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People always ask us why we send out 19 year-old missionaries with no theological training to be ministers of the gospel.  This is because they don't understand the way we do missionary work.  We don't send out missionaries to prove that our beliefs are true.  We send out witnesses who understand what the voice of the Spirit sounds like.

 

A truly effective missionary realizes that, when he's teaching,the Spirit will manifest itself to a person if he or she is "elect" in that moment.  "Elect" means that it is God's chosen time to send the invitation to that individual.  If a person isn't "elect" at a given moment, he won't receive the witness of the Spirit.  He's not ready for it.

 

When a missionary feels that Spirit is present, his job is to declare it.  He declares it with the understanding that the investigator to whom he is speaking most likely doesn't know what it is that he's feeling.  When the missionary declares it, it's startling to the investigator because they wonder "How did he know?"  The missionary knew because his calling is to feel it and declare it.  Missionary work is performed by revelation.  His or her job is to help his hearers understand how God speaks to them.  If they will receive that, they will begin the path of individually and personally coming to know the voice of God in their lives.  

 

Some people accept it quite naturally.  Other people reject it because, even though they feel the Spirit, they are too busy "counting the cost" so to speak.  They are thinking, "If I believe and accept this, what happens with my friends, my co-workers, my husband, my parents, etc.?"  Everyone can receive revelation.  Most people discount it or don't recognize it when it comes.

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 Generally speaking - with few exceptions - if someone has difficulty accepting the truth of empirical things that are obvious - I do not trust them to understand the more subtle spiritual things.

 

Sadly it often appears to me that many involved in religion are just the opposite.  They seem to disregard obvious empirical things as an exercise of faith thinking that is helpful in understanding the very G-d that ordered empirical things so; thus they would reject such order to better understand he who ordered it so?????

I think "reject" is too judgmental of a statement.  If the priority is first spiritual, second secular, it might come across as being a rejection when in reality it is just a reflection of one's priorities and motives.

President Eyring said; "The thirst for education that comes with the change the gospel brings can be a blessing or a curse, depending on our motives. If we continue to seek learning to serve God and His children better, it is a blessing of great worth. If we begin to seek learning to exalt ourselves alone, it leads to selfishness and pride, which will take us away from eternal life. That is one of the reasons we should always put spiritual learning first. And that is why the Church has placed institutes of religion across the earth wherever young members are gathered in sufficient numbers. Their spiritual education in the institute will shape the purpose and speed the process of their secular learning." ... "It is clear that our first priority should go to spiritual learning. For us, reading the scriptures would come before reading history books. Prayer would come before memorizing those Spanish verbs. A temple recommend would be worth more to us than standing first in our graduating class. But it is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning."  ... "All we can learn that is true while we are in this life will rise with us in the Resurrection. And all that we can learn will enhance our capacity to serve. That is a destiny reserved not alone for the brilliant, those who learn the most quickly, or those who enter the most respected professions. It will be given to those who are humbly good, who love God, and who serve Him with all their capacities, however limited those capacities are—as are all our capacities, compared with the capacities of God."

 

In other words, if all one is able to accomplish in this life is successful learning of the spiritual things first, the rest "will be given", according to President Eyring.   It isn't the other way around.  It isn't first learn the earthy things, the secular things, then spiritual things will be given.

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I think "reject" is too judgmental of a statement.  If the priority is first spiritual, second secular, it might come across as being a rejection when in reality it is just a reflection of one's priorities and motives.

President Eyring said; "The thirst for education that comes with the change the gospel brings can be a blessing or a curse, depending on our motives. If we continue to seek learning to serve God and His children better, it is a blessing of great worth. If we begin to seek learning to exalt ourselves alone, it leads to selfishness and pride, which will take us away from eternal life. That is one of the reasons we should always put spiritual learning first. And that is why the Church has placed institutes of religion across the earth wherever young members are gathered in sufficient numbers. Their spiritual education in the institute will shape the purpose and speed the process of their secular learning." ... "It is clear that our first priority should go to spiritual learning. For us, reading the scriptures would come before reading history books. Prayer would come before memorizing those Spanish verbs. A temple recommend would be worth more to us than standing first in our graduating class. But it is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning."  ... "All we can learn that is true while we are in this life will rise with us in the Resurrection. And all that we can learn will enhance our capacity to serve. That is a destiny reserved not alone for the brilliant, those who learn the most quickly, or those who enter the most respected professions. It will be given to those who are humbly good, who love God, and who serve Him with all their capacities, however limited those capacities are—as are all our capacities, compared with the capacities of God."

 

In other words, if all one is able to accomplish in this life is successful learning of the spiritual things first, the rest "will be given", according to President Eyring.   It isn't the other way around.  It isn't first learn the earthy things, the secular things, then spiritual things will be given.

 

I find what you have highlighted interesting.  Here are a couple of things you did not highlight - could they not be just or more important?

 

 

If we begin to seek learning to exalt ourselves alone, it leads to selfishness and pride

 

Some believe that being exalted in the Celestial Kingdom is the #1 goal and is a spiritual effort?  I would suggest that anyone that is focused just on their salvation has spiritually missed the mark.  One statement I remember well from my youth was advice from my father.  He said "Don't ever lose site of others - never become so spiritually minded about yourself that you are no longer of any physical benefit to your fellow man."  Sometimes it is necessary to assist someone with physical problems in order to raise their spiritual awareness.

 

 

 

Their spiritual education in the institute will shape the purpose and speed the process of their secular learning."   ....  But it is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning.

 

 

My point is that spiritual learning will enhance and improve our secular understanding.  So if our secular understanding is flawed - it is likely that a lack of spiritual understanding is directly related to the problem.

Edited by Traveler

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I find what you have highlighted interesting.  Here are a couple of things you did not highlight - could they not be just or more important?

 

 

Some believe that being exalted in the Celestial Kingdom is the #1 goal and is a spiritual effort?  I would suggest that anyone that is focused just on their salvation has spiritually missed the mark.  One statement I remember well from my youth was advice from my father.  He said "Don't ever lose site of others - never become so spiritually minded about yourself that you are no longer of any physical benefit to your fellow man."  Sometimes it is necessary to assist someone with physical problems in order to raise their spiritual awareness.

 

 

 

 

My point is that spiritual learning will enhance and improve our secular understanding.  So if our secular understanding is flawed - it is likely that a lack of spiritual understanding is directly related to the problem.

We are kind of talking about what Jacob said here in 2 Nephi; "28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

 29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God."

 

I agree with what you are saying.   I would suggest that pride or "vainness" is a physical need or drive.  Spiritual things have to be done with an eye single to the glory of God, if they are not then they are not counted as spiritual anyways.  So, if one is only considering their own prideful (vainness) interests and fame amongst men, then that cannot be called "spiritually minded" in the first place.  "Spiritually minded" by definition means having an eye single to the glory of God and "harken(ing) unto the counsels of God."  If not, all that learning becomes foolishness.

Matthew 16; "26For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"  "gain the whole world" includes secular knowledge.

 

Satan tried to get Christ to do "spiritual" things but for the wrong reasons because then they would not be spiritual.  I like what President McKay said about that; "Classify them, and you will find that under one of those three nearly every given temptation that makes you and me spotted, ever so little maybe, comes to us as (1) a temptation of the appetite; (2) a yielding to the pride and fashion and vanity of those alienated from the things of God; or (3) a gratifying of the passion, or a desire for the riches of the world, or power among men.” And then he said: “Now, when do temptations come? Why, they come to us in our social gatherings, they come to us at our weddings, they come to us in our politics, they come to us in our business relations, on the farm, in the mercantile establishment, in our dealings in all the affairs of life, we find these insidious influences working, and it is when they manifest themselves to the consciousness of each individual that the defense of truth ought to exert itself."

 

And after those temptations Jesus said Matthew 4; " 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."  And that is the way Christ made Satan depart.  He didn't make him depart by going toe to toe with him on an intellectual or physical battle.  He did it by only serving God and not himself.  This is what allowed him to overcome those temptations.

 

D&C 20 explains; " 22 He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them."   ... we are not supposed to give heed to the vainness of the world, which also includes becoming learned in exchange for harkening unto the councels of God.   I think it is very similar to discussions on wealth and money, it is not evil by itself but the love of money is, to the point that that becomes a focus above spiritual things.  Same thing for secular learning.  We shouldn't love it more (or equal for that matter) than spiritual matters.  We can't serve two masters.

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I

 

My point is that spiritual learning will enhance and improve our secular understanding.  So if our secular understanding is flawed - it is likely that a lack of spiritual understanding is directly related to the problem.

Also, (see above post) I disagree with the idea that spiritual understanding is at par or even necessarily directly tied into our physical understanding.  The brain is flawed, the actual wiring and set up is flawed to begin with.  The brain makes up information and we cannot overpower it spiritually to stop it from doing that.  We have to all live with that "thorn in the flesh". The brain's understanding is separate from our spiritual understanding.  Consider the wonderful mind of the spirit inside of a body that has Down's syndrome.  The brain overpowers the spirit.  The spiritual influence is slight compared to the overpowering input from the brain in all of us. Spiritual learning is not so much our spirit learning facts but it is an expression of our dependence on spiritual influences.  When we learn something on a spiritual level it is that we are learning to depend on the spiritual influences more than our physical brain. 

 

“The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. …

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:11, 14).

 

Spiritual knowledge stays with the spirit, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God".  In other words, it is possible in this life to gain spiritual knowledge and yet remain with a natural man brain throughout this life.  Keep in mind too, as we age our natural man brain deteriorates, we lose memory and capacity to learn.  The spirit doesn't do that and it cannot overpower that. 

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Also, (see above post) I disagree with the idea that spiritual understanding is at par or even necessarily directly tied into our physical understanding.  The brain is flawed, the actual wiring and set up is flawed to begin with.  The brain makes up information and we cannot overpower it spiritually to stop it from doing that.  We have to all live with that "thorn in the flesh". The brain's understanding is separate from our spiritual understanding.  Consider the wonderful mind of the spirit inside of a body that has Down's syndrome.  The brain overpowers the spirit.  The spiritual influence is slight compared to the overpowering input from the brain in all of us. Spiritual learning is not so much our spirit learning facts but it is an expression of our dependence on spiritual influences.  When we learn something on a spiritual level it is that we are learning to depend on the spiritual influences more than our physical brain. 

 

“The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. …

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:11, 14).

 

Spiritual knowledge stays with the spirit, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God".  In other words, it is possible in this life to gain spiritual knowledge and yet remain with a natural man brain throughout this life.  Keep in mind too, as we age our natural man brain deteriorates, we lose memory and capacity to learn.  The spirit doesn't do that and it cannot overpower that. 

 

Please be specific - what is a thing -- especially an physical, scientific or empirical thing that is in no way a thing of G-d.  I submit that all things belong to G-d and only by the spirit of G-d are we able to make the connection and understanding that all things are things of G-d - without the spirit we tend to divide thinking and think in terms that some of G-d's creations are not actually things of G-d.  I think you are missing deeper meanings of 1Cor.

 

Also I contend that the spirit of G-d can and does enlighten even the brain of mankind in order that any man can understand that we are the physical image and likeness of G-d.  That by the power of the Holy Ghost - the truth of all things (including so-called secular things) are known.

Edited by Traveler

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Please be specific - what is a thing -- especially an physical, scientific or empirical thing that is in no way a thing of G-d.  I submit that all things belong to G-d and only by the spirit of G-d are we able to make the connection and understanding that all things are things of G-d - without the spirit we tend to divide thinking and think in terms that some of G-d's creations are not actually things of G-d.  I think you are missing deeper meanings of 1Cor.

 

Also I contend that the spirit of G-d can and does enlighten even the brain of mankind in order that any man can understand that we are the physical image and likeness of G-d.  That by the power of the Holy Ghost - the truth of all things (including so-called secular things) are known.

When you use words like "in no way" you make it nearly impossible to have a conversation about it.  My mind is not so absolute as possibly (see there is my qualifier) your mathematical mind is. In this world we are dual beings, both spiritual and physical.  We can separate them theoretically like does Corinthians but in terms of specifics and a practical way that is not possible because we are dual beings.

 

As far as your second paragraph goes, that is exactly what I am saying but I think you think (maybe) that because it can occur in the one direction spiritual to physical that it can occur in the other direction, physical to spiritual.  There is nothing in our scriptures that say that man can reach God through secular means alone. 

 

If the physical understanding is so important (what is retained in the neuronal circuitry of my brain), I hope I never grow old.  What happens to the faithful person who in their older years develops something like Alzheimer's?   Does that mean their spiritual knowledge is lost too?  Of course not! Because the street is a one way street only and what matters most is what is retained spiritually.   The Alzheimer's brain is not going to corrupt the spiritual knowledge gained.   Secular knowledge can afford opportunity to have spiritual experiences but we still keep them separate.  Just like money can afford opportunity to serve and have spiritual experiences if used that way but just having the money alone serves no purpose.  Just having secular knowledge alone in this life serves no purpose, it has to be done and used with an eye single to the glory of God to have eternal consequences, otherwise it turns back to dust like everything else that comes from the Earth in mortality.

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In this world we are dual beings, both spiritual and physical.  

 

I got this far and...

 

:sleeping:

 

And not even concerning the merit or lack thereof in the post. Seriously...how many times can you say the exact same thing in response to traveler? Do you think he doesn't know your views on this yet? Repetition is fine to an extent. But the dual being preaching hobby of yours wears thing.

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I got this far and...

 

:sleeping:

 

And not even concerning the merit or lack thereof in the post. Seriously...how many times can you say the exact same thing in response to traveler? Do you think he doesn't know your views on this yet? Repetition is fine to an extent. But the dual being preaching hobby of yours wears thing.

I don't just post for him, it is for all who might stumble on this thread and maybe read this thread alone.  As it pertains to this topic it is relevant, we are talking about the difference between secular and spiritual knowledge and how it is received.  This directly pertains to the dual being issue which is very unique to our religion.  The fact that we come to this Earth to receive a body so we can be more like God is one of the cores of our religion and yet few seem to appreciate what the body brings to the character of the soul.  It adds character to our soul that the spirit alone cannot provide and I think that alone is significant to better understand it especially when talking about things that develop that side of our soul.  We have a hard time separating what aspect of our character comes from the body vs the spirit in this life, a topic that Paul spent a lot of time with.

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As we discuss what a dual being is.  There are three possibilities to view this topic.  First, from the singular view point of that which is physical.  Second, from the singular viewpoint of that which is spiritual  and finely form an integrated view considering both.

 

It is my belief that the aggregate duality of the physical and spiritual is greater than the sum of both.  I believe that the physical can enhance the spiritual and vice versa.  What I do not quite see from Seminary's point of view is that if we developed so very well spiritually in the preexistence why she thinks that in this life we must not develop physically but continue to develop spiritually - which is -- as near a I understand her arguments - near perfection? 

 

If we need to develop spiritually in this life - then we came to earth spiritually lacking.  If we do not need to develop spiritually - why do so many suffer spiritual difficulties?

 

My observation is that we are incomplete spiritually without the physical and that the physical is lifeless without the spiritual.  If we live out our physical lives in thinking the physical and spiritual must be opposite - we miss the most important purpose that G-d intends us to experience both.

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The most obvious to us would be the 1978 revelation to Spencer W. Kimball granting Priesthood blessings to all people, regardless of ancestral background. Wilford Woodruff's "Manifesto" would also qualify as such a revelation. Certainly Doctrine and Covenants Section 136, given by Brigham Young, and Section 138, given by Joseph F. Smith, qualify as the word of God to us.
 
In my view, the day-to-day operation of the Church, including such things as the directing of missionary work, are all determined by divine revelation.

 

So there's not one that says the men's room with enough room to change clothes in has to be at least 75 yards from the nearest entry door that is ever unlocked, so that those of us with a long drive to some activity have to walk right through the Sunday-best crowd in jeans and a t-shirt before we can get dressed properly?  It's so universal that I was sure it had to be Holy Writ.

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So there's not one that says the men's room with enough room to change clothes in has to be at least 75 yards from the nearest entry door that is ever unlocked, so that those of us with a long drive to some activity have to walk right through the Sunday-best crowd in jeans and a t-shirt before we can get dressed properly?  It's so universal that I was sure it had to be Holy Writ.

 

I would agree. but why don't you drive to those church activities already dressed properly...? I mean, why that changing of the clothes...? By the way, you are a Texan, as far as I remember. I've heard that in Texas you are properly dressed in a jeans outfit. I always wear jeans and jeans jackets, and I even have a Stetson. The only thing I don't wear is western boots,

Edited by JimmiGerman

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I would agree. but why don't you drive to those church activities already dressed properly...? I mean, why that changing of the clothes...?

 

Two to three hours on the road is bad enough on a dress shirt in the best of conditions.  Throw in Texas heat, a cheap car, and the distinct possibility of having to do some roadside maintenance, ($700 1997 Saturn. So far, I've had to replace the brake master cylinder in an Autozone parking lot on the way to a dance, remove and clean up the throttle body on the way to a fireside, JB Weld a busted headlight adjuster on the way to another dance, and change a blowout on the way home from a SA planning meeting.) and I don't wear "Sunday best" for any drive over about 15 minutes.

Edited by NightSG

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Two to three hours on the road is bad enough on a dress shirt in the best of conditions.  Throw in Texas heat, a cheap car, and the distinct possibility of having to do some roadside maintenance, and I don't wear "Sunday best" for any drive over about 15 minutes.

 

I have heard rumor of a new heat pump technology called "air conditioning". This might be a game changer.

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I have heard rumor of a new heat pump technology called "air conditioning". This might be a game changer.

 

I don't even have a car, and only in Juli / August an air condition maybe would make sense here. That's one reason why I wouldn't like to live in Texas: the temperatures. But the Stetson is the best when it rains here (not only to protect you from sun). I've impregnated it so that the rain drops pearl off. At the moment we have temperatures nearly like in spring. It's a very comfortable winter with fresh and mild Atlantic air. Hamburg is the best. On the other hand it makes me a bit worried about the weather... I can't remember such mild temperatures in winter since the time of my youth.

Edited by JimmiGerman

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PPS .. I once was on "Southern Baptist Church Forums", and the software there always changed the word "Mormon" or "Mormons" into "hormons" or something like that automatically. 

 

Spelling checkers and autocorrection can be endless sources of trouble.  A co-worker of mine once wrote a long proposal for a client.  She was a terrible speller and got into the habit of blindly accepting all the corrections that her software proposed, and she misspelled "faces" in the sentence, "your web site will attract more attention if contains many pictures of human faces."  She clicked through to confirm all her spelling corrections and inadvertently accepted another word (with two E's) as the desired spelling without noticing it.  The client called a few days later and said, "I got your proposal, thanks, and I have some little questions and one really big question."

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Spelling checkers and autocorrection can be endless sources of trouble.  A co-worker of mine once wrote a long proposal for a client.  She was a terrible speller and got into the habit of blindly accepting all the corrections that her software proposed, and she misspelled "faces" in the sentence, "your web site will attract more attention if contains many pictures of human faces."  She clicked through to confirm all her spelling corrections and inadvertently accepted another word (with two E's) as the desired spelling without noticing it.  The client called a few days later and said, "I got your proposal, thanks, and I have some little questions and one really big question."

 

:lol: 

Edited by JimmiGerman

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I have heard rumor of a new heat pump technology called "air conditioning". This might be a game changer.

 

Would cost as much to fix the AC as I paid for the car.  Plus, even with the best AC, it's going to be hot enough long enough to sweat all the way through an undershirt and dress shirt before it gets the car cooled off.  I proved this accidentally by wearing a high-end maroon dress shirt in a car with great AC last summer; the seat belt sweat stripe is not a good fashion statement.

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