prisonchaplain

What's the difference?

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2 hours ago, laronius said:

This is a new one to me. Can you please relate it to us? ūüėÄ

Sorry I meant the parable of the sower.    :bawl: :haha:

 

The Traveler

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19 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Here's the text: 6 We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.

We do believe in apostolic gifts. However, the way we see these roles carried out differs. Apostles, ironically, are best seen in our full-time missionaries. They go to foreign lands, convert souls, plant churches, educate pastors, and empower-then-sustain national churches--very much like the New Testament apostles did. Our prophets do not carry that label. Instead, certain souls in local churches have been receptive to the Holy Spirit's impressions, and so speak God's words through the gift of prophecy. I have done this on many occasions. Others might say I am a prophet. I would say I occasionally exercise the gift of prophesy.

So, like most of the articles, Protestants and Catholics would mostly agree, but will find a particular take that is different. Your church has living prophets and apostles who serve as national and international leaders.

Woops. I got 6 & 7 mixed up.  I fixed it.

So, yes I get the differences for #6.  But regarding #7...

What is the difference you see regarding the gifts of the Spirit?

Quote

We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelations, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues and so forth.

Edited by Carborendum

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17 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I suppose, indirectly, this response relates to an investigator praying to God for discernment about whether the latter-day prophecies are true, and the prophets are authentic, and the religion has authority. My question is what drives people to pray the prayer? Those who are born into the church will naturally seek spiritual confirmation. However, what of converts? My suspicion is that the living testimony of an LDS member is the primary instrument. In other words, you make a friend and that person is drawn to the way you live and think. They wonder why and how, and when they learn it's primarily the religion, they sometimes turn to investigation.

There must be something in common between the convert and the person born into the Church since they are both called upon to seek confirmation of the Spirit as to whether to commit to membership in the Church. This conviction is the spiritually-confirmed conviction that the Church is the only true and living church, expressed as the "living testimony of the members."

The convert typically gains this conviction before baptism, and the born-in-the-Church member often after baptism. Of course sometimes people lack this conviction and join and remain in the Church anyway ("social conversion").

The living testimony of the members, whether friends and ward members or parents and family, is the primary instrument for us to be presented with the word (the "academic points" delivered in the word and example of the followers of Christ), but the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost manifest to the pure in heart are what deliver the message unto conversion (the "subjective experience" with God). From 2 Nephi 33, "...when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men. [and then, if you seek confirmation -- e.g. "Moroni's Promise"] Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words..."

Some people have been known to hear the word from finding the Book or Mormon or some other Church publication and reading it and becoming spiritually converted without ever speaking to a Church member.

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20 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

I've always appreciated that you highlight and defend this doctrine. It is one of the most significant distinctions between our faiths, and if I believed as you do I would emphasize it strongly, as well. Many LDS seem to believe that the possibility of exaltation is a "meat" teaching (scripture says that spiritual babes need milk before meat), and so hesitate to discuss it with investigators, or even with curious chaplains.

Anything is a "meat" teaching to those who are not used to the idea.  I had told this story before.  I'll tell it again...

I was speaking with an atheist friend who gave one of the top five all time "great arguments" (a-hem) for why theism doesn't make sense.

Quote

What possible motivation would this all-powerful being have to even pay much attention to us mere mortals?  It would be like a human taking an interest in the lives of amoeba. How could he even relate to us in any meaningful, caring way beyond simple scientific inquiry?

Me: We're his children.  A father cares about his children.
Him: But that's just figurative stuff that doesn't mean anything when you're comparing an all-powerful being to a human.
Me: No, we believe he is literally our spirit father.  We all have spirits as well as physical bodies. He created our spirits as our mortal parents create our mortal bodies.
Him:  But then that would mean we can become gods one day as well.
Me: Yes, that's right.
Him: Oh, ok.  That actually makes sense.

I believe this is one reason that sectarians have refused to accept the doctrine of our literal divine heritage.  It would obviously and clearly mean they'd have to accept this conclusion which is just unthinkable to the average Christian.

But this makes me wonder, if we aren't that close to deity, why would he have such a preoccupation with us mere mortals?  What is man that He is mindful of us?  There is the question.  But there really isn't an answer in the Bible.

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53 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Anything is a "meat" teaching to those who are not used to the idea.  I had told this story before.  I'll tell it again...

I was speaking with an atheist friend who gave one of the top five all time "great arguments" (a-hem) for why theism doesn't make sense.

Me: We're his children.  A father cares about his children.
Him: But that's just figurative stuff that doesn't mean anything when you're comparing an all-powerful being to a human.
Me: No, we believe he is literally our spirit father.  We all have spirits as well as physical bodies. He created our spirits as our mortal parents create our mortal bodies.
Him:  But then that would mean we can become gods one day as well.
Me: Yes, that's right.
Him: Oh, ok.  That actually makes sense.

I believe this is one reason that sectarians have refused to accept the doctrine of our literal divine heritage.  It would obviously and clearly mean they'd have to accept this conclusion which is just unthinkable to the average Christian.

But this makes me wonder, if we aren't that close to deity, why would he have such a preoccupation with us mere mortals?  What is man that He is mindful of us?  There is the question.  But there really isn't an answer in the Bible.

I thought to respond to your post - not as a disagreement but with the intent to expand what you have started.  I have spent my entire career working side by side with atheists and agnostics.   This is because the vast majority of scientist and engineers are atheists and agnostics.  If we listen to our educated brothers and sisters we can see why they are not theists. This is because the theism they have been taught does not make sense - in other words it is because there are obvious contradictions to the theism they have been taught.   In your example, some very simple logic partly solved the problem - at least temporarily.

As odd as it may seem - most modern theists or somewhat of the mind that pure logic is the enemy, not the friend, of G-d.  That true divinity is something "beyond" logic and reason and that G-d himself is a mystery beyond anything we can possibly understand.  And yet modern theists attempt to employ logic and reason to connect their thinking to doctrine they think is Biblical.  We see this employed among many in the  Latter-day Saint culture; for example the primary argument is what they think the scriptures and General Authorities are saying as if their interpretation does not require any logic and if logic is employed  is is of the devil.

If we look at the teachings of Jesus; especially towards the Pharisees and Scribes we will realize that Jesus employed logic and reason specific relevant to their understanding.  However, with very rare exception did Jesus the Christ convince those with whom he debated.  Winning the argument or realizing the logic and reason behind something may be a beginning but it is far from the end.  In reality - there is no end.

Isaiah teaches that G-d does not deal with man and our salvation with a one and done approach.   Rather G-d gives us line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.   I believe this is the intent between the concept of milk and meat.  That milk is that next logical step in understanding.  Meat is then the experiment to take a step beyond what we currently logically comprehend and understand with the belief that the logic and reasoning will eventually catch up by means of empirical proof and spiritual enlightenment.   In short that empirical proof and spiritual enlightenment are tightly coupled and directly connected - that one is not complete without the other.   I believe this is why our modern revelation commands us to study things out both in our mind and in our heart, come to a logical conclusion and then through our covenant having received the Holy Ghost as G-d if our conclusion is right.

This concept of study and seeking divine guidance is somewhat of an enigma for me dealing with Traditional Christians like @prisonchaplain.  Because they seem to agree but then seem to rely on Biblical scripture for the final conformation rather than G-d.  But I have also concluded that this is their only possible recourse - because they do not have the covenant gift of the Holy Ghost so they must rely on scriptural authority rather than G-d.  But it is odd to me that many member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seem to use scripture as their authority rather than or in spite of their covenantal gift of the Holy Ghost to resolve questions.

 

The Traveler

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Woops. I got 6 & 7 mixed up.  I fixed it.

So, yes I get the differences for #6.  But regarding #7...

What is the difference you see regarding the gifts of the Spirit?

The answer is similar--it's how these gifts are exercised. Prayers for healing require spiritual authority, prophecies are given by those who hold a church office that includes the role of prophet, and I'm not sure, but I've not heard that the gift of tongues is a part of LDS services. In fact, I believe some have suggested that missionaries are gifted in language-learning, and this may be the gift of interpretation.

Most of the Articles of Faith might sound fine to most traditional Christian ears, but context or application, is where the distinctions become clearer. Others on this string have referenced the authority the church has (it's part of the restored gospel teaching). For LDS, this is a powerful truth. It's also a distinction--a difference.  

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2 hours ago, CV75 said:

Some people have been known to hear the word from finding the Book or Mormon or some other Church publication and reading it and becoming spiritually converted without ever speaking to a Church member.

A common criticism against your church is this reliance on "feelings," or subjective confirmation. This is a terrible mistake on their part. All Christians should come to faith through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. I fear we have too many "social converts" in our most of our churches. There is some patience--some 'tarrying' needed. Science, evidence, logic--these tools may bring me to the waters of conversion--but the witness of the Holy Spirit is essential, in my always humble opinion.

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

But this makes me wonder, if we aren't that close to deity, why would he have such a preoccupation with us mere mortals?  What is man that He is mindful of us?  There is the question.  But there really isn't an answer in the Bible.

The traditional vs. LDS doctrine of human nature is infinitely different. Tradition says we came into existence at creation. God made us "out of nothing." So the infinite difference is going backwards. However, moving forward that difference becomes less. We may never become Gods, but we are immortal. We were indeed made in His image, and we shall never be extinguished or annihilated. We shall become godly and god-like. We just won't catch up, because God had an eternal head start.

So...while the LDS answer to the atheist's inquiry may be more of a slam dunk, the traditional belief that, as a great thinker once said, "You've never met a mere mortal..." is also compelling.

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

The traditional vs. LDS doctrine of human nature is infinitely different. Tradition says we came into existence at creation. God made us "out of nothing." So the infinite difference is going backwards. However, moving forward that difference becomes less. We may never become Gods, but we are immortal. We were indeed made in His image, and we shall never be extinguished or annihilated. We shall become godly and god-like. We just won't catch up, because God had an eternal head start.

So...while the LDS answer to the atheist's inquiry may be more of a slam dunk, the traditional belief that, as a great thinker once said, "You've never met a mere mortal..." is also compelling.

I am intrigued by your statement, "We just won't catch up, because G-d had an eternal head start."  Does this include the possibility that we may eventually arrive at where or what G-d currently is?  And of course, whatever the answer, would likely generate many more questions.  I do admire and thank you for your engagement with us.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, Traveler said:

I am intrigued by your statement, "We just won't catch up, because G-d had an eternal head start."  Does this include the possibility that we may eventually arrive at where or what G-d currently is?  And of course, whatever the answer, would likely generate many more questions.  I do admire and thank you for your engagement with us.

We have less revelation, so how we will become remains a matter "we see through a dark glass" (loosely from 1 Corinthians 13). However, traditional Christian teaching is that God was/is/will always be all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere-present. So, I do not believe we will ever become what He is now. Nevertheless, we will rule and reign with Him. We will see as He sees. Another lessening of distinction is that God always had our creation in his mind. So, though we do not believe we are eternal intelligence, there is a sense in which we have always existed--at least in the thoughts of Almighty God.

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

The answer is similar--it's how these gifts are exercised.

I'd agree with the statement. But using this as a justification to "refuse to find common ground" in these statements would also separate you from virtually any other Christian faith as well.

Quote

Prayers for healing require spiritual authority,

If by "authority" you mean "one must bear the priesthood" I disagree.  There are many instances of miraculous healings from congregations getting together to pray.  

Again, the concept of miraculous healing is the thing we can find common ground on.  But the exact methods and practices of how it is done is merely paperwork.  I don't see why that would be the sticking point.

Quote

prophecies are given by those who hold a church office that includes the role of prophet,

And they are also given by others.  It's just much less frequently.  The young man who pronounced his vision of BYU's "Temples of Learning" was never an Apostle.  He was just a regular lay member of the Church like anyone on this site.

And other prophecies are for specific people and specific groups only.  Those in the family may pray and one person receives a prophecy for the family.  And they pray to receive confirmation and the family accepts or rejects based on that practice.  Always need two or three witnesses.

Quote

and I'm not sure, but I've not heard that the gift of tongues is a part of LDS services. In fact, I believe some have suggested that missionaries are gifted in language-learning, and this may be the gift of interpretation.

I'll tell you about the gift of tongues later.

Quote

Most of the Articles of Faith might sound fine to most traditional Christian ears, but context or application, is where the distinctions become clearer. Others on this string have referenced the authority the church has (it's part of the restored gospel teaching). For LDS, this is a powerful truth. It's also a distinction--a difference.  

If you look deeply enough, you'll always find something to disagree on.  But I thought that the idea was to try to find common ground, not pick at the minutae that "just because they are different" must somehow be wrong as well.

Here's a thought experiment:  If you'd never heard of the Articles of Faith, and a Pentecostal minister were to have written these statements down, would you agree with #7 as written?

We agree the Bible is the word of God.  But we do have different interpretations of the words as written.  Does that mean that because we have different interpretations that you must then believe the Bible to be wrong as well?

THE GIFT OF TONGUES.

First see my post from a couple of years ago regarding Afrikaans.  Part of our "worship service"?  It has been part of the services in Joseph and Brigham's day.  But it has not been that common in this past century.  But as part of what we do religiously? It was certainly a part of the translation of the indexing project I had.

May daughter is now learning Spanish.  She has been at it for one week today.  She spent the first three days trying to figure everything out and obtaining a vocabulary of about ten words.  Three days.  10 words. She really has difficulty with memorization.

She then spent days two through five crying because she would never learn the language.

I reminded her that when the Stake President set her apart, part of that blessing was to pronounce the gift of tongues be upon her.  Now it was incumbent upon her to pray several times a day to "weary the Lord" until He blesses you.  He's made the promise.  Now it is time for Him to deliver that promise.  She's continued to study hard and pray multiple times per day.  

Yesterday morning her Mexican instructor told her in Spanish that she was able to understand my daughter.  She spoke full sentences and with a good enough accent as to be understood.  And my daughter was able to respond in fluent Spanish.  Today is one week (technically day 8).  And she has amassed a vocabulary of hundreds of words.  She can keep up with me in conversational Spanish. And the biggest bonus is: She's stopped crying.

This isn't the miraculous level as indicated in the Book of Acts.  But knowing the difficulties my daughter has with memorization, it is nothing short of a miracle.

With my missoin it was a bit more sensational.  I didn't have the benefit of the MTC.  I had to learn the language all on my own.

I would make reasonable progress as one would expect for someone with a gift for memorization and for languages in general.  But I was simply not fluent for about 9 months.  But after the first month or so, I noticed something rather interesting.  Every time I was in a discussion with an investigator, I spoke fluently.  As soon as the lesson was over, I could barely speak at a snail's pace.  Too many words that I didn't know.  Too many words I had to search my memory for.  I wasn't fluent.

Yes, we believe in the gift of tongues.  But we believe it is for a different purpose (or for more purposes) than what Pentecostals tend to believe it is for.

Edited by Carborendum

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1 hour ago, prisonchaplain said:

A common criticism against your church is this reliance on "feelings," or subjective confirmation. This is a terrible mistake on their part. All Christians should come to faith through the drawing of the Holy Spirit. I fear we have too many "social converts" in our most of our churches. There is some patience--some 'tarrying' needed. Science, evidence, logic--these tools may bring me to the waters of conversion--but the witness of the Holy Spirit is essential, in my always humble opinion.

Those who prefer science, evidence and logic over feelings also prefer them on a subjective basis. People cannot escape being subjective or biased, though they can change their bias. They also possess an emotional attachment to their scientific preference, for intellect and feeling cannot be fully disengaged one from the other except in perhaps some pathological instances.

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4 hours ago, CV75 said:

Of course sometimes people lack this conviction and join and remain in the Church anyway ("social conversion").

I agree with most of what you wrote. I would point out that there are Saints who have striven to live the gospel, who study their scriptures faithfully, who have even served missions and served in positions of leadership in the Restored Church; yet despite sincere and earnest prayer, they have not yet received that testimony to their spirit from the Holy Spirit that the Church is exactly what it claims to be, the very kingdom of God on earth. I think it is a disservice to such people to minimize their very real efforts and fidelity as a mere social conversion.

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43 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I'd agree with the statement. But using this as a justification to "refuse to find common ground" in these statements would also separate you from virtually any other Christian faith as well.

There's an incredible amount of common ground. Just as I look to Judaism as the foundation from which Christianity flourished, I suspect that so much of LDS teaching has its roots in traditional Christian teaching--especially the Arminian branch that we both grew from. It's just that this particular thread is examining those differences that lead some--especially converts--to join your church.

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

a church office that includes the role of prophet

I think this is well put and deserves specific notice. While we do indeed sustain  apostles as "prophets, seers, and revelators", please note that there is no office of Prophet. On the contrary, all Saints are expected to be prophets in their own spheres of responsibility.

The Lord told Moses the he wished to create a kingdom of priests. I do not believe this means merely that the Lord wanted to create a nation that had kings and priests as features of the nation, but rather that the nation would be composed of kings and priests. This is what God expects of us, that we prepare ourselves to become kings and queens, priests and priestesses.

In principle, every Church office, and for that matter every Church calling, should include "the role of prophet". In true worship, we are to do more than simply praise God; we are to emulate him, literally to seek to become as he is. The spiritual gift of prophecy is a step on that road, one that we all eventually must take if we hope to receive what the Father seeks to give us.

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10 minutes ago, Vort said:

I agree with most of what you wrote. I would point out that there are Saints who have striven to live the gospel, who study their scriptures faithfully, who have even served missions and served in positions of leadership in the Restored Church; yet despite sincere and earnest prayer, they have not yet received that testimony to their spirit from the Holy Spirit that the Church is exactly what it claims to be, the very kingdom of God on earth. I think it is a disservice to such people to minimize their very real efforts and fidelity as a mere social conversion.

This may be an in-house discussion, but I'll share how I took the comments. There are folks who join a religion or church mostly for reasons of human fellowship, a safe culture to raise children, and for other social reasons. I suspect some of these will be those of whom Jesus will say, "Depart from me. I never knew you." Even within traditional Christianity we struggle to make this distinction. Some will speak of "Great Commission Christians" or "On-fire Christians" or "100%-harvest Christians," etc. I did not take the comments to mean that those who have the strongest burning in the bosom automatically make the best believers.

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

This concept of study and seeking divine guidance is somewhat of an enigma for me dealing with Traditional Christians like @prisonchaplain.  Because they seem to agree but then seem to rely on Biblical scripture for the final conformation rather than G-d.  But I have also concluded that this is their only possible recourse - because they do not have the covenant gift of the Holy Ghost so they must rely on scriptural authority rather than G-d.  But it is odd to me that many member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seem to use scripture as their authority rather than or in spite of their covenantal gift of the Holy Ghost to resolve questions.

This is a worthy discussion. Jewish believers interpret New Testament writings in light of their scriptures, and claim to see discrepancies. They know the Hebrew scriptures are inspired by God, and so insist that any claimed revelations from God comport with their interpretation of their existing scriptures. Christians interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, because we are convinced that it's all inspired of God, and that the New Testament completes the old. The latter revelation is allowed to inform the previous revelation. HOWEVER, we are not certain about the latter-day revelations your church. So, we do as the Jewish rabbis, and interpret them in light of the already-revealed words of God. We know the Bible is inspired of God, and so figure any revelations that come afterwards will comport with them. If we knew these latter-day words were also God's words--that they were/are scripture, then we would likely allow them to "complete" the New Testament.

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On 11/9/2020 at 3:55 PM, prisonchaplain said:

Perhaps it is one of the most common questions you are asked:  What's the difference between LDS and Protestants/Catholics? I was asked this just yesterday, by a staff member (chaplains are considered subject matter experts in most matters religious). I mentioned the question of spiritual authority, the three heavenly kingdoms, and the nature of God vs. humanity (especially premortality).

 (What do you say? Why be LDS? What's the difference?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church declared by the Lord¬†Jesus Christ himself to be the¬†‚Äėonly true and living Church.‚Äô¬†

The following are the words of Jesus Christ:

30 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)

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16 minutes ago, Jersey Boy said:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church declared by the Lord¬†Jesus Christ himself to be the¬†‚Äėonly true and living Church.‚Äô¬†

The following are the words of Jesus Christ:

30 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)

This still begs the question...you joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the D&C, which is only recognized as scripture by the church, says that this church is the only true one. So, how did you come to believe that the D&C is God's word?

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23 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

This still begs the question...you joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the D&C, which is only recognized as scripture by the church, says that this church is the only true one. So, how did you come to believe that the D&C is God's word?

I believe @Jersey Boy was responding to the original question asking what fundamental difference exists between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints versus other Christian denominations. His response is that the Restored Church is "the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth". I don't think he was attempting to answer why he believes that.

Edited by Vort

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2 hours ago, Vort said:

I agree with most of what you wrote. I would point out that there are Saints who have striven to live the gospel, who study their scriptures faithfully, who have even served missions and served in positions of leadership in the Restored Church; yet despite sincere and earnest prayer, they have not yet received that testimony to their spirit from the Holy Spirit that the Church is exactly what it claims to be, the very kingdom of God on earth. I think it is a disservice to such people to minimize their very real efforts and fidelity as a mere social conversion.

I did not say "mere," but what kind of conversion would you call what you describe? Perhaps a good term is a "socialized commitment conversion" or even "spiritually unconfirmed faith conversion." And once such individuals obtain a "living testimony" -- whenever that might come -- there is no reason they should deprecate their socialization or faith (though they probably would not choose to go back to it). Likewise, converts are often grateful for their religious upbringing after they have obtained a "living testimony" though they probably not return to their former participation. "Keep all the good that we have and add to it," so to speak. And don't let deep-rooted good get in the way of better and best.

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

This is a worthy discussion. Jewish believers interpret New Testament writings in light of their scriptures, and claim to see discrepancies. They know the Hebrew scriptures are inspired by God, and so insist that any claimed revelations from God comport with their interpretation of their existing scriptures. Christians interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament, because we are convinced that it's all inspired of God, and that the New Testament completes the old. The latter revelation is allowed to inform the previous revelation. HOWEVER, we are not certain about the latter-day revelations your church. So, we do as the Jewish rabbis, and interpret them in light of the already-revealed words of God. We know the Bible is inspired of God, and so figure any revelations that come afterwards will comport with them. If we knew these latter-day words were also God's words--that they were/are scripture, then we would likely allow them to "complete" the New Testament.

Thank you again - perhaps this is a worthy discussion.  It is my understanding that all recorded revelation (scripture) - according to understanding among the Latter-day Saints - is not the authority of things.  But for this discussion I will reference a common scripture between us both and employ logic.  The scripture is John 5:39 is according to John are the words and witness of Jesus Christ

Quote

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

The logic of this scripture is that scripture is not the authority but intended to point us to Christ - which is the authority.  Paul make a similar point that the most reliable scripture are not written on scroll or stone but by the Holy Spirit in our heart.

If I may apply another bit of logic.  The problem with relying on the spirit is that there is nothing empirical that we can point to to convince anyone else that we are correct.  Thus this is not a means to convince others - but it is the means by which we are individually (ourselves) convinced by divine intervention.   I understand this to mean that neither you nor myself are correct in a particular discussion by referencing scripture and logic.  That the only validation comes through Jesus Christ and without his witness in our heart - we are not truly converted - even though we are greatly impressed by scripture or anyone's words.

One reason I have great respect and listen to your insights is because there have been times that I have taken elements of your insights and have received spiritual confirmation that on a particular point - you are closer to understanding a principle that me.

 

The Traveler

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22 minutes ago, CV75 said:

I did not say "mere," but what kind of conversion would you call what you describe? Perhaps a good term is a "socialized commitment conversion" or even "spiritually unconfirmed faith conversion." And once such individuals obtain a "living testimony" -- whenever that might come -- there is no reason they should deprecate their socialization or faith (though they probably would not choose to go back to it). Likewise, converts are often grateful for their religious upbringing after they have obtained a "living testimony" though they probably not return to their former participation. "Keep all the good that we have and add to it," so to speak. And don't let deep-rooted good get in the way of better and best.

In the spiritual sense, such people are not converted at all. I do not understand it vis-√°-vis the revealed doctrine about gaining testimony and Moroni's challenge. If I had to name them, I would call them "sincere seekers of testimony".

EDIT: This might well be wrong. Maybe such people are converted in a very literal sense, but just one that I (and they) do not understand. In any case, I would not call it a "social conversion", because that's not at all what is going on in such a case. They aren't "basketball converts".

Edited by Vort

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

This still begs the question...you joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because the D&C, which is only recognized as scripture by the church, says that this church is the only true one. So, how did you come to believe that the D&C is God's word?

By intensively investigating the truth claims of the Church, petitioning God with great faith that he would reveal to me by the Holy Ghost whether or not the Church is true, and thereafter receiving miraculous unmistakable answers from God that the Church is indeed his one and only true and authorized Church.

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