georgia

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  1. Imagine if there were no Satan. Nothing trying to pull us away from the path towards God. No adversary to overcome. Wouldn't it be boring? Making it to the right hand of God would have so much less meaning. Or would it have any meaning at all? If everyone was just automatically good and perfect? Would there be any sense of pride in our accomplishment of staying on the straight & narrow and enduring until the end? In order to be happy, people need struggle and challenge in order to feel a sense of agency and accomplishment. Everything good comes from God and everything bad comes from Satan... but we need the bad in order to appreciate the good. In order to live a meaningful life. If everything were good and there were no bad at all, we wouldn't even think of it as good at all. It would just be neutral. Almost makes you wonder if Satan and God are working together
  2. georgia

    B.of.M vs the Bible

    Returning to this thread, I've realized that it's obvious that my feelings about the Bible stem from previous experiences with Christianity, being in Christian churches that felt spiritually inert, and in fact the whole concept of Jesus starting to feel stale and inert because of the way people misuse it in the world. I associate the Bible with all that... whereas I never knew anything about the Book of Mormon until after I walked into a LDS church and felt the light that was there and inside all the people that I met and felt so inspired by it. So I was reading the book knowing it was the thing that held that community together and the people feel so spiritually alive. But since I already (obviously) knew about the Bible before coming to an LDS church... I can't separate those stale church experiences from it. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head
  3. georgia

    B.of.M vs the Bible

    Thank you for the response! Can you identify what stereotypes you mean though? this was written from my direct experience reading the scriptures so I can't really identify what stereotypes I might be falling prey to.
  4. georgia

    B.of.M vs the Bible

    Hello everyone! I'm an investigator, been at it for about two months now. I think I have a desire to be baptized eventually, but it's not the right time... I'm making progress but moving as fast as can be expected, I think, given that I was raised without an ounce of religion of any kind. I read the entire Book of Mormon and in fact I just started reading it a second time. I thought it would be tedious, but I was surprised at how eagerly I read it (finished it in under a month). Its words feel suffused with Spirit and inspiration, and I truly feel a sense of peace, not to mention fascination, when I read it. Even the parts I don't understand (2 Nephi I'm looking at you), I still feel content to just take in the words. Often I feel bewildered as to why I feel this way, and I kept expecting this to all be a phase I'll get over, but I keep finding that I just like reading a few chapters every night and I like having it in my bag at work even if I don't have time to read it. I always used to think, religious scriptures as so inaccurate and contradictory, how can anyone take them seriously? But I find that I really don't care if the B.of.M is accurate historically or not, it just doesn't matter to me. It's not the point. I just love feeling the Spirit whenever I open it, and I just feel that it contains the words that God meant for us to read, and whatever God's truth really is, we'll probably never really know for certain, because we're just humans and we can't see it from God's perspective. That's where faith comes in (and a lot of humility!) Anyway though, one issue I've had is that I don't feel this way at all about the Bible, neither the OT nor the NT. Just like I've never felt at all inspired inside Christian churches before I came to an LDS church, I don't feel inspired at all when I read the Bible .I think it's because of all the translations, that beautiful feeling of the Spirit being present in the words has been leached away over the years. When I read the Bible, I feel nothing. I haven't been able to get through it all, because it's so dry that it depresses me. (I did read Genesis & Exodus as well as Matthew & Mark) It just feels like a dry recitation of events and I start thinking about how it doesn't really make any sense even. God must have multiple personalities and change his mind constantly (which the B of M specifically says he does NOT do). And when you learn about how the OT & NT were written, historically, it gets even worse, because of the blatant inaccuracies/contradictions and the many outright fabrications on the part of the writers (like for example the NT was basically written in such a way to please the Roman authorities and the message of the real Jesus, which as mainly oriented around Jewish nationalism, was completely abandoned because it was too dangerous. source -- "Zealot" by Reza Aslan). But the Book of Mormon feels like real scripture, it FEELS like it was divinely inspired, and when I learn about the prophet's vision I just get this strong sense that it is true. And I start thinking, how on earth could Joseph Smith just write all this stuff seemingly from memory unless he was really translating from an ancient text? It just all fits together, it feels right & true. But the Bible feels like a bunch of baloney!! I wish I felt as inspired when I read the Bible as I do when I read the B.of.M... but I can't make myself feel something I don't feel. This is why I never felt the remotest desire to be Christian until I went to an LDS church and started reading the B.of.M. I hope this doesn't offend anyone, I'm writing this because it helps to get it off my chest and if anyone has any wise words that would be appreciated. Maybe the Bible is just too old and we have to have a renewal of scripture every couple thousand years because the old stuff just loses the Spirit. Even if its true (God's truth if not historical truth), it just loses its relevancy to us, or something. Thoughts?
  5. georgia

    Concerns about baptism

    @Madeline Turner I was blown away when I read your post because I am 100% in the same situation you are! I was drawn to the church by the amazing sense of community and togetherness I felt there. It's not something you find every day. In fact, I've never even heard of a community that was as tight and welcoming as the LDS church. But it's so random for me... I'm not even Christian, never have felt any desire to be... but when I read the B.of.M, something changed. I felt something, and I now I can't ignore it. I feel a pull towards this church and whenever I think to myself that it's just a phase I will get over, I just find myself coming back. However, I have basically all the same concerns you do... The lifestyle changes, as well as the time commitment (callings and so forth!) freak me out as well. Not because they're too difficult to accomplish-- it's a process anyway, and no one's perfect -- but because I would rather keep this all a secret. I don't want to talk about it with my friends and family. I want it to be something just for me. I know my friends & family would never understand if I joined the church. There's no way they could understand what it means to me. And they have so much prejudice. I want to dive right into the church, and do everything ,but how do I do all that and at the same time keep it relatively hidden? It seems impossible. I'm so close with my family & friends. Like you, my family & friends know I've made a lot of friends in the LDS church, but they routinely tease me about it, like "if you keep hanging out with those people you're definitely going to be a mormon someday..." and laughing as if that would be the craziest thing ever. I have not even remotely been able to be open with them about how I really feel (about how I felt the Spirit), apart from describing how nice it feels to be part of the community and telling them how much I love my Mormon friends and how Mormons are really just normal people, etc. Tithing freaks me out too. Luckily I'm not living paycheck to paycheck, and I could afford 10% and not end up homeless. But...10% is still a LOT of money. I guess somewhere in the back of my mind I'm wondering if this is all a phase I'll get over a year from now. So the idea of giving that much money is scary. But the thing is, since I feel that way, it means I'm not ready to be baptized. Baptism is a solemn promise to God to uphold the church for the rest of your life. If you really felt that desire, you wouldn't shy away from giving 10% OR whatever you could afford. I plan on giving the church $200 - 300 because of all the events I've been to, food I've eaten, missionary time I've taken up, etc. Obviously that's nowhere near 10% but I don't feel comfortable giving more than that at this time. I think tithing is not really about the money. It's about faith. If you really have faith in something, you'd feel comfortable giving money to it. So in a sense, how you feel about tithing is a good indicator of how you feel about the solemn promise of baptism overall. ALSO, I too am a liberal democrat! I have always supported gay rights and abortion rights. As a member of the church, I would personally avoid homosexuality and abortion just like I would avoid coffee, tea, etc (not that it's likely to come up!). But that doesn't mean I think abortion or gay marriage should be out-lawed! Most of the country is not Mormon and I think non-Mormons should be free in that regard. So if I was handed a ballot that said pro-choice or pro-life? I would choose pro-choice every time. I don't really think politics matter that much in the church, but it does make me uncomfortable. Also it contributes BIG TIME to the prejudice that my family & friends have about the church and how disdainful they would be over my decision to join. Some of my best friends are really big into gay rights and they would be personally offended by me joining the church even if I told them my personal views haven't changed. The only concern I don't share is #7! I have made dozens of friends between 2 wards already, apart from just the missionaries. I would feel 100% comfortable reaching out to them to be friends even if the missionaries weren't there. 2 of the closest friends I've made are ward missionaries and they're not going anywhere any time soon! If you are a young adult-- do you have a YSA ward anywhere? (young single adults)? it's a really good place to make friends. And I personally believe these people would still be my friends even if I told them I was never getting baptized and never coming to church again. That's just how Mormons are... they don't give up on you . You should message me sometime since we have so much in common! (can you PM through this site?)