Answers to Prayer in LDS Scripture
Here are scriptures describing answer to prayer through the Spirit. Contexts usually refer
to study, pondering, inquiry, musing, fasting, and reflecting on the subject of the prayer
before and during the experience described or promised. You should study the scriptures
in context. These verses should spur introspection in assessing personal experience, and
in considering the claims of others. (Even skeptics should define what they do not believe
in.) They are also a strong test for the claims of Joseph Smith. Consider them in light of
my model and note how well they all hang together. The Spirit is a promised witness to
the obedient (Acts 5:32; John 7:17, 8:31–32).
Answer to Prayer Emphasizing Thinking
1. Guides to truth (that is, to what is real; Jacob 4:13; John 16:13; Ephesians 5:9–10).
2. Brings Christ‘s words to remembrance (John 14:26).
3. Eyes of understanding opened, that ye may know (Ephesians 1:16–19). ―We began to
have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning and
intention . . . revealed to us in a manner we never could attain to previously, nor ever
before thought of.‖ (Joseph Smith–History 1:74)

4. ―It is calm and serene; . . . a person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the
spirit of revelation: for instance when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it
may give you sudden strokes of ideas.‖67
5. Expands your mind (Alma 32:34).
6. Is this not real? What is true is discernible. ―Whatsoever makes manifest is light‖—
truth is things as they really are (Alma 32:35; Jacob 4:13; Ephesians 5:13; D&C
52:14–19) ―A pattern in all things‖ (D&C 52:14).
7. Persuades to believe in Christ (Moroni 7:17).
8. Judge righteously (D&C 11:12; Matthew 7; Luke 11:35).
9. Enlightens your mind (D&C 11:13–14; Alma 32:34).
10. You will know and bear record (Ether 4:11–15).
11. ―Still small voice,‖ ―which whispereth through and pierceth all things often making
my bones to quake,‖ ―voice in mind,‖ ―as of one crying in the wilderness . . . because
you cannot see him‖ (Enos 1:10; 1 Kings 16:13; Isaiah 30:21; D&C 85:6; 88:66; see
also 3 Nephi 11:37).
12. I know that ye believe them . . . by the manifestation of the spirit, great is my joy. He
that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and
rejoice together (Alma 7:17; D&C 50:10–25). It can be a shared experience that is
witnessed and not self-induced.
13. Experience a change of perception. ―God has created man with a mind capable of
instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and
diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the
nearer a man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his
enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and
. . . arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his
Maker and is caught up to dwell with Him. . . . This is a station to which no man ever
arrived in a moment: he must have been instructed . . . by proper degrees, until his
mind is capable in some measure of comprehending the propriety, justice, equality,
and consistency of the same.

Answer to Prayer Emphasizing Feeling
1. Heart burns within (Luke 24:32; Jeremiah 20:9;Psalms 39:2–3, 12; D&C 9).
2. Enlarges soul (Alma 32:27: Moroni 10:3–6); cf. Enos for enlargement of soul,
first praying for self, then his people, then his enemies (Enos 1–17).
3. Word begins to be delicious to you (Alma 32:27); also tree of life (1 Nephi 8:10–
16).
4. Word grows in you (Alma 32:28–43) ―As that subject seems to occupy my mind,
and press itself upon my feelings the strongest‖ (D&C 128:1). ―Never did any
passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at
this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my
heart. I reflected upon it again and again‖ (Joseph Smith–History 1:12).

5. Invites to do good (Moroni 7:13); fruit of spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22–25).
6. Invites to love God and to serve him (Moroni 7:13–19).
7. Peace to mind concerning the matter (D&C 6:14–15, 22–23).
8. Feel that it is right; stupor of thought if wrong (D&C 9:7–9).
9. Leads you to walk humbly (D&C 11:12).
10. Peace and power of spirit flow into you (D&C 111:8).
11. Spirit teaches you that ye must pray (2 Nephi 32:8–9).
12. Spirit fills with joy (D&C 11:13–14; Mosiah 4:3)
13. Peace of conscience (Mosiah 4:3).
14. Consolation, comfort, peace (Helaman 3:5; John 14:26–27)
15. Guilty take truth hard, for it cuts to the center (Acts 2:37; 1 Nephi 16:2; 2 Nephi
32:2). Some harden hearts against it; others repent (see Alma 14, 15, and 36).
16. Experience a change of heart (Alma 5:26). ―The spirit of the Lord . . . will
whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil
from their hearts, . . . and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth
righteousness, and build up the kingdom of God.‖69 ―Law . . . written in hearts‖
(Jeremiah 31:33). ―New heart, new spirit within you‖ (Ezekiel 11:19).

Other Ways Prayers Are Answered.
1. You receive help that you‘ve prayed for (James 5:16–18). ―The fervent prayer of
a righteous man availeth much‖ (James 5:16).
2. Numinous Experience: awe and reverence, mystery and wonder, fascination and
dread, a sense of otherness, confrontation and encounter; becoming aware of
dependence, finitude, limitation, and contingency.70
3. Mystical Experience; sense of the unity of all things, joy, harmony, serenity,
peace, loss of ego. ―Eight central qualities of the mystical or transcendent
experience‖ are:71
 The ―ego quality.‖ During the experience, the person may lose the sense of self,
and feel absorbed in to something greater. (cf. He that ascended up on high, as
also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he
might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; D&C 88:6; And it came
to pass that the Lord spake unto Enoch, and told Enoch all the doings of the
children of men; wherefore Enoch knew, and looked upon their wickedness, and
their misery, and wept and stretched forth his arms, and his heart swelled wide as
eternity; and his bowels yearned; and all eternity shook. Moses 7:41);
 The ―unifying quality.‖ During the experience, the person may feel that
―everything is one.‖ (cf. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before
him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all 

things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are
by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever. D&C 88:41),
 The ―inner and subjective quality.‖ The person may feel that things possess
consciousness which we don‘t usually regard as being conscious, like trees, or the
earth itself. (cf. And it came to pass that Enoch looked upon the earth; and he
heard a voice from the bowels thereof, saying: Wo, wo is me, the mother of men;
I am pained, I am weary, because of the wickedness of my children. When shall I
rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me? When will
my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon
my face? Moses 7:48)
 The ―temporal/spatial quality.‖ The person may experience time and space
differently, and may even feel that the experience occurs outside the normal
boundaries of space and time. (cf. And it came to pass, as the voice was still
speaking, Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there
was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God.
And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he
beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were
great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore. And he beheld many
lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face
thereof. Moses 1:27–29. Compare also Black Elk‘s vision.);
 The ―noetic quality.‖ The person may feel that the experience is the source of
true knowledge. (cf. And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your
knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you
know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it
hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your
mind doth begin to expand. O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because
it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye
must know that it is good; ...Alma 32:34-35 )
 The ―ineffable quality.‖ The experience may be impossible to express in normal
language. (cf. And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were caught up
into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And it was forbidden them
that they should utter; neither was it given unto them power that they could utter
the things which they saw and heard; And whether they were in the body or out of
the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of
them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that
they could behold the things of God. 3 Nephi 28:13-15. Which he commanded us
we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to
utter; Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen
and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who
love him, and purify themselves before him; D&C 76:116-117)
 The ―positive emotion quality.‖ (cf. He hath filled me with his love, even unto
the consuming of my flesh. 2 Nephi 4:21. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous
light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter
as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand,
there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. Alma 36:20-21).

 The ―sacred quality.‖ The experience may seem to be intrinsically sacred. (But
now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes,
for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in
his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was
transfigured before him. Moses 1:11).
4. Dreams and Visions; compare Nephi and Lehi, Daniel, Peter, and John, etc.
5. Personal Dialogue; you feel yourself addressed through events, and answer
through your actions.72

For sources, see https://oneclimbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/A-Model-of-Mormon-Spiritual-Experience.pdf

An effective way to not recognize spiritual experiences turns out to be positivism. Alan Goff has this:

Quote

Positivism began its intellectual decline when the main criterion of logical positivists (any proposition that is neither analytical—that is, true by definition—nor based on empirical observations is non-sense) was shown to be self-refuting. This claim itself is not based on empirical inputs. 

https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/the-inevitability-of-epistemology-in-historiography-theory-history-and-zombie-mormon-history/

And elsewhere this:

Quote

Alan Goff observes that “Naturalism is a circular position, for it will accept as evidence only historical claims that can be verified in naturalistic ways; when the researcher talks about those verificationist methods of validation, he or she then turns into a positivist.” ((Alan Goff, “Dan Vogel’s Family Romance and the Book of Mormon as Smith Family Allegory,” FARMS Review of Books 17/2 (2005): 329.))

Quote

Alan Goff says that “the positivist has to intervene to deny the claims the historical actor provides in order to supply ones that accord with his own epistemology and ontology. The religious language has to be replaced with a naturalistic one, and that translation is done under the aegis of a metaphysical conception of reality.” ((Goff, 335.))

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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10 hours ago, Calm said:

Hadn’t heard that one.  What is faith promoting about that?

It’s just a Mormon myth. I’ve heard it a couple times in my life. But it could be faith promoting in the sense that God provided means to build the church despite their not being any means of traditional construction

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6 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Breaking News! People call emotional reaction spiritual experience. Details at 11.

Well duh… my my questions when it comes to emotions is aren’t all the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 emotions? I understand if things invites to do good, then it is of God, but what if it is t inviting anything. What if you experience one of these fruit of the spirit when it comes to some obscure doctrine? Nephi teaches us that the mysteries of God can be revealed to us, so it seems we could experience spiritual confirmation for obscure doctrine… but so have experienced those fruits of the spirit to obscure doctrine but later turned out to be utterly false.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I don't actually know what that would even look like. It has always been my experience that God speaks to us in order to spur action. The explanation in D&C 82:8-9 aligns with what I know personally:

It has likewise been my personal experience that spiritual promptings are only confirmed in the process of acting upon them. Over time, the voice of God has grown more and more recognisable in my life, with the result that I many times feel confident of the outcome before I act, but the action is still necessary. It not only confirms the spiritual impression but often brings others that, when acted upon, extend and clarify the original. 

What would be the purpose of revelation that doesn't answer 'so what?'

I don't know what you mean here by 'spiritual experiences'.

I was always under the same impressions. There was a thread a few weeks back where 2 or 3 other forum members insisted they had spiritual confirmation for some somewhat obscure doctrine. I pointed out that I dont think the HG confirms doctrine, but rather courses of action. then another member told me I was wrong and that the HG whole purpose to co firm all truth.

I am just trying to figure out if there is anything to this.

Edited by Fether
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40 minutes ago, Fether said:

Well duh… my my questions when it comes to emotions is aren’t all the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 emotions? I understand if things invites to do good, then it is of God, but what if it is t inviting anything. What if you experience one of these fruit of the spirit when it comes to some obscure doctrine? Nephi teaches us that the mysteries of God can be revealed to us, so it seems we could experience spiritual confirmation for obscure doctrine… but so have experienced those fruits of the spirit to obscure doctrine but later turned out to be utterly false.

I sometimes feel sadistic glee when my enemies suffer but i don’t take that to mean that is the Spirit.

Much like a cigar sometimes an emotion is just an emotion. I can and have been tricked by empathy from false stories. I have felt elation at lies. It happens a lot when I am reading fiction.

We can feel spiritual confirmation or outright revelation about obscure or even unrevealed doctrine. Of course due to the instructions in the Book of Mormon generally that doctrine has to be held as sacred until the apostles and those in authority start teaching it.

I don’t consider a story told in a meeting to fit the paradigm of learning about doctrine.

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17 hours ago, Fether said:

Feeling the spirit has been described as a burning of the bosom, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, an audible voice, thoughts in our mind, visions, dreams and more. Does experiencing just one of these things constitute spiritual confirmation?

Any or all could constitute such confirmation. 
 

I think it important to bear in mind the nature of figurative language and not to get too hung up with taking it literally. President Oaks said that if “burning in the bosom” is taken to mean the physical transfer of heat, then he has never had such an experience. 
 

I believe that phrasing alludes to the New Testament account of the disciples who, without recognizing Him at first, encountered the risen Christ while on the road to Emmaeus. After He departed from them, one said, “Did not our hearts burn within us when He talked with us by the way?” 
 

Maybe they didn’t mean a physical transfer of heat either. 

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21 hours ago, Fether said:

@The Nehor @CV75 @Hamba Tuhan
 

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

ie. Spiritual confirmations that:

- The teaching that blacks were not valiant in ore earth life.

- Adam is our Heavenly Father

- God had multiple wives

- God has one wife

Or what about spiritual experiences hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

- Japanese bomber not being able to bomb the Hawaii temple during Pearl Harbor

- John Taylor’s watch stopping a bullet

- The story of the seagulls and crickets in SLC

- The false stories told by that one general authority (spoken  of in a different thread… can’t remember his name)

- The SLC temple being built with elevator shafts before elevators were invented

- Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

- The many stories of a person burning in a fire except where his garments covered

Del parson’s painting of Christ in the red robe is exactly what Christ looks like

- Those that killed Joseph smith all suffered terrible deaths


 

none of these require action… it’s just a spiritual experience that tells you “this is true”

I’m going to add this to the main post

 

Two ideas for judging yourself and your experiences, but not others:

1. If they are false, they are not of the Spirit. By grace you may have believed them without doing harm to yourself or others. Otherwise, you were on the wrong side until you repented.

2. If they require no action, they are not of the Spirit. By grace you may have believed them without doing harm to yourself or others.  In this case, repentance would involve prioritizing and attending to the revelations that do require action.

Revelations given by the Spirit in one circumstance or dispensation may be changed to address a subsequent circumstance or dispensation.

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16 minutes ago, CV75 said:

Two ideas for judging yourself and your experiences, but not others:

1. If they are false, they are not of the Spirit. By grace you may have believed them without doing harm to yourself or others. Otherwise, you were on the wrong side until you repented.

2. If they require no action, they are not of the Spirit. By grace you may have believed them without doing harm to yourself or others.  In this case, repentance would involve prioritizing and attending to the revelations that do require action.

Revelations given by the Spirit in one circumstance or dispensation may be changed to address a subsequent circumstance or dispensation.

I have never once heard this or caught it.  Where are you guys getting this?  I've heard lots of things about the Spirit and action, but not about this specific idea.

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If you can't tell,  it's not the Spirit..

The whole point of receiving a revelation is that you know it's a revelation.  Could be anything and God wants you to KNOW.

Otherwise it would be like leaving a voicemail and not saying who you are.   Makes no sense whatsoever.

'Oh I prayed and then felt funny" would be a useless communication from God.   Why would He hide and make you guess?

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 7/31/2021 at 4:18 PM, Fether said:

Its the age old question, how do we recognize the spirit? How do we differentiate between my feelings and the spirit?

We do it in various ways, it seems, and I took/take a very pragmatic approach to telling the differences.

First of all I began with the premise that the "spirit" (thinking you mean the Spirit of God aka the Holy Spirit/Ghost who bears testimony of our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ) is a different person than me, hence, his feelings are not mine even though I might possibly have the same feelings he does on some issues.  So then I tried to look for ways to distinguish him from me, with the idea that the spirit was supposedly somehow able to communicate with me, or my spirit.

Knowing who is who is important to keep in mind, I think, when other people try to communicate with me.  When other people share their ideas with me, that is what they think, not what I think, although I can sometimes think what they think if I want to. 

 

On 7/31/2021 at 4:18 PM, Fether said:

Additional questions to ask ourselves:

- Feeling the spirit has been described as a burning of the bosom, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, an audible voice, thoughts in our mind, visions, dreams and more. Does experiencing just one of these things constitute spiritual confirmation?

No, I don't think so.  Sometimes my bosom burns and it isn't the spirit.  It is just my bosom burning. And sometimes I love and what I feel is that it is me who is loving who or what I love.  The spirit may love those things too, or those people, but there is still a difference between him and me.

On 7/31/2021 at 4:18 PM, Fether said:

- Are there things the devil can recreate? If so, how accurately?

Feelings we have that he can feel too?  Or that the spirit can feel too?  Like what, are you thinking?

On 7/31/2021 at 4:18 PM, Fether said:

- If the devil can fabricate spiritual experiences, or if a single experience isn’t meant to confirm a doctrine or principle, how are we to proceed?

The devil...Satan, Lucifer... is a spirit, so he does have spiritual experiences.  We generally think of him as the big bad guy, an evil spirit, distinct from the spirit of any good person.

On 7/31/2021 at 4:18 PM, Fether said:

- What spiritual experiences are reliable and what aren’t?

Reliable for what purpose?  I think we can rely on the fact that evil spirits are somehow evil and have some evil purpose.

Enough from me for now.

Edited by bOObOO
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On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

I imagine this thread has been done in the past (and surely discussed often in many other discussions). But I’m fairly new here so humor me :)

Its the age old question, how do we recognize the spirit? How do we differentiate between my feelings and the spirit?

I think we should have a testimony of the fundamentals, as derived from the Spirit, with the Book of Mormon / Moroni's Promise as the catalyst.  Everything else is derivative of, is "downstream" from, those fundamentals.

A few thoughts:

1. Michael Ash's Four-Legged Stool:

I have found this comment from Michael Ash very helpful:

Quote

In a previous installment I explained that Roman Catholics take a three-legged tripod-like approach to determining truth—Scripture, Tradition, and the Pope. I believe that we Latter-day Saints are asked to take a four-legged approach to truth, like the four legs of a stool. These would include: Scripture, Prophets, Personal Revelation, and Reason. By utilizing the methodologies for all four of these tools, we have a better chance of accurately determining what is true.

The other legs of the stool (scripture, prophets and reason) function well in "vetting" personal revelation.  Utilizing all four "legs" is, in my view, a far more reliable mechanism for discerning truth than relying on just one of them exclusively.

2. Hafens' Tripartiate Progression (Untested Simplicity --> Complexity --> Tested/Proven Simplicity):

I've posted this a few times now:

Quote
Quote

 

Elder Bruce C. Hafen, an emeritus General Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Sister Marie K. Hafen, once a member of the church’s Young Women general board, have just penned a refreshingly frank book— "Faith is Not Blind" (Deseret Book) — providing powerful paradigms for navigating faith in increasingly complex times.

In 2008, Elder Hafen delivered a devotional address at Brigham Young University (where he once served as dean of the law school and later as provost). His remarks centered on the lifelong journey of Christian discipleship.
...
Their new book extends this kind of faith-affirming discussion beyond the halls of BYU (or the ambiance of the local Olive Garden) and into the hearts of discerning Latter-day Saints of all ages.
...
But, with regard to style (the book is a breezy 130 pages) and substance, the Hafens clearly have a specific audience in mind — young adults.
...
The book amounts to one of the more readable, yet authoritative contributions to the expanding genre of literature speaking to the religious concerns of the rising generation.
...
A central cause of faith crisis in any age arises when we apprehend a gap between the real and the ideal. Simply minding this gap without ever bridging it arrests many a faith journey. The Hafens quote American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes: “I would not give a fig for the simplicity (on) this side of complexity. But I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

They propose a tripartite model of spiritual progression. It begins with childlike simplicity — “innocent and untested.” Then stage two commences as believers juxtapose the ideal and the real. This is where “we struggle with conflicts and uncertainty.” But those who successfully navigate this stage arrive at, in Holmes’ words, a simplicity that transcends complexity — “a settled and informed perspective that has been tempered and tested by time and experience.”

 

So we have:

Stage 1 ("Innocent and Untested") --> Stage 2 ("Juxtaposing the Ideal and the Real") --> Stage 3 ("Informed Perspective of Complexity-Transcending Simplicity Tempered by Time and Experience").

This seems about right.  Stage 2 is, I think, where a lot of members of the Church are struggling and giving up.

Part of the answer, I think, is to seek simplicity that transcends, that is on the other side of, complexity.

3. My Attempt at a Framework:

Here is a framework I tried to develop a few years ago (responding to a friend's inquiry that was fairly similar to yours) :

Quote

A) Consider the Duration of the Feeling:

 I read The Book of Mormon several times prior to this experience.  As a teenager, for an extended period I read it every night and prayed about it.  Over time I gained a cumulative spiritual confirmation that the book was true, that it is what it claims to be.  

After graduating from high school, I served 18 months in the military.  During this time I also had several spiritual experiences, mostly centered on The Book of Mormon, on Jesus Christ as savior, and also about Joseph Smith as a genuine prophet.  

Then I served a two-year mission and had more experiences, centered on the scriptures, on Jesus Christ, but also on the testimonies of people in Taiwan who joined the Church despite the language barriers, cultural impediments, and significant familial disapproval.  Converting from Buddhism / ancestor worship to Christianity was very difficult for many of these people, but they did so largely based on what they felt and determined to be the Spirit.  

Then I returned home and shortly thereafter had a very strong spiritual experience that, for me, solidified my previous cumulative experiences into a more cohesive whole, and also helped me differentiate "emotion" (which, as you have described, is "fleeting"), and the Spirit (which is "something more constant and which because a more permanent feeling of peace and comfort and enlightenment, etc.").

B) Consider the Circumstance of the Feeling:

A person may be able to determine whether a particular feeling derives from the Spirit or from mere emotional response to stimuli by looking at the source or circumstance of the feeling.  How did the feeling come about?  For example, every day there are sports fans all around the world who scream and shout in support of their particular team (we currently have a Brazilian exchange student living with us, and soccer looms very large in his life).  Are these people being influenced by “the Spirit?”  Generally not.  Sporting events are exciting, emotional.  My point in saying “consider the source” is to look at it from God’s perspective.  Does God communicate important and fundamental truths to His children through the emotional response they experience at a football game?  Probably not. 

So a person can, to some extent, differentiate “emotion” from “the Spirit” by examining the circumstances in which the experience occurred.  This is particularly helpful when you consider the teachings of the LDS Church.  For example, D&C 9:8 states: “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.”  Elder Oaks put it this way: “We should recognize that the Lord will speak to us through the Spirit in his own time and in his own way. … We cannot force spiritual things … In most cases, ‘his own way’ is not the thunderous interruption or the blinding light, but what the scriptures call ‘the still small voice’ (1 Kgs. 1 Kings 19:12; 1 Ne. 1 Nephi 17:45; D&C 85:6). … We need to know that the Lord rarely speaks loudly. His messages almost always come in a whisper” (“Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, Mar. 1997, 10–12).

I had a very important spiritual experience just after I returned from my mission.  It was “important” not because it was extraordinarily powerful, or overwhelming, or any of the other adjectives that we Latter-day Saints – perhaps on occasion inappropriately – apply to important spiritual experiences.  Rather, it was “important” because of its clarity.  And its “clarity” arose because it occurred in circumstances in which confusing the Spirit with emotion was pretty much not possible.  

C) Consider the Apparent Purpose of the Feeling:

Another way to distinguish “emotion” from “the Spirit” is to again look at the experience from God’s point of view, and this time try to ascertain the *purpose* of the feeling.  That is, if God is trying to communicate with you, is He doing so in circumstances which have a discernible purpose?  Or is the feeling more properly attributed to a mundane response to emotive stimuli?

Let me give you an example: In high school I was a huge fan of music, mostly classical (Mozart, Beethoven, Dvorak), movie soundtracks (John Williams), and musicals (Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Stephen Sondheim).  My high school’s marching band, of which I was a part, once traveled to LA to participate in a competition, and while there we saw Michael Crawford perform “Phantom of the Opera” in the Ahmanson Theatre.  I returned to Utah and began listening to the soundtrack on a regular basis.  I would retire to a darkened room in our house and listen to most of the tracks on really good headphones, with the volume turned up, and I would re-visit the staged play in my head.  By the time I would reach the last track, with the full orchestra at a crescendo, and the Phantom singing “It’s over now … the Music of the Night…”, I felt a tremendous thrill.  (Yeah, this is geeky, I know.   If you question my masculine bona fides, I refer you to the last play of the 2006 BYU-Utah game, in which Johnny Harline caught the winning pass in the end zone.  Here’s a YouTube vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dflMnmCCZk.  I remember being pretty thrilled about that, too.)

So here I am, a guy who felt *something* very strongly when listening to “Phantom of the Opera” in high school and, later, when watching a football game on TV.  However, these circumstances were not ones which I would think God would use to convey spiritual promptings.  These were instead merely emotive reactions.

D) Consider the Feeling’s Effect on Behavior:

Another factor to consider is to evaluate a feeling’s effect on your behavior and ask whether the behavior prompted by the feeling is conducive to God’s will.  If yes, then it could be the Spirit, but if not, then the feeling is likely just an emotive response.  I think this principle is described well in Moroni 7:16-17:

Quote

16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

So there you are.  I think a person can differentiate between the Spirit and “mere emotion” by analyzing feelings and considering A) their duration, B) the circumstances in which they occurred, C) their apparent purpose, and D) their effect on behavior.

4. Defining Terms and Parameters:

I think it is helpful for us to occasionally re-examine what it means to have a testimony.  Consider the Temple Recommend questions (emphases added) :

Quote

1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
 
2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
 
3. Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
 
4. Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?

5. Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators?
Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?

5. The Lord has said that all things are to be “done in cleanliness” before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41).
Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior?
Do you obey the law of chastity?
 
6. Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
 
7. Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
 
8. Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
 
9. Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
 
10. Are you a full-tithe payer?
For new members seeking a limited-use recommend: Are you willing to obey the commandment to pay tithing?
 
11. Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
 
12. Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children?
If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
 
13. Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
 
13. Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
 
14. Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?

Note that the first three pertain to having "a testimony," the rest are "do you sustain," "do you strive," "do you obey," etc.

As Joseph Smith put it

Quote

“The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 121).

And, of course, there is D&C 76:

Quote

22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—

24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

So should a person have a testimony of, say, the Word of Wisdom?  Or is that derivative of having a testimony of the "fundamental principles of our religion?"

5. Additional Resources:

I would point an interested party to the following essays:

Reading these have helped me understand some pitfalls, however well-intentioned, can be dug when we dilute the meaning of "testimony."

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

Additional questions to ask ourselves:

- Feeling the spirit has been described as a burning of the bosom, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, an audible voice, thoughts in our mind, visions, dreams and more. Does experiencing just one of these things constitute spiritual confirmation?

It can.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- Are there things the devil can recreate? If so, how accurately?

I think he can create some pretty good counterfeits.  That's his thing.  Lust can be confused for love.  A correct principle can be distorted into something wrong.  A charismatic figure can say or write things that are, as Paul put it, "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof."  An individual or group may, as Paul also put it, "have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge," as they are "ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

I am reminded here of a part of C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle, the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia series.  A key plot line in the book involves Shift, a talking ape who lived near his friend/servant, Puzzle the donkey.  Here's a character summary:

Quote

Shift's greed served as his primary motivation. His actions to satisfy his greed increased his vileness over time. From lying to his "friend" Puzzle, he moved to manipulating the other talking animals of Narnia. In the end he had no problem murdering them and selling them into slavery to increase his own wealth and power.

As Shift's actions became increasingly evil, he also became increasingly human in his appearance and in the way he presented himself. He donned human clothing and explained that he was not an ape, and that if he appeared as one, it was only because he was "so very old: hundreds and hundreds of years old."

Shift gained the power to pursue these actions by tricking Puzzle into impersonating Aslan, the true ruler of Narnia, using his claimed humanity as 'evidence' of his great wisdom to justify how he was the only one who could speak to Aslan.

Shift's scheme is summed up this way:

Quote

Shift, a Narnian ape, had been conspiring with the Tisroc, planning the overthrow of Narnia, for a long time. One day, as he was walking by Cauldron Pool with his friend Puzzle, they found the skin of a dumb lion who had been killed by a hunter in the Western Wild. Shift, ignoring Puzzle's protests, sewed the skin into a "fine new winter coat" for Puzzle, as he said. Gradually, he persuaded the donkey that Aslan wanted him to dress up in the lion skin so that Shift could use the Lion's authority to "put everything right" in Narnia. Although Puzzle was hesitant, he knew that Shift was far cleverer than himself and thought that the ape must know what Aslan would want, so he agreed.

...

Shift used the animals' firm faith in and longing for Aslan's return to facilitate his rise to power. He allowed Puzzle in the lion's skin to be sighted by several animals to start rumors, and then presented him openly to all the beasts...

The heroes of the story, Jill and King Tirian, encounter Puzzle wearing the lionskin and sort out Shift's scheme.  They intend to expose the scheme, but before they can do so Shift (who by this point is in league with Rishda Tarkaan, a captain of the Calormenes, the enemies of Narnia, and who has discovered Puzzle's absence) takes the scheme even further:

Quote

Rishda Tarkaan dragged the Ape up close to the fire. The pair of them turned to face the crowd, and this of course meant that their backs were towards Tirian and his friends.

"Now, Monkey," said Rishda Tarkaan in a low voice. "Say the words that wiser heads have put into thy mouth. And hold up thy head." As he spoke he gave the Ape a little prod or kick from behind with the point of his toe.

"Do leave me alone," muttered Shift. But he sat up straighter and began, in a louder voice——

"Now listen, all of you. A terrible thing has happened. A wicked thing. The wickedest thing that ever was done in Narnia. And Aslan ... is very angry about it."

There was a terrible silence while the Beasts waited to hear what new trouble was in store for them. The little party by the end-wall of the stable also held their breath. What on earth was coming now?

"Yes," said the Ape. "At this very moment, when the Terrible One himself is among us—there in the stable just behind me—one wicked Beast has chosen to do what you'd think no one would dare to do even if He were a thousand miles away. It has dressed itself up in a lionskin and is wandering about in these very woods pretending to be Aslan."

Jill wondered for a moment if the Ape had gone mad. Was he going to tell the whole truth? A roar of horror and rage went up from the Beasts. "Grrr!" came the growls, "Who is he? Where is he? Just let me get my teeth into him!"

"It was seen last night," screamed the Ape, "but it got away. It's a donkey! A common, miserable a$s! If any of you see that a$s——"

"Grrr!" growled the Beasts. "We will, we will. He'd better keep out of our way."

The heroes of the story respond this way:

Quote

Jill looked at the King: his mouth was open and his face was full of horror. And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger. What was the good, now, of telling the Beasts that an a$s had been dressed up as a lion to deceive them? The Ape would only say, "That's just what I've said." What was the good of showing them Puzzle in his lionskin? They would only tear him in pieces. "That's taken the wind out of our sails," whispered Eustace. "The ground is taken from under our feet," said Tirian.

"By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger."

That, I think, typifies the approach to LDS doctrine and history taken by some folks.  Chad Daybell certainly springs to mind.

Hence the value of Michael Ash's Four-Legged Stool (see above).

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- If the devil can fabricate spiritual experiences, or if a single experience isn’t meant to confirm a doctrine or principle, how are we to proceed?

I think he can come up with pretty good counterfeits.  Paul spoke of the devil appearing as an "angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14), as did Jacob (2 Nephi 9:9) and Joseph Smith (D&C 128:20).

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- What spiritual experiences are reliable and what aren’t?

Those that are of God are reliable.  But then, how do you determine which are of God?  Again, the Four-Legged Stood seems pretty useful.  Each leg counterbalances the other three.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- 1 Nephi 10:19 says “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come”. What are the mysteries of God? Are the mysteries things like “how does one truely have charity?” Or are they things like “did God once live as a man, and if he did, did he ever sin?”

Broad questions, too much to cover here.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- Are there things that the spirit simply won’t speak on?

Yes.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

Moses asked God about the specific plan for other works and God told him not to worry about it. Is that a sign that there are things the spirit may not confirm to us simply because it doesn’t matter for this earthly life?

Or that the information sought is not yet to be revealed.  Or that the individual is not prepared.  Lots of possible reasons.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- Is this supposed to be so difficult to figure out? Is there any wisdom in making the spirit so difficult to lock down?

I think we sometimes make things a bit too difficult.  See also the section above dealing with simplicity on the other side of complexity.

In the end, though, we do need to "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

EDIT:

What about spiritual confirmations that are later proven false, have no merit to our lives, or are clearly against our beliefs? Not promptings about action, but about doctrine and truth?

ie. Spiritual confirmations that:

- The teaching that blacks were not valiant in ore earth life.

- Adam is our Heavenly Father

I can't speak to any of these.  I have received no spiritual confirmation of such.  And if we apply the Four-Legged-Stool reasoning described above, we don't really need to worry about it much.

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

- God had multiple wives

- God has one wife

What are the revealed doctrines about these matters?

Are these matters essential to our salvation?

Do we really need a definitive answer about them in order to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of His Church?

On 7/31/2021 at 5:18 PM, Fether said:

Or what about a spiritual experience after hearing a miracle story, but that story turns out to be a complete fabrication or has twisted in that changes everything?

- Japanese bomber not being able to bomb the Hawaii temple during Pearl Harbor

- John Taylor’s watch stopping a bullet

- The story of the seagulls and crickets in SLC

- The false stories told by that one general authority (spoken  of in a different thread… can’t remember his name)

- The SLC temple being built with elevator shafts before elevators were invented

- Meeting houses being boats built upsidown because they only had a ship builder

- The many stories of a person burning in a fire except where his garments covered

- Del parson’s painting of Christ in the red robe is exactly what Christ looks like

- Those that killed Joseph smith all suffered terrible deaths

none of these require action… it’s just a spiritual experience that tells you “this is true”

These seem to be a mixed bag.  Most seem to be urban legends or exaggerations of the historical record.  

Again, what are the revealed doctrines about these matters?  Are these matters essential to our salvation?  Do we really need a definitive answer about them in order to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and a member of His Church?

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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23 hours ago, Rain said:

I have never once heard this or caught it.  Where are you guys getting this?  I've heard lots of things about the Spirit and action, but not about this specific idea.

Why would the Lord reveal something to you to just know about without doing anything about it? To not act on divine knowledge is the antithesis of faith.

Edited by CV75
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