brotherofJared

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brotherofJared last won the day on December 9

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About brotherofJared

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  1. brotherofJared

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    I'm just wondering, why do you feel you need to share this counsel with me?
  2. brotherofJared

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    I apologize for using your post to clarify my point. It was a debate I had with myself whether I should or not and I chose incorrectly. I won't make that mistake again.
  3. brotherofJared

    Not believing in the traditional Christ

    I agree that there isn't a label that descibes our form of worship. One of those labels that isn't accurate is monotheist. My pick for the closest label that fits our belief system is polytheist because there are three Gods in the Godhead. Three separate and distinct beings. Now, back to the question at hand, why would God condemn me for believing as I do, even if it was wrong? The point being made here and on fairmormon is that our belief, a 3 in 1 God is not that much different that what most other Christians believe. The stumbling block comes in the idea that God the Father, is an immaterial being without a body. We believe he has a body and yet, we all believe that there are three Gods who are one. Most other Christians can no more claim they are monotheists than we can. But again, what is this a point of contention? Why would God condemn anyone for not correctly understanding the character of God?
  4. brotherofJared

    Not believing in the traditional Christ

    By the definition of a pantheon, if there are three Gods in the Godhead, by definition. However, I don't believe we worship the Godhead. I don't even know how one could do that from our religion's perspective. The idea that we worship a pantheon is false since we worship God the Father and as much as I think McConkie got a lot of things wrong, I gleaned that from one of his talks which happened to be about heresies. Saying this, generally, we pray to the Father as Jesus indicated that we should. That is not meant to degrade or subordinate Christ in any way. I know that there are occasions when prayers were offered to Christ and he didn't stop them from doing so, but I have to believe that those were special occasions.
  5. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    It is neither heretical nor is it deadly. Purgatory is spelled out in D&C 76 These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the blast resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work. The principle qualifying factor between any of these glories is who one is willing to accept as God, from what I can tell. Telestial, accept the Holy Ghost or the being best described in the creeds, The terrestrial accept Jesus but not the Father and the Celestial accept the Father. The other major factor is the glory they are willing to abide, meaning the law they are willing to obey. If one can progress from hell to the telestial kingdom, it seems that their only limit would be based on what they were willing to obey and who they were willing to accept. I see no reason we cannot see a person who is willing to accept the Father and obey the Celestial law cannot advance, like all the other sinners to be in the Celestial kingdom with them. Like others have stated here, it is not likely that they would be willing to do something for eternity that they were not willing to do for a small moment in time. However, with encouragement from family, it must be feasible that it could be done. As far as I know, nothing but McConkie says otherwise.
  6. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    Exactly! With McConkie, it was either my way or the highway and McConkie got a lot of things wrong.
  7. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I believe that the statement that Joseph Smith made meant, simply, that God was once a man on an earth just like we now are and has experienced all that we now experience. In other words, God is one of us. He was dispelling the myth that God is a being that lives outside of time and space and has no connection with us at all. No amount of study about what God did would lead one to God. In fact, I would think that a neutral study of Christ would lead a person to question whether Jesus knew what he was doing because it all relied on things that were not yet realized and still aren't realized. However, if one is convinced that Christ is who he said he was, the study would be quite different. It's not the study of the character of God that brings us to him or even enables us to strive to be more like him, but; there is a separate element which draws us to him which cannot be found in books or even association, had we been alive in his day. There are two things that I believe lead to this, 1) His message is familiar to us, we knew him before and heard this before. and 2) the inexplicable blessing of a witness that He has what we are looking for, that He is the way. Then our study of him will be more meaningful, but such a study will not reveal how truly close to us He actually is. To get this "first principle", we needed a teacher sent from God.
  8. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I believe that members of the church have a pretty good idea of what they are getting into with this whole Celestial kingdom thing, especially if they are married with children. But the Celestial kingdom has something for everyone who wants to be there. Singles get all the power, but no added glory and there will be those that have no power but get to be there and just basically go along for the ride. So, if one just wants to visit friends and family, they will be able to do that. I don't think there will be any "if you don't do your chores, you'll be relegated to the Telestial kingdom for 2 Millenium" kind of situations.
  9. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I think it's interesting to note that his son also had differing views.
  10. brotherofJared

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I did teach that to my class and they all revolted. Now I'm not in the EQ presidency anymore. LOL .The temple endowment clearly shows a movement up and down the rungs and as far as I can see, there is no difference between Romney's and Smith's statements concerning the rungs of Jacob's ladder. These are all temple related. As I was thinking about this, we symbolize the Terrestrial world in the temple, but in reality we are still in a telestial world. IOW, when we go to the temple, we repeatedly climb that ladder only to return to our telestial world. Joseph also indicated that by sealing our posterity, family, in the temple, we can reach through the eternities and bring them with us or words to that effect. The idea is that a lost son or daughter can be recovered from their condition and brought up with us. How is this possible if Bruce's concept of being locked into a particular kingdom is correct. We already know that many who will live in the telestial kingdom will arrive there after spending time in hell. The workings of life hereafter is not well known and there is very little doctrine concerning it. However, it is evident that many have asked questions about it and some have obtained answers that, when it was received, it was significant enough to be included in the scriptures. Two instances come to mind, though there are many subtle statements, mostly made in parables, but the two that come to mind are Joseph Fielding Smith's preaching to gospel to the dead and Alma the Younger's explanation about the state of the soul betwixt the time of death and the resurrection. Outside of these, there is precious little so everything else is speculation. I personally think McConkie taught the gospel according to McConkie. He said several things that I just can't accept, so I wouldn't rely on him as the final word on anything. He is one GA who has had to apologize for more statements than any other GA I know, but a lot of members still accept what he said as gospel and I think that is why I had such a hard time with my lesson. The source of my topic actually came from Elder Oaks' talk referring tot he woman who wanted to know if she would have a separate house or would have to live with her husband's other wife in the same house. The gist of that talk was that we not dwell on speculation nor teach it in our classes. Specifically, he stated that such conversations are ok for small intimate groups but are inappropriate for a public discourse. Joseph Fielding Smith made this statement: Those born under the covenant, throughout all eternity, are the children of their parents. Nothing except the unpardonable sin, or sin unto death, can break this tie. If children do not sin as John says, "unto death," the parents may still feel after them and eventually bring them back near to them again.... If this is true, it seems that parents can reach their children and bring them up with them. How is this possible without the possibility of moving up from one capacity to another, from one glory to another? Joseph Smith said pretty much the same thing in the KFD. He said this continues until the resurrection. It would have to also continue in the spirit world in that time between death and the resurrection. The question then becomes, when is the resurrection and frankly, I don't think anyone can specify when the last resurrection will be, but I suspect will will be a sufficient time for every person who will have lived on this earth to accept or reject the teachings of Christ. We cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to do. I personally believe that every person will obtain the kingdom they are willing to accept the principles that govern that kingdom. We might think that given the chance, everyone will want to do what God does, but I don't think that's true. What God does is hard. It's painful and comes along with a lot of grief, but it also comes along with a lot of inexplicable joy. There are some people who simply are not willing pay the price.The joy they have without the grief is enough. And what about those who had the truth here and then turned away? That is not really a subject we can judge. I know we teach there are no second chances, but how can we say who really had it the first time? We can't. I would never suggest that anyone decide on these ideas that they can let go of the iron rod and play in the mist of darkness because even if they ende up in the great and spacious building, they might still have a chance at celestial glory. Those who are on the right path have so much the advantage over those who never had it and over those who decided to take a vacation from it. I am curious about what others have said on this subject... Good topic.
  11. brotherofJared

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    My point was that sin isn't always or even the most common reason people leave the church (It may be the most common reason people become outspoken and align with obvious anti-Mormon propaganda after they leave). We make the assumption that everyone goes to church because they have a witness that it's true. I believe the majority (mostly among the youth, but if among adults, it's 50 50 I think) of people who attend, don't have that witness. My biggest challenge came after I had a witness of its truth. When I wasn't active, or should I say, when I was actively not being active, I had no problems with the church whatsoever. Once I started going to church, I was super excited about the good news and then one day, some anti Mormon guy showed me some material from the Journal of Discourses and I was floored. I honestly felt that the church was lying to me and I was offended. Was I doing some sinful things then? Yes, but no more than what I do now. Sin had nothing to do with the reason I felt so betrayed. People are having to deal with this all the time now. It has nothing to do with sin. A husband's wife refuses to marry him in the temple because of polygamy (eternal polygamy). Parents are hurt that their grandchildren can't be baptized until they are 18 (old now, I believe and no longer policy). Good members all their lives and bam, out of nowhere their faith is challenged. Mean and hurtful things that the church does, even though we can reason that it wasn't done to hurt us specifically. These things have nothing to do with sin. In fact, sometimes it is repented sin that causes the pain the most. I listen to some conference talks and I think, baloney. Some of us will carry a scarlet letter for life and we have to deal with it everywhere we go, even if it was our fault that it got put there. Some of us will have to deal with the consequences of those things. I have one friend who has been rebaptized but still can't hold the priesthood. He's 60 now. Every ward he moves too, it's a reevaluation of the person. It doesn't take long to realize that something isn't right. He always manages to fit in, but it makes it hard to keep going. The reasons to go to church have to overcome the reasons not to go to church and it will take more than the promise of better things after we're dead to do that. Fortunately, the reasons do come. My challenge was easily overcome with a prayer and some pondering. I realized that the church wasn't hiding anything. The information was in our own Journal of Discourses. It was the way it was packaged and presented to me that made me feel that way. But I had a reason to push through the fog, the mist of darkness, so-to-speak. A lot of people don't and that's the reason they leave. A new member of the church discovers that marriage is really really super important in our culture. So, important that exaltation depends on it. He's floored. Comes to church after discussing it a couple of times and then disappears for good. Another new member attends Temple prep class and out-of-hand, it is discussed that Satan and Christ are spirit brothers. That closed the chapter on his membership. What's the solution? Some think we shouldn't talk about these doctrines. Well, for sure, it isn't to eliminate sin. And likewise, since we aren't the Holy Ghost, it isn't that we should instill the Holy Ghost's witness in them either. We can lead a horse to water, but we can't make him drink.
  12. brotherofJared

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    I was making a cynical objection to the statement to the quoted reason why people leave the church. I believe people leave the church because they have no reason to keep going. I've been through a lot of situations where going to church is an uphill battle. Several times, there has been nothing to entice me to return, no spiritual food, so-to-speak. I get more from personal study than I do from church and I can't share what I've learned because everyone else poo poo's my observations. Sitting in Sunday School is like sitting in a room full of bobbleheads. But I still go. There is a reason for that and, unfortunately, it's not a reason that I could bottle and replicate. I did all the things opposite of what I was told would give me the answers I was seeking and still the reason for my hope came. Sadly, after I'm homebound, I know no one from the church will come visit me. I won't get the sacrament or get to listen to any more dry and boring unprepared talks from fledgling members of the church. It seems odd that I'd miss that, but I think I would. Sorry, I was prognosticating there and not really addressing your statement. In response, I will go back to a statement I made in answer to another comment. The reason they leave is because there's no reason to keep going. He has a lot of questions, really means, he's not getting any answers ... to anything. That could be a result of some personal issue. We could blame it on pornography or internet game playing or blogging on LDS sites, but if the man has a lot of questions, that means he's getting more questions than answers and church isn't filling that gap. I don't believe any of those things I listed for reasons he's not getting answers are valid. Lots of people who do all those things still go to church and will continue until they are homebound. It could be his own doing but it could also be spiritual starvation, like deer who starved to death with their bellies full of hay. It's okay if we disagree. I'm fine with that. Tell me, when you pointed out that man didn't really have any questions, do you think that helped him or do you think that helped alienate him?
  13. brotherofJared

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    I believe it's kind of like the marshmallow test that Elder Uchdorf spoke of in his talk. Based on a promise, some kids were able to wait for two marshmallows instead of eating the one they had right then. What it boils down too is that those who leave the church trade eternity for the moment. But, I have to wonder why we'd want to wait when we can have fun now or do what we want now. Is it enough just to get the other marshmallow? After all, it is just a duplicate of what we already have and I can always buy more of these when I get home. I think it is the reason why we want to wait that makes the difference or the experience which gave us the reason we want to wait. For me, it was a real game-changer. Though I too am not living in that kind of state of grace, ATM, I'm in a constant battle to get to that state because I want to be there. I do so believing that God will forgive me of those things I couldn't do or didn't do. I guess that makes the "state of grace" the second marshmallow.
  14. brotherofJared

    Not believing in the traditional Christ

    Hopefully, you will note that before the three are defined as one, there is one who is called God who is infinite and eternal. There IS A God and then there are three beings who ARE ONE God. @Traveler gave an excellent example of divine investiture of the supreme being and his vassals. In this sense, any one of the three is the same as the one God in heaven who is infinite and eternal... Certainly, there all three of them together would constitute the same authority as the one God mentioned in verse 17.
  15. brotherofJared

    Not believing in the traditional Christ

    Like I said, until we have a better term to define the coexistence of Gods other than polytheism, we are stuck with that word. I really didn't want to get into this kind of discussion. My intent was to address if it was really important based on the lack of empirical evidence. Was it acceptable for Ammon to accept King Lamoni's understanding of what God is without correcting him and telling him, no the Great Spirit isn't God, that's a bogus pagan belief? We accept the terms we have and recognize that what we are calling things may not match what others call it, but for now, it's the best we've got. When a Christian who is trying to understand what we believe finds out that we believe that God the Father of Jesus Christ is a separate being from Christ who is also embodied in flesh and bone, that is going to cause problems regardless of whether you want to call it polytheism or monotheism.