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1 minute ago, Grunt said:

I'm not.  I'll google it, though.  

After googling, here's my take.

There are indeed some times that the Lord simply says, I want you to do this because I said so.  But He will always accompany such commandments with special blessings.  Sampson was blessed with superhuman strength.  I know that I've been blessed for my obedience to the WoW.

The thing is that you can read all the biblical references you want.  And there are several relevant ones.  But none of it will matter until you gain a tastimony that the Lord wants you to do it.

And if you know that...why ask for the scripture?

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14 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

And if you know that...why ask for the scripture?

This answer may or may not be acceptable to you, but I can't change my "truth". 

I don't have a testimony and I'm also shaky in my acceptance of modern prophets and their revelations as doctrine.   However, I'm still trying to follow the "rules"  in hopes that through commitment I will gain a testimony.   

One thing that I've learned through my studies and interactions is that personal revelation is just that:  personal.  I'm trying to decipher what stems from doctrine, the Prophets, and or personal revelation.  For example, there is a counselor in church who talks more about the Heavenly Mother than anything else.  I had never heard of such a thing so I asked.  The answer I was given is the the concept was something that seeped into the culture through various interpretations and personal revelations, but there is no definitive statement on it and some don't necessarily subscribe to it.  

I'm a very analytical person, therefore when I hear something new or that isn't something my mind connects with I need to start at the root and absorb it., wherever that root may be.  

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5 hours ago, Armin said:

Let a layman speak: Modern or present revelations are a profound part of the Mormon belief, maybe the most typifying part. Other churches, for some reasons, reject the possibility of divine revelations in our days, and their standpoint is that prophets only lived in ancient times, that there were no prophets any more, and, consequently, God doesn't communicate with man any more and maintains himself in eternal silence, or, he doesn't choose man any more to speak as prophets. In contrast are the Mormons: Erroneous interpretations of the scriptures or the Christian faith can be trumped by modern revelations. Maybe this might become a difficult point for you, because you seemingly search for spiritual foundations and orientation only based on existing and confirmed scriptures and their constant or invariable interpretation.

FWIW, this is what Mormonism teaches about other religions, not what other religions teach.

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4 hours ago, Grunt said:

This answer may or may not be acceptable to you, but I can't change my "truth". 

I don't have a testimony and I'm also shaky in my acceptance of modern prophets and their revelations as doctrine.   However, I'm still trying to follow the "rules"  in hopes that through commitment I will gain a testimony.   

One thing that I've learned through my studies and interactions is that personal revelation is just that:  personal.  I'm trying to decipher what stems from doctrine, the Prophets, and or personal revelation.  For example, there is a counselor in church who talks more about the Heavenly Mother than anything else.  I had never heard of such a thing so I asked.  The answer I was given is the the concept was something that seeped into the culture through various interpretations and personal revelations, but there is no definitive statement on it and some don't necessarily subscribe to it.  

I'm a very analytical person, therefore when I hear something new or that isn't something my mind connects with I need to start at the root and absorb it., wherever that root may be.  

Of course that's acceptable.  That's exactly how I'd advise.

I just read back over the thread to see why you would be reacting this way.  I now see the problem.  I mixed up topics/threads.  Sorry.  Ignore the last comment about the Nazarite Covenant.

You seem to be on the right track.

 

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5 hours ago, Grunt said:

For example, there is a counselor in church who talks more about the Heavenly Mother than anything else.  I had never heard of such a thing so I asked.  The answer I was given is the the concept was something that seeped into the culture through various interpretations and personal revelations, but there is no definitive statement on it and some don't necessarily subscribe to it.

https://www.lds.org/topics/mother-in-heaven?lang=eng

(Not sure I'd say "seeped" - unless someone's going beyond what's at the above link, in which case, yeah, personal thoughts definitely seep...)

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@Grunt I just want to pop in here to say thank you. You have been one of the more pleasant, patient, and rational posters asking questions about our faith. I really do appreciate you not assuming what I believe and instead asking. I'm sorry for some of the misunderstandings and rude comments, but it's the internet. You get what you pay for. Thank you for sticking around.

 

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Interesting day today.  A friend of mine is suffering from brain cancer.  She owns a country "motel" about 3 hours north and recently turned it over to her sone and bought a little house next door.  I belong to an MC and we went to her new house this weekend to clear the land and give her a view of the mountains.  It was quite the undertaking.  

The missionaries asked me to go to an event today and I told them why I couldn't.  They contacted the missionary mafia and had two elders show up to the work party today.   Wry impressive to see them help out.   They didn't preach, but people did ask questions.  My friend is probably visiting sacrament tomorrow to thank them.  I hope she stays because she probably needs someone to talk to.  

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31 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Interesting day today.  A friend of mine is suffering from brain cancer.  She owns a country "motel" about 3 hours north and recently turned it over to her sone and bought a little house next door. 

The missionaries asked me to go to an event today and I told them why I couldn't.  They contacted the missionary mafia and had two elders show up to the work party today.   Wry impressive to see them help out.   They didn't preach, but people did ask questions.  My friend is probably visiting sacrament tomorrow to thank them.  I hope she stays because she probably needs someone to talk to.  

Sorry about your friend's diagnosis.

Missionaries love a chance to do service work. Usually gets them out of their suits for a couple hours. My dad first met the missionaries when he was up on a ladder, helping someone paint their house.

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4 hours ago, beefche said:

@Grunt I just want to pop in here to say thank you. You have been one of the more pleasant, patient, and rational posters asking questions about our faith. I really do appreciate you not assuming what I believe and instead asking. I'm sorry for some of the misunderstandings and rude comments, but it's the internet. You get what you pay for. Thank you for sticking around.

 

Thanks.  I didn't know tha was rare.  I haven't been around long enough.  

ETA: I can get a little grumpy, and apologize for those times.  

Edited by Grunt

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12 hours ago, Armin said:
23 hours ago, Vort said:

The words are used interchangeably. "Salvation" refers to being removed from the effects of spiritual death caused by sin, while "exaltation" refers specifically to the condition of receiving all that the Father has to give us. The two are generally synonymous, each emphasizing a different aspect of the condition of being made spotless and brought into God's presence.

However, "salvation" can refer to a "saved" state that is short of exaltation. All except the sons of Perdition will eventually be cleansed from sin, embrace the atonement of Christ, and receive a kingdom of glory for an eternal inheritance. We understand there to be three broad kingdoms, only one of which (the "celestial") corresponds to exaltation*. So those in the other, non-exalted kingdoms can be termed "saved" but not "exalted".

*Traditional LDS interpretation of Doctrine and Covenants Section 131 suggests that even among those who inherit the celestial kingdom, only a part of them (those who are married by being sealed in the New and Everlasting Covenant of Marriage) actually receive exaltation.

Will read it again and again until understanding. Have drawn it to my personal and most important files on my clever notebook. At the moment I seemingly don't even understand what nine means divided by three and multiplied by me - maybe zero. Null. Surely. Fading out. :(

Armin, I'm sorry my words don't seem to be gelling for you. I try hard to be precise in my expression. For some people, that works great; for others, not so much.

Let me try again. I'll go with just words, but if you want scriptural citations, let me know, and I or someone else will supply them.

"Salvation" means that you are saved from something. What are you saved from? Death. You are saved from death. There are, of course, two types of death: Physical and spiritual. What does it mean to be "physically dead"? What does it mean to be "spiritually dead"? First, let's consider the question of what "death" means. Then, let's examine each and see how it is we are (or can be) saved from that death.

For our purposes, we can think of "death" as meaning the separation of our spirit from something. Physical death is the separation of our spirit from our body. Spiritual death is the separation of our spirit from God. So during our mortal lifetimes, the vast majority of us in the human race find ourselves physically alive but spiritually dead. Jesus Christ proposes to save us from both kinds of death, if we will but accept that gift. The accepting of the gift of life is achieved through making and keeping sacred covenants.

(Note that our physical life did not come as a binary moment, like lighting a match. There was a process involved in the creation of our physical lives; we achieved life in the safety and nurture of our mothers' wombs, where we came, step by step, from a non-physicality to having physical life. The moment of physical conception is when the father's seed and the mother's seed combine into a unit that will become the body of a new person. Similarly, there is a process involved in the recovery of our spiritual lives; we learn to come back into God's presence in the safety and nurture of the kingdom of God, or, in other words, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The moment of "spiritual conception" might be thought of as that moment when, on hearing the word of God, one first feels that spark of recognition or joy in one's spirit, when the "seed" of one's mind combines with the "seed" of God's spirit to create a new spiritual union -- a "new man", as it were, if only in embryo at the beginning.)

So in what does our salvation consist?

Salvation (the permanent type) from physical death is called "resurrection". This is given as a free gift to all who have ever lived by the Christ, whose atonement ransoms us from physical death. We literally do not need to worry about permanent physical death, because for us, there is no such thing. We will live again. We are saved from physical death. That is a part of our salvation, and in effect it is a fait accompli. You, Armin and Grunt, and myself, and everyone else, will be resurrected. Of that, we need never worry.

Salvation from spiritual death is not as obvious. Since spiritual death is the separation of our spirit from God, which is the common condition of all men on this earth, how does Jesus Christ propose to save us from this death? He proposes nothing less than to bring us into the presence of the Almighty Father himself, at which point we will (as it were) have the option of staying or leaving. This, too, is accomplished through Christ's atonement, and is in fact the very literal meaning of "atonement". Through sacred covenants made and kept, we can (if we choose to) change our very nature, from being a spiritually dead being at the mercy of the flesh to being a spiritually living being fed by the spirit of God, unafraid of physical death and confident in our spiritual eternal life.

We make our primary and arguably most important covenant first when we are baptized. At that time, we are inducted into the kingdom of God on Earth, which today is known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As members of the kingdom, we are granted (and instructed to receive) the gift of the Holy Ghost, without which we cannot learn and become what we must learn and become. Through keeping this covenant, we grow in spirit, and our spiritual life develops as a babe within his mother's womb. Further covenants follow: For men, we receive the covenant of the Priesthood, first the lesser Priesthood and then the full Priesthood authority. Through the power of the Priesthood, which is involved in all our covenants from the very beginning, we make the high and holy covenants of the Endowment that God gives to those who earnestly seek him. Having made the covenants of our divine Endowment, men and women are able to enter into that highest and holiest of Priesthood order, a new and everlasting covenant, wherein we are sealed husband and wife and, with our children, become an eternal family unit under the Father.

In that unit, we have our eternal life. That defines our exaltation, and we receive therein the blessings of eternity that our Father will give us. Having been saved from physical death through resurrection, we are saved from spiritual death by being raised before the Father. And if we have accepted the gifts of the Father through his Son by making and keeping those sacred covenants above, we gain more than just a salvation from spiritual death. We gain the ultimate inheritance. We are lifted up to the Father, or in other words, we are exalted. We are made co-heirs with Christ in receiving all the Father has to offer us.

Hope that makes things clearer. If not, maybe someone else can step in and clarify.

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Church today was a little odd.  People were calling me "Brother" and they introduced me and told everyone to get to know me because I'm such a great guy.  OBVIOUSLY nobody has taken the time to get to know me if they still think that.

It was just an odd vibe.  Not in a bad way, just different.

Edited to add:  I thought "brother" was reserved for members.  

Edited by Grunt

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59 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Also, investigating the church as one half of a marriage IS difficult.

I have no doubt of this.  Except in specialized wards, everything is couple- and family-oriented.  If you don't have a spouse, and/or don't have children (at all, or with you in the church), everything gets harder.

Edited by zil
ETA paranthetical note

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8 hours ago, Grunt said:

Church today was a little odd.  People were calling me "Brother" and they introduced me and told everyone to get to know me because I'm such a great guy.  OBVIOUSLY nobody has taken the time to get to know me if they still think that.

It was just an odd vibe.  Not in a bad way, just different.

Edited to add:  I thought "brother" was reserved for members.  

We refer to each other as "Brother" and "Sister" because we believe everyone is a spirit child of our Heavenly Father. It may seem reserved for members because it's odd terminology for nonmembers. For example, when someone from church sees me at work, they call me by my first name, whereas at church they would more likely use the term "Sister." 

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2 hours ago, Armin said:

"FHE"...?

Family Home Evening.  Usually what Mormons do on Monday nights.

My family spent last Monday's FHE watching Driving Miss Daisy after dinner and a spiritual message from Mr. anatess.  What a boring movie that was.  Supposed to have received lots of awards.  Dunno why that would be.  We shoulda broke out the Monopoly.  That would have been a much better time spent even when the husband and kids end up fighting over Broadway.

 

Edited by anatess2

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On 8/20/2017 at 0:02 PM, Grunt said:

Church today was a little odd.  People were calling me "Brother" and they introduced me and told everyone to get to know me because I'm such a great guy.  OBVIOUSLY nobody has taken the time to get to know me if they still think that.

It was just an odd vibe.  Not in a bad way, just different.

Edited to add:  I thought "brother" was reserved for members.  

Thanks for the edited addition.  I wondered why you thought it so strange that people think you're a great guy- heck, I think you're a great guy.  

No, "brother" is not reserved for members: we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, regardless of your beliefs or whether you've been baptized. My non-LDS husband gets called "Brother Doe" all the time by church members.  It's considered to be more respectful and polite then the informal "Hey Joe!".  

Edited by Jane_Doe

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On 8/20/2017 at 3:33 PM, Grunt said:

Also, investigating the church as one half of a marriage IS difficult.

Yes.  Doing something (anything) with your spouse is always easier than without.

Edited by Jane_Doe

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1 minute ago, Jane_Doe said:

Oh, I am curious to see how that goes!  

I will update you next week.   They called my wife directly to invite us.  She accepted, but I'm not sure if it was due to our "discussion" the other night (which could have gone better) or out of a sincere desire to learn.   I think it may be the latter BECAUSE of the former.   

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