There are answers to questions and they do not have to come through the
hierarchy of the LDS Church because the Kingdom of God and the church are
entirely separate. The LDS Church believes that there will yet be revealed many
great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Their own canonized
scripture promotes the relevance of these independent sources in 1 John 2:27,
Galatians 5:18, Luke 17:21, Alma 26:22, Alma 30:28 and D&C 58:26.
Wasn't the "War in Heaven" fought over the right to think or
worship how, where, when and what we may or is that privilege only granted to
those outside the church? If that is what you believe, then it is safe to say
that you follow the Plan of Lucifer. If modern leaders can override scripture,
then what is the purpose of scripture? B.H. Roberts had 5 questions about the
Book of Mormon that neither he,(the man voted the greatest intellectual in the
history of the LDS Church)nor any other General Authority was able to answer.
These 5 questions have all been answered by a middle-aged man outside the LDS
Didn't Joseph Smith say that the purpose behind teaching correct
principles, so the members could govern themselves? "And none are required
to tamely and blindly submit to a man because he has a portion of the
priesthood. We have heard men who hold the priesthood remark, that they would do
anything they were told to do by those who presided over them, if they knew it
was wrong; but such obedience as this is worse than folly to us; it is slavery
in the extreme; and the man who would thus willingly degrade himself should not
claim a rank among intelligent beings, until he turns from his folly. A man of
God... would despise the idea. Others, in the extreme exercise of their almighty
authority have taught that such obedience was necessary, and that no matter what
the saints were told to do by their presidents, they should do it without asking
any questions. When Elders of Israel will so far indulge in these extreme
notions of obedience as to teach them to the people, it is generally because
they have it in their minds to do wrong themselves." (Joseph Smith Jr.,
Millennial Star, vol.14 #38, pp. 593-95)
When a prophet is speaking for the Lord, he will say "in the name of the
Lord," Or "thus saith the Lord."
For those of you that have followed the comments for this article I found myself
wondering today if Dieter Uchtdorf from the LDS church Presidency has read this
article and everyone's comments :) In listening to his talk
today I felt that he officially answered almost every question brought up in
these comments. If you wan't to watch it you can go to www.lds.org and
click on watch general conference, click on archive, and click on the talk by
Dieter F. Uchtdorf during the Saturday morning session. If you wait a day or two
the full text version should be available.
Country mom,"Any time we are confrontational, hateful, angry,
prideful and spiteful the spirit will not dwell with us and we are
alone."Where in the scriptures does it say that?
@ThinksIThink"The papyri scraps and the Book of Abraham . . .
well, a portion of those scraps are published in the Book of Abraham. The scraps
published in the Book of Abraham do not say what Joseph Smith claims (according
to scientists)."Wellok:Yes, I realize that which is
why I suggested to LDSareChristian that he/she study these issues further before
making baseless claims.
@well.ok,The papyri scraps and the Book of Abraham . . . well, a
portion of those scraps are published in the Book of Abraham. The scraps
published in the Book of Abraham do not say what Joseph Smith claims (according
If you are demanding answers with out humility, unwilling to listen to the
spirit, you will not get an answer. Answers for doctrinal questions are
personal, the spirit teaches us each at the level we are right now.
Understanding only comes through willingness to be obedient to the will of God.
If you are questioning what the will of God is, start with the ten
commandments. When you have them down pat and are living them completely, then
you can ask the Lord for more. Any time we are confrontational,
hateful, angry, prideful and spiteful the spirit will not dwell with us and we
I've never been able to declare, with a mystic faraway look in my eyes,
that the absolute literal truth of the LDS Church's claims, and all of
them, is "something I can't deny." But what I cannot deny is my
conviction that the true God is present among the members of the Church, and
that a person who lives faithful to the gospel as the Church presents it, is
living a life acceptable to any God worth bothering with. It's a pretty
good church, as churches go, and that's not nothing.It may not
be much -- I may indeed be what a prominent LDS apologist once called me
personally, a "cultural Mormon stinking up the place" -- but that's
the proverbial light & knowledge I've got, and I propose to live
faithful to it.
@LDSareChristians"Those papyri scraps found in the NY Museum,
were not that from which JS translated the Book of Abraham. There were several
scrolls in JS's possession. It is very obvious that the scraps were not
those from which he translated."I don't mean this to sound
rude, but I would recommend further study of LDS apologetics before further
posting. Those of us who are familiar with the issues recognize your arguments
simply aren't true.
@Steve C. Warren:"LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but sometimes
they err in doctrinal matters..."Makes one wonder how reliable
'revelation' is. I'd guess accuracy depends largely on the
receivers receptors... which can misfire.@zabivka:"Why
can't we do that with religious knowledge?"Religious
knowledge is mostly about the non-observable with the five physical senses.
Look around you... there's no visual, touchable, etc., evidence of the
'spiritual world.' Why's that? And, sometimes our perception of
it gets addled.@Mint JulipMy advice... think of life as
the salmon swimming up the Snake to spawn in placid backwaters. Some make it.
Some fall pray to eagles talons or fisherman's hooks and become
fodder/stuffed trophies. Don't let your unanswered/unanswerable questions
let that happen to you. You may be kicking yourself some day. As Apostle Paul
says: 'Today, I look through a glass darkly...'Look at it
this way: 'I would rather live my life as if there is a God, and die and
find out there isn't, than live my life as if there was no God, and die and
find out there is.'
@redshirt007 - very tragic story, the likes of which have shattered the faith of
countless people through the ages, and led others to strengthen their faith.
When you suffer the most grievous experiences - and there's little as
grievous as losing a young spouse or child - you're in the company of the
finest people who've ever lived and were similarly tested. If you are
indeed a man of faith, you might ask "why does God find me capable of
enduring this, and how will I let this experience shape my eternal
destiny?"You might reasonably ask your Bishop if the blessing he
gave was based on his hope, or based on belief that his priesthood and faith
were enough to establish (rather than seek) God's will, or based on full
inspiration and actually speaking for God. He might not even know the answer to
that question. Faith is indeed sometimes an elusive thing that requires great
effort.I for one would not feel uncomfortable hearing about your
humble seeking and trial of faith through this ordeal, including about the
blessing, during any church meeting. You may be surprised by the outpouring of
love and support you might receive.
Is it really healthy to only have once sided experiences shared? But
this is anonymous so:I was a young Air Force Airman and return
missionary with a pretty wife and new cute baby, my friend was reading the Book
of Mormon, I testified ect, life was really good. Then my friend came to me that
a preacher stopped by his house and told him the bofm is cursed ect and it
curses anyone who reads it.. Well a week later my healthy wife died from a
sudden illness and I'm dismayed. Oh and my Bishop gave my wife a blessing
that she would make a full recovery in the hospital. She died. Where is that
"binding" if you obey and have faith?...Now can I get up in
church and share that? No. So ya. I'd like to get an answer to
why the Lord didn't back up my testimony a little there, at least for
appearances the timing for my cursing was pretty bad. And it's not that
great for my testimony that I can't get real support from my supposed
brothers and sisters unless I happen to have a nice story.
ThinksIThink-I haven't space to respond adequately. However,
please read the scriptures listed below on LDS.org for more context. Here is a
summary response: Alma 32:28-43 provides a method to discern truth
from error and if faith is properly placed. In short, Alma taught something good
or true is discernible because it can be felt, is light, bears good fruits, and
enlightens understanding. The seed of faith also needs to be nourished
continually.We may not know the mind of God exactly or his timeable.
Ambiguity is part of the process and the test of our faith. Ether 12:6 says,
"[...] wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness
until after the trial of your faith." Nephi 28:30 mentions, "[...] I
will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a
little and there a little;" So, our faith will be tried but we
won't be left in the dark!Lastly, read Moroni 7:13-19 + Moroni
10:4-7. All true and good things point to Christ. With a sincere heart, faith,
and real intent, all people from various (religious) backgrounds can receive a
@sharrona"The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of
the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be
born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35)."I have
a question about the Christian trinty concept. It says in John 17:5
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which
I had with thee before the world was."And from the book of
Matthew "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway
out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the
Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a
voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased."Is Christ the son of God or is he the son of the Holy
Ghost? is just a little confusing; Chirst is the Son of God but he was a
miracle of the Holy Ghost?? Why would not God have begotton his own son?
As there is a big gap between what is revealed in scripture and where members
(including many leaders of the church) are actually living at, it seems that
there is actually a lot of room to question and strive for greater
enlightenment.For instance, while the Lord has clearly revealed his
preferred economy as the Law of Concentration (D&C 38:25-27), I have often
heard and seen members, including leaders, vehemently advocate for Capitalism,
as if the Lord was truly pleased with the economy in the world we now live in
(D&C 49:20). I have even heard Apostles imply such, albeit often subtly, in
conference talks and so forth. Just look at the number of the very wealthy
called to high position in the church, as a gauge of how prevalent Capitalism
permeates the thoughts of those in power. So while I endorse much of the council
given, there are times, especially on consecration, that teachings are far from
desired. The brethren who strive to unite the saints, via principles of
consecration, I fully support; and those who teach the philosophies of men, like
Capitalism, I am smart enough to discern -- and I am middle aged.
@1.96 Standard DeviationYou were very kind to take time to respond
to Mint Julip. Unfortunately, the very scriptures you quote require circular
logic. How can one be sure their faith is not misplaced?I could put
faith in the words of others as stated in D&C 46, but what if the
others' faith is misplaced and consequently their words incorrect? How do I
know?I would think that requesting information critical to a
testimony in a religion would be appropriate in the Lord's eyes and meet
the requirements of 3 Nephi 18:20, but I do not know the mind of God. Nor do I
know his timetable. I do not know if He answered yes, no or wait a while longer.
This is a very ambiguous system.If I don't know if my faith is
placed correctly, is continuing with it faithful? Would you give the advice of
Alma 44:4 to someone of a differing religion so that they would continue in
their faith?You said, "What we know... will always trump what we
don't know!" If one is so sure of their answer before they have full
knowledge they may just be deluded.
It's bad for Mormons to doubt their religion. It's good for
Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, evangelicals, Jews, Muslims,
Buddhists, and everybody else to doubt theirs. Otherwise they'd never
Chris B. That's a good question. How about, "He is always speaking as
the prophet unless he otherwise states, or a subsequent prophet otherwise
states."Don't like that answer? Oh well. It's good
enough for me. And, no, I am not going to share my "box" with anyone
else for similar reasons. It is not my place to create any source of doubt in
someone else's mind. That role is specifically reserved for another being.
Seek faith and resolutions will come...eventually. What else matters?Nothing. That's what.
utahcitizen1 - The prophet .. will never teach anything contrary to the will of
the Lord. That is not my opinion, but what has been taught by the church.Moontan - Here is where I get boo's ... if an established practice
of the Church IS in conflict with Scripture, I side with Scripture. Steve C. Warren - We LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but sometimes they
err in doctrinal matters.KJKThis should address the above.
Joseph Fielding Smith stated a number of times that men would never walk on the
moon nor sent spacecraft to other worlds because it wasn’t part of the
Lord’s plan. After men walked on the moon, he admitted that the prophet
can be wrong and stated that if he ever said anything contrary to the
scriptures, that his words are to be ignored and that we are to stick with
scripture. President Lee reconfirmed this. The brethren have stated that if a
statement contradicts scripture, it’s wrong and if it discussing things
not addressed in scripture, it’s just an opinion.
Mint Julip-I have found other scriptures enlightening that may help:
D&C 46:11,14,17 - "For all have not every gift given unto
them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift [...] To others
it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if
they continue faithful. [...] to some is given, by the Spirit of God, the word
of wisdom."* Is the spiritual gift you have and should refine to
believe the words of others instead?3 Nephi 18:20 - "And
whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye
shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you."* Is the
request appropriate in the Lord's eyes?Alma 44:4 - "Now ye
see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and
keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith,
and our religion; [...] "* Do I continue faithful to God and the
gospel in all things?What we know in the church (Christ's
atonement, priesthood restoration, living prophets) will always trump what we
Silverprospector, thank you for pointing out to LDSareChristians that
there's no doubt that Brigham Young taught that Adam (i.e., Michael the
Archangel and husband of Eve) was God the Father. Not only did he teach this on
multiple occasions, but apostles also reported hearing him teach the
doctrine.LDSareChristians says the June 18, 1873, Deseret News is
not readable in certain areas on the Web. Well, I have a photocopy taken
directly from the Deseret News microfilm, and it's readable.Here's more from the article: "'Why was Adam called Adam?'
He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He, with the help
of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, 'I want my
children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an
earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my
crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its
increase there will be no end. . . . " The tendentious Elden
Watson article on Adam-God is best ignored.
RE: LDSareChristians. The Bible vs LDS Doctrines:Romans 5:12
..through Adam[God] that sin entered into the world. (I Cor. 15:22) "For
as in Adam all die…”, in Christ shall all be made alive" .
Adam/God@They tell us that the BoM states that Jesus was begotten
of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches No Such
Thing! Neither does the Bible!”( Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of
Salvation.( Alma 7:10). (Jesus)…born of Mary at* Jersusalem
… who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy
Ghost=(Spirit) and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God.(Mt.
2:5) "In *Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the
prophet(Malachi) has written: " Fulfilled Prophecy is what separates the
Holy Bible from all other books. The Holy Spirit shall come upon
thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that
holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke
1:35). Christians believe the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle
by the Holy Spirit/Ghost, same Greek word(Pneuma).
Why does Chris B ask for the Church's official answer? Maybe it is because
the unofficial ones are always contradicting each other.eastcoastcoug, "If you have questions, people, please find a Mormon
friend you trust and ask him or her."versusMiddle Aged Mormon
Man, "What kind of brother would try and destroy my faith by planting seeds
of doubt?"m.g. scott, "God gave us brains that can ask
questions that cannot be answered in this life" Pops, "There seems
to be a rather broad misconception that it is part of the human experience to
have immediate answers to any imaginable question, including religious."versus"If any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to
all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him."utahcitizen1, "Personally I think that sometimes a prophet's personal
opinions get mixed up with official revelations for the church."verusthe temple warning about, "philosophies of men, mingled with
In response to ironmania. It's amusing to see people comment, without
reading thoroughly.In the "editor's note" at the beginning of
the article, it states that this is taken from the individual's blog.
There is a link to the blog, and if you click on this link you will find the
author's explanation of why his blog is anonymous. This is obviously not a
Deseret News decision.
As some have suggested, I asked my stake president my troubling question.I was told we don't have all answers in this life. I countered with
the verse that led Joseph to the grove, "If any of you lack wisdom..." I
pleaded with him that these answers were necessary to my ability to trust church
leadership and critical to my testimony of the fundamental truth claims of the
church. That I couldn't take a "wait and see" approach because I
only have one life and I didn't want to waste it in this church if it
wasn't what it claimed. I had been praying with faith for more than 5 years
but had only grown in doubt as prayers were unanswered and questions multiplied.
I asked, "if this church is true, God would care that my family has lost our
testimonies due to lack of wisdom?" "Why does He not keep his promise to
give it?"I left the stake president's office without any
answer. Then I left the church. I had faith. I asked humbly. I
sought counsel. However, there comes a point when one must acknowledge faith is
misplaced and take corrective action.
Apostle Hugh B. Brown disagrees with you about whether members of the church
should openly talk about their questions."Freedom, dignity and
integrity of the individual is basic in Church doctrine as well as in democracy.
Here we are free to think and express our opinions. Fear will not stifle
thought, as is the case in some areas which have not yet emerged from the Dark
Ages. God himself refuses to trammel man's free agency even though its
exercise sometimes teaches painful lessons. Both creative science and revealed
religion find their fullest and truest expression in the climate of freedom."I hope that you will develop the questing spirit. Be unafraid of new
ideas for they are the stepping stones of progress. You will of course respect
the opinions of others but be unafraid to dissent—if you are informed.
Only error needs to fear freedom of expression."Even if you
disagree with him, perhaps you can develop some empathy for those who honestly
express their disagreements and concerns. It is an equally valid way to live the
I think a lot of people have questions, but when the church gives the answer, it
isn't what they want to hear, so they blame the church for not having
dialogue. I also think a lot of these questions could be answered by personal
study. We are all entitled to the opportunity to learn truth directly from God.
Do some searches on lds.org, and read some of the talks related to your
questions. But I did receive some really wise advice from a church leader
recently. What I took away from his comments is the idea that sometimes
it's not the question, but how we ask it that is the problem. The tone of
some of these questions sounds rebellious and defiant. I think like any good
parent, God is willing to answer our questions when we ask the " right
question, for the right reason".
LDSareChristiansYou keep saying that Brigham Young never said those
things... that all of the sudden that manuscript was wrong, or a mistake was
made in translating.. These are not valid answers. Neither is your answer of you
likening god to Adam... just a different Adam. That is not the case. It is clear
from multiple statements by Brigham Young and others that they understood that
he was talking about Adam, the ancient of days, the first human... etc. If you
don't understand it that way thats your problem but it is clear that is not
what he was talking about."President Young followed & made
many good remarks . . . He said that our God was Father Adam. He was the Father
of the Savior Jesus Christ--Our God was no more or less than Adam . . . Michael
the Archangel."We all know that Michael the archangel is Adam,
the first man to live. That is who he was talking about.Even your
friends at FAIRLDS.org acknowledge that Adam, the first man, is who Brigham
Young was talking about in his many sermons. They state it is false doctrine,
but they know he was talking about the same Adam.
Hi Patriot. Will answer you as best as I can. But I think the main thrust of
your issues here is thinking in terms of mortal time limits. Mortality is but a
small part of our existance. Some people think of it as a test, I disagree I
believe god knows before we come down what we will do. I believe that the true
purpose of life is to grow, an experience that isnt always comfortable.1) I would guess theres as many reasons as people. But this can be an answer
for some :- John 15:1-2, D+C 122:5-7 also think "refinersfire". These
things may be hard at the time, but those with the humility to say "thy will
be done" will grow from these things.2) D+C 121 helps with
timescales on this one. Also perhaps as a loving father he allows some joy now,
because of the dissapointment to come.3) Words of Mormon 1:7 For a
wise purpose. I can thank god for many unaswered prayers!4) D+C
122:9 Latter part. Overall we must ask ourselves "Do we know better than
God?" Ive rediscovered many times that I dont...
@Wallypacker" But even my relatives try to hide the fact that my
Apostle g-g-g-grandfather married hist wife as a plural wife when she was only
14."That is no surprise since a 14 year-old girl in 1850 was
probably the equivalent (in physical development) of a 12 year-old today.
People try to rationalize "it" (I can't call it by its proper name
or the moderators will not post this) by claiming that it was a different time.
But according to census data from the mid-1800's (when the data was first
gathered) the average age of marriage for a female in the United States was
We will all hear things that are troublesome, for instance, I have read in
church magazine twice in the last 6 years the following, and I agree with it
wholeheartedly, yet it is so tough a doctrine, that it can't be spoken from
the pulpit; must be in print, and it is as follows, and I first read it in
April 2007 Ensign by Elder Tingey and it has been printed in this year's
Ensign, February or March. "If a man goes after a career before marriage,
it is a tragedy." We could start naming names yet that wouldn't be
nice. There are people in high callings who have had tragic lives. I
don't have a problem with this line of teaching, yet it was meant to bother
others who love money and Ph.d and college degree.
Seriously? Go ahead and ask away! You can't get straight answers, uniform
answers, accurate answers from any church source. I've been trying for
almost 30 years. It was difficult while in the church, impossible from
outside.We had an ex-LDS support group for years in the early
90's. That was the #1 complaint- Inability to get a
unifiorm/accurate/timely answer in any controversial topic. It is what it is- a
smorgasbord of opinions, even when official Church documenation is staring you
in the face.Now The Spin on the spin begins.
I agree with the comment I saw about how questions are easy. It is the answers
that are difficult. The Book of Abraham is impossible to reconcile on so many
levels. I am a 7th generation Mormon. But even my relatives try to hide the
fact that my Apostle g-g-g-grandfather married hist wife as a plural wife when
she was only 14. She was traded for a wagon and provisions so that her family
could cross the plains in 1846. My experience is that the LDS church simply
provieds the easy answers and then hides the unanswerable questions via social
pressure and ex'ing those who shine the dim light of truth upon those tough
@LDSareChristians:"Those papyri scraps found in the NY Museum, were
not that from which JS translated the Book of Abraham."A
prominent person (which will remain nameless in order to get this post past the
persnickety DNews monitors) stated (which statement is in the public domain):
'If the only function of the scrolls was to awaken the Prophet to the idea
of receiving such inspiration, they would have fulfilled their purpose.'
Reflections of a Scientist, p. 46."There were several scrolls in
JS's possession. It is very obvious that the scraps were not those from
which he translated."Au contraire mon ami. The facsimile papyri
scraps in the Metropolitan Museum are identical to those in the BofA.
This is why I can't embrace the idea of "spiritual knowledge"
versus "plain, old, regular knowledge". Spiritual knowledge apparently
is something that we have to hold onto tightly, hidden from view; we can't
examine it, because we may get confused and accidentally trick ourselves into
thinking it's not true. We can't share our questions with friends,
because then we might deceive them, as well.With real knowledge,
it's simple--we want to openly ask questions about any given fact--to try
it and test it, and if it holds up to immense scrutiny, then it's worth
hanging onto. Otherwise, it is sloughed off and discarded. Why can't we do
that with religious knowledge? Why does it have the privilege of being
different? Imagine how poorly our collective scientific knowledge would have
developed if the principles from this article were followed!
Steve C. Warren,The newspaper article available on the web is not
readable in certain areas I wanted to read. Regardless, we all know how
accurate newspapers are. I have personnel experience with errors they make. BY considered God the Father as "Father Adam". He considered
the man Adam, as Adam. The man Adam was named after Father Adam(God the
Father). While God the Father and the man Adam were both considered Adam's
to BY, he NEVER considered them the same being. BY always referred to
Joseph Smiths father, as "Father Joseph". That was how BY's
generation reference father and sons who had the same first name. In like manner
this is how BY differentiated between Father Adam (God the Father) and the man
Adam. Check out Elden Watson article title Adam-God for
LDSareChristians seems to think that the Journal of Discourses is the only place
Brigham Young is reported as teaching that Adam is God.It might be
helpful for him to Google the June 18, 1873, Deseret News, which reports Brigham
Young as saying, "How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day
Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which
God revealed to me—namely that Adam is our Father and God . . . "It is a fairly long statement and leaves no doubt. Also, Wilford
Woodruff reported in his journal on at least two occasions that Brigham Young
had taught that Adam of was God.The 1873 statement carries extra
weight, because President Young says "which God revealed to me." Plus,
it may have been his last words on the subject, which would tend to override
previous comments.We LDS need to sustain Church leaders, but
sometimes they err in doctrinal matters. This means that we must put wise
exercise of agency before automatic obedience to leaders.
I remember reading an article one time about a woman who said that according to
all the tests and evaluations of marriage out these days, she had been happily
married to the wrong man for 3 decades. And she stayed happily married to him.
It's possible to overthink church doctrine. To think yourself
right out of a testimony. If we just trust the Lord, let simple faith work and
just allow testimony and all those questions to exist side by side, we, too can
remain happily "married" to the Church without being bothered by
outsiders telling us we're in the wrong one.
Questions are very important in gaining knowledge and testimony of the restored
gospel of Jesus Christ. The boy Joseph Smith had questions about what church was
right and which one to join. Where did he go for answers to his questions? He
turned to the Bible to James1: 5-6. He read it and decided to ask of God and
went to the woods and prayed and he received an answer. We follow the Prophets
example by praying with faith with nothing wavering. What else do we do to get
answers? We seek out sources to study that are published by the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. At the top of the list is the Standard Works of the
Church, the scriptures, and any other publication published by the Church. We
then need to pray for a confirmation of what we have determined is the answer to
our question. We do this by following Moroni’s exhortation given in Moroni
10:4-5 and rely on the Holy Ghost for an answer. I know this is true that
answers come through fervent study, prayer and patience with a burning in my
heart that they are true.
@ Pops"It's the people who leave the Church and can't
leave it alone that don't seem happy. My advice: find something to believe,
and go have a life! Don't waste your time in contention, because that is
the opposite of joy and happiness."I agree, it's not
healthy to dwell, but let me offer you this insight. When people feel like
they've been swindled about their very spiritual identity and world view
and are genuinely emotionally injured by something they are going to spend some
healthy time ranting about it, vent frustrations about it, then look to bolster
up others who have had similar experiences, and also somehow try and prevent
their heritage from dismissing them as spiritual/moral failures. Eventually I
reckon most people move on, but it takes time. Their entire sense of self is
interwoven with the church.Although there may be some who spend
their lives unhealthily working against the church, I believe there are many
more who are simply following a healthy progression through painful disaffection
phases and then moving on their way, only to be followed by the next wave.
@teeoh (last post)"Simpleton" is your word, not mine.
But he does say "I'm not very smart", and based upon his article,
I'm inclined to take him at his word. So yes, I would conclude that he may
not be handling his doubts properly, despite the fact that he clearly tells us
they neither "torment" nor "rattle" him. I submit
that countless mistakes in life are made when people ignore deep and important
questions that do not torment or rattle them. Few people, even those with
incredibly bad judgement, act if rattled and tormented by questions. But
"simpletons" jump-in all the time and make mistakes by ignoring
important questions (that for whatever reason do not "rattle" and
disuade them). So although his assertion that he is not tormented or rattled
gives you comfort, it does not comfort me.
@Wastintime,You are oversimplifying it because you conveniently
ignore that the author states that he is "convinced" of a whole litany
of Mormon beliefs that act as a "core testimony that guides (his) life"
and gives him "perspective." Yet you would have us believe that he is
just too much of a simpleton to know how to properly handle his doubts, despite
the fact that he clearly tells us they neither "torment" nor
"rattle" him.This is classic oversimplification.
My doctrine is not mine but his that sent me.If any man will do his will,
he shall know of the doctrine,whether it be of God, or whether I speak of
myself.John 7:17"... he that receiveth light, and
continueth in God, receiveth more light;and that light groweth brighter
and brighter until the perfect day."Doctrine and Covenants 50:
24I received my testimony by the Holy Ghost when LDS missionaries
testified to me. This was an answer to prayer. He / they answered many
questions as did the scriptures, old and new, and still do.You can
have revelations daily. Questions are answered often even as I ask them, or
soon thereafter. If an answer is not necessary, if my faith is being tried, or
if I am not living up to my privileges, they may not be answered so quickly.All this is by the Holy Ghost, speaking to my mind and heart, or through
scriptures, the writings of prophets, talks, things someone says, once from a
book I was led to, The key to it all, as one poster summarized, is
obedience."If any man will do his will...."
I have sufficient faith to believe there is a God in heaven who holds me
responsible to my fellow human beings and to the truth. I've never had
sufficient faith (if that's the right word) to state that I know with every
shadow of my being that C.S. Lewis or Pope John Paul II were wrong in what they
believed about God.The analogy of a laboratory has its limits. The
scientific method works because, as a rule, when two different people perform
the same experiment, they should get the same results. Religion doesn't
work that way. If there are different results, the difference will typically be
explained by "you did it wrong" -- but without identifying the specific
misstep taken. The religious "experiment" is, as they say,
"non-falsifiable," which means (following Karl Popper) that it's
not science, and so not really an "experiment."Sorry, Alma.
A nice metaphor, but it only takes you so far.
To all you continual arguers who have received answers herein. I was 100%
correct when I said that no answer will suffice. You are not looking for
answers. You can debate back and forth day and night forever, and you will
never be satisfied. So, you are where you are. I'm good with that.
I'm glad the Church leaders do not feel the need to debate you. Stick to
principles or personal righteousness and seek God and Christ (or not) however
you choose. I allow you to worship how, where, or what you may. But just
because you cannot find answers, do not claim your exclusive right to knowledge
and understanding. Let me worship God and Christ according to the dictates of
my own conscience and accountability. Let me have joy in my faith. You may
have no clue how faith blesses lives. John 16 tells us how Jesus felt about
living by faith. btw, the standard I read applied to your targets, is not the
standard you hold for yourselves. A lie is deliberate telling of a falsehood,
not misinformation. Jesus will judge them, and rightly so.
Neanderthal posted:Because, as we speak, the papyri of the Book of Abraham
is considered by many to be funerary writings.Those papyri scraps
found in the NY Museum, were not that from which JS translated the Book of
Abraham. There were several scrolls in JS's possession. It is very obvious
that the scraps were not those from which he translated. Mayfair
posted: That alone tells me something... yikes.YES! You nailed it
on the head twice!Wastintme posted: If you have a problem with
a Stake President and you send a letter to Salt Lake, they will send it right
back to the Stake President. There is no redress or formal system to appeal to
higher authority in this churchThe next level up from a Stake
President is the Regional Representative. Church headquarters can't vet the
potential for millions of letters arriving at their desk. They delegate down.
It's proper to leapfrog one level. Not to the top. Sharrona
posted: What about HofC?Did a Prophet of God get a chance to
edit/correct it? Then it isn't scripture. Wasn't the orignal #8
printed in a newspaper?
"especially in this overly-critcal age"I would agree with
Brother Maxwell and call this age overly-gullible (and underly-critical).
Chris B, and any others who may be asking, the answer to "when is a prophet
speaking for God or for himself?" is that you feel it through the Spirit and
you can verify through the scriptures. That answer begs us to ask, how can you
tell if you are actually feeling the Spirit or making it up yourself? The
answer to that is that you have to experience the Spirit's promptings
enough for yourself to truly recognize Him accurately. We will of course make
mistakes from time to time and those mistakes are what the Atonement is for, why
Christ is so central to God's Plan of Happiness.Now, why
Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out
to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture." It seems to me
that Brigham indicated at another occassion that he expected that people would
understand when he talked with the Spirit and when he didn't. He was a man
that didn't mince words by any means, but that often leads to people
misinterpreting his meanings, especially in this overly-critcal age, an age he
To posters who've gone astray... look over your lives before leaving.
You'll likely find some unresolved sins there. Remember, 'the Spirit
will not always strive with man' (or woman). In which case one ends up
'kicking against the pricks.'As for questions, here's
some beyond LDS doctrine/history...Why did Matthew recount the
history of Joseph in Matt 1 to show that Christ descended from Abraham, Issac,
and Jacob? Mary was the blood relative, not Joseph.Was God the
actual Father of Jesus? The Good Book says the 'Holy Ghost' (third
member of the Godhead) fell on Mary.And, was there only two members
of the Godhead (God/Holy Ghost) before Jesus was born?Why did God
have but one kid via Mary? Wouldn't mankind be much better off if all
possessed God's genes, like Christ?Why doesn't God visit
more often? He's only appeared a few times... and once as a 'burning
bush.' What's that about? What kind of a Dad would stay away from
family making himself so scarce? Why the secret? As a result, most of the
world is confused wandering aimlessly... for millennia.
LDSareChristians, The JoD does HAVE errors.What about H of C?(D.H.C. v 6. P 408,409) “I have more to boast of than ever any man had.
I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since
the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul,
John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as
I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran
away from me yet.(DHC 6:318-320.”)God made Aaron to be the
mouthpiece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His
stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you
must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to
speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct
him.” Or, The original A of F faith. #8 We believe in the Word
of God recorded in the Bible;..."
DocHolliday posted:Ok.... So when I get the answer that the adam-god
doctrine is true after fervent prayer and pondering, but others get the answer
that it is false then what?The above false doctrine, is an invention
of our critics. The text in the JoD IS in error. The JoD IS not scripture. BY's reference to God the Father by the title Adam, is just that, a
title. God is NOT the man Adam. Just as Christ being called "Adam" in
the NT doesn't make him the man Adam. Search on "Elden
Watson Adam-God", read, and report back. Chris B posted:And yet Brigham Young said many things either flat out wrong, or not supported
by current LDS leadership.Did BY say it wrong? Or was it recorded
wrong? and/or set in type wrong? There are many steps, all prone to error, from
the sounds rolling off BY's lips and the book arriving in you hands.
@teeohThe author himself stated "Some of the things on my list
are deep and important" so I don't think I have oversimplified at all.
You have conveniently ignored that some of the things on the authors list are
"deep and important". Would you enter a marriage or buy a car if you
had "deep and important" concerns about the transaction? What we have here is a (self-admittedly) not-so-bright person chooosing to
ignore "deep and important" questions about a major life (and perhaps
thereafter) decision. Fine. But as I said before, it's extremly bad
advice to offer to others.
Chris B posted:Even Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached
a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call
Scripture."You are dishonest not providing the rest of BY's
quote, as he further added ...(not verbatim) "after he had a chance to edit
or correct the text".The Journal of Discourse was NOT edited or
corrected by BY, hence not scripture by his definition. Scribes recorded the
general authorities talks and sent the material to England, where the Journal of
Discourse was published for the benefit of the Saints there. Copies of the JoD
found there way back to Salt Lake and our critics have ever since, insisted
it's same as scripture. The JoD does HAVE errors. It simply was not vetted
in any degree to what our Canonized scriptures were.
@Wastintime,You’ve oversimplified the point of the author. The
doubts the author has are small in comparison to what he already has come to
know. In that case, it’s perfectly fine to shelve your doubts. Every car
purchaser or bride/groom will have SOME concerns. But so long as they are sure
of the basics, then fine! Move forward! We can’t go through life waiting
for perfect answers and perfect clarity to be handed to us before living life.
"Members in Sweden had questions and got together to talk about them and as
a result in 2010 the church sent Elder Marlin Jensen (Church historian) and
Elder Richard Turley (assistant Church historian) to address their box
items."Also, I heard members in a San Francisco stake received a
visit (and apology of sorts) shortly after the Prop 8 campaign. But let's
not kid ourselves here folks. These are one-offs and happen very infrequently.
The Church would prefer not to have to address questions. BUT these
visits were the result of public open questioning... which I view as a very
This article is full of bad advice.For example "*IMPORTANT NOTE:
If your leader is doing things with you, or to you, that you know are wrong,
please leapfrog to the higher authority. Don't keep quiet just to get along
or out of fear. Don't be afraid to shine light on darkness."Implying that this is possible is wrong. If you have a problem with a Stake
President and you send a letter to Salt Lake, they will send it right back to
the Stake President. There is no redress or formal system to appeal to higher
authority in this church. And openly sharing questions DOES shine light into
dark areas.Imagine the advice given in this article (that we should
box up our questions and just believe) given in other important areas in our
lives. Let's say you are contemplating marriage... should you box up your
doubts? Let's say you are contemplating a major purchase like a car...
should you box up your doubts? Good grief!I'm guessing many of
us have a great many of the same questions and many could be answered if the
Church viewed it as advantageous to do so.
@ 3GrandKeysI'm sorry that you feel that the Church has led you to
make moral errors. I suspect that it is you that perceives that you are making
moral error and that the Church taught you to do so. I see that belief also
among some gay Mormons who believe that one day God will reveal to prophets that
gender has no meaning in the eternities. Anyone can be married to anyone
forever. In this case, and perhaps you own case, it's just possible that
there IS meaning and value to gender uniqueness. I hope that one day you will
learn the truth about your perceived error. Perhaps it is true that only men can
hold the priesthood. Until revelation changes doctrine, which may never occur,
I'll continue to follow the prophet on both points.
While I understand the author's point about not creating stumbling blocks
for others by your own questions, I think it is dangerous to suggest that people
shouldn't voice their questions out of fear that it might do so.
Conversation is a good thing - how do we find answers unless we ask other people
for their insight? It can be a very LONELY feeling, very isolating, to have
questions and think no else would understand, or have gone through a similar
thing, or might have some insight to help. We are here to BEAR ONE
ANOTHER's BURDENS. This includes their questions or doubts. If someone
else's questions become my stumbling block, that is on me, not them. I
shouldn't shut people out of the conversation just because what they ask is
Folks are missing the point. This article is not telling us it is okay to have
questions. It is blatantly telling us we aren't smart enough to question -
not even smart enough to know what the opposite of "not smart" is and
that we should sit and listen to those who are smart. And for heck sakes, if
you are stupid enough to think of questions you would like to ask, don't
ask anybody as you may threaten their testimony. Now sit down and quit thinking
about things you shouldn't think about.
Questions are a good thing as is looking for answers but no one will ever find
every answer so one must be ready to accept at some point. We are only human
after all. How can we truly say we have faith if we are hiding our own secret
box? That sounds like a sin. I feel we have an obligation to have full faith in
the one true church and get rid of the box. I like the idea of
discussing box items with other trusted members. Members in Sweden had
questions and got together to talk about them and as a result in 2010 the church
sent Elder Marlin Jensen (Church historian) and Elder Richard Turley (assistant
Church historian) to address their box items. They will either have full faith
with no box items or they will not but they have tried.
This is all well and good for questions that don't really matter, but what
about all the problems that directly call into question things like whether
Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were actually prophets, or whether any of the
event of the Book of Mormon actually took place?You can't very
well just carry on as though all was well in Zion, when the things in your
"box" lead you to question whether the Book of Mormon might be nothing
These, to me, aren't real questions. If you are 100% convinced that the
basics of the gospel as taught by the LDS church is true, then you aren't
really questioning. Yeah, you may make a show of fretting about this or that bit
of ephemera, but the effect of an actual answer to your question would be
nil.I've been a member for life (well, since 8) and have heard
that we are expected and encouraged to "question." Not buying it. Real
questions don't come with a pre-set "correct" answer. When your
dad/bishop/companion tells you to "pray about it," the implied solution
is that God is going to tell you that The Church is correct. If you ask
sincerely and come up with the answer that "yeah, it's all hooey,"
you'll be treated as if you're "struggling" or not being
"open to the spirit." There's no real allowance for the idea that,
hey, maybe the whole thing is fiction.Frankly, the bare foundations
make no sense to me. Yet leaving would gash a perfectly functional family. On
with the facade, I suppose.
I don't know all things. Why some things happened or why things were done
in a certain way I don't know. I do know that our Savior Jesus Christ does
lead his church. If a person doesn't have a core belief then some
questions may cause people to not believe. I remember years ago I was talking
to a person who had a lot of questions. After awhile I realized that this
person's questions were not said to me to get answers but that the
person's objective was simply to destroy my faith. They had absolutely no
interest in finding the truth. I stopped meeting with that person when I
realized they only wanted to destroy my faith. The only was to know if the
truths taught by the LDS church are correct is to humble yourself and pray to
Heavenly Father for the answer. You can have an absolute knowledge of the truth
in this manner.
@ Cinci Man"So many choose to focus their anti-Mormon decisions on
perceived errors or sins of church leaders"Maybe many do, but
don't forget those of us who have focused our decisions based on the regret
we have for what perceive as moral errors we have personally made as a result of
following LDS instruction. For me it was the realization that I was holding the
ideas of LDS truth in a position above basic moral principles and "waiting
patiently" for the day God would make it all make sense. Basically waiting
to die to discover the answers that would justify acts I felt ashamed of. I
understand many choose to stay and wait it out till death, but that was no way
for me to live.
There are many comments about where to go to get answers about the Restored
Gospel and the LDS Church. I heartily recommend going to the only source that
is perfect - ask God. Nearly everything I have learned about sacred things were
revealed to me while I was praying, reading scripture, living a commandment or
in a teaching experience. Once I learned that by the Holy Ghost you may know
the truth of all things, that has been my preferred source of Truth. I
recognize that I will only receive what has already been revealed through His
servants, the Prophets. I read the scriptures voraciously, and they have come
alive to me by the power of the Holy Ghost. I have learned one other key: you
can't get a testimony of a commandment without living it.
In response to eastcoastcoug's popular comment "If you have questions,
people, please find a Mormon friend you trust and ask him or her." As a
life-long member with questions, I have tried to carefully approach trusted
Mormon friends to let them know in vague terms that I have come to see things
differently. A close family member responded by sending me a link to this
article!Two friends have been somewhat willing to listen, but very guarded. And
the rest are like the author of this article and don't think open
discussion is appropriate.
Chris B to finish up, If you don't believe in personal revelation, I
suggest you give it a try :) In the end no amount of debate will convince
anyone, since at some point we all have to walk by faith. Best of
luck to you in your journey to find answers and ultimately peace.
The only conclusion? It's not truth, not if you define "truth" as
an absolute term.It is riddled with many, many inconsistencies.
'Truth' and 'inconsistency' are mutually exclusive terms.
Cannot have an inconsistency in a truth.
as a returned missionary active latter day saint I will open up a few of my own
box of questions...1. Why do bad things happen to good people?2. Why do wicked, corrupt and rotten people seem prosper? 3. Why do
prayers sometimes go unanswered? 4. Why are innocent people hurt and even
killed? 5. Why can't BYU throw the ball anymore???I guess
#5 isn't all that big of a deal but I still wonder about it....
Chris B to do my best to answer your question. I agree with most of what Moontan
says.Personally I think that sometimes a prophet's personal
opinions get mixed up with official revelations for the church. There is an
example of where Brigham Young gave a sermon in general conference and in the
next session retracted some of what he said with an apology. He stated that he
had given his opinion, not God's will/revelation for the church. My opinion
is God sometimes may allow prophet's to say things "officially"
that may be incorrect if it doesn't interfere with his will for the church
and if it isn't something necessary to someone's progress and
salvation. After all, prophets are just men. I do believe though they will not
be allowed to say anything that is incorrect that will affect people's
ability to be perfected/have faith/be saved. If the instance that
you refer to is a stumbling block for you though, then I suggest you take it to
God in prayer. If you have a true intent to follow God's will he will let
There is no way to stop people from asking questions publicly. Most people who
have questioned mormon doctrine have left the church (or never joined in the
first place). The attendance rates show maybe 30% to 40% still attend.Until someone starts answering questions - like how the Book of Abraham was
translated publicly, people will continue to leave. Telling people to put their
questions in a box might work for 30% of the population, but the other 70%
won't stick around without some reasonable answers.
I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that
can't be questioned.
So many choose to focus their anti-Mormon decisions on perceived errors or sins
of church leaders. I'm so glad I do not have to base my life on such an
endlessly unresolved position. I find great joy repenting of my own sins and
would find trying to learn of and dwell on the transgressions of others
burdensome. Some thrive on that because it offers justification for choices to
ignore truth in scriptures and Spirit. Some here are asking for official
answers, yet any answer would never be sufficient. They would choose to advance
the debate. The gospel is not a debate for many members of the church, me
included. I'm grateful for the path leading to truth, which includes
studying scriptures, modern revelation, and relying on the Spirit. President
Hinckley said on national TV that church leaders learn by mistakes and
revelation and that explains how and why some things change in time.
Chris B... if I were awarding blue ribbons, Common Sense would get it. Here is
my attempt to answer you... "If the Prophet issues new
directions or instructions and they are not contraindicated by Scriptures of the
LDS Church, I consider it revelation from Heaven Father via the Holy
Ghost."In Acts we are told the Bereans welcomed the Apostle Paul
and "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Cp 17, vs 11. I
think I could be a better man by listening to the Prophet's personal
opinions, but in truth they have no bearing on my eternal salvation. His
instructions and directions, establishment of doctrine, do. So if he were to
establish something totally and completely new, and the Scriptures were either
supportive or even silent on the issue, I'm good to go. Here is
where I get boo's ... if an established practice of the Church IS in
conflict with Scripture, I side with Scripture. 4th and last post
sharrona,I never mentioned that my testimony "saved" me.
Those are your words.Why are you "replying" to something I
never said?Honestly, you do this quite often. Please stop.Reference the scripture you cite. When Christ was asked what one must do to
be saved, he had a different answer.
I find so much of this blog entertaining. It's a great article, and many
are never going to understand the message. I'm cool with that, but I
remain shaking my head at those who are more fixed on the foibles of others than
they are for finding the pathway leading to the Savior, which is really the
important thing. There's nothing anyone can tell me about errors or sins
by prophets that matter to me. I'm fine with the fact that learning is a
thing that even the church is doing as we move ahead. But for all the mists of
darkness others choose to dwell in, I have found great peace in the authority,
current doctrines, Book of Mormon, temples, programs, continual revelation, and
everything else that helps me draw closer to the Savior. No errors or
transgressions by leaders will change the personal experiences I've had on
my knees. I don't care if J.S. used a hat, bathed in a river seven times,
used a scroll or a tree branch to receive revelation. The gospel of Jesus is in
the scriptures, and I'm better following the prophets.
This discussion reminds me of Laman and Lemuel arguing about points of doctrine
and The answer Nephi gave to them. "And they said: Behold, we
cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural
branches of the olive-tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.
Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the
Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts? Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?--If ye will
not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive,
with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made
known unto you."(1 Ne 15:7-11)If you have questions the
way to obtain answers to those questions is found in the scriptures. Not by
debate not by posing questions online to Church authorities as some people would
@ Arizona1,You hit the nail on the head. Everyone here
looking for the "Official Church Answers" need to study the difference
between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Nephi hears Lehi's
"ramblings" and may have thought his dad was crazy. But instead of
assuming like his brothers did, Nephi prayed and received his answer. Lehi, is a
prophet of God, and his visions are from God. Laman and Lemuel on
the other hand, just complained and stayed confused and ignorant. No amount of
miracles or angelic visitations proved to be enough.
The problem here, as I see it, is that the LDS have a differing definition of
what is 'true' than do other people. To them, 'truth'
isn't some concrete thing, it's a feeling. We could better understand
if we change the word 'true' for the word 'good'.I know the church is good.Joseph Smith waa a good prophet of
God.The Book of Mormon is good.When we speak of
historical truths, for most LDS that holds no meaning. They judge on goodness
as they perceive it, not actual truthfulness.So they won't give
you a concrete answer to concrete questions, as they don't deal in
concrete, tangible thought.
silverprospectorThe very fact that you would bring that up makes my
"...my questions might become your stumbling blocks — just as your
questions could become my stumbling blocks."This has got to be the
saddest thing I've read here in a long time. And what's with the
"THAT kind of friend" explanation for the dodge? It makes no sense. The
way the author is holding back his stumbling blocks rather than having an open
discussion about them out of FEAR is very sad. What is this guy afraid of? Have
an open honest discussion already.
I have been a faithful Mormon man my whole life, but I have never agreed with
the premise that sharing my search for answers or understanding is a faith
weakening activity. My faith is increased by my interaction with people with
thoughtful questions. Yes, some questions are motivated by ulterior
motives, but teaching people to avoid the flock because of the wolves is
misguided in my view.If truth is "one great whole" then
nobody should have to fear the search. It's just my opinion, but innocence
and righteousness do not require being "protected" from information that
may or may not be perfect. Even our understanding of solid Gospel principles is
often imperfect, and the question of a searching soul can often lead to a divine
inspiration that enhances our comprehension. These opportunities are not limited
to discussions with local church leaders.IMHO, curious people should
not be made to feel like they are leading others astray by sharing their search
for understanding. This article seems to infer that they are doing just this.
I think it's cool to have private questions. At the same time, lots of us
have some basic questions that need answered. For example, if we believe "no
success can compensate for failure in the home," then why aren't we
providing parenting and couple/relationship classes in our churches on a regular
basis. My husband is a therapist and sees lots of LDS clients. Based on his
experience, many of the serious problems that come up in his offices could be
prevented/resolved by teaching parents how to parent and married folks how to
stay married. I don't know what we would have done in raising our 5 active
children had my husband not been steeped in experience from his training and
experiences as marriage and family therapist. Surely it's time for the
Church to set aside time each Sunday to teach parents and couples how to
effectively implement the commandment to not fail in our homes. Just saying!
I wish I was as well spoken (or written) as "Middle-aged Mormon Man".
Thank you for your post and this great article. If all readers read this
post with the spirit it was written they will understand that we all have
questions, some have answers now, some don't. Are you asking these
questions to create fear, disbelief or doubt in other people's mind - or
are you sincerely looking for the truth? Do these questions you have really
matter right now? We are so blessed in this gospel - many other religions
ask questions and get the "it's a mystery of God" answer. We know
who we are, we know where we are going, we know why we are here. Be grateful for
what you have and strive to learn more! Don't ask questions on a blog,
newspaper article or post - ask a Bishop, a Stake President, a missionary, a
friend with a testimony of Christ's gospel who is willing to open up and
share their testimony with you! If you are truly searching for answers - you
will find them.
I'm sure there are those who are happy with their ex-Mormon status. My
brother is pretty much okay with it. He doesn't spend his time reading and
commenting on every article about the LDS Church, or trying to sow doubt or
otherwise rationalize his having left the Church.It's the
people who leave the Church and can't leave it alone that don't seem
happy. My advice: find something to believe, and go have a life! Don't
waste your time in contention, because that is the opposite of joy and
happiness. Don't anchor yourself to something you dislike, find something
you like and focus on that. Be a positive force for good in the world, not
someone who spends their time and energy tearing down other people's
beliefs and generally being negative.
Some members call those with questions "skeptical." They forget that
this Church started because of not one, but many questions Joseph Smith had.
Mint JulipI am sorry to hear about that happening to you. My
experience is similar to yours, but I don't think I paid that high of a
price (yet). It is sad to see that some relationships you had were based SOLELY
on your common belief in a church. A belief can be a part of a relationship, but
should never define relationships. I am saddened when families and friends of
mormons who fall away often treat people as you have been treated. It makes no
sense to me that a person being honest with themselves and saying they
don't believe in it should have such drastic consequences. It is sad that
religion can tear a family apart if people have different beliefs. Press on the
best you can, hopefully people will see you are the same person, and that you
just don't believe.m.g. scottRarely seem happy in their
ex-mormon status?? I know many personally and they are quite happy. So I
don't know where you get the 'rarely' from.JSBTheir lives fall apart after leaving the church? Drug abuse, alcohol,
affairs? Like god is punishing them for not believing?
But, if you write to a higher authority about a local leader who is doing
something wrong, the higher authorities are known to refuse to intervene (to
keep the lines of authority intact) and then tattle on you to the your local
@ all of you that are looking for official answers...If what the
prophet is saying is accompanied by the spirit... then what the prophet (or
what anyone else is saying for that matter) is of God. Ultimately this is how
we receive answers to our questions. We pray, we study, we read, we ponder...
and we believe that the answers to our questions are given to us through the
power of the Holy Ghost.In some cases there may not be "official
answers" to questions one may have about various aspects of the gospel,
church history, or church doctrine.I understand an outsiders
concerns when it comes to getting these official answers, but we believe it is
up to the individual to find answers to questions through faith, study, prayer,
pondering, and discussion. If you don't believe in revelation from God
through the spirit, I can understand why this principle would be hard for you to
swallow but ultimately this is truth.I hope that my answer has been
helpful... and I hope that you some day find answers to the questions that you
Good conversation. I think MMM was right on. I have learned that if I suspend
judgment, eventually I start to understand things. I would never throw a whole
lot of good away over some things I don't understand or don't agree
with. God knows what he's doing. He has a plan. I study a lot of other
religions,etc. too and I love learning everything but bottom line, I'm
keeping my temple covenants. I do wish that we didn't whitewash history -
I don't think it does anyone any good. I teach a ton of stuff because I
think it's better to hear it in church than get surprised somewhere else.
People should be able to handle imperfect people, including church leaders. If
they can't, they can choose to look for a perfect church. It also helps me
to remember that the Gospel, the Church, Culture, and Human Nature are 4
different things. Christ is married to the Church, but it's still a mortal
organization. So let's all keep working together at all this. :)
Common sense in idahoSo when prophets and apostles make
contradicting remarks in general conferences that are years apart... How do you
reconcile that if it is 'revelation'?
utahcitizen1So when president Brigham Young taught the Adam-god
theory, he was speaking for god right? But now god changed his mind and it
isn't doctrine?? You said that the lord would never allow a
prophet to lead the church astray, so did Brigham lead the church astray with
his Adam-god teachings, or did the prophets after him who denied the doctrine
lead us astray?
There seems to be a rather broad misconception that it is part of the human
experience to have immediate answers to any imaginable question, including
religious. I can't think of any subject on which I don't have more
questions than answers. The key, as described in the article, is to realize
which answers we have that work and to not throw them out because of the answers
we don't have. I have questions about current cosmological theories, but
I'm not going to throw out Newton's Laws as a result - they're
extremely useful, even if they're only approximations. The same is true
with religion. I know which answers work, and I'm not going to throw them
out because of some questions for which I don't have answers. I know that
following Christ brings joy and peace. I know that reading and pondering the
Book of Mormon enlightens me. I know that the Gift of the Holy Ghost provides
insights and understanding I wouldn't otherwise have. I'm not about to
abandon any of the answers I have simply because there are answers I don't
have. That would be foolish.
Dennis said "At age 45 while serving on the High Council the Church ran out
of answers. Today I'm very content not to participate."But
those who read Dennis's comments on many articles knows that he (and those
who feel like he does) are NOT content with being QUIET about it. No
one who leaves the LDS Church is content to just go away and be content not to
participate. They can never 'leave it alone'.That alone
also tells me something. Again, yikes.
Yes, I may have questions. Yes, there are things that I do not understand. But
this I DO know. When I read my scriptures and say my prayers, I feel happy. When
I attend the temple, I feel a renewed strength to face trials. When I listen to
general conference with a true desire to improve and grow, I feel a deep
peace.So - what if I die and it turns out that the church
wasn't true? Well, I lived my life in a way that brought me great joy and
happiness. I worked to overcome personal weaknesses, devoted myself to my family
and community, and spent my days trying to become a little bit better. I fell
down, made mistakes,and started again.I tried to live the way the Savior would
have me live - and I found joy. I do not believe I will have regrets.
ClarkHippoTooele, UT said "I can not answer every argument critics of
the LDS Church present, but I do know one thing. If being an ex-LDS person means
becoming a self-righteous, vindictive, abrasive individual, I will gladly stay
LDS."AMEN!!The treatment and condescension I have
received from the ex-LDS I know, who say they have now figured out the LDS
church is wrong, is curiously-to-me all the same, even though these people
don't know each other and are from different places.They all exhibit all
that ClarkHippo mentioned as well as more. But all just the same. That alone tells me something... yikes.
A problem I have with LDS culture and many talks given over pulpits is that the
LDS Church does have all the answers and that trials and tribulation can be
Re. ClarkHippo. Your experience has been my experience. With almost everyone I
know who has left the church, their lives have gone down hill. Adultery,
divorce, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, cynicism, deceit, etc. seem to be a part of
the pattern of the lives of many apostates. In fact, apostate behavior has
helped strengthen my own testimony of the gospel. If they've found the
truth, how come their personal behavior gets worse?
I posted about an hour ago, and it hasn't come up, so what I'm about
to say is largely a repeat if it does.The answer is simple. God
gave us brains that can ask questions that cannot be answered in this life.
Even scientists have such questions, so it is not a surprise that religion
presents them. Faith is one of the most important parts of our lives here. If
we had all the answers, a perfect knowledge, then we could not exercise faith.
Many Mormons who delve too much into the mysteries, have found themselves
Ex-Mormons. And, as a previous post alluded to, they rarely seem happy in their
When I was a child and a teen I loved the Church because I could ask anything.
There were not "good" questions or "bad" questions, just
questions. Yes, there are questions I do not ask in Church, but that
doesn't make me fear talking about them openly. If we can't ask each
other, we may never find the answers. After all, we are all "not smart."
But together we can find better answers. I'll never forget standing in the
hallway hearing a white sister missionary tell a black investigator that the
"ban" was to keep white people in the Lord's Church. While this son
of God just stood there looking sad because he just hear a white girl tell him
the God didn't care about him or his race as much as he did white people.
This, of course, isn't true. But, when we don't talk about these
questions, someone will ask and when we don't have the answer to becomes
too easy to just make stuff up. So please, ask your questions. Joseph Smith
would approve and so, I think, would the Lord.
The writer makes it sound as if it he thinks it's all right with him to
deny his questions, to put them in his figurative box, and pretend they
don't exist (until they do, when revealed by an answer that liberates them,
one by one, from their chains). Like it's okay to deny, deny, deny. But
I've never placed must stock in living in denial. I think that asking the
right questions in life is most of what really matters---and what allows us to
access the mind of God. On the other hand, this man's words almost sound
like "when the prophet speaks, thinking stops," or maybe "until the
prophets speaks, thinking shouldn't start."
Brahmabull and Chris B. You will receive all answers through study and
prayer. If you don't put in the effort you WILL NOT get the answer. I did
this on one answer for almost 16 years--then the answer was right in front of
me. Only I realized that for 16 years the Holy Spirit had to answer about 300
other things (line upon line) before I could comprehend the answer to my
question.Even if a friend knew this and GAVE me the answer, I simply could
not comprehend because I would be missing so much. It is like asking a 3rd
level calculus question and you only know addition. So I give you the answer
(and you look at me like lobsters are coming out of my ears)When you ask
10 people (some may guess) but if the Spirit gave them the answer you CAN know
which is the guess and which is the Spirit.
I really don't want, or need, to know the answers to the questions others
may have.... therefore no public forum on that. Have you ever had a question
that your Bishop or Stake President couldn't answer? At one time it was
suggested (by them) that I communicate with the First Presidency (who directed
my question to a certain General Authority). I received my answer which
satisfied all the "tests" and comforted me, in private, as needed. These
things don't need to be debated in a public forum for they are private.
Chris BSalt Lake City, UT"I find it deeply disturbing that the
Mormon church has a history of excommunicating people who bring to light
inconsistences/inaccuracies in what is told today vs. what history
shows."Really? 'Deeply disturbing'? Why would you
possibly be disturbed (and 'deeply' at that) when the Mormon church,
which you don't believe is 'true' anyway, is excommunicating
someone? Why would you care? No, I don't for a minute think you
are really bothered by the church's excommunications. No, you just like to
stir the pot.
The restoration of the Church was not a turnkey operation. One thing we learn
from Joseph Smith is that he needed to put forth much effort to study, ponder,
and pray to find answers. And he made mistakes along the way. In fact, 180
years later, the Church is still fine-tuning doctrines, policies, and
operations. The lesson I learn from this is that it is by design that the Lord
wants us, both individually and as a whole, to work through our problems and
questions, which promotes our spiritual growth. That’s not to say he
doesn’t help us along the way. He most certainly does. But he does so in
a way that necessitates our continual need to exercise faith.To
those who want “official” answers, I would ask that you consider the
pattern of how God has always imparted knowledge to us. Line upon line, precept
upon precept. Joseph Smith and other prophets throughout history have had to
put forth great spiritual effort to get answers. We should expect no different
for each of us.
Many years ago I sat in a religion class at BYU. The professor asked a thought
provoking question. "How many of you would like to have a book this thick
(he held his hand about 6 or 8 inches off of the desk) to direct you in your
life?" Many members of the class raised their hands. He then explained
that his example was likened to the children of Israel who wandered in the
wilderness for 40 years and whose spiritual law was manifested in the Law of
Moses. It was a law of performances and ordinances. The leaders through time
added to the law and by it were able to make a self-serving case to crucify
their Savior.Here is my point. If we are commanded in all things
(or given immediate answers) we cannot develop spiritual maturity. Spiritual
maturity is what the Savior instituted when he came and fulfilled the Law of
Moses. His law was a higher law with commensurate blessings. And if followed
the spiritual maturity would far surpasss that of previous generations under the
previous law.To those who cannot accept this I say belief is the
beginning to understanding. (Mosiah 26:3)
@Aggielove,I was not going to comment feeling that Chris B and
others had stated my opinion well enough. However, you comment is maddening and
deeply hurtful.I did not leave to drink beer, coffee and have
Sundays off. I have many friends and family that have resigned. I have not met
one that left for such trivial reasons. The costs are just too high. I lost relationships with friends and family to follow my integrity and resign
from this church. I lost business. I was shunned in my neighborhood by many, not
all. I have endured gossip, judgement, seeing my children's friends leave
them (the most heartbreaking thing) and having a wedge between myself and my mom
(the second most heartbreaking thing). I was a devout member for
more than 35 years. I served in multiple Relief Society and YW presidencies and
was the primary chorister at the time of my resignation.
Chris B-The church's purpose is to help all come unto Christ
through faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to
the end faithful in Christ's gospel. With this in mind, the church
naturally will not find it expedient to give official "answers" to every
little detail for things that do not have bearing on our chances of gaining
eternal life. The church doesn't need to give official answers
to everything, as this is related to the scripture "it is not meet that God
command in all things." (D&C 58:26) In other words, Chris B,
don't get distracted with questions that likely won't have eternal
value so you end up missing the mark completely of Christ's gospel!However, if you are sincerely seeking answers, tell us in this message
board specifically what you want to know, and we will try to get answers to your
liking. We will try to get official or as official answers as possible. I think
there are a handful of LDS folks willing to help out. Deal? :)
I give the simple answer to all your questions and it is to me the single most
important doctrine found in the Book of Mormon. Those things which
lead you to Christ are of God.Those things which lead you away from
Him are not.The same item, doctrine, person or principle may lead
one person to Christ and another away from Him.
The answer is simple. We as Gods children have been given brains that can ask
questions that cannot be answered in this life. That should not affect anyones
testimony. At least the author realizes that answers won't come in this
life. As for you Chris B. Be careful. I have found trying to delve into the
mysteries of the gospel can lead a person astray. There are entire groups of
Mormons who have become Ex-Mormons because of worrying about not getting
everything answered. Faith, one of the most important tests of life, could not
be achieved if a person had all knowledge. That's why, no matter how much
study and speculation, one can never find all answers now.
We are enjoined to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in
need of comfort. My friends with questions are mourning and in need of comfort.
Do I really want them to just shut up so they don't "spread
doubt"? To just suck it up and pretend all is well with them? Uh, no. I
don't think that is the right way, and I am sorry the author of this piece
believes otherwise. We can be actively seeking what we need to know . . . God
does not withhold, but gives liberally and does not upbraid. Stop being afraid.
DocHolliday (or anyone)-If you have sincere questions about the Book
of Abraham, do a google search for FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE, click the first result,
and then purchase the DVD entitled "A Most Remarkable Book: Evidence for the
Divine Authenticity of the Book of Abraham." While you are at it, purchase
the DVD "Evidences of the Book of Mormon" by Daniel C Peterson. Perhaps
these DVDs can give you some intellectual reasons to believe in these divine
books, and start a seed of faith of the restored gospel. However,
ultimately, you will need to cultivate this faith and have a spiritual witness
from God these things are true. This witness can come strongly into your very
being if you have faith in Christ, real intent, and a sincere heart. "What
greater witness can you have than from God?" (D&C 6:23)This
spiritual witness is the most official answer you can get. From there, I
wouldn't be surprised if you demand to be baptized into the church or want
to run back into full church activity with a full purpose of heart. :)Hope to see you at church some day!
Chris B after three posts is unable to provide one example of his complaints.
Those are the type of people I enjoy sharing the gospel with face to face. I can
find their strengths and weaknesses, and expose them to the person I'am
sharing with. The Jehovah witness missionaries stopped coming to my home. I left
them more questions for themselves, than they could possibly leave with me. On the article. Are you applying and obeying gospel principles?,
it's that simple. I know where my weaknesses are, and I work on them. I use
my strengths to build my testimony, and my weaknesses. You have to be able to
recognize your own, and work on them. Obedience is the key to the gospel.
This may be hard to believe, but some members are looking for reasons to quit
coming. Moreover they are looking to do this so they can have a beer now and
then, and a Starbucks.Yes would I like a beer when stress is large, yes.
I'm human.But I don't. Not saying this man has these thoughts,
but many do,
I'm just slightly passed middle age. 61 to be exact. 5th generation
member born and raised in Zion in the East Mill Creek Stake. I started having
questions at age 13. At age 45 while serving on the High Council the Church ran
out of answers. Today I'm very content not to participate.
@ChrisB...."The lds church could then provide an official answer to each
question, either refuting the "evidence" provided or giving their
official explanation."The Church doesn't have
"official" answers. It has their decided upon opinions.Making the
assumption that the Church is always right and infallible is a mistake. The
question is how well does the Church recover from mistakes. That's the
crux of properly addressing an issue.
Chris B. - A direct answer for you. When the prophet or the apostles
speak in general conference it is considered revelation.What we read in
the official church magazines from the prophet and apostles is considered
revelation. But you won't be satisfied with that answer
because it didn't come officially from church headquarters. It is just my
opinion, this is what I believe. Now, other than that when they
speak it may or may not be considered the mind and will of the Lord. That is
when you put to use your own ability to pray and let the holy ghost confirm to
you that the things which they say are true. You seem to forget that
the prophet and apostles are just men. Filled with their personal opinions
about everything just like you. Just remember that.Now, Chris B.
another thought for you. Where did the Book of Mormon come from? You've
got two choices; either it came through revelation or Joseph Smith just made it
up. Which is it? And how do you know? Just like you wanted a straight answer
please be courteous enough to give one back.
I am not surprised this article has generated much back and forth from opposing
sides who are trying to affirm their stance. It is after all the
natural man [woman] who does not give place for the Spirit and those who have
stewardship over him in spiritual matters. For those who walk with humility and
repentance in their hearts, they "get it" with respect to the need for
obedience and the truths about whom God has appointed in their stewardships. The more one receives of God's knowledge, the greater they realize
their utter nothingness in the flesh. Such is a silent transformation process
with no glory, boasting, lights, or public praise when it follow God's
patterns of "becomming". It is an inward commitment of external action
to follow the Savior and apply the prescribed patterns of His Gospel and Church.
To paraphrase, the Savior has said, straight is the gate and narrow
is the way unto eternal life, and few there be that find it. He also said, wide
is the gate and great is the number of those who don't choose the straight
and narrow path. Who can hear this faithful saying?
@eastcoastcoug:"... I have a relative who's done a lot of
research on Abrahamic texts (PhD level at a non LDS university) who I could talk
to about my questions on the origins of the Book of Abraham."Perhaps you could talk to your relative and post your questions and his/her
findings. Because, as we speak, the papyri of the Book of Abraham is considered
by many to be funerary writings.@MollyCheckedOut"... but
trust me there are gobs of faithful members learning the truth of the BoM and as
they do their testimonies are crumbling..."How about listing
some of those so-called 'truths?'@E.S:"Pres.
Kimball once said that the prophets do not need to start every sentence with
'Thus saith the Lord' in order for what he says be consider a
revelation."Rarely is any subject addressed by Church leaders
that which would fall into the category of revelation. Much of what is said
(over the pulpit, etc.) is just encouragement and how to cope with, and make the
best of life.
There are a lot of things I don not understand about my LDS faith. But there is
one thing I do know for sure, and this has been demonstrated to me again and
again. With the exception of one, maybe two people, every personal
experience I have had with someone who is ex-LDS has left me with a feeling a
shock and even sadness. One example, I knew a girl in high school
who was once LDS, but is now ex-LDS. I so enjoyed getting back in touch with her
on Facebook, but nearly right away I saw that 90% of her comments had something
to do attacking the LDS Church. Another example, I have stumbled
over a series of YouTube videos which have been produced by ex-LDS Church
members, and to put it mildly, these videos are some of the most misleading,
dishonest and vulgar things I have ever seen. I can not answer every
argument critics of the LDS Church present, but I do know one thing. If being an
ex-LDS person means becoming a self-righteous, vindictive, abrasive individual,
I will gladly stay LDS.
Well, if the author of the article reads these boards.. I hope he takes one
thing from it: that the posts are always filled with criticism and judgement.
The concern for others and not spreading doubt is also the right thing to do. I
agree with it completely.I enjoyed and appreciate the way the
article was written. It was delicate, thoughtful, and far more intelligent than
most would realize. It almost illustrates the development of belief that most
members go through. Our faith is challenged in life, inescapably. The article
doesn't highlight the existence of such challenges, but how we behave and
respond to them. That's more valuable insight than what most have to say on
the subject. Great article!
...the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor
understand great knowledge...
wow. I am so so so glad the church does not have a website for people to ask
questions and get responses. Just think of the chaos this would inevitably
cause. why is it that people have this desire and want to be told what to do in
every aspect of their life? and then when the equally inevitable disagreements
ensue about what they were told, it becomes a new excuse to blame the author and
justify their further alienation? do we not have enough laws, lawyers, whiners,
cynics and those lying in wait to deceive that we have to beg for more? Do you
work in a place where you just long for management to tell you what to do? the
fact that our church build unity through individual testimony and not
declarations of policy and rule is in itself, a testimony builder. No, indeed it
seems to be that this desire to expand on the words of man is yet another
troubling sign of the times. sigh.
Brahmha Bull and Chris B - Something tells me that even if you got
an "official" answer from the very highest echelons of the LDS church,
you wouldn't believe them anyay.Just sayin'....For those who believe, no amount of 'proof' is needed.For those who doubt, no amount of 'proof' is sufficient.
We all have questions. Some of us are troubled by them some of us are not. It
seems that to get our own answers when it come to religion there has to be a
belief in God, His love for us and His willingness to communicate with us.
Then, if our questions are sincere, we can go to God and along with our own
studying get answers and/or peace regarding troubling subjects. If
we insist on resolving questions based only on information generated by people,
historic and otherwise, we will continue to wander from one inconsistency to
another, never resolving anything. Our questions will never be satisfied and
our demands for answers from others will become tiresome and suspect.
To those of you looking for answers. What I can say is that the answers
don't need to be a big secret. They can be found by reading scriptures such
as the Book of Mormon, The Bible,and the Doctrine & Covenants. The church
has also put out A LOT of materials addressing different topics in more depth,
the majority of those materials are available on mormon.org, lds.org, and in
church books/magazines. These materials are freely available to anyone and
reflect the "official" doctrine/answers of the church.I
think the key here though is no matter how much you study in the end you still
have to choose what you believe and how you adhere to those beliefs in your
daily life. The church here also says, take it to your Heavenly Father, if you
pray with true intent to act on the answer (no matter whether it is contrary to
your will), Mormon's believe you will know the truth.Some
answers don't come easily as understanding doesn't come right away. We
believe that through study and prayer everyone will know everything (in this
life) necessary for progress & salvation.
Some, on this thread, have commented how they haven't let difficult
questions affect their faith. I, however, can understand why some feel that the
answers to "difficult" questions are inadequate. I can also understand
why there isn't an official response to "difficult" questions. A
BBC interview with Elder Holland highlights this problem.
The answer to skeptics like Chris B. lie partially in the title of talk given by
Davis Bitton: "I Do NOT Have a Testimony of Church History." If you
earnestly strive to gain a testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ and His
Atonement, non-issues such as horses in America, JS and polygamy, BoA
controversies, Elisha's mocking children, etc., will not trip you up.
Sadly, many do stumble.Moreover, seeing is NOT believing. Were this
so, EVERYONE who had contact with Jesus as He walked, talked, taught, breathed,
and died, would have believed that He was the Son of God as He claimed.Some who saw and hefted the gold plates fell away. Clearly seeing was, and
still is, insufficient. Were I in league with the devil, I would
create diversions. I would try very hard to get people to gain testimonies of
Church history and steer clear of anything having to do with a focus on Jesus
Christ. Clearly, Satan's diversion in this arena is deceiving many. Sadly
To answer Chris B's question about prophets. The prophet is the only person
who receives revelation from God to direct the entire body of the Church and
will never teach anything contrary to the will of the Lord. That is not my
opinion, but what has been taught by the church.President (Prophet)
Wilford Woodruff said: "The Lord will never permit me or any other man who
stands as president of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program.
It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me
out of my place."Prophet instruction is intended to guide us for
the present day. This is not to say that you shouldn't consider and weigh
their teachings for yourself. The church encourages us to ponder their words,
search God's existing teachings (e.g the scriptures), and then to take it
to God in prayer to ask to know for ourselves if something is true. They teach
though, that we have to be willing to act on the answer we receive and go in
with an open mind to receive God's answer for us.
Church issues come up in my life that are confusing and sometimes distressing.
But, I cannot deny the reality of my own person spiritual witnesses of the
truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This testimony, from a
source greater than man's logic, outweighs by far the questions I have and
the issues I have with imperfect people in the church. I just have to have faith
that someday, perhaps in the hereafter, the questions and issues will be
answered and resolved. In the mean time I know the covenants I have made and I
will strive with all my heart to keep them.
What an amazing article. I'm grateful for members of such faith who are an
example to me. I Know that there will be many who have hard feelings on the
topic of inspired leaders. I pray that we can be humble and trust the lord to
speak through his servants. That is his pattern. It always has been. Let us not
hold them accountable for mortality and weakness any more than we want to be
held accountable for our own.
M. Scott Peck, a Christian and a psychiatrist, wrote of four stages of spiritual
development. In the highest stage a person becomes comfortable with paradox. He
marvels in the mystery of God and the gospel. He understands that scripture and
mortal words sometimes fail to capture truth in its fullness. Perhaps we as
Mormons are uncomfortable with such a mystical level of personal attempts at
understanding God, but isn't that really what we mean when we sense the
Holy Ghost but can't exactly put it all into words?I find myself
disappointed in the institution but must remind myself not to let that get in
the way of growing my testimony. In the end it's how I feel about the
Savior that will make the difference.
Rather than be afraid of questions, deal with them. Maybe your thinking in open
will resonate with someone who has the same questions, and help them along their
path. Otherwise, you just exude fear.
You seem to suggest more answers than questions. But, your answers are
fundamentally faith based. Only one problem with faith, and that is that it can
be misplaced. Are you sure you are asking all the right questions, and are your
answers grounded in anything that can be empirically demonstrated?
Chris B.,Can you provide examples?
Dialog, questions, finding fault with another, much of what I read appears to
mimic what Elder Maxwell said about walking in the light of our own conceit (or
pride).I have more than enough to do to try to mind my own business
and keep my spiritual yard mowed and weeded that much of what is worried about
in these comments is of no concern to me.Much of what is worried
about is superfluous to the central issue, the Book of Mormon. If it is true,
Joseph is the Lord's prophet, and the rest are details that will be worked
out.Meekness and lowliness of heart, Christ attributed character
traits are not the hallmark of our generations, hence calls for dialog, forums,
etc.. Don't sweat the small stuff, most of the concerns appear
to be "small stuff", IMO.
Here is where lots of folks fall off the trail.When they need to exercise
RE: Twin Lights ,Questions do not rock our testimony…. and
“saved“me.“Saved “from what? what we are
saved from is really a who—God Himself. That the glory of the gospel is
that the One from whom we need to be saved is the very One who saves us.Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be
saved from God’s Wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s
enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more,
having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this
so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have
now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:9-11) If you confess with
your mouth that Jesus is Lord (YHWH)and believe in your heart that God raised
him from the dead, you will be “saved”.
To Moontan and Chris B.:Please do not be offended or sad if some our
faith criticizes you for asking questions. Guess what, that's exactly what
we should do to receive revelation. So carry on, ask your questions and have
faith that God can answer them.Having said that, Pres. Kimball once
said that the prophets do not need to start every sentence with "Thus saith
the Lord" in order for what he says be consider a revelation. If we hear for
example Pres. Monson saying something on General Conference, we should probably
consider it the voice of the Lord. How do we know? Because the General
Authorities pray, fast, ponder and study the scriptures months in advance, in
order for them to receive revelation while working on their talks. There is no
topic assignment (unless is a very especial occasion) - still, it always feels
like the next talk will build from where the last one stopped.
There are questions that matters...and questions that matters the most. Knowing
the true identity of God and His relationship with us is absolutely more
important than knowing all the aspects of the First Vision.Besides,
why would the Church give everyone, every answer? It is OUR INDIVIDUAL
RESPONSIBILITY to learn for ourselves, study the scriptures, acquire secular
knowledge and then ask Heavenly Father what the truth is.
I love the quote from Elder Carmack:"I have a whole box of
unanswered questions, none of them threatening to my own testimony. New
questions enter that box regularly. Others come out of that box, yielding to
both study and experience."This, I think, describes the
experience many of us have. We have a testimony and the experience of
interacting with the Holy Ghost. Questions do not rock our testimony. They can
remain unanswered for months or even years but the testimony remains and allows
us to exercise patience in the process.
Northern LightsOk.... So when I get the answer that the adam-god
doctrine is true after fervent prayer and pondering, but others get the answer
that it is false then what? Don't think I am being sarcastic here, this is
something I really want to know. The spirit isn't a reliable guide because
we may, indeed, get different answers to different doctrinal questions. So if I
get the answer that it is true, and another member gets the answer that it is
false, then who is right. Clearly both can't be right. This is why when
people go to the "pray about it" answer they lose credibility in my
view. That means there isn't an answer, but pray about it anyways.
I truly enjoyed this article! Thank you for re-publishing it.For
commentators who repeatedly ask the same questions, the Church has answered many
of these - and answered them again - and again. For example, some recently
question whether a Prophet is speaking the will of the Lord or expressing
opinion.A Church commentary on 12 December 2011 explains how
revelation works both individually and within the highest levels of the Church.
Members who understand this process can generally differentiate between
revelation and opinion. In addition, each may ask the Lord if the specific
writings and teachings of Church leaders are correct. In October 1996, an LDS
leader, L. Aldin Porter stated, "When the appointed servants of this Church
speak under the influence of the Holy Ghost as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus
Christ, their words are carried by the power of the Spirit to those whose hearts
are open to revelation."I'm grateful that this article
provides some great advice on how to approach many of these type of questions in
a positive light. And, like the article explains, with patience, faith (and
might I add: honest, hard study) the knowledge will come.
eastcoastcougCare to share those answers about the book of Abraham??
I would love to hear an answer for how Joseph got such a translation out of
@eastcoastcoug ... No, there's only Chris B. asking, and I doubt he
considers himself asking for the whole wide world. He has asked that
simple, uncomplicated question more than once. We are told by St Paul to
'always be ready to give an answer for the hope that is within you.'
It seems to me that that admonition is relevant here.
Brahma,OK, I'll ask some questions I use when I"m helping
someone at work who is looking for help: Who and what have you tried so far?
What constitutes an official answer for you? What do you want that answer to do
for you (what problem will it solve)? What do you think you could do to get an
official answer?I've worked in large global organizations in
areas of official communications, so I'm not being facetious in my
"People that want to be spoon fed and skip any type of personal growth are
just as well off if they rely on a fortune cookie."This is really
laughable. Pot meet kettle.The whole religion is based on the
truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Sure there are people who are out there
looking for an argument, but trust me there are gobs of faithful members
learning the truth of the BoM and as they do their testimonies are crumbling,
which is why so many doubtful find boxing their concerns preferable.
@Arizona1 re "The gospel doesn't consist of a set of questions and a
corresponding set of answers to appease our curiosity, but rather reflective,
thought-provoking questions and concerns that allow individuals to
grow..."I wouldn't think the answer to a question, or its
veracity, depends upon WHY the question is being asked. The answer is ... an
answer, and that's about all you can say about it. Chris B has
a very valid question. The answer is entirely independent of the reason he
asked. Look at the responses since my first post a few minutes ago.
Darts all over the board, not one bulls-eye.
Moontan,Who do you want to respond to you? The Church leadership?
Why not write Pres. Monson or another member of the First Presidency? The problem I have is that you and Chris (now there are 2 of you) seem to
think you are speaking for the whole wide world in wanting certain answers. I
have lots of questions about the Church too but they're not likely the same
as yours. So I have to think about where I could research the answers or who I
could talk to who is likely to be an expert in the field and will give me a
balanced answer. For example, I have a relative who's done a
lot of research on Abrahamic texts (PhD level at a non LDS university) who I
could talk to about my questions on the origins of the Book of Abraham. Probably
a lot more satisfying answer than I'll get from a GA.
eastcoastcougBut this is the whole point. It doesn't matter if
I ask somebody who I trust, the answer still isn't the OFFICIAL church
answer. That is what I am looking for. An official declaration or answer to my
question. If I ask 10 different members I might get 10 different answers. If not
I know for sure I won't get 10 of the same answers. And that is where the
problem with church doctrine lies.
Very often those who "demand" answers aren't really looking for
answers but rather trying to find flaws (or what they view as flaws) that they
can expose. Most anyone who has served a mission knows what I am talking about.
Simply put, there are people out there who just want to argue and use "their
logic" to tear down. ChrisB's suggestion for a website with an official
answer to all questions is pointless because of the type of "fact
seekers" that it would bring.Sincere questions are always
welcome, but questions aired in the spirit of contention are counterproductive.
Some time back Neal A. Maxwell eloquently expressed that Laman and Lemuel were
seeking answers to questions like they were playing a connect-the-dots game. The
gospel doesn't consist of a set of questions and a corresponding set of
answers to appease our curiosity, but rather reflective, thought-provoking
questions and concerns that allow individuals to grow as they figuratively
wrestle with the Lord to better understand Him and His designs. People that want
to be spoon fed and skip any type of personal growth are just as well off if
they rely on a fortune cookie.
Boxing our concerns up, and being overly concerned that your "stumbling
blocks" will become someone elses doesn't do anyone any good."D&C 101:32 when "the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all
things." Well, the Lord has revealed a lot and many it too scared to study
deeper than what their Sunday School Teacher lays out each week.For
example learn about the varying versions of the First Vision on lds.org if you
read the Ensign from January, 1985, Joseph Smith’s Recitals of the First
Vision, By Milton V. Backman, Jr..I don't know about you, but I
never got 3 of 4 of these in my Sunday meetings.
Brahma,So go make an appointment and ASK. I have friends who've
spoken with Apostles and other leaders about their questions. It's
possible. The answers they received were very open and evocative in nature.I'm not suggesting people ask just ANY friend but rather someone
they TRUST e.g. someone who has done their research and is balanced and open in
their logic and opinions. My guess is that many GA's would welcome the
dialog, if it is couched in terms of really wanting to know vs. making
accusations. But some may not have background in the specific area of your
question. There are institute teachers at the U. and religion teachers at BYU
for example who have read lots of original writings and diaries of church
leaders and members who are accessible. If you really want an
answer, think about the best source where you can have a real dialog. In the
end, you will have to make up your mind what to believe since nothing can be
settled by debate. My point is that just airing these questions (actually, more
like accusations) is not the way to find knowledge about any topic.
Do you really think they are asking you for these answers? More likely they are
asking you to do some critical thinking. I am sure they already have searched
out the answers on their own. If you can get over your fear of asking your
questions out loud, instead of "boxing" them, you will find the
information is out there, from reliable sources, including church approved sites
such as lds.org, FAIR, Neal A. Maxwell foundation, there is also mormonthink.com
where you can get the facts and the churches side as well as the doubters and
decide for yourself. In the end if you can get past the fear, knowledge is
Beautifully written post Brother! Thank you!It's interesting how
everything written here just strikes me as "of course that's the way it
is" for this convert of approx. 25 years.But I guess so many people
are on different levels of understanding that sometimes it is important to bring
it down to a basic explanation, so that those who are truly seeking can find
some added measure of understanding.
Chris B has several times asked the question "I ask again, when is a prophet
speaking for God or for himself?" and I have yet to see an answer. I have seen lot of hedging, a bit of criticism for asking, convoluted
responses that attempted to dismiss the question, or claim that is the wrong
question to ask, but I've not seen an answer. A simple,
declarative sentence would be sufficient for an appropriate answer. No need to
talk to friends, missionaries, Ward leadership.
There have been questions as to the authenticity and divine origin of the LDS
church since Joseph Smiths time. It is answers to those questions that have been
Chris B and I don't always agree in the sports column, but I have to agree
with a lot of what he says here. Its taken me a long time to realize that the
LDS church leadership has been wrong. So I must conclude that "if the LDS
leadership can be wrong in the past, they can be wrong now." This isn't
a crazy thing to say. It makes sense. As LDS members we are encouraged to find
out the truth through prayer and study. I don't have a problem letting my
wife know when I don't agree with the church leadership. She's cool.
We're still sealed.
eastcoastcougThey want OFFICIAL responses to legitimate concerns.
They don't want to ask a friend, because the answer would only be the
friends opinion. It would in no way constitute a real, official church answer.
That is why.
I don't have a problem with questions OR answers. What I really don't
understand is people like Chris B. and ThinksIThink, et al who post their
questions on a blog and demand responses like that is really the way to
effectively get to the bottom of anything. If you have questions,
people, please find a Mormon friend you trust and ask him or her. I seriously
doubt you are going to take my word for any response, nor should you. You
don't know me from a hole in the ground. Which leads me to wonder if you
really want an answer or just want to air your doubts? How did you
learn Science, History or English in school? I doubt you just sat around posting
your questions online. We all learn from books and teachers and dialog in a
classroom (which is also taking someone's word for it). You need someone to
TALK to and be able to challenge them 1:1 if you don't understand. I get
it...you have doubts, you feel lied to. Fine. Now go find someone to talk to
about this. Don't seek help of this nature from invisible strangers.
Questions are not the problem. Answers are the problem. Having a question of
whether the Book of Abraham was correctly translated from the papyri is not a
problem. Finding the answer to that question is a tremendous problem.
Not sure why the Deseret News does not publish the identity of the author of
this "article". Who is "middle age mormon man"? Or is that one
of those questions we are not allowed to ask?
I appreciate this article. I also questions that do not really affect my
testimony that I don't particularly dwell on or send out as potential
stumbling blocks to others to try to get them off the list. I also, however
have a dilemma, which I believe is similar in tone to this article, but not
quite addressed. I also have questions or experiences that, while not affecting
my testimony, DO affect my faith...or ability to act. These questions usually
surround the implementation of programs and events within the Church community
that does not quite wash with my understanding of what we profess. While I
understand that we are all imperfect and doing our best....the question remains
for me...how do you work on bettering the implementation? You see because just
letting them sit doesn't work when the error seems to self-perpetuate and
replicate. Those questions are more difficult to deal with.
I find it deeply disturbing that the Mormon church has a history of
excommunicating people who bring to light inconsistences/inaccuracies in what is
told today vs. what history shows.If the LDS church was truly
dedicated to helping people find the truth, they would welcome any fact brought
to light by researchers and scholars.And at the very least, I would
hope the church would attempt to disprove whatever "truth" is presented
by those who don't believe, instead of simply kicking them out of the
church, which seems to be the standard procedure for those who talk about any
findings that are contrary to what the church says.All truth comes
from God, even if doesn't go along with what Mormon leaders say.
Numbers 2 and 4 refer to believing that what Mormon prophets/apostles say comes
from God. And yet, Mormons often get uncomfortable when nonbelievers point to
numerous times LDS prophets/apostles have said things that are wrong. Flat out
wrong. If you aren't aware of this, I'm sad for you that you are so
in the dark. If you are aware, I ask, how does one know when a
prophet/apostle is speaking for God and when he is speaking for himself?Even Brigham Young said: ..."I have never yet preached a sermon and
sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture."And yet Brigham Young said many things either flat out wrong, or not
supported by current LDS leadership.The words of an LDS
prophet/apostle do not hold much weight if the excuse of "he was speaking as
a man" is simply used whenever something has been said by one of them that
is proven incorrect or does not reflect well on the church.I ask
again, when is a prophet speaking for God or for himself?
I have long said if the LDS church truly was open to dialogue and helping people
find the truth, they would create a website where anyone could go with questions
and these questions would be displayed for the all the public to see, without
eliminating questions that are tough to answer to disprove things LDS prophets
have said in the past(and yes, there are many). And no, such a thing does not
exist.The lds church could then provide an official answer to each
question, either refuting the "evidence" provided or giving their
official explanation.The church is all too willing to publicly show
their answers to the easy questions, but do not allow public comments/answers to
the tough questions and the points in history that don't correspond to what
they claim to believe in.I see it as somewhere between a Mormon side
and an anti-Mormon website. The doubters/anti-Mormons can ask questions and
provide evidence of their findings, and then the church can respond.Sadly the LDS church does not encourage finding the truth in all situations.