27
Jan
12

Feelings

This Sunday in their Gospel Doctrines classes, members of the LDS Church will be looking at 1 Nephi 16-22 from the Book of Mormon.  One teaching that the teacher’s guide draws from this section is the importance of feelings.  It shares the following quote by Boyd K. Packer, one of Mormonism’s 12 apostles.

“The Holy Ghost communicates with the spirit through the mind more than through the physical senses.  This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings, through impressions and promptings.  It is not always easy to describe inspiration.  The scriptures teach us that we may ‘feel’ the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather with mortal eyes.”

The best known example of Mormonism’s emphasis on receiving inspiration and revelation through feelings is the “burning in the bosom” that is to confirm the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Gospel Principles, the basic manual that they studied last year, said:  “To be worthy to have the help of the Holy Ghost, we must seek earnestly to obey the commandments of God.  We must keep our thoughts and actions pure.” (p. 123).  That this is talking about the same thing is seen in the next paragraph which also quotes Packer.  “The Holy Ghost speaks with a voice that you feel more than you hear.” Therefore isn’t it logical to say that any Mormon, who claims to have this help of the Holy Ghost, who claims to receive guidance through their feelings, has both pure thoughts and actions?  And if their thoughts and actions are pure, then can’t they claim to be sinless?  Or does pure not mean pure?

I pray that members of the LDS Church don’t lightly brush off those questions.  I pray that they don’t make pure mean something less than pure. I pray that they really see what their church is saying – how, in this case, it demands purity as a prerequisite for receiving the Holy Ghost’s help.

And then I pray that they listen, not to their feelings, but to the Word of God in the Bible.  That is where the Holy Spirit works. Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)  A few verses later Peter shows that he understood what Jesus said when he replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”  The Holy Spirit speaks to us in the Bible, not through our feelings.

And what does he tell us there?  “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) It’s not through obeying the commandments; it’s through the blood of Jesus that we are pure. “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)  May our Mormon friends listen to these words of the Holy Spirit.

 

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35 Responses to “Feelings”


  1. January 27, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    “And then I pray that they listen, not to their feelings, but to the Word of God in the Bible.”

    This is so important. God made us to be emotional beings, but He has told us in His word, the Bible, that we are to be in control of our emotions and to not let our emotions control us. The emotion of King David can be seen repeatedly in the Bible. King David is a good example of a man who felt deeply, but those feelings led him astray at times.

    It can be dangerous to build our lives on our feelings because feelings can be distorted. The enemy likes to mess with us and tells us things that are not true in order to change our perception of how things really are. It is better for us to believe God’s Word over what we hear, feel, or even experience.

    LDS missionaries ask people to pray to know if the Book of Mormon and LDS church are true, but God does not want us to pray about truths He has already revealed to us in the Bible. God’s word in the Bible says not to follow false prophets and not to accept any other gospel. According to God and His Biblical word, Joseph Smith is not a prophet and the LDS gospel is a different gospel.

    Deuteronomy 18:20-22, it only takes one false prophecy to make a prophet false.

    Jeremiah 23:16 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.

    Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel

    Galatians 1:7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

    Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

    Galatians 1:11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.

    2 Corinthians 11:3-4 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    1 Corinthians 3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.

    Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

    In light of these verses, how can anyone accept The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ when God said in His Word the Bible it is no gospel at all?

    Gordon B Hinkley said: “The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.” ~ LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7, but God said in His Word the Bible accepting another Jesus is being led astray.

    “The Holy Ghost communicates with the spirit through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings, through impressions and promptings. It is not always easy to describe inspiration. The scriptures teach us that we may ‘feel’ the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather with mortal eyes.”

    The problem with this is that we are all under the influence of ourselves, God, and Satan. Unfortunately, we are often not able to discern what is influencing us and we need God’s word to be able to do this.

    Joseph Smith was led astray on many different occasions i.e. the many prophecies Joseph Smith made that did not come true. When confronted his response was, “Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.”

    “in the winter of 1829-1830, Joseph Smith sent Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery on a mission to Toronto, Canada to sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon. This mission was ordered by a revelation that Smith claimed he had received from God.” The mission was a complete failure and Smith’s response was: “So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but of man.”
    ~ http://saintsalive.com/resourcelibrary/mormonism/testing-the-prophecies-of-joseph-smith-

    My question to Mormons would be, in light of the number of Smith’s prophecies that went bad, how can you trust that any of his revelations were from God, especially the first vision? How can you know your feelings about the LDS church are really true? How do you know your feelings about the LDS church came from God and did not come from your upbringing or from the influence of the emotions of other people around you or from the devil himself?

  2. 2 Kent
    January 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I prayed and asked God if the Book of Mormon is true and the feeling I got was it is boring, it is poorly written, most of its characters didn’t seem like they were real people, and the stories didn’t seem like events that actually happened. So much for feelings.

    Especially, in the early parts of the book, the contrived “it came to pass, it came to pass” written over and over again seemed to me to be an attempt at by the author to make it sound biblical. Again, so much for feelings but that is what I got out of it.

    The main thing of interest to me, after learning more about current teachings of the LDS church is how little of it actually comes from the Book of Mormon. One that jumps out at me, as I have stated before, is that nowhere in the BOM does it say that God was a man first. One would think that a teaching as important as this would be in the so called most correct book on earth and other current LDS teachings are also not in the BOM such as eternal progression and temple marriage.

    Shem often says that he has already answered such questions but if those teachings are in the BOM, then show us specfically where they are. They certainly aren’t in the Bible either.

  3. January 27, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I didn’t need to pray about it. I can remember sitting in primary as a child listening to the account of the first vision. The Holy Ghost communicated with my spirit through my mind and told me that Joseph Smith was a liar. Needless to say, the whole LDS thing didn’t stick. Praise God!

  4. 4 choosethechrist
    January 31, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Here is a video produced by a Mormon that pretty much sums up why Mormonism doesn’t work for me:

    I have to agree with this comment made regarding the video “I basically liked first fifty minutes of your video. Once I found out the truth it was over for me! For you to say that you can know the truth and still stay in on your own terms, to me, is LIVING A LIE! I think there are a lot of people that do that very thing.. Not cool to me!”

    A foundation build on shifting sand is no foundation at all. I decided to build my foundation on Jesus Christ.

  5. 5 Kent
    January 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Mormon president Hinkley doesn’t know much about how God used to be a man after he was asked this by Larry King and that his church doesn’t teach this?

    Well none other than Joseph Smith said so, so Hinkley was lying or he doesn’t know what his so called prophets taught.

  6. 6 shematwater
    January 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Acts 2: 27 “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

    Notice that it was a feeling that converted these people. Yes, they heard the word, but it was a feeling in their hearts that confirmed that it was true.

    Romans 5: 5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

    Again, the Holy Spirit Communicates to our hearts; in this case it communicates the love of God.

    I don’t think anyone has ever denied that the words of God are important, as it is through those words that we gain an understanding. However, it seems clear that the conversion of the individual is through a sense of feeling that one receives as a communication from the spirit. Through this we receive the testimony that the word is from God and that God loves us. The gifts of such, as given in Galatians 5, are all of an emotional nature.

    also, it is very possible to be pure. to be pure does not mean to be sinless, but to be washed of sin by the blood of Christ. If we “seek earnestly to obey the commandments of God” than “we walk in the light, [and] as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Thus we are pure.

  7. 7 TJayT
    February 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

    I do my absolute best not to “bare my testimony” when speaking about Lds doctrine to Non-Believers unless someone specifically asks me to. I do this for to reasons: 1)I don’t want to sound like this should be a “who’s testimony is bigger” contest and 2)Whether Lds or not we all have strong beliefs in our faiths and in our minds very good reasons for continuing that belief. Just throwing our testimonies at each other doesn’t further the dialog. I will do my best to continue that practice here, but one thought did strike my mind when reading Mark’s post and I need to give a little background for it to make sense.

    I was born Lds, lost faith in the religion when I was 12 or 13 and returned somewhere between the ages of 21 and 23. During that time I was a follower of the eastern religious traditions (Taoism and Buddhism especially) and fairly Anti-Christian. It was only through pondering and studying the Bible that I found Christ and retuned to the religious traditions of my youth. While I am an active Mormon I have never prayed about the BoM’s truthfulness, though I do feel it to be the inspired word of God.

    With all that said this part of the post struck me as odd:

    “And then I pray that they listen, not to their feelings, but to the Word of God in the Bible. That is where the Holy Spirit works. Jesus said, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63) A few verses later Peter shows that he understood what Jesus said when he replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” The Holy Spirit speaks to us in the Bible, not through our feelings.”

    Maybe I misunderstood what Mr. Cares was trying to say, but to me it sounds like if you just read the Bible then you will know of it’s truth without any need for “feelings”. I personally can’t see how this is possible. Maybe it’s because I originally come from an Lds background, but If I hadn’t felt the truth of the things being said in the Bible’s pages there’s no way on God’s green earth I would have returned to anything that resembled a Christian religion. Even to this day I sometimes have struggles with the idea that Christ was even a historical figure, let alone that he was the messiah. Other smaller issues also rear there head, all thanks to the years I spent studying and using the counter arguments of Christian apologetics. If this “feeling” that I have isn’t good enough, what is?

  8. 8 choosethechrist
    February 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    They were pricked in their heart – κατενύγησαν katenugēsan, “to pierce or penetrate with a needle, lancet, or sharp instrument”; and then “to pierce with grief, or acute pain of any kind.” It corresponds precisely to our word compunction: remorse – regret – repentance – penitence – contrition.

    This does not sound like what most mormons describe: a deep sense of peace, extreme happiness, great joy, “warm fuzzies” or a “burning in the bosom”, a profound understanding, or laughter. It is upon these feelings or impressions that the most critical spiritual decisions are made for the LDS.

    The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live. Deuteronomy 30:6

    While I agree that the Holy Spirit plays a role in our conversion, I do not agree that it is our feelings that confirm the truth. The power of the Holy Spirit works through the power of the word of God to convert. We have to believe the word of God. The people in the Book of Acts had to hear the message,and believe the message. The power of the Holy Spirit working through the word of God brought them to an understanding of the truth. The power of the Holy Spirit working through the word of God brought them to repentance.

    Scripture says not to rely on your own understanding, (Proverbs 3:5). There is a way that seems right but it leads to death, (Proverbs 14:12). You need the guidance of God’s Word. Each verse of Scripture is like a dial in a pilot’s cockpit. Pilot’s don’t fly airplanes by their gut feelings. Follow your feelings and your spiritual life is on the line.

    The Bible tells us that a prophet can speak in the name of God and his prophecies will be accurate. However, if his prophecy does not align with Scripture, it must be rejected (Deuteronomy13:14). If any man proclaims a gospel different to that recorded in Scripture, his words must be rejected. The same, applies to a message from an angel (Galatians 1:8). Even Satan can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14).

    Satan could possibly give you a false spiritual experience, but he cannot change the Bible. ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away’ (Matthew 24:35).

    Our faith must be in the bedrock of the Word of God, not the shifting sands of feelings. Emotions fluctuate. God’s word is solid.

    Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

    Asking someone to come to faith based on their feelings is disasterous and probably explains why there are more inactive members of the LDS church than there are active members of the LDS church. They came to the church based on being told to trust their feelings, but when the truth is revealed they fall away.

    My church encourages people to pursue God through the Bible and allows them to work through coming to an understanding of truth. We are never asked to base our faith on our feelings.

  9. 9 JBR
    February 1, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Maybe I misunderstood what Mr. Cares was trying to say, but to me it sounds like if you just read the Bible then you will know of it’s truth without any need for “feelings”. I personally can’t see how this is possible. ………….

    TJayT,
    “feelings” are fickle. And because they are, “feelings” are subjective.

    When “feelings” become part of belief, then belief has by default a weak link.
    Just what is that weak link …. doubt.

    Examples of the link of doubt:
    …….. Am I worthy enough
    …….. was I sincere enough
    …….. did I prove myself enough
    …….. was I good enough to my neighbor
    …….. am I realy forgiven

    There is a difference between “feeling” and “knowing”

    Being forgiven isn’t based on my “feeling” .. it’s based on my “knowing”
    As Jesus revealed:

    John 11:22
    “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.”

    I know that I’m forgiven, that God gives me that forgiveness because I ask it of God.

    That is the gospel …. being forgiven soley for the asking.

  10. 10 Kent
    February 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The video choosethechrist posted, not from non Mormons but from a Mormon who is explaining why some people leave the LDS church shows, among other things, what a racist Brigham Young was but that is understandable as the Book of Mormon also says it is better to be white than it is to be dark

    The first passages below could be interpreted by some people to be talking about the darkness of people’s souls but in context with the second passages it is clear the BOM is saying it is better to be white.

    1 Nephi 12:23

    23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

    1 Nephi 13:15

    15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain

    Regarding the video choosethechrist posted which shows a laundry list of red flags about what the church teaches and the not so holy behavior of their leaders, I can’t see how anybody can still want to be a Mormon after viewing it.

    True we are dealing with mere human beings and, ironically, not gods, and a lot of God’s people in the Bible also didn’t always behave righteously either, but the difference is it is stated out in the open in the Bible but with the Mormon leaders we have to do some digging to get to the truth about them and the church certainly won’t speak openly about their trangressions.

    True, again, we are dealing with just mere men here, but if we are to compare them and their teachings on a par with the teachings of the men in the Bible, then their inperfections should be out in the open.

  11. 11 choosethechrist
    February 1, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    T, you said:
    “If I hadn’t felt the truth of the things being said in the Bible’s pages there’s no way on God’s green earth I would have returned to anything that resembled a Christian religion.”

    Did you believe the truth or did you feel the truth? In other words, did you believe the word of God to be true and then feel something? Was it your belief that triggered what you felt? You also said that you pondered and studied the Bible. This to me says that you came to an understanding of Biblical truth and then felt a response to what had been revealed to you.

    I think the point is, that the LDS church teaches us to pray and ask to know what is true and to expect an emotional response as a confirmation. God says we do not need to pray about what He has already revealed to us in His word. The word believe, not feel, is tied to salvation repeatedly throughout the Bible.

    If this “feeling” that I have isn’t good enough, what is? Truth, belief and trust that the word of God is true.

    If you don’t mind my asking, why did you return to the LDS church instead of another Bible based church if it was the Bible that brought you to faith in Christ? If you studied the Bible and believe it to be the true word of God, how do you justify following a gospel and prophets that are warned about in the Bible. Are you in the camp that has an understanding of the historical facts and truths about the church that are often ommitted from church teaching, but have decided that ommision of truth is ok, or are you in the camp that refuses to believe those historical facts are true. Also, where do you stand on past teachings in the church regarding things like Brigham Young saying that Adam was God. We know that BY was wrong, but for the people of his time who believed Adam was God because BY said so does it matter? What if the people of BY’s time had prayed to know if Adam was god and they received the feeling that Adam was indeed god and they began revering Adam as God? Do you think God would view that as idolatry? Do you think God would punish those people for being led astray by a “prophet” of god or would God hold them accountable to what He had revealed regarding idolatry in the Bible?

  12. 12 shematwater
    February 1, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    CTC

    I don’t think you understand LDS doctrine at all.

    “This to me says that you came to an understanding of Biblical truth and then felt a response to what had been revealed to you.”

    This is exactly true, and exactly what happened in Acts chapter 2. They heard the word, understood the meaning, and then felt the Holy Spirit tell them that what they had just heard was true. This is how it works.

    As to emotions, that is not what we are talking about. At least not completely. No one has ever said that everything that makes you feel good is of God. It is not in simply feeling the emotion of joy that we believe the Holy Spirit communicates. The feeling of the Holy Spirit is not an emotion, but it triggers emotion, just as Paul teaches in Galatians 5: 22-23
    “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
    Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

    When the spirit speaks to me he is not speaking joy and peace. He is speaking truth. And when he speaks that truth my spirit reacts and feels a great joy and peace as a result of the communication. Thus, when I read the scriptures and I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence I react with a feeling and peace and know that what I am reading is true. When I listen to the modern leaders I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence and react with a feeling of joy and peace and know that what I am hearing is true.

    Yes, Satan can imitate the spiritual, but he can never duplicate it. One who has felt the power and presence of the Spirit will recognize the imitation that Satan gives.
    Even though you reject it as scripture, I will illustrate this with a story from the Book of Moses. In this God has just appeared to Moses and has withdrawn. Now Satan appears, demanding the Moses worship him. Moses replies
    “Who art thou? For behold, I am a ason of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy bglory, that I should worship thee?
    Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.” (Moses 1: 13, 15)

    If we are able to have the Holy Spirit remain with us we will know the difference between him and Satan, and no amount of fraud of imitation will deceive us.

    (PS Deiter F. Utchdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church is a pilot, and I think you would be surprised to know just how much he relies on gut feelings. This is not to say he does not keep on eye on the dials and mechanism of the plane, but that he does not rely solely on them. In truth, this analogy is fitting. After all, it has been a topic of some debate in our day whether or not a human pilot is actually needed, or whether a drone pilot would be better. Most pilots, as well as those they work for, seem to favor having a human pilot because of their abilities in gut instinct and feelings. It is this feeling that makes them so much better than a robot or drone.
    So, in my view you are advocating that we be drones, guided by the dials and mechanisms of the Bible; but I am more of the opinion that it is our feelings that make the real difference when things get dangerous or unexpected.)

  13. 13 choosethechrist
    February 1, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Shem, Is he relying on gut feelings or his experience as a pilot to help him fly planes? I hope he is relying on his experience as a pilot to help him fly a plane rather than his gut feelings since gut feelings can be wrong and lives could be lost as a result of following inaccurate feelings. I worked in an enironment where lives depended on the work done by me. I had strict established guidelines that I had to follow due to regulations that were put in place to ensure the safety and well being of people. There were plenty of times when my “feelings” wanted me to deviate from those procedures due to pressures being placed on me to ensure a life was saved. Times where I felt those procedures were more of a hinderance than a help and that if I just skipped some steps I could really do a better job of saving lives, but I choose not to go with my gut. I chose to go with my head. I watched some people make the choice to deviate from those procedures because they felt that they just did not have time to adhere to the regulations. Sometimes they were able to get by without any harm occuring, sometimes they narrowly avoided causing devastating harm to someone, other times their decision to follow their gut cost someone their life. The more experience I gained in my work, the better I became at making the right choices on how to do my job without deviating from guidelines. I don’t want someone flying by the seat of their pants when my life is on the line.

  14. February 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    We are human so we have irrational thoughts and feelings all the time. I recently went on a road trip without my husband and children and right before I left I was having all these bad “feelings” about the drive down. I was so worried about getting in an accident and not being in control. Well we obviously arrived safely and then drove home safely. Those were my “feelings” that didn’t mean that God was sending me a sign foreshadowing something bad to come on my drive. Our thoughts and “feelings” are just that, thoughts and “feelings”.Gods word stays the same no matter what our “feelings” say.

  15. 15 TJayT
    February 2, 2012 at 4:40 am

    JRB
    “I know that I’m forgiven, that God gives me that forgiveness because I ask it of God.
    That is the gospel …. being forgiven soley for the asking.”

    As I explained in a few comments on Mr. Cares last post I know I have been “forgiven solely for asking”. Glad to know we’ve been forgiven together. Of course this begs the question how do you know your forgiven? Obviously the Bible says you are, but how do you know the Bible truly is the word of God? I know because the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and told me the truthfulness of it. And until the resurrected Christ decides he needs to appear to me for some reason and allow me to feel the marks in his hands and feet that feeling I received is what I have. Of course this has been more then enough for me, even in my darkest moment of doubt Christ always reaches out to me and reminds me he is truly there, he loves even a horrible sinner like me and that if I were to die this instant I would be with him and receive the fullness of the Father forever more.

    CtC
    “Did you believe the truth or did you feel the truth? In other words, did you believe the word of God to be true and then feel something? Was it your belief that triggered what you felt? You also said that you pondered and studied the Bible. This to me says that you came to an understanding of Biblical truth and then felt a response to what had been revealed to you.”

    I can’t honestly say there was a separation between the two. The realization that what I was reading was true and the feelings that came with it where together.

    “If this “feeling” that I have isn’t good enough, what is? Truth, belief and trust that the word of God is true.”

    And where do you get the trust and belief that the “word of God is true?” if not from the Holy Spirit speaking to your soul? How can one honestly come to know that the crazy supernatural things that both sides believe are true without first “feeling” that they are true?

    If you don’t mind my asking, why did you return to the LDS church instead of another Bible based church if it was the Bible that brought you to faith in Christ?

    I don’t mind at all. I came to know that the Bible was true. Being an ex-Mormon from Utah who just had his world shattered by the fact that I didn’t know everything I went to the BoM. I also came to the conclusion that it was the word of God. Always the skeptic I then when on to read the Quran as well as re-read the Tao Te Ching, I Ching and many other writings that I had studied in my years away from the Lds faith. I came to the knowledge that these weren’t the word of God, though I still feel there is truth to be found in them. So my conclusion was that God wanted me to be Mormon.

    “If you studied the Bible and believe it to be the true word of God, how do you justify following a gospel and prophets that are warned about in the Bible.”

    Because I don’t believe that’s what it is. The rest of your questions are red herrings that pull us off topic, so please forgive me for not addressing them at this time.

  16. 16 choosethechrist
    February 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    TJayT said, “And where do you get the trust and belief that the “word of God is true?” if not from the Holy Spirit speaking to your soul? How can one honestly come to know that the crazy supernatural things that both sides believe are true without first “feeling” that they are true?”

    I am a skeptic as well and rarely take things at face value without doing a lot of research and investigation. I did a lot of looking to see if the claims of Biblical inerrancy were true because I know that my feelings can be infleunced by my own thoughts, satan, and the Holy Spirit. God expects us to go to his word to discern the truth. I came to the conclusion that the Bible is the inerrant word of God. Once I made that decision, it was either accept all of the Bible or accept none of the Bible. If I am picking and choosing what parts of the Bible I want to believe or picking what parts make me feel comfortable when in reallity I am just creating my own version of God and my own religion based on what makes me feel good. I have heard from a lot of Mormons who are in many ways practicing their own religions. When asked, they will tell what they believe about God, what doctrines they choose to believe or not believe and frankly there are a lot of Mormons out there who have quite the hodge podge of beliefs. They continue on in Mormonism because the church is good to them, they have many family/social ties and it is an acceptable way of life even though they don’t believe all of it. Maybe that stems from a system that begins with teaching people to go with what feels right and with what feels comfortable? This is very disturbing to the rest of us because if you truly believe there is only one way to God, then what you believe about God matters. I do not understand how Mormons can say they believe the Bible when in fact what they are really saying to me is that they only believe the parts of the Bible that they want to believe or the parts that have been changed to fit their doctrine. This leaves me scratching my head!

    I don’t think the questions I presented to TJayT are a red herring (figurative expression in which a clue or piece of information is or is intended to be misleading) because they directly relate to what can happen when we base our belief systems on feelings. I think BYs Adam God Doctrine is a good example of that because we know that some mormons felt that BY was right and other mormons felt that BY was wrong. It is my understanding that some fundamentalists still believe BYs Adam God Doctrine today. Here is some info on that from a neutral source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam%E2%80%93God_doctrine. A lot of us here are having a very hard time understanding why many mormons are choosing to practice mormonism based on what they have decided feels right to them i.e. the ones who have said I know the truth (the things presented in the video), but what I am doing feels ok to me so I am staying anyway.

  17. February 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    So TjayT how do you explain the fact that all of us non mormons dont “feel” that the bom is true? Dont you think the Holy Spirit wants to lead us all to truth so why would some people “feel” that it is true and some not?

  18. 18 Kent
    February 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    I find it interesting that the day before he was killed that Joseph Smith drank wine and don’t Mormons have to be temple worthy to worship in the temple and one of the things that make them temple worthy is that they can’t drink alcohollic beverages?

    So wouldn’t that make Smith not be able to enter the Celestial Kingdom when he passed from this earth if he wasn’t temple worthy at the time of his death?

    So if not, how can we have to have his permission to enter the mansions where God is if he might not be there himself?

    Also, if he did translate at least part of the Book of Mormon with some seers stone, without the gold plates, the same kind of stone he used earlier in his life to try to find treasures, how can we trust that it actually came from God and not from satan himself? After all, one of the witnesses of Smith translating it reportedly said he used a stone and that he didn’t see the plates.

    Remeber, this video is not by a non Mormon but by a Mormon who is trying to explain why some people leave the Mormom Church.

    There are just too many things that have be explained to reconcile that what the Mormon Church teaches is true.

  19. 19 shematwater
    February 2, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    CTC

    You miss the point completely. I never said a pilot flies by the seat of his pants or any other silly and rather useless method of doing a job. I very specifically stated that he watches the dials, or in your new analogy, follows the guidelines. But one can do this and still fly by gut instinct.

    For example: A pilot in flying a plane and notices a slight change in the barometric pressure. He has a feeling that a storm is approaching. However, the direct evidence of the dials and mechanisms do not give enough indication of such. Should he trust the dials and wait until they give such an indication, or should he trust his instinct and take the plane to a higher altitude to avoid a potential storm.
    Either way he is still using the dials for their intended purpose, but in the second he is letting his instinct and feeling guide how he uses them.
    Now, if he chooses to fly higher and there is no storm he has done no harm to anyone. But if there is he may have saved many lives. On the other hand, if he chooses not to fly higher and is caught in a sudden storm (not unlikely) by ignoring the feeling of danger that he had he has now put the lives of everyone on the plane in jeopardy.

    People get this weird idea that we advocate being controlled by our emotions, and that is ridiculous. We learn to recognize the feelings that is the spirit communicating. It is not an emotional feeling, though it does elicit such in response to it. One who recognizes that communication is guided by the spirit.

    JEN

    Speaking of your trip, what you describe is emotional feelings to the potential dangers of such a journey. Your mind naturally locked onto those things that could cause problems for you and your family, and this caused some worry and anxiety.
    However, this is not the kind of feeling we am talking about. In a similar situation one may say a prayer for a safe trip, and suddenly those emotions of worry and replaced, not with another emotion, but with a quiet feeling of assurance that all will be alright.

    What people don’t seem to understand is that feelings are not synonymous with emotions. Emotions are only one type of feeling, and not the type we refer to. Instinct is another feeling. Physical sensation is another type of feeling. Spiritual communication is another type, and one that we must learned to recognize.

  20. February 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Shem-I like how you mentioned that there are different types of feelings ie: emotions, instinct, physical sensations, and spiritual communication. What I think is interesting is that because all of those can be confusing to discern why would God have us rely on them?

    Proverbs 28:26 ” He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”

    Satan manipulates our feelings. And so does our own flesh. So how can we know if our feelings are from God, Satan or the flesh?

    The only way is if you line it up with the Bible. But then you aren’t talking about feelings, you’re talking about what is Biblical.

    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…”
    1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV)

    How many people in the OT fell away and started worshiping idols because they didnt trust Gods words and promises? Their feelings were getting in the way instead of trusting the words of God.

  21. 21 choosethechrist
    February 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Shem, flying a plane is not “instinctive” for humans. Intinct: the inherent inclination of a living organism toward a particular behavior. Any behavior is instinctive if it is performed without being based upon prior experience, that is, in the absence of learning. Human beings have no “instinct” on how to fly. You have missed my point which is pilots fly planes by using instrumentation and their experience not by their “feelings”.

    “Should he trust the dials and wait until they give such an indication, or should he trust his instinct and take the plane to a higher altitude to avoid a potential storm.”~ Shem

    He should use the knowledge, experince, and instrumentation available to him.

  22. 22 wyomingwilly
    February 2, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I think that feelings/emotions play a part in everyone’s spiritual walk. But I also believe that Mormons have
    been encouraged by their leaders to put way to much emphasis on their feelings /emotions in reguard to
    what they believe is spiritual truth . Thirty years ago when I begin to investigate the claims of the Mormon
    church one aspect that I found to be troubling to me was the over emphasis on what I would call this
    reasoning : sincere prayer + a burning in the bosom experience = knowledge of the truth . James 1:5
    and D&C 9:8,9 ? . It seems to me that Mormon Missionaries especially were advocating this scenario.
    About this time I read a copy of a memo form a Mormon Mission President [ D.Thomas Stapley ] sent to
    Missionaries where he mentions a FEEL-STOP-CHALLENGE approach for them to use with investigators.
    This memo recommended : ” During our recent round of Zone Conf. we discussed with some zones the way
    to teach by the spirit and how to help investigators to know when they are receiving by the spirit by using a
    simple method called FEEL – STOP – CHALLENGE . The program is simple. If you want to truely teach by the
    spirit you need to prepare before each discussion by having companion prayer prior to the discussion…..
    Then , properly prepared, be aware of the promptings of the spirit. As you teach you may FEEL as if the
    investigator is receiving a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of your teaching. When you do FEEL this
    prompting of the spirit, STOP. Ask the investigator if he/she feels anything special. If they ‘ yes’ , I feel
    warm inside ‘ or some other discription of a spiritual manifestation , help them recognize that this is
    probably a spiritual witness of the Holy Ghost of the truthfulness of the Church’s teachings. Help them
    recognize the Holy Ghost. Then having helped them to recognize the spiritual witness, CHALLENGE them
    to be baptized and set a date. When this is done cease teaching, set a date for a return visit in a day or
    two, close with prayer and leave while the investigator is on a high spiritual plain. If the reply to the question,
    ” Do you feel anything special right now ? ‘ is negative , just state simply, ‘ oh I just wondered? ‘ and the
    continue to teach. ”
    I met with Missionaries about a dozen times over a 5 year period [ took the “lessons” once ] . I experienced
    some of what this memo stated. Since the young men carried a Bible and utilized it in much of our talks I
    always brought up my concern that if the Bible did’nt clearly teach Mormon doctrine on vital issues, then I
    could’nt join their church etc. We had some decent conversations, there was only one Missionary that was
    not polite, the rest were very decent young men. There’s more I might share about this topic but that is
    it for now . WW

  23. 23 TJayT
    February 3, 2012 at 5:06 am

    CtC

    “I am a skeptic as well and rarely take things at face value without doing a lot of research and investigation. I did a lot of looking to see if the claims of Biblical inerrancy were true because I know that my feelings can be influenced by my own thoughts, satan, and the Holy Spirit. God expects us to go to his word to discern the truth. I came to the conclusion that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.”

    If you don’t mind me asking where did you look and what sort of things did you study when researching Biblical inerrancy? Also how do you know that Satan hasn’t tricked you into following a false Messiah by giving you “knowledge” built on the truth of the Jewish Bible? This is basically the claim of Judaism.

    “Once I made that decision, it was either accept all of the Bible or accept none of the Bible. If I am picking and choosing what parts of the Bible I want to believe or picking what parts make me feel comfortable when in reallity I am just creating my own version of God and my own religion based on what makes me feel good.”

    I also accept all of the Bible. You and I may disagree on interpretation, what parts to take literally or figuratively, etc. But that doesn’t stop me from believing all of it to be the word of God, even if I feel most (if not all) of if is pseudepigraphical in nature.

    I have heard from a lot of Mormons who are in many ways practicing their own religions. When asked, they will tell what they believe about God, what doctrines they choose to believe or not believe and frankly there are a lot of Mormons out there who have quite the hodge podge of beliefs.

    You would most likely consider me to be one of these since I don’t believe in infinite regression, and as an extension of this I’m agnostic on the idea of a “Queen of Heaven” since I mostly see the idea as stemming from the former belief.

    They continue on in Mormonism because the church is good to them, they have many family/social ties and it is an acceptable way of life even though they don’t believe all of it. Maybe that stems from a system that begins with teaching people to go with what feels right and with what feels comfortable? This is very disturbing to the rest of us because if you truly believe there is only one way to God, then what you believe about God matters. I do not understand how Mormons can say they believe the Bible when in fact what they are really saying to me is that they only believe the parts of the Bible that they want to believe or the parts that have been changed to fit their doctrine. This leaves me scratching my head!

    Most of the teachings that we argue about are side topics that we don’t feel are relevant to salvation. For example the infinite regression above. I have never met a fellow Mormon that thinks I’ll be barred from exaltation, nor do I feel that way about anyone that thinks God has a grandpa. I would equate it to the many side arguments I see with my Mainstream Christian friends. I know plenty of Non-Trinitarians, Calvinists, Armenians, Catholics etc. There’s plenty of room for debate within Christianity, and while I’m not saying that Lds faith can fit into here I don’t see why we can’t have disagreements in our faith.

    “I don’t think the questions I presented to TJayT are a red herring (figurative expression in which a clue or piece of information is or is intended to be misleading)”

    I feel it does pull us of the topic of how do feelings interact with spiritual matters/revelation. If you would like and it’s not against the blog’s rules I can give you me Email and we can talk more fully about anything that strikes our fancy.

    Jen
    So TjayT how do you explain the fact that all of us non mormons dont “feel” that the bom is true? Dont you think the Holy Spirit wants to lead us all to truth so why would some people “feel” that it is true and some not?

    I’m sure it would depend on the person, there situation and what God’s plan is for them. Pick your favorite two reasons why a person can read the bible and not see the truth within (or could be turned from a Christian to an Atheist). I’m sure they would apply equally well to the BoM.

  24. February 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Bill Mckkeever at http://www.mrm.org/feelings says this:

    Mormons often tell me how they “feel” that Mormonism is right; however, as a Christian I can respond with equal assurance that I “feel” my faith is right. But does that make it right? I recently read the story of a new convert who said, “Until the very second that I made my declaration, I wasn’t entirely convinced that it was what I wanted to do. Would I wake up one day and want to change my mind? Would I feel like I had made a huge mistake? But already I feel as if my life has been transformed. I don’t know how to describe it, but the moment I said those words, my heart filled with joy and love and it took about four days for me to come back down off the ceiling.” Though this sounds very familiar to statements I’ve heard from both Mormons and Christians, it was actually a comment made by a woman who had recently recited the Shahada, a Muslim testimony that simply states, “La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah.” Translated this phrase says, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” (“Why I took the hijab,” The Guardian, June 20, 2002). What does this prove? Well, when it comes to establishing what is true, it proves absolutely nothing. It is just one opinion among millions.

  25. 25 shematwater
    February 3, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    This is the real truth of anyone’s testimony in anything.

    No one can know what another knows; nor can they know what another has experienced. These things can only be revealed through the Holy Spirit. To compare testimonies is useless and a waist of time. The only thing that a testimony can be used for is sharing. Once it becomes a comparison (whose is more valid, or from what source each comes, etc) the conversation ceases to be beneficial.

    JEN

    Things are not as hard to distinguish as one might think. They have been made more difficult in our day because our culture has confused them and described most feelings as emotions, and thus confuses people as to the proper function of each type.
    I agree that one must practice a bit in order to recognize the Spirit, but it is not difficult for those who truly seek it. It is like the old radios. They picked up a lot of static, even when they were properly tuned. For the common person such would make their operation very difficult. But a skilled person, who had been practicing, was able to tune out the static in their own mind so as to only hear the intended message being sent.
    We must practice and learn to recognize that Spirit when it does speak, tuning out all the static that the world and Satan throws at us.

    Now, you mention comparing everything to the Bible: What did the people do who lived before the Bible was written? What about Peter and the Apostles. Did they rely only on the current scriptures to guide them? This idea sounds good, but it makes no sense, as such was not possible for the majority of people throughout the world. The Bible itself was not readily available until well over a thousand years after it was written. As such, to say we must use it as our only standard sounds very naive. Why must we use this standard when so many in the past didn’t have too? Why are we to rely on the words of men long dead when they had the Spirit guiding them directly, without the reliance on past scripture?
    And what is Biblical? Is your interpretation of the Bible what is Biblical? Can others have a different interpretation and still be Biblical. With all the varying understandings of the Bible that exist in the world how can anyone claim to know what it truly Biblical without the spirit guiding them?

    CTC

    If you will look at what I wrote you will notice the that mechanics of flying are not done by instinct. The instinct that is involved in the instinct of self-preservation, or an instinct for danger. The pilot has a gut feeling that things are going to be dangerous. This is his survival instinct kicking in when he notices signs of possible storm that he knows can be deadly when flying.
    Either way you take the analogy that I gave (whether waiting or flying higher) he is still flying by training and experience, but in one he is listening to his feelings of possible danger to guide how he flies, while in the other he is ignoring his own intuition and instinct in favor of training.

  26. February 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    TJayT said: “I also accept all of the Bible. You and I may disagree on interpretation, what parts to take literally or figuratively, etc. But that doesn’t stop me from believing all of it to be the word of God, even if I feel most (if not all) of if is pseudepigraphical in nature.”

    Pseudepigraphical: Spurious writings, especially writings falsely attributed to biblical characters or times.

    Interpretation: An explanation or conceptualization by a critic of a work of literature, painting, music, or other art form; an exegesis

    2 Peter 1:20
    Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.

    T, what I think you are saying to me is that you believe your interpretation to be the word of God. Since we have different interpretations, one of us is wrong. I would encourage you to investigate which interpretation (understanding, or reading) of the Bible is the right one. I would like to challenge you to take up an inductive method of Bible study to confirm if you have chosen the correct interpretation. This is a good one: http://store.precept.org/c-8-precept-upon-precept.aspx . You can also attend classes if you don’t want to study on your own: http://classes.preceptnetwork.org/ClassState=UTAH&SortBy=Sort1&submit=Show+Results

    I’m of the opinion that you and God still have some things to work out.

  27. 27 steph
    February 3, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    “The LDS church is all about making you feel its good and not worry so much about the more troublesome things they believe. I heard a phrase “people join the Mormon Church because of what they feel, and leave because of what they know.”~ http://networkedblogs.com/t6Xa4

  28. 28 shematwater
    February 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Just another good, biblical example of the feelings produced by the presence of God and the spirit in our lives.

    Luke 24 – the story of the road to Emmaus
    After the women find the sepulchre emptiy, and Peter verifies it, two disciples leave Jerusalem, heading for Emmaus. On the way they debate with each other over the meaning of the recent events.

    15 “And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
    16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.”

    It is important to know that they did not know this was Christ; such an understanding was hidden from them. They thought he was just a man walking on the same road.

    Now, the story continues with Christ asking what they are discussing. astonished that he doesn’t know what has happened they give him a brief rundown of the last few days. When they express confusion, as they thought he was to redeem Israel, he states

    25 “…O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
    26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
    27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

    Now, let us again note what happens in this passage. He teaches them the truth concerning the Scriptures, beginning with the words written by Moses. This is significant because it shows that these people were both familiar with the Scriptures, but were also lacking in true understanding. They held the common belief that the Christ was going to be a great military ruler that would bring earthly freedom to Israel, redeeming the land from the heathen nations. But Christ is here using the same scriptures that they have interpreted in error to explain the truth concerning his redeeming power.

    The story continues, and they invite Christ to stay with them, and the night is approaching. He accepted and entered their house. When the meal was presented he blessed the bread and brake it. Then we read

    31 “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
    32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

    This shows us a great truth. These men had been so caught up in their false understanding of the scriptures, and were so enthralled by what Jesus was teaching that they didn’t notice the effect that his spirit was having on them. When they finally see who they are really talking to what is their reaction? Do they exclaim “It was obvious from the scriptures.” Do they ask “Is such really in line with the scriptures?” Do they say “We know because what the scriptures say.”
    No. They exclaim “Did not our heart burn within us?” This is to say “We should have known to whom we were talking because of the feeling we had while he was with us and talking to us.” They give no credit to the scriptures that he expounded to them, or to their understanding, or anything else. It was the feeling they had that convinced them and gave them such joy that “they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem… Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.” (33-34)

    Just as those who listened to Peter preach in Acts chapter two believed because they were “pricked in their hearts” so these disciples knew the truth because their “heart burned within” them.

    Sounds amazingly similar to what the LDS teach, doesn’t it?

  29. 29 choosethechrist
    February 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Has anyone here said that the spirit of God does not produce feelings within us? The whole point is to not be led astray by feelings that could be wrong.

    30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

    Show me where Jesus asked them to pray to know if their burning hearts were any indication of the truth regarding his resurrection. Jesus did not say, the scriptures say the Christ will rise from the dead, please pray and ask to know if this is true, you will know if this is true if your hearts burn within you. Jesus revealed prophetic scripture to them to show them their lack of belief regarding him being risen from the dead while his identity was hidden from them. They did not have faith in what God had said in the scriptures nor did they have faith in what Jesus himself told them about him returning on the 3rd day and they did not believe Christ was truly risen until he opened their eyes for them to see him.

    The whole point of Christ’s identity being hidden (“they were kept from recognizing him”) is to illustrate our disbelief in the word of God. The Holy Spirit communicates through the word of God (Biblical scriptures) i.e. he “opened the scriptures to us”. It was not their feeling that confirmed the risen Christ, they actually saw Christ. They should have expected to see him instead they were in despair (They stood still, their faces downcast.).

    Sounds amazingly similar to what people are doing when they do not take the word of God as it stands and have to change it around to suit them, doesn’t it?

  30. 30 shematwater
    February 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    “Has anyone here said that the spirit of God does not produce feelings within us?”

    I am sorry. I thought your whole point was that feelings were not to be trusted, so even if the Spirit did produce feelings we should ignore them in favor of other evidence.

    My point is that these men knew that the feeling should have been enough to tell them it was Christ, and yet they did not recognize it because they were too caught up in what they thought the scriptures meant. Seeing Christ was a wonderful thing, but the feeling they had should have been enough to tell them it was him long before he revealed himself, and that is what they are saying. They are expressing regret that they were not in tune enough to recognize it.

    It is like the story of the three ministers who are visited one day by their superior, who brings a special guest. The first is brought into an interview and the guest asks him what he knows of Christ. The minister recites several scriptures detailing Christ, is commended and leaves. The second comes in and is asked the same question. He is able to give even more references and details on who Christ is. he is commended and leaves. The third comes in, and before he can even be asked a question he falls to his knees and says “Master, I am thy servant.”
    All knew about Christ from reading the scriptures, but only the third was capable of recognizing the spirit of Christ and knew to whom he spake.
    This is the difference that I see in what you are saying as compared to what we are saying. You know a lot about Christ, but we teach people how to recognize his presence.

    “The whole point is to not be led astray by feelings that could be wrong.”

    I couldn’t agree more, and LDS doctrine is perfectly in agreement with this. That is why I have said that we must learn to recognize the spirit when it talks to us. If we confuse our our thoughts and emotions with the whisperings of the spirit we will be lead astray. We must keep ourselves always attune to the spirits guidance, or we will be led astray by false feelings.

    As to the rest of it, you really don’t get it. These men, in Luke 22, saw Christ. He spoke to them directly. They had no need to pray about it, for the simple reason that prayer is direct communication with God, which they already had.
    However, the bible is not direct communication to us with God. It was direct communication to those who wrote it, but we must trust in their integrity that they accurately relayed it. We must also trust that it has been accurately preserved. Because of this God wants us to seek direct communication concerning it, so that we will have the same blessings as these two men.

    Christ as said “Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be opened.” He has not said “Ask about anything other than the Bible and you shall receive.” He does not limit what doors we can knock on. He tells us that whatever we seek, as long as it is right, we will receive. Then James tells us that if we lack wisdom we should ask God “who giveth to all men liberally.”
    God is not angry or annoyed at anyone for seeking him out to confirm what they read in the Bible. Such is an act of humility, an admission that we lack the wisdom to understand the things of God without his direct assistance. One who asks in faith will never be turned away. Regardless of the question it will be answered.
    Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us not to pray about what is contained within it.

  31. 31 choosethechrist
    February 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    You don’t want to see the point so I think I’m done with this one.

  32. February 4, 2012 at 12:54 am

    So shem what you are essentially saying(even though I know you will spin it with your response) is that only lds people are “practiced” enough to “feel” the Holy Spirit because they are the only ones who are part of the “one true church”. All of us are not in tune enough or not trying hard enough to feel the right spirit because we didnt share the same “burning in our bosom” when we read or heard about the mormon church.You seem like a very reasonable, intelligent person to me but, “Are you kidding?!” That is just ridiculous.

  33. 33 TJayT
    February 4, 2012 at 5:45 am

    CtC

    “I would like to challenge you to take up an inductive method of Bible study to confirm if you have chosen the correct interpretation.”

    There aren’t any classes near where I live, but I’ll look into the study. I have been thinking about studying the Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament as well, so this would go nicely.

    “I’m of the opinion that you and God still have some things to work out.”

    I’m of the opinion that you’re a nice guy. Thanks for the chat.

  34. February 4, 2012 at 5:55 am

    TJayT, I finally responded to you in the thread: “Joyfully paying off the debt” I just thought I would let you know in case you want to respond. I will leave that up to you. :)

  35. 35 shematwater
    February 6, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    JEN

    No. There are many people who are receptive to the spirit who are not members of the church. There are those who recognize his promptings regardless of their beliefs. For what you said to be true would require that God speaks only to those in the church, or at least to those studying it, and that it not true.

    God speaks to all people. He inspires and guides the actions of the world through that inspiration. Many people are lead by the spirit in their lives.

    I will say that the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit is given only to those who are baptized and confirmed members of the church, just as it was in the days of the Bible. This gives much greater guidance, and more direct communication than is available to the rest of the world.

    But God still speaks to all people.

    Now, just because someone does not recognize the spirit when they first read the Book of Mormon does not mean anything. Brigham Young took two years to accept its truth. Others read it already believing it is false, and thus if they do pray about it they are not seeking to know if it is true, but are seeking confirmation that it is false. Others may pray, but have no real conviction of anything, or don’t really believe God will answer.
    I can’t say the exact reason a particular person does not instantly get a confirmation of its truth. That is between them and God. However, I can say that anyone who truly wants to know (and is not just seeking to have their disbelief confirmed) and keeps asking (doesn’t just give up after one prayer) will eventually receive a testimony of it from the Spirit of God.


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