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  1. Like
    askandanswer reacted to zil in Doctrine and Covenants 130: 9=10   
    Follow the footnote to Abraham - I think he explains the reality of eternal hierarchy quite well.
  2. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Vort in Responses to Biblical Arguments   
    Just FYI, Steve, and not to be condescending at all (really): Any "problematic" question you are likely to asked has almost certainly been asked already, probably many decades ago, and has been answered. FairLDS (or whatever FARMS is calling itself these days) probably has a link to the answer. Jeff Lindsay, whom JAG mentioned, is a great resource. We actually have a pretty good group here.
    My only caveat would be: If you ask a question, you should listen to the answer. This is no reflection on you personally, but very often we have found that people questioning Mormonism, and especially professional anti-Mormons and those who listen to them, greatly enjoy asking what they suppose are "tough" questions, but strangely enough have little interest in hanging around for the answer. This is especially true when the answer is complicated or subtle, requiring a sufficient amount of background preparation to understand it. If you're willing to invest the time and energy to understand LDS doctrines and the LDS viewpoint, you can actually have all or most of your questions answered sufficiently to understand them. You may or may not agree with the answers, depending on whether you accept the principles on which the answers are based, but you will at least have a general understanding of the LDS viewpoint.
  3. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from NeedleinA in Adam & Eve idea, outside of the box?   
    He never said that sinning had to be a part of the learning process, but He set up a situation where nothing could happen until sin had been committed. From one perspective, it was a no-win situation. On the one hand, Adam and Eve could either commit a sin of omission by ignoring the commandment to go forth and multiply, and keep the commandment not to eat the fruit, or they could commit sin of commission by eating the fruit and thereby be enabled to keep the commandment to go forth and multiply. The commencement, although not the continuation, of the plan, depended entirely on some sort of sin. 
    I suspect that God was just waiting for the fruit to be eaten before He came back with His additional instructions. it's also unstated how many times previously God had returned and given other instructions prior to Him giving the instructions that we are told of in another place. 
    There were two special trees in the garden. If I had been Adam, I would have made fruit salad, rather than just sampling one type of fruit at a time.  I wonder what outcomes that would have produced? 
  4. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Just_A_Guy in Adam & Eve idea, outside of the box?   
    This is a bit of a side track, but I thought that under the rules of the game, the spiritual and physical predicament that we are currently in are necessary and unavoidable parts of the whole plan of salvation. Adam and Eve certainly committed the acts that led to our current situation, but according to the rules under which they were operating there was no way that they could have avoided doing so without jeopardising the broader plan. Adam and Eve, by their actions created the situation but He, not they, created the rules that led to the situation.
  5. Like
    askandanswer reacted to NeedleinA in How to Discern Human Error from False Prophecy   
    If by divine revelation, you mean actual "doctrine" of the church vs. B. Young's opinion, here you go. This is the difference: (
    "When revelation is doctrine for the whole Church, it comes to only the First Presidency AND Quorum of the Twelve Apostles...  The prophet and President of the Church can receive revelation individually that becomes doctrine when it is sustained by the united voice of the First Presidency AND Quorum of the Twelve Apostles"
  6. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Sadliers in How to Discern Human Error from False Prophecy   
    There is no other way. Every other way is not of God:
    And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? If it be some other way it is not of God." (D&C 50:19-20)
    There's no other options unless one is not of God - baptized members are supposed to be of God. Joseph Smith taught that a prophet is only a prophet when acting as such (it's in his personal journal). A prophet is only speaking the word of God when speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. So yes, if you were discussing football with the prophet he would likely be speaking opinion rather than under the influence of the Holy Ghost and it would not be a good idea to place bets on his opinions.
    You have cited other situations such as Brigham Young claiming that Adam is God. That was his opinion, not something from the Holy Ghost. And it's the same thing with Bruce R. McConkie regarding blacks and the priesthood, with Jospeh Fielding Smith saying that he didn't think we'd ever land on the moon, with Paul Dunn as he exaggerated some of his war stories, and so forth. To trust them without relying on the Spirit is to blindly follow them, and the Lord has never sanctioned blindly following leaders. In fact in D&C 50:19-20 we see that doing so is not of God.
    Receiving by the Spirit isn't that hard, it just takes practice and fine tuning. There's a simple way to receive by the Spirit and it does not require revelations or inspiration though they will often come while receiving by the Spirit. To do it a person first makes sure the Spirit is with them. They will know the Spirit is with them because they will feel the presence. The presence of the Spirit is summed up with ALL the feelings listed in Galatians 5:22-23 - all feelings must be present else it must never be assumed to be the Spirit. Once the Spirit is positively being felt then begin reading or hearing what is desired to be checked. The Spirit will never testify of a falsehood so by monitoring the presence of the Spirit one can know whether they are receiving truth or not - the presence will remain or get stronger if it is truth, or it will wain if only partially true or a precept of man with some truth, or it will withdraw if it is false. Of course another possibility for a withdrawal is if we personally did something to offend the Spirit (angry thought, negative attitude, etc) and in that case it is not known whether the statement was true or false since we caused the withdrawal. Aside from that if we know it is the Holy Spirit then we can trust what is being received by the presence or absence thereof.
    While working out of town once I visited different wards on different weeks. One week I went to a ward and the Spirit was clearly being felt. Sacrament services went well! Come Sunday School the instructor began the lesson and the Spirit's presence witnessed the truth of each statement made. Point after point the Spirit was testifying. It was great! But at one point the instructor paused and the Spirit left. I was beside myself trying to figure out why the Spirit suddenly left when I was enjoying the basking. The next statements from the instructor were false doctrine that was readily recognized even without the Spirit withdrawing. Once the instructor moved away from the comments the Spirit returned and proceeded to testify the rest of the class. The Spirit knows what a person is going to say even before they say it and that was why the Spirit withdrew during that brief pause. 
    That is the most basic way to receive by the Spirit and is the easiest way. It may not be easy to master it, though, since it takes effort to monitor the presence of the Spirit while also trying to hear what is being said. It takes practice. Beyond that there's many other ways to also receive from the Spirit. Usually it will be through an enlightened understanding that gives direction but no definitive answer. Other times it will be straight answers. And yet other times it can be through revelation or visions. Anything from the Spirit is excellent and while receiving by the Spirit it is not uncommon for the Spirit to give further insights. And while at it, strive for that presence to be with you 24/7 - it is well worth it!
  7. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Steve Noel in A Different God?   
    I appreciate your response. You are the first Latter-day Saint I have seen answer this way.
  8. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Steve Noel in A Different God?   
    In the course that my God and I are following, one of the many determinants of our current relative positions is starting time. God started this course before me so He has therefore progressed further than me but we are on the same road. I believe that in pursuit of the course that He and I are now on, there is nothing that He has done that many living now will also do t some point in the far distant future (where time might not have a meaning). Although there are major differences between my God and myself, I believe that with time, faith, and works on my part, and grace on God's part, the number and significance of these differences will change, although some differences will certainly remain.
    As to whether or not we worship the same or different Gods, I believe that there are a lot of strong and overlapping similarities in our concept of God as many other posts have pointed out. However, I worship a being of tangible flesh and bone whereas I believe that many protestants worship some kind of immaterial amorphous being. It seems to me that the difference between an immaterial amorphous being without body, parts of passion, and a loving, physical being with flesh and bone casts some doubt on whether we worship the same God. The concepts are very similar but the physical reality is totally different. There were also a great many similarities in the concepts of Baal and Jehovah, but Baal quite often dwelt in the work of man’s hand and had a very physical reality from Jehovah.  Worship of one certainly did not count as worship of the other.     
  9. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Blackmarch in WWJD   
    I can't help thinking of the situation described in 3rd Nephi 19: 1 - 3. 
    (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 19:1 - 3)
    1  AND now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home.
    2  And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them, and that he would also show himself on the morrow unto the multitude.
    3  Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude.
    Would it have been better for them to exceed the speed limit in their desperate hurry to be on time to sit at the feet of the Saviour and hear His teachings, or would it be better for them to obey the speed limit and possibly miss out on that precious moment? Should they have discarded man made law in order to listen to the source of divine law, or would it have been better to obey the man made law because that is what the source of divine law teaches us to do?
    What would Jesus do? Possibly He could have stayed a little longer than He actually did and/or maybe given a repeat version of the same teachings the next day so that those who were late because they kept the speed limit didn't actually miss anything. But maybe I'm wrong in suggesting this because that is not what Jesus did even though it sounds like quite a logical and reasonable thing to do. And that highlights again the difficulties of trying to imagine what Jesus might do. 
  10. Like
    askandanswer reacted to zil in Which is Worse? How bad is sugar?   
    Wait, is this my ex!? Who let you back in here?!

  11. Like
    askandanswer reacted to estradling75 in Question re D&C 85: 2-5   
    Or you could understand that Context matters when revelations are given...  A change in context can bring a change in how the Lord wants us to handle things.  In this case as for Vort mentioned the United Order was action.  Faithful members were given inheritances... inheritances that would pass down the family line.
    If someone was faithful and gained an inheritance... then lost it because of faithlessness... then their inheritance would be given to another.  However  kids or grandkids of faithful members would be getting their inheritance because of their ability to prove their "genealogy" in the church records.  You wouldn't want them getting into fight saying this inheritance "Rightfully" belongs to them, because their ancestor had it first.
    Now a days the church doesn't hand out inheritances.  So it has no real reason to restrict genealogy.  It is however trying very hard to offer salvation to every soul... That mission is greatly benefited by knowing every soul possible
  12. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from The Folk Prophet in WWJD   
    I believe that demonstrating and increasing our willingness to be obedient to law is one of the main purposes/objectives of mortality. This idea is supported by the teaching that obedience is the first law of heaven. ( I also think that every time we obey law we both demonstrate and increase our willingness to obey law, and every time we disobey, we lessen or weaken, or show less willingness to obey law. I think that Christ would, and would want us to, always do that which increases our willingness to obey law. I think that Christ’s attitude towards obeying the law is well demonstrated by His willingness to provide financial support to a cruel and despotic government, as recorded in Matt 17:27, simply because that is what the law of the time required.

    On another matter, I note that the acronym WWJD is one of those acronyms that takes longer to say ( 8 syllables) than does the whole phrase what would Jesus do (5 syllables
  13. Like
    askandanswer reacted to zil in Question re D&C 85: 2-5   
    The real answer is that I have no doubt that the church is currently handling membership, church history, and genealogical records in the way the Lord wishes - living prophets and apostles, on-going revelation, doctrine vs principle vs program, and all that jazz...
    And when all the books are opened, there will be no confusion about who is or is not worthy of what inheritance in Zion (which seems to be the real point in this section).
  14. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from unixknight in is being overweight a sin?   
    Starting with the idea that our bodies constitute some sort of temple, I'm reminded of the fact that there is a great diversity of size in our latter-day temples, from the huge Salt Lake, Washington DC and Cardston Temples, to the tiny Hong Kong and Manhattan temples, the plans and size of all of which were approved by prophet. If its good enough for one type of divinely approved temples to come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, then perhaps the same applies to the fleshy type of temples. 
    I'm also reminded of the somewhat portly nature of Brigham Young, who probably did not engage in a great deal of sinful action, and the Primary song which so earnestly encourages us all to Follow the Prophet.    
    And if it is a sin to be the wrong size, and we have a spouse who is not the right size, then that adds another layer of meaning to the teaching that we should hate the sin but love the sinner.
  15. Like
    askandanswer reacted to mordorbund in Question re D&C 85: 2-5   
    The Book of the Law of God is an actual, tangible, earthly book. For whatever reason, Joseph had his scribes keep it in a record called The Book of the Law of the Lord. It is the record of the Church (really a library of records) on the general level. For an idea of what this book is intended to capture, you can review your own local ward records and scale them up to the general level. An introduction to the keeping of Church records (complete with links if you want to dig deeper) can be found here.
  16. Like
    askandanswer reacted to NeedleinA in is being overweight a sin?   
    I will remember this the next time I need to vomit... bummer
  17. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Edspringer in "Christians" obtaining the Celestial Kingdom   
    Belief and good works are not enough. 
  18. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Jojo Bags in Healing and Faith   
    I'm usually quite cautious about asking "why' questions because it seems to me that whatever the answer to the why question might be, it should not change the way we are supposed to be living. The principles of righteous living and obedience, and what we need to do to gain salvation are the same for all people, all the time, regardless of our individual circumstances. If I am not healed because I lack faith, that fact in no way should increase or lessen what should be my already diligent efforts to increase my faith. Whatever the reason for something happening, or not happening, if it is a bad thing, it should already be the case that I am not doing it, and if it is a good thing, it is already the case that I should be doing it, so whatever the reason is, it should not change what I am already doing or not doing. We should be striving to live the gospel to the best of our ability regardless of what happens or why it happens. 
  19. Like
    askandanswer reacted to Vort in Healing and Faith   
    Interesting that cleave and cleave are opposites.
  20. Like
    askandanswer reacted to estradling75 in President Uchtdorf's Saturday morning conference address   
    The problem with the "assumption" that more Woman will make it then Men is that it is based on how things "appear" now (aka Women are active in larger numbers) and that is a crappy way to make prediction of who is going to be exalted (Which according to Elder Oaks is an unrighteous judgement no matter how you do it)
    To make the claim that God created a defective gender (a gender inherently less likely to be make it IS a defect) makes God a respecter of persons preferring one Gender over another.  Same general idea holds if the imbalance exist but God didn't create it, in that case, God being a righteous and fair judge has to compensate for the aspect that is out of the control of the individual.
  21. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Sunday21 in I'm going to put together a centerpiece for my lesson   
    will it be a big quilt with the word "simplicity" in the centre of it?
  22. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from Backroads in I'm going to put together a centerpiece for my lesson   
    will it be a big quilt with the word "simplicity" in the centre of it?
  23. Like
    askandanswer got a reaction from zil in I'm going to put together a centerpiece for my lesson   
    will it be a big quilt with the word "simplicity" in the centre of it?
  24. Like
    askandanswer reacted to MrShorty in President Uchtdorf's Saturday morning conference address   
    Thinking about this, a couple of scientific examples:
    1) Among the first "laws" I recall learning in physics and chemistry were the two basic "conservation of matter" and "conservation of energy". As simple as these two basic laws are, a good portion of understanding the physical world around us gets caught up in following how matter and energy move through the system we are looking at. Some of this is going from the generic "qualitative" statement ("energy is conserved") to more "quantitative" statements about how much energy is present and how much is in what forms (potential, kinetic, electrical, chemical, heat, and so on). As simple as the basic laws are, one can also spend a lifetime trying to quantify and explain the different phenomena that follow from these basic laws.
    2) Euclidean geometry (which we all know and love) is based on five simple postulates. (For those that want to remind themselves what they are: ). As simple and almost self-evident as these postulates are, one can spend a lifetime and more exploring the theoroms and other consequences and properties of a geometric system based on those five postulates. If desired, one can explore other geometries by simply changing one or more of these simple postulates.
    I suspect that the Gospel is similar. There are simple principles that form the basis of the Gospel. These principles are simple enough for a child to understand. However, one can spend eternity exploring how to measure these principles, and what follows from the foundational principles, and how these principles apply to oneself, and so on.
  25. Like
    askandanswer reacted to zil in President Uchtdorf's Saturday morning conference address   
    1. The sermon on the mount.  Each individual requirement is simple, but to master them is a project that will take most, if not all, of us longer than mortality to master.
    Think of all the hypotheticals and requests for advice that come up on these forums.  And we can't all agree on what ought to be done in these scenarios.  Mortality can be confusing, and figuring out how to apply those Gospel truths we know can be a challenge.
    2. Basically, anything that's not doctrinal, but which leadership or peers press for (or which we pressure ourselves to do for the wrong reasons).  Remember President Uchtdorf's own examples about knitting something for each RS sister before a lesson - potholders, or something (Forget Me Not)?  Or the one about the "simplify" quilt (from the talk you're referencing, I think)?
    I remember a young woman posting about how a priesthood meeting in the middle of the week would go long past the time it took to cover business, and consist of an hour or more of socialization before the person in charge would end the meeting and have a closing prayer.
    I've heard of wards (esp. YSA wards) having activities every day - that would sure feel overwhelming to me.
    I could probably make these up all night long.  Hopefully you'll get real examples that are better, but, FWIW:
    How about if some RS Pres obsessed with appearances insisted the teachers bring fancy decorations on Sunday, in addition to whatever lesson they prepared.
    Someone pressuring you to buy software / an app / online service in order to work with them "their way" in relation to a calling.
    How about uncoordinated leadership: A SP says "read the BofM for 1/2 hour per day", the Bishop says "read the NT for 1/2 hour per day", the SS and RS teachers say "read the lesson each week", your HTers and VTers challenge you to read the entire Ensign each month, and two talks from the most recent GC each week...  Pretty soon, you can't do anything except read things all these people have challenged you to read.  The principle of reading the scriptures, lessons, Ensign, and GC are all good, but each person should be able to figure out how to accomplish this best for themselves rather than having a bunch of people doing something like this.  (No, I've never seen this happen, it's just an extreme example of something that could happen if people didn't coordinate / think first about what they were doing.)
    From my perspective, the Church is moving continually farther from giving members lists of things to accomplish.  I think that's the point - each person figures out how best to apply Gospel principles in their life - we no longer need busywork.