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Found 8 results

  1. What is the prophesy of mark of the beast? What are different cultural and religious perspectives on its meaning?
  2. Agnosticism is truly without knowledge. We are made in God's image. Our best parents are present, engaged and attentive. Our most ideal families stick together through hardships. We understand each other and put our loved ones before ourselves. So why argue that our Creator keeps his distance, or has left? Why say He is unknowable? Perhaps it is because if God is knowable then we are accountable?
  3. Yesterday a wonderful couple gave talks based on Pres Uchdorf's talk on faith in the last general conference. During the good sister's speech, I couldn't help but notice that she seemed to be simply regurgitating the same scriptures uses to explain faith, but I felt that she missed the point. The whole thing felt like I was sitting in some other church listening to someone who really does not understand the true nature of the Gospel and the doctrines pertaining to it. This seems to be a common issue throughout the church these days. I do not judge her for this, as I do not know her situation nor her level of knowledge. She used Alma 32 to discuss growing the seed of faith. This is a good scripture, but, it goes on to say that we should let the seed grow until it becomes knowledge and our faith is not neede on that particular point. "The glory of God is intelligence" is another passage used, but again missed the point of gaining knowledge through Faith. in D&C 9, Our Father Rebukes Oliver Cowdrey for simply expecting things to happen just because of his faith. Oliver was told to "Study it out in your mind, then ask me if it be right..." In Moroni 10:3-5, the Lord clearly tells us to compare the new information with the old knowledge, make a determination as to the truth, then ask "in faith". While faith is necessary for us to grow in our path of life, that faith MUST lead to testimony. Testimony is knowledge. It is what you know. Once a person has a testimony of a certain doctrine, faith in that doctrine cannot exist as one cancells the other. Are we as a people putting too much emphasis on faith over knowledge? In every case I can find in the scriptures, faith leads to knowledge and faith becomes dormant. The more conversations I have with church members, the more I feel like we are stuck in the same rut tha Israel fell into, forgetting what the commandments were really about and what our true goal is.
  4. Let's discuss doubt. It seems quite trendy, in some circles, to embrace doubt as some sort of virtue. What are your thoughts on doubt?
  5. How did you decide for yourself that the LDS church was true? I've had trouble believing my whole life, and I'm 20, so there is a lot of pressure from people around me to go on a mission. This is a song I wrote to my grandmother, whom I always talked to about the church. Share your thoughts and let me know your story! She
  6. What did we learn as spirits in the pre-mortal life? I know this question cannot be answered specifically because the veil has withheld our memory of those things but I would like to see where people stand with just a basic categorization of less, same or more than what we can learn here (secular learning only, obviously experiential knowledge is more here compared to premortal life). I am curious to know if I am way off in left field to think that we as spirit children living with our Heavenly Parents for countless years learned all we could without having experiential knowledge. In other words, we learned a lot! A lot more than any mortal could learn or the combined secular learning of all mortals. And all of that learning will come back to us once the veil is released as well as any experiential knowledge we obtain. So how much do you think we learned in the pre-mortal life? … consider the following statements. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, addressed the significance of this doctrine: “There is no way to make sense out of life without a knowledge of the doctrine of premortal life. … When we understand the doctrine of premortal life, then things fit together and make sense.” 2 “Man was also in the beginning with God,” the Lord revealed. “Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be” (D&C 93:29). Thus, in the sense that our intelligence has always existed, we had no beginning. But at some distant point in our premortal past, spirit bodies were created for us, and we became, literally, spirit sons and daughters of heavenly parents. And in Gospel Principles; “God is not only our Ruler and Creator; He is also our Heavenly Father. All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of God. “Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith [1998], 335). President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “It is true that Adam helped to form this earth. He labored with our Savior Jesus Christ. I have a strong view or conviction that there were also others who assisted them. Perhaps Noah and Enoch; and why not Joseph Smith, and those who were appointed to be rulers before the earth was formed? We know that Jesus our Savior was a Spirit when this great work was done. He did all of these mighty works before he tabernacled in the flesh” 13 (see also Abr. 3:23–24). The scriptures tell us that it is impossible for man to be saved in ignorance (see D&C 131:6). This principle is greatly misunderstood. Elder John A. Widtsoe wrote: “There are of course many kinds of knowledge; some of lesser, some of higher value. When Joseph Smith said that a man cannot be saved in ignorance, he meant naturally ignorance of the laws which all together lead to salvation. Such knowledge is of the highest value. It should be sought after first. Then other kinds of knowledge may be added to support and amplify the more direct knowledge of spiritual law. For example, it is a duty of the Church to preach the gospel to all the world. This however requires the aid of railroads, steamships, printing presses, and a multitude of other things that make up our civilization. A knowledge of the gospel is the missionary’s first need, but the other needs, though lesser, help him perform better the divine injunction to teach the gospel to all people” (Evidences and Reconciliations, arr. G. Homer Durham [1987], 224). Knowing that we were “reared to maturity” and some enough to assist in forming the earth, how much do you think we learned before coming here in terms of secular knowledge (as opposed to experiential knowledge)? - Less than what we can learn here? In other words, almost all secular learning is new to us. - About what we can learn here? In other words, our pre-mortal secular learning doesn’t surpass what man is capable of learning. - Or, way more than what we can learn here? (Again, just talking about secular knowledge, the facts, the things that can be memorized, like the Krebs’s cycle and organic chemistry, the names of the planets, what is inside a black hole, calculus etc.)
  7. 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?
  8. Ever since I was twelve years old I have had not only a desire, but a need to call on my Heavenly Father in prayer. There were many points of the gospel that I didn’t understand – many things that I was experiencing that didn’t seem to fit – and even more things I needed to resolve. Because of this, I had a heavy reliance on prayer and on my personal relationship with God and Christ. While serving a mission, I remember having an experience where a companion asked me something along the line of “You always get answers to your prayers, don’t you?” I responded, “Of course. Don’t you?” His response was odd, “Well, I know the Lord answers prayers, but there are many times when I feel I don’t get an answer.” In my time since, I have realized that this is a rather common problem for members of the church (in fact, ANY church). The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there were some prayers that seemed like I wasn’t getting answers, but usually the answer was that I was asking the wrong question. So in an effort to help my companion, I scoured the scriptures in hopes of discovering my pattern, the method I used to find answers to prayers. It wasn’t long before I identified with the brother of Jared in Ether, chapters 2 and 3 of the Book of Mormon– so, if any of you would like to look at a few chapters with me with the goal of getting answers to prayers in mind, I would love to share what has worked for me. Let’s start in Ether chapter 2. Here, as we know, is where the brother of Jared is commanded to build the barges. The first thing we need to know is that he went and built the barges. I think that is the first step to getting answers to our prayers – we have to have proved to the Lord that we will follow what he tells us when we do get an answer. If the Lord doesn’t think we will do what he says, why would he tell us what to do? I have a mission experience to illustrate this point. One day my companion and I both received a heavy impression to knock every door of a certain apartment complex. After four hours of straight tracting, missing dinner to do so, and not teaching a single discussion, we were about to leave. We got the prompting again, to knock the doors again. So, we bothered many people twice, and got a few more doors answered from people who weren’t home the first time. Still, not a single teaching appointment. After our second time through the apartment, and almost 6 hours of tracting this ONE apartment complex, we resolved that we were to leave. On our way home, I asked my companion, “Hey, I’m upset by this. Why would we feel like knocking those doors was so important, only to have no success?” My companion at the time, who is much wiser than I was, answered, “Because the Lord wanted to make sure we were listening, and would obey. These last 6 hours would probably have been a waste anyway, so the Lord used the time to strengthen our ability to listen, so that when he needs us, he will know he can count on us.” Sure enough, on the way home we passed an oil field, and a small trailer house guarded the entrance. We felt prompted to knock on the door, which looked less like a residence and more like a company vehicle. It turned out than an inactive member lived there with her husband, who were away from their own home on business with the oil company. It wasn’t long before they were reactivated, and asking us whether they could get General Conference on their satellite: “And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me” (Ether 2:18). Step one: When you get an answer, prove to the Lord you are worthy of getting the next one. In verse 19, the brother of Jared asks the Lord two questions: “And behold, O Lord, in them there is no light; whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it is the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish.” And in verse 20, the Lord answers one of them: “Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood.” Sometimes this is how the Lord answers our prayers, by simply providing us the solution. I think, however, this is the rarest type of answer, and will usually only happen when we are unable to come up with a solution ourselves. Step two: Recognize that while the Lord can and sometimes does give us the answer directly, this is usually going to be a rare occurrence. Let’s note that in verse 21, the brother of Jared does what the Lord commands, which leads us back to step one. But the Jaredites still had a problem. Would the Lord really suffer them to cross the waters in the dark? This is the exact question that the brother of Jared returns and proposes to the Lord, and I absolutely LOVE the Lord’s answer. From verse 23: “What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?” What a fantastic opportunity the Lord has given the brother of Jared (and how often does He give it to us?). How often do we interpret the Lord asking us “What do you think?” as not getting an answer? In my mind, the rest of the verse isn’t exactly a quote from the Lord, but more of a banter between God and the brother of Jared: Brother of Jared – “Can I have windows?” Lord – “Are you kidding me? They’ll get smashed!” Brother of Jared = “Can I have fire?” Lord – “Only if you want to kill yourself. (And in verse 24) You do realize you’ll be buried in the depths of the sea and with the wind and everything I’m going to have to provide to take you to the promised land, there are going to be giant waves that are going to make the ride a bit bumpy, right? (Verse 25) So, with these things in mind, what other ideas do you have?” Step three: Recognize that more often than not, the Lord will expect you to bring Him an answer to see if it is the right one, not the question for Him to answer directly. I think it is also interesting to note that the questions the brother of Jared would have brought the Lord at this point were yes/no questions “Can we have windows?” “Can we have fire?” I think there is a reason for this: I think yes/no questions are the easiest ones to get answered. If you feel the spirit confirm to you that your solution is correct, then the answer is yes. If you don’t, then no. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Step Four: If you doubt your ability to receive a complex answer, or the Lord isn’t answering something that is complex, rephrase the question so that the answer is a simple yes or no. Now, on to chapter three. We’ve all read the story, so we know what happens. The brother of Jared does something I doubt many people would have thought of; in fact, I have to wonder if his solution wasn’t somewhat inspired. This man goes to the side of the freakin’ mountain, and carves out sixteen clear stones. What is interesting about this? First, the brother of Jared is obviously a good craftsman. He uses his talents to resolve the problem, even if it is a little “unconventional.” With his creative solution in hand, the brother of Jared takes his thoughts to the Lord. Let’s read those scriptures, because they are so incredibly amazing: "2 O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be aangry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are bunworthy before thee; because of the cfall our dnatures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires. "3 Behold, O Lord, thou hast smitten us because of our iniquity, and hast driven us forth, and for these many years we have been in the wilderness; nevertheless, thou hast been amerciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people, and suffer not that they shall go forth across this raging deep in darkness; but behold these bthings which I have molten out of the rock. "4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all apower, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy bfinger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have clight while we shall cross the sea. "5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which alooks small unto the understanding of men.” I love how humble these scriptures are. I love the brother of Jared’s faith. As a reward, not only does the brother of Jared see the finger of God, but later has a vision in which he sees the coming Christ – thousands of years before his birth. Step five: Use your talents, and be creative as you seek answers. Think outside of the box. Your faith in the Lord will be rewarded as you seek Him. It is my hope that no matter where we are in our journey in life, no matter our faith, that we will cultivate the kind of relationship with our Heavenly Father that is as strong as the relationship between earthly fathers and children. The only way we can know Him intimately is through conversing with Him. May we all take a little extra time to listen – because He has some amazing things to tell us.