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Gifts of the Spirit.


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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Perhaps others who are not Mormons are being blessed to find their car keys, too. But you're not there, so you don't hear of it. 

It's funny, though, that you've heard so many car key testimonies over the years. Does it drive you crazy because you lost your own keys and God didn't help you find them? So you're resentful over it?

nope - I have never permanently lost any of my car keys over 40 yrs of driving. They are generally found where I left them. Even if I had to use my spare and look for them after I got home. 
 

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

That's possibly why the OP was puzzled about a perceived dearth of spiritual gift instances in the church. Because those with whom these things happen are told "Well, there's thousands of people dying in a war over there, and you're all excited about finding your keys? Don't make me laugh!" So they keep these things to themselves, and then those who have no faith to experience these things say to themselves, "It doesn't happen. I can't take it seriously."

a kid being cured of an incurable cancer, a severed limb restored, falling from airplane and not dying are all miracles. Finding keys you likely would have eventually found anyway is not a miracle. If it is, we in this church have some very low expectations. Have the faith not to be healed but pray to find your keys lol. 

1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Meanwhile, the person to whom this happened recognizes that there's something beyond himself that is watching over him. Sure, there are wars and rumors of wars, and people are suffering. But does this mean that little miracles can't happen or shouldn't happen? Either God has to save all of us, or He's not allowed to save any of us? I don't tell everyone about all that has happened to me in the realm of spiritual experiences. But I sometimes talk about the car keys being found. Because the weightier matters are too precious to me to share with mockers. They are real to me, because they happened to me, and regardless of all the bad in the world, it happened and it was real.

Something Jesus said covers this. It's called "Casting pearls before swine." It's not calling people pigs, it's just a colourful way of saying pigs don't understand pearls, and might accidentally eat the pearls, destroying them. And it doesn't help the pigs at all, so best not to burden them with the pearls. 

 

So why is god allowing little children all around the world be beaten, abused and murdered while at the same time devoting his powers to helping byu coed McKenzie monson find her keys so she won’t be late to the test center? I guess the kids need that trial and McKenzie… well she is Mormon and gets help locating keys. Pleeze. 
 

we need to find better miracles if we are gonna make them up. 

Edited by Diamondhands69
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I've had experiences on both ends of the spectrum: On one end, the "Lord, why has Thou dealt with me thus?", and on the other, "Hallelujah!  To God be the praise and the glory for this [not-so-minor] miracle" (a little more significant than finding one's car keys, perhaps: Though I agree with Stargazer that if we're not willing to recognize God's hand in the "small" things, we will be less likely to receive His help or to recognize it as such when it does come.  As for the details, well, I'm sorry, but I'm rather reluctant to "cast my pearls" before anyone who is unlikely to appreciate them fully.  (I've shared these experiences in detail on other threads ... if you want to wade through 10,000+ posts here: Happy hunting! ;) :D)

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21 hours ago, Diamondhands69 said:

a kid being cured of an incurable cancer, a severed limb restored, falling from airplane and not dying are all miracles. Finding keys you likely would have eventually found anyway is not a miracle. If it is, we in this church have some very low expectations. Have the faith not to be healed but pray to find your keys lol. 

Only big things are miracles. OK, got it.

So, what is your definition of miracle, or do you have a measurable way to determine whether something unexplainable is a miracle or not?

What would you call my wife's key ring showing up on the bed covers in a locked room with no explanation? If not a miracle, it's clearly some sort of intervention. Is that a good word for it? 

Edited to add:

I got to thinking a bit more about this. The thing about small versus large miracles is that one might get the importance of the consequences muddled up because of the apparent "size" of the miracle/intervention. The healing of a deadly disease in an individual (which the sceptic will simply say was a "fluke," anyway) seems to be major, and worthy of being called a miracle. But a seemingly random and minor change in a strand of DNA that leads to an important new branch of life somewhere down the road wouldn't even be noticed. Yet the DNA modification would have an incalculable effect upon the lives of many individuals for millions or billions of years -- a far greater miracle than one person being cured of cancer.

So, what is a miracle?

Edited by Stargazer
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21 hours ago, Diamondhands69 said:

nope - I have never permanently lost any of my car keys over 40 yrs of driving. They are generally found where I left them. Even if I had to use my spare and look for them after I got home. 

Well, that's what one does. And I've not permanently lost any of mine, either, in 50 years of driving. And yes, they are always found where I left them -- though occasionally I've forgotten where that was until finding them upon a thorough search.

My wife's key ring contained the house keys of several of her customers. She had a house cleaning business. Losing that set of keys would have been very problematic. So it was rather serious. We were grateful for the intervention. You would have been grateful, too, if it had happened to you. Except I get the feeling you wouldn't have asked for any help.

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

Only big things are miracles. OK, got it.

So, what is a miracle?

I don’t recall saying only big things are miracles. The examples I provided were to Illustrate that a miracle is something that definitely shouldn’t happen and pretty much never does. Everyone loses their keys from time to time. Jesus even helps evil people find their keys despite them not praying. It is a common and explainable occurrence. That said, if someone feels that finding their keys after praying is a miracle, all the power to ‘em.  If we as a religion start attach miracle status to everything then it diminishes what really is a miracle. What it really says is this is all we can point to to show off miracles. There are exceptions, but the usual anecdote is some lame story that happens to everyone. 
 

except for Paul h Dunn.. oh yea he was a liar but boy his stories sure brought the spirit in the room when he shared them. He even had the first presidency fooled. I recall growing up hearing him speak and share his wild tales ..and recall that elevation emotion. 
 

We had our EQP recently wax poetic for half hour how elder holland magically feeling a bit better is a miracle. Now if doctors had come out after that stating they had never seen someone recover from such an episode then perhaps it is. Problem is tens of thousands of people have recovered from the same issue without priesthood blessings… or praying for that matter. Pretty much isn’t a miracle. 
 

miracle, extraordinary and astonishing happening that is attributed to the presence and action of an ultimate or divine power.
 

 

Edited by Diamondhands69
Typos
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7 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

I've had experiences on both ends of the spectrum: On one end, the "Lord, why has Thou dealt with me thus?", and on the other, "Hallelujah!  To God be the praise and the glory for this [not-so-minor] miracle" (a little more significant than finding one's car keys, perhaps...

Earlier today I stumbled across a near-death experiencer talking about "why bad things happen to good people", and imo what he says is very interesting: 

"This is why:  Because your soul wanted someone to forgive.  Your soul wanted to show that it was powerful enough to love, powerful enough to transcend the situation, powerful enough to transcend the circumstances, powerful enough to show who it really is:  That unconditionally lov[ing] divine being...  You wanted to be the light of the world, you wanted to be the bridge of heaven and earth, and you wanted to be magnificent, and you were going to say, 'This time, my soul is going to show love, my soul is going to show compassion, my soul is going to show forgiveness.'"

The link should be cued up to start at 5:18 and the part I have in mind goes to about 9:26, he rambles a bit in the middle but the first and last minute or so of that section are really good; you can jump to 8:33 if you want to skip the ramble. 

https://youtu.be/QUztiEj1N9U?t=318

Edited by manol
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On 12/26/2023 at 1:24 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

I don’t recall saying only big things are miracles. The examples I provided were to Illustrate that a miracle is something that definitely shouldn’t happen and pretty much never does. Everyone loses their keys from time to time. Jesus even helps evil people find their keys despite them not praying. It is a common and explainable occurrence. 

Well, yes, people frequently find things they've misplaced. One need not attribute these events to divine intervention.

On 12/26/2023 at 1:24 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

That said, if someone feels that finding their keys after praying is a miracle, all the power to ‘em.  If we as a religion start attach miracle status to everything then it diminishes what really is a miracle. What it really says is this is all we can point to to show off miracles. There are exceptions, but the usual anecdote is some lame story that happens to everyone. 

I agree that to attribute every mundane fortunate occurrence to miracle does devalue the term.

On 12/26/2023 at 1:24 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

We had our EQP recently wax poetic for half hour how elder holland magically feeling a bit better is a miracle. Now if doctors had come out after that stating they had never seen someone recover from such an episode then perhaps it is. Problem is tens of thousands of people have recovered from the same issue without priesthood blessings… or praying for that matter. Pretty much isn’t a miracle. 

The problem with assuming that miracles are prima facie impossible is that one could end up disregarding actual miracles. Which you have perhaps done.

On 12/26/2023 at 1:24 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

miracle, extraordinary and astonishing happening that is attributed to the presence and action of an ultimate or divine power.

According to this definition, a miracle need not be an actual miracle to be called one. The thing here is "attribution." This kind of definition is almost a contradiction in its own terms. I could attribute a miracle to the Egyptian god Ra. Well, is it a real miracle? Is Ra a real god? I'm shrugging my shoulders at this.

I would say that a miracle is an extraordinary and astonishing happening that is actually due to the action of an actual ultimate or divine power. Whether it is recognized as such or not.

My restatement of the definition means that for some people, there is no such thing as miracles, because there is no ultimate divine power. Reminds me of my father. I'm sure you've seen that Kraft Foods product "Miracle Whip"? He didn't like it; neither do I, as it happens. When mom went to the store once to buy groceries, he reminded her not to buy any Miracle Whip, because, said he, "There is no such thing as a miracle!" My father was a devout agnostic, and that was a little friendly dig at my mom, who was a believing Baptist, and a way to help remind her not to buy that objectional product.

Going back to my wife's key ring for a moment, it actually does qualify as a miracle under the definition you gave above. It was extraordinary and astonishing: how often does a lost item suddenly appear inside a locked room in a place where the item did not exist a few hours before, without any human intervention? So, it was astonishing and extraordinary, and my wife and I attributed it to the action of an ultimate divine power. So, quod erat demonstrandum, it was a miracle, by your definition. And since you don’t recall saying only big things are miracles, this small thing could be a miracle in your eyes, as well. I'll leave you to judge that for yourself. But I will say that according to my definition, it was definitely a miracle, because it did happen by divine intervention. 

Edited by Stargazer
various corrections and addenda
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On 12/26/2023 at 1:24 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

except for Paul h Dunn.. oh yea he was a liar but boy his stories sure brought the spirit in the room when he shared them. He even had the first presidency fooled. I recall growing up hearing him speak and share his wild tales ..and recall that elevation emotion. 

Yes. Him. Most unfortunate. I greatly enjoyed his stories. So sad that some of them turned out to be unreliable. I believe Paul Dunn compared his enhanced or made up stories to the possibly fictional stories Jesus told in order to illustrate his teachings. And perhaps he had a point with that, but it was still a bad idea.

After he was found to be making up (or enhancing) some of them, of course all of them were going to be called into question. Even the ones that were true. One of his stories he told that I heard was from the time when he was a mission president in New England. He said he was in a bank teller line waiting to do some business at the bank, when he said the Spirit told him to talk to the man in front of him in line. He related that he told the Spirit, "But I'm tired, Spirit!" Nevertheless the Spirit persisted. So he tapped the man on the shoulder and when he turned around asked him, "Excuse me, but do you happen to be a Mormon bishop?" The man, who had been smoking a cigar, obviously wasn't a bishop, but in their conversation Dunn explained why he had thought he might be. This reportedly interested the man, but I don't remember if the story ended up with the man joining the church. Now, did this actually happen, or did it happen in the way Br. Dunn said it happened? I have no idea. But telling the tale as he did may have encouraged some members of the church, including missionaries, to be a bit more bold in approaching people with the gospel. One may feel this was a negative result or a positive result, depending upon one's outlook on such things.

Today, while considering Br. Dunn's stories, especially this bank teller line story, I was reminded how one of the missionaries in my mission seemed to have taken a page from Br. Dunn's book, and acted upon it. This missionary was eventually called as a General Authority, FWIW. But the story in this case was told to me by the convert whom he contacted, and whom I knew personally. I'll call the missionary Elder Smith, and the contact Mr. Braun, and this is what happened.

One Sunday in Germany, the mission office elders (Elder Smith was one of the MP's assistants) were out "street contacting" in the city center. In Germany at that time in the 1970s all businesses were closed on Sunday, and anyone wandering around downtown were just window shopping. Elder Smith saw this one rather tall man (Mr. Braun) examining the wares in a jewelry shop window, considering a gift for his wife. Smith tapped Braun on the shoulder and asked "Sind Sie ein ehrlicher Mensch?" "Are you an honest man?"

Mr. Braun, surprised, turned around and saw before him another well-dressed man who was even taller than he was. He answered the question, "If I were to be honest, no."

And thus started a conversation and a series of events that ended up with Mr. Braun being baptized, and in just a few years being called to be the bishop of his ward.

I have no idea whether Elder Smith had ever heard Paul Dunn's story about his bank conversation. But it's possible. And if so, it's possible that Paul Dunn's story may have influenced Elder Smith's action on that day. I never asked either of them about this, as this connection only occurred to me today, and both persons in the event have since passed away, so I won't know the answer in this life. But what if it was the case? Couldn't Paul Dunn's possibly apocryphal story be said to have had a beneficial effect? Despite its possible fictional nature?

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Interesting post, and quite in line with the discussion here. I note parenthetically:

Gourdini says: "My constant mantra is, 'Could things be worse?' and, as much as part of me might hate to admit it, the answer’s always 'Yes, they could always be worse.'"

Reminds me of the distinction between Jewish pessimists and optimists in the concentration camps. The pessimists would say, "Well, it can't get any worse!" And the optimists would say "Oh, but it could!"

Your retelling of that conversation between your skeptic and yourself about the presumed guidance God gave your surgeon is instructive. Reminded me of the perhaps ongoing discussion between DiamondMittens and myself over my wife's key ring. No matter how much evidence is demonstrated in support of a possible conclusion of "divine intervention," to him it simply cannot be that way, no matter what. I guess this is because the person on the other side of the question has an unalterable position that there is no divine, and hence there cannot be a genuine miracle or divine intervention. And at that point we have reached an unbroachable impasse.

 

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On 12/27/2023 at 7:35 AM, Stargazer said:

But what if it was the case? Couldn't Paul Dunn's possibly apocryphal story be said to have had a beneficial effect? Despite its possible fictional nature?

Sure it could have a beneficial effect. The “benefit” could be good or bad. I’ll give you an example of a “bad” or negative effect of lying:

I use this routinely as it is my story. Long story short I had exactly zero testimony of the truthfulness of the church and didn’t want to go in a mission. A reason I cited to parents, leaders et al is for me to bear a testimony I would be lying. In my mind that is against our religion. Bearing false witness comes to mind. 
 

the response was to go lie anyway.. what? Yea go lie or whatever you call it. The gospel is true whether you believe it or not. We know it’s true. 

what if someone joins the church based on my lying to them? All to get some numbers and make my parents happy?

I never once got any kind of agreement that the practice of lying to investigators was unethical. Instead I was the bad person for not agreeing to follow orders. After all the first law of heaven is obedience. 
 

all that told me then was it is more important for you to obey and be dishonest than it is for you to be honest in all things. Especially  if it relates to you selling the gospel to investigators. It is fine to lie to them in order to dunk them. 
 

by my disagreeing with this concept, I  became the bad guy. Unwilling to lie for the lord. I would be the family and stake disgrace. All my pioneer ancestors work and dedication would be a lie. It’s ok, even your great great .. GF went on a mission and lied about polygamy in order to trick people ( esp girls and women) into joining the church. If I didn’t go on a mission and spread what I believed to be a lie, I would forever be a black sheep in the family. 
 

that said- any story told to others to reinforce faith or bearing a testimony ought to be true in every aspect. If it isn’t, it needs to be made clear it is a made up story. 
 

Fake or made-up stories rarely carry the weight the truth does. Sure they can make someone feel good ( feel the spirit) but is still a lie if it is not disclosed that it is not true. Of course Elder Oakes has given us a lesson on withholding the truth if we do not have a duty to tell it. Kinda like lying. 
 

 

Edited by Diamondhands69
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18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Oh my gosh.

So sorry that happened to you. I have seen enough here regarding blind Fundamentalism to believe you.

yes there is plenty of it out there. When your family is like that, they attract other Mormons who act the same way so I have been associated with that crowd for ages.  They are called hard liners. Every ward I have ever been in since had two or three. It’s like gaydar.. hardliners or those from hardline families can spot em a mile away. 
 

18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

But what you were TAUGHT IS NOT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST.

it kinda is taught.. mantle greater than the intellect, Romney and the pine box/ virtue axiom, family ditches and abandons doubting missionary son in Bryce Canyon, elder holland mtc lecture about coming home early, Elder Oaks testimony gained in bearing it, church leaders telling young men they don’t have a choice ( 

) etc. Vicariously through others this nonsense is taught. Then they ( q15) never come out publicly and slam these guys for teaching false stuff. They don’t shut it down and clarify doctrine because they agree with it. Look what happened with Brad Wilcox. It isn’t related but with the race and playing church comments, he was just parroting what these guys probably talk like behind closed doors anyway. Notice how they )rightfully should have) shut down the race thing, but let go the “playing church” commentary. Then they promote him to a GA. It is because they agree with him. 

18 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I have a daughter who just never believed. Never.

She's doing just fine, and totally inactive, and highly "moral"

ALL  must follow their hearts- that is the only way they will eventually find their truth.

Refusing to allow a child to follow their heart turns off exactly the pathway to receive the SPIRIT in their hearts!

Let them go, and either they will find it on their own- as I did- or they will see it on the other side.

If you believe "every knee shall bow" it is not a parent's business to command a child, thereby not allowing them to experience the good AND bad news of agency.

Yep agreed and thanks for the response. Going hardline on kids can and does backfire. 

Edited by Diamondhands69
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11 hours ago, Diamondhands69 said:

Look what happened with Brad Wilcox. It isn’t related but with the race and playing church comments, he was just parroting what these guys probably talk like behind closed doors anyway. Notice how they )rightfully should have) shut down the race thing, but let go the “playing church” commentary. Then they promote him to a GA. It is because they agree with him. 

Brad Wilcox was already a GA when he made that speech.  He was 2nd councilor of the Young Men general presidency in 2020 and the speech was in 2022.  He did get moved to 1st councilor in the Young Men general presidency in 2023.  So, you could say he was promoted.  But the previous 1st councilor was Ahmad S. Corbitt who is black and (per wikipedia) was part of the discussion with Wilcox that led to his "apology" (I put it in quotes because I know some people don't think they were true apologies).  Corbitt was promoted as well to General Authority Seventy.  So it is hard to believe that "these guys probably talk like behind closed doors anyway" when they are promoting people (Corbitt) that definitely don't talk like that and even tell others to stop behind closed doors (Corbitt told Wilcox behind closed doors).

Edited by webbles
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On 12/28/2023 at 8:25 AM, Diamondhands69 said:

Sure it could have a beneficial effect. The “benefit” could be good or bad. I’ll give you an example of a “bad” or negative effect of lying:

I use this routinely as it is my story. Long story short I had exactly zero testimony of the truthfulness of the church and didn’t want to go in a mission. A reason I cited to parents, leaders et al is for me to bear a testimony I would be lying. In my mind that is against our religion. Bearing false witness comes to mind. 
 

the response was to go lie anyway.. what? Yea go lie or whatever you call it. The gospel is true whether you believe it or not. We know it’s true. 

what if someone joins the church based on my lying to them? All to get some numbers and make my parents happy?

I never once got any kind of agreement that the practice of lying to investigators was unethical. Instead I was the bad person for not agreeing to follow orders. After all the first law of heaven is obedience. 
 

all that told me then was it is more important for you to obey and be dishonest than it is for you to be honest in all things. Especially  if it relates to you selling the gospel to investigators. It is fine to lie to them in order to dunk them. 
 

by my disagreeing with this concept, I  became the bad guy. Unwilling to lie for the lord. I would be the family and stake disgrace. All my pioneer ancestors work and dedication would be a lie. It’s ok, even your great great .. GF went on a mission and lied about polygamy in order to trick people ( esp girls and women) into joining the church. If I didn’t go on a mission and spread what I believed to be a lie, I would forever be a black sheep in the family. 
 

that said- any story told to others to reinforce faith or bearing a testimony ought to be true in every aspect. If it isn’t, it needs to be made clear it is a made up story. 
 

Fake or made-up stories rarely carry the weight the truth does. Sure they can make someone feel good ( feel the spirit) but is still a lie if it is not disclosed that it is not true. Of course Elder Oakes has given us a lesson on withholding the truth if we do not have a duty to tell it. Kinda like lying. 
 

 

That had to have been very difficult for you. You were trying to do as you were raised, but didn't feel the promised blessings of knowing those things. Then you felt such a force against you for speaking up that you didn't know and couldn't feel right in your heart about teaching.  You must have felt very frustrated and alone.

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37 minutes ago, webbles said:

Brad Wilcox was already a GA when he made that speech.  He was 2nd councilor of the Young Men general presidency in 2020 and the speech was in 2022.  He did get moved to 1st councilor in the Young Men general presidency in 2023.  So, you could say he was promoted.  But the previous 1st councilor was Ahmad S. Corbitt who is black and (per wikipedia) was part of the discussion with Wilcox that led to his "apology" (I put it in quotes because I know some people don't think they were true apologies).  Corbitt was promoted as well to General Authority Seventy.  So it is hard to believe that "these guys probably talk like behind closed doors anyway" when they are promoting people (Corbitt) that definitely don't talk like that and even tell others to stop behind closed doors (Corbitt told Wilcox behind closed doors).

Yea ur right.. I didnt think he was in there yet. Thanks for getting my data set straight.
 

That said, they should have tossed him out. If you listen to how he said his comments( added a ghetto or black flair) just further illustrates he is a racist. 
 

 

the church would be better off dumping guys like this. Should he be forgiven? Sure. Should he continue to be a leader? I don’t think so. Of course we are in a church who will allow child molesters to repent and then allow access to children again so what am I thinking? Ha- kinda pathetic

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52 minutes ago, Rain said:

That had to have been very difficult for you. You were trying to do as you were raised, but didn't feel the promised blessings of knowing those things. Then you felt such a force against you for speaking up that you didn't know and couldn't feel right in your heart about teaching.  You must have felt very frustrated and alone.

Yes it is frustrating esp when you are literally told to go lie or whatever you feel it is, just get on the plane. It also didn’t help having rm brothers telling me how they either disliked or hated their missions. None regretted going I suppose , but upon returning they were not the best ambassadors. 
 

There are a few kids in my parents downline who have left the church, inactive, don’t go on missions, lgbtq etc. you know- all the things evil people do. Anyway- no one talks about them, they don’t show up at family stuff and they are basically just forgotten about. I ask about them at family things and rarely get any substantive feedback. Acceptable casualties. 
 

I am fortunate in that despite my known opposition to coercion and threats I managed to raise kids in the church and keep recommend up till recently. Now that parents are gone I don’t have a reason to have one as I don’t have to answer a barrage of church questions every time I visit. I love them, but that is all they and the family can talk about and/or do. If it works for them great. Now I can live my own life without weaponizing the family to get compliance. 

Edited by Diamondhands69
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58 minutes ago, Diamondhands69 said:

Corbitt was promoted as well to General Authority Seventy.  So it is hard to believe that "these guys probably talk like behind closed doors anyway" when they are promoting people (Corbitt) that definitely don't talk like that and even tell others to stop behind closed doors (Corbitt told Wilcox behind closed doors).

Probably not talking like that anymore. You can tell Wilcox talks (or used to) like that probably wherever he is. He is in public “blackening” up his commentary to mimic a black person asking him questions. Someone who does that openly in a public forum obviously feels comfortable talking like that.  I guess he felt his audience approved of that kind of thing. That kind of talk gets one fired pretty much everywhere else but the church. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. 

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4 hours ago, Diamondhands69 said:

Yes it is frustrating esp when you are literally told to go lie or whatever you feel it is, just get on the plane. It also didn’t help having rm brothers telling me how they either disliked or hated their missions. None regretted going I suppose , but upon returning they were not the best ambassadors. 
 

There are a few kids in my parents downline who have left the church, inactive, don’t go on missions, lgbtq etc. you know- all the things evil people do. Anyway- no one talks about them, they don’t show up at family stuff and they are basically just forgotten about. I ask about them at family things and rarely get any substantive feedback. Acceptable casualties. 
 

I am fortunate in that despite my known opposition to coercion and threats I managed to raise kids in the church and keep recommend up till recently. Now that parents are gone I don’t have a reason to have one as I don’t have to answer a barrage of church questions every time I visit. I love them, but that is all they and the family can talk about and/or do. If it works for them great. Now I can live my own life without weaponizing the family to get compliance. 

So what is your plan now? Are you hoping to find a place for yourself because your wife and children still attend?

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42 minutes ago, Rain said:

So what is your plan now? Are you hoping to find a place for yourself because your wife and children still attend?

No real change. I don’t do callings or pay tithing. Not going to resign because family will just fall all over themselves to go get it all done (after I’m dead) in the temple anyway. I go with my wife to support her. Amazingly she is kinda on board with me. Her. Parents are still alive so she will prob bounce after they go. we have a very large local church here I go to on occasion. 
 

my kids?? They have always known how I feel so they know they can do whatever they want.  I never leaned on them so whatever they have done church-wise has been 100% voluntary. 

Edited by Diamondhands69
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On 12/25/2023 at 7:52 PM, blackstrap said:

For those " of little faith " , always cut a couple of spare keys just in case. 

Oh, I do! I have plenty of faith, though. But my faith also includes the demonstrable certainty that I might just lock my car keys in the car. That's why there was always a spare car key in my wallet.

Unfortunately, with these electronic keys these days, spare keys are much more expensive.

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On 12/28/2023 at 3:25 PM, Diamondhands69 said:

Sure it could have a beneficial effect. The “benefit” could be good or bad. I’ll give you an example of a “bad” or negative effect of lying:

I use this routinely as it is my story. Long story short I had exactly zero testimony of the truthfulness of the church and didn’t want to go in a mission. A reason I cited to parents, leaders et al is for me to bear a testimony I would be lying. In my mind that is against our religion. Bearing false witness comes to mind. 

I don't know whether you live in "Happy Valley" (Utah) or not, but unlike some denizens of that territory, I'd never encourage someone to serve a mission if they had a negative conviction of the truthfulness of the church, as you do. On the other hand, I know of missionaries who didn't have a testimony or much of a testimony, who gained their testimony on their missions. It's a difficult call. 

In my opinion, the Church is not so hard up for missionaries that it has to have unbelievers who don't want to gain a testimony (or have tried and can't gain one) serve missions. These days, those folks could do service missions. ETA: it just occurred to me that my last mission companion told me that his mother did not have a testimony of the church, but nevertheless continued serving actively in it, including in leadership positions, e.g. Relief Society president, in which she was able to do good to her fellow ward members.

I can think of one kind of testimony that one could bear to others and not be lying. And that's one that speaks of the benefits of keeping the commandments, of proper behavior, or of working within the church to benefit others. In fact, one of the gifts of the spirit mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants is the gift of believing what others have testified of. So perhaps you have a kind of testimony of that, if not a standard conventional testimony.

There are some posters here who are active members, including former bishops, who have lost their testimonies but still attend church, and use this forum as a safe place for grousing about their lack of testimony, and complaining about the church. And they are bearing a kind of testimony by their postings, just not the typical positive testimony. They're quite welcome here. As are you. It's fun arguing with people who disagree with one, as long as the discussion remains somewhat respectful and honest.

 

Edited by Stargazer
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