Grunt

Investigator Question

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1 hour ago, GaleG said:

Is it possible to be faithful believing Christian (but not Mormon) and yet not know where
you are going?

Thank you,

Gale

The LDS focus is not on "I'm going here completely 100% sure".  Rather our focus is on following Christ, and then trust in Him.  

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On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 5:33 PM, Grunt said:

I was asked "What if it's wrong?  What if by being baptized you are condemning yourself to hell?"   Curious how you would answer this.

Objectively, these questions could be asked by Muslims or Jews, of all Christians. Certain Oneness Pentecostals believe that baptisms done by any other invocation than, "In Jesus' name" is wrong, and possibly damnable. The Watchtower Bible & Tract Society labels most Christian organizations as "Christendom," and considers them unworthy of surviving the Battle of Armageddon. So, the idea that a baptism might be wrong and even hell-worthy is not restricted to Antis.

So, what if it's wrong? What if my faith is misguided, or even insufficient? The obvious answer has to be the correct one:  I wanna know! It's like the classic Matrix dilemma: Do you continue in the bliss of a fake but pleasant world, or do you embrace the reality of a harsh, difficult one?

If the question is asked in sincerity, then I'd engage the person and suggest that we both do our best to find out. The Old Testament, New Testament, Holy Qur'an and Book of Mormon all contain the promise that those who seek God with a sincere heart will find Him. So, let's dig in!

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On ‎12‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 6:41 PM, MormonGator said:

"To some degree, all religious belief, and atheism too- is a leap of faith. I'm honest enough to admit that. If it's wrong, I can tell God on judgement day that my goal was to find His church. He led me to Mormonism, or at least I think He did.  If I'm wrong, how come all the signs pointed me here?" 
 

Let's remove ourselves from our own faiths, and look to others that we know were wrong. Consider that members of the many dooms day cults likely said this very thing--that God led them to their religious groups. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, for example, that some of The  People's Temple (Jim Jones) members really believed their church was progressive, embracing of other races, etc., and that they were doing God's work in a way others were not. Towards the end, some were likely so convinced that they really came to believe that Satan was using the U.S. government to persecute and destroy them. THEN my answer would be that God is just, and will do right by every soul He has created. I doubt that anyone will be tricked or deceived into hell.

Having said that, I would warn against a false comfort. Sometimes we give ourselves over to wrong belief, and God does send us warnings and signs. However, pride, and perhaps even laziness, keep me from seeing the error of my ways. After all, I grew up believing Velveeta was a wonderful thing. After some years of separation, I re-encountered my former culinary love, only to find out that I had been severely mislead. Alas, in humility and shame, I admitted my past folly. :guilty:

Edited by prisonchaplain

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On 12/12/2018 at 6:33 PM, Grunt said:

I was asked "What if it's wrong?  What if by being baptized you are condemning yourself to hell?"   Curious how you would answer this.

This is always the easiest question to answer.

Q: "What if it's wrong?  What if by being baptized you are condemning yourself to hell?"
A: "I dunno, you tell me - what if your faith is a lie, and when you were baptized you were condemning yourself?"

Invariably, people who have asked that question are simply unable or unwilling to answer the question when put to them.   Such folk are, invariably, unable or unwilling to have any sort of rational discussion, because they're convinced they are right and you are wrong.  You might as well try your luck discussing things with a parking meter.  

Folks who ask that question, aren't interested in the answer.  They are interested in proving you wrong, and they're at the level of intellectual maturity to believe that asking that question somehow will lead you to concluding you are wrong.  

Edited by NeuroTypical

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2 hours ago, NeuroTypical said:

This is always the easiest question to answer.

Q: "What if it's wrong?  What if by being baptized you are condemning yourself to hell?"
A: "I dunno, you tell me - what if your faith is a lie, and when you were baptized you were condemning yourself?"

Invariably, people who have asked that question are simply unable or unwilling to answer the question when put to them.   Such folk are, invariably, unable or unwilling to have any sort of rational discussion, because they're convinced they are right and you are wrong.  You might as well try your luck discussing things with a parking meter.  

Folks who ask that question, aren't interested in the answer.  They are interested in proving you wrong, and they're at the level of intellectual maturity to believe that asking that question somehow will lead you to concluding you are wrong.  

The person asking is sincere.  It's a troubling issue for them.

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As I read your question, Grunt, I was thinking more along the lines of "If you truly believe that God is the one who led you to be baptized, then how can you think you'll go to Hell?" I would think that the person is doubting their own ability to distinguish God's whisper to them rather than doubting the LDS doctrines. Perhaps focusing on acknowledging the Spirit's voice and how they know it is the Spirit and not another voice would be beneficial.

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3 hours ago, Grunt said:

The person asking is sincere.  It's a troubling issue for them.

I believe you.  Are you saying they're not firmly convinced they're right and you're wrong, and just asking because they're genuinely concerned for your soul and trying to lead you to the right path?

I've been asked that question many times.  None of them ever had it in them to answer it for themselves.  But yeah, probably most of them had some amount of concern for the state of my soul.

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17 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

I believe you.  Are you saying they're not firmly convinced they're right and you're wrong, and just asking because they're genuinely concerned for your soul and trying to lead you to the right path?

I've been asked that question many times.  None of them ever had it in them to answer it for themselves.  But yeah, probably most of them had some amount of concern for the state of my soul.

They're genuinely concerned about THEIR soul and have legitimate questions that I'm trying my best to answer.

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@Grunt

It's very kind of you to care about your friend as you do.

All this is just my opinion.  i guess that's always true, but it feels correct to acknowledge it every time.

If we are God's children (i assume your friend believes this), then unless God is the most narcissistic, self-serving, jerk of a parent, then your friend is not going to be consigned to hell for doing their best with the knowledge they have.  

It would be like a parent keeping notes on how many times a child fell down trying to learn to walk so they could punish them later.  And not just punish them, but punish them without end.  That isn't God.  That's the idea used by enterprising churchmen to empty the pockets of their parishioners that's been peddled as something way above it's pay grade.

If they draw closer to God by getting baptized, then go for it!  i mean, isn't that what religion is for, anyways?

Edit: if this is offensive in any way, please let me know, and i'll remove it.  Wasn't my intent, but i can see how it might be.

Edited by lostinwater

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1 hour ago, Grunt said:

They're genuinely concerned about THEIR soul and have legitimate questions that I'm trying my best to answer.

Fair enough.  I've never encountered a believing Christian coming to a LDS with such a heartfelt question, but then I tend to run in circles where people come to argue.

Good time to have heartfelt conversations about the nature of an all-loving God, IMO.  Would such a being reward someone trying their best, or punish them?

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On 12/12/2018 at 6:33 PM, Grunt said:

I was asked "What if it's wrong?  What if by being baptized you are condemning yourself to hell?"   Curious how you would answer this.

These types of questions are never easy to answer because "what ifs" are not in the realm of the Holy Spirit, and yet we still ask these questions. The rhetorical question would be, "What if the life you are currently living is wrong"? Then follow up with, what would you do to know? I have discovered with honest and sincere questions self reflection are the best answers, and sometimes that is only discovered through answering a question with a question.

After dialogue, the discussion would have to then move toward this question, "Has our Father in heaven provided a way for us to know if we are wrong, or if our decision is His will"? I then would follow up with (depending on their answer), "Do you personally believe God answers prayers, and that he would leave us without some form of knowledge knowing we are on the right path"?

The whole time directing the individual to read scriptures from the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the Holy Bible that provides evidence that God does indeed have a way for us to know -- we are not wrong.

Other questions that I found helped from my mission (at least to honest, sincere seekers of truth -- not itching ear truth), "How did Peter know Jesus was the Messiah"? 

This is what I have discovered, when it comes to Christ gospel, I have never come across someone who sincerely studied the Book of Mormon, who put God first, who set aside the vain things of this world, who loved God more than man not receive an answer. God will only reveal to us what we are ready to receive (obviously there are outliers in the gospel of Jesus Christ).

 

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On 12/25/2018 at 8:01 AM, GaleG said:

Is it possible to be faithful believing Christian (but not Mormon) and yet not know where
you are going?

Thank you,

Gale

Forgive me, but isn't this just another, duh question?

From anyone's individual perspective, of course you know.  That goes without saying.

But since you're asking in an LDS forum, the answer would have to be, "You don't know where you're going because you have no idea what the afterlife is like or how to get there."

Your belief system is leading you down a path that you know not.

You think the same of us. Right?

Edited by Guest

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

Forgive me, but isn't this just another, duh question?

From anyone's individual perspective, of course you know.  That goes without saying.

But since you're asking in an LDS forum, the answer would have to be, "You don't know where you're going because you have no idea what the afterlife is like or how to get there."

Your belief system is leading you down a path that you know not.

You think the same of us. Right?

Thank you Carborendum. I would say Christians (whether Mormon type or not) would know where they
are going if they are faithful.What the afterlife is like from a Christian perspective a few glimpses are given. 
My experience in Taoism has taught me about reincarnation but no real insight into some paradise but this
forum's concepts remind me back to when I was Catholic.

Gale

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1 hour ago, GaleG said:

Thank you Carborendum. I would say Christians (whether Mormon type or not) would know where they
are going if they are faithful.What the afterlife is like from a Christian perspective a few glimpses are given. 
My experience in Taoism has taught me about reincarnation but no real insight into some paradise but this
forum's concepts remind me back to when I was Catholic.

Gale

 Okay, a bit different.

You asked about other Christians.  So I answered along those lines.

If you subscribe to Taoism, my understanding was that there are differing schools of thought on the afterlife.  I'd be tempted to say there are different sects as there are in Christianity.  But that's not quite a correct description, is it?

As much as I delved into Taoism (which admittedly wasn't too deep) I felt it was more like a philosophy than a religion.  That is, there weren't any thoughts on the afterlife or the existence of any Supreme Being in the original writings of Lao Tzu.  Some things have arisen since his writings.  But nothing original other than something similar to Buddhist Enlightenment.

Everything along those lines all seemed like guesswork.  It's no wonder, then, that you would not know... since your religion basically says "we don't know".

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22 hours ago, Grunt said:

 It's a troubling issue for them.

It's a troubling issue for many of us. 

I think most believers (most, not all) will admit that faith in God is hard. Heck, even some general authorities have admitted that. Hugh B Brown comes to mind, I'm sure there are others. It is to the believers credit that they struggle with doubt. In the immortal words of the brilliant Reinhold Niebuhr "A frantic, zealous belief is rooted in doubt. It is when you are not sure that you are quite sure.". He's exactly right.  

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On 12/26/2018 at 2:14 PM, Carborendum said:

As much as I delved into Taoism (which admittedly wasn't too deep) I felt it was more like a philosophy than a religion.  That is, there weren't any thoughts on the afterlife or the existence of any Supreme Being in the original writings of Lao Tzu.  Some things have arisen since his writings.  But nothing original other than something similar to Buddhist Enlightenment.

Thank you Carborendum,

Not sure if you have read this book. There is a great goddess in Taoism.  These references are from
"The Complete Works of Lao Tzu - Tao Teh Ching and Hua Hu Ching", translation and elucidation by
Hua-Ching Ni.  ( 2 books in one )

“The whole being of the great goddess is of unfathomable depth. The Universal Heart is her heart and
the Divine Pure Law is her pure being”.   #1

"This Universal One should be worshipped"  #2

“Only those who are very highly evolved have the opportunity to break through all obstructions and reach
the universal-heartedness and pure reason of the Mysterious Mother”.   #3

1 Hua Hu Ching, section 65.
2 Hua Hu Ching, section 74.
3 Hua Hu Ching, section 65.

Gale

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14 hours ago, GaleG said:

Thank you Carborendum,

Not sure if you have read this book. There is a great goddess in Taoism.  These references are from
"The Complete Works of Lao Tzu - Tao Teh Ching and Hua Hu Ching", translation and elucidation by
Hua-Ching Ni.  ( 2 books in one )

“The whole being of the great goddess is of unfathomable depth. The Universal Heart is her heart and
the Divine Pure Law is her pure being”.   #1

"This Universal One should be worshipped"  #2

“Only those who are very highly evolved have the opportunity to break through all obstructions and reach
the universal-heartedness and pure reason of the Mysterious Mother”.   #3

1 Hua Hu Ching, section 65.
2 Hua Hu Ching, section 74.
3 Hua Hu Ching, section 65.

Gale

Nope, I haven't read them.  Like I said, my investigation wasn't too deep.  I've been turned off by the fundamentalism of the belief system.  What I mean by that is that there was too much that simply said,"This is true because Taoism teaches it.  We teach it because it's true."

I realize that there are fundamental things in ALL belief systems, religious or not.  But there was simply too much in Taoism.  In our faith, we really only have four or five fundamental truths.  AND we have a path to learn how to accept them as truth.  Beyond that, everything is supposed to build on those few fundamental truths.

That said, I had great appreciation for the basic premise of the Tao - the balance of life.  When our faith teaches "opposition in all things" I tend to think of that principle on the backdrop of Taoist thinking.

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On ‎12‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 8:24 PM, NeuroTypical said:

Good time to have heartfelt conversations about the nature of an all-loving God, IMO.  Would such a being reward someone trying their best, or punish them?

When I hear myself say that I am trying my best, I need to stop and ask if that's really true. Maybe it was when I first came to my decision, religion, course of action, etc. However, over time did I remain open-minded, open-hearted, with my spiritual ears keen to hear 'that still small voice?' It's too easy to settle on my initial conclusion and then reject any subsequence revelations--including inconvenient truths. Is not the church founded on this very issue--that Christians have done good and well, but along the way authority was lost? Most missionary respond, when they encounter those who say, "But I already have a church--I'm already a Christian," with, "That's great. What we share are truths that will build upon the good you've already achieved?"

If someone is waving poorly-done ANTI materials, and demanding, "Consider this, beware that!" then, as many have suggested, ignore and move on. However, I do not see how I can declare the veracity of my own faith--so much so that I would challenge others to change over--if I do not entertain the possibility that God may still have growth for me to experience.

I always remember that I can be so right I'm wrong.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

When I hear myself say that I am trying my best, I need to stop and ask if that's really true. Maybe it was when I first came to my decision, religion, course of action, etc. However, over time did I remain open-minded, open-hearted, with my spiritual ears keen to hear 'that still small voice?' It's too easy to settle on my initial conclusion and then reject any subsequence revelations--including inconvenient truths. Is not the church founded on this very issue--that Christians have done good and well, but along the way authority was lost? Most missionary respond, when they encounter those who say, "But I already have a church--I'm already a Christian," with, "That's great. What we share are truths that will build upon the good you've already achieved?"

If someone is waving poorly-done ANTI materials, and demanding, "Consider this, beware that!" then, as many have suggested, ignore and move on. However, I do not see how I can declare the veracity of my own faith--so much so that I would challenge others to change over--if I do not entertain the possibility that God may still have growth for me to experience.

I always remember that I can be so right I'm wrong.

The following occurred to me as I was perusing your Christmas Day post above, and perhaps it has some application here as well:

God knows when someone is BSing themselves, or when someone is being willfully blind or obtuse or intellectually/spiritually lazy, or when someone is sincerely stuck for some reason.  But I can’t always know that—so at the end of the day all I can do is testify to the truth as I have experienced it, encourage others to approach divinity through the path that has worked for me, love them, and bid them a sincere Godspeed.

:) 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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