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Dorian

I feel called to the LDS Church...but I still don't know if it's true

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Some non-LDS thoughts on Dorians questions to LDS...

 

1.  The first question is the one that would trip me up the most.  In a sense, once we establish our religious/spiritual identity, the doctrine of who God is becomes something treasured, but not often thought about consciously.  The vast majority of us traditionalists accept the Trinity, understand it on a simple level (3 persons, one God--distinct, but not separate).  Modalists can quote a few passages that seem to indicate that it's all just Jesus, and feel real safe in their belief in one God.  Likewise, LDS wonder at the seemingly contrived Trinity, finding their belief in the Godhead that is united in purpose to be more logical and easier to comprehend.

 

My only counsel for this thread is that one should be thoroughly convinced, both by Scripture, and by the witness of the Holy Spirit, that what s/he is espousing is indeed truth.  This is not a doctrine to be sloppy with.  Know what you believe and why you believe it.  Until then, investigate.  Frankly, there are some traditional Christians that ought to call themselves investigators too.

 

#2.  The issues of LDS & "Blacks," is a sensitive one for non-members and investigators.  Racism is such a negative condemnation in our society,  Yet, 60 years ago, most people thought racial ideas were common sense.  I'm sure I could find some terribly embarrassing quotes from Christian heroes.

 

On the other hand, when a church declares itself the restoration of Jesus' church, with exclusive authority, right or wrong, we outsiders expect much.  When we find leaders of such movements just as human as our leaders we are surprised.

 

1. The idea that Heavenly Father had His own father, and that there are other worlds with other gods and goddesses ruling them. To me this just seems like polytheism (even if you only worship one God) and the defining characteristic of the Hebrew Scriptures is that the Jews believed in only one  God. It seems to me that monotheism is central to the Old Testament.

I know Joseph Smith taught that 'Elohim' was a plural, but I find the explanation that it's a superlative much more consistent with the rest of scripture. The whole doctrine seems to make God secondary to a grand circular process (or, one eternal round).
 

 

2. The Church's history with black people. I know that the LDS Church holds to continuing revelation, and I think that makes a lot of sense, but when I read quotes like the ones below I really wonder how close these men were to God.

"The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. 'No person having the least particle of negro blood can hold the priesthood' (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the priesthood marries a negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a negro is to forfeit a 'nation of priesthood holders'" - Apostle Mark Petersen to BYU students, 1954.

How can a man who is supposed to be a successor of the apostles and be incredibly close to God hold such disgusting views? Furthermore, even if the restriction has been lifted, it still means that in the past God excluded black people from the priesthood and exaltation which just seems completely illogical given that we're all made in His image. There are lots and lots of other quotes like this too from apostles and presidents dating from Brigham Young's time all the way through to the 1970's.

 

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3. "Do you ever feel that introducing all these other Gods detracts from Heavenly Father's glory? I mean, if there are Gods before Him then He's no longer the Almighty, or the Most High, or anything like that."

 

To put it simply, I do not. Heavenly Father's creations are His own. 

 

The easiest way to think about it would be to include the theory of Multiple Universes. Each God has their own set of creations, their universe or universes, with each having their own set of laws that determine how they are governed, set up as its Creator sees fit. In each of these universes their respective God is the Almighty, or Most High, because they were created by that being, and that God governs His universe.

 

So by that logic, Heavenly Father is still the Most High... of our universe, because He is the highest authority in this universe, and therefore to us. We answer to Him.

 

Our teachings seem to disagree with this response.  We are told that we can inherit all that the Father has. If one inherits all the Father has then there cannot be separate universes.  In fact I think that is what Celestial glory is, the ability to glorify in everyone's achievements.  This is why Gods glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

 

If all "Gods" share all then there is only one "God" and because they all share in each other's glory, our God is the highest, there is none other higher as they are all the highest.  They are one, as Christ is one with God and wants us to be one.

 

Separation is the description of the Telestial Kingdom, as one star differs from another.

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Hi everyone.  I revisited this thread after a few weeks have elapsed.  A thought came to me that I'd like to throw out there.  Perhaps it is helpful to revisit the original question:

 

I feel called to the LDS Church...but I still don't know if it's true

 

Now, let's take the Church out of the picture.  Suppose that a non-believer said, "I feel called to believe in Christ...but I still don't know if the gospel is true."

 

You see, many people just take the Bible without questioning it at all.  I was never like that.  I questioned everything about it.  Yet, unexplainably, I felt drawn to Christ as a teacher, as a man, as a symbol, as an exemplar.  I could have said the same thing about Moses, Buddha, or Mohammed.  I felt drawn to the light that I felt emanating from them as teachers, as people, as symbols.  Yet Christ was different because of his claims of divinity.  That was a big pill to swallow.

 

How could I KNOW that Christ was divine?  There was no way to prove or disprove that.  It was more than I could accept on faith alone.  When I encountered the Book of Mormon, that's when I found the key to faith.  The Book of Mormon promised a personal witness from the Holy Ghost.  It offered an experience, not just information.  

 

Through the Book of Mormon, I came to know that Christ was divine, that he was God's Son.  The "proof" we all seek comes from the Holy Ghost.  

 

If you have faith in Christ, how do you know it's true?  If you can answer that, the same answer can be applied to the Church.

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Having read plenty of "anti" literature and a lot of actual church history, there are plenty of trip hazards along the way. Too many to point out, faith is an evolving process, and mine has evolved alot. Look at the church as it is today. Does it fit your lifestyle and make you want to be a better person? Bring you closer to Christ? I don't believe like probably many do that the church is for everyone. That being said I believe that association with the church is a good thing and will help anyone that joins. Seems to me that the Spirit is saying something to you that it has said to me.

Even with all of its flaws, and imperfection.

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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Dorian, perhaps the more important question for you to reflect on is when will you let your decisions and feeling about the LDS church be guided by faith rather than empirical research and reasoning? It may be that at the moment, your balance between these two points may be a little skewed in favour of reasoning and on the question of whether the LDS church is Gods' true church, you may need to reset the balance a little more towards faith. Its always possible to find questions and stumbling blocks and unexpected oddities that can suddenly grow from molehills to mountains and become stumbling blocks that get in the way of our search for eternal truth, but the exercise of faith can quickly shrink them back down to molehills, or make them disappear altogether. 

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The poster that started this thread is not interested in reading or discussing any responses - look at the dates this thread was started and when the originator last posted in the thread.

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