Elder Bednar's invitation to 'Increase in Learning'

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  • crunchem Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:00 p.m.

    garybeac: could you please elaborate what you mean by the statement "I'm definitely not a Mormon, but I am a Latter-day Saint."

    I have an idea, but I'd rather hear it in your own words.

    I do like this comment of yours "...we must tease apart the profound satisfaction (thrill?) of being happily on-board with Mormon culture from true spiritual experiences--the former leading to a hangover of disappointment and depression, the latter to peace and joy and growth." So true...although between the words 'former' and 'leading' I would insert the word "occasionally' or the phrase "having the possibility of", etc.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:31 a.m.

    Well, "Bill in Nebraska," you caught me, I'm definitely not a Mormon, but I am a Latter-day Saint. Likewise, the returned missionaries with whom I spoke live far east of you and knew that. not being Mormon, I would not condemn anyone's honest feelings... It often surprises Mormons to learn that people from other religions have transcendental experiences, usually described as "being in the Spirit." It is upon these experience that many of them base their rejection of the restored gospel. Even members of hateful political groups experience catharses at their rallies. As Latter-day Saints, we must tease apart the profound satisfaction (thrill?) of being happily on-board with Mormon culture from true spiritual experiences--the former leading to a hangover of disappointment and depression, the latter to peace and joy and growth. The Church is a wonderful tool through which we may serve the Lord by loving and serving others, but Elder Bednar has said we shouldn't mistake the box for the gift... Please don't let me cause you to stumble. If an experience testifies to you that Jesus is the Christ, embrace it. However, Elder Bednar also thinks we should all seek growth through learning.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 6, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    To graybeac: I can honestly say that I have talked to well over a hundred returned missionaries and all of them have said that they loved their missions. Maybe these young men need to re-evalute themselves before putting such a answer together.

    I know of a story that someone once said of President Lee when doing team-ups with the missionaries. He told them that a mission is to prepare them to be better home teachers. Missionary service is essential and though for some it could be better served elsewhere, I wonder how these young men compared to such as the Young Missionary who gave up a lucrative sports career to go on a mission from Australia. Your comments make me wonder if you are actually a member or not.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Dec. 6, 2011 7:29 p.m.

    Of four return missionaries (all men) in their twenties in our stake with whom I have spoken, they reckon about eight converts that "might still be active" between them. All of these brothers are either in college or graduates and all but one agree that those years could have been better spent, serving the Lord by increasing the talents entrusted to them and being member missionaries. Three went to Europe, so the numbers could be skewed, but it makes one wonder. If the primary purpose of a mission is to "immerse" young men in Mormonism (a culture), let's just say so. How can someone exercise their free agency if they don't have the facts? Are they just burying their talents in cultural norms? As one brother put it, "I learned Russian.... What people in Russia want is someone to take them to America." Maybe BYU should offer study abroad for talented young men and women and call it a mission if they spend some time serving and tracting etc.?

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 6, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    I'm not sure what you are saying but what we learn in this life as far as knowledge will aide us in the life to come. We get to take our intelligence with us. Therefore, what is wrong in reading and learning from the great men and women of our time? What is wrong in learning how to make us better parents, husbands, wives, and children? What is wrong in reading further and modern day revelations? What is wrong in honoring our fallen men and women of the armed forces? Nothing, the Lord only says that we shall not make any engraven image and worship it. There is no worship in remembering or revering those who have given the last full measure of devotion to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  • MarieDevine Divine-Way Kansas City, MO
    Dec. 6, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    God calls us to increase learning from good books. Certainly good books are those where God has spoken to people around the world.

    God said we could all be deceived. IF we approach our holy books with the idea that all we have learned could be in error, and seek to see what God wants us to do, we will find the truth.

    Jesus said, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4, Luke 16:31) We cannot have the kingdom of God unless we follow Father's commandments.

    The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 command to make no image of anything in heaven, earth or under.... It commands that the Sabbath Day of rest is the 7th day, Saturday.

    Leviticus 23 commands holy days with no work days; we are not to add to or diminish from God's word. (Deuteronomy 4:2, 5:29)
    Our added holidays and memorial days honoring people are against God's word because they separate people and block unity.

    Greater peace and unity are available when press our leader for God's word as our national standard. Increase learning with God's wisdom.