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

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Thinkman
Provo, UT

Abeille,

I loved how I felt when I read the Book of Mormon both before, during and after my mission. I taught the Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine class and I placed well over 400 books while on my mission with potential investigators. I testified of its truthfulness probably 4-5 dozen times in Fast and Testimony meeting over the course of about 10 years or more. I thought I knew it was God's word.

However, after deciding to think and use reason, I soon realized that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than one's (or several human beings') writings that speak in 19th century vernacular using biblical language, metaphors and verses quoted verbatim from the Bible to fill the Book of Mormon's pages.

I know through reason and using my mind rather that it isn't God's word. Before using thought, reason and logic, I used my feelings of wanting and believing it and the LDS church to be from God and not some man.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@ulvegard, Gracie, and Abeille
"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."

Why do you have to demean people who get different answers calling them insincere or dishonest. Fact is I just never got a positive answer to Moroni's promise, even when I really wanted it to be true. I still joined the church and was part of it for four years before leaving to be honest to myself about the fact that I just didn't believe it.

@Abeille
"Are the Anti-Mormon sites right, or are the Mormon sites right?"

Does it have to be either/or? I think both have some things correct. Even after leaving the LDS church there's still some doctrines in the church I believe to be correct (eternal marriage, everyone learning the truth before final judgment) but plenty of things I believe to be incorrect. I don't think any church is 100% right.

terra nova
Park City, UT

Indeed, which are we to believe? Joshua said, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) Elijah asked, "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him. If Baal be God, follow him." (1 Kings 18:2) Even so, some are, "ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7) They just don't understand. Isaiah wrote: "I girded (or, clothed) you, though you have not known me." (Isaiah 45:5) Christ said, "Every man that is of the truth heareth my voice." But some, like Pilate will ask, "What is truth?" (John 15:37-38)

In the end, skeptic, faith is a choice. Lack of faith is also a choice. Choosing neither or believing nothing at all is also... a choice.

Abeille
West Haven, Utah

Atl134 -

I'm surprised at your post. You may post some things I don't agree with, but usually your posts are balanced. In this case, you take me to task for 'demeaning people' by calling them 'dishonest.' Please re-read my posts. I call no one 'dishonest', but I DO say that the HONEST study of the Book of Mormon is required to receive an answer. On the other hand, I've been deemed 'Illogical' by Brahmabull, an 'extremist' and a 'fanatic' by Skeptic, DUPDaze compares my sacred spiritual experiences with 'warm fuzzies', and Thinkman believes I don't use thought, reason, or logic. So, Atl134, just WHO has been demeaned?

And yes, Atl134, both sites cannot hold the truth when conflicting items are being discussed. Joseph Smith cannot be a lying scoundrel and a Prophet of God. The Book of Mormon cannot be Scripture and, at the same time, not scripture. It's either one or the other.

Signed your Illogical, fanatical extremist, warm fuzzy-experiencing, unreasonable and thoughtless brother, Abeille.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Abeille
You supported Gracie's statements and she supported ulvegard's statements. Ulvegard suggested that those who got negative answers to Moroni's promise tend to just not want to deal with the church tenants and due to that would have biased their way to a negative answer. That is why I lumped the three of you together since there was that chain of agreement.

"but I DO say that the HONEST study of the Book of Mormon is required to receive an answer"

Isn't that an implicit statement that those who don't get an answer are dishonest?

"just WHO has been demeaned?"

I realize that demeaning remarks were made towards you and those are wrong. I believe demeaning remarks were made and implied towards people like me who read, prayed, and don't come to the "correct" conclusion. One of the effects of belief that Moroni's promise is true is that one may be left explaining how someone could not come to an affirmative answer and sometimes that explanation involves implications that they weren't honest, sincere, are lying, just don't want to follow church rules, or just want to sin.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Maybe that is how Dr. Peterson makes his decisions. It is not generally how I make mine.

Friends and relationships develop organically. But there are a thousand decisions and evaluations made along the way. The notebooks may be internal, but they are there (at least for me).

For career and most other decisions, I am definitely the notebook full of data type.

Then there is the church. I looked at the church from a lot of perspectives. Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon came slowly to me.

It would be untrue to say that my acceptance of them has been via pure logic. But it has not been done in the absence thereof either.

I have considered, prayed, and considered again.

"And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.

Wherefore, come ye unto it, and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning."

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Note: 4th post

@Abeille
"And yes, Atl134, both sites cannot hold the truth when conflicting items are being discussed. Joseph Smith cannot be a lying scoundrel and a Prophet of God. The Book of Mormon cannot be Scripture and, at the same time, not scripture. It's either one or the other."

Oh I agree with that. What I mean is that it could be possible for say... the Book of Mormon to be true but instituting polygamy to be wrong so the church would be right on one and wrong on the other. Or perhaps a historical account on one matter could be more accurate on the church sites but the historical account on a different matter may be more accurate on anti sites. Basically, I'm just saying that I doubt either type of site is 100% accurate and that I don't think any church is 100% accurate. I'm sure I'm not 100% accurate either when it comes to what I think is or isn't the correct doctrine but at some point well... I just guess, that's how I decide.

dotp
POTEAU, OK

Bottom line, and one that none of the skeptics among us can successfully refute, is that once you get that KNOWLEDGE in your mind, no matter how many times others will tell you it's a lie, you will NOT let go of that knowledge unless YOU desire to and do so. Many WON'T believe -- because to believe makes one assess their habits and desires as well as their actions on a regular basis. NOT believing makes this unnecessary, so why bother to believe? Of course, they can't really explain why the Book of Mormon corresponds so well with the Bible, but it MUST be because Joseph Smith was a cleverly deceitful man. Therefore, it CAN'T be true, so why bother to believe? But when you've used that argument up and realize that upon further study the Bible and the Book of Mormon agree on SO MANY points, you find yourself wanting to believe it. Especially when you realize how much is riding on it. I no longer "believe", I, too, KNOW the Book of Mormon is TRUE. You can argue all you want, but you will NOT change MY testimony. Only God can do that.

Grace
Bakersfield, CA

Abielle,

Where did you get your screen name? I took Hebrew at BYU 41 years ago and have been teaching it ever since.
As you may know, it means My Father (Abi/Avi), God (El).

It was through my love of Hebrew and studying to witness to my Jewish and Protestant friends that I became a Biblical believer. I saw all the emotion, tradition and subjectivity they used for basing their spiritual beliefs. I realized that I had to understand what they believed in order for me to make my religion fathomable to them.

I could not understand why evangelicals had such a fit over Mormonism and categorized us a "Christian cult". It angered and frustrated me, so I sincerely and urgently asked God to help me understand their Biblical Jesus. I became a sponge and could not get enough of the Bible. I read night and day, took classes, and compared everything to my LDS books. I eventually realized that I had never had a passion to know Jesus and suddenly that was all that mattered to me.

Be careful what you ask God for: I found the true Christ and got radically saved. Try my journey.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

Abeille

What scares me about you is that you attribute horrific acts of people like Stalin, Hitler, ect. It is not because they are godless that they did these things. They are in the minority. In comparison, I could say that I fear the religious because of people like Warren Jeffs, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan. They killed many in the name of religion Except Jeffs, whos crimes in the name of god are obvious). You can't say you fear atheists because of what a few have done. That is rediculous, don't you think?

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

Oh nevermind, I guess I had one more post left than I thought I did...

@dotp
"Bottom line, and one that none of the skeptics among us can successfully refute, is that once you get that KNOWLEDGE in your mind, no matter how many times others will tell you it's a lie, you will NOT let go of that knowledge unless YOU desire to and do so."

Isn't that true of all knowledge though? 2+2=4, stimulus spending is good during recessions while austerity should wait until conditions improve, the Red Sox will overcome their early season slump and make the playoffs... these are all things I think. No matter how much others will tell me its wrong, and regardless of whether or not I'm right, I won't let go of that knowledge until I desire to do so which would come by gaining more information that suggests a different conclusion. So I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with this since holding onto an idea doesn't necessarily mean the idea is accurate.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

Some on this thread who have publicly stated that they do not believe in God have also said that they have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and did not receive a confirmation of the book's truthfulness.

One of Moroni's stipulations is that the inquirer must believe in God for the answer to come.

Some on this thread (and other threads) have suggested that they came to "Biblical Christianity" or belief in Christ only after leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Personally, I was just the opposite. I was a one-time atheist, raised by anti-Mormons, and I had only a superficial knowledge of the Bible before I joined the Church. I am surprised that anyone would have ever been a member of the Church without, as they say, "coming to Christ."

My life is so much better than it was before because I have learned to understand the Holy Ghost, how it communicates, and how it gives "evidence of things not seen." That's what Daniel Petersen is really alluding to. Sometimes, the Spirit speaks, and we just know.

garybeac
Chapel Hill, NC

The most important thing is that we be humble about our testimonies. A testimony is nothing more or less than a gift. Why Heavenly Father picks whom He will is beyond our understanding. Anything we can understand is not strong enough to hold our attention. "To know a thing is to kill it," said D.H. Lawrence...or was it Heisenberg? For some of us, we were born into families where the restored gospel was talked about, lovingly or in anger. We chose it to be accepted by our family and friends, by pretty girls, by employers, etc., or we chose it to make all of those people notice us, positively or otherwise. We joined because it fits our personalities, our appetites. We joined because we had a spiritual experience(s) when we explored it. One of the above, some of the above, or all of the above. We are not better than those who don't have testimonies. We are not born into any covenant that we do not choose to make. We hold that all men are created equal. All we need is love to make our testimonies relevant to others.

Verdad
Orem, UT

When I read comments here suggesting that Peterson's article advocates relying on emotions without using reason or evidence, I find myself wondering whether I receive a different edition of the paper than certain other people do, because I don't see him doing anything remotely of the kind.

In my version of the article, he writes about "a very personal combination of evidence, reason, feelings, hunches, hopes, even 'tastes' — and yes, Latter-day Saints believe, . . . the influence of the Holy Ghost."

Do other versions of the article omit the words "evidence" and "reason"? Somebody please help me out here, because I find this really puzzling.

the truth
Holladay, UT

The skeptics on here get no answer. Why?

Because they are skeptics!

Parley Pratt and Peter and Andrew had faith in Christ.

One much read the whole promise of Moroni.

You MUST believe in Christ and you MUST believe you will get an answer to your prayer.

Just reading and praying avails you nothing.

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Brahambull

You need to sudy history better, those leaders did not do what they did because of religion, their intentions and motivations were not faith based,

though they may have hoped a God or Gods would support their cause, their deeds were of their own choosing.

The far left, though, will use religion to further their agenda, the ends justifies the means, their are examples from Marx (opiate of the masses) to Obama (to support wealth redistrubution and healthcare).

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Verdad,

The sentence you quoted is the only one that mentions reason. The rest of the article pushes the use of feelings and intuitions, casting aside all based on a strong feeling, and, in fact, eschews data in favor of emotion. You probably should read it more closely.

Jeff: "One of Moroni's stipulations is that the inquirer must believe in God for the answer to come."

You are assuming that the reason for someone not receiving an answer was because of a lack of belief in God. It is possible that after months, or even years of sincere study and prayer, with no answer, that one would delve into the reasons why that answer may not have come. One very possible explanation is that there is no god to answer it.

skeptic
Phoenix, AZ

RE: Moontan:
Perhaps you miss-read my post, but no where have I said that I know. To the contrary I have acknowledged that I do not know and challenged those who think or claim that they do know to prove that they can know and do know. If one knows they should be able to prove it. The laws of nature witness to themselves. Man's fantasy is his own folly. Let's Try and be honest in our posts.

Re: Abeille:
If you read my post more closely you will see that I appreciate and respect others believes, it is when they cross the line to become fanatics that think they know the un-knowable and god's mind that they become a bane to the world's peaceful co-existence.

sharrona
layton, UT

@ We just know; that's how we decide?
1 Corinthians 13:12 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
The Christians will know the Lord to the fullest extent possible for a finite being, similar to the way the Lord knows the Christian fully and infinitely. This will not be true until the Lord returns. This verse refers to the object of the faith not faith .

@ Abeille Follow Moroni 10:3-5 and find out for yourself. OK,
Read Moroni 10:34. …Jehovah( YHWH )The Eternal Judge. From LDS revelation, we learn that Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known ANCIETLY (D&C 110:3 ,Jehovah appears to JS, ‘Abraham 2:8 ‘,My is name is Jehovah) 788 Mormon Doctrine. s/b YHWH, JS was unaware of the poor KJV and didn’t know the Personal name of God(LORD)YHWH.

Verdad
Orem, UT

Searching: Peterson specifically includes reason and evidence in the decision-making process. Did he need to mention them twice? Would that have been enough? Or do you require a minimum of three mentions before they count as having really been mentioned? It's not my reading that's problematic. Your reading of the article is completely arbitrary, and ignores what it actually, explicitly, says.

Gramajane
OAKLEY, ID

--- it is silly to me ( having read MEGA anti Mormon claims/works) how they set up strawmen as our supposed teachings. Or things like supposedly the BofM saying Jesus was born "in" Jerusalem instead of a correct quote - which has been proven historically correct. Like we. even now, will say the name of the largest city instead of a tiny town nearby when speaking to those unlikely to understand the geography otherwise. The restored gospel is true, and folowing it's teachings has brought me happiness in my life. The times I didn't stay centered in the path lead me to regrets and repentance. It works for me.

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