Word Chasing

Questions About President Nelson

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Something I was reminded of recently is that God answers "real intent" not curiousity.  That from a General Authority (I forget which one) he was telling his conversion story in a talk.  When he first prayed about the church, he was curious, but didn't really care either way.  He got no answer.  Later when he really wanted to know (real intent), and prayed again, he received an answer.  

So do you REALLY want to know or are you simply curious?  If you really want to know, I suggest putting in some work.  Start with the most recent conference, and start reading his talks, work your way back, read, pray, read some more, pray some more.  If that doesn't help, read, fast and pray.  An answer will come if you are serious about the question, but sometimes the Lord makes us put some effort in before He answers us.  

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On 11/24/2018 at 2:15 PM, Word Chasing said:

How do you know he is a true prophet?  

I have not had it confirmed to me...

What have you done to seek for and receive a confirmation?

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:15 PM, Word Chasing said:

How do you know he is a true prophet?  

I have not had it confirmed to me...

I am a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the The Church of *insert current prophet name* of Latter-day Saints.

I don’t follow Russell M Nelson, I follow the Prophet of God no matter who it is.

I learned the church was true ages ago, I don’t know that I need conformation for every change in leadership. 

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10 minutes ago, Fether said:

I am a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, not the The Church of *insert current prophet name* of Latter-day Saints.

I don’t follow Russell M Nelson, I follow the Prophet of God no matter who it is.

I learned the church was true ages ago, I don’t know that I need conformation for every change in leadership. 

This, with the exception of the timeline, is exactly how I feel.  There are many things about the church I don't have a testimony of.  I still obey them and sustain church leaders regardless because I know the Church is true.  The blessings I've received as a result are unquestionable.  

A quick read of my missionaries thread, however, shows this wasn't always the case.  I'll have to read it again one day soon.

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54 minutes ago, unixknight said:

I sure hope he is...  Since he's one of the signers of the letter saying I can get sealed to my wife!  😅

Is this an announcement?  I thought you were already married.

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I can't say that i have had a direct confirmation of Nelson specifically, but I have had confirmation on the church he leads, and the apostolic process we follow.  Also, of all the Latter Day Saint churches that are out there, only the CoJCoLDS has fulfilled prophecies of the true Latter Day church both ancient and modern.

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2 hours ago, Grunt said:



A quick read of my missionaries thread, however, shows this wasn't always the case.  I'll have to read it again one day soon.

You should edit it, print it, and put it with your journal.

Edited by bytebear

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1 minute ago, Grunt said:

I've stopped journaling.  I should start back up.  It's difficult.

It's an excuse to use your fountain pens. :)  The new curriculum is formatted such that you could write the answers to the weekly questions in a journal. :)

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Is this an announcement?  I thought you were already married.

Yeah I'm married, but we haven't been sealed yet, since I still needed to have a cancellation of the sealing with my now inactive ex.

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3 hours ago, Fether said:

I learned the church was true ages ago, I don’t know that I need conformation for every change in leadership. 

I have long felt this way. I think I must repent, though. President Nelson himself urged us to gain a testimony of his calling and the actions of the First Presidency. I think I've been a bit lazy not to have done this more proactively.

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42 minutes ago, Vort said:

President Nelson himself urged us to gain a testimony of his calling and the actions of the First Presidency. I think I've been a bit lazy not to have done this more proactively.

But what does that mean? Do we all need an experience like 70 year old sis Jones who burst into tears during the solemn assembly? I have full faith and confidence in his decisions and would say I already have a strong testimony that he is the prophet.

I never prayed to know, I just already have a testimony of his calling.

When he spoke about having us ask God if he was a prophet, my mental reactive response was “why? I already know this.”

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43 minutes ago, Vort said:

I have long felt this way. I think I must repent, though. President Nelson himself urged us to gain a testimony of his calling and the actions of the First Presidency. I think I've been a bit lazy not to have done this more proactively.

So, I recently read a question asked elsewhere by someone whose faith was shaken when he learned something from Church history which was surprising to him.  Another poster wondered why this new knowledge had made him doubt.  I took this to mean, "why had the OP not gained an unshakable testimony so that the new knowledge wouldn't leave him doubting?" (though it could have meant the responder thought the new knowledge was no big deal).

Anyway, this (and some personal experience over the past few years) got me to thinking about this very topic.  While it's inevitable we will trust in assumptions such as these to a degree (as there are an awful lot of individual truths of which you can seek a personal testimony), one should not let them be permanent - one should be continually seeking that personal testimony - starting with core things like the reality of God and Jesus Christ, the Atonement and Resurrection, the truth of the Church, the Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, temple ordinances, etc.

16 minutes ago, Fether said:

But what does that mean? Do we all need an experience like 70 year old sis Jones who burst into tears during the solemn assembly? I have full faith and confidence in his decisions and would say I already have a strong testimony that he is the prophet.

I never prayed to know, I just already have a testimony of his calling.

When he spoke about having us ask God if he was a prophet, my mental reactive response was “why? I already know this.”

Perhaps it means bearing that testimony in prayer to God and asking him for confirmation, or if there is more for you to receive, or guidance on what you should do with this testimony.

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40 minutes ago, zil said:

So, I recently read a question asked elsewhere by someone whose faith was shaken when he learned something from Church history which was surprising to him.  Another poster wondered why this new knowledge had made him doubt.  I took this to mean, "why had the OP not gained an unshakable testimony so that the new knowledge wouldn't leave him doubting?" (though it could have meant the responder thought the new knowledge was no big deal).

Anyway, this (and some personal experience over the past few years) got me to thinking about this very topic.  While it's inevitable we will trust in assumptions such as these to a degree (as there are an awful lot of individual truths of which you can seek a personal testimony), one should not let them be permanent - one should be continually seeking that personal testimony - starting with core things like the reality of God and Jesus Christ, the Atonement and Resurrection, the truth of the Church, the Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, temple ordinances, etc.

Perhaps it means bearing that testimony in prayer to God and asking him for confirmation, or if there is more for you to receive, or guidance on what you should do with this testimony.

Thank you so much for this post Zil :)

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One of my pet rants in elders’ quorum is that, speaking as someone whose job inclides picking apart “testimony” in a legal context and showing that people don’t really “know” what they thought they knew—an effective testimony must be competent, meaning (among other things) that it is not by nature conclusory or hearsay; it simply relates a person’s direct experience.  It is one thing to stand up in court and say “I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, with every fiber of my being, that John killed Fred”.  It is another to say “I saw John lift up a gun and aim it at Fred, and pull the trigger, and I heard a shot, and then Fred slumped over and I could see blood coming out of a wound to his chest that hadn’t been there earlier; and then I knelt beside Fred and observed that he had no pulse and was not breathing; and sure, maybe there’s some other explanation for the fact that we buried Fred a week later; but my experience leads me to believe that  Fred was in fact dead and John killed him.”  The second variant is less certain, but more articulate and ultimately more persuasive.  

I’m like @bytebear:  My “testimony” of President Nelson is based less on a direct revelation saying “yes, he is definitely a prophet”; and more based on a series of inferences that begins with earlier relevant revelations and considers their natural implications for the current question in order to draw a tentative conclusion—and then a sort of feeling in the heart that the logical process I have followed has drawn me to truth.  

In this case I have had a spiritual confirmation of the Church as an institution, I have had spiritual confirmation of the principles of succession within the highest echelon of Church leadership,  and I continue to receive spiritual confirmations of the wisdom of many of the changes President Nelson’s administration is enacting.  Given all that, could President Nelson be a false prophet?  Sure—and for that reason I won’t say I “know” he’s a prophet—but given what I have experienced, that possibility seems almost comically remote; and I’m comfortable saying that I strongly believe in his prophetic call. 

I wonder whether the effectiveness of a spiritual testimony lies less in what we think we “know” about a hyper-specific topic, and more about our ability to honestly and articulately leverage whatever we have experienced into a series of logical conclusions on which we feel comfortable staking the rest of our major life-choices.  You gather the evidence, make some educated guesses, draw a conclusion, make sure you can sleep at night—and then you go to trial with the evidence you have, not necessarily the evidence you wish you had; and through the whole process you try to maintain a sense of humility about what you may not know while still seeing through your adversary’s attempts to blow smoke and get you off-track. 

Perhaps the ultimate proof in the pudding is what we do with our testimonies, and it strikes me that there are few better witnesses than a life well-lived.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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3 hours ago, Vort said:

I have long felt this way. I think I must repent, though. President Nelson himself urged us to gain a testimony of his calling and the actions of the First Presidency. I think I've been a bit lazy not to have done this more proactively.

I don't necessarily agree. I have a firm testimony in President Nelson as the prophet of the church. I didn't "gain" this testimony by praying specifically about him. Doing so, from a certain perspective, would be faithless. The answer would be -- scratch that -- should be -- you already know!

That the Lord would be forgiving of this type of faithlessness to an extent is, perhaps, likely. But I already know. I know the church is true. I KNOW it. I know that the order of the church is true. I know God leads. I know the 12 are apostles, called of Him. I know these things. Therefore I know. Period. I can truthfully testify to that without hesitation. I am a witness of the truth of it. I do not need to ask further, nor will I. Why would I ask for a witness of something I already am a witness to? I know.

Shoring up that testimony is, indeed, important. The how is by obedience to the witness I have. Not by more childish "are we there yet" style nagging.

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2 hours ago, zil said:

So, I recently read a question asked elsewhere by someone whose faith was shaken when he learned something from Church history which was surprising to him.  Another poster wondered why this new knowledge had made him doubt.  I took this to mean, "why had the OP not gained an unshakable testimony so that the new knowledge wouldn't leave him doubting?" (though it could have meant the responder thought the new knowledge was no big deal).

This is a bit of non-sequitur. Faith replaces doubt. Faith is commitment and loyalty. When something surprises you that you didn't know before it's irrelevant to faith. Faith is a choice. Period. You either choose to believe, choose to commit, choose to act, choose to be, or you do not.

An unshakable testimony is a choice. You either deny what you've been a witness to or you do not. Always a choice. There are those who would deny the sun as it shines in their faces. The witness itself is not the faith.

2 hours ago, zil said:

one should not let them be permanent - one should be continually seeking that personal testimony - starting with core things like the reality of God and Jesus Christ, the Atonement and Resurrection, the truth of the Church, the Book of Mormon, the prophet Joseph Smith, temple ordinances, etc.

I do not agree. (Maybe. keep reading....)

A witness is a witness. One can, of course, walk into the mists of darkness and become blinded to the light. But when the end of days comes and we stand before God to be judged, the witness was the witness and we will know that we have deceived ourselves, letting go of the rod, intentionally walking off the path into the darkness.

The light of truth comes from obedience to the word (the iron rod) and clinging to it despite any swirling mists that may come past.

The promise of further light and knowledge is contingent on obedience. Perhaps that is saying the same thing you are. To "seek" is, perhaps, the word in question. It's the how of the matter that I'm, maybe, reading into what you've said. I say the how is obedience -- as in faith. Yes...faith and obedience are one and the same. Mark it! ;)

So maybe if that's what you mean by continually seeking then I do, actually, agree. If, on the other hand, you mean praying to know the Book of Mormon is true after the 10th time the Lord already gave you the spiritual witness that it was...I don't think so. I'm sure the Lord allows for some level of questioning things He's already revealed to us. But there's got to be a point where it's like, "Enough already. Go and do!"

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27 minutes ago, Just_A_Guy said:

In this case I have had a spiritual confirmation of the Church as an institution, I have had spiritual confirmation of the principles of succession within the highest echelon of Church leadership,  and I continue to receive spiritual confirmations of the wisdom of many of the changes President Nelson’s administration is enacting.  Given all that, could President Nelson be a false prophet?  Sure—and for that reason I won’t say I “know” he’s a prophet—but given what I have experienced, that possibility seems almost comically remote; and I’m comfortable saying that I strongly believe in his prophetic call. 

Bah. Lawyers.

I'll say it!

I know President Nelson is a prophet.

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