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  1. From CFM June 10-16, I gather that there are three important reasons for suffering 1) Via Christ's suffering, He was able to take upon himself the sins of his people and provide for us forgiveness and clean us every wit from sin. 2) Christ's sufferings also gave him an insight that provided him with mercy, so He would know how to succor his people. 3) For those who do not repent, they will be punished, and must suffer even as the Savior did; but tragically it appears that this suffering will be in vain, as it will bring neither atonement, mercy nor compassion. No sane person welcomes suffering, but when it does occur, do we take advantage of the compassion that we can learn from the experience? And Do you believe that those destined to suffer - even as Christ - will eventually receive some kind of redemption? Eternal Punishment and Suffering without purpose seems wretched.
  2. A situation I've been pondering about recently... A story to relate. Many years ago there were three friends. We'll name them Larry, Curly, and Moe. Larry had a terrible grudge with Curly. A girl that Larry had been dating broke up with Larry and started to date Curly. Larry planned to kill Curly and did so in front of Moe and others. He basically beat Curly very badly and later on Curly died of these injuries in the hospital. Larry was sentenced to life in prison. To this day, Larry refuses to admit guilt. He has always stated he is innocent and played no hand in Curly's death. So, here's the dilemma that I have tried to figure out. Moe has, in their mind, forgiven Larry. They've tried to say they hold nothing against Larry, but they WANT Larry to pay for the crimes that he committed. He would like Larry to simply admit that he did wrong, and that Larry should try to go through the repentance process which includes admission of guilt, asking for forgiveness, and trying to do what they can to repay what was lost. Larry has always pleaded innocent. Moe is very disturbed by this. He feels he has forgiven Larry, he has visited Larry in prison, and even tried to help him in various prison costs and other areas. However, he still very much wants Larry to admit guilt. That Larry does not do this makes Moe WANT Larry to do it even more. Thus, Moe feels like he has forgiven Larry, but he's not sure. This is because Moe cannot forget what Larry did. Instead of forgetting it completely, he wants Larry to admit what he did. He is willing to see Larry as his friend still, and do what he can for him, but he cannot simply include the forget portion in forgiveness. To do so before Larry has repented would be wrong and do a disservice to Curly's memory. However, he states he has forgiven Larry, tells Larry he has forgiven him but feels he needs to pay the price for the crime, but he still loves Larry as a friend. So, this would be Moe's question, has he forgiven Larry? Then we add another complication to the story. Larry was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His son is also a member of the church. Larry has been excommunicated. I do not see him ever being rebaptized in this lifetime. His son wishes to know what happens to the children born in the covenant. Who will they be sealed to? If their father is irreparably done and never going to be able to qualify for the Celestial glory, what happens to the sealing covenant? Larry now falls in the boundaries of a Bishop and has both of these talking to that Bishop about this. What type of things should the Bishop tell them? Should he simply refer them back to their own wards, or how should the Bishop deal with these types of questions? Of more direct relation, when faced with unrepentant individuals who will continue to do the sin or hurt you, when you forgive, how do you know if you've actually forgiven them? Even if you try with all your heart, when the hurt continues, even if you say and try to act as if you've forgiven them, the hurt continues. How do you know that in your heart you have truly forgiven them and when is it enough? Just a pondering of mine.
  3. How do you forgive the unrepentant? Or even the repentant? How do we love the unlovable, reach the unreachable, or seemingly do the impossible of forgiveness? These are questions we each struggle with. On some level we feel that if we forgive a person, then the judge and the jury all go home with all charges dropped. We feel that obligated to plant our feet on the witness stand and point our angry fingers—and that if we don’t, the guilty unrepentant perpetrator will just “get away with it”. But that’s not how forgiveness and repentance work at all. It is impossible for us humans to absolve sin. We cannot choose to drop the charges and let the perpetrator go free. No, only Christ can absolve sins. Whether or not a perpetrator goes free has nothing to do with whether or not we stand up and point the angry finger. Our witness statement of their crimes has already been given, because Christ knows everything about us and feels every blow wrecked upon us. Christ is the one who plants His feet at the witness stand for us, and with perfect knowledge bears testimony of the pain—the pain both you and He feels. We are not obligated to angrily do what Christ is already doing for us. Christ offers us so much. He takes the burden of the witness stand from us. He gives of the assurance the guilty will have a perfect trial, and that we don’t have to judge a person’s heart ourselves. We don’t have to: He’s got us covered. What He offers us is Healing: the taking away of our pain, mending our broken bones by replacing ours with His. Christ allows us to become stronger through His strength. But He will not force us in any way: we must choose to accept His gifts, including the Gift of Healing. That’s why Christ commands us to forgive: to let go of our angry broken bones so that we may receive His whole ones in exchange. That’s why we forgive: to become whole again through Christ’s power. We don’t forgive to decide whether or not a person has to pay a price for their actions—that’s Christ’s job. We don’t forgive because a person because of the status of their repentance—again, that’s Christ’s job to judge, not ours. We forgive because Christ asked us to accept His Wholeness for our brokenness.
  4. Hello again... I'm really in a bit of a jam here and I really need an answer... Basically, last night, I was feeling strong temptation in my mind to sin, but I resisted it. But as I went to bed, I still felt it strongly. So I prayed earnestly to please have it removed. I prayed for 5-10 minutes for this thing, and I had faith that the Lord could and would help me. But... I received no help... And I do not know why. It's been said numerous times that sometimes we have a delayed response to our prayers. It is also said that if our desires do not align with God's, we will not receive what we ask for. (Most of the time. The other times being when Heavenly Father wishes to teach us something.) I understand all that... But my desires were clearly righteous... I do not understand why Heavenly Father would leave me to my temptations when it is also clearly stated over and over to pray so you may receive strength to resist temptation. I feel kind of abandoned here... Did Heavenly Father wish me to pray more? Was I doing something wrong? I just don't know...
  5. Could someone please tell me the origins, bases of support, and current status of the ideas/claims/teachings that: Christ’s infinite atonement covers all of God’s creations, both on this world and others; The physical act of the atonement occurred on this world because this was the only world faithful and righteous and worthy enough to have Christ here, and the only world wicked and sinful enough to kill Him. I believe Elder McConkie spoke about this, but I was never sure of where he got these ideas from, or whether they were officially accepted by the church as doctrine. Thanks
  6. I am a physicist converted to the LDS faith because of the logic of Baptism for the Dead. I am not an anthropologist but I note the discontinuity in the sophistication of civilizations between those shown by the old fosil human remains before ~4000 BC and those of the early modern civilations. I note that modern humans spread their new culture quickly.. Some have said there is no conflict between the teachings of God and the scientific method. If this is true, there should be a consistent way to explain both what is observed in the scriptures and the oservations of science. If we could develop a universal theory, we would know both religion and science better and would be able to make predictions as well as prophesies. This paper is my attempt to resolve some differences between the teachings of my LDS faith and my scientific community. I also suggest several hypothetical scennario for your consideration. This is intended to be inoffensive. But since it provides justification for Baptism for the Dead, it is not consistent with the teachings of our Christian bretheren. Upcountry ______________________________________________________________________________________ Abstract 10-11-15 I describe scenarios consistent with current scientific knowledge, scripture and LDS teachings that explain much of today's events. These include events at the Grand Council in the Pre-existence, the meaning of God's curses on Adam and Eve at the Fall, the reasons for Atonement and Baptism, and a hypothesis removing the conflict between creationism and evolution. I suggest that the battle between Good and Evil is ongoing and that the end result depends on us and is yet to be determined. The Glory of God is Intelligence Impressed by a love of God and the logic of Baptism for the Dead, I was baptized into the LDS church as a graduate student in physics. Physics deals with the fundamental laws of nature including the origin of man and the universe. I joined in spite of the LDS doctrine that Adam and Eve were real people and not fictional characters in an allegorical tale. I took a leap of faith. I am thankful that I did. Speaking as a member of this ward, I am told that we are Children of God, in the image of God and members of an eternal family. Our Heavenly Parents loved us as we love our children on earth. “As man now is, God once was:” “As God now is, man may be.” [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Ch 5] God has a physical body. Spirits are a finer type of matter but more fine or pure”. [D&C 131] By proper authority, we must be baptized to be saved and married to be exulted. Stories in Genesis of Adam, Eve, Noah, and the Flood are literally true. Earth and mankind is 7000 years old. [D&C 77:6] The Garden of Eden is near what is now Jackson, Missouri. [D&C 107:53-57] Speaking as a physicist, I am told that we are mostly space surrounded by a electron force field. Space is not empty but is a seething mass of virtual particles flashing in and out of existence. Space has 9 dimensions not 3. Perception of time depends on the observer. Matter and energy are simultaneously waves and particles in multiple locations and can tunnel through walls. The universe is random, uncertain, entangled and 95% of it is unseen and unknown. Our universe is 13.7 billion years old. The Earth is 4 billion years old. Mankind is the end result of millions of years of evolution. Our Church and science do agree that matter, energy, and information are equivalent, eternal, and can not be lost – just reorganized (transformed in scientific language). This is a recent scientific discovery [Leonard Susskind “Black Hole Wars”] but it was stated by Joseph Smith 180 years ago. If energy and matter are eternal, his further statement that spirit is matter [D&C 131] means we are beings of energy and part of an unseen eternal society. Our Church teaches that God organized the Earth, creatures, and mankind from spiritual material in a Preexistence before he made this physical world. [Moses 3:5] Mankind's souls were made in their image – male and female. “Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning”. [D&C 93:38] We were created intelligent with the potential to be divine. [Lorenzo Snow, Ch 5] But, as our souls developed randomly and obtained self awareness, our natures began to diverge according to our choices. When Father convened the Grand Council, our souls had fully matured. We had memories, personalities and projected our image to other spirits. We had friends, formed societies and families. We talked, played, and argued. There were Great Leaders such as Jesus, Lucifer, Michael, and Jeremiah. [Jeremiah 1:5] At Grand Council, we were told of the Plan of Salvation for our entry into the physical world on Earth. Behind a veil of forgetfulness, we would be tested. For the first time, we would experience pain, choices with consequence, and sin. Sin would be unavoidable. Justice would require repayment either by us personally or by a Redeemer – someone without blemish. [1 Peter 1:19] In the Council, we were asked to ratify the selection of this Redeemer and covenant to come to Earth with Him. Since Jesus held the birthright and had created our Paradisaical World, His selection was expected. Jesus said “Send Me”, but Lucifer offered another choice. He said “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” [Moses 4] Examine those words: If I said “the Titanic has sunk and not one soul was lost”, you would say what a miracle. If, however, I said “the Titanic has sunk and one soul was not lost”, you would say what a tragedy. With the additional promise “I will redeem all mankind... And surely I will do it”, those wishing to return to The Father, saw an easy way to avoid the pain of this world. Though true, Lucifer's words were deceptive – as were his words to Eve “ye shall not surely die”. How would Lucifer's plan work? Slightly change Lehi's vision of the Iron Rod. At birth, Lucifer would handcuff each of us to the Iron Rod. Chained to the Rod, we would proceed to the Tree of Life with neither sin, pain, nor scorn. No river of filth; no building on the hill. Without sin, we would all be redeemed. Without sin, the Atonement would be a coronation. Without experience with free will, and life itself, we would not be Children of our Father. We would be as worker bees to Lucifer's queen. Many spirits were reluctant to leave Heaven for Earth. We were afraid of pain, choices and danger. Since God had given us free agency, He let us chose – between the easy way to Earth with Lucifer, or the hard way with Jesus. In the ensuing confusion, cowardice, and deception, one third of the spirits chose to covenant with Lucifer, not Jesus. These are they who did not keep their First Estate. How do spirits communicate? Since spirits cannot affect physical matter, [D&C 129] they have no sight, hearing, touch, smell or taste. Spirits have no reflection, cast no shadow, and take no selfies. Instead, they project a mental image into our minds as though they were with us. Some examples are: the blindness of Saul on the road to Damascus, Zachariah's loss of speech, the blindness and forgetfulness caused by the angels at Lot's house, and Nephi's success in killing Laban. All of these deceptions are possible with telepathic power. My family history gives two more examples. On Earth, we are shielded from our complete memory and telepathic power by that veil which protects our free agency. We recognize some residual leakage as our “Sixth Sense”. We explore it with scientific experiments like “Remote Viewing”. When the veil is lifted and all memory is perfectly restored along with telepathic communication, it will be as if we shall shout our sins from the rooftops. Then, we will all know that God is loving, merciful and just. On our freely given invitation, both good and evil spirits can affect our thoughts and actions. Evidence of this is when people kill for greed like Cain and an oath like Lamech and become Master Mahan. [Moses 5] Whether they know it or not, they are in league with Satan. This is Satan's world of deception. His doctrine mimics but can never be the true doctrine of The Father. By their fruit, you shall know them. There can be no perfect counterfeits. And so, we came to Earth hoping to return to God in perfection but knowing we would fail and require redemption. Jesus had made all creatures and man from the dust of the Earth. He could give them life and the ability to cooperate, communicate and learn from each other. But only the Father could give intelligence and life to man. Only He could give us the capability to know good and evil, to accept or reject sin. Only He could give us standing to be like him, to become heirs of God and joint heirs of Jesus, and to make covenants with Him and with the Celestial Community beyond. As planned, Adam transgressed the Law with his Priesthood and reaffirmed our preexistent covenant on Earth for all of us. Adam and Eve's eyes were opened so they knew good and evil. [John 9:41] Their transgression of itself was not a sin. Sin is an intentional, malicious act to limit the Free Agency of yourself or another in violation of the covenant we made in the Preexistence. Only in our physical bodies, can we sin and have dominion over all creatures and Satan. That is why Cain, with the covenant and a body, is called the father of Satan's lies. [Gen 1:26. Moses 5:23-25] Satan is not God's enemy, he is our enemy. Satan has no standing with the Father. After the Fall, God cursed us, saying: [Moses 4: 20] “And I, the Lord God, said unto the serpent [for Satan spake by the mouth of the serpent]: Because thou hast done this thou shalt be cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life; [21] And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” We are not talking about baby snakes here. The serpent's seed are those that covenanted with Lucifer at the Grand Council. The woman's seed are those that covenanted to follow Jesus. The bruising is the ongoing earthly battle between Good and Evil. We are the dust he shall eat in this world for as God said later to Adam, [25] “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return”. From this point on, our brother Lucifer is Satan. He and his seed are our enemy. We are their lawful prey. Since spirits have only telepathic power, they feast on our emotions – fear, hate, wrath, etc. As we look at world events and history, we should remember Satan feeds on our misery and despair. Satan is our parasite. [22] “Unto the woman, I, the Lord God, said: I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception. In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” Considering that Eve started the whole process and forced Adam to violate a commandment with his Priesthood, she merited very few words. Why? She had no authority to transgress God's Law. [23] “And unto Adam, I, the Lord God, said: Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the fruit of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying—Thou shalt not eat of it, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. [24] Thorns also, and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field. [25] By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou shalt return unto the ground—for thou shalt surely die.” With this, God forced us from the Paradise created by Jesus out into the present world of sorrow given to Satan. God changed the world for our sake, to protect us – not because of us. We became mortal. We would be born innocent but not equal since we would keep our preexistent attitudes. [27] “Unto Adam, and also unto his wife, did I, the Lord God, make coats of skins, and clothed them. [29] Therefore I, the Lord God, will send him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken;” Father sent us into the world clothed and with seeds to till the ground. Like any proud parent, He wished us well. We became not only hunter gatherers but also farmers with intelligence and tools. Then, Father sealed his curse on us, saying: [30] “For as I, the Lord God, liveth, even so my words cannot return void, for as they go forth out of my mouth they must be fulfilled.” As the descendants of Adam and Eve, we are doubly cursed. When we sin, we have no way back to Father except for the path provided in the Plan of Salvation and this Higher Law. An offense against God's Law by the Authority of the Priesthood must be satisfied either by the offender himself or by a person without blemish offered in his place. This required sacrifice is the reason for the selection of a Redeemer in the Grand Council. He is the Anointed One,. There can be only one Only Begotten. Satisfaction of the curse on Adam and the Earth and our salvation now depends completely upon Jesus. The Old Testament makes prophesies, provides histories of the societies and gives the genealogy of Jesus. It also defines the requirements for such a Sacrifice. [Ex 12:5] It gives examples like Issac and the temple sacrifices by the Levites. The Redeemer must be without blemish, from the line of Judah and not related to Cain. Jesus' virgin birth removed the link to Adam. His baptism by John removed the link to Eve. Jesus became the required sacrifice without blemish. The New Testament details the actual Sacrifice of Jesus. The Lamb of God was fully aware, willing, and could withdraw at any time. Jesus had another task. He had to establish a church society to provide the baptismal infrastructure required by each of us. Jesus said, “believe and be baptized and be saved: believe not and be damned”. [Mark 16:16] By baptism we are “born again” and washed clean from the blemish on Eve. We must be baptized willingly in full knowledge of the process. That is why we do not baptize infants, why we baptize all the dead in our temples, and why each of us, alive or dead, must accept our own baptism. Are there unbaptized infant children in the Celestial Kingdom? Probably not. President Joseph F. Smith reported: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’.. [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, Ch 14, 176–178] Innocent children will be part of the First Resurrection and raised by their own parents or by others during the Millennium. Each child will choose for itself whether to be baptized when it matures in this world. All of the ordinances – baptism, sealing, marriage will be done in our temples by those in authority. The Millennium is the Great Sorting Out where we shall find our own. Since only the LDS priesthood may perform all requested ordinances for the dead, the LDS Church must endure to the end. Who will perform the Millennium temple ordinances? A clue is found in John 4:2. “Jesus baptized not, but His disciples did”. Certainly, Jesus had the authority to baptize. But He was not of this world. Likewise, those resurrected will not be this world. Every Millennial ordinance must be accomplished in our temples by those of this world for there are no baptisms or marriages in heaven. [Mark 12:25] Only we, the mortal priests of Ephraim with the birthright of Joseph, will do temple ordinances then just as only the descendants of Aaron and other Levites did sacrifices in that dispensation. [Matt 16:19,18:18] A prediction: Knowing that Baptism for the Dead is the only way that the dead of all the world may be saved, Satan will attempt to destroy our temples. This may be the reason for the growth of Islam, ISIS, the weakening of Christianity and coarsening of our society. There are many scenarios for Satan to remove the temples in the latter days. I expect little help from our non LDS brethren. [1 Nephi 14:10] There is an apparent conflict between religion and evolution. Evidence for evolution is irrefutable, but LDS doctrine claims the Earth is 7000 years old, [D&C 77:6] and Eden is in Missouri near Adam-ondi-Ahman. Surely, the temporal duration of Adam's covenant is more important to God than the age of matter. For a biblical precedent recall that an angel twice called Issac Abraham's “only son” [Gen 22:12,16] even though Abraham's first son Ishmael was born outside the covenant 13 years earlier by wife Hagar. Hypothesize that Eden was located in Pangaea 252 million years ago. After 1000 years, God gathered Noah and his family into the Ark and removed them from the Earth before the “Great Dying” – a catastrophe which killed almost all life on earth. For Biblical precedent recall the removal of Enoch. Inside the Ark, Noah perceived a flood – hence the worldwide flood traditions. Outside the Ark, millions of years passed, dinosaurs and humanoids evolved leaving their fossils. The continents slowly migrated to their present locations leaving Eden in Missouri. After 378 days, Mankind emerged on Mt. Ararat as a modern society with seeds, domesticated animals, metal skills, [Gen 4:20-22] and a complex language.[Gen 11. Moses 5. 6:5] We were divided by Babel and the land allocation agreement made during Peleg's lifetime. With God”s blessings of intelligence and the womb, we quickly spread across the globe displacing the other humanoids. By 3300 BCE. we built the first cities like Memphis and Uruk. Early Jericho and the Ubaid period are evidence of other humanoid's primitive development.
  7. It has been a sacred privilege and honor to work with those in our faith as a therapist. In the wonderful words of Elder Bednar, guiding men and women from Bad to Good and Good to Great. I have worked with those who are single and married who are struggling with pornography and sexual issues. Even with those who have felt like there is no hope and have spent 40 years "failing". There is hope, I have seen the changes made. One of these individuals has successfully mastered their porn issues and has felt impressed to share their experience. Please share this message. I have seen changes in those who have spent years working it through with their priesthood leaders and therapists and those who have "given up". Also, spouses of those who struggle, you to can have peace and joy in the midst of your spouses struggles. I offer in person and video conference sessions. Additionally, I will be offering women only support groups. Email me with any questions: [email protected] You can also reach out to one of my clients who has chosen to write about her experience in mastering this difficult issue, here:
  8. In church today, the Stake Presidency circulated a letter and lesson guide they have prepared. They have asked that the members of the stake focus their personal and family scripture studies and lessons on the atonement for the next six months and have given us a reading guide for every week. I think it’s a good idea and it got me thinking. All the important stuff you need to know about the atonement you learn before you finish Primary and I think that one of the main purposes of further study is not so much to increase understanding, but to increase appreciation. However, if we were to study the atonement for the purpose of gaining additional knowledge, it raises the question of what it is about the atonement that we do not know. What are the known unknowns about the atonement and what role might a study of existing materials play in helping us to reduce the number of known unknowns about the atonement? To partially answer my own question, one of the known unknowns that I’ve sometimes thought about is who/what determines the price of sin, ie, who, and by how, is it determined how much sin will generate, or result in, how much suffering? I’d be interested in hearing of any other “known unknowns” or unanswered questions about the atonement that people have thought about as well as responses to the question about how the sin to suffering ratio has been determined.
  9. I don't have a blog, so when I want to share something you guys just get to deal with it :). A while back I wrote a post about how as I read through the Bible as a youth, I discover that it was hundreds of rated R pages of people messing up again and again. Before this, the people in scripture kind of wore superman capes in my eyes (you know over-glossy-hero-idolizing). But as I read the Bible, I discovered that even the greatest prophets made mistakes just like me. And it is through the power of God everyone of us learns and grows, even through our mistakes. The prophets and all lost their superman capes. This weekend I was reflecting back on that thought train and realized I was missing something. Because I didn’t find just flawed human beings in the scriptures, also I found God. Christ Himself came down and walked among us. He showed us the way: teaching us through word and deed. And through His sacrifice, He understands everything we could go through, and gave us a way to conquer it all: our mistakes, our trails, our flawed selves. Christ: He’s the real Superman. This week is/was Easter, a time to think of Christ’s atonement and all it means. Christ is the great physician: one whom heals the wounds so wonderfully that not even a scar remains. Through Him we grow, we learn, we are healed. Christ doesn’t just heal the mistakes in our lives, He heals the entirety of our lives- our flaws, our hopes, our loves. He makes us complete: He makes us perfect like Him. Christ wants to share everything that He has, everything He is. He wants us to share in His perfection. In the scriptures, when a Lord wants to share everything with his heir, even a prodigal one, the Lord gives the heir his garment. God wants to share everything with us- even his garment. Christ—He wants to share his Superman cape with me. Wow… I know this is just one little dorky analogy I came up with but…. Wow, how underserving I can be of His so perfect love. Today, I write this standing all amazing, confused at the grace so freely He proffers me. Trembling I cry at how much He did for me, confused at a love so deep I cannot comprehend. Lord, how great art thou?
  10. There is a person in my life that is struggling with their sin. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that He suffered and died for all mankind. The Atonement was needed so that man could return back to our Heavenly Father. (2 Nephi 9:7) I know that we are free to act for ourselves, we have the choice; everlasting death or everlasting life. There are some sins that are truly personal. After reading the New Era Magazine, October 2013 article titled, "Why and What do I need to confess to my bishop?" I am having a hard time understanding the reason why the priesthood is needed in the repentance process. I understand what we must do as children of God. “…consists in believing and accepting and living in harmony with all that the Lord once offered his ancient chosen people. It consists of having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, of repenting, of being baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and of keeping the commandments of God. It consists of believing in the gospel, joining the Church, and coming into the kingdom.” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 515). I was not raised in any church and converted 18 years ago. During that time I have not been very active from the fear of my lack of knowledge. Just in the past couple of months have I really started to understand. In praying about this situation I have been led here to seek help from other members that may have faced the struggle of repentance of a serious sin.
  11. Hello - my name is Greg Batty and I've been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all my life. My wife, Ann, and I have two pretty amazing children who are actually adults now. That's a hard one to wrap our heads around. Just like you, we have had a lot of adventures that we have loved, as well as rough times we are glad to have weathered. Because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have been able to learn some pretty amazing lessons from all the experiences that combine to make up our personal journey. Because of the Atonement, we have been able to start again when we blew it. Because we know God as our Father, the Savior as our Brother, and the undeniable truth of their teachings, we want to share some of our lessons learned in case it could help to make your journey just a little better. Many of our thoughts and new understandings are on our site at Some of the things we've been working through are some intense neurological issues, my struggle with being Bipolar, and not allowing my same-sex attraction to cause any pain in our family. We've certainly got a lot to still learn, but I can honestly say that in spite of all our problems, we are incredibly happy. Isn't that what the gospel is all about?
  12. I know the title of this thread sounds blasphemous but I am not going for shock value or attempting to undermine the power and Omniscience of God. My question is this: Because Christ suffered for our sins,pain,temptations,etc. He is the ultimate mediator and judge. Does he essentialy know more about us than God the Father only because he experienced those things first hand?
  13. I have ascribed to Skousen's model of the Atonement ever since I read Appendix B in his book The First 2,000 Years back in the 80's. I was wondering how many members here are aware of Skousen's intrepretation. And of those who are aware of his intrepretation, who likes it and dislikes it. And if you do like it, is your intrepretation of Skousen's intrepretation the same as mine? Found a copy of it on the net, thanks Google! Why Was the Atonement Necessary Here is also a speech that he gave on the same topic. It was an address to the missionaries in the Dallas Texas Mission back in 1980. A Personal Search for the Meaning of the Atonement We should really call it the Widtsoe/Skousen Model though. Now that I reviewed the above speech.
  14. My brother took his own life last Saturday. He and I are both members of the church. He had severe mental illness and my bishop showed me where it says that the Lord will look at this fact. Some people in my ward are telling me that feeing anger and grief right now is wrong because my brother is out of his misery. Others tell me that anger and sadness are normal and acceptable. Who is right? I do feel happy for my brother but I am also angry at him and I keep finding myself crying and then feeling guilty about crying. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. diane
  15. Ok so my girlfriend and I have made some serious mistakes a few months ago, I was so scared about how tohandle it or tell my bishop before my mission. I never did any of it and left her or anything I really wanna marry her after my mission. It happened a few months ago and alot but we stopped it and she is helping me get on my mission, but last night after work I confessed my sexual sins to my bishop, that was the first interview we'll have more he said, how thorough will he be and will he contact her bishop and what wi they talk about and what do you guys think? I'm still with her, I love her.
  16. I just got asked out on a date by a good BYU/RM type guy who is faithful in the church and upholds the priesthood honorably and is just all around good, trying to be the best he can sort of person. I have put off dating for a long time because I am afraid of getting close to someone and then having to tell them who I really am and all that i've done and them hating me for it. I'm still trying to repent, still trying to change, and still have a long ways to go, so I am really concerned about dating someone who is so good. No one in the church knows I am struggling (except my bishop and the missionaries) so everyone thinks I'm this good mormon girl who keeps the commandments....and I really don't, I want to, but I'm not very good at it yet. What should I do?
  17. I am attempting the process of repentence for about the millionth time and I am having the hardest time just staying committed and not falling back into the mess that I've created. Does anyone have any advice? I'd appreciate any of your favorite scriptures, or any advice at all on how to maintain the desire for righteousness. Thank you so much!
  18. I do post about other things but pornography and sexual addiction is affecting everyone, some realize it others do not. We recently had a comment from a young lady that was appalled that her daughter, 16 years of age. Has been viewing porn sent by her friends to cell phones. I know you might have heard about this but I am afraid to many parents are sticking their head in the sand and thinking, "my child wont do that." The correct statement should be, " I hope my child does not do this." Talk with your children! Make sure they no the dangers of pornography. Make sure you realize the dangers of pornography. It is affecting more and more people daily. Once IT, the addict voice has taken hold, a lot of people give up hope. There have been several that think they are lost, forgotten and there is no way that Heavenly Father could love them. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Understand, Heavenly Father loves all of his children. ALL! Don't give up hope. Continue to pray and you will be guided to the tools and education that will help you. This is how I feel about the InnerGold system. I have been asked what is my role with InnerGold. I am someone that has seen pornography affect my own family and now it is my goal and mission to help as many people as possible. My " JOB " is branding and marketing. Helping companies succeed. When a friend of mine was telling me about InnerGold, I could not believe it. I have been praying for something that could help people and he told me. This has been the only program that has helped him. This individual like many others have gone through the 12 steps and was starting to feel like they were a lost cause. That is when he was introduced to InnerGold. I feel it part of my role in helping others to let people know about the InnerGold program. Pornography is affecting everyone, world-wide, old, young, male, female, teenagers and children I was blown away when I heard about this 16 year old. She was a straight A student going active in church, active in mutual, active in extra curricular activities. It is affecting everyone. It is your right and your place to ask questions. When you get the answers, follow-up with love. Read the article we published about helping ecclesiastical leaders treating pornography and sexual addiction. This will help parents, friends, family and loved ones provide help and counsel the right way. We don't want to yell, scream throw a fit. Keep your cool and address it properly. InnerGold.
  19. I am giving a talk about the atonement. Please take a few minutes to help me out and answer these questions. 1. If you had to define the atonement in your own words, without looking it up in the scriptures or online, how would you define/describe it? 2. How has the atonement helped you in your life? (Optional question, but would be awesome if you answered.
  20. I'm not sure how to word this due to the fact that anyone can view this forum. I want to try to keep the topic G rated. Many of you know my situation that drove me away from the church. In 2007 I repented and made a full return to the church. I was rebaptized in July 2008. I plan to get my endowments this Summer. There are major issues such as same gender attraction & sexual addiction I deal with. For 19 months, I have had good progress in obstaining from the temptations. Well until, tonight. For the past few weeks my physical feelings have been very itense, especially while dreaming. The dreams are disturbing & I've discussed them with my Bishop. He really did not give much advice on that issue. Getting back to the issue I "took care of the strong urge". I was alone but used the internet in my action. In 19 months this was the first time I willingly did such a thing. after the act, i physically feel grounded again, but spiritually I'm confused. I do not want to get back into the old patterns. I do commend myself going 19 months. I don't see those 19 months as being wiped out and having to start over again. My addiction will be a life long issue. This was my first stumble since I took hold of the issue 19 months ago. How do I repent? If you get what I'm talking about, this issue could have gone much further wich would result in a more serious transgression. Married couples have each other. I'm unable to be married or have a partner. All I can do is bottle up my "feelings , urges" in order to remain worthy. In a "G" rated way of talking. What are some ways to help with the issue when it comes up again. It may be another 19 months if it happens again. I DO KNOW THROUGH THE ATONEMENT I'M FORGIVEN PROVIDED I TRULY REPENT. I do hold the priesthood and help with the sacrament. I want to continue to help serve others. Thanks for letting me write about this. I also apologize for those who may be offended with the subject matter.