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RuthiesMom

Devastated and Lost

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yes, mdfxdb thats how I see it. Just trying to find the line between a good man who makes mistakes...and a man looking for power and riches...

Ps, sorry for the very poorly written messages! Gotta write super fast and get back to the kiddos.

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yes, mdfxdb thats how I see it. Just trying to find the line between a good man who makes mistakes...and a man looking for power and riches...

 

 

 

It's easy to spend ridiculous amounts of time evaluating someone, tallying every little aspect of their lives and summing up the net result.... but isn't judging people Christ's job?  

 

Just my word of caution before you get caught in the history-judging-black-hole.

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yes, mdfxdb thats how I see it. Just trying to find the line between a good man who makes mistakes...and a man looking for power and riches...

Ps, sorry for the very poorly written messages! Gotta write super fast and get back to the kiddos.

It has been said similarly in some of the previous posts.  I will reiterate my previous advice: Moroni 10:3-5

 

Either Joseph Smith was a prophet or he wasn't.  

 

Find out for sure on your own.  Trust God to lead you down the right path.  You have all the tools necessary for this.  

 

I can say without a shadow of doubt that I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  There is no way he could have done the things he did on his own.  Only by divine intervention, could all that has been accomplished, and all that is continuing to be accomplished happen.  

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Folk Prophet... I guess its just the culmination of all of it, not just one thing. We learn about controversial stuff little by little, slowly digesting it and making peace with it or just swallowing it so we can move on with life and hope it makes sense later. I knew about polygamy and blacks and the priesthood and the fact that half the stuff brigham young did was weird. But I didnt know about the history of Abraham, fanny and polygamy being done in secret, much to the pain of Emma...oh yeah and the rock in the hat. I think its allll of it.

 

Culmination of anything, historically speaking, shouldn't really be the deciding factor though. I'm not saying it's easy. I'm saying you need to set your decision making paradigm primarily on the Spirit's communications rather than the difficult things you are now digesting. Work through the issues. Yes. Figure it out, read through the excellent resources indicated by Just a Guy in the 2nd post. But do it all from a position of, "I know this church is true." If you cannot, then you need to start there. Get into the Book of Mormon and get on your knees and wrestle with the Spirit until you know. That is key.

 

Just trying to find the line between a good man who makes mistakes...and a man looking for power and riches...

 

But this isn't the important line to find. The wrong question is being asked inherently by the concern. Was Joseph looking for power and riches, or a mistake ridden good man? Wrong question. Was Joseph a prophet of God who restored the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and does that power and authority reside with the Church still today? Right question.

 

And, again, history will not answer these "right" question. Get them answered in the only way they can be answered.

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Thanks for some much needed perspective and dialogue.

I am going to start with Just A Guy's resources, continue with prayer and scripture and once more take up the challenge in Moroni. Although I already have atleast twice.

Just curious, why is Crucible of Doubt not the best idea? What about the God Who Weeps?"

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I read anti-lds books (ironically those helped more than pro-lds books!) looked at both and pro and con lds websites, you name it. I never expected Joseph to be perfect. He was a mortal human, just like you and I. 

I find this interesting, because i've heard it said by several people. I find it a bit baffling myself, it seems awfully counter-intuitive. But Cool never the less.

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I wrote an article several years ago that dealt with situations like this.  Almost all anti-Mormon literature and web sites draw material that come from apostates.  In the Book of Mormon, we read of "dissenters" who go over to the "Lamanites" to stir up anger and persecution against the saints.  They do this because they hoped their leaving the Church would damage it somehow.  When they see that the Church continues on perfectly well without them, they begin to spread their bitter feelings among non-believers, hoping to cause the damage they failed to achieve by quitting the Church.

 

The article I wrote is called "Believing Judas."  Here's a quote from it that might be helpful here.

 

There are modern-day Judases who walk among us. They are individuals who once saw, believed, and testified that they knew the Church was true. They made sacred covenants with God and participated in the programs and works of the Church. They beheld miracles and priesthood blessings. Some of them even took upon them the missionary mantle and went out to teach others the truths they believed. Then, at some point, they allowed their faith to wane and falter. They gave place to the Adversary in their hearts. They did not just fall into inactivity, but they turned to fight against that which they once honored and declared as true. They seek to kill something that still bothers their conscience, hoping that, if they succeed, at long last they will find peace.

If you are not a Latter-day Saint, and you encounter anti-Mormon literature or media, please consider what the source of that information is. Would you accept the testimony of Judas Iscariot about Jesus Christ? If Judas had not killed himself, what would his opinion be of the work of Peter, Paul, John, James, and the other servants of Jesus? What would he have written about them? Would he have his words published by the Romans and circulated throughout the Empire? Would his words have been spread far and wide by the rabbis, chief priests, and elders of Judaism to undermine the threat of a rapidly spreading "cult." Would you accept as truth, the words of Peter and the other witnesses of the resurrection? Or would you heed the counter-message from one who had betrayed his Lord and his fellow apostles?

Anti-Mormon literature is full of hostile rhetoric that has been solicited by apostates. Are the words of these turncoats any more reliable than the testimony Judas would have offered? 

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I am sure this has all been seen here before, so I appreciate any of you taking time to read this. After googling some items to find information for a Sunday lesson, I came upon an essay on the lds website, that lead me to another and to another... Reading all kinds of information I had never heard before...on pages that seemed to be thru the "back door" of the LDS site. I always trusted my heart and the spirit in navigating my faith and never paid any attention to the scripture debates...amd trusted the information given me at church and what I would read on my own in the scriptures.

After reading about Joseph looking into a hat with stones in it, and then just using a treasure hunting rock, while the plates sat next to him wrapped up in a hankercheif. Then the essay about the book of Abraham and how their egyptian alphabet doesnt match the alphabet modern scholars use...and the facsimilies don't really match what modern scholars translate them to mean...?

Then the essay about Joesph smith and polygamy and Fanny Alger and the timing of the polygamy revelation, and it all being done in secret...

I hate tried my whole life to live a genuine, honest life. Honesty is huge for me. These little tidbits of "hidden" information have crushed me. I am completely devastated, and for the first time in my life, I believed the church is in fact a man-made institution. I was so sick about the idea, that I threw up...then I just layed in my bed and cried. For the first time in my life, I have a real belief that there really isn't a God. That this church is no better than any other, with lies and secrets and apparently a very muddy past...just like all the others. Nothing good comes from secrets, and now I have no idea how to trust this establishment.

I am completely broken. The ONE thing I truly believed I could trust...my faith in God...has been shattered.

https://www.lds.org/topics/plural-marriage-in-kirtland-and-nauvoo?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/topics/translation-and-historicity-of-the-book-of-abraham?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-translation?lang=eng#26

I am not even sure where to begin...I obviously need to find more information but finding reliable information online isn't exactly making things any better. i just read that the visions in the Nauvoo temple were really because everyone had fasted all day and then got really really drunk. It just gets worse and worse. And then a now atheist watched his sweet wife die of cancer, holding printed copies of blessings she had received that promised her more time, but she died early anyway. And the stuff on wikipedia for Oliver Cowdary is just more stuff that just hurts my heart.

I don't remember the sources for these and I suspect they are unreliable, but I can't stop thinking about them.

I need to make sense of all this, and find out the TRUTH. I have 2 kids under the age of 2 and they need all of my energy and attention. my time to be able to really dig into this stuff is extremely limited, and my brain is mush from sleep deprivation and sick kids...I can't get it out if my mind...but I am so sick over this that I need some reliable direction or help...atleast while I chip away and digest all this stuff. and eventually decide what this means for me and my little family's future.

My kids need me and I need to be able to give them all my attention...not be preoccupied with this dark rabbit hole.

Any help or perspective is greatly appreciated.

Preamble: DON'T PANIC.

don't take too much to heart, be patient, pray always.

1 on the book of abraham- it was destroyed before anyone could copy it so anyone who says that Joseph didn't translate it is blowing smoke. second the egyptian alphabet is always changing and various parts are argued over by the experts so don't let that worry you.... the experts still have a looooonng ways to go, joseph is just ahead of them.

2. so what if Jospeh put a seer stone in a hat to look at it? how is that any worse than moses transforming a stick into a snake? Or listening to a talking donkey?

3. God told Abraham to kill his own son, how is that any better than commanding someone to marry more than one person?

4. on visions, it's really hard to get someone else to see the same thing you do if it's only coming from  your mind.

 

4. reality is crazy, and often much more so than you can possibly imagine. Besides God's always said his people are peculiar people. Just remember to focus on God, and don't worry (I'd highly recommend a lot of prayer, scripture study and some fasting).

I don't know all the sites youre visiting but some of them are being dishonest- the best way to lie is to sandwich it between two truths.

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Going through the times of trail through our faith can be tremendously painful.  Some people use it to grow stronger in their faith others wilt away.

 

I would recommend Bushman's "Rough Stone Rolling".  I honestly believe some of the problems modern individuals have is that we are so far removed from those times that it is almost impossible to understand the cultural and historical environment. But it is extremely unfair to put our modern day interpretations of things onto events that occurred over 150 years ago.

 

Historically, we are as far removed from Joseph Smith as he is removed from the founding of Plymouth! That is a lot of time and cultural change. Bushman does a good job of putting Joseph Smith in context of the 1820-1840s. The people of that time were extremely religious.

 

I will say one thing I always notice with individuals who have this trails . . . the claim of "honesty". First off, this information has always been out there, simply because the Church never highlighted it doesn't mean they "hide" it or claimed something else. I first learned about Joseph and the hat in seminary when I was prob. 16-17.

 

Speaking frankly, in the grand scheme does it really matter how Joseph translated the BoM as long as he translated it by the power of God. Whether it was the Urim and Thummin, or a seer stone in a hat, or written on slips of paper, or in visions, or by looking at the text and thinking about it and seeing if it was right?

 

Take the D&C for example, how did those come about?  Did he use a seer stone, Urim and Thummin, or did God speak directly to his mind?

 

The best one to know is Joseph himself and since he never really said, the best people can go on is what others saw.  Is what others saw the truth about how it worked.  No, it was just their perspective.  And human perspective is completely flawed.  How flawed? Well eye witness truth isn't exactly truth.

 

http://agora.stanford.edu/sjls/Issue%20One/fisher&tversky.htm

 

Unlike mathematics, what people perceive is simply based on their perspective and take 2 different people seeing the same thing and they see different things.  With the church, those who have faith and believe see miracles, to those who don't have faith they see lies.

 

And truth is interesting.  Take for example Newton's laws of physics in 99% of practical cases, Newton's laws work great.  Yet, in that 1% one needs Einstein physics to understand why Newton failed in the 1%.  Does that mean Newton's laws are a "lie"? No, not at all, simply that there is more.

 

Another case, what about your child, if at 5 they ask mommy were do babies come from? are you going to tell them every detail.  No, 1) they don't need it and 2) they couldn't understand it.  Now at 10, they come to you and make the claim "Mom you lied to me!!!!".  No, I didn't lie to you, I gave you the proper amount of information you needed at that time.

 

Discovering the truth is very important in this life, but claiming that the Church lied, hide, or misrepresented things is akin to saying "Mom you lied to me".  Recognize that the people within the Church and the leaders are honestly good people trying to do the right thing with God's help.  Sometimes they get it right, sometimes wrong.

 

I do question a couple of your examples though.  With the cancer patient, what blessing are written down.  Besides patriarchal blessings and baby blessings.  Why would the spouse be going through written down blessings? And like I mentioned previously, perspective makes all the difference.  And what is more time? one day, a year?  Also only blessings that are spoken by the Spirit, rather than through what men want are truly valid.  Blessings spoken of what men want, may occur or may not.

 

My suggestions, start of with faith, faith in God.  I won't tell you here how, but there is no doubt in my mind that God exists. Things that I have experienced simply are not coincidental or made up.  I have personally been witness to modern-day miracles.  They exist and are as real as this message. Sometimes it simply requires a little bit of faith and eyes to see and ears to hear.

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I chide you on harping on it constantly to the exclusion of practically anything else. It seems to be your gospel hobby. I perfectly well understand.

 

The rest of your post seems to entirely (speaking of understanding) misunderstand my point, which is meant to say nothing more than, "remember".

 

In other words:

 

Alma 5:26

And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

 

Maybe if I'd quoted scripture upfront you'd be less inclined to nit-pick at my meaning (though I doubt it).

 

 

The fact that you believe the dual beings idea is the core of our religion speaks volumes to me about who understands and who does not.

I didn't say that you didn't understand the gospel topic, I said that you would see how the thing you chid me on relates to this topic.  It doesn't contradict what you said but speaks of the mechanics of such a thing, how does one forget in the first place and how does one remember.  Calculus doesn't negate the rules of basic addition and subtraction.

 

Instead of the one liner from Alma 5, one can, reading the whole chapter, realize that what "remembering" means is to put off the carnal man, to wash the garmets that are stained with blood, to not have the pride that the body drives, making people want to wear costly apparel etc and to receive a spiritual understanding.  "Remembering" entails all of that, it doesn't go against that idea.  It is simply a deeper understanding of what you are saying, not a contradictory statement.   You wish it to be contradictory so that you can tell me I don't understand but that is not the case.  The fact that you would chid me about it in the first place speaks volumes as well, as I didn't write anything contradictory to our gospel.

 

Alma 5 - how to remember; " 53 And now my beloved brethren, I say unto you, can ye withstand these sayings; yea, can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches?"

"

 12 And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true.

 13 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.

 14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?  15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?"

 

To "remember" includes the fact that we are now walking around in a mortal corrupted body and we have to picture ourselves in front of God without the corrupted mortal body to be judged by our spiritual deeds.  The "change of heart" is one from a carnally minded one (a person that listens to the drives of the body over the spiritual ones) to a 'spirituallly born of God' state which is to say one is spiritually minded (to listen to the spirit more than the body).   That IS the way to remember, which is what the Book of Mormon does, provides a 'Calculus' level understanding of the basic gospel of "just remember'.

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The fact that you would chid me about it in the first place speaks volumes as well, as I didn't write anything contradictory to our gospel.

 

My chiding has nothing to do with your doctrinal stance in the matter. If you recall, I was complaining that you and traveler go at the same thing over and over and over again, and that you constantly go at it with this idea as your go-to point.

 

Sure, there are details of application and the like that we disagree on. But I've never stated your dual beings idea is wrong.

 

You came after me in this thread with "...you don't seem to understand..." and "if you want to ignore that very core of our religion...", which are very different sorts of rebukes than teasing someone for harping on an idea repeatedly. And, decidedly, unfair as a response to the post I had made, particularly where you admit now that your response is an expansion of the idea, rather than contrary. How unfair to imply that by expanding my thought you are proving me wrong-headed and ignorant.

 

You're free to move forward by responding to every idea with the "we're dual beings" approach. Go for it. But when you tell me I don't understand and that I'm ignoring the "core" of the gospel, you're gonna get some backlash.

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To meekly venture where angels fear to tread...

 

I think the "dual beings" idea has a lot of applicability, and I also think it's something that we Latter-day Saints perhaps don't keep in mind as often as we should. Our essential carnal nature is at least as real as our spiritual yearnings, and should be taken into account in almost all settings.

 

Past that, I won't venture an opinion at this time. :)

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My chiding has nothing to do with your doctrinal stance in the matter. If you recall, I was complaining that you and traveler go at the same thing over and over and over again, and that you constantly go at it with this idea as your go-to point.

 

Sure, there are details of application and the like that we disagree on. But I've never stated your dual beings idea is wrong.

 

You came after me in this thread with "...you don't seem to understand..." and "if you want to ignore that very core of our religion...", which are very different sorts of rebukes than teasing someone for harping on an idea repeatedly. And, decidedly, unfair as a response to the post I had made, particularly where you admit now that your response is an expansion of the idea, rather than contrary. How unfair to imply that by expanding my thought you are proving me wrong-headed and ignorant.

 

You're free to move forward by responding to every idea with the "we're dual beings" approach. Go for it. But when you tell me I don't understand and that I'm ignoring the "core" of the gospel, you're gonna get some backlash.

No, I said "how it relates", not just "you don't seem to understand" by itself. 

 

I think the moderators of this forum let one slip by when, in the other thread, I posted a sincere, gospel focused post about my beliefs and perspective and then you, before anyone else posted any comments about it, posted in essence ‘Hey everyone, don’t read her posts, they are boring. All she does is post the same thing over and over again.”

 

I don’t post to every thread.  Yes, I have my interests.  As I have stated before, I am a nurse and my husband is a physician and we both see cases of people who are “brain dead” but their body is alive.  We have to have discussions with families about whether we keep them on the ventilator and artificially keep them alive or not with the idea that maybe their spirit has already left their body.  I have had families tell me the moment that happens, they can feel it.  So, I deal, in a real sense, with the idea that we have both a body and a spirit, almost on a daily basis.  And I have a strong testimony that one of the main reasons to come to Earth is to receive a body and to be tested “in the flesh” as opposed to being tested as a spirit alone.  As the gospel is the way to pass that test, then discussing this relationship between spirit and body is relevant, at least in my mind.

 

After you saying that my posts are irrelevant, I have given you argument that they are relevant, like in this thread.  It is an attempt to show you how the idea of dual beings corresponds with many different aspects of the gospel. You are being closed minded about that and then telling me that I am claiming you lack understanding etc.  Well, if you don’t lack understanding, in other words you do realize that it relates to this topic, then you are simply being defensive and threatening.  I was giving you the benefit of the doubt by thinking you really don’t see how it relates to so many topics and attempting to explain why, like I did in this thread. Obviously, there is a wall there. For the sake of the enjoyment I have had on this forum discussing gospel topics, I sincerely hope that I don’t have to post with some bullying threat of “backlash” over my head. After close to 4000 posts you are the only one who has made such threats.  If you say, like you have, that you are not arguing against the idea that we are dual beings, in other words, you have no comment about the doctrine related to my comments, then what is your purpose to make such comments?  I would have to assume it is not to bully but because you don’t understand where I am coming from and find it irrelevant to the discussion.  After all that, you are threatening because I made such a kind assumption, guess I should have thought the former.

 

I suppose I can make threats too! I guess we will see how the moderators feel about posting replies like, “Boring!  It’s not worth reading his post!” every time you make any comment and then maybe the wall you have up for such an idea will start to crumble, if that’s the game you want to play.  I don’t think the moderators want to thwart legitimate and sincere postings regarding LDS gospel as strongly as you do.  If it is not of interest to you then simply don’t read it or even make a comment about it. But, I don’t think you should be telling people that their posts are irrelevant and that it isn’t worth even reading and then when they explain how they are relevant you “backlash” with threatening comments.  The moderators are supposed to tell people what is relevant or not, that is not your job.  I am open to you telling me my ideas are wrong, I have learned a lot on this forum from those types of discussion but that won't happen if you tell people to stop posting what they sincerely believe and it fits within the guidelines the moderators have established. Threatening to "backlash" is certainly not the way to promote that type of discussion.

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Sem, 

 

I, honestly, was trying to be somewhat playful and funny with the snoring icon. You took it way beyond that. I'm sorry about that. I didn't mean it to be that insulting.

 

After you saying that my posts are irrelevant, I have given you argument that they are relevant, like in this thread.  It is an attempt to show you how the idea of dual beings corresponds with many different aspects of the gospel. You are being closed minded about that...

 

I have no issue with you explaining why it is relevant. I also retain the right to disagree. In this particular thread, I don't think it's entirely irrelevant. I think using it as a refute to my post, as you did, was missing the point of my thread. And I certainly read your "you don't understand how this relates" (which is out of nowhere because my post was in no way contradictory to dual-beings relating) and your accusation that I'm ignoring "the very core of our religion" (another non-sequitur response to my post, which wasn't ignoring the dual-being idea, even if we agreed that it's the very core of our religion) as contrary.

 

I sincerely hope that I don’t have to post with some bullying threat of “backlash” over my head. After close to 4000 posts you are the only one who has made such threats.  If you say, like you have, that you are not arguing against the idea that we are dual beings, in other words, you have no comment about the doctrine related to my comments, then what is your purpose to make such comments?  I would have to assume it is not to bully but because you don’t understand where I am coming from and find it irrelevant to the discussion.  After all that, you are threatening because I made such a kind assumption, guess I should have thought the former.

 

You have your ire up, and I think that's causing you to read things that I did not mean. All I meant by "backlash" was I'd respond, countering your points. I'm not sure what kind of "threat" you legitimately feel from me. How can I possibly threaten you in any regard? By disagreeing? That's all I mean by "backlash". I will disagree if you claim I am saying something I didn't mean to.

 

I think you need to take a step back and reconsider the discussion. From my perspective you are blowing this way out of proportion on an emotional level. As I said, I did not mean to offend you in that regard. I thought our relationship and ability to spar with words was casual. I did not realize you would take my snoring icon as seriously as you seem to.

 

I suppose I can make threats too! I guess we will see how the moderators feel about posting replies like, “Boring!  It’s not worth reading his post!” every time you make any comment and then maybe the wall you have up for such an idea will start to crumble, if that’s the game you want to play.  I don’t think the moderators want to thwart legitimate and sincere postings regarding LDS gospel as strongly as you do.  If it is not of interest to you then simply don’t read it or even make a comment about it. But, I don’t think you should be telling people that their posts are irrelevant and that it isn’t worth even reading and then when they explain how they are relevant you “backlash” with threatening comments.  The moderators are supposed to tell people what is relevant or not, that is not your job.  I am open to you telling me my ideas are wrong, I have learned a lot on this forum from those types of discussion but that won't happen if you tell people to stop posting what they sincerely believe and it fits within the guidelines the moderators have established. Threatening to "backlash" is certainly not the way to promote that type of discussion.

 

As I said, you are misunderstanding my meaning entirely in using the word "backlash".

 

Look Sem, I thought we had a better relationship than this. In realizing we don't I will back out of having further debates with you. I do not want personal, emotional battles, in any degree. I will respect that I have upset you in the way I have responded. I apologize. I hope you can see how you have misread my tone and meaning in cases, however.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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If you feel that a post is breaking the rules, report it. Accusing us of "letting one slip by" isn't just bad form, it's breaking the rules. We're all volunteers here, checking in on our own free time, and we may accidentally miss something now and then, especially in a multi-mega-twenty-paragraph post. That's why there's a report function.

 

ETA: That's not to say that we will agree with your assessment of a post, or that any action taken or not taken will be publicized. It won't. But it will be seen and discussed among the moderators. 

Edited by Eowyn

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OP

in this day and age where corruption in every company, government and institution continue to grow and run rampant. The LDS church will continue to separate itself as a light of hope and righteousness.

despite the human flaws of our church leaders I would suggest you continue to seek out your relationship with Jesus Christ, and from my personal experience, He lives and he does have a true church on this earth.

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I am a convert.  I read ALL the negative stuff that is out there.  I'm not joining a church without reading everything.  i still joined.

 

Joseph Smith was an imperfect man who was chosen to do something Holy.

 

I agree, some of the things you read are not so good.  But that does not negate the good things, the Gospel and the information that Smith brought forth.

 

Joseph Smith was a human.  He was probably as messed up as all of us are.  I have no illusions that he was some saintly man who walked on water.  I believe he was a very rough stone rolling ( I think he called himself that) and maybe that is why God chose him.  He needed someone rough and a bit wild to do His plan. 

 

I'm sure Smith sinned. He made mistakes and stumbled, like we all do.  And again, his humanity doesn't negate the holy message he brought to us.

 

In fact, I think that is what drew me to the church.  I like that Joseph Smith was not perfect.  Far from it.  He was just a man.  I

 

Whatever Smith did or didn't do, the message of the Gospel that he brought forth is True.  Smith was simply a vessel. I focus on the Gospel and info.  

 

And, let's not forget, Smith lived fairly recently.  There was much dislike for him and I can certainly understand why.  Some guy claims he has a new Bible???  We would all be suspicious ourselves.  Who knows if what was written was from haters or accurate journalism?  

All of the old Biblical prophets did not have modern journalist following them around.  Only the good stuff has been preserved!  For all we know, those prophets could've been pretty saucy too and no one published newspapers about it. It's because Smith is so recent that we have so much info on him.

 

Regarding the Book of Abraham...I'm not sure what to think, quite honestly.  But again, the Book of Mormon is true and so is D&C. 

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When I joined the Church after high school, I ran into many of these very things and others. I had the advantage of not growing up in the Church with whatever expectations of history I would have. Honestly speaking, I found the idea of the stones charming.

 

Researching these findings is good, but as others have said please stick to the truth of your testimony.

 

These discoveries are just things and details. Who are we to put qualifications on truth?

 

We can't say "I will accept Truth as long as the prophet has a red beard, enjoys checkers, and isn't allergic to dogs." (I know your discoveries aren't nearly so trite, but I do feel strongly it's about the same thing. "I will  accept Truth as long as the history includes a 5 pilgrimages, neither 4 nor 6, and has a scripture precisely 738 pages long in Times New Roman font."

 

And, possibly what you are looking for, "I will accept Truth as long as it is politically correct by the standards of 2015, not 1827, not 1989, and not subject to any change in politically correct standards for the next ten years."

 

History is what it is. Are magic stones of revelation any crazier than Deity appearing to a boy?

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I remember my experience finding out the hat, rock, tresure hunting, etc. but I didn't throw in the towel. However I did have the thought that this all may indeed be a lie. However I kept studying and used FairLDS for some help on some questions. My testimony came out stronger afterwards, but it took a year of independant study to secure my concerns.

 

I believe that is why the church recently put out those "Gospel topics", which is a good first step. Hang in there there are anwsers to your questions.

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I remember my experience finding out the hat, rock, tresure hunting, etc. but I didn't throw in the towel. However I did have the thought that this all may indeed be a lie. However I kept studying and used FairLDS for some help on some questions. My testimony came out stronger afterwards, but it took a year of independant study to secure my concerns.

 

I believe that is why the church recently put out those "Gospel topics", which is a good first step. Hang in there there are anwsers to your questions.

 

I had a similar sort of...I dunno...not a thought really...just a passing "whoa", with, perhaps the concept of "lie" in their somewhere, upon learning some of these things many years back, but it never resolved to a full thought simply because I knew the church was true.

 

I think that Satan or one of his minions sits on our shoulders when we read some of these new-to-us ideas whispering, "The church is a lie. Joseph Smith is a lie. All a lie."  That is, imo, a very real thing.

 

So when I hit the same experience, in spite of the brief emotional punch in the gut that came along with it, I never entertained that it might be a lie, because of the spiritual witness I've had of it's truth. This witness allows me to pre-determine that anything thing (re-iterated ANYTHING) that comes along will not throw me.

 

And this is something that needs to be taught and understood, in my opinion. This is the best way to deal with the cognitive dissonance people are facing. It's very similar to pre-determining that one won't drink BEFORE the drink is offered.  When the Spirit speaks the truth to our souls, if we then used that to pre-determine a level of stalwart, even stubborn, clutch to that knowledge, then other so-called knowledge that comes along isn't that tough to deal with.

 

That being said, I also used the same sources as you to resolve the issues, but it was more of an attempt to be able to understand and defend the matter than it was to resolve concerns that the church might after all be nothing but a big lie.

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I guess I've never really thought it was necessary for Satan to magnify our doubts. We do a fine job of that ourselves. Considering the ramifications of new information is one of the marvelous, miraculous, and almost magical qualities of our ridiculously overdeveloped frontal lobes. Unfortunately, our weighting of both the importance and the likelihood of various bits of information we take in is badly skewed, so we almost always should approach our conclusions tentatively. Don't be too quick to believe your own take. Doubt your doubts.

 

I guarantee you that many "scientific truths" that we accept today without a second thought would have gotten you laughed at and scorned, if not threatened, in most historical eras. If the Church is true, it is true because its claims accurately represent reality, past, present, and future. How well it fits into current social trends and philosophies is utterly irrelevant.

Edited by Vort

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Thanks for more insight. I do believe it has helped...

However I must admit that as I still try to dig through this stuff at a snail's pace...and totally sleep deprived.

I now see the church through a sceptic's eye. I don't trust what I read or study anymore, I don't allow myself to feel what I maybe would have felt during my church meetings.

This has just put a sting in my heart that I never would have expected to come from my faith that I loved. It makes me leery to trust. The more I have tried to talk with friends and family, the more I have come to realize just how misinformed people are about these issues. Its been interesting, but dissapointing at the same time.

I am still searching for peace...which i haven't felt in a long time now. My heart just hurts and I am just kindof stuck, praying every night for some mind of "ah-hah", where either this stuff won't matter for me because God will let me know that it doesn't matter, or because I will come to an understanding with answers that make sense. But with my small kids, it is hard to do get a shower in every day, let alone actually sit down and do real research. And the research I have done so far hasn't exactly just checked off my questions on issues either. Seems to just drudge up more questions.

I still feel lied to. The church history stuff (JSmith and BYoung) is really bothering me and I do not feel like this church is any more enlightened or true than any other...and I am still very much in doubt that there is a God at all now. ...and it sucks. I don't eat, I don't sleep...My heart hurts, my joy is not what it was (not even close)... I can't enjoy my kids or anything else that would make me just smile inside no matter what.

And my kids and husband are also paying the price because this has hurt my ability to be happy even for them. Its just sucked the light right out of my heart...and I am worried that I gotta teach my kids just how complicated this world really is...that nothing is what it seems, not even their faith (that they should trust the most).

Sorry for the depressing reply... Been a really hard few weeks.

But then there is one sticking thing for me...that the whitnesses never ever denied what they saw...even thru everything. Through my reading I am unsure, but i am assuming that is their experience with not inly the book but the angel as well. And I am sure some of you think "well there ya go! Its true!" But the sting is there...I gotta somehow sort the rest out.

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This is my attempt to present some good general purpose knowledge.

  • Read everything you can, and try to get a good balance.  You should be able to tell whether the things you are reading are derogatory towards the church for the sake of being derogatory.  You should also be able to tell whether the things you read are praising the church for the sake of praise.  You should be able to tell the difference between people who are biased and someone who is honestly seeking the truth.  Often the truth is hard to find.
  • Read the Book of Mormon.  Take notes.  Ask questions.  Compare it with other things you have read that you know to be false, as well as things you have read that you know to be true.  It is no exaggeration to say that the validity of the LDS church rests on the Book of Mormon.
  • Try to put yourself in the situations you are reading about.  The creation of the church happened at a different era of American history.  Read about the LDS church, but also read about the other churches of the time.  A lot of new religions were formed around Joseph Smith's time, each proclaiming that they had the Truth.  Many people joined these churches, and many more were distrustful of the new churches.  Joseph Smith himself grew up in a family that was polarized by religion.
  • God will not punish the honest seeker of truth.  I have known people who have converted to the LDS church, and people who have grown up in the church that have fallen away.  I do not believe that God will punish either of these people, as long as they have been honestly seeking the truth.  If there is one thing Jesus despises, it is a hypocrite.  He is also our judge.  I do not believe Jesus would punish you, no matter what your decision is, as long as that is what you honestly believe.
  • It will take time.  A testimony in the church does not grow overnight, nor does a testimony in anything else.

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