@ jeanieKaren R. here. I think it's likely that we'd
agree on more things than not. IMO, the fundamental difference between us seems
to be the framework we use to interpret what we see and experience. I think
both are capable of beneficial and unintentionally harmful results. However,
mine provides more safeguards against the latter because of its standards of
evidence. Absent testable, falsifiable evidence, I cannot honestly justify
giving myself license to begin or persist in actions that cause harm.Religious frameworks often don't include this constraint. Some appear to
value fidelity to doctrine over avoiding harm and justify this with, "God
will sort it out" or "God knows more than us. We'll understand one
day." And the justification for believing this? Trust in feelings and
personal experiences that religions have taught their believers to interpret in
faith-promoting ways. That's circular and circular arguments don't
promote anything except confirmation bias.In case it isn't
clear, I'm not saying that I believe I'm more ethical than you or
believers generally. I'm saying that I think my framework is superior in
enabling me to make ethical choices.
Karen R,First, I am not giving people licence to act on their
beliefs. They have it, unless it is unlawful because society has deemed certain
actions harmful. Second, in spite of all I don't know, I am
certain there is a God and an afterlife. I wish we could have a
conversation face to face. I'd like that. There is more than can be typed
in a comment section to clarify my meaning and why I some things I am certain
of. Without a full conversation on these issues I doubt we will really
understand each other clearly. My suspicion is we might agree on more things
than we think, although admittedly, not all.
@ jeanie"Is nature brutal? Yes. Is God responsible for that? I
suppose so..."If your god is responsible for nature, then how is
it not responsible for the suffering that nature causes? You even make the
distinction between nature-caused and man-caused suffering, but still fail to
lay responsibility for the former with the one you suppose is responsible for
it. I don't understand that."...given that we all have
different measuring sticks how do we proceed as a society of humans that have to
live together on this planet?"Stop giving people license to act
on a declared certainty without testable, falsifiable, repeatable evidence to
back it up. We can believe whatever fanciful narratives that appeal to us, but
to allow us to act on them when harm is known or likely strikes me as
irresponsible and unethical."...experiences outside my own
wishful thinking."How do you know this?"God can
sort it out when we are all dead..."Isn't this a sign of
certainty? Because, if truly coming from a place of not knowing or uncertainty,
this would amount to an abdication of responsibility. Now is the time to sort
things out because we don't know/are uncertain if there's another.
Karen R. -God may have used evolution, I don't know. Is nature
brutal? Yes. Is God responsible for that? I suppose so. But is God responsible
for human suffering, nature or man-caused? No. I can't parse that topic out
beyond that. "...is this a sincere question?"It
IS a sincere question, but not a personal one. What I mean is, given that we all
have different measuring sticks how do we proceed as a society of humans that
have to live together on this planet?And yes, you and I agree on the
answer - as a collective society we don't know who's measuring stick
is correct. Another commenter indirectly said, every measuring stick fails at
some point.I don't know everything. I don't have certainty
on exactly how this world came to be. I don't have certainty on a number of
things. Certainty, by definition, is not faith. But, if I claimed
that a loving God was not real I would be dishonest. There have been too many
experience in my life to question that, experiences outside my own wishful
thinking. I also believe we can have different measuring sticks and
get along. IMB (In my belief) God can sort it out when we are all dead, and I
believe He will.
@jeanie“By what measuring stick can we all agree to, so we can
know for sure who is wrong and who is right? Who or what should be the ultimate
accepted authority?”Although not perfect, the scientific
method is probably a good starting point. A claim being testable, repeatable,
falsifiable etc will help remover bias and error. Unfortunately many faith based
claims are not falsifiable. However, some claims in the BOM, bible are testable
and it would seem that science is not vindicating those claims. Faith in the
face of contradictory evidence is misplaced IMO.
Impartial, revelation can come from another source other than The Father, and
it's not the kind of revelation you want to receive, but sadly many listen
to that source.
@ jeanieIf there's a misunderstanding, your issue appears to be
with 2 bits' claim that your god chose to use evolution. Pre-mortal
existence or not, he puts the choice of tools in your god's hands."By what measuring stick can we all agree...?"Respectfully
and truly with no incivility meant, is this a sincere question? I ask because
it's coming from the context of a tradition that proclaims that it does
know - and more accurately than all others. Nevertheless,
here's my answer: We already know the answer to your question. Many
believers will even admit to it. They'll admit that we know only a
fraction of what's out there to know...and then invoke "faith" to
give them the right to declare certainty anyway.But the factually
accurate answer is we don't know who is right and who is wrong. So then
the question becomes, what's the most ethical way to proceed from there?
IMO, when we know that presuming to know has led many humans to actions that
cause grievous harm to others, IMO it's irresponsible to grant people that
authority. Particularly in the case of faith. Anything - absolutely anything
can be believed on faith alone. It's a terrible measuring stick.
Another question is, are Human's interest in God? many are not. And
because they are not God has no interest in them. So they don't feel his
I don't misunderstand, I have a different perspective than you."Humans had no impact on this. We didn't make these choices." If you believe, as you seem to, that we only exist in this life, your
logic makes sense. From an LDS perspective, the picture is much
bigger. We believe we are eternal. We lived as spirits before we were born and
will continue as ourselves after death. We existed before the world was created
- through whatever means. The choice of the first mortals, the first embodied
spirits, brought death and suffering - a temporary condition. "Of course being wrong doesn't matter after you die. What matters is
what being wrong leads people to do (or fail to do) BEFORE they die."By what measuring stick can we all agree to, so we can know for sure who
is wrong and who is right? Who or what should be the ultimate accepted
@ jeanie"According to Latter Day Saint theology, no. In fact,
mankind is responsible for the fallen state of this world, not God."You're misunderstanding. 2 bits is claiming that your god used
evolution as part of its design/creation of the world. Humans had no impact on
this. We didn't make these choices. Evolution is a brutal, mercilessly
inexorable process. It was before we entered the scene and remains so
independent of our imperfections. So if the claim is that a god chose to use
it, then the responsibility for that choice is the god's. "If I'm wrong when I die what will it matter?"Of
course being wrong doesn't matter after you die. What matters is what
being wrong leads people to do (or fail to do) BEFORE they die.
Karen R. said: "... If the design and/or the tools used to implement
the design were the cause of negative effects like pain, suffering, agony or
misery, is the designer responsible?"According to Latter Day
Saint theology, no. In fact, mankind is responsible for the fallen state of this
world, not God. But God has provided a remedy in his Son Jesus Christ who
ultimately paid the price for all suffering due to nature or human choices. In LDS theology God is not bound by time, but we are in this life.
Therefore, the suffering we experience has limits. The imperfections of this
life, historical and current, are not the final state but a temporary one. On a personal note, I can see the logic that - believing I am an eternal
being, there is a loving god supremely aware of me, and that life's
suffering is temporary - could be an "opiate", a false idea to get me
through. Given my spiritual experiences I firmly disagree with
that, but should I be wrong I am more at peace with this idea than the one that
says this life is it, there is nothing bigger than myself to get me through. If
I'm wrong when I die what will it matter?
@ 2 bits"If evolution is guided and used as a tool to make
things into what is needed..."Now that's an assumption."...it doesn't make the user of the tool
'Amoral'."I didn't say that it did. I suggested
that it makes your god's use of the tool an immoral act because its effects
can be so brutal."I just know God didn't use anything
super-natural in designing or building the universe. Everything he does he does
by natural means. Which means he would use physics, gravity, quantum
physics..."I would characterize these as more assumptions, but
let's say you're right. If the design and/or the tools used to
implement the design were the cause of negative effects like pain, suffering,
agony or misery, is the designer responsible?
@one old manThe topic isn't Trump. But I get it. When you're
obsessed everything in the world is about the thing you are obsessed with.To check your Assumption, the words you wrote and Assume others say (or
at least secretly think)...Did anybody actually say, "I know
that our President is a good and righteous Man"?Who?I've never seen anybody say that. And yet... that's what you are
basing your opinion on (Something that was never said, and I suspect nobody
actually thinks)?It's easy to make yourself feel smart if you
run around pretending people think silly things they don't think. I could
probably do that to Liberals (make up stuff I THINK they think, and pretend they
actually said it, or secretly think it but just don't say it). But
that's bogus. We should deal with reality. Not assumptions and political
stereotypes.I support the President. Whether it's Trump, or
Obama or Hillary. Doesn't mean I think they are "good" or
"righteous". Just means they are President. I accept the winner of
the election as my President. Try it. Whether the winner is a D or an R.
@KarenSaying "People believe their gods are moral. Evolution is an
amoral process"... is kinda goofy logic.If evolution is guided
and used as a tool to make things into what is needed... it doesn't make
the user of the tool "Amoral".Is a hammer amoral? Yes. It
doesn't have any morals. But does that make anyone who uses a hammer to
make something "amoral"? No.I'm saying evolution is
just another tool. It's not God. It's a tool (as is all nature,
science, everything in the universe, even stuff we don't understand).The tool is amoral. That does not make any being who uses that tool
amoral.Picking up a hammer (an amoral tool) and using it does not
make me amoral. I think God uses evolution and nature like we would use a
hammer, or a saw. Just on a much larger scale (the universe).That's not gospel. I just know God didn't use anything
super-natural in designing or building the universe. Everything he does he does
by natural means. Which means he would use physics, gravity, quantum physics,
etc, stuff Einstein and Hawking never imagined (which God has full understanding
of).The universe wasn't created with a magic wand. It was
created by nature (guided)
skeptic, I've read Moroni 7 a lot over the years and pondered it. There
are only two sides, good and evil. So you do the math.
@FlipphoneRE: "If you question if God is with you.... Then the answer
is, God isn't with you. God is with those who wants him in there
life"...---I don't believe that. I believe God is with
all his children, whether they acknowledge him in their lives or not. He
doesn't love any of his children more than he does another (even if they
don't believe he exists).Now... can he communicate with you and
guide you, if you don't communicate or even acknowledge his existence?
No. He won't force you. It's up to you to listen to him if you
want him to guide you.But he is with all of us. Some just ignore
him, or assume everything that happens in the universe is pure chance and
everything on earth is just good timing by nature, not planned.Assuming the earth, universe, and precise conditions needed for us and all the
creations to live on this planet happened by accident/chance, is like believing
the wind could blow through a junk yard and accidentally assemble a Boeing 747
by chance of every part landing in exactly the right place at exactly the right
time.I think intelligent design and an understanding of natural laws
we still don't understand was involved.
@ 2 bits"What makes you Assume evolution wasn't part of the
master plan."People believe their gods are moral. Evolution is
an amoral process. It's indifferent to pain, suffering, misery, love,
goodness, etc. If you or I used such a process to forward a plan of our making,
we'd be considered monsters unfit for decent society.So I
didn't assume anything. I thought it through and realized it doesn't
make sense. Or, if such a god does exist, it isn't one I'd care to
follow since I'm more moral than it is.
@Karen R.RE: "Also, what we know of the evolution of the natural world
and human culture looks much more like what you'd expect in the absence of
a master plan"...---What makes you Assume evolution wasn't
part of the master plan. That God doesn't use evolution as a tool to
create/change things?I think he knew the earth would evolve, and
creatures on it would evolve. He probably even used evolution as a tool.God uses and obeys natural laws (physics, chemistry, biology, evolution,
etc) when he's creating.If he exists and created the earth and
the universe... he did it using the same tools laws humans who don't
believe in him attribute to chance.There's nothing in Science
God doesn't already understand and use. Including evolution.===RE: "History also tells us that we can do this with or
without a belief in gods"...---It doesn't matter to God if
we believe or not.God either exists or doesn't exist,
regardless of our belief. Our belief isn't required for him or any of his
creations to exist. The earth and many other things exist, whether we believe
in God or not.God either created them or didn't... whether we
believe or not.
@flasbackRead and implement Moroni 7 and understand it classifies over
three fourths of the world's population (your brothers and sisters) as
belonging to the devil and destined to darkness. yet they ,like you, are all
supposed good children of god. Please read with an open mind and report back. I
have used my limited posts, but perhaps someone else can solve the Moroni's
contrition. Is there only one good apple on the tree. And the church is the
sole possessor. It is like Adam and Eve all over again.
Thomas Jefferson and others, go read Moroni 7 and report back.
Another skeptic, Mica McGriggs, a psychologist and community activist in New
York City, said, "There's this middle ground where less orthodox
members are living. And it's like the church is drawing a line in the sand;
you're either on the Lord's side or you are not."Mica
hit the nail right on the head, inadvertently.
If you question if God is with you.... Then the answer is, God isn't with
you. God is with those who wants him in there life.
He/She/It is apparently interested in certain human beings. I think
history is one massive example of those who God apparently favors and those who
he does not.Or maybe God just made the laws and let's the
universe govern itself on those laws.
I think I would believe more if we had more prophesy and less policy from
religious leaders. 😀
It depends, do you think Moses law is still in effect. Or do ya think Jesus paid
the price. Ya think your in the last days of do ya think that it was 3000 years
I don't know how you distinguish between self and a god when you can't
prove that the latter exists. It's like telling the difference between an
empty glass and one containing invisible water.Also, what we know of
the evolution of the natural world and human culture looks much more like what
you'd expect in the absence of a master plan. Unless the master plan is to
look like there's no plan. And like humans aren't the object of it
all.I think what Matheson describes makes a case for the benefits of
mindfulness and intentionality. Human history shows that we really are capable
of transcending our animal instincts when we apply these with ethics and service
to others in mind. History also tells us that we can do this with or without a
belief in gods.
@NoNames;"What about when that bias drives a person to dislike
and disparage others?"-- What do you call it when you
discriminate against someone for being gay if not 'dislike and
disparagement"?"With rare exception, religion teaches people
to live better than they otherwise might be inclinded to do. "--
Incorrect. Even your holy book teaches the opposite. "Kill thy neighbor in
the name of thy god" can be found throughout the book. Consider that many
churches (including the Mormons) signed a brief supporting discrimination in
public places - Not very "better life" IMHO.
The Earth was here long before man or any religion he created. The Earth will
be here when man and his God have departed.
NoNamesLet's tally up the countless numbers who died in
Inquisition, Holy Wars, Crusades and Wars between countries of differing
religions. Lets toss in numbers of people killed by Religionists to justify
their mystical claims to absolute truth. And never forget that the Pope for
centuries was both a religious and a secular leader whose minions plied death on
others. Shall I go on?War, death are not the exclusive purview of
atheistic countries (well they did worship their leaders as "gods", but
I'd leave that out of the rebuttal for now). Painting a tarbaby on
atheists for war and death is disingenuous at best.
@nonames,Religion dosn't make the world a better place anymore than
other superstitions, folktales, fiction and literature. It does provide a
platform for deceit for the pretentious to boast of their superior knowledge and
kinship to an unknown and non provable god. It is an easy money maker and life
style for many, and no one can prove them wrong because it is an intangible and
in material concept without prove. What makes the world a better place is good
people doing good things in the light of reality.
@Thomas Jefferson: "Because I think religion makes the world a worse
place."What do we call a bias that runs contrary to all
available evidence? What about when that bias drives a person to dislike and
disparage others?Ignore for a moment whether there is a god,
let's look at religion vs a society without religion.With rare
exception, religion teaches people to live better than they otherwise might be
inclinded to do. It also provides community and infrastructure such that needs
can be made known and resources marshalled to meet those needs.Consider on the work of Mother Teresa, the Catholic Relief Society, the LDS
Welfare and Humanitarian Services. Consider on the Boy Scout Troops and other
worthy youth groups supported and operated by churches. Remember the countless
hospitals, universities, orphanages, and adoption agencies started or operated
by churches.In contrast, anti-religious societies such as Nazi
Germany, Soviet Russia, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Laos, Cambodia, and
North Vietnam murdered 100 million of their own citizens while starving,
torturing and degrading countless more, all justified by "science"
including Eugenics.Religion does much good.
Begs the question: If there wereno believers, does "god" even exist?
God has not given up on Man kind, Man kind has given up on God and God will not
live where he is not welcomed.
joe5:"Jefferson: Why is this so important to you?"Because I
think religion makes the world a worse place. "Why would you
waste your time trying to destroy my faith?"Your church sends
missionaries all over the world but I should just be quiet? Pfftt "What gives you the right to challenge them?"The first
amendment."Why do you think my relationship with God is any of
your business?"You posted here in public. You made it public
business."I'll openly share...frankly, I have the right to
do so."So do I. david:"So someone will tell
me...eyes that see. Impossible to happen without God."This is known as
an 'argument from ignorance' logical fallacy."Science,
rational thought and reason absolutely support the reality and existence of
God."If you had evidence you would post it. Instead you post
fallacies. Religion makes anti-scientific claims. The virgin birth, walk on
water, resurection, etc. IJ:"We are here to walk by
faith."Faith is the worst way to find truth. You can believe anything
and use faith as the reason.The 9/11 terrorists had LOTS of faith. Does
that make the right?Faith is confirmation bias writ large.
"May logic and reason help you rid your mind of confirmation bias."
This is the problem with those who do not know. They tried using logic and
reason (wanted a sign) to "prove" God exists - and that will never work.
We are here to walk by faith. Those who do know the sweetness of the Spirit
that confirms truth. Try trusting the Spirit, let go of proof by sight, and
you, too, can know Him.
Mr. Matheson, as always, I appreciate your thoughtful article. President Nelson
has been a remarkably inspired prophet and a real blessing to millions. As have
his predecessors, he has moved the needle of the world for good. I love and
sustain him as a prophet of God. My life has already been
significantly improved by following his counsel and direction. It is my witness
as well that God is interested in mankind, be they of whatever religious
background, nation, culture, race, color, or gender. God cares for all mankind,
for he created us all.What an incredible contrast President
Nelson’s leadership style is from many in Washington D.C. and in other
areas political or otherwise. Whether you hold him a prophet of God or a mere
man, it would be hard to argue that we wouldn’t want many more like him
leading our communities, nations, and the world. He leads with humility and
love. He teaches truths, which if followed, will significantly improve our
communities, nations, and world. I thank God for men and women like
President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy Watson Nelson!
Science, rational thought and reason absolutely support the reality and
existence of God. True and pure religion is the science of learning of
God's attributes and characteristics in a manner that shapes us into proper
discipleship. So in the New Testament we read that pure religion, undefiled is
visiting and caring for the sick, the afflicted, the widow--this because we are
practicing the attributes of God: love, selflessness, sacrifice our own wants
in behalf of others, etc.Remove faith and religion, and society
devolves into baseless, meandering, shifting values. We see this more and more
in society today.I know some will complain of the seeming disciple
who is revealed to be a hypocrite. My response--we all fall far short of Godly
attributes. Faith and discipleship requires concerted focus and lifelong effort
in pursuit of becoming better.Is God still interested in human
beings, the writer asks? The evidence is all around us.
Thanks, DN, for this article. I think Thomas Jefferson and others
here state valid concerns and difficulties. There are all sorts of ideas in the
world about how we obtain revelation and what it's like to receive it. In
the early days of the Church of Jesus Christ there were all sorts of confusions
among the Saints. And I'm sure there still are. If you look at
the scriptures, there are different modes with different levels of clarity
recorded. -Talking face to face with God, Jesus, or angels. -Talking with or hearing the voice of God or angels, but not seeing them.-Being shown things in vision.-Receiving thoughts, strokes of
intelligence, impressions, nudges, and feelings. There are accounts
of these things happening while awake and dreaming. Finally, there are accounts
of instructions appearing on or being written on walls, tablets, and objects.
The problem is that the clearest of the modes above don't
happen often. And it's sometimes difficult to know when the latter is from
the Lord or something else. It's not always easy. Nelson recognizes that,
stating last week that the Lord needs those "who intentionally work to hear
the voice of the Spirit with clarity."
The Church will go forward "boldly, nobly, and independent," and God is
able to do his work.
I find it very difficult to disbelieve in God--the Creator. Think about a
foundational law of science: that a system tends towards disorder unless energy
is put into maintaining order (Law of Entropy). So someone will tell me humans
evolved spontaneously from a system that was in disorder. Somehow, DNA and the
helix formed independent of any outside influences, in such a way as to create
proteins, and to create differentiated organ systems. Those proteins
differentiated into the central nervous system, nerves with complexity/ion
pumps, membranes, etc; and a brain, muscles, skeletal, the pumping heart, eyes
that see. Impossible to happen without God. Simply impossible.
And then to consider the complexity of the animal kingdom. I understand there
are not enough atoms in the universe to account for the number of computer
simulations required for a random start to creation. It is mathematically and
scientifically impossible to have started without a Creator.I
believe in God, and I believe God did not create us for no purpose at all. God
has purpose in the creation. Religion helps to reveal that purpose, and our
I attended end of the world parties on two separate occasions on dates predicted
by a self professed prophet of god. He bilked thousands out of their lives to
support him. No one is offering any proof that a healthy dose of
skepticism is a bad thing.
Kind of ironic and sad that from among the quarters of society most likely to
speak about a person's individual truth--as if truth varied from one person
to another--we are also most likely to see absolute declarations that since they
have not (or will not admit to or remember) experiencing revelation or other
evidence of the divine, then certainly nobody else has ever done so.Well, here is my truth:God lives. He is our father and He loves
us. He cares about us and wants the best for us.Like a toddler, not
understanding why her dad lets her fall rather than just carrying her
everywhere, we humans frequently are incapable of comprehending why God must let
us struggle and suffer in order to grow, rather than just making life a
paradise.There is much I don't understand.But
I've personally felt God's presence, received of His revelation, and
cannot deny His existance nor personal interest in me and the rest of
humanity.I respect (and mourn) that others have not experienced or
recognized the same. But I will not allow your lack of experience to detract
from what I have experienced.Do not attempt to attack my truth. By
your own admission you've not experienced what I have.
@Thomas Jefferson""Questions: Do you think the pope gets personal
revelation? "How about the Mullahs in Iran?"Yes. I
believe God speaks to all decent people trying to live good lives. I believe
that includes the Pope, Mullahs trying to live good and peaceful lives, and
millions of regular believers. God is no respector of persons and loves all of
His children. And so He reveals His will to those of sincere heart who will ask
and listen.I believe the Prophet and President of the CoJCoLDS holds
a special position as God's mouthpiece on the earth. I respect that others
do not so believe."How do you distinguish between your thoughts
and this personal revelation."I don't try very hard to make
that distinction. I look to the outcome and fruits. That which will bring good,
I try to do. That which is unworthy, I try to avoid. As I grow toward the kind
of person God wants me to be, my own thoughts should more closely match His
inspiration in more cases.There are times when it is clear to me
that I have been inspired from outside my own being.If you've
never experienced that, I'm sorry. It is an amazing and humbling
experience; Hard to explain, easy to explain away.
Boyd Matheson: Is God still interested in human beings? Undoubtedly. Evidence?
We're still alive. Earth still rotates & revolves with life saving
regularity.Real question is, are humans still interested in God? Do
they pay much (if any) attention to him; his doings; commandments?That's what is at question. Among members of my church, The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, over the years, I have ardently,
earnestly, yes, even diligently, tried to understand the scriptures. Even often
hard to understand Isaiah, & other challenging passages, supposing they are
important to me, to us.When I feel I have uncovered meanings &
get glimpses, & attempt to share these, I find few, if any,
interested—not only in my understanding, but in the scriptures themselves.
Like Nephi, "...I am left to mourn because of the unbelief,....,of men; for
they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given
unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be. 2 Nephi 32:7They are waiting for scriptures to be expounded only by GA's. In this
regard, they don't appear to believe in "personal revelation", as
Nephi did, following Lehi's example of seeking God's help
Sorry but the religious right forfitted any credibility when they refer to
others as relativist long ago.
It is interesting how people can not demonstrate distinguishable talents or
material characteristics of a physical nature, but they can entertain others
with their tales of phenomenal powers of communicating with god and insights to
a great spiritual unknown spiritual wold that all these amazing spiritualist
from all the many different religions and fantasies can not agree on what is god
or what is a common experience. For the most part there is probably more
reality in the game of thrones than there is in the minds of would be god
I appreciate this man's religious perspective; political viewpoint, never!
Personal revelation and revelation concerning all mankind are two different
things. I can (and have) received personal revelation concerning myself and my
family, however, I do not, and have not received revelation about what the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or any other members of society
should do. In fact, were that to happen it would be proof that God was not God,
since He said "My house is a house of order" and "Surely I will do
nothing save I first reveal my secrets unto my servants, the prophets".Of greater concern to me is the prophesies about the last days, and how
the hearts of the children would turn from their parents, and the hearts of the
parents from their children with this bold statement that in the last days
"Were it possible, even the very elect will be deceived". If God
revealed himself to all of us, our very agency would be threatened. Joseph
Smith spoke about how people tried to get him to deny his revelations, but he
said "I knew it and I knew God knew it, and I dared not to deny it." I
feel the same way about the things that have been revealed to me.
Jefferson: Why is this so important to you? Why would you waste your time trying
to destroy my faith? I'm not trying to convert you but it seems very
important to you that I have no faith. Why is that?Your experiences
are not mine. What gives you the right to challenge them? Why do you think my
relationship with God is any of your business?I'll openly share
my experiences with anybody who is interested and, frankly, I have the right to
do so. It's ironic that one post asks if I will challenge his revelation
that Joseph Smith is not a prophet and the very next message challenges mine.
Why is it that you expect me to respect your experiences when you are completely
disrespectful of mine?I have my ideas why you respond this way but
I'm not going to waste any time worrying about it because you have to live
with whatever attitudes and behaviors you choose just as I get to live with the
choices I make.I just can't figure out the motivation of
someone who spends his time trying to destroy something that give a person
happiness, comfort, confidence, and has proven itself to be successful for many
decades.I'm sure you can find a better use of your time.
Impartial: Is that what you think revelation is for? That question was answered
for me half a century ago. Have I gained knowledge of divine truths in my life?
Yes, now and then. But that is, by far, the vast minority of the revelations I
have received.The real sweetness in revelation is the guidance
I've received and the confidence to proceed even when the end was not in
sight. It has been the little pushes to be in the right place at the right time
to affect a person's life, often someone else's instead of mine. It is
the assurance that I am living my life in accordance with the will of God which
helps me overcome despair, discouragement, frustration, anger, loneliness, and a
host of other defeating emotions. It is the knowledge of who I am and what is in
store for me after I die. It is the wisdom to know how to deal with a wayward
child or an angry wife or an uncomfortable work situation. It is the ability to
make better decisions instead of just relying on my own limited
understanding.Hey, if you feel like you had a revelation about
Joseph Smith, who am I to argue? It has absolutely nothing to do with whatever
has been revealed to me.
@ joe.Yeah, I thought I got personal revelation when I was a
believer too. In short I dont believe you get personal revelation but at least
we share one thing in common. I feel sorry for you too. Questions:
Do you think the pope gets personal revelation? How about the Mullahs in
Iran?How do you distinguish between your thoughts and this personal
revelation. Can you hear an audible sound?
@joe5 - South Jordan, UTApril 15, 2019 2:47 p.m.I am always amazed
that skeptics seem to think that, because they have not received revelation from
God, nobody has. Nothing can be further from the truth. And revelation is not
limited to President Nelson. Millions of people have experienced it."So, if I told you I had a revelation that Joseph Smith wasn't a
prophet, you'll take that as gospel? How can you say I'm wrong? See
the issue most people have with people that claim to be prophets?
On Day One, man created God. On Day Two (and every day after), man created
excuses for God. @Thomas Jefferson has it exactly right.
I am always amazed that skeptics seem to think that, because they have not
received revelation from God, nobody has. Nothing can be further from the truth.
And revelation is not limited to President Nelson. Millions of people have
experienced it.Detractors and skeptics can challenge that all they
want but all they do is so their personal lack of revelatory experience. Their
skepticism can not take my experiences away from me.Actually, I feel
sorry for such people. They are missing out on the sweetest parts of our mortal
experience. I say that speaking as one who has received personal revelation many
times. It is real.
IJ said:"To the skeptic, to those who don't know - go to your own
sacred grove. Pray with a sincere heart and with real intent, the intent to
follow what you will find to be right, and he will hear you and answer your
prayer. "Making the assumption that we didnt try everything
before we came to the conclusion that the prophet was just a man who outlived
the others. A man who has feelings and has been conditioned to think those
feelings are divine revelation. You assume I just didnt try hard
enough so I didnt come to the conclusions you did. Well I did. I tried
everything. But once I came to the conclusion that Joseph Smith made it
all up based on stuff mostly made up by Saul/Paul which was based on stuff made
up by ancient Jews then finally everything made perfect sense. May
logic and reason help you rid your mind of confirmation bias.
To the skeptic, to those who don't know - go to your own sacred grove.
Pray with a sincere heart and with real intent, the intent to follow what you
will find to be right, and he will hear you and answer your prayer. No one can
give you the knowledge you will seek except He who is the author of truth. God
bless you in your search.