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Beccabee2

Nonmember's view about accepting the gospel

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I have a friend who I am trying to teach the gospel (in our normal conversations) and he at least respects what I say and doesn't try to prove me wrong on anything. But when I mentioned the fact that when you die, depending on whether or not you accepted the gospel here in this life, you will either go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison, I think this stuck a little too much for him. I have a feeling that he's stuck on the idea that he can live his life here on Earth how he wants (indulging in whatever Earthly pleasures he desires) and then when he dies he'll accept the gospel when he is in Spirit Prison. 

I don't know how to explain in a way that he would understand that choosing that "path" is not as beneficial as he thinks. But his mind is so set in an "Earthly" mindset that I don't even think he could comprehend the idea of the type of eternal blessings that come from the covenants you can make in the Temple, or the blessings that come from living a righteous life here on Earth. 

 

Is this something that I can help him understand or is it something he just needs to learn on his on? And maybe that means the hard way and he won't learn it until Spirit Prison...

 

Thanks for the help. 

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Alma 41... Talks about restoration and judgement

 

And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the restoration of which has been spoken; for behold, some have wrested the scriptures, and have gone far astray because of this thing. And I perceive that thy mind has been worried also concerning this thing. But behold, I will explain it unto thee.

 I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself.

 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—

 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

 And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.

 These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.

 Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.

 And now behold, my son, do not risk one more offense against your God upon those points of doctrine, which ye have hitherto risked to commit sin.

 10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

 11 And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.

 12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?

 13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilishgood for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.

 14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

 15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.

 

Now Alma is talking about the resurrection when he says restoration, but I think you can see the clear implication that has for your friend

 

Simply put your friend errs in thinking he will fundamentally change his ways after he dies.  The promise of baptism and repentance is for those that, "Would have accepted it if given a chance."  Your friend thinks he can sin, be carnally-minded, and reject God while alive and then do a 180 flip after he dies...  He is going to be in for a very rude awakening, if he tries that.

 

 

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I have a friend who I am trying to teach the gospel (in our normal conversations) and he at least respects what I say and doesn't try to prove me wrong on anything. But when I mentioned the fact that when you die, depending on whether or not you accepted the gospel here in this life, you will either go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison, I think this stuck a little too much for him. I have a feeling that he's stuck on the idea that he can live his life here on Earth how he wants (indulging in whatever Earthly pleasures he desires) and then when he dies he'll accept the gospel when he is in Spirit Prison. 

I don't know how to explain in a way that he would understand that choosing that "path" is not as beneficial as he thinks. But his mind is so set in an "Earthly" mindset that I don't even think he could comprehend the idea of the type of eternal blessings that come from the covenants you can make in the Temple, or the blessings that come from living a righteous life here on Earth. 

 

Is this something that I can help him understand or is it something he just needs to learn on his on? And maybe that means the hard way and he won't learn it until Spirit Prison...

 

Thanks for the help. 

ask him what he thinks makes people change

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I have a friend who I am trying to teach the gospel (in our normal conversations) and he at least respects what I say and doesn't try to prove me wrong on anything. But when I mentioned the fact that when you die, depending on whether or not you accepted the gospel here in this life, you will either go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison, I think this stuck a little too much for him. I have a feeling that he's stuck on the idea that he can live his life here on Earth how he wants (indulging in whatever Earthly pleasures he desires) and then when he dies he'll accept the gospel when he is in Spirit Prison. 

I don't know how to explain in a way that he would understand that choosing that "path" is not as beneficial as he thinks. But his mind is so set in an "Earthly" mindset that I don't even think he could comprehend the idea of the type of eternal blessings that come from the covenants you can make in the Temple, or the blessings that come from living a righteous life here on Earth. 

 

Is this something that I can help him understand or is it something he just needs to learn on his on? And maybe that means the hard way and he won't learn it until Spirit Prison...

 

Thanks for the help. 

 

 

You know... what really got me interested in investigating the LDS Church is when I asked my husband, "So, you think I'm going to hell, huh?"  And he told me, "No.  You're not going to hell.  I have a bigger chance of going to hell than you.".

 

Telling people who do not have a testimony of the gospel that they are going to prison when they die is one sure way of shutting their hearts to your message.

 

Teach them of the Plan of Salvation and let them figure out where they would end up themselves.  Avoid telling them their "earthly pleasures are sinful" - you really shouldn't mete judgement anyway.  Instead, concentrate on telling them that there is a path to Christ that blesses us here on earth as well as in eternity.

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To paraphrase Elder McConkie: When people construe a way to live according to the flesh and yet still think they are keeping the commandments, they believe they have found a marvelous thing. But wickedness never was happiness; if an action leads us away from God, it is bad, no matter the justifications we may find for it.

 

estradling's answer really exposes the bottom line of this issue.

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Simply put your friend errs in thinking he will fundamentally change his ways after he dies.  The promise of baptism and repentance is for those that, "Would have accepted it if given a chance."  Your friend thinks he can sin, be carnally-minded, and reject God while alive and then do a 180 flip after he dies...  He is going to be in for a very rude awakening, if he tries that.

 

 

To paraphrase Elder McConkie: When people construe a way to live according to the flesh and yet still think they are keeping the commandments, they believe they have found a marvelous thing. But wickedness never was happiness; if an action leads us away from God, it is bad, no matter the justifications we may find for it.

 

estradling's answer really exposes the bottom line of this issue.

 

 

This only applies if the friend gained a testimony that the restored gospel and the Plan of Salvation is true.  I don't think the friend is there yet.  We're jumping the gun here a bit.  He still doesn't know why we think his actions are leading him away from God when he doesn't find anything wrong with it.

 

Line upon line, precept upon precept...

Edited by anatess

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This only applies if the friend gained a testimony that the restored gospel and the Plan of Salvation is true.  I don't think the friend is there yet.  We're jumping the gun here a bit.  He still doesn't know why we think his actions are leading him away from God when he doesn't find anything wrong with it.

 

Line upon line, precept upon precept...

 

I have no revealed insight into the processes the Lord uses to make such judgments, and obviously I have no knowledge of the individual in question beyond this thread. But it seems to me that if a person is given a good opportunity to know the truth and he rejects that opportunity, he has made his choice. He intentionally chose ignorance. That he hasn't received a fulness is irrelevant; as you say, such things are given line upon line, and whill never be given to those who reject the simpler and more foundational truths.

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This only applies if the friend gained a testimony that the restored gospel and the Plan of Salvation is true.  I don't think the friend is there yet.  We're jumping the gun here a bit.  He still doesn't know why we think his actions are leading him away from God when he doesn't find anything wrong with it.

 

Line upon line, precept upon precept...

 

If I was addressing the friend you would be correct.  I was not addressing the friend I was addressing the OP who expressed that they didn't know how to explain it to their friend.  In my experience someone that doesn't know how to explain something usually don't understand it very well themselves.

 

Based on that assumption I was trying to teach the OP why...  And the OP presumably has all that background and belief that the friend does not.  Once the OP has it clear understanding why their friend's idea will not work, then they can explain it to the friend in way fitting with the context and understanding of the relationship that we posters can not have.

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If I was addressing the friend you would be correct.  I was not addressing the friend I was addressing the OP who expressed that they didn't know how to explain it to their friend.  In my experience someone that doesn't know how to explain something usually don't understand it very well themselves.

 

Based on that assumption I was trying to teach the OP why...  And the OP presumably has all that background and belief that the friend does not.  Once the OP has it clear understanding why their friend's idea will not work, then they can explain it to the friend in way fitting with the context and understanding of the relationship that we posters can not have.

 

Ah... sorry.  I thought you and Vort were trying to tell her what she needs to say to her friend...

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I would discuss the difference between fun and joy.  What is happiness.  What is lasting?  How do we expand our hapiness?  Where do we find it?  If he understands, he will see that this life is where we learn how to find true joy and move beyond materialistic and selfish acts of pleasure.

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Thanks for the replies. I've explained in a very shortened way the Plan of Salvation to him, but I don't think he was very interested. I was talking to him last night about whether or not he thinks what I've talked to him about is true, and he said to me that he doesn't believe anyone can know the truth of anything (pertaining to religion). That people can only hope and have faith. I showed him the verse in Moroni about our ability to have a witness from the Holy Ghost of the truth of the things we are questioning, but he doesn't believe that he can just receive an answer from prayer. He then went on to tell me that he would believe if he could have first hand experiences, like an angel appearing to him or something of that matter.
 

I struggle with explaining the gospel to people. I get so excited when they get interested and as soon as they start to back away I get frustrated and don't understand why they don't believe what I've told them. To me the gospel has always been so black and white. The scriptures tell me to pray about the truthfulness of what I read, so I did. And I received my answer. But he doesn't believe he has that ability, and I can't make him believe anything. He has to search it out for himself. It's very frustrating...

 

 

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I have a friend who also is very much subscribed to the idea the truth, reality, and morality are all relative.  The irony I have discovered in this is the idea of saying truth can't be discovered, but that only concrete evidence will convince the person something is real.  The irony also that while they won't subscribe to a religion, it being "unproveable" (I disagree about this), they are happy to believe in relativistic philosophies, which ARE unproveable.

 

Your friend's attitude is unfortunate.  To me it boils down to not wanting to know.  Congratulations on speaking up and trying.  You opened your mouth, and that's what is important.  My hope is that one day something will happen and your friend will not just want to know if what you told him is true, but will need to know.  Faith, after all, is not simply an inner belief without evidence.  Alma and Amulek taught that it is real knowledge based on positive results to experimentation, nurtured with patience and diligence into a very real understanding of truth.  In other words, hearing the word of God and acting on it. (As my mission president once taught, leaping up out of his seat from where we all thought he was asleep).  Would it have been faith for David to believe with all his heart that God would defeat not only Goliath but the whole Phillistine host, and then he turn around and refuse to fight? Or run, as he did towards Goliath, slinging stones but not believing he had a chance? No.

 

You wanted to know the truth, you did what God directs to find it, you asked, you received.  One day perhaps your friend will do the same.

Edited by Laniston

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When I was on my mission, my mission president often quoted some statistic that people, on average, have around ten experiences with our church before joining. You've given the info and, it sounds like, been a good friend. You might be one of his ten, but not the last one, and that's more than okay.

And as for him not knowing, you may want to read/listen to this talk I wrote. I don't know either, I choose to believe, and he can too. http://paulsifer.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-talk-im-giving-this-sunday-wish-me.html

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