james12

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Everything posted by james12

  1. james12

    April 2019 Conference Predictions

    I've heard some talk that missionaries will be able to pick the length of their mission anywhere from 18 to 24 months. Guess we'll see.
  2. We must receive the power of the priesthood as found in the temple. This can only be obtained through the Fathers who hold the keys to that power. Joseph earlier in the discourse said, "Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood" (D&C 128:11). They alone hold the keys, they alone administer the power to those who will receive it.
  3. james12

    We learned of a weakness at the Council?

    Before entering this mortal realm we had weaknesses of varying sorts and degrees. These weaknesses were not well exposed because of the glorious situation in which we found ourselves. In short, other people were good to us, we didn't deal with hunger or pain, death or disease. But make no mistake, we had weaknesses, we still needed to grow. Joseph Smith once said that, "He [God] has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself..." (TPJS 354). We were and are those weaker intelligences. We are going through a portion of that instruction now. So Adam and Eve did not give us a sinful nature, they simply placed us in an environment where our weaknesses were exposed. Because of this fact our second article of faith states, "We believe that man will be punished for his own sin and not for Adam's transgression".
  4. james12

    Forgiveness and degrees of glory

    If one is to be saved with the just I believe both will be required. But any person, at any time, may change and turn to God and it will be well with them.
  5. james12

    Forgiveness and degrees of glory

    While we may indeed suffer for our sins, I don't believe there is any such thing as paying for our sins by suffering. When a person sins he must repent, period. Suffering does not pay for sin, it never did, it never will. Repentance, or in other words turning to God and changing, is the only way to extricate ourselves from sin. When the Lord says, "repent or suffer" (D&C 19:4) he means that we will suffer until we repent. However, he is not saying that if we suffer we do not need to repent. That simply is not true.
  6. james12

    Forgiveness and degrees of glory

    All will repent who obtain a kingdom of glory, "And thus did I, the Lord God, appoint unto man the days of his probation - that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life, even as many as would believe; and they that believe not unto eternal damnation; for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall, because they repent not." (D&C 29:43-44). As it says, those not redeemed repent not, all others will repent and obtain a kingdom. Just as others have said, the kingdom we receive is according to the glory by which we are quickened, "They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened" (D&C 88:28). That quickening has to do with who we have become.
  7. It's an interesting idea and the war in heaven very well could be a glimpse of what is a much larger "war" for the souls of men across worlds. In fact, I'll think on that. But I am skeptical about the idea that the war in heaven will end here. This idea appears to partake of some of the same earth centric philosophy related to the Savior of the universe being born on this earth because it is the most wicked/righteous.
  8. Brigham Young believed that each world had it's own Savior: I personally believe that each Savior is also the creator of the world he is to save. After he has finished his work he will become a God and will have sons who will become Savior's of yet other worlds. This is how the worlds are exaulted.
  9. I like your line of thinking. I would say that having belief or even a desire to believe is a good enough starting point. You have probably read or heard the below from Elder Holland but it bears repeating and consideration. He said: Pay particular attention to the last thought; it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have the the truth you already know that will really allow you to gain greater faith. I have, and have had, many questions about details in the BoM, about Joseph Smith, about church history, about stories in the Bible, etc, etc. But I have learned to ask them while firmly planted in the fertile soil of faith and belief. I can ask a question of the scriptures and the Lord can trust me not to throw all the knowledge he has given me away if the answer is not forthcoming. He answers many questions through his spirit, but if there are some questions I don't receive answers to when I ask, then I just move on. Perhaps I'll come back to them at some later date, but I know I'll find answers in time. What I have gained has been hard won and I'm not going to be so faithless as to give that up and crumble to bits if one of my many questions is not answered to my satisfaction or within a certain time table. So keep moving forward in the light you do have. By so doing your light will illuminate one area and then another area. Moving in this fashion, step by step and bit by bit, you will grow until your light becomes a flame of unquenchable fire leading to eternal life.
  10. james12

    When divorce seems to be the only option....

    Sorry for_our_experience my heart aches for what you and your children are going through. Most of the advice has been good. I would just make a few comments that I hope will help. Determine what is within your control and what is not. For instance, your wife may try to enter a relationship with this woman at work. You can do very little to nothing about it. So don't take that on yourself. Let that worry go. Don't personalize her problems. Not all of her problems are your problems. Her drinking will create problems for herself. Try and help her avoid them but she has made this decision of her own free will, so don't take the pain of her drinking on yourself. Unfortunately you will be forced to deal with the consequences of her actions but you are not the cause of the situations she has created. Focus on what you do have control over. Your children are going to need you during this time. These kinds of situations rock a child's life. Focus on them. They are going to need a soft place to fall. Keep the Lord in your life. Your world is crashing down, this is the time you need him. Don't make the mistake of pushing him away. Now, this does not mean you take on extra church responsibilities. I am talking here about your connection with him. Strengthen it. It will be of great help in the coming months and years. I wish you the best.
  11. james12

    Lost and scared about life.

    Here are my thoughts. I don't know you personally so take this with a grain of salt, but here are my thoughts. First the financial situation: Fill out the paperwork and apply for grants. I did this when I was 24 and was able to get some of school paid for. When I went to school I also worked part time at a place that paid for part tuition and books. Keep going to school and get that degree. Second the degree: While a lot of people say things like, "enjoy your career and you'll never work a day in your life" the fact of the matter is work is work (surprise)! It can be a bit monotonous, it can be hard, and it can wear you out. Even something you love can do this. Also note that a music degree generally does not take you very far in providing for yourself or a family in the future. But choose a field and get the degree. Third, the school: If you feel like you need to go to UVU then go talk to a councilor. See what credits will transfer and what it's going to take to make the move. You do not need to be stuck at LDS Business Collage. Social situation: I suggest you get involved somewhere. Maybe that's institute, maybe that's your singles ward, with music, or maybe some other group. Go do things. Twenty-four is a great age and you have the world ahead of you. Don't get down, things will work out. Sometimes it feels life is dragging but you'll move forward.
  12. james12

    The Meaning of Atonement

    There are a number of theories on the atonement. Some are generic christian theories and some are specifically LDS. General theories include the moral influence theory, the ransom theory, the satisfaction theory, and the penal substitution theory (many LDS members talk in these terms about the atonement). Some specific LDS theories include the demand of eternal intelligences for justice theory, the empathy theory, the divine infusion theory, and the compassion theory. You could do a search for any of these to learn more. I myself am partial to the divine infusion theory as far as it goes.
  13. Part of the creation story in Abraham 4:26 contains the words, "Let us go down and form man in our image, after our likeness". It struck me one day that they indeed did come down, but perhaps not in the way I had imaged it. I realized that the story of their coming down might be a story I had heard a thousand times. It is the story told to Nephi by the angel. Nephi relates it as follows, "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" Or in other words, "Do you know how God came down?" Deep meaning in those words! Nephi continues, "And I said unto him I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh...and I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me; Behold the Lamb of God, yea even the Son of the Eternal Father!" So they indeed did come down and are in the midst of forming man in their image after their likeness. But the process is not yet complete and their coming was not just to Adam and Eve but to all of us that Christmas morning.
  14. You know C.S. Lewis had a very perceptive comment about becoming a Christian, it may apply to you and Mormonism: See, joining a church is not about "them". You do not know other people's struggles you do not know their challenges. Of course there are nasty people, there always will be. But there are also good people. In fact, you said one of the best people you know attends our church. So in the end It has, and always will be, about you. As C. S. Lewis says, in a real sense you are alone with God. Consider this and think on it.
  15. Christ will not dwell on the earth but will visit it from time to time as Joseph said, "“That Jesus will be a resident on the earth a thousand [years] with the Saints is not the case, but will reign over the Saints and come down and instruct, as he did the five hundred brethren [see 1 Corinthians 15:6], and those of the first resurrection will also reign with him over the Saints.” (https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-joseph-smith/chapter-21?lang=eng#note23-). Note also that the righteous saints will not dwell on the earth but will likewise visit righteous individuals on occasion. Sure those born during the millennium will have a chance to work and progress as did we in our time. But there is no doctrine stating that we will redo mortality during the millennium.
  16. I have always loved this message from Elder Holland. I first saw it back in 1996 published by Bookcraft under the title, "Christmas Comfort". It really hit home in 2001 when my own father suffered and heart attack and was in the hospital over Christmas of that year. They were bleak days. But his more thoughtful message, not just of good times but of hard times and the balance life offers, helped carry me through.
  17. james12

    Original Book Of Mormon

    @Blossom76, As was previously noted a very detailed analysis of the Book of Mormon variants was completed by Royal Skousen. He wrote four volumes comparing and discussing all the differences. Here is a link to the online version of the first book: http://interpreterfoundation.org/books/volume-4-of-the-critical-text-of-the-book-of-mormon-analysis-of-textual-variants-of-the-book-of-mormon/part-one-1-nephi-1-2-nephi-10/. Most of the commentary is rather boring since it discusses very minor scribal errors or printer errors but I suggest you turn to it when you are wondering about why there is a difference.
  18. Joseph in the King Follet discourse has much to say about the mind of man. I have tried to understand his thinking. He tells us, "I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man - the immortal part, because it has no beginning." Note here that he is speaking of the mind of man. He distinguishes separate parts of our mind. He terms one portion the "immortal part" because there is no beginning about it. Perhaps today it might be termed consciousness. It is the portion of our intelligence that is aware. If we go back and back in time I believe we will find that we always had some unique awareness. Perhaps at some point it was almost completely undeveloped, but it was there. This part had no beginning! As Joseph tells us, "the soul - the mind of man - the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessons man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better." And so do I. If we always existed as a conscious entity in some form what did God do for us? Joseph again says, "All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement." And that is what God has done and is attempting to do, namely, enlarge and enlighten our minds. He is taking our nascent awareness and adding light and understanding to it if we will accept it. The scriptures testify of it again and again. Paul says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2). Or Alma, "And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the see, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow ye must needs know that the seed is good. And now behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand." (Alma 32:33-34). The beginning then as Genesis defines it, is a round of this enlightenment. The Lord creates an earth where we may dwell and be tested that our consciousness may expand. The first words we here from God are these, "Let there be light", and of course there was light. Perhaps this ties well into the way John speaks of the beginning. He always links the beginning with one who comes to this earth who has reached the pinnacle of awareness and enlightenment, this of course is Jesus Christ. He is and was a light shinning in darkness. He came to give us light and life. This then is the beginning. Perhaps not primarily in terms of time, but in purpose.
  19. james12

    Depression, testimony stuggles.

    Our feelings are largely a result of our thoughts, and our thoughts are based on how we interpret the events that happen to us. When some event occurs we run it through a mental filter. This mental filter is simply the automatic thoughts that we entertain to explain the event. Over and over we allow these thoughts to define the event, even if our thinking is incorrect. When our thinking is distorted, it is as if someone were sitting next to us telling us how bad we are. In your case it sounds like your automatic thoughts revolve around what Dr. David Burns called "presonalization" and "should statements" (see "Feeling Good" David D. Burns, p 42-43). Work on these distorted thoughts and you will start to feel differently. To personalize some negative event means to see yourself as the root cause of it, even if you are not responsible for it. In your case it is the loss of your daughter. You are not at fault for this but in your mind, you tell yourself you are. That is such a heavy load, and if you let it, that distortion will weigh on you until you can hardly move forward. The other distortion you may be dealing with is "should statements". It may work something like this for you: since your unrighteousness caused your daughters death you "must" be even more exact in your obedience. This type of false reasoning does not motivate. Instead it leads to quite the opposite. Since you are pressuring yourself about what you "must" do you feel weighed down by guilt and shame. Perhaps you can carry on like this for a time but the weight will build over time until something has to give. So let me suggest a starting point that has helped me from time to time. Its a tool called "Daily Record of Dysfunctional Thoughts". If you look it up on the internet you will find a template you can print out. This tool allows you to analyze the situation, your emotions, the distorted and automatic thoughts, the rational response, and the subsequent outcome. At first you may need to use this every day. If you are feeling the weight of life on you use this form to analyze why. It can help. As you start to see your situation more rationally you will be able to see where you can step back. You will give yourself permission to let go of the weight you carry. This is of course does not happen overnight and a good therapist will help in this effort. But if you start to correct your thinking I believe you will begin to find a more complete joy in life and in this gospel again. Keep your chin up, there are brighter days ahead!
  20. james12

    Damnation

    Brlenox, Although long, I have taken the time to read through your posts on this thread. Above is what I believe to be your summary of why we are guilty of a broken law and why we need the Savior. It is an interesting premise, however, I have a few concerns with your line of reasoning and I'll present a few questions. 1. How are we culpable of shedding blood and thus deserve the death penalty? I can see how you may use this "avenger of blood" concept to argue that Adam is culpable for all those that would be born into this fallen world, but how is it that we are culpable of death? 2. Why is it that you believe this strange Law of Moses death penalty requirement equates to the law of the Celestial Kingdom? Even today we would not use this refuge law as a basis for justice. It is archaic. It would be much better just to determine someones innocence by interviewing them and others and find motive, intent, etc. Don't you believe God has an even better system then ours, and one that far exceeds this "avenger of blood" law? Now just one other note, please put the bottom line up front in your posts. You can then add supporting evidence afterwords but for clarity and ease of understanding it would go a long way. Thanks.
  21. I'm not sure where this idea of getting another shot at life during the millennium is coming from. This is not doctrine.
  22. I have read parts of ACIM and skimmed the rest. I believe it contains some profound truths while other parts are confused ramblings. Helen Schucman who I believe was a psychology professor says she heard an inner voice from Jesus who gave her the words. Here are a few quotes I like: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" in no way evaluates what the do. It is an appeal to God to heal their minds. There is no reference to the outcome of the error . That does not matter (ACIM 2:16) Wherever there is fear, it is because you have not made up your mind... Only your mind can produce fear. It does so whenver it is conflicted in what it wants, producing inevitable strain because wanting and doing are discordant. This can be corrected only by accepting a unified goal. (ACIM 2 VI 5-6) [Perceive the body as a temple]. The next step, however, is to realize that a temple is not a structure at all. Its true holiness lies at the inner alter around which the structure is built. (ACIM 2 III 1) There are also some concepts that I have considered based on what I have read. These are not exact quotes, just combinations of thoughts I have had based on the book. Sin - A mistaken idea not in accordance with the law of cause and effect. Sin allows illusion to take the place of truth. Repentance - Turning from error in thought and action to correct thinking. Or in other words from sin to God. Forgiveness - A healing of the mind, made possible through the oneness of the spirit, wherein Christ is the mediator between us and God. Faith - Confidence that one is doing the will of God.
  23. james12

    The Three Levels of Heaven

    Anatess2 and Traveler, I'm not misunderstanding how other religions view baptism. I realize they see it as serious. But this is an issue of control, and comparing baptism to someone shooting themselves in the head is a terrible analogy. I see you both don't agree. That's fine.
  24. james12

    The Three Levels of Heaven

    Except that an otherwise healthy individual would not kill themselves unless they had some serious mental disorder. If a Catholic husband believes baptism in the LDS church is like his wife killing herself, then he must assume she has some mental disorder. Right? If this is how he thinks then there is no Bible discussion that will change his mind. He must first accept that she is a rational , fully functional individual.
  25. james12

    The Three Levels of Heaven

    Yes that could be, and it would be worthy of a short discussion between husband and wife to insure there is mutual understanding on significant points of doctrine (though not necessarily agreement). But my comments are particularly directed at the analogy of selecting a different baptism being compared to shooting oneself in the head.