Grunt

Faithful vs Less Faithful

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I have a fondness for this forum as it played a big part in building my testimony.  However, the more I learn about the faith, the more frustrating this forum can be.

Having been on this forum for a short while I've noticed several types of posters:  

We have some VERY faithful and intelligent posters here.  Some know the doctrine inside and out.  Others just do their best to follow Christ.  While they debate opposite sides of some pretty interesting topics, they don't seem to be important to progression, just interesting topics.  

We have intelligent and thoughtful non-members who add opposing insight or confirming testimony.  They're respectful of our beliefs and I love reading their posts.

We have trolls, which I discount and ignore.

We have investigators and drivebys seeking answers to specific questions.

Then we have members of the Church who aren't active, challenge doctrine, are openly vocal in their opposition of church leaders at times, yet post as though they are authorities on topics of doctrine, often with misleading information.  At times they dance around what I consider apostasy.

This last group is what frustrates me.  I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy.  

There's my semi-annual whining.

Edited by Grunt

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14 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.

And Satan's purposes are furthered. Yep. The wolf in sheep's clothing thing is, in many ways, much more insidious than the straight up anti.

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12 hours ago, Grunt said:

the more I learn about the faith, the more frustrating this forum can be.

I relate. Though I have been a member my whole life and a member of this forum only a little longer than you, I feel your frustration. I take occasional sabbaticals from this place on occasion because I find the threads either pointless or tooo frustrating to remain a part of.

I hope I have never lead you astray in thinking a certain way. I try to form my beliefs and opinions around what is officially said by the church.

Edited by Fether

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8 minutes ago, Fether said:

I relate. ThoughbIbhave been a member my whole life and a member of this forum only a little longer than you, I feel your frustration. I take occasional sabbaticals from this place on occasion because I find the threads either pointless or tooo frustrating to remain a part of.

I hope I have never lead you astray in thinking a certain way. I try to form my beliefs and opinions around what is officially said by the church.

I agree.  I'm about at that point now.  It's too bad because I learn so much from  from many of the posts, but either they get derailed by some or I get distracted by the noise.  

I don't recall any of your posts being problems.  I do recall gathering some good onsite from some of your posts. 

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34 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I agree.  I'm about at that point now.  It's too bad because I learn so much from  from many of the posts, but either they get derailed by some or I get distracted by the noise.  

I don't recall any of your posts being problems.  I do recall gathering some good onsite from some of your posts. 

Know that if you do decide to take a brief sabbatical I will miss your insight, your passion and your willingness to disagree without being disagreeable and will look forward to your return.

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7 hours ago, Grunt said:

I agree.  I'm about at that point now.  It's too bad because I learn so much from  from many of the posts, but either they get derailed by some or I get distracted by the noise.  

I don't recall any of your posts being problems.  I do recall gathering some good onsite from some of your posts. 

One things I use this forum for is practice in responding to false doctrine haha.

There is a lot of false doctrine and incorrect beliefs out there. A lot of it manifests itself on this forum. I use the false doctrine spoken of here as opportunities to find the answers, memorize where the authoritative teachings are on the topics. That way in the future when I hear it in person I know how to respond to it.

Ive actually learned a ton by looking up official comments on controversial topics or particular doctrines that others disbelieve.

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13 hours ago, Grunt said:

Then we have members of the Church who aren't active, challenge doctrine, are openly vocal in their opposition of church leaders at times, yet post as though they are authorities on topics of doctrine, often with misleading information.  At times they dance around what I consider apostasy.

This last group is what frustrates me.  I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy. 

Off of this note, I'll tell you what happened to me just recently.

I was in a conversation with a crowd that may at least partially fit into this group.  They said that the only reason they're in the Church is because "it is a great place to raise kids."  As I began testifying and preaching and blathering on, one of them asked me directly, "When was the last time you prayed to know this was the True Church?"

I had to think for a moment.  I honestly couldn't think of when ... or if ... I ever had.  I was taken aback and wondered.  I was seriously about to look at a crisis of faith over this simple question.

But then I figured, ok.  I'll start praying now.  It was sincere.  It was with real intent.  I obviously had good intentions for the prayer.  And I got nothing.  Disappointing, but it wasn't an answer that said all this was wrong.  I just didn't get a confirmation that it was right.

I continued to pray and ponder.  Over the course of the next several weeks I continued.  Then some very interesting events started happening right after the other.  I continued to pray during this time as I noticed these things.

Then one night I knelt down in prayer, yet again, to pray about the true path I should take.  Then the words of the Lord to Oliver Cowdery were called up to my mind. "Did I not speak peace to your mind?"

I was reminded, in vivid clarity, a prayer I had prayed many years ago as I prepared for my mission.  And I was reminded in vivid detail the answer I received at that time.  It was not very powerful back then. But it was enough to make me feel at peace about going on a mission to declare God's word.  Now, at this time, when it was recalled and shown to me, it was much more powerful.

I didn't realize it but the sad part was that I hadn't really given it much thought since those many years ago.  I knew it and I was going to plow forward.  I should have been constantly praying for a renewal and addition to that initial testimony.  Imagine how strong a testimony I would have had if I had been constantly praying for more faith and testimony.

I know Jesus is the Christ.
I know Joseph Smith was his prophet.
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I know this is the only Church that has been established by God to be HIS church on this earth.

The reason I tell you this story is that sometimes, those with such opposing viewpoints can be very helpful in establishing and strengthening our own testimony.

When I was a teenager, I had many friends who had a highly negative view of the Church.  But as friends, they tried to be polite about it.  But there were a few who were "less polite".  While it really bothered me at the time, it had the effect of really making me LOOK for answers.  I stil had faith, so I wasn't immediately thrown off simply because the answers were difficult to find.  But I did go looking. 

Eventually, I had looked enough and found enough answers that it soon became quite clear who was right and who was the deceiver.  I got to the point where "tough questions" never really shook my foundational faith.  They were simply "tough questions."

That said, yes, I find it really annoying when people ask the "tough questions" and we give perfectly reasonable answers and they refuse to accept them as "reasonable".  Even if they don't agree with it, they still won't acknowledge that the answers are reasonable.  That tells me that their faith/desbelief is more blind than whatever they accused me of.

Edited by Carborendum

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4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

That said, yes, I find it really annoying when people ask the "tough questions" and we give perfectly reasonable answers and they refuse to accept them as "reasonable".

Or, as perhaps is even more common, when they ask the supposedly "tough" questions and simply don't bother to wait for answers, moving immediately on as if their questions were unanswerable and unassailable. Or the related tactic of asking the supposedly "tough" question that requires unpacking and dissection to understand and answer, then rolling their eyes at the beginning of the explanation and saying, in words or in effect, "Quit using lots of words to hide the fact that I'm right and you don't know."

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3 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Off of this note, I'll tell you what happened to me just recently.

I was in a conversation with a crowd that may at least partially fit into this group.  They said that the only reason they're in the Church is because "it is a great place to raise kids."  As I began testifying and preaching and blathering on, one of them asked me directly, "When was the last time you prayed to know this was the True Church?"

I had to think for a moment.  I honestly couldn't think of when ... or if ... I ever had.  I was taken aback and wondered.  I was seriously about to look at a crisis of faith over this simple questions.

But then I figured, ok.  I'll start praying now.  It was sincere.  It was with real intent.  I obviously had good intentions for the prayer.  And I got nothing.  Disappointing, but it wasn't an answer that said all this was wrong.  I just didn't get a confirmation that it was right.

I continued to pray and ponder.  Over the course of the next several weeks I continued.  Then some very interesting events started happening right after the other.  I continued to pray during this time as I noticed these things.

Then one night I knelt down in prayer, yet again, to pray about the true path I should take.  Then the words of the Lord to Oliver Cowdery were called up to my mind. "Did I not speak peace to your mind?"

I was reminded, in vivid clarity, a prayer I had prayed many years ago as I prepared for my mission.  And I was reminded in vivid detail the answer I received at that time.  It was not very powerful back then. But it was enough to make me feel at peace about going on a mission to declare God's word.  Now, at this time, when it was recalled and shown to me, it was much more powerful.

I didn't realize it but the sad part was that I hadn't really given it much thought since those many years ago.  I knew it and I was going to plow forward.  I should have been constantly praying for a renewal and addition to that initial testimony.  Imagine how strong a testimony I would have had if I had been constantly praying for more faith and testimony.

I know Jesus is the Christ.
I know Joseph Smith was his prophet.
I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
I know this is the only Church that has been established by God to be HIS church on this earth.

The reason I tell you this story is that sometimes, those with such opposing viewpoints can be very helpful in establishing and strengthening our own testimony.

When I was a teenager, I had many friends who had a highly negative view of the Church.  But as friends, they tried to be polite about it.  But there were a few who were "less polite".  While it really bothered me at the time, it had the effect of really making me LOOK for answers.  I stil had faith, so I wasn't immediately thrown off simply because the answers were difficult to find.  But I did go looking. 

Eventually, I had looked enough and found enough answers that it soon became quite clear who was right and who was the deceiver.  I got to the point where "tough questions" never really shook my foundational faith.  They were simply "tough questions."

That said, yes, I find it really annoying when people ask the "tough questions" and we give perfectly reasonable answers and they refuse to accept them as "reasonable".  Even if they don't agree with it, they still won't acknowledge that the answers are reasonable.  That tells me that their faith/desbelief is more blind than whatever they accused me of.

Thanks for this.  I feel that I study quite a bit and I'm nowhere near understanding what is right or a deceiver.  There are a few on here that I really admire for their faithfulness, insight, and intelligence. 

I think one of the hardest things for me, though, are the people who won't even live their own covenants and post ridiculous things, seemingly in an attempt to get others off the path with them.  They'll argue so intently in favor of false or line-straddling positions that it derails what may have otherwise been a faith-building or informative discussion.  They take many topics down that road, feeding each other and denying those of us desiring to learn the opportunity because the people with the most to add simply avoid those discussions. 

 

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5 minutes ago, Grunt said:

Thanks for this.  I feel that I study quite a bit and I'm nowhere near understanding what is right or a deceiver.  There are a few on here that I really admire for their faithfulness, insight, and intelligence. 

I think one of the hardest things for me, though, are the people who won't even live their own covenants and post ridiculous things, seemingly in an attempt to get others off the path with them.  They'll argue so intently in favor of false or line-straddling positions that it derails what may have otherwise been a faith-building or informative discussion.  They take many topics down that road, feeding each other and denying those of us desiring to learn the opportunity because the people with the most to add simply avoid those discussions.

Don't lose heart, bother.

Not all fights must be fought.  And fighting is not always the answer.  When we put on the whole armor of God, remember that five of the six items are defensive and meant to protect us.  The only offensive weapon against the adversary is to bring the Spirit into the discussion.  Winning an argument is not often the method of conversion.  In our world, pretty much never.

Truly, this is a high bar.  One that many of us tend to fall short of.  It is too easy to get caught up in the desire to be proven right that we feel like in order to be right, we HAVE to get them to agree or we're not right.  I'm only recently coming to recognize the folly of this line of thinking.

We're right because the Spirit tells us it is so.  Too often we think we're right because our intellect was able to rationalize something.  Well, that's exactly why apostates are where they are.  They learn to depend on the learning of men rather than the learning of God.  They trust in their own wisdom more than God's.  This quickly leads us to "creating God in our image."  We reason out what is right.  Then we assume then that God wants it that way because it's right.

If I'm honest with myself, I've done my share of that.  And I know what needs to change.  I've been making efforts to imitate a few people I've noticed have an uncanny way of invoking the Spirit whenever they teach.  I hope to become like those people.  I know they're not perfect either.  But they certainly exhibit some traits that seem worthy of emulating.

Meanwhile, I'll try to use the defenses of the whole armor of God.

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10 hours ago, Grunt said:

I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy.

12 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I think one of the hardest things for me, though, are the people who won't even live their own covenants and post ridiculous things, seemingly in an attempt to get others off the path with them.  They'll argue so intently in favor of false or line-straddling positions that it derails what may have otherwise been a faith-building or informative discussion.  They take many topics down that road, feeding each other and denying those of us desiring to learn the opportunity because the people with the most to add simply avoid those discussions.

There's no shortage of places where one can go to get differing opinions - including discussions of them.  But as near as I can tell, there is no public forum for faithful discussion better than this one.  So yes, I wish those who don't support the Church, its leaders, and its doctrine would go find somewhere else to congregate / voice their disagreement, frustration, "alternate" beliefs, etc. (Frankly, it baffles me why some of the posters here are here - I cannot imagine any reason for it other than a desire to make it easier for those who are "on the fence" to leave the Church rather than stay.  Why not go live your life and leave the Latter-day Saints to their weird delusions?)

Meanwhile, I expect you would like an online, asynchronous "Sunday School"-like class, and so would I.  Interestingly, I think we have a unique opportunity to make that happen next year.  Up until now, trying to start an in-depth doctrinal discussion has been hampered not just by the existence of detractors, but also by our own differing interests, study-schedules, understanding, etc.  But next year's curriculum change will put us all, regardless of local conference schedules, on the exact same scripture study schedule (at least for part of our study), using the exact same manual (at least in English-speaking countries).  If ever anything could make it easy for us to come together to share insights, experiences, and testimony on the same topic, it's the changes coming next year.

Perhaps we can discuss whether everyone is game to try this.

10 hours ago, Grunt said:

I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy.

Finally, this (yes, I repeated the quote on purpose) is why I despair when one of the people I consider solid members (of the Church and the forum) disappears for a while, or talks about leaving.  I think we need each other to stick around, to call out or counter false ideas, to clarify for those who are weak in the faith, or learning - or even to support those who are strong in the faith, so that faith doesn't wane.  And I fear that the balance will be easily tipped from "mostly faithful members" to "mostly disgruntled (ex)members".

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2 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Don't lose heart, bother.

Not all fights must be fought.  And fighting is not always the answer.  When we put on the whole armor of God, remember that five of the six items are defensive and meant to protect us.  The only offensive weapon against the adversary is to bring the Spirit into the discussion.  Winning an argument is not often the method of conversion.  In our world, pretty much never.

Truly, this is a high bar.  One that many of us tend to fall short of.  It is too easy to get caught up in the desire to be proven right that we feel like in order to be right, we HAVE to get them to agree or we're not right.  I'm only recently coming to recognize the folly of this line of thinking.

We're right because the Spirit tells us it is so.  Too often we think we're right because our intellect was able to rationalize something.  Well, that's exactly why apostates are where they are.  They learn to depend on the learning of men rather than the learning of God.  They trust in their own wisdom more than God's.  This quickly leads us to "creating God in our image."  We reason out what is right.  Then we assume then that God wants it that way because it's right.

If I'm honest with myself, I've done my share of that.  And I know what needs to change.  I've been making efforts to imitate a few people I've noticed have an uncanny way of invoking the Spirit whenever they teach.  I hope to become like those people.  I know they're not perfect either.  But they certainly exhibit some traits that seem worthy of emulating.

Meanwhile, I'll try to use the defenses of the whole armor of God.

Quadruple like! To the power of 10.

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4 minutes ago, zil said:

But as near as I can tell, there is no public forum for faithful discussion better than this one.

...

 I think we need each other to stick around, to call out or counter false ideas, to clarify for those who are weak in the faith, or learning - or even to support those who are strong in the faith, so that faith doesn't wane.  And I fear that the balance will be easily tipped from "mostly faithful members" to "mostly disgruntled (ex)members".

I'd mentioned something along these lines a while back.  I've been around the bloggernacle.  And there really isn't a better place than this one.  That's why some people call this the only "orthodox Mormon" (yes, their terminology) forum on the net.  They are all over run with those who have left the faith either in their hearts or officially.

That's why I keep coming back.  I feel that such a place needs to be on the internet.  It's one reason why I'm sad my FIL left.  I'd be sad if Grunt or you left... as well as a bevy of others on this site.

I even like people like @NightSG.  I know he's struggling.  But I get the impression he really does mean well and still has some faith in him.  With enough time, he'll be ok.

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12 hours ago, Grunt said:

I have a fondness for this forum as it played a big part in building my testimony.  However, the more I learn about the faith, the more frustrating this forum can be.

Having been on this forum for a short while I've noticed several types of posters:  

We have some VERY faithful and intelligent posters here.  Some know the doctrine inside and out.  Others just do their best to follow Christ.  While they debate opposite sides of some pretty interesting topics, they don't seem to be important to progression, just interesting topics.  

We have intelligent and thoughtful non-members who add opposing insight or confirming testimony.  They're respectful of our beliefs and I love reading their posts.

We have trolls, which I discount and ignore.

We have investigators and drivebys seeking answers to specific questions.

Then we have members of the Church who aren't active, challenge doctrine, are openly vocal in their opposition of church leaders at times, yet post as though they are authorities on topics of doctrine, often with misleading information.  At times they dance around what I consider apostasy.

This last group is what frustrates me.  I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy.  

There's my semi-annual whining.

I can see why this would be frustrating.  But here is the thing.  We are all children of God.  That doesn't mean we are all going to be on the same page.  Our Heavenly Father did not make us all the same.  We are on the journey together, but we are all at different places in the journey.  Some of us wander and and some of us don't.  And some of us don't appear to wander, but in our hearts we are.  And some may appear to wander, but really aren't and you are not perceiving them correctly.

Be happy you have found the path and others that will walk it with you.  Be slow to judge.  We all have our unique demons in life and some are easy to see and some are not, but we all have them.  And just because a poster here appears to be rock solid, doesn't mean they don't have an issue with porn or anger or any number of things.

And yes, some of us have a hard time with things like Noah.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it.  If you don't talk about them, how do you you ever resolve them?

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9 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

Some of us wander and and some of us don't.  And some of us don't appear to wander, but in our hearts we are.  And some may appear to wander, but really aren't and you are not perceiving them correctly.

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9 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

Be happy you have found the path and others that will walk it with you.  Be slow to judge.  We all have our unique demons in life and some are easy to see and some are not, but we all have them.  And just because a poster here appears to be rock solid, doesn't mean they don't have an issue with porn or anger or any number of things.

I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANGER!!!  HOW DARE YOU... eerrr ehmmm... So, how 'bout those Astros, eh???

9 minutes ago, Lost Boy said:

And yes, some of us have a hard time with things like Noah.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it.  If you don't talk about them, how do you you ever resolve them?

Does it need resolving?  I honestly don't know of any single statement in all of scripture of profound spiritual value that doesn't have something unresolved about it.  If you have to resolve anything that causes questions, then you'll never believe anything.

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9 minutes ago, Grunt said:

A private forum to discuss the new curriculum would be nice.  

Sorry, @Vort, but it appears I won't be watching Arrival today.

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I want to reply to the bit I quoted below from Carb, but first I need to establish some background, and then I need to make some commentary on the background as I have gained a greater understanding in recent years.

As much as some people don't seem to like hearing it, as far as I can tell, I was born knowing certain things are true.  Every time I even think about praying whether they're true, the entire idea seems absurd as I'm reminded I already know.  However, I've come to understand that knowledge is not the same as testimony and neither is the same as conversion.  (I know Pringles are bad for me.  I eat them anyway - sometimes.)  Thus, the thing (for me) to pray about is not whether it's true, but what to do about it, how to live it, implement it, understand it better, etc.

5 hours ago, Carborendum said:

As I began testifying and preaching and blathering on, one of them asked me directly, "When was the last time you prayed to know this was the True Church?"

I had to think for a moment.  I honestly couldn't think of when ... or if ... I ever had.

This reminded me of an experience I had many years ago, when I was preparing to receive my endowment.  As a YSA, I heard various comments from other YSA about their experience receiving their endowment, and many of those comments indicated they had something other than a totally positive experience.  But I also remembered a comment from a friend who was endowed and sealed, but inactive when we met, and RS President within a year or so later.  She said that she found the endowment ceremony perfectly logical - that it all made sense.  I knew her better and trusted her far more than all the YSAs in a YSA sacrament meeting.

Nonetheless, as the event approached, while I was sure the temple ordinances were true, I was bothered by the things I had heard.  So I got on my knees and explained this to Heavenly Father and then bore my testimony that I knew it was true, but asked for some reassurance that I was doing the right thing.  What followed was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences I have ever had.

I can't remember whether I heard this idea of bearing testimony in prayer before or after this experience, but I now know that doing so can lead to powerful experiences.  This would be my recommendation to someone who has a testimony but is either troubled about something related thereto, or is seeking guidance on how to act, or just needs a bit  of peace about it.

PS: My friend was right and those YSAs were (as best I can determine) insufficiently prepared.  The endowment is a perfectly logical ordinance.

Edited by zil

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

I feel that I study quite a bit and I'm nowhere near understanding what is right or a deceiver.

Seems to me you're and awful lot nearer than you're implying here.

When push comes to shove, there are those who will love and defend the gospel and all its components with all their hearts, and then there's everyone else. It's really that simple. The rest is just noise.

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13 hours ago, Grunt said:

I have a fondness for this forum as it played a big part in building my testimony.  However, the more I learn about the faith, the more frustrating this forum can be.

Having been on this forum for a short while I've noticed several types of posters:  

We have some VERY faithful and intelligent posters here.  Some know the doctrine inside and out.  Others just do their best to follow Christ.  While they debate opposite sides of some pretty interesting topics, they don't seem to be important to progression, just interesting topics.  

We have intelligent and thoughtful non-members who add opposing insight or confirming testimony.  They're respectful of our beliefs and I love reading their posts.

We have trolls, which I discount and ignore.

We have investigators and drivebys seeking answers to specific questions.

Then we have members of the Church who aren't active, challenge doctrine, are openly vocal in their opposition of church leaders at times, yet post as though they are authorities on topics of doctrine, often with misleading information.  At times they dance around what I consider apostasy.

This last group is what frustrates me.  I have a hard enough time as a new member absorbing doctrine and culture.  Some of my original understandings, that I received from this type of poster, has turned out to be quite false.   It's concerning and detracts from my spiritual growth.  Sadly, I'm sure that makes some of them happy.  

There's my semi-annual whining.

I have been on this forum going through at least two forum name changes, then now this is the third name change.

Yes, the trolls are awful, they come out more frequently during school holidays. High School, as well as College/University. Children must play and have their fun. [this said sarcastically]

Again yes, we have investigators and drivebys. We need to be very honest with them. Post links to back up our responses, AND NOT be sarcastic, flippant, etc. in our responses to their questions. Sometimes I feel like the drivebys are searching for the strength to do what they know is the right thing to do - - - such as going to their Bishop, or even to professional counselors.

Then there are those who challenge pretty much everything. The label I give them is Devil's Advocates. In my Branch, we have two PH holders who do this all the time in Gospel Doctrine, Priesthood, 5th Sundays, AND on FaceBook! My Husband is the Sunday School President, he leads the Teachers Council. During one such class, the Stake President was there as a class member. The most vocal of the Devil's Advocate spoke out about three times, and it cowed two of the members who were voicing a class problem and was looking for help. The Stake President then stood up and read to us a couple of scriptures regarding how sacred ALL of His work is. Not only Sacrament but all of the classes in His Church. The Devil's Advocate has NO place under the Lord's roof here in any of His houses. Same for each member home, as that is also or should be blessed and treated as a House of the Lord.

I so wanted to stand up and shout AMEN & Hallejuah! I remained seated and winked at my hubby. The following Sunday during Gospel Doctrine, the most vocal of the DA chimed in with his sarcastic DA verbiage, this time I stood up, turned around to face him and asked him did he not hear, understand AND comprehend what Stake President said last Sunday in Teacher's Council regarding NEVER bringing in or being the Devils Advocate in the Lord's sacred home? I didn't wait for his answer, just sat down and then answered the question that the teacher had asked. Mr DAdvocate [Never Bro. in this instance] was quiet and left his advocacy outside the Meetinghouse doors for months. The other one, well I have come to the conclusion that he is about as smart as a box of rocks and incapable of learning that one NEVER brings the devil into any of God's houses. Being contrary and argumentative is NOT the way to get Good attention. All you really get is Dismissive Attention.

Your last group, the ones you feel who dance around apostasy. My heart aches when I read or hear these members who are on the very edges of apostasy. OR who have stepped over the line and brag of it. Then when they are my family members - such as my little sister's oldest daughter who has proclaimed that she no longer can belong to this church. She can no longer sustain a self-proclaimed prophet who endangers children. The claptrap she stated in her reasoning was so absurd that it took me months to formulate a response WITH backup documentation. I didn't post it to her fb page - where by the way she and her husband announced they're denouncing the church- but sent it to her via email. I never heard back from her. She didn't Unfriend me, she hasn't blocked/bounced my emails since.

Nearly a year ago her 34-year-old husband was felled by an aneurysm at the nape of his neck. He was in a coma for 3 days, then in the wee hours of the 4th, there was NO brain activity. On the 5th-day life support was shut off. When they announced they were leaving the church my heart broke. Not so much for her and hubby, BUT for their four children, the youngest was six at the time.  When I read about my nephew-in-laws death, all I could think of was at least you are still sealed, that is IF you did not request to be removed from the church's records. To my knowledge, the sealing of thier children [all were born in the covenant] will always be there.

I was afraid that Neice & Nephew-In-Law were flirting with apostasy, but there was nothing more on their FB pages. But there hasn't been anything on there. Not even on their three older children's FB pages either. They are always in my prayers, once a month I submit their names to the temple. If she ever contacts me regarding this, I will be bluntly honest. She and I have always been brutely honest with each other.

Now here is my once in this forum's lifetime gripe/whining:

  • Those active-in-church members who find it necessary to make what they consider *Cutesy* quips regarding Church Doctrine or Church Policy peppered into the serious, factual discussions, with or with the haha, j/k emoji(s) to accompany their sarcastic, wit-less remarks. It totally confuses the investigators, as well as the truthful doctrine/policy, that is being explained.  If they do this in church during any of the classes, they are who I label Devil's Advocates. Want to be funny, tell LDS theme or Meme jokes, then put it in the correct topic header NOT as a response to an investigators question.
  • Trolls: Why in all that is sacred, do those in this forum who KNOW that it is a Troll continue in trying to explain/defend the Gospel and in essence continue to FEED them? My question is [and this could actually get me put into time out here on the forum] where are the moderators during this? If I can see after the OP Trolls third response that the OP is a Troll, why can't any of the Moderators see this?

That is all.

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Oh, and one other thing, YES there is at least one other forum where animosity, baiting and not being clear when you are tossing in sarcastic remarks really exists. Where the discussions can easily go deep into church doctrine and are always mature, documented with LDS doctrinal/scripture links. BUT this forum is by Invitation only. Thus the trolls, underage children and the immature young people from college/university who seek to bomb forums with their seasonal crap don't get a foothold.

There is lightheartedness - we joke, tease and play around. But NEVER regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the doctrines of His church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I have had all of my questions answered there. In a loving, informative way. We bolster each other - - -We Minister to each other even though we are from every 'corner' on Earth.

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@Grunt the more you 'Walk With God, Walk With the Holy Ghost', the more you will hear/feel the Holy Ghost guiding you. Children raised in the church are taught in Primary how to hear the Holy Ghost. As they mature in the gospel, they are taught what is from the Holy Ghost and what is not. You have heard the phrases ~ Still small voice. Burning in my heart/bosom. Well, I have only 'heard' the still small voice' once. Have never had a 'burning in my heart/bosom'. For me, I receive a Clarity of thought and/or Peace that overcomes the confusion of my soul.

When I was really, really inactive I called this gift Women's Intuition. When I actually heeded it, harm/chaos was averted. It wasn't until after I came back into activity and married my PH holder, active in church, endowed & temple going, eternal companion that he helped me to understand that my Women's Intuition was really the Gift of Discernment. Now, what is really special, wonderful about this gift is that it works for more than face to face encounters. It works over the telephone, written letters, internet(forums) even when I watch taped interviews.

The more I study the gospel, read the scriptures, follow and stay on that narrow path, the easier it is to 'feel or sense' the Holy Ghost pushing that Discernment button.

My husband will ask me to read/watch/listen to something and to seek out my response using my Discernment. Before I do, I pray for guidance. Always I am led in the correct path. Always husband listens to me and follows the correct path.

@Grunt follow the councils of all of our prophets, read the scriptures, pray, ask your questions, pray, stop and wait for Father's responses to your prays. Accept the No's that He gives, in time it will become clear why He said no. Oh, and did I mention to pray? 😊

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