Comments about ‘Being Mormon in a Mormon moment’

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Published: Sunday, Sept. 4 2011 12:40 a.m. MDT

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christoph
Brigham City, UT

Nibley and Bushman are great examples (and spokesmen) because they have a sense of humor; if we can increase in knowledge and not take ourselves too seriously, that is a great accomplishment. This article didn't mention humor but these men are probably the most talented with using humor in the history of the world. Also, I've heard Prof. Bushman say when we are sharing the gospel with others, (at work or wherever) that we should use the same everyday voice that we use in talking about sports and the weather-----yet when we bring up religion----- our voice changes, we become tense--- we are not the same and it makes others uncomfortable.

JRJ
Pocatello, ID

Good to hear that Bro. Brown's "Profile of a Prophet" is still being listened to. It was a staple in our mission so many years ago. I still feel that same commitment and dedication to the gospel as I listen to it or read the transcript. What a powerful testimony.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

To Voice of Reason

It would be nice if they would ask what the LDS church believes, but I think they already think they know it all. Or if they don't know much they don't really want to know any more. They know enough to brand it as an outrageous story and they want to make Bushman and Givens look like fools.

I agree with the posters who suggested better questions..."Why are these beliefs important to you?

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

"what the LDS Church believes.." A good place to find out would be the Articles of Faith. They are clear and written in plain language that cannot be misrepresented.

Vanka
Provo, UT

Am I reading this right? Are Mormons, including Bushman, really, seriously criticizing and trying to dictate to others what questions are appropriate?

Please tell me Mormons are not that arrogant...

uncommonsense
CENTERVILLE, UT

@vanka, you didn't read the whole article did you? It was actually more about Mormons being more generous with the answers to questions they are asked. A good sense of humor comes in handy as well.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

% A voice of reason: You write:First, no one "has" to listen to anything. If you don't believe that the LDS paradigm has any merit and/or logical claim, then I invite you to move on.

Thank you for your invite, but I live in a larger hetrogeous community of different people and friends including Mormons. Our Mormon friends don't stay in there ward talking to themselves, they share their lives with us, and they never tire of telling us what they know is true. They think (like You) that they have the only truth and the rest of us just have our believes. I feel perhaps it is you who needs to move on to reality. It doesn't mean we can't be friends; right. I hope you have a good day.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

Hi skeptic, you say:
"The controversy and conflict with the public perception of Mormons doesn't seem to be with Mormon believes(sic.), everyone is entitiled to their believes(sic.), it is with the Mormon fatuous claim to know. Mormons seldom say what they believe, it is what they think they know; and they almost always bear their testimony that they do know, therefore they are right and all other believes are wrong. Mormons seldom prove what they say they know, it is a magic spirit that witnesses to them that no one else knows. It seems to be an arrogant and false witness to others who have to listen to it."

The LDS General Relief Society President Julie B. Beck taught in April 2010 General Conference, "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." When the LDS bear testimony, it is a testimony of a mantic experience, and not a sophic one.

As far as bearing this testimony to the world, that was commanded by the Savior himself. All true Christians enthusiastically share the good news of Jesus Christ with an unbelieving world.

Ms.W
South Jordan, UT

@skeptic

And atheists don't advertise? Never tiring, by telling us what they think is true? How about the billboard that says "Don't believe in God? You're not alone."

How about bus advertisements that say "Why believe in God? Just be good for goodness sake". One wonders where they think goodness comes from.

How about during the Christmas season, where you'll find posters at the Washington State Capitol building which read: "At this season of the Winter Solstice may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds."

Talk about in your face.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

%New York; Thank you for sharing your incites; but how, or why would I believe or accept what a Mormon tells me he/she knows is the truth more than I would a Catholic priest, or a born again christian, or an Orthadox Jew,or even a devout Muslim. These people have dedicated their lives to prayer,study and religion and they do not claim to know, or agree with you. I maintain that we can only believe and that we do not know. I do not believe that I know, and I do not believe that you know.

%Ms.W: I am a skeptic, not an atheist.

New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

skeptic,

The answer to your question is simple. Develop your own ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation. It's the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.

LDS teachings are that God directs different people to different things, even other churches to achieve his eternal purposes. In 1842, Joseph Smith taught, "The Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men.... He will judge them, 'not according to what they have not, but according to what they have,' those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law.... When the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess that the Judge of all the earth has done right."

Freedom-In-Danger
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

skeptic: I offer an alternative solution to your concerns. If a Mormon indeed saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and was told that no other church's were right then that Mormon indeed has very good cause to say "this is absolutely true and I know it to be true".

Please try to understand it this way instead. We believe ourselves to be true, and members may possibly have every reason to say that they know it, whether they've seen God for themselves or not; with that in mind, my saying "I'm right" does not necessarily mean that I'm saying "your wrong". I could be saying "Joseph Smith was conferred the priesthood and no other religion offers revelation from God" and also believe that other religions have certain things right, or have knowledge of certain truths, if even many truths... but that they simply do not have the priesthood authority to provide modern revelation.

Saying "I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God" does not mean that there are not true aspects of your own faith. We do not claim to be perfect either though, as the Book of Mormon title page addresses. Any help?

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

% New Yorker and Freedom-in-Danger:

Thank you gentlemen. At this point I am lost for comment. Pehaps you do have a conduit to god that no one else seems to have. I am very happy for you. I am happy that you know things that I myself and others can only hope to believe. You have a wonderful gift, I sincerly hope it serves you and others well.
Best wishes.

Vanka
Provo, UT

If your God is perfect, only perfect people can "know" Him.

If you claim to "know" Him, but then also claim "nobody's perfect, even us", then you do not know him.

"Knowing" does not contain any dilution.

If you claim to "know", you had better be perfect, or else you are a liar. See 1 John 2:4.

Freedom-In-Danger
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Skeptic: I'm sure you are done with this conversation so I do not want to feed an argument; but I do want to add one thing if it helps. I myself do not believe that God does not answer prayers of anyone who is not LDS. I believe that he indeed does.

I believe revelation and prayer are different. While I believe anyone can receive the truth from God and that anyone can have prayers answered, I believe that priesthood authority has more to do with ministering this work to others. Only one ordained with authority from God can reveal things to others. Sometimes people need help from someone else and prayer isn't the right answer. Sometimes we can be so prideful that we might deny a prayer with a subtle denial, but by believing in the leadership of the church, we would follow their counsel when not following something that came to us directly. It's complicated, obviously, but the only point I'm driving at here is that I don't believe that only I can get truth, just that the 'true church' in my eyes has more to do with the LDS traits regarding organized religion.

Wish you well.

so it goes...
SLC, UT

It's interesting that Hugh B. Browns name has been mentioned a few times in the comments. If Pres. Brown was still alive, would he be as respected today in Utah seeing that he was a life time member of the Democratic Party, was the first chairman of Utah's Liquor Control Commission, and wanted to rescind the Negro Doctrine 9 years before it happened?

Also in light of the Amish and Presbyterian example stated in the article, I dont recall either of those religions making claims like the LDS Church does, such as possession of golden plates, speaking to the Godhead in a grove of trees, the Garden of Eden being in Missouri, God living on the planet Kolob, practicing polygamy etc.

Admiring Gentile
Salt Lake City, UT

To those whose interest was piqued by the frequent mention of Hugh B. Brown's "Profile of a Prophet," hey, we live in the Internet Age! You don't have to hunt down a copy--simply Google it. It'll come right up.

I must say I'm amused by the posters here who are doing a back-and-forth about "beliefs." As I mentioned in my previous posting, beliefs can never be "proven," so why even bother debating them? I'll respect anyone's beliefs as long as they don't try to push those beliefs into public law, such as the opponents of gay marriage are trying to do. Only a belief, never a fact, could be against gay marriage.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

Don't forget that there were multiple versions of the "first vision" and they don't agree with on another.

Just sayin'

DSB
Cedar Hills, UT

To RanchHand - don't forget that there are no contradictions in Joseph Smith's multiple versions of the First Vision, despite different emphases on different elements of the experience, at different moments of re-telling. There is no disagreement as you claim, and simply repeating this worn-out and disproved claim does not lend more credence to the conclusion so deceptively implied, no matter how much a simple-minded anti-Mormon may so desperately want to believe it.

Mormoncowboy
Provo, Ut

I had the same thoughts as Vanka to a degree. It is not reasonable for Mormons to present the world with the relevant questions. This really say's nothing about those inquiring into Mormonism, but rather suggests the type of questions that Mormons would prefer to answer. This isn't good business. Mormons in the media, such as Bushman, would be better focused on trying to understand the kinds of questions that people are asking - and then to provide better answers to those questions.

Asking someone if they "really believe" in the First Vision is probably one of the most relevant questions that can be asked. In response to the question is the opportunity to explain why? Besides, if what Bushman gets out of Mormonism is directly tied to the belief that the "church is true" (along the lines of standard Mormon convention) - then essentially he was asked the question he was hoping for...he just didn't recognize it. If on the other hand, the literal truthfulness of Mormon claims is not where Bushman derives his utility of membership, then yes, the question: "do you really believe this stuff", would be quite problematic and disturbing.

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