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Losing faith vs losing belief


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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

I would never think that changing my already provisionally certain core doctrinal beliefs is equivalent to  defying Christ. 
 

I get that. But I've asked you to look at this from a different perspective, not your own.  I get that it's hard to do but unless you can see things from my perspective, you can never understand what you are asking of me.

What you are asking me to do is to defy Christ (according to my beliefs) to alleviate your hurt.  Would you be willing to do the same for me?  Would you defy Christ to alleviate my hurt?

 

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If wonderful Godly people believe differently than me, how can I deny them the validity of their relationship with Christ because they disagree with me, or I with them? Hence while I may disagree, I also grant them the validity, reality, and reliability of what they claim - a relationship with Christ. That someone denies that same thing in my life in a way that is kind, in no way negates the pain when there are relationships involved. You see the LDS don't just disagree with me . . . they deny the reality of the salvific, personal, intimate relationship with Christ that I, as a proxy for like-minded millions of other Christians have.

As I've said before many times, I do not deny you a relationship with Christ.  My beliefs do not require me to do that.
 

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This is deep stuff as you said yesterday. Your doctrine that you so deeply believe in, condemns me to live here on earth as a fool, a fraud, a pretender, one who is 100% utterly and completely dependent on your institution to grant me eternal life with Christ and the Father forever, and that in and of itself seems to be in question as I read all the different perspectives by members of your faith on the reality of the three kingdoms and differing levels of the highest.

To the bold, no it doesn't.  I've provided quotes before to you that show it doesn't do any of the bold.  But you keep insisting that it does.  With all due respect and said with as much kindness as I can muster, this insistence seems a little martyr-esque.  Because I can't figure out any reason why you won't accept the many of us who have said repeatedly that the bold is not true.  At this point, there isn't really anything else that we can say. 

If you are determined to believe this is how we view you, we can't stop you.  That point of view doesn't have anything to do with our doctrine though.

Yes, we do believe that we are all dependant upon priesthood authority and the organization that Christ set up to walk the path that leads back home to Him.  But from our perspective, that's not dependence upon an institution, that's dependence upon Christ.  It could be hurtful that you are constantly referring to it as a manmade institution, when we believe it is so much more, but since I understand your beliefs are different than mine, I don't take it personally.

Should I?

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For me, someone who looks forward to eternity with the Savior, anything less is a form of hell. Yet to some degree, you (used collectively) cannot even offer assurance to the members of your own faith which kingdom they will dwell in for eternity. I find that hard to comprehend.

We will go to whichever kingdom we want to go, whichever we are most comfortable in, whichever one whose laws we are willing to obey.  Some people seek to live the higher law and others don't want to have much to do with turning the other cheek, loving their enemies, obedience, and sacrifice.  The higher law is the law that Christ and God live and we have to be willing to live it too if we want to be with them.

Some people want nothing to do with living that law.  They are most happy not being held to that standard.  Can you offer me assurances of whether or not I will leave this life seeking to live the Higher Law?  Who could offer such assurances for others?

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What is that I am asking you to do? I am asking you to withhold judgment on my destiny until after Christ has completed His judgment on my destiny. I am willing to do that for you and for any other individual. I am willing to go to the Savior just as I am; redeemed by His atonement.  I am also happy and excited for you to do the same, based on your own convictions, not on mine.

What you are willing to do for me is to offer me a version of Christ that, when it's all said and done, accepts different standards for different people.  Because our beliefs about Christ are contradictory in that way, for you to hold tight to your convictions you cannot offer me salvation on my own.   

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Are you so positive that you know how He will judge Navidad before that even happens that you can't grant credence to his (Navidad's) faith and trust in Christ, and that Christ may very well honor that by extending the already existing earthly relationship into eternity? Does that concept so deeply rock the foundation of your faith, that you are unable to do that?

Absolutely not.  Your judgement is between Him and you.  Your beliefs don't rock the foundation of my faith as much as they simply disagree with it.  My beliefs disagree with your's, so clearly you can understand where I am coming from.
 

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Are you so certain I am deceiving myself, and all non-LDS Christian believers do the same when we speak of a deep relationship with the Savior via the Holy Spirit - in my case for half a century now? Are you so certain that you are willing to risk relationships with family members, friends, co-workers, and those of other faiths who are special to you (I am not thinking of me -I am just a goofy guy on a forum) in order to uphold what is at best a through-the-glass-darkly-limited-understanding of eternity that I think we all share?

I'm certain of very little. That is why I speak in terms of belief. 

I do not doubt your deep relationship with the Savior.    

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Thanks for you response to me. I really do appreciate your willingness to dialogue with me about something that is so very deep and important. As the old hymn says "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." Are you certain that is an empty hope? Best . . .

Of course it isn't an empty hope.  Best to you as well.

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On 5/14/2023 at 8:21 AM, MustardSeed said:

I’m living proof this is incorrect

So, you had a complete assurance and knowledge of the existence of God, and your own living being,,,,,,, to his approval, attended by the Baptism of Fire, and miracles of biblical proportion, and somehow lost that? Or you believe in the gospel but have no faith in its author?

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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

I don't think any Latter-day Saint would agree with this statement.  

 It is against our doctrine to place any kind of final judgment on another individual.  Hense the strong resistance to provide any sort of "assurances to the members...which kingdom they will dwell in for eternity".  Final judgment is a LONG way away!  We still have to go through the entire millennium before that will happen.   There is no way we can make judgment of any individual, and I think it is way too big of an assumption to presume that we cannot or will not change beliefs/perspectives as new light is revealed through the second coming and within that millennia of time with the Savior among us.  We have faith that the Lord has revealed his requirements (not ours) for exaltation.  Upholding that faith is not equivalent to judging the eternal destiny of other's or making any kind of eternal assurances of salvation, damnation or exaltation - it is simply relaying what we believe the Lord has revealed to His prophets.    If you don't hold the same faith right now, no one is saying that you will be condemned for it.  But if the Lord reveals it to you at some point within that millennia before final judgment, then all that is left to ask is will you be open to accept the Lord's revelation despite your provisional certitude to the contrary?  I can tell you right now, that if I am given a direct revelation from God within that time frame that my faith is wrong, I would change as directed by the Lord.  You talk a lot about certainty - are you so certain that your dark glass is as clear as you seem to think it is?  I certainly am not so certain about my perspective.  I walk in faith as the Lord directs.  If he tells me to turn left, I will turn left.  If he tells me to turn right, I will turn right, even if that means leaving the church/kingdom of God and cause that I have dedicated my life to up to this point.  Are you that willing to turn from what you believe at this moment in your life?   I think it is that it is only through that kind of humility that we have any hope of exaltation. If you and I both have that kind of humility, then I don't think there is anything to be concerned about.   We will be directed where the Lord wants us.   There is no judgment in that position, despite our current differences in faith. 

Again, I don't think any Latter-day Saint would suggest that you are deceiving yourself.  I honestly don't understand where you are coming from with this.  Who is claiming that you don't have a deep relationship with the Savior via the Holy Spirit? 

 

There is so much to unpack in what you have said here. I respect you, Bluebell, Calm, and so many others so much. I just don't have time right now to unpack it all. I have to travel up to the states and back tomorrow. I will think about what you have said. Please don't think I am ignoring you if I don't say more right now. I don't expect any Latter-day Saint to agree with what I have said in my last several posts. I don't need for them to agree with it. I need for them to hear it, or in this case read it. I am not a rabble-rouser. I am not an anti-Mormon. I am not a reprobate. I am neither instigator, investigator, or alligator. However, I would love to be heard and have folks consider what I say. Not about doctrinal agreements or disagreements but about pain, and yes being judged and having been found wanting.

My wife and I have found new peace in not attending the ward. That is a relief, but also sad. I do not think that is how it should be. Do you? I have turned around almost 180 degrees in my thinking about the LDS since the 1970s. That has been a migration with ups and downs and a sad ending. My beliefs are of secondary importance to me. I don't think the dark glass is very clear for any of us. My trust in Christ and relationship with Him is the fulcrum on which my spirituality is based. Gotta go get ready for tomorrow. No posting tomorrow. Just driving, shopping, getting mail, going to the bank, the drugstore, the doctor, the shoe store and of course, Walmart! My wife and I have eight hours of driving back and forth to chat. Be sure we will be chatting about our sacred and scarred journey into an LDS ward. I wish I knew how to heal it, but I don't. Best wishes.

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6 minutes ago, Jaydes said:

So, you had a complete assurance and knowledge of the existence of God, and your own living being,,,,,,, to his approval, attended by the Baptism of Fire, and miracles of biblical proportion, and somehow lost that? Or you believe in the gospel but have no faith in its author?

Oh, I didn’t know you were talking about miracles of biblical proportions. My bad!

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20 minutes ago, Navidad said:

There is so much to unpack in what you have said here. I respect you, Bluebell, Calm, and so many others so much. I just don't have time right now to unpack it all. I have to travel up to the states and back tomorrow. I will think about what you have said. Please don't think I am ignoring you if I don't say more right now. I don't expect any Latter-day Saint to agree with what I have said in my last several posts. I don't need for them to agree with it. I need for them to hear it, or in this case read it. I am not a rabble-rouser. I am not an anti-Mormon. I am not a reprobate. I am neither instigator, investigator, or alligator. However, I would love to be heard and have folks consider what I say. Not about doctrinal agreements or disagreements but about pain, and yes being judged and having been found wanting.

My wife and I have found new peace in not attending the ward. That is a relief, but also sad. I do not think that is how it should be. Do you? I have turned around almost 180 degrees in my thinking about the LDS since the 1970s. That has been a migration with ups and downs and a sad ending. My beliefs are of secondary importance to me. I don't think the dark glass is very clear for any of us. My trust in Christ and relationship with Him is the fulcrum on which my spirituality is based. Gotta go get ready for tomorrow. No posting tomorrow. Just driving, shopping, getting mail, going to the bank, the drugstore, the doctor, the shoe store and of course, Walmart! My wife and I have eight hours of driving back and forth to chat. Be sure we will be chatting about our sacred and scarred journey into an LDS ward. I wish I knew how to heal it, but I don't. Best wishes.

Be safe in your travels!

If it has brought you peace then I don't believe that is sad.  But I can see how it would be a sorrowful decision, having given so much to the ward and then feeling the need to pull away.

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18 hours ago, Navidad said:

There is so much to unpack in what you have said here. I respect you, Bluebell, Calm, and so many others so much. I just don't have time right now to unpack it all. I have to travel up to the states and back tomorrow. I will think about what you have said. Please don't think I am ignoring you if I don't say more right now. I don't expect any Latter-day Saint to agree with what I have said in my last several posts. I don't need for them to agree with it. I need for them to hear it, or in this case read it. I am not a rabble-rouser. I am not an anti-Mormon. I am not a reprobate. I am neither instigator, investigator, or alligator. However, I would love to be heard and have folks consider what I say. Not about doctrinal agreements or disagreements but about pain, and yes being judged and having been found wanting.

My wife and I have found new peace in not attending the ward. That is a relief, but also sad. I do not think that is how it should be. Do you? I have turned around almost 180 degrees in my thinking about the LDS since the 1970s. That has been a migration with ups and downs and a sad ending. My beliefs are of secondary importance to me. I don't think the dark glass is very clear for any of us. My trust in Christ and relationship with Him is the fulcrum on which my spirituality is based. Gotta go get ready for tomorrow. No posting tomorrow. Just driving, shopping, getting mail, going to the bank, the drugstore, the doctor, the shoe store and of course, Walmart! My wife and I have eight hours of driving back and forth to chat. Be sure we will be chatting about our sacred and scarred journey into an LDS ward. I wish I knew how to heal it, but I don't. Best wishes.

I appreciate you being vulnerable and sharing your personal experience.  There are very few people in the world who would be willing to venture so deeply into the world of Mormondom as you have done, seeking kinship in Christ as a member of another faith.  I think it says a lot about you.  Quite honestly, I think you are pretty inspiring. 

As an insider who is more nuanced in my beliefs and differs from the more orthodox and absolutist tradition, I think I understand how you feel on some level - it can feel stifling if your beliefs don't match the mold as expected by others within a faith group.  I imagine that feeling is only compounded as a non-member.  Where we differ is in our understanding of core LDS doctrines.  While I wouldn't be surprised if many Latter-day Saints do judge you for all the reasons you mention (I have felt that judgment in my own life, even as a member), I don't think our doctrines are the direct cause or require that type of judgment.  For that reason, I think that your previous posts here are perhaps casting too wide of a net in your assessment of Latter-day Saint attitudes and feelings towards you and others like you (if such a thing exists!).

I am 100% in agreement with you about beliefs.  I don't think we are going to be judged by the correctness of our beliefs, but by what we do with the light we are given and the love that is manifested in our faith.  There is nothing in our doctrine that would cause me to lose hope in your salvation and exaltation, despite choosing not to join our faith.  My assessment of you is that you are doing the best you know how with the light that you have been given and are clearly an example of manifesting your faith by love.  My beliefs about requirements for exaltation do not cause me to judge you.  Without knowing or seeing your heart, I perceive that you are following your light with integrity.  THAT is what is required for salvation/exaltation.  If my beliefs about baptism are right, I am confident that you will eventually come to learn that.  Does that make me superior to you right now?  Not at all.  It just means that I might have some pieces of the puzzle that you don't yet perceive of, while you might have other pieces of the puzzle required for exaltation that I can't perceive of or lack somehow in my life.  I don't see it as being superior or better - I see it simply as being one blind man who understands one part of the elephant better than another blind man who knows a different part of the elephant better than I do.  We are equally blind men who understand different parts of the elephant in different ways.  "While all are partly in the right, all are in the wrong (as the parable goes)."  If, on the other hand, you are right and my beliefs about baptism are wrong, then I am confident in my own integrity to the light I have been given that I will eventually come to learn and accept that.  Does that make you superior to me?  Not at all.  We are no different.  We are both blind men doing the best we can to palpate and accept as much of the elephant as we can.  There is nothing in my faith and doctrine that causes me to see or judge you in the way that you feel judged by members of my church.  If such judgment is happening, it is a cultural/tribal thing and not doctrinal according to my assessment of my own faith. 

This idea that we will all be saved/exalted "as we are", I don't accept.  We all fall short in our present state and condition.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US.  We all have so much to grow and accept and evolve and overcome through Christ before we can reach that level of exaltation and oneness with God.  So, please don't be offended by believing that you are not there yet...because I feel the same way about myself in ways that I probably don't yet understand or accept.  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I have much further to learn and grow than you do.   So, to hear you say what you have said about me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is kind of jarring.  I don't take it personal, but it tells me there is some misunderstanding somewhere as what you said couldn't be further from the truth about me. 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

My beliefs about requirements for exaltation do not cause me to judge you.  Without knowing or seeing your heart, I perceive that you are following your light with integrity.  THAT is what is required for salvation/exaltation.  If my beliefs about baptism are right, I am confident that you will eventually come to learn that.  Does that make me superior to you right now?  Not at all.  It just means that I might have some pieces of the puzzle that you don't yet perceive of, while you might have other pieces of the puzzle required for exaltation that I can't perceive of or lack somehow in my life.  I don't see it as being superior or better - I see it simply as being one blind man who understands one part of the elephant better than another blind man who knows a different part of the elephant better than I do.  We are equally blind men who understand different parts of the elephant in different ways.  "While all are partly in the right, all are in the wrong (as the parable goes)."

This is how I see it too.  Based on what Joseph Smith said about how long it would be (a very long time) after death that we would comprehend exaltation (and how can we fully accept something we can’t comprehend), I believe even if a member understood accurately all current doctrine (and I doubt that many, if any actually do understand the doctrines of the gospels we have fully), that would amount to perhaps 5% of what we must comprehend someday if I am being generous (the doctrines of exaltation are the knowledge that God possesses that cause him to be God and think of the distance between man and our awareness of ourselves and the universe around us and his knowledge….. Which might place nonmembers around 2 or 3% of doctrinal knowledge needed to be exalted someday.

However, comprehension of doctrinal knowledge (which would include acceptance of ordinances as vehicles of progression that God has provided for us) is only part of the picture of what we need to know in order to achieve exaltation.  I see that as the “book learning” part of progression.  The greater part of learning is likely the experiential and relationship knowledge we also need to absorb.  We need to know the value of moral and Christian living as much as knowing what those are (as in obeying God’s commandments, not just learning what they are); we need to know who we are in terms of our values, desires, weaknesses, and strengths and what we want to become; we need to know who our fellow humans are in their hearts and minds and understand them so we can act without sinning against them intentionally or unintentionally.  

There are probably many other things we must learn before being ready to accept God’s blessings fully.  And in many, if not all of these areas nonmembers are not likely to be held back to any great extent by lack of awareness or acceptance of the doctrinal knowledge.  Any individual nonmember could therefore, more than perhaps most members, be possessing a much higher percentage of the self knowledge they need or more of the the awareness of others or more of the knowledge of the value of service.  

And all this knowledge may be leading them to become who they need to be at a faster pace than a member who currently believes they have fulfilled all the requirements for exaltation they will ever need and just need to stay the course till death to be dropped into the Celestial Kingdom, so they aren’t looking for new insights or direction from the Spirit as they should be.

We (humans in general) are not mindreaders plus lack spiritual knowledge ourselves, so we have no way to judge how far along someone else is overall in their efforts to seek out and become as God desires them to be.  Any member who believes our doctrinal knowledge makes us inherently superior to nonmembers no matter how well nonmembers are actually fulfilling the commandments as they understand them is in for a rude awakening…and that prideful Saint may end up getting bumped back a few grades when they enter the next life and have to repeat some lessons from where they should have been given the blessings of knowledge that they received in this life.

Also given what Joseph and others have taught, doctrinal knowledge is necessary in the long run and it can be currently be helpful in teaching us the priorities we should be focusing on in our lives, but that awareness of priorities may also come through the Spirit.  One doesn’t need to know and accept in one’s heart and mind the doctrine of eternal families to place one’s family relationships at a very high level of importance.  Same with serving others or serving God.

God judges us by what we do with the knowledge we are given.  Since humans lack the ability to know what others actually know or even how much we ourselves are lacking in knowledge or how much we have, we should never be judging another’s relationship with God or current spiritual status.

Just a specific behaviour as righteous or not I don’t think is always as foolish, but even there we need to be careful because we may not know enough of the context to judge an action.  If someone just looked at my attendance to church record, they could be tempted to judge me as a half hearted believer.  They need to know why I am not attending that much to even try to make a righteous, accurate judgment.

Edited by Calm
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On 5/15/2023 at 4:30 PM, MustardSeed said:

Oh, I didn’t know you were talking about miracles of biblical proportions. My bad!

This is one of the many thing that faith brings. Faith, in a scriptural context, is a much different thing than its secular usage as a synonym for belief or conviction. 

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