Comments about ‘We just know; that's how we decide’

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Published: Thursday, May 31 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Dadof5sons
Montesano, WA

This is how most people come to know and understand the truth. Well don on this subject matter.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

While this article compliments how some people are inspired by study of Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon it skips explaining how other people's study of Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon enlightens their sense of the false nature of Mormonism because God tells them that it is not true. There seems to be two sides to the story; which are we to believe.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

My experience has been that those who receive negative answers to such prayers have often conveyed to the Lord in their prayers that they would rather not deal with the tenants of the gospel and would feel much better walking away from it. God loves his children and will not place them in a position that would make them uncomfortable and more likely to violate covenants they are not ready and/or desirous to keep.

Its the only explanation which makes sense to me. I have felt, unmistakeably, the spirit bearing witness of the truth and countless others that I know. They are people of sound mind, the highest principles and standards. I seriously doubt so many could be deceived. Whereas, many I have known who have rejected these things convey a much less stable resolve in life.

IndependentLiberal
Salt Lake City, UT

The article made a few good points on how a few of the early disciples and apostles just dropped fishing nets at Jesus’ command, Follow Me. However I believe in nearly all cases data based decisions serves best. Reasoning based faith instead faith based reasoning.

TeamLaws
St Marys, Ga

When Spirit speaks to spirit the familiarity/understanding of the language is certain, while the "explaining" of the dialogue is often complicated. I think President Boyd K. Packer stated "We know more than we can say" which encapsulates the idea pretty well. Though hard to explain it is nonetheless very real to the recipient. This has been my experience with the Gospel. It continues to "distill upon my soul"

TeamLaws
Ventura, Ca (SoCal), CA

When Spirit speaks to spirit the language though unmistakeable is difficult to explain to others. I believe President Packer said "We know more than we can say" which sums the idea up pretty well. This is how I have come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has "distilled upon my soul".

Abeille
West Haven, Utah

Skeptic says "There seems to be two sides to the story; which are we to believe?"

Excellent question! In fact, it's the same question a young Joseph Smith asked in regard to which church he should join, which caused him to seek an answer himself in the woods near his house after reading James 1:5. So, who are you to believe, Skeptic? Are the Anti-Mormon sites right, or are the Mormon sites right? How do you tell? What can you do to find the answer yourself? If God revealed it to you through the Holy Ghost, would you believe him over the sites?

The entire faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hinges on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. If that work is truly scriptural (from God), then Joseph Smith MUST be a true prophet. So, why don't you find out for yourself? Here's how:

1. Get yourself a Book of Mormon.
2. Read Alma 32:28-43 first. This should happen to you.
3. Read the entire Book of Mormom.
4. Follow Moroni 10:3-5 and find out for yourself.

That's what this article is about!

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

ulvegaard - I doubt that the non mormon population of the earth, around 99.5% of the world population has been deceived. Maybe it is the 1/2 of %1 that has been decieved.

Abeille - I, and I assume many others, have tried the promise of moroni. I found it empty. I got no positive answer. This is not a very reliable means of knowing truth if one person can get one "sure" answer and another person can get a "sure" answer that is opposite. It doesn't quite work. It didn't work for me so I KNOW that it cannot be true.

Gracie
Boise, ID

My experience with those who receive negative answers, particularly regarding the Book of Mormon, comes from testimony my husband gave when he was a young, rebellious young man and newly married. I was new to the gospel, myself, and told him he just needed to read the book and pray about it to recognize its truth. I was naive enough to believe he'd do so with the intent to actually know. His history in general wouldn't support that notion, but I was very young too, and thought adults typically wanted to deal with truth instead of anything else. One night after reading the Book of Mormon, he claimed to me that he knew it was NOT true. That floored me. It was a couple of years later before he changed his mind and told our whole congregation he'd lied because he hadn't wanted to know. This tends to support a part of what ulvegaard stated. I also believe in the final analysis, one's answer depends on which god one WANTS to follow.

Abeille
West Haven, Utah

Yes, Brahmabull, I know. That's why I recommend Skeptic read Alma 32:28-43 first. Honesty is important in this type of research. You can't expect to receive an answer if you don't follow the pattern shown in Alma 32:28-43. Gracie's comments are right. I also know that you are 'Mormon in Name Only'. So, why don't you try the same thing I recommended to Skeptic? Why don't you try and read the Book of Mormon the way it was meant to be read - with an open heart?

Anyone can read the Book of Mormon. But if your attitude is 'I want to read this to prove it wrong', or 'I really don't want to find out, but I'll read it anyway,' then you should expect to receive no answer. Whose fault is that? You must be HONEST in taking the challenge. Also, you must have COURAGE to move forward when you receive confirmation of its truthfulness.

So, try it again. I know the promise works. It's happened to me.

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

Bramabull ... Your first point would be valid only if you could show that 99.5% of the population had read the Book of Mormon. Not likely. Skeptic asks a good question, but it pertains only to those who have read it and arrived at opposite answers.

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

Gracie,

"answer depends on which god one WANTS to follow."

As you found out, it appears that the Holy Ghost does not define truth, but is more of what a person wants to be true. If a person prays and prays over a particular subject desiring it to be true, then eventually they will believe it to be true. This is not magic! This is just how our brains work. I've lied many times saying that "I know" the church is true, but in reality I never knew.

When I was an active member, I experienced a moment of intellectual honesty and I felt strong guilt for all of my church testimonies claiming I knew it was true, but I really didn’t. Why would God allow me to feel such feelings if it was really his church?

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Abeille

You are under the false assumption that I have not done so. I am a retunred missionary, I read the Book of Mormon 2 times before my mission, 4 times during, and once after. I never, ever KNEW that it was true. Sure I believed it was true, or I wouldn't have gone on a mission. I had a open heart. To me, it seems like you have to put all logical thoughts out the window in order to get a good answer. I did that, and still got nothing affirmative. I am sure people get similar feelings about all kinds of books, some related to christianity, some not. It is a state of mind, not an answer. Of course if you go in believing an answer is coming you will think you got one. The mind can do crazy things. Once I read it later knowing all of the real history behind it it became very clear that I had been decieved, and I had only been hopeful that it was true. It turned out not to be. Using the spirit as a guide is the most unreliable way anybody could get a REAL answer.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

RE: Avellle,
Thank you for your good intentions. Has it occurred to you that I may have studied and sought the truth in as dedicated manner as you profess you have. Please understand that I have nothing against Mormons or their acceptance of their believes. It is attitudes like yours and those of other extremist: Al-Qaida, Christian fundamentalist, etc. that frighten me; because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth. I challenge you to read and study some of the great religious literature of the world that format views different from yours. You may be surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world is every bit as smart an close to their god as you are to yours. I understand others believes; when they claim to know is when the world suffers.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

RE: Avellle,
Thank you for your good intentions. Has it occurred to you that I may have studied and sought the truth in as dedicated manner as you profess you have. Please understand that I have nothing against Mormons or their acceptance of their believes. It is attitudes like yours and those of other extremist: Al-Qaida, Christian fundamentalist, etc. that frighten me; because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth. I challenge you to read and study some of the great religious literature of the world that format views different from yours. You may be surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world is every bit as smart an close to their god as you are to yours. I understand others believes; when they claim to know is when the world suffers.

Commonman
HENDERSON, NV

Dear Skeptic,

John 7:17

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

Skeptic ... re "because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth."

You've mentioned several times that you 'know' the BoM is not what it purports to be, and you are often here to convince others of that.

Doesn't this make you a fanatic, according to your own statement? Is the world suffering because you 'know' the BoM isn't true?

And categorizing Abeille with Al-Qaeda... Come on. That's the kind of thinking that should scare you, not Mormons confident in their beliefs.

DUPDaze
Bakersfield, CA

Abeille, are you aware that more people have read, prayed and scrutinized the Book of Mormon and rejected it as unbiblical, than those who have just prayed for the warm fuzzies?

Do you believe God's Word when He warns that Satan masquerades as an angel of light? 2Cor. 11:4, 13-15.
Do you heed the Apostle Paul's warning about accepting a different Jesus than the one he presented to the Galations? Gal.1:6-10.

Are you familiar with the verses in Isaiah that state a man's heart/emotions are not to be trusted, but rather His Word?

What do you do with all the false religions that people follow? The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Islam, the multiple Jesus Christs, which Jesus Himself warned would come in counterfeit? What does God's Word say is the protection against being deceived?

If man can be deceived, what is your standard to compare your new revelation to? Surely you wouldn't use the book you don't trust to be the book you compare your new gospel to, right? Or if you do, and your new gospel is way off, which do you now trust?

Abeille
West Haven, Utah

Brahmabull -

Whether you're a returned missionary, a member of the church, or a non-member, the process is the same. You've read the Book of Mormon 7 times. That's a good start. This time, read it because you WANT to - not because you HAVE to. Failure does not mean 'give up.' If it did, I wouldn't have either of my degrees. The logical thing to do would be to try again, this time trying the experiment laid out in Alma 32:28-43. The choice is yours.

Skeptic -

Interesting response to my post. I'm a religious extremist now, am I? Just like Al-Quada or Christian Fundamentalists, am I? To you, everything you won't believe is fantasy. To you, anyone of belief is crazy, uneducated, dishonest, or stupid. To you, there is no reason to study these things because you refuse to believe it without even looking at it. Fine. So be it. It is your choice - and your loss.

I HAVE read much of the great religious literature. People of faith are generally good people. Those that scare me are the Godless - Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Stalin.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Radiolab, around a month ago, told the story of a man who had a brain injury that basically turned off his emotions. The result is that he was unable to make a decision because he was constantly weighing the variables; he'd spend hours in the cereal aisle at the store. Reason, when all variables balance out, appeals to emotion for a quick determination of satisfaction based on historical outcome: "Cheerios tastes good and my mother loved them." Emotions are important in the decision making process. However, as relying solely on intellect is ineffective, so is relying solely on emotions. Marketer, politicians, and con-men (not suggesting they're all negative, just that they all want you to follow them) all rely on capturing people's emotional attention. Emotional control has led nations to great achievements as well as great atrocities. It takes a balance.

Mr. Peterson's essay promotes relying on emotion for a very important decision: who will control your spiritual life. That decision, like all decisions, should include learning all you can about the issue before relying on the emotional side to make the decision, including weighing the evidence surrounding the BoM and Joseph Smith.

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