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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Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

To the truth,

"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."

So if anyone acts immorally you throw them in the category of atheists? How can anyone reason with someone who has this belief? Seems like the same raw deal that Satan gets. Everything good goes to God while Satan gets blamed for everything bad. Meanwhile God can murder and kill several of his children with natural disasters and still be called good?

If you are God or a religion you always get an exemption. Must be nice.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Verdad,

From the article: "This is precisely how most of us make many, if not all, of our most fundamental, life-forming decisions. We don't consider evidence and analysis on the topic before concluding that we exist. We know it directly. We don't typically choose a spouse, launch a career, make a life-long friend or accept a job offer on the basis of notebooks full of data marshaled into arguments and counter arguments and then weighed according to a probability calculus."

How do you interpret the title, "We just know, that's how we decide"? It's about accepting without complete evidence. With a deficit of evidence, what is it that makes the decision? Emotion. I'll capitulate: he does give mention to evidence, but in his article, it's unneeded, and therefore the decision-making process is out of balance. He equates the emotional as "knowing directly," when that isn't the case. It is easy to convince yourself of truth based on emotion, but an ongoing evaluation of truth based on reason will get you closer to truth. Then an emotional evaluation will determine how you use that truth in your life.

Gracie
Boise, ID

To Who's Life RU Living: "As you found out, it appears that the Holy Ghost does not define truth... 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?"

Two points: You suppose I "found out" that the Holy Ghost "does not define truth." He does. He not only defines it, He testifies of it to those who actually want to accept it. You misunderstand what the most important work of the Holy Ghost is in our behalf.

Point 2: Why would God allow you to feel such feelings IF it was really his church? It IS His church. Dishonest testimonies are systematic of those who want to belong to a team they haven't prepared to join. You knew the jargon, and you went with it. Why did He allow you to do this? Everyone has moral agency to do what he/she chooses. That was YOUR choice to voice testimony you didn't feel, not His.

Whos Life RU Living?
Ogden, UT

Gracie,

Maybe God's church is Islam? God will testify of it to those who actually want to accept it!

Have you ever wanted to accept Islam? How do you know Islam is wrong if you didn’t give it a full chance? Some people have read the BoM 7 times and still do not believe, but then LDS members said that they have given up. How many times have you read the quaran?

The problem that most people make, without acknowledging it, is that they treat their beliefs with a bias. Everyone is guilty of this. The problem is that LDS members are very guilty of this.
You give an example. "Dishonest testimonies are systematic of those who want to belong to a team they haven't prepared to join."

Gracie, I was well prepared and was fully part of the team. I served a mission, married in the temple, and served as Elders quorum president and many other callings. I reevaluated my definition of "I know" and could only say "I believe" without feeling guilty. Fortunately, many people will find this out for themselves. Honesty and truth will always prevail.
Thanks for your response.

Verdad
Orem, UT

For "Searching":

Peterson specifically said that he was talking about issues for which we don't and can't possibly have all of the evidence: 'Living in a world where we know the facts only "in part,"' he wrote, 'and "see through a glass, darkly," under conditions of incomplete information, we have little choice but to make fundamental decisions based, in the end, upon what "feels right" to us.'

He obviously wasn't talking about simply ignoring easily available evidence and going by emotions. You're misrepresenting what he said.

I don't typically have all of the information at my fingertips, cut and dried, that I would like to have when I make a major decision. When I invest in a stock, I'd like to know where its price will be a year out. But I don't, and I can't. And the same holds true pretty much for all significant decisions, and even for many trivial ones -- and not just because of the press of time.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

the truth contradicts her moniker and writes,

"The skeptics on here get no answer. Why? Because they are skeptics!"

This is the typical vilifying and demonizing of the unbeliever. We see this behavior depicted in "The Emperor's New Clothes". It is the essence of any scam to condemn and vilify those who do not swallow the scam, hook, line and sinker.

So let's keep this real simple. It is not only erroneous and offensive to assert the false (circular) argument that those who "got no answer" did so "because they are skeptics".

The more reasonable and humane explanation is that people are skeptics because they got no answer, not the other way around.

Gracie
Boise, ID

"Gracie, I was well prepared and was fully part of the team. I served a mission, married in the temple, and served as Elders quorum president and many other callings. I reevaluated my definition of "I know" and could only say "I believe" without feeling guilty."

That's my point. The "team" of which I speak isn't achieved by membership in the church, nor the callings we hold, nor the temple marriage we go after. It's the KNOWING of things of the most important variety, eternally consequential, of which team members have no guilt but only gratitude to testify. Those who hope and strive towards the highest degree of exaltation are trying for a place in the only team I'm interested in, one that will not be achieved by anyone who merely "believes." That's just the start of things. And thank you for your response, too.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

The skeptics here remain skeptics. Those that are new and have thus started to put forth their testimonies of the truth are again ridiculed for KNOWING. Everyone transfermation must be his own tranfermation. Thinkman states that once he went on a mission taught Sunday School and then left because he used reason and logic to defeat it. Funny but it was reason and logic that transformed my testimony of the truth. I have read the Book of Mormon ever year for the past thirty years and learn something new about it each and everytime I read it.

Everytime I ask to know the truth of this magnificient book. Everytime the same answer has been received. I've never once received a non-reply when I have honestly asked for a true confirmation of the Book of Mormon. Yes, everything of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rides on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. EVERYTHING. One it proves Joseph Smith is and was a prophet of God. Two, it confirms that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ONLY true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the Earth TODAY.

filovirus
Salem, OR

There are a few reasons why someone would get no answer.
1) Don't believe in God
2) Try to use reason as the only means of receiving light and knowledge
3) Don't recognize the answer
4) Are not ready to commit to a new life-style
5) Are past feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost (mainly anti-s) I believe (my own opinion, not doctrine of the LDS Church) that Saul/Paul was past feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and so God had to speak to him directly to change his ways.
6) Engrossed in their own agenda that is contrary to Word of God

There are a myriad of other reasons to not receive an answer. These are just the first few that came to mind. For any reason I can think of, the onus is on man, and not on God.

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

@A Scientist ... Re "It is the essence of any scam to condemn and vilify those who do not swallow the scam, hook, line and sinker."

Prove the BoM is a scam.

Take all the time you need.

Prove it.

User41
Provo, UT

In these comments, something like the following often comes up: "I prayed about the Book of Mormon, and my answer was that it is false."

That's fine! God will judge our individual efforts to find truth and live by what we find. I have respect for many people that find truth in different religions and then spend their lives living by that truth. If they have found something positive, we should listen and consider it's value. If we offer something to others, but are rejected -- we can still appreciate the good that they stand for. We should never resort to antagonism because others decide not to believe as we do.

So, instead of berating Dr. Peterson or Joseph Smith or the Church -- explain the positive things that you've found that lead you toward living a better life. We can then consider your ideas and choose our path.

Many of us want to share the Church or the Book of Mormon with others because we've found something so amazingly wonderful that it's completely changed our lives for the better. But it's for each one of us to accept or reject -- it's a personal choice.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: Moontan Prove the BoM is a scam. Prove it. OK,

A Marvelous work and Wonder(KJV). JS mis-understood Isaiah. Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent. (Is 29:14 LXX)

I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prude t(1 Corinthians 1:19) Paul quotes the LXX, from where God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria.

Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB)A Modern Translation.

Is 29:14 JSTranslation, But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses.
Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls ,LXX or KJV.
Is 29:14 is not a prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness;
He will remove their discernment from their hearts.. . Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Verdad,

We don't exclude reason and evidence. It's just not the only resource we have available.

Grace,

My study of the Bible accelerated significantly when I joined the church.

atl134,

When I was a missionary, I would ask folks to read and pray. Those who did got at testimony. Except one. He said that he did so sincerely but got nothing. His wife (not a member) took us aside and told us that he did not want to know because joining the church would mean making changes he was not willing to make.

Does this mean everyone who did not get a testimony is the same? No. But it does happen.

Thinkman,

The Holy Ghost is not emotion. In my experience it is something far deeper.

DUPDaze,

Please do not denigrate my beliefs by reducing them to "warm fuzzies". And all LDS are taught those scriptures.

Brahmabull,

I am sorry about your experience. I have found the Holy Ghost to be the only way to get through life generally.

Whos Life RU Living,

The term "know" is perhaps over used. But I certainly did not want the church to be true. I came to that testimony anyway.

Straitpath
PROVO, UT

It appears we all have different experiences with the same situation. My experience is that I have enough confirmatio to know Mormonism is true. I am happy with my decision. I don't try to understand others' decisions.

sharrona
layton, UT

@Straitpath, It appears we all have different experiences with the same situation. My experience is that I have enough confirmation to know Mormonism is true?

Signs of true regeneration by Johnathan Edwards(Puritan)leader of the great awakening.
The first sign involves an awakening of conscience of or a conviction of sin. The seconds sign involves one’s esteem of Christ, this leads one to confess an orthodox Christology.(Triune God.)Also A greater regard to Holy Scripture which establishes the more in truth and divinity is certainty of the Spirit of God.

@ Moontan :The BoM(A Marvelous Work and Wonder KJV),
A Modern Translation. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB.
Is 29:14 .is not a prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness; He will remove their discernment from their hearts.. . Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ.

Is 29:14 JS Translation, But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses. Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls ,Septuagint or KJV.

thrutheeyesoflove
O\'Fallon, IL

@ Abelle---With reference to the process you outline---I'm a convert of over 40years---had been searching for the true church for 10 years when I first heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It would be five years after getting an answer to my prayer before I read Alma 36 and thought "Oh my goodness, that's the process I went thru!" (I kept getting hung up in 2d Nephi where much of Isaiah is quoted---hadn't understood it in the Bible and just kept starting over again until a teacher quoted Elder McConckie: "Among the easiet books of the Bible to understand are Isaiah and Revelation and the key to understanding them IS the Book of Mormon." One week later I'd finished the Book of Mormon for the 1st time and thought, why don't they tell you that Nephi explains much of Isaiah starting in 2 Nephi 25?) The fruit of our lives really does reveal who we are and who we follow. ". . .true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; the Father seeketh such to worship Him." (John 4:23)

Moontan
Roanoke, VA

Sharrona ... we can't establish 'proof' pro or con with isolated passages or by assumptions.

For example ... Wm Shakespeare (1564-1616) was at one point 46 during preparation of the KJV (1604-1611). Go to Psalm 46. The 46th word from the top is "Shake" and the 46th word from the bottom is "Spear".

Is that proof that he wrote it?

DUPDaze
Bakersfield, CA

Most LDS I know (my family & friends of 35 years, me raised in the church), got our testimonies after sincere prayer about the BoM. However, none of us critically evaluated it against pure Biblical standards. LDS are not given that training. We are a lay church and teach what we're taught. When everything remains "in-house" that's what you're gonna get.

We were told and passed on what an awesome church we were because we didn't have a "paid clergy". (What a shock to read the NT in Greek that we're supposed to support our leaders!) So instead of seeing the value of studying in Biblical languages and hermeneutics, we just parroted what our 19th century "poor, uneducated" founders did and thought we were virtuous and erudite.

The rub is that when you attempt an academic discussion with those whose mindset is closed, there's no academic dialogue. I had to be honest and take the "cult" test when I took a Biblical class on false gospels. Of 11 characteristics, we easily had 9 of them in the church. That's when I decided to evaluate and pray based on the Biblical standard: Freedom!

OnlytheCross
Bakersfield, CA

Sincerity is not a Biblical shield against false teachers and false gospels. The Apostle Paul warns of wolves amongst the sheep, the analogy of innocents being deceived by the counterfeit. His solution- know the scriptures AND pray. It's both, so let's put the Biblical standard down first.

Then you can add all the revelations that followed 1830 years (or so) later. If there are popes and prophets with their own interpretations, then get the Bible and read it for yourself. Then compare every other book to that standard:

You will never come up with:
1- The New Jerusalem being in America someday;
2- Michael the Archangel being Adam;
3- Heaven being populated with polygamous marriages;
4- God the Father having multiple wives;
5- Cain's curse having been skin color;
6- Temples being for marriages;
7- High Priests having any other roll than sacrifices;
8- Salvation/Exaltation having anything to do with a garden, caffeine, special diets, tithing, ...
9- Prophets being presidents/deacons being 12/church leaders having extra wives/gold statues on churches...
10- More than One God in the Universe.

And only God's Word as authority. All else is unbiblical. Pray with open Bibles.

Lakers
Sandy, UT

It's interesting that Peterson notes that many life decisions are made irrationally or a-rationally. There is certainly something to be said for 'following your heart'. I think conscious-based decisions are usually more enjoyable to follow, they feel more human and organic. Reason is certainly useful too, but if I was about to die and looked back at my life, I would rather know that I had followed my gut than followed whatever analytical model my brain came up with. The key to success seems to be creating harmony between your brain and your gut, which I think is often labelled 'the spirit' in LDS settings. When your brain and gut fight or you try to shut one of them off, you usually feel anguish and stress or at best Romney-esque stiffness. When your brain realizes and accepts that it's best to follow your gut, it is a happy day.

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