Anddenex

Deconstructing a Testimony

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2 hours ago, priesthoodpower said:

when you dont attend "church" you are left out of Gods plan (this is nonsense to me and anyone else who believes in a loving God).

There is a place for everyone in God's plan, from those in outer darkness to the top of the celestial kingdom. Where we place ourself within God's plan is entirely up to us. 

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16 hours ago, Vort said:

Wrong, wrong, wrong. The answer to our problems is for people to humble themselves, repent, and come unto Christ. Putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls may make the walls slightly more appealing, but it doesn't change the basic nature of the building. People come unto Christ or they do not. The problem doesn't lie in the fact that we're not luring them well enough. The problem lies in the fact that they do not want to abandon their fornications and make themselves clean so that God can bless them.

You are stuck in time and blinded by your own knowledge of the gospel. You try too hard to speak for God yet we have a prophet that is slowly moving the goal posts so that we CAN welcome more of the lost sheep into the fold, quite the opposite of your beliefs.

True, there are some that dont want to change their bad habits, but there are many, many good people that are turned off by what they have learned to believe is man made religions.You offer no suggestions or solutions to help folks get through these barriers that most of us have had the luxury to be born or atleast cultured into.

 

people   religion    christ

 

you see the barrier?

Edited by priesthoodpower

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12 minutes ago, priesthoodpower said:

You are stuck in time and blinded by your own knowledge of the gospel. You try too hard to speak for God yet we have a prophet that is slowly moving the goal posts so that we CAN welcome more of the lost sheep into the fold, quite the opposite of your beliefs.

True, there are some that dont want to change their bad habits, but there are many, many good people that are turned off by what they have learned to believe is man made religions.You offer no suggestions or solutions to help folks get through these barriers that most of us have had the luxury to be born or atleast cultured into.

 

people   religion    christ

 

you see the barrier?

Yes it is people... As Vort said People not living their covenants as they promised.  People not following Chris as they covenanted.  I do not see what Prophet is doing as changing the goal posts I see it as a call to repentance.

For example...  Not looking after your fellows like you should have because you consider Home and Visiting Teaching 'forced friendships?'  Well change the name of the program, tweak the reporting side a bit a tell everyone with these superfluous changes we expect 'More care not Less.' That is a paint job, not a moving of the Goal Posts.  Some will repent and do what they have been covenanting to do other will not.

Shorter church same idea.  The goal is a better relationship with Christ that has always been the case.  The goal has never been spend three hours in church.  However anyone that ever thought that they were doing enough just because they showed up and expected others to carry them is in for a serious wake up call now.  Hopefully they will heed the call to repent

 

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On 3/16/2020 at 7:25 PM, Anddenex said:

1) I believe in history and facts > you believe in emotion and faith.

I heard of this line of reasoning before.  I informed my evolutionist buddy (who believes in
the Big Bang) that I could no more believe in that explosion causing all life to appear than I
could believe a tornado blowing through a junk yard could produce a 747 airplane.  Another
expression I heard - if humans came from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys
and apes?  🙂

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1 hour ago, priesthoodpower said:

You are stuck in time and blinded by your own knowledge of the gospel. You try too hard to speak for God yet we have a prophet that is slowly moving the goal posts so that we CAN welcome more of the lost sheep into the fold, quite the opposite of your beliefs.

I would like to know about some of these "moving goalposts" you speak of.

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1 hour ago, TheTanakas said:

I heard of this line of reasoning before.  I informed my evolutionist buddy (who believes in
the Big Bang) that I could no more believe in that explosion causing all life to appear than I
could believe a tornado blowing through a junk yard could produce a 747 airplane.  Another
expression I heard - if humans came from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys
and apes?  🙂

You bring up an excellent example of why the statement of "I believe in history and facts" is misleading. To some degree all human beings live by faith whether or not they want to admit it. They are even, in faith, accepting the interpretation of the history and facts they accept. How often has science used the same "facts" to update their current belief on something, or better said, how often is a theory updated (which was previously considered an error of logical or rational) when new evidence emerges?

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On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 7:31 AM, estradling75 said:

Yes it is people... As Vort said People not living their covenants as they promised.  People not following Chris as they covenanted.  I do not see what Prophet is doing as changing the goal posts I see it as a call to repentance.

For example...  Not looking after your fellows like you should have because you consider Home and Visiting Teaching 'forced friendships?'  Well change the name of the program, tweak the reporting side a bit a tell everyone with these superfluous changes we expect 'More care not Less.' That is a paint job, not a moving of the Goal Posts.  Some will repent and do what they have been covenanting to do other will not.

Don't be too bias to see what is really happening. The re-named "Ministering" program lowered the bar on the assignment. In the old Home Teaching program we set an apt, dress up in Sunday best, get in the door, sit down for prayer and lesson with the family...now in Ministering if we cant make some kind of physical interaction (doesn't have to be church related) with the family we can send a text "you good buddy! need anything!". Its also worth mentioning that at least in my ward the numbers did not change, ministering is still below 5%, my guess is this program will soon be dissolved.

We can both agree that PEOPLE are the problem and vort thinks the ANSWER is with the people humbling them selves and changing their ways completely but when that doesn't work something else needs to give. Lets look at this small example of Home teaching. The PEOPLE were not doing it (Our stake averaged less then 10% for decades, I can only assume the church worldwide saw similar stats) so the Church changed the program. This is an example of the Church changing and not the people...and not changing because it was a failure but because the gospel is continuously being restored, human behavior and cultures change over time. HT/Ministering could come and go just like polygamy. Are we a worse off church because polygamy was recalled? Will we be a lesser church if HT/Ministering is recalled? If it is recalled, then all of a sudden repentance for not doing HT/Ministering is not necessary. The bar was just lowered, it just got a little easier. 

On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 7:31 AM, estradling75 said:

Shorter church same idea.  The goal is a better relationship with Christ that has always been the case.  The goal has never been spend three hours in church.  

 

Shorter Church = The Church changing, not the People. (Im not saying Christ or the doctrine changed)
Less leadership meetings = The Church changing, not the People.

"The goal has never been spend three hours in church." ya think! Finally after years seeing members leave church after the one hour of sacrament (for various reasons and cant do anything about it) they finally made a pivot move. What is now 2 hrs will soon be 1hr. Heck this coronavirus situation is teaching the world to do everything online, this may be the chance for the Church to make the leap, we have gospel library and LDS tools, all our membership resources are already online, Awesome!

Which of the two structures has a chance to be more successful?

A. 5,000 people in a small town. 0ne church building for worship. 500 people are attracted to that church and become members. 300 stop attending overtime because they are not comfortable. 200 active members that feel comfortable enough to remain in harmony with the others. 200 members that believe they are the only ones with a one-on-one relationship with Christ.

B. 5,000 people in a small town. 5,000 church buildings to worship in. 5,000 people love their church. 5,000 attend their entire lives. None go inactive and all of them feel comfortable moving at their own pace. No one in their ear telling them they are not good enough. 5,000 people with a one-on-one relationship with Christ. 

B my friend is online, virtual, automated, home centered church.

On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2020 at 7:31 AM, estradling75 said:

However anyone that ever thought that they were doing enough just because they showed up and expected others to carry them is in for a serious wake up call now.  Hopefully they will heed the call to repent

This is a dead giveaway of the old school doom and gloom mentality that you and vort have. My kids when they attended primary 5-8yrs ago before leaving the church had this fear instilled in them from a teacher that was in the over 60yr age range, repent or go to hell type stuff, he wasn't wrong because it does say that in the scriptures, but congratulations for driving more people away from the church. Its a good thing that my kids do not need to be active members of the LDS to have a relationship with Christ and his gospel.

The church is not the same today as it was 40+ yrs ago when we were growing up. I can accept that as well as the Apostles as proven by their leadership direction these past few years, but others cannot.

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7 hours ago, priesthoodpower said:

Don't be too bias to see what is really happening.

Yes, let's be unbiased and openminded. In PP-speak, that means think like he does.

7 hours ago, priesthoodpower said:

This is a dead giveaway of the old school doom and gloom mentality that you and vort have.

PP's go-to insult is "old school", as if it's something to be ashamed of. The fact that he considers a call to repentance and to come unto Christ to be "doom and gloom" speaks volumes.

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1 hour ago, Vort said:

Yes, let's be unbiased and openminded. In PP-speak, that means think like he does.

PP's go-to insult is "old school", as if it's something to be ashamed of. The fact that he considers a call to repentance and to come unto Christ to be "doom and gloom" speaks volumes.

Indeed it is pretty typical the people who scream the loudest about openmindedness and tolerance are the most unaccepting of anyone that dares think differently then they do.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about as 'old school' as it gets.  It is also a religion that has to be applied personally, it always has been.  Anyone who is just now realizing this because of the changes the church has made is outing themselves as one of the "Foolish Virgins"  but luckily for them there still appears to be time to repent.

It reminds me of the Law of Moses really.  The Law of Moses was all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. with spiritual 'training wheels' tacked on.   People might celebrate the removal of the 'training wheels' that is currently happening in the Church.  But the sad reality is.. if you couldn't make it work with the 'training wheels' you are unlikely to make it work without them

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1 hour ago, estradling75 said:

Indeed it is pretty typical the people who scream the loudest about openmindedness and tolerance are the most unaccepting of anyone that dares think differently then they do.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about as 'old school' as it gets.  It is also a religion that has to be applied personally, it always has been.  Anyone who is just now realizing this because of the changes the church has made is outing themselves as one of the "Foolish Virgins"  but luckily for them there still appears to be time to repent.

It reminds me of the Law of Moses really.  The Law of Moses was all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.. with spiritual 'training wheels' tacked on.   People might celebrate the removal of the 'training wheels' that is currently happening in the Church.  But the sad reality is.. if you couldn't make it work with the 'training wheels' you are unlikely to make it work without them

Well said. To me the most concerning thing that has been said in this thread so far is "The re-named 'Ministering' program lowered the bar on the assignment." This is completely false, and the exact opposite of what church leaders have taught us about the purpose of the change, and it is disappointing to hear. What did the 5 foolish virgins do when their lamps burned out...they ran to get more oil. Even though they were late, at least they knew it was necessary. One who has this view above is akin to one of those virgins outright refusing to get extra for their lamp when a more pure version of the oil is being freely offered to them and their neighbors. "Oil for my lamp...nah...I'm good. Only 5-10% of my ward and stake are out getting oil...plus, I don't think this oil you have is really better. Really though, all of this stuff isn't necessary anyway. I can have a relationship with the Bridegroom without it and everything will somehow work out in the end." The scriptures have many examples of people who thought this way, and what the end result was...and it was never a better relationship with the Lord.

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58 minutes ago, scottyg said:

Well said. To me the most concerning thing that has been said in this thread so far is "The re-named 'Ministering' program lowered the bar on the assignment." This is completely false, and the exact opposite of what church leaders have taught us about the purpose of the change, and it is disappointing to hear. What did the 5 foolish virgins do when their lamps burned out...they ran to get more oil. Even though they were late, at least they knew it was necessary. One who has this view above is akin to one of those virgins outright refusing to get extra for their lamp when a more pure version of the oil is being freely offered to them and their neighbors. "Oil for my lamp...nah...I'm good. Only 5-10% of my ward and stake are out getting oil...plus, I don't think this oil you have is really better. Really though, all of this stuff isn't necessary anyway. I can have a relationship with the Bridegroom without it and everything will somehow work out in the end." The scriptures have many examples of people who thought this way, and what the end result was...and it was never a better relationship with the Lord.

Indeed.  When the ministering program was rolled out Elder Holland was very clear, "We want more Care, Not Less"  While they did away with a direct report of Monthly visits...  Monthly visits should be the minimum bar... and we should absolutely be doing better then that.

The take away that the program is requiring less of us is a vile satanic lie.  The program require less reporting to mortal leaders.. but I have not really been to worried what my leaders thought compared to what the Lord thought of my attempts to keep my promises to him.

 

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20 hours ago, estradling75 said:

Indeed.  When the ministering program was rolled out Elder Holland was very clear, "We want more Care, Not Less"  While they did away with a direct report of Monthly visits...  Monthly visits should be the minimum bar... and we should absolutely be doing better then that.

The take away that the program is requiring less of us is a vile satanic lie.  The program require less reporting to mortal leaders.. but I have not really been to worried what my leaders thought compared to what the Lord thought of my attempts to keep my promises to him.

 

We may be getting a bit off topic here, but to me, 1 Ne 16: 1-3 paints this situation very well. John 6: 59-61, and 66-68 is another prime example. The Lord spoke hard things, and many of His disciples left...but He did not vary or change what He had said to bring them back. Think the church is a man-made religion? Don't like being called to repentance? Well then don't expect to abide with the Christ and Father again someday. The Father was willing to lose 1/3 of His children in order to move the plan of happiness forth. I have to wonder if some of those 1/3 possibly thought "our Father won't really cast us off forever. If enough of us show him that we want another way then surely he will change his mind." The Father did not change His mind, because He can't. The bar will not be lowered so that more of His children can partake of eternal life, because that is impossible. It defeats the purpose of eternal life, and that was the great hidden lie about satan's so called "plan". One cannot abide a Celestial glory if they are unable to abide a Celestial law. Now, I am not saying that the ministering program of the church is Celestial law...but hopefully you get my point.

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In another note that's a side branch of this thread's ideas, I have never met nor seen nor even know who are my supposed ministers.  I used to home teachers and I used to be in Leadership, but now that I am just a normal ward member, I have no idea what is going on with things.  As to who my ministers are...no idea.  No monthly, no quarterly, no bi-annual, no visits at all.

I think they currently assign ministers in our ward mostly to the less active...and as I'm probably the exact opposite of that...is probably the reason I have no ministers.  Or so I would guess.

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On 4/1/2020 at 1:45 AM, priesthoodpower said:

Don't be too bias to see what is really happening. The re-named "Ministering" program lowered the bar on the assignment. In the old Home Teaching program we set an apt, dress up in Sunday best, get in the door, sit down for prayer and lesson with the family...now in Ministering if we cant make some kind of physical interaction (doesn't have to be church related) with the family we can send a text "you good buddy! need anything!". Its also worth mentioning that at least in my ward the numbers did not change, ministering is still below 5%, my guess is this program will soon be dissolved.

We can both agree that PEOPLE are the problem and vort thinks the ANSWER is with the people humbling them selves and changing their ways completely but when that doesn't work something else needs to give. Lets look at this small example of Home teaching. The PEOPLE were not doing it (Our stake averaged less then 10% for decades, I can only assume the church worldwide saw similar stats) so the Church changed the program. This is an example of the Church changing and not the people...and not changing because it was a failure but because the gospel is continuously being restored, human behavior and cultures change over time. HT/Ministering could come and go just like polygamy. Are we a worse off church because polygamy was recalled? Will we be a lesser church if HT/Ministering is recalled? If it is recalled, then all of a sudden repentance for not doing HT/Ministering is not necessary. The bar was just lowered, it just got a little easier. 

 

Let me reference an experience we find during Israel's travels in the wilderness:

Numbers 11: 27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. 29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

I think the ideal that Moses was commenting on was one where every individual was so connected to the mind and will of the Lord that they didn't have to wait to receive direction from their leaders but that they would simply receive an impression and then go act. That is certainly the ideal and as we more closely approach "Zion" and become one both with each other and with the Lord I think we will see more and more of that. I know of a certain brother in my ward who does more good without a calling then most ever do with a calling. 

We find taught in the Doctrine and Covenants that God's house is a house of order, an organization possessing a set of rules for how, when, and by whom things are to be done. These "rules" take two forms. First they are the doctrines and principles as found in the scriptures and as revealed by the Lord. This type are often broad in nature and highly adaptable, giving the Lord a lot of room to maneuver. An example of this would be the calling of Joseph F Smith to be a missionary to the Sandwich Islands at the age of 15. The second type of rules are those delivered as defined guidelines set forth by those in authority in the Church, i.e. the church handbook. These rules are essentially a practical application of the first and are generally more rigid. A comparable example is males must be at least 18 to serve a mission and females 19. The reason for this rigidity is that we are not all at the same level of spiritual progression. We are not all the "prophets" Moses wished for and as the Church grows not every detail can be administered by such individuals. As such, just like the word of wisdom, these rules are often adapted for the weakest of the saints and while some flexibility of the Spirit is expected in general they produced a largely standardized experience. For the Israelites of Moses' time these rules became exceptionally rigid because the people in general were definitely not prophet-like and they needed stricter guidelines to keep them on the straight and narrow way. In the early days of the Church as it became clear that the saints just weren't ready to establish Zion and as the Church grew we began to see more and more of the second type of rules defining the Lord's house of order. 

But now we come to our day. As we get closer to the Lord's Second Coming the importance of establishing Zion is increasing and with it the evil in the world. More and more it is getting such that you and I can’t afford not to be the prophets Moses spoke of. Just as Pres Nelson said without the constant guiding influence of the Holy Ghost we will not survive spiritually. To this end the Lord has steadily been preparing us over the last 20 years as we have seen a loosening up the “rules” that the Church puts out with an admonition to “let the Spirit guide.” The recent condensed handbook is a perfect example of this. More and more of the burden to learn the Lord's rules by searching the scriptures, learning the doctrine, receiving personal revelation and then acting is being placed upon our shoulders. Either we do this and qualify to be apart of Zion or we don’t and get swallowed up by the gathering darkness.

Soooo, my long winded point in all this is that a loosening of these church rules and changes in programs is not a lowering of the bar. On the contrary it is a raising of the bar by requiring us to go to the Lord and learn His rules and to order our houses accordingly. 

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On 3/30/2020 at 3:16 PM, Anddenex said:

You bring up an excellent example of why the statement of "I believe in history and facts" is misleading. To some degree all human beings live by faith whether or not they want to admit it. They are even, in faith, accepting the interpretation of the history and facts they accept. How often has science used the same "facts" to update their current belief on something, or better said, how often is a theory updated (which was previously considered an error of logical or rational) when new evidence emerges?

I agree.  They did an update when they found the earth was not flat.

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On 3/30/2020 at 12:01 PM, priesthoodpower said:

You are stuck in time and blinded by your own knowledge of the gospel. You try too hard to speak for God 

Unlike yourself.

On 3/24/2020 at 5:39 PM, priesthoodpower said:

"This is a church of progression, you cant sit and be stagnant". This type of thinking is a big part of what pushes lazy or prideful members away whereas these same people would have remained in the church content with the pace that they feel comfortable with.

Meaning... not moving at all?  Nothing in the statement you quoted demands any specific pace except that it is moving forward.  The only alternatives are being stagnant (no progress) or moving backwards.  So, what is it that you're disagreeing with because I don't see anything in the quote that you disagree with.  Could it be that this person said much more than the quote you gave?  If so, share it.  But I get the feeling that the problem was not with what he said, but how you took what he said.

On 3/24/2020 at 5:39 PM, priesthoodpower said:

The tone now from our apostles are "your best is good enough". No doctrine changed but the way we think has, how hard was that?

This has ALWAYS been the doctrine and always will be the doctrine.  We can only be saved through the Atonement.  Our works never have been enough and never will be enough.

On 3/24/2020 at 5:39 PM, priesthoodpower said:

Please remember that church is not Christ. Christ is not a christian, he is THE Christ.

We are...

christians that go to church

mormons that go to church

catholics that go to mass

buddhists that go to the temple...etc

Home centered gospel is taking us in a better direction..."people following Christ", and this is something that EVERYONE can do, not just active mormons.

You're talking about Universalism.  Are you actually LDS?  If so, explain your interpretation of:

Quote

And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually.

 -- D&C 1:30

If all churches / faiths are equal, what does this verse say to you?

On 3/25/2020 at 7:16 PM, priesthoodpower said:

It'll take a generation or two for this old fashion religious elitist way of thinking to disappear.

I certainly hope not.  It won't die with my children.  And it won't die with their children.  Most people who think like you have few or no children.  Who do you think will win?

On 3/25/2020 at 7:16 PM, priesthoodpower said:

Always got the answers but dont care about solutions. 

I think you misunderstand how the gospel of Christ works, and what the guidance of gospel principles does for us as individuals and families.  This last speech before Pres. Nelson covered it.

In Paraguay, the Seventy asked all the Stake Presidents something to the effect of (they haven't put up the written text yet)

Quote

How many of the members of your stakes who are faithful tithe payers, hold family home evening regularly, make time to study scriptures every day and pray as families and individuals, do their home teaching, etc... How many of them have problems that they themselves cannot solve on their own?

None of them.

Living the gospel doesn't mean that we never have any problems. It means that we will have the means to work through them with the Lord's help.

How often have you studied the Book of Mormon in the past year?  How often do you pray individually and as a family?  When was the last time you paid your tithing? Attended the temple?  Made a ministering visit?  Held family home evening?

In short, when was the last time you did all the "little things" that we all know we're supposed to do?

On 3/29/2020 at 7:11 PM, priesthoodpower said:

...in LDS culture, when you dont attend "church" you are left out of Gods plan (this is nonsense to me and anyone else who believes in a loving God). We cant create thousands of different ward types to cater to the thousands of different kinds of people and that is why we are seeing the dissolving of our sunday services.

Again, something was said in General Conference this last session that addressed all this.  I hope you listened to it.

On 3/29/2020 at 7:11 PM, priesthoodpower said:

The answer to our problems is the internet, social media, virtualization and automation. This is how we make a gospel that is comfortable to all with out changing doctrine. 

My understanding is that the Gospel was never supposed to be "comfortable" in the sense you appear to be describing. 

Quote

A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.

 -- Joseph Smith

What have you recently sacrificed or offered to the Lord in terms of your time, talents, means, or anything that the Lord has blessed you with?

On 3/29/2020 at 7:11 PM, priesthoodpower said:

This corona virus is pushing this world in a direction we never could've imagined, I believe its part of Gods plan.

On this we agree.  We are simply looking at different portions of the world.  Are you the branch leaning towards the world or towards the roots of the Tree of Life?  One day we all will make a decision about whether our connection to the tree is stronger than the flaxen chords connecting us to the world, or if the flaxen chords are stronger than our connection to the roots.

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