Recommended Posts

When deciding whether or not to be baptised and join the church, in my opinion, one's faith should be more important than one's knowledge. It is faith, rather than knowledge, that will help one through times of trial, and it is faith, more than knowledge, that will help one keep the commitments they make at baptism. Therefore, one's efforts in investigating the church can most usefully be directed towards building one's faith rather than building one's knowledge. This is not to say that the acquisition of knowledge is unimportant, but it is to say that the building of faith is more important than the acquisition of knowledge. I worry that once one has a certain level of faith and knowledge, and has had certain types of spiritual/confirmatory experiences, then to delay taking the next step by taking the time to further build one's knowledge could be a form of procrastination. True conversion comes not when the last question has been answered, but when one exercises sufficient faith to put their hand into the hand of God and take the next step, trusting that God is leading them to where He wants them to go.

The following poem by Minnie Haskins helps to explain the concept:

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.

For a Latter-Day Saint perspective on the same principle, here is what President Packer once said

“Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness.”1

 

Edited by askandanswer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, estradling75 said:

 The more important question... the question you really need to answer first... is do you trust the source?  Until you answer that question its like trying to learn quantum physics without knowing for sure that your teacher does.

I think this is a very valid point, being able to trust the LDS church, which would be a lot easier if there was a more detailed study structure for new people with all LDS beliefs included in it, not just the basic missionary lessons.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

 

Finishing RCIA gets a person through with Catholicism 101.  There's still 102 and a million more studies to do.  As someone who spent years studying Catholicism, it's also an confusing and (seemingly) conflicting faith when you dig into it.  Only atet time and more pondering/study do things start to make more sense.  And even after a hypothetical person reads everything from every council, every saint, every pope, etc, there are still things that they're not going to be able to understand because they're a mystery.

We're not hiding anything here.  

At least RCIA goes for almost year and not just a few weeks, and then there is catechism school on top of that as well if you wish to go.

Edited by Blossom76

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I think of the baptisms in the New Testament, they all seems almost on the spot, with very little doctrinal knowledge, just a burning in their heart and a desire to follow Christ.   One article of faith says "we believe the first principles and ordinances of the gospel are, first faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second repentance, third baptism for the remission of sins, and fourth, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."  These are the first steps to conversion.  And faith and repentance I believe doesn't need countless hours of study, just a simple witness of truth.   If you believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, then everything else becomes discovery, and not discord.

 

Edited by bytebear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Convert to Catholicism here.  I self studied Catholicism for about nine months on my own and continued self study along with RCIA for another nine months. I started RCIA, with no intention of converting.  Just trying to figure out a few things that were well explained and I totally got it, by going to RCIA. I thoroughly understood Catholic/Christian doctrine by the time I was baptized, and would not have been baptized if I did not.

.Self study of Catholicism, for someone with an LDS background is extremely difficult. Mainly because religious words and phrases have completely different meanings, when comparing the two religion’s explanations, side by side. I found, every single religious related word, I had to look up the Catholic/Christian meaning, understanding and teaching. 

Likewise for a Catholic or any person with a Christian background, studying Mormonism, learning the definition changes are going to be huge. This thread is a prime example, where the word “God” does not have the same meaning for the two religions.  

 

Edited by Blueskye2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Grunt said:

You believe Jesus created Adam and Eve?   I don’t believe that.  

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2000/05/the-creation?lang=eng&para=p5#note40-

The Son created the earth etc and the heavens however both Son and the Father created man.

"Gods":

Abraham 4:26

“So the Gods went down to organize man in their own image, in the image of the Gods to form they him, male and female to form they them."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jane_Doe said:

 

What fact could trump knowing your Father loves you and Christ is your Savior?  

Yes, there's points each person runs into something that's hard for us to understand intellectuality.  We each run into them more than once-- my latest personal example is yesterday finding out my work-out-a-holic seemingly in perfect health husband is extremely diabetic.  Yes, I didn't get it intellectually and I throw a "I'm mad at you God!" tantrum for a while-- I don't know why (listing facts way) this happened.  But I do know (convection wise), that God is in control and He told me all things work out for our good.  So I got to let him take the reins and trust Him.  That's not to say I'm not going to keep learning and trying to understand intellectually too (cause I am), but there's more to know than me listing facts.

No I mean more like, the Apostle John never died and still roams the earth, that sort of thing is not taught by missionaries and could be a deal breaker for a lot of people, I believe they should know this sort of thing before joining, and I don't want any surprises after changing my faith.  I will continue to study but it would be very helpful if there was a definite list of official doctrine and beliefs.  I will read the D&C, I guess that would be the right place to start?

And I can't think of a Christian Church that doesn't teach God loves you and Jesus Christ is our saviour, that is defiantly not the issue I'm talking about at all.  

Edited by Blossom76
grammer, I'm terrible at it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

No I mean more like, the Apostle John never died and still roams the earth, that sort of thing is not taught by missionaries and could be a deal breaker for a lot of people, I believe they should know this sort of thing before joining, and I don't want any surprises after changing my faith.  I will continue to study but it would be very helpful if there was a definite list of official doctrine and beliefs.  I will read the D&C, I guess that would be the right place to start?

And I can't think of a Christian Church that doesn't teach God loves you and Jesus Christ is our saviour, that is defiantly not the issue I'm talking about at all.  

The Apostle John still roams the earth?  Where is that written?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, bytebear said:

The missionaries simply don't have time to teach all the nuanced doctrines of the church.

I still contend that this is a lifetime of study.  What you learn the first time you hear the parable of the good Samaritan will be different from what you learn on the 100th time.  Your understanding of the concept of exaltation will change with and the same as your understanding of that parable (and of every other truth you come to grasp).  There is precious little actually written about exaltation.  Perhaps the most important one is that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the mind of man (or something along those lines) what that will be like.  But the human mind hates a vacuum and so we speculate and draw conclusions and make stuff up so we don't have to face an uncertain future - even though it's promised to be more glorious than we can imagine - how foolish we are to not simply trust God.

As we get older (or more experienced in gospel living), we start (hopefully) to recognize what is explicit and what is assumed, and start to be less sure of the assumed and more comfortable with both the explicit and the uncertainty of what's ahead, and (in my experience and observations) less certain of our own future exaltation.  When that happens, we stop worrying about whether we have an exact understanding of "how many Gods we believe in" or what it means to inherit what the Father has, and start worrying more about how well we are following and relying on our Savior.

And that may be why we tell investigators not to worry so much - the future is in the hands of God the Father, and therefore, we need not worry.  Understanding comes with experience, over a lifetime.  In our present, we should be following the Savior to the best of our ability.  And in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the testimony needed to start that, to covenant to do that, is quite simple (as has been stated by others above).

Edited by zil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

I think this is a very valid point, being able to trust the LDS church, which would be a lot easier if there was a more detailed study structure for new people with all LDS beliefs included in it, not just the basic missionary lessons.   

There is...  I am not sure if it is in this thread or other thread that I pointed out what becomes official for the LDS church.  That which the Prophet and 12 are untied on and present to the church.  We have that source.  We call it the Standard Works... aka the Bible, the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

They are the collection of LDS scriptures, they what the church repeatably asks the members and potential members to study and pray and learn from...  They are called the Standard Works because they are the standard by which any other idea, thought or claim to understanding of God's way is verified or rejected.

I assume you already accept the Bible as the Word of God, your next step is the verify the Book of Mormon using the process outlined in several places of scripture of reading it, pondering it and praying and asking God if it is of him.   

That is the next step... Trying to skip that step and trying to verify 200 years of talks that a mix of ideas without having faith and assurance of the foundation is doing meat before milk... it is like trying demanding to understand calculus before you have mastered basic addition and subtraction.  By asking and pointing you to the basics we are not "hiding" anything we are trying to help you build the foundation needed to properly understand the rest.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
59 minutes ago, zil said:

And that may be why we tell investigators not to worry so much - the future is in the hands of God the Father, and therefore, we need not worry.  Understanding comes with experience, over a lifetime.  In our present, we should be following the Savior to the best of our ability.  And in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the testimony needed to start that, to covenant to do that, is quite simple (as has been stated by others above).

That's certainly true @zil, but you need to think like an investigator, not a lifelong member. To join the church as an investigator requires a great deal of sacrifice and could damage a lot of family relationships, etc. If you are asking them (and yes, I know you aren't saying this) to join without looking deeply into the church, that's sort of naive and doesn't take their concerns into consideration. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

I think this is a very valid point, being able to trust the LDS church, which would be a lot easier if there was a more detailed study structure for new people with all LDS beliefs included in it, not just the basic missionary lessons.   

It may seem like you're being asked to trust the LDS church, but you're not.  You're being invited to ask God and then trust God.  Sorry, no time to go into any more detail - I need to get ready and go to church.

5 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

could be a deal breaker for a lot of people,

Why?  What does it matter where John is or whether he was translated?  (And this is a Bible teaching, not an exclusive Mormon teaching.)

5 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

I will read the D&C, I guess that would be the right place to start?

Actually, the best place to start is the Book of Mormon.  Read it.  Ask God if it is true.  If it is true, it solves a world of problems.  If it is not true, everything else you may do in relation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a waste of time.

1 hour ago, Grunt said:

Where is he?

Wherever the Lord has instructed him to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

That's certainly true @zil, but you need to think like an investigator, not a lifelong member. To join the church as an investigator requires a great deal of sacrifice and could damage a lot of family relationships, etc. If you are asking them (and yes, I know you aren't saying this) to join without looking deeply into the church, that's sort of naive and doesn't take their concerns into consideration. 

I didn't say it was right or justified or anything else, just that maybe that's why - especially with older Mormons - which is a lot of the folks on this board.  Also, this is why teaching is a discussion with the investigator and a set of missionaries rather than a lecture in a classroom or hall - so that personal questions can be asked and answers given. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
Just now, zil said:

 - especially with older Mormons 

What does @Vort have to do with this conversation? 

Dude is so old. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

That's certainly true @zil, but you need to think like an investigator, not a lifelong member. To join the church as an investigator requires a great deal of sacrifice and could damage a lot of family relationships, etc. If you are asking them (and yes, I know you aren't saying this) to join without looking deeply into the church, that's sort of naive and doesn't take their concerns into consideration. 

That is not unreasonable... however I think it is only fair that they give the LDS church the same kind of understanding/forgiveness of human weakness as they would any other organization.

Because once you have humans in the mix you also get human errors and human sin... It does not matter if you are LDS or Catholic or any other variant the individuals that make up the church (and even at time make up the leadership of the church) are just as human as anyone else.

Sadly to many think that the claim to be lead by God and directed by God means that individual people are no longer flawed humans... this had never been the case in any scriptural account, but many will demand that of the LDS church and its leaders, and once they see how human they are... well they refuse to accept it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest MormonGator
26 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

That is not unreasonable... however I think it is only fair that they give the LDS church the same kind of understanding/forgiveness of human weakness as they would any other organization.

Yup, agree. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zil said:

Why?  What does it matter where John is or whether he was translated?  (And this is a Bible teaching, not an exclusive Mormon teaching.)

 

I don’t know of any other religion that teaches the Apostle John is still alive. What Bible are you reading? ;) Tongue in cheek there.  I know the passage, just Mormons interpret it differently than everyone else.

Edited by Blueskye2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Blueskye2 said:

I don’t know of any other religion that teaches the Apostle John is still alive. What Bible are you reading? ;)

Just doing a quick Google search, I found this Christian forum where they are discussing this very topic.  There are views on all sides, including the Catholic view.

https://www.christianforums.com/threads/is-the-apostle-john-still-alive.7794940/

There are lots of various essays from non-LDS authors on the subject. It's not unique to Mormonism.

http://livingthequestion.org/did-jesus-tell-john-he-would-live-see-his-coming/

It's an interesting topic, really, and the author above has some interesting insight.  The only difference is we believe we have additional revelation, specifically the Book of Mormon which adds a little more pieces to the puzzle.  And Mormonism isn't tied to the conclusions of other churches, so even though the Catholics may emphatically claim that John died in 99 AD, that is not LDS doctrine and we don't have to accept that conclusion.  

But this brings up the need for prophetic leadership.  It's the greatest strength of the church, that we, as members are open to speculation, but accept clarity from God.  Again, it changes new information from discord to discovery.

Edited by bytebear

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

I think this is a very valid point, being able to trust the LDS church

More than trusting the LDS church, it's a matter of asking God and trusting HIM.  Trust HIM.  Don't do anything just because some mortal told you to, but ask Him.

11 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

 which would be a lot easier if there was a more detailed study structure for new people with all LDS beliefs included in it, not just the basic missionary lessons.   

Did you read through the Gospel Principles manual?  It's the Sunday School manual for class for new members which takes about a year https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles?lang=eng

11 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

At least RCIA goes for almost year and not just a few weeks, and then there is catechism school on top of that as well if you wish to go.

As does Gospel Principles class.  It's more on your time table, rather than working with a liturgical calendar.  

Edited by Jane_Doe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

No I mean more like, the Apostle John never died and still roams the earth, that sort of thing is not taught by missionaries and could be a deal breaker for a lot of people, I believe they should know this sort of thing before joining, and I don't want any surprises after changing my faith.  I will continue to study but it would be very helpful if there was a definite list of official doctrine and beliefs.  I will read the D&C, I guess that would be the right place to start?

And I can't think of a Christian Church that doesn't teach God loves you and Jesus Christ is our saviour, that is defiantly not the issue I'm talking about at all.  

@Blossom76 and @Grunt I think the closest the church comes to a book of official doctrine is the Encylopedia of Mormonism. It is a 4 volume set, 5 if you include the volume which only contains the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. It was produced as a result of the publisher, Macmillan, approaching Jeffery R Holland, then President of the church owned Brigham Young University, and suggesting that such an encyclopedia be produced. President Holland took the suggestion to the university's Board of Trustees, which I think includes many of the Apostles, and the Board agreed to the suggestion. The encyclopedia was produced with the knowledge, approval, guidance and support of the church although in the end, it is not an official church publication. I have my own hard copy, but I can also access it online through gospelink.com. I think this is a paid, susbscription website but it's been several years since I was asked to pay my annual subscription so maybe now it is free, I don't know. If payment is still required, I think it costs $4.99 a month for unlimited access to literally thousands of publications by LDS authors, theologians and church leaders, including conference reports going back more than a century and every book published by every prophet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Blossom76 said:

I will read the D&C, I guess that would be the right place to start?

You're welcome to read D&C, but I would recommend finishing the Book of Mormon first.  The Book of Mormon and it's testimony of Christ is the keystone of our religion, self contained and a (somewhat) straight forward read.  D&C is... frankly it can be a bit of a pain to read, requiring historical background to understand what they're talking about, and does include a lot more logistical how-to-run-things stuff.   Again, you're welcome to it, and we can hook you up with resources to help with the historical background, but it's not the keystone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, askandanswer said:

@Blossom76 and @Grunt I think the closest the church comes to a book of official doctrine is the Encylopedia of Mormonism. It is a 4 volume set, 5 if you include the volume which only contains the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. It was produced as a result of the publisher, Macmillan, approaching Jeffery R Holland, then President of the church owned Brigham Young University, and suggesting that such an encyclopedia be produced. President Holland took the suggestion to the university's Board of Trustees, which I think includes many of the Apostles, and the Board agreed to the suggestion. The encyclopedia was produced with the knowledge, approval, guidance and support of the church although in the end, it is not an official church publication. I have my own hard copy, but I can also access it online through gospelink.com. I think this is a paid, susbscription website but it's been several years since I was asked to pay my annual subscription so maybe now it is free, I don't know. If payment is still required, I think it costs $4.99 a month for unlimited access to literally thousands of publications by LDS authors, theologians and church leaders, including conference reports going back more than a century and every book published by every prophet. 

It's free.  Also I would stress that it's not an official publication and in no way infallible.  It does exist though, and can be useful. http://eom.byu.edu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Blueskye2 said:

I don’t know of any other religion that teaches the Apostle John is still alive. What Bible are you reading? ;) Tongue in cheek there.  I know the passage, just Mormons interpret it differently than everyone else.

Do you have a Topical Guide or Bible Dictionary?

Ive found it to add to my confusion at times, but also contain references to the Bible.  

Try John 21:20-23

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now