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CommanderSouth last won the day on August 3 2023

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  1. Sorry for revisiting this after a few months. But I want to EMPHATICALLY state I am NOT saying "bedside imperfections are key to other's damnation". I am saying we need to learn to speak when God has spoken, and be silent when he has been silent. I guess text just doesn't carry enough context. We don't need to look beyond what he has given us, but also we need to stand firm in what he has. I feel bad that I made this sound otherwise. I'm simply saying that we need to be careful in driving those away when going to far. But, it has to be said (as you and others have), we need to make sure we go far enough, else we do ourselves and others a disservice. I'm happy to leave it at that.
  2. In one breath you aren't wrong. It's a way of grappling with thornier, less clear cut, issues of church history. The priesthood ban, current LGBT concerns, polygamy, and so on. Could every single one of these be wholly of the lord and there really isn't any confusion? Sure. I am wholly open to that approach. But I also see how, especially in the realm of LGBT issues, just handlining and saying "God has spoken, pound sand" is very possibly true, but can drive someone away unnecessarily. We can share the truth we have; we can be honest about things. But bedside manner counts. The doctor that curtly tells me that if I too much more pizza I will die and it is totally my fault, may be right. The thing is though, it's repellant, and will drive me away. Furthermore, we have revelation BECAUSE of the many important things to be revealed about the kingdom. The word of wisdom came from Emma pushing Joseph about tobacco clean up. We've seen stances change, in hindsight, it's always easier to see. Even Elder McConkie had to straight up say that we had less light with regards to the priesthood. If we were wrong, the problem is ours, disregard. With regards specifically to LGBT questions specifically, The Miracle of Forgiveness said about masturbation, that it led to gay orgies. It was vehemently condemned. As times, understandings, and perceptions changed, our language has softened. Our standards of chastity have not, but the way we speak to those has. People who used to believe attraction itself was chosen (through action or will, or whatever reason) have realized that is not (always) the case. The approach is gentler, but the standard is as firm as it has been. More people are open to the idea that this could lead to further changes. I am of that mindset myself. But even in the same breath, that is on God's timeline if it will happen, not mine. While my mind wonders about Gay sealings in a marriage, I don't expect Men to have children. Gender is eternal and is so for a reason. So, for me at least, the change desire is tempered. I hear people online complaining about division and confusion, that leaders are sending mixed messages. I don't see that. I welcome the softening of how we approach others. When the time comes, we do have to be firm, but I think there is a lot more leeway than some realize. I found out that post op transgender people can be baptized. I found this out in a video lamenting the decline of standards and complaining about confusion, will this person be able to marry, will they be able to hold the priesthood, and so on. A quick trip to the church handbook enlightened me. Post transitioned people can be baptized. They can be referred to and listed as their identified gender. They CAN NOT hold the priesthood as a trans man, and in NO CASE hold a temple recommend in a post transition state. So really, there IS not confusion. I worry that our more conservative members see this as an assault on fundamentals and are digging in their heels. I also worry that our more progressive members are thinking that this could lead to ANYTHING being up for change. I believe NEITHER is correct. There are things that can change, things that can't, and I still have a testimony of the brethren. I did with the children of same sex couples happened, even though I didn't understand it, and I do now, when that "change" happened. All I say about this is that, if change needs to happen, it will. If it does, do what you've always done, test the spirit. I say this because I know and have worked with trans folks. I want to be on the side that reaches out as far as I can to help them. In the end they have to respond, but I want to be part of the reason they come, not part of what drives them away. I KNOW that we have the truth. I KNOW we are the "only true and living church" on the face of the earth. But I also know if there are mistakes, "they are the mistakes of men". I'm willing to reserve judgment in case the Lord speaks. I'm not going to change what I'm doing or lower my standards in the mean time, but I am going to be open to further light. While you may worry about caving to pressure from outside, I worry about being those saying "a bible a bible". I simply think we need to know that we DO have all that has been revealed. But we also are looking forward to all that will YET be revealed. Sometimes the newer makes the old stuff make sense in a different way (and sometimes it doesn't). But as I said, I'm not looking for edge cases, like below: So that's why I don't have a problem with it. It helps me reconcile people who I truly believe haven't yet received an answer, with my also true belief that they will. That's what all this comes down to. I believe people may pray earnestly and not get an answer, because I have faith in them. But I also believe the church is true, because I have experienced that truth. I have to reconcile these, and this is how I do so. I do my best and leave the rest to God. My Mom loves God, and still speaks in tongues as a Pentecostal. I don't know why she hasn't been lead to the church when I've talked to her about it, and the verse comes to my mind as said also by CS Lewis... First, Romans 9:15 "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." Then John 21:22 "Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me."
  3. This is a major pillar of my testimony. Our vision of a God who doesn't condemn ANYONE, AT ALL (in the eternal damnation sense, he hates sin, to be sure). In fact everyone's eternity is spent as close to him as THEY allow themselves to be. And it is truly their choice, because the little bit that chooses in their core, however you word it, has always existed, and has always done, and always WILL do, exactly what it wants. Something something horse to water...
  4. I want to be clear that I am not trying to say that I think we aren't the "only true and living church" and that you can ignore the ordinances. If it sounded as such, then I was not clear enough. Also nice call back to someone talking right to me That being said, I am not advocating abandoning the exclusivity of "only true" for the inclusivity of "most correct". I am simply saying that both can be true. Our truth doesn't negate the good intent of other churches. You said you "Don't know any sane person who suggested otherwise." with regards to Mormonism being "all truth". I am saying that others, including the bishop in Mississippi who resigned, and to an extent, younger versions of myself, held the idea that all of the other churches are "abominable" and not celestial. The bishop made the mistake of thinking it meant those people were beneath him, I just had trouble reconciling the seeming good will of other Christians and the exclusivity of the celestial kingdom (insofar as that you have to have ordinances done by those having authority). All I have postulated is that PERHAPS the priesthood and effective ordinances we perform aren't the eternal truth in question, but a pointer to one. There are logic trains I can use to justify this, but that wasn't the point I wanted to make. I was just saying, if I can't reconcile why my mother hasn't joined the church when she loves God more than anyone I know, I'm not willing to simply say she "doesn't know" or "doesn't want to". I accept it could be either of those, but I also am simply ceding "God's mercy" as an option. It's the same with everyone else outside the church. Why would God be so exclusive if he has such power. There are only 2 options, he DOESN'T have the power, or he WILL be inclusive, and I just don't understand how. This is all to say, if God can do something for someone else, I have faith he will. I don't recommend betting your existence on it. So I don't condone rebellion. If God tells you to do something, do it. But if I find out late the ordinances I was doing were only a reflection of something "eternal" and not the ordinance itself, I'm not going to worry about it. When I found out the temple rituals were Masonic adjacent (if not wholly lifted) I cared exactly 0%, in fact, I applaud it, it makes sense. The endowment is covenants, what a beautiful, liturgical, way to apply them. I'm simply saying that if I found out that the ordinances and what not were meant to convey something MORE than just what they mean on the surface, and the MORE part is what is efficacious, then I would not be upset. Again, thinking that this somehow allows you to ignore it, in the off chance that IT in and of itself isn't what "saves" you, you are playing Russian Roulette with your soul. If God tells you to do it (and he has given US this "law") THEN DO IT. In this way, I think for some it might be more appropriate to focus on the "most correct" side when "only true" starts giving trouble. You can't abandon one OR the other.
  5. That is the one that is currently swirling about in my mind. My stance is that I agree. I do not believe truth has changed at all. I furthermore don't believe TRUTH will change at all. I think our understanding or perspective may change, our understanding my grow. But the more basic the aspect in question, the more enlightening the answer from the spirit will need to be. This is fair, and I concur. My language is as such based on discussions with my protestant, biblical inerrantist/infallibilist brother. I basically had to tell him that even if I found a true "mistake" in any of these, the church, scriptures, or whatever, it's because while they are OF GOD, they are NOT God. All of those involve mortal men with agency.
  6. Of course. Though I wonder if even that is WHOLLY true. If there are not edge cases where the law is applied differently to others, that is to say, if someone claims they read the BoM and received a prompting not to come to the church, I don't question it, I may tell them to be certain, and make sure, but then I have to have faith in God and the person. BUT, I'm not willing to wager my eternity on an exception. I'm just not willing to rule any out, you know, being a fallible mortal . I bring myself to "What is that to thee? Follow thou me." I do what the spirit tells me, I don't deny the experiences of others, even if I don't agree or understand them.
  7. Interestingly, I focus on the 13th verse, last comment, "who is in the midst of all things". To me that sets the tone. Light and truth go out from God's presence, he is in the midst of it all, but it doesn't have his existence solely/wholly because of him. It's like Madsen said in Timeless Questions, Gospel Answers. He calls the universe "self-existent" and I agree. Combining this with what you said feels, dare I say, tastes, like truth. This is where I am landing. I am open to nearly anything. This is also partly why I get frustrated at those who voice confusion at certain trends in the church with regards to society. Claiming that the church is caving to external pressure. I simply have faith that God will work it out. If I need to change perspective and see why XYZ is right/less right/wrong, then I have faith he will. If the church needs to do/not do XYZ in the long run, I have faith he'll help us do/not do XYZ. I take the approach of the farmer in the parable in which he keeps having "good" and "bad" things happen to him and his family. "We'll see". My faith is in God, not the church, not the scriptures, nothing else. He will never fail me. Not that I accuse anyone in particular of anything, just to be wary, and reserve judgment as long as possible. I'm about to revert to Pentecostal and start shouting and dancing (ironically, I never did back then). This is the truest of true things. Words describe things, THEY ARE NOT THE THINGS, and nothing is ever really encapsulated by a word (usually).
  8. On truth, Brigham Young is quoted as saying: As a protestant, for many of my 14 years of membership, I focused more on being the "Only true and living church" and not the above. I have found it useful to shift my perspective to the idea that the church is the "Most correct" of any church on Earth. While all truth is "Mormonism", it emphatically DOES NOT follow that "Mormonism" is all truth. I just watched a reaction video to the Mormon Stories video interviewing the Mississippi bishop who resigned from the pulpit. He honestly spoke about how he viewed those outside the church as "not worth his time" and that only members were "celestial material". To me, this is obviously a failure on his part for gross misunderstanding. But perhaps we could focus a BIT more on the "most correct" and less on the "only true". You obviously need both, but it seems some have the balance WAY off, even those in "leadership" positions.
  9. For clarity, when you say this, do you mean this truth finds it's SOURCE in God, or it is the truth he POSESSES? I ask because if it's emanating from him, I go back to the "God is the only self-existent being" idea. If you mean POSESSES, then yeah, that makes sense.
  10. I feel this as well. Honestly, Orson Scott Card's idea of "phylotes doing what they want" in Xenocide spells out this idea very well. I'm not marrying myself to it, but it is fully satisfying
  11. Absolutely, which is why I hesitate to call much "eternal" truth. Most things (or words/ideas) we have are LIKE the eternal truth, but still not all encompassing of it.
  12. I think we're on the same page. I understand my choice of words could have been a finer point, but I think we're in the same place. All "intelligence" exists in some eternal degree with the ability to "choose" to grow. Maybe it's an urge, maybe it's contemplated, but it's a fundamental, primal, thing. THAT is the core of what eventually becomes a spirit child of heavenly parents. I am especially on the same page where it relates to "eternal" truth. I have been pondering hard on free will vs nihilism. The only conclusion that made sense to me is the Restored Gospel. And you are very right, what we call truth IS true, but the actual truth is SO much more. So, it behooves us not to get stuck on our words, they are pointers, not the thing pointed to. BUT, we also need remember that the truth is what we believe and MORE, not less. Orthodox Christendom in all flavors is repellant (honestly, abhorrent) to me. Defined as, the "limitless" God that has no need and is by definition satisfied, makes beings, knowing many will ultimately choose suffering, but had no decision in their creation. The Restoration teaches a view that harmonizes what we see in reality and all true science, with the loving, personal, splendorous God that Orthodoxy TRIES to present. In this, there is peace for me. In this view, God isn't magic, he's REAL. I think the way we might word my first post is the simple, "We are eternal, as God is. We, and he, at our core, are some types of "will"/"intelligence"/"something that wants/chooses" as is everyone. While he is vastly far beyond us, laughably even, all intelligence is susceptible to growth, and it will, according to its desire." None of this is to remove the hand of God in directing and aiding, just to set up the premise. Because I find no other premise sound or satisfying. Though I am always willing to listen and broaden my understanding!
  13. My understanding of things, taking into account DC 93:29-34, the King Follet Discourse, and the idea that our agency predates our spirit, is that our spirit is uncreated (a combination of the previous 2 citations). Is it a fair enough reading to make such a statement: that our intelligence, the core whatever of who we are is a self-existing will? That plane upon which we reside is eternal, as we are. And the Gospel is the father's way to help us to progress to the perfections and fullness that he has. I'm not trying to say that God did or did not create the universe, just that logic necessitates SOME kind of eternal existence, and we are part of it, as a "self". I ask this as I'm trying to figure out what might be able to be called "eternal" truth and what might not. The only thing I can put at the center of everything is agency. Uncreated will is the core of existence. How these tie together, I'm not sure how much I can say, but I feel like the message of the Gospel is that we have a choice, and if we have a choice our will has to be self-existent, as it can't choose to be created. I set up agency as the center, because I don't see any way that a God without limits (not that I believe in one), would create beings he knew would choose eternal separation from him, and that this would lead to their suffering (even though in that traditional idea of God, he also makes the rules). I have more that I'm thinking of about this, but I want to make sure my premise isn't horribly flawed in some way I can't see.
  14. Yeah. I finally watched the video. Well at least half of it. I gave up. I don’t see deception in what he’s doing. I mean, sure, he’s saying he is searching for truth. But much like most, he thinks he has it so he’s not engaging too hard with the content. I don’t see that as maliciousness. I also don’t think he’s wrong. He says up front he wants to learn. And I believe it. He’s never said he is questioning what is true. You have to be open to the gospel (of any flavor) to be truly receptive. He isn’t. But I’ve never heard him say he was. He’s searching for truth in the broad sense. Not questioning what IS true. So until then as long as he witnesses like we witness, it’s a win win. Besides, if you don’t care what an evangelical pastor says, don’t watch his content I guess I just understood his witnessing as implied. The fact he’s engaging with us while still discussing his beliefs said that to me without words.