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Priesthood restoration discrepancies

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14 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

On a side note: Testimonies are very rarely actually lost. Faith is lost. Or, rather, faith is abandoned. If testimonies were actually lost (like somehow we had amnesia) then we'd hardly be accountable for that (unless the actions that caused amnesia was intentional (as is sometimes the case)).

Also, maybe someone can correct me, but I don't believe there is any commandment to have a testimony anywhere. There is a commandment to believe. There is a commandment to have faith. And there are promises related to those choices. But losing a testimony (assuming one could) wouldn't damn us if we choose to continue  exercising faith and belief.

The primary spiritual experience I had whereby I can testify of the Savior, for example, is an actual experience that I had. It's not something I can actually forget. I can ignore it...put it aside, etc., and pretend like I don't remember it. But when I stand before my Savior at judgment day I will not be able to deny that experience any more than those who have had similar experiences will be able to deny theirs. And for ignoring it, I would be accountable.

And...on top of that...it's interesting to consider your statement in terms of faith (assuming it read "Sin is the only reason why faith is lost"). That is truth like saying car crashes are the only reasons car accidents happen. Because not having faith is a sin. ;)

I would definitely agree with you that faith is abandoned. I have known a few who have had issues with their faith,  including some family members. Within the small group of people I know and stories I have heard, I have never heard of someone having a faith crisis or abandoning their faith and come back stronger and more committed to the gospel. Does anyone have an example of this? If not it would seem that once down that road there is only one outcome. 

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14 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

On a side note: Testimonies are very rarely actually lost. Faith is lost. Or, rather, faith is abandoned. If testimonies were actually lost (like somehow we had amnesia) then we'd hardly be accountable for that (unless the actions that caused amnesia was intentional (as is sometimes the case)).

Also, maybe someone can correct me, but I don't believe there is any commandment to have a testimony anywhere. There is a commandment to believe. There is a commandment to have faith. And there are promises related to those choices. But losing a testimony (assuming one could) wouldn't damn us if we choose to continue  exercising faith and belief.

The primary spiritual experience I had whereby I can testify of the Savior, for example, is an actual experience that I had. It's not something I can actually forget. I can ignore it...put it aside, etc., and pretend like I don't remember it. But when I stand before my Savior at judgment day I will not be able to deny that experience any more than those who have had similar experiences will be able to deny theirs. And for ignoring it, I would be accountable.

And...on top of that...it's interesting to consider your statement in terms of faith (assuming it read "Sin is the only reason why faith is lost"). That is truth like saying car crashes are the only reasons car accidents happen. Because not having faith is a sin. ;)

Would you consider the phrases "loss of testimony" and "testimony lost" have the same meaning? I am asking because I would say this is more semantics. If I use the word loss, simply meaning "the act of loosing possession" and the example provided "a loss of sight." I didn't have amnesia or anything to have a loss of sight. Something is happening to my body that caused a loss of sight.

I am not sure I am following the example provided with the car and car crashes.

 

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32 minutes ago, Nacho2Dope said:

I would definitely agree with you that faith is abandoned. I have known a few who have had issues with their faith,  including some family members. Within the small group of people I know and stories I have heard, I have never heard of someone having a faith crisis or abandoning their faith and come back stronger and more committed to the gospel. Does anyone have an example of this? If not it would seem that once down that road there is only one outcome. 

Alma the Younger. Now, to be fair, as we don't know Alma the Younger's full history, we can say he was taught the gospel by his Father, which then leads to the thought that Alma the Younger would have had to have abandoned his faith as taught by his father. We can see from his life he came back stronger and more committed to the gospel.

Oliver Cowdery also comes to mind. He abandoned his faith, did not move with the saints. He was excommunicated and later came back. His commitment to the Church could be argued as we may not know if he was stronger or more committed, but we do know he returned and was faithful to the end.

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4 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

Would you consider the phrases "loss of testimony" and "testimony lost" have the same meaning?

Sure. But I think both phrases have developed culturally because of a broad misunderstanding of what a testimony actually is. These phrases, or even the idea of the phrases, are not found in the standard works. Because they're not real things.

6 minutes ago, Anddenex said:

I am not sure I am following the example provided with the car and car crashes.

Think about what the word testimony actually means outside of of religion. If you are bearing witness of something (giving testimony) it means you saw, heard, smelled, or otherwise experienced it.

If you saw a murder then you saw a murder. The only way for that to change is for you to forget, either through brain damage or hypnosis or some such (thought I'm a hypnosis skeptic...but...let's assume...) Otherwise, you saw what you saw. You may talk yourself out of believing it -- that your eyes were playing tricks on you -- that we're all living in the matrix -- that it was faked -- etc -- but none of that actually changes the reality that you saw what you saw. And that means you can bear witness that you saw it (give testimony). Whether you believe it was real or not is a matter of faith.

Of course witnesses are notoriously unreliable in many ways. And that plays into things, of course. But it doesn't change my point -- which is what the meaning of testimony actually is. Whether your testimony is reliable or not doesn't have any bearing on what the word testimony means.

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15 hours ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Also, maybe someone can correct me, but I don't believe there is any commandment to have a testimony anywhere.

Perhaps a very small - otherwise almost unnoticeable correction.  I believe that a person's deeds are more of the accurate expression of one's testimony than their words.  But even in words - I believe we are commanded to give witness to truths - both in regards to every member a missionary and as everyone that has been warned is commanded to warn their neighbor.

 

The Traveler

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2 minutes ago, Traveler said:

as everyone that has been warned is commanded to warn their neighbor.

But I'm talking about those who haven't been warned. Essentially I'm saying that it is not (obviously) a commandment to be warned. It is, as you point out, a commandment to warn others once we've been warned.

Having a testimony is a result -- not an action.

Working to develop a testimony is an action (this is exercising faith). But actually having one is a result.

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1 hour ago, Anddenex said:

Alma the Younger. Now, to be fair, as we don't know Alma the Younger's full history, we can say he was taught the gospel by his Father, which then leads to the thought that Alma the Younger would have had to have abandoned his faith as taught by his father. We can see from his life he came back stronger and more committed to the gospel.

Oliver Cowdery also comes to mind. He abandoned his faith, did not move with the saints. He was excommunicated and later came back. His commitment to the Church could be argued as we may not know if he was stronger or more committed, but we do know he returned and was faithful to the end.

Thanks. I appreciate the insight and examples!!

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27 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Sure. But I think both phrases have developed culturally because of a broad misunderstanding of what a testimony actually is. These phrases, or even the idea of the phrases, are not found in the standard works. Because they're not real things.

Think about what the word testimony actually means outside of of religion. If you are bearing witness of something (giving testimony) it means you saw, heard, smelled, or otherwise experienced it.

If you saw a murder then you saw a murder. The only way for that to change is for you to forget, either through brain damage or hypnosis or some such (thought I'm a hypnosis skeptic...but...let's assume...) Otherwise, you saw what you saw. You may talk yourself out of believing it -- that your eyes were playing tricks on you -- that we're all living in the matrix -- that it was faked -- etc -- but none of that actually changes the reality that you saw what you saw. And that means you can bear witness that you saw it (give testimony). Whether you believe it was real or not is a matter of faith.

Of course witnesses are notoriously unreliable in many ways. And that plays into things, of course. But it doesn't change my point -- which is what the meaning of testimony actually is. Whether your testimony is reliable or not doesn't have any bearing on what the word testimony means.

Interesting post.  I hope you can receive what I will say with a spirit of friendliness.   I have 3 brothers that are color blind.  The term color blind is a bit of a misnomer because they are not color blind but their brain interprets what they see differently.  In some cases they see more color distention and in other cases they see less.  It is interesting to me that 27% of adult males cannot distinguish between red and green and yet that is what has been chosen to indicate for traffic to stop or proceed.   

On the other hand I am dyslexic.  My eyesight is very good but my brain organizes things very differently.  This is an interesting mix between a blessing and a curse.   It is not uncommon for me to be with my wife and I will read a sign - she will indicate that I read it incorrectly.  I will read it several times and it is the same.  She will read it to me once and suddenly the characters change and it now says what she says.  As many times as I read it again it now always says what my wife indicated and I cannot see what I thought I saw initially.  I have learned to never trust initial impressions and whenever possible to ask specific questions to clarify what I think is going on.  Sometimes to myself and often to others - especially if they are saying something that does not make sense to me.  I understand that very often my questions create offense but worse is the possibility that my presentation is not coherent.  (I usually read what I write backwards to validate it).  But often I speak without filters.

My point is that for me it seems I am constantly correcting myself and changing what I thought I experienced.  It is interesting to me that there are many scientific studies that indicate how a person's perception is modified to make sense for them - a good example is two individuals watching a sporting event seeing a flagrant event very differently because of their bias and then discovering how wrong they were after observing several instant replays from different angles.  Perhaps @Just_A_Guy can verify that even in a court of law - eyewitness will never overturn empirical evidence.

But you are correct about one thing - there are events (experiences) that are so profound that they are forever burned into our person that we cannot deny.  But I would protend that those experiences are very few and even those great events if they remain singular can become obscured. 

 

The Traveler

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40 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

But I'm talking about those who haven't been warned. Essentially I'm saying that it is not (obviously) a commandment to be warned. It is, as you point out, a commandment to warn others once we've been warned.

Having a testimony is a result -- not an action.

Working to develop a testimony is an action (this is exercising faith). But actually having one is a result.

A little confused - who has not been warned?

 

The Traveler

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5 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Maybe you forgot your meds this morning.

For clarification - I do not take meds.  That does not mean that I did not did not miss important information.  I am just curious why you think there are individuals that have received no warnings as all.  I was understanding that we all have the spirit of Christ is a clear warning.

 

The Traveler 

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2 minutes ago, Traveler said:

For clarification - I do not take meds.  That does not mean that I did not did not miss important information.  I am just curious why you think there are individuals that have received no warnings as all.  I was understanding that we all have the spirit of Christ is a clear warning.

If that's your view then that's your view.

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2 hours ago, Traveler said:

Perhaps @Just_A_Guy can verify that even in a court of law - eyewitness will never overturn empirical evidence.

I would never say “never”—ultimately the jury can give extra weight to, and discount, whatever evidence it feels appropriate.  Yes, eyewitness testimony can be very problematic.  But we are continually learning more about “empirical” evidence and how it works—I remember reading about ten years ago that much of what we thought we knew about forensic fire science (how fires spread, evidence of accelerants, etc) has turned out to be wrong.  

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