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Fether

Faith vs Knowledge

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

You probably don't realize it.  But you're implying that these are mutually exclusive. 

That’s exactly right and so do realize it. And the fact that a pure flow of knowledge displaced his faith makes me think it is (at least at that level of knowledge).

 

2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

What the BoJ experienced was not merely a physical sense of God's appearance.  It was a spirit-to-spirit communication of profound and eternal truth.  It was "pure knowledge" that has little to do with sight.

Think about it.  He saw a finger.  He KNEW it was the finger of the Lord.  How?  How does seeing "a finger" give you pure knowledge that it is the Lord's Finger? There HAD to be additional facets to the experience beyond sight alone.

But it wasn’t till the sight itself that the knowledge replaced his faith entirely. There was SO much evidence for the existence of a God… so much so you could even say there was proof. But it wasn’t until he saw the finger of God did his knowledge completely remove his faith.

hence my questioning. Despite his immense amount of faith, so much so that allowed him to see God, it wasn’t till he actually saw God that he fully knew there was a God to the point where faith was no longer a factor. He knew God exists at the same level you and I know that you have a pair of shoes by the door. There is no faith, just pure knowledge. It seems to me (and I am willing to change my mind should someone respond in a way that I feel is addressing the question and not some side issue) that we cannot know with the same assuredly that BOJ knew until we have a similar experience. No number of prayers, scriptures studied, miracles or burning in the bosoms can recreate the knowledge of God that occurs on the mountain with God and BOJ.

Edited by Fether

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This is a topic I have studied. I have thought through. And I have come to my own conclusions. I wish I could find a talk that addressed this concept thoroughly, but this one at least gives it a good go from Brad Wilcox: https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2013/02/strengthen-your-testimony/you-can-say-i-know?lang=eng

If we pit knowledge and faith against each other, then my mind draws itself to the following phrase of scripture, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (emphasis mine)

If salvation is received through "knowing" God and his Son Jesus Christ, how are then we to be saved -- if we can't say "I know"?

Faith must have three components for it to be faith: 1) It must be true. 2) It is not a perfect knowledge. 3) It is a hope for things not yet seen.

The idea of not having a perfect knowledge does not negate some form of knowledge (something we know). Not a perfect knowledge, is not an absence of knowledge. This is why I like the verse you have already shared, "And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know." People for some reason also become fixated with #3 (not seen) while forgetting about 1 (it exists) and 2 (some form of knowledge/evidence is required).

Our knowledge becomes perfect in a thing, and that thing must be true. The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of truth. We are informed in scripture that if we ask we can "know" by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Lord has said that a witness from the Holy Ghost is the ability to "know" a thing -- the knowledge in that thing is "perfect knowledge." That is the purpose of the Holy Ghost, otherwise God becomes a liar, and has said something that isn't true. I prefer to trust in the Lord, and his witness from the Spirit of truth. The "knowledge" of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come.

The easiest example of not having a perfect knowledge, but a perfect knowledge in a thing is answers to our prayers. I know the Lord answers prayers, and yet my knowledge about prayer is imperfect. I am still learning. I am still studying. Yet, I know, the Lord answers prayers. If a person wants to say "you can't say I know" you only have faith, then I would say they do not understand scripture that is taught in plainness.

The Brother of Jared story is a perfect example of not having a perfect knowledge, but by ones faith he saw the finger of God. It was through his faith, an imperfect knowledge (but knowledge none the less), that enabled him to see the finger of the Lord by which he responded in a shocking way, "I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood." The Lord, at this time, did not have a body of flesh and blood, he was Spirit. And the Lord then says, "Because of thy faith thou has seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood." This is an event not yet seen, but is true.

Then the question, if the Lord did not show his full body unto the Brother of Jared would he not have knowledge? Would he not be able to say "I know" because his knowledge wasn't perfect? No, he definitely could say "I know" because his knowledge was perfect in a thing, and that knowledge would increase through faith.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Anddenex said:

This is a topic I have studied. I have thought through. And I have come to my own conclusions. I wish I could find a talk that addressed this concept thoroughly, but this one at least gives it a good go from Brad Wilcox: https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2013/02/strengthen-your-testimony/you-can-say-i-know?lang=eng

If we pit knowledge and faith against each other, then my mind draws itself to the following phrase of scripture, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (emphasis mine)

If salvation is received through "knowing" God and his Son Jesus Christ, how are then we to be saved -- if we can't say "I know"?

Faith must have three components for it to be faith: 1) It must be true. 2) It is not a perfect knowledge. 3) It is a hope for things not yet seen.

The idea of not having a perfect knowledge does not negate some form of knowledge (something we know). Not a perfect knowledge, is not an absence of knowledge. This is why I like the verse you have already shared, "And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know." People for some reason also become fixated with #3 (not seen) while forgetting about 1 (it exists) and 2 (some form of knowledge/evidence is required).

Our knowledge becomes perfect in a thing, and that thing must be true. The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to bear witness of truth. We are informed in scripture that if we ask we can "know" by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Lord has said that a witness from the Holy Ghost is the ability to "know" a thing -- the knowledge in that thing is "perfect knowledge." That is the purpose of the Holy Ghost, otherwise God becomes a liar, and has said something that isn't true. I prefer to trust in the Lord, and his witness from the Spirit of truth. The "knowledge" of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come.

The easiest example of not having a perfect knowledge, but a perfect knowledge in a thing is answers to our prayers. I know the Lord answers prayers, and yet my knowledge about prayer is imperfect. I am still learning. I am still studying. Yet, I know, the Lord answers prayers. If a person wants to say "you can't say I know" you only have faith, then I would say they do not understand scripture that is taught in plainness.

The Brother of Jared story is a perfect example of not having a perfect knowledge, but by ones faith he saw the finger of God. It was through his faith, an imperfect knowledge (but knowledge none the less), that enabled him to see the finger of the Lord by which he responded in a shocking way, "I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood." The Lord, at this time, did not have a body of flesh and blood, he was Spirit. And the Lord then says, "Because of thy faith thou has seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood." This is an event not yet seen, but is true.

Then the question, if the Lord did not show his full body unto the Brother of Jared would he not have knowledge? Would he not be able to say "I know" because his knowledge wasn't perfect? No, he definitely could say "I know" because his knowledge was perfect in a thing, and that knowledge would increase through faith.

 

 

Thanks! This is pretty where I have gotten to over the last day or so. 

I just wish there was a better, more accepted, way to describe the difference between “knowing God answers prayer” and “knowing God exists because he showed up in my room last night and we spoke face to face”.
 

By this definition, we can all say the “I know” phrase. I have never liked using the phrasing “I know” because I always felt it was both dishonest and down played and distracted from the faith I have which I felt was more important. 
 

Where I am stuck on is how can we know something, but later doubt when we come up with another potential explanation for it. Or how can we know something, but still consider the options if it was false. Is that really knowledge?
 

A couple examples:

(1) I had this conversation with a friend and he insists that he knows there is a God. Yet on many occasions, he has said to me and others “even if the church is not true or there is no God, then I would still stay a member because of the goodness it has brought my life”. The fact that he is entertaining the though suggests that he doesn’t know. Contrast that with JSjr who saw God as well as many other angelic beings. From what I have read, he never even considered the idea or had backup plans for if there is no God. He simply knew. In my life, I am not concerned whether my work office is where I know it to be, I don’t go to work thinking “If my office isn't there, then I guess I’ll just find s real job.”

I recognize that this is just two different levels of knowing, but it still seems improper to use “I know” for something you are still making contingency plans for if it isn't so.

(2) My work office read the book “The Secret” a while back. He had a guy in the office that was heavily into energy, crystals, the mind, and a myriad of other self help energy type stuff. After reading the book, I began to truly believe in the power of our thoughts and how they can manifest things into reality. I then began to consider (not seriously) an atheistic approach to prayer and fasting, how perhaps there is no God, but our thoughts are creating these things we want. Now I never gave heed to these thoughts or seriously considered them, but Had I seen God and spoke with him face to face these thoughts would be nowhere near my mind. I would KNOW there was a God so there would be no need to consider other solutions to why I experience answers to my prayers.

Edited by Fether

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11 hours ago, Fether said:

That’s exactly right and so do realize it. And the fact that a pure flow of knowledge displaced his faith makes me think it is (at least at that level of knowledge).

HUGE miscommunication.  Let me clarify.

When I said:

13 hours ago, Carborendum said:

You probably don't realize it.  But you're implying that these are mutually exclusive. 

"These" was not referring to faith vs. knowledge.  That is a different discussion you're having with Vort.  And I'll weigh in on that at a later point.  But you kind of wandered a bit into a side thought.  It was that side thought that I was addressing.

I was referring to:

  • Physically seeing
  • Spiritual witness

You thought that just because he physically saw God, that was somehow superior to a spiritual witness.  If you read back over my last post with that perspective, I think you'll get my point better.

Seeing "a finger" did not give him any special knowledge.  I see fingers all day long.  Mostly my own.  But what was it that told him that it was "the finger of the Lord"?  It was the witness of the Spirit.  What else could it have been?  If he truly did not know that the Lord had a finger, then I'd think that the first inclination would have been to doubt whether he was actually speaking with the Lord and was possibly being deceived.

Consider this:  Spiritual witness is more powerful than simply seeing something.  No, seeing is NOT believing, much less "knowing".

I submit that the spiritual witness was what allowed the BoJ to KNOW that the finger he SAW was the Lord's finger.  Simply seeing it was not what gave him that knowledge.  "Seeing" was simply a natural consequence (a good one).  But it was the spiritual witness that told him the important part -- that it was not just "someone's" finger -- it was the finger of the Lord.

Spiritual witness (just as physical sight) is obscure in dim light.  But when the light is much more powerful, the spiritual witness is that much more clear.  The parallels are unmistakable.  Based on this, I'm going to guess that your spiritual witnesses up to this point in life, have been in "dim light".  So, naturally, you think that spiritual witness is not as "clear and obvious" as physically seeing something. Understandable. 

But what if your spiritual light was just as clear as the sun at noonday?  What would you "see" then?

Quote

Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us plainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also spake them unto prophets of old.

  -- Jacob 4:13

It is easy to believe in our mortal world that our flesh is what is dependable.  But remember that we are spiritual beings at our core.  Faith is what links us to that world and lets us see, hear, and touch the things of the other world.

Many times I've sought answers from the Lord.  And several times I receive words in my head as clearly as someone speaking to me.  But I don't understand the meaning.  So, I have to ask for clarification on the meaning of the words.  Then I receive a spiritual witness of the interpretation thereof.  It is only then that I understand and KNOW.  There is no "seeing" the words that allow me to understand and KNOW the truth of the words.  And even "hearing" doesn't let me understand and know the truth of what is spoken.  It is only through the Power of the Holy Ghost that I understand the words, know the truth of the words, and come to believe in the importance of the words.

I need to emphasize something about BoJ's vision.

The powerful message is that his FAITH was SO STRONG that the faith pushed him through the veil.  Understand that mortal words here betray us.  The passage in Ether struggles to describe it properly.  Just see how the words kind of go back and forth.  Others might see this as a proof of fraud.  No, it is proof that this experience was just that difficult to describe with the mortal tongue.

Let me walk you through it step-by-step:

Quote

And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord;

  • The veil was taken off... then... he saw the finger.

Was faith really just the precursor to knowledge at this point?  No.  It was something much more powerful than that.  It was a power that PUSHED him through the veil without being drawn in by the Lord (as others had, and have).  Try to understand what kind of power faith really is.

In the next passage, you'll be tempted to focus on the first phrase.  But I'd ask you to look at the second.

Quote

Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger.

He was seeing a vision of things to come mix with the present.  It was not seeing as we see things as they are right in front of us.  It was going into a spiritual realm where knowledge of past, present, and future are all one eternal round.  That was the grand nature of this revelation.  It was not that he "saw something".  It was that his faith was so powerful that he recieved spiritual knowledge (defining spiritual knowledge could be another discussion).

If seeing alone was truth, then he saw something false.  Simply seeing would have told him that the Lord had flesh and blood at that moment.  That was incorrect.  Only through additional information did he understand that what he saw was an overlay of a future condition onto the present reality.  There is no way that sight would have told him that.  It was through instruction that he was focused to understand something different.  Then it was through the Spirit that he truly understood what he saw.  It is all intewoven.

Quote

11 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?

12 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

Why did the Lord (after he had "knowledge") ask if he would believe?  Then the answer is that he "knows" God is a God of truth.

You can't completely separate the two. And they are not simply stages.  Visual knowledge is not as powerful as you think.  That is why it is so easy to con people.  Humans tend to see what they want to see.

I need to emphasize that seeing a vision (as Joseph, Moses, Enoch, and BoJ did) is not what you think it is.  Yes, there is sight.  We do see.  But the power behind that vision is faith.  Without that, we would see something and have no knowledge whether that vision was of God or of the devil or of man.  It is the Power of the Holy Ghost that lets us "know" anything.

Edited by Carborendum

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

Where I am stuck on is how can we know something, but later doubt when we come up with another potential explanation for it. Or how can we know something, but still consider the options if it was false. Is that really knowledge?

Just the other day I saw a video on Youtube about using wind power to travel faster than the wind.  A land sailboat that goes faster than the wind.

Anyone who understands physics would KNOW that this is impossible.  It violates the fist and second laws of thermodynamics.  Yet with some scientific measurements by a third party, they discovered it actually did what it claimed.  That's impossible.  Yet it happened.

The one thing I noticed that they did not discuss was the slope of the terrain.  It was assumed to be flat - a very flat floodplain.  But they never actually mentioned it.  I never saw them measure it.

So, we know.  But knew facts may make us doubt what we know.  Until we are endowed with further light that allows us to reconcile an apparent discrepancy.

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40 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Just the other day I saw a video on Youtube about using wind power to travel faster than the wind.  A land sailboat that goes faster than the wind.

Anyone who understands physics would KNOW that this is impossible.  It violates the fist and second laws of thermodynamics.  Yet with some scientific measurements by a third party, they discovered it actually did what it claimed.  That's impossible.  Yet it happened.

The one thing I noticed that they did not discuss was the slope of the terrain.  It was assumed to be flat - a very flat floodplain.  But they never actually mentioned it.  I never saw them measure it.

So, we know.  But knew facts may make us doubt what we know.  Until we are endowed with further light that allows us to reconcile an apparent discrepancy.

If future facts change how we understand something, did we really know it? If I go to class saying I know how to do a math problem, but then do it wrong because I had the order of operations wrong, did I really know it?

 

56 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

These" was not referring to faith vs. knowledge.  That is a different discussion you're having with Vort.  And I'll weigh in on that at a later point.  But you kind of wandered a bit into a side thought.  It was that side thought that I was addressing.

I was referring to:

  • Physically seeing
  • Spiritual witness

You thought that just because he physically saw God, that was somehow superior to a spiritual witness.  If you read back over my last post with that perspective, I think you'll get my point better.

Seeing "a finger" did not give him any special knowledge.  I see fingers all day long.  Mostly my own.  But what was it that told him that it was "the finger of the Lord"?  It was the witness of the Spirit.  What else could it have been?  If he truly did not know that the Lord had a finger, then I'd think that the first inclination would have been to doubt whether he was actually speaking with the Lord and was possibly being deceived.

Consider this:  Spiritual witness is more powerful than simply seeing something.  No, seeing is NOT believing, much less "knowing".

I see the misunderstanding. And I think I understand now.

I agree completely that a spiritual witness is greater than seeing. 
 

but something happened that took him to the perfect knowledge. He saw the finger and the spirit told him that was God.

Do you believe that the spirit would have given him that same assurance that it was God had there been nothing to see? And if so, why hadn’t it happened before the witnessing of the finger of God?

Im suggesting that his faith was what lead him to see the finger. Seeing the finger lead the spirit to testify that this was the savior. The spirits testifying took him to a perfect knowledge. Remove the finger from the equation and the perfect knowledge is gone

Edited by Fether

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42 minutes ago, Fether said:

If future facts change how we understand something, did we really know it? If I go to class saying I know how to do a math problem, but then do it wrong because I had the order of operations wrong, did I really know it?

Pluto has entered the chat.

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

If future facts change how we understand something, did we really know it? If I go to class saying I know how to do a math problem, but then do it wrong because I had the order of operations wrong, did I really know it?

Yes.  We did know it.  You understood that with @Anddenex's post.  We know "that one thing".  But there will always be more things to learn, more things to know.

Sometimes we get a math problem wrong, not because what we know is wrong.  We get it wrong because of what we didn't know or didn't consider.

My daughter was given a math problem with manipulatives.  Consider that we had a whole bunch of pennies.  We counted and we did the problem just as instructed.  We had the right answer according to what we understood.  But we made one mistake.  The final question was asking for $ not cents.  So we were off by a factor of 100.  That's pretty far to be off by.  We were REALLY wrong.  But the fact was that all the fundamental steps we had were things we knew CORRECTLY.  It was all correct knowledge.  But we just didn't have ALL knowledge.

2 hours ago, Fether said:

Do you believe that the spirit would have given him that same assurance that it was God had there been nothing to see? And if so, why hadn’t it happened before the witnessing of the finger of God?

Im suggesting that his faith was what lead him to see the finger. Seeing the finger lead the spirit to testify that this was the savior. The spirits testifying took him to a perfect knowledge. Remove the finger from the equation and the perfect knowledge is gone

Not necessarily. 

I think that as human beings, we lean on our physical senses enough that the Lord will use our physical senses as ONE method of leading us to knowledge.  We are so used to using our physical senses, it hardly makes sense to ignore them completely if the Lord wants to teach us something.

But the point I'm making is a fine one.  And I hope I can word this properly.

The actual "knowledge" of anything is through the Spirit.  If the Glory of God is intelligence, then that glory (which in gospel lingo is "intelligence") is what helps us learn anything.  But we're not just talking about mortal brain-power.  It is the purity of our spirits and their connection to the Holy Ghost which lets us learn things.

I also believe that we cannot learn anything spiritual or mundane without having some degree of humility.  And we cannot learn anything without being able to tap into the light that comes from the Holy Ghost.

I know, that also means that the worst, most vile soul on earth also has access to a portion of that light.  Yes.  It does.  A portion.  This is also why I believe that all mankind can be redeemed to some degree of glory through Jesus Christ except the Sons of Perdition.  But those who are completely humble and open themselves to the full Gift of the Holy Ghost will learn the important things of eternity much more easily.

And eventually as time is but a memory of eternity, those who rejected the light will have taken away even that which they have.

Part of the difficulty of this conversation is that we have very different understandings of what knowledge actually is and how we obtain it.  You seem to be looking at knowledge from a very scholastic pedagogical source.  That simply isn't how we learn things.

Why is it that you can go to a convention of doctors and nurses -- people who should be the most educated people on the planet regarding healthy and unhealthy behavior -- and we see huge smoking areas filled to capacity outside of the convention?  Do they "know" it will kill them?

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45 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Why is it that you can go to a convention of doctors and nurses -- people who should be the most educated people on the planet regarding healthy and unhealthy behavior -- and we see huge smoking areas filled to capacity outside of the convention?  Do they "know" it will kill them?

Although a bit off topic, this is one reason why a separation (paradise/prison) and missionary work is needed in the spirit world. Just because people die, and are taught the truth on the other side of the veil, doesn't mean that they will automatically accept it and all will be fine and dandy. Folks will still think and behave in pretty much the same manner there as they do here.

"Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world."

Even if the Lord appeared to us right now, and we knew exactly who He was, we would not have a desire to repent or change without having faith in Him. Repentance comes of faith, otherwise it is of no effect/not genuine.

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Many of the elements of this thread I agree with but there are some elements missing.  Before I begin @Carborendum made a little mistake in understanding physics and forces.  It is possible for a craft to be propelled faster than the speed of the wind.  This is done by taking force from the wind and leveraging it on a small craft.  There can be more than one principle applied.  @Carborendumis thinking that the craft moves only by the force of the wind on the sails.  That is only part of the story.  The sail also acts like the wing on an airplane and when the craft is moving in a different direction from the wind and the sail can produce lift in a direction to increase the force on the craft.  This is why a sail will have several ribbon strips on the sail so the piolet of the craft can see when the sail is creating lift or a pulling force.   In addition there is a method in using the wind to propel a craft called tacking.  Using tacking a wind craft can move at an angel from the wind that is faster than the wind and even sail into the wind.   There is a poem that where a ship goes is not determined by the direction of the wind by by the set of the sails - this analogy is use in the poem as a metaphor that we can determine our direction in life and not be subject to the direction that the wind blows.

 

Now I would give my opinion concerning faith and knowledge.  There is only one way to know the truth of anything - spiritual or empirical.  It is only by the spirit of truth (Holy Ghost) that we can "KNOW" truth - any truth.  I understand and have experience that to think a truth can be known by any other means - is a lie!  The reason that faith can lead to knowledge is that if we have faith in G-d (Jesus Christ) we can know the truth as manifested by the Holy Ghost.  To have faith in any other g-d or thing is not "TURE FAITH" and cannot and will not produce any knowledge of truth but the only knowledge that will be obtained with be a lie - which is not truth.  However, the spirit of Christ is in all things and when incomplete faith is exercised against incomplete principles - the resulting knowledge will be incomplete and can also include lies.  

There is also a principle that we must be loyal to G-d to continue in truth.  That is; that we can come to a knowledge of truth (or elements of truth) which can be lost if we turn from G-d and things that are true.  Jesus put this principle this why.  "If you continue in my word you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."  This is because to believe a lie is the same as being in bondage but only by knowing the truth can we be free.

Just like there is a spirit of truth - there is also a spirit of lies.  As fallen creatures the default is to be subject to the lies.  It is only through faith in Christ that we can pursue truth, know truth and continue in truth that we can maintain such knowledge.  As a young boy the spirit of truth manifested to me that the Book of Mormon was a Truth given to man by G-d.  When this manifestation was given, I knew and felt the truth.  But by the next day the spirit of lies began to bring doubt.  It was only through subsequent manifestations that I could maintain my "Knowledge" of truth - even if the subsequent manifestations were much more subtle.   I came to understand that I must maintain truth I was given or I will lose it.  This I found this to play out in science, relationships and all else and not just religious notions. 

I also discovered that though I knew the Book of Mormon to be true - I was far from knowing the truths it contained.  Isaiah testifies that we learn truth line upon line upon line and precept upon precept upon precept.  As I said, when enfolded with the Holy Ghost I felt as though I was connected to all truth but for reasons I do not understand I am only able to maintain certain principles of truth - I cannot stay connected to all truth all the time.  And only through the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" (which comes by covenant with G-d) can I remain free of lies and protected by truth

The other principle I have come to know very well is that I cannot express any truth to anyone except that the Holy Ghost stand between me and anyone else to make the truth known. Likewise can I know the truth in someone else's expressions to me.   Sometimes a spirit of lies is between me and others - when this happens there will always be (no exception) feelings of anger and loathing.  If I am angry with them or loath them - then I know that spirit of lies is within me.  If they are angry with me or express loathing towards me; then the spirit of lies is with them.  If we are both angry or loathing then the spirit of lies has control of us both.  If the Holy Ghost is with someone then they will love - even their accusers and those that hate them.  Sadly, at least for me, and so I assume it true for others,  it is much more difficult to remain connected to the Holy Ghost than to the spirit of lies.  

 

The Traveler

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23 hours ago, Traveler said:

Before I begin @Carborendum made a little mistake in understanding physics and forces.  It is possible for a craft to be propelled faster than the speed of the wind.  This is done by taking force from the wind and leveraging it on a small craft.  There can be more than one principle applied.  @Carborendumis thinking that the craft moves only by the force of the wind on the sails.  That is only part of the story.  The sail also acts like the wing on an airplane and when the craft is moving in a different direction from the wind and the sail can produce lift in a direction to increase the force on the craft.  

Calling me out, are ya?  Well, I'll take up that gauntlet.

I'm aware of tacking.  And, yes, that was the explanation that was offered in the video I mentioned. 

However, this doesn't really change my point.  This alternative actually makes my point.  Learning more truths, doesn't invalidate earlier knowledge.  It just complements it.  But in that in-between phase, sometimes doubts can arise.

I still don't think that the demonstration was really doing what they claimed.

Edited by Carborendum

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16 hours ago, Fether said:

Thanks! This is pretty where I have gotten to over the last day or so. 

I just wish there was a better, more accepted, way to describe the difference between “knowing God answers prayer” and “knowing God exists because he showed up in my room last night and we spoke face to face”.

How does this statement of truth fit into what you are thinking/pondering, "I know God answers prayers. I then know God exists because he answered my prayer(s). If God did not exist I would not have received a direct answer to my prayer. My knowledge though of who God is, what it means to be perfect, and many other things about God -- well, my knowledge is not perfect."

16 hours ago, Fether said:

By this definition, we can all say the “I know” phrase. I have never liked using the phrasing “I know” because I always felt it was both dishonest and down played and distracted from the faith I have which I felt was more important.

I don't think there is anything wrong with a brother/sister feeling uncomfortable with saying "I know," and not saying it themselves. I would call this intellectual honesty. If a person does not feel they can say "I know" then they honestly shouldn't (my opinion). Then stick with what you feel until you feel you can honestly say "I know."

This then comes back to the question, "Is the witness from the Holy Ghost knowledge"? If so, then that witness is either "knowing" or it isn't. At the same time, not every witness from the Holy Ghost is knowledge, but a feeling to increase or to stretch us to pursue what we yet do not know -- until we know it. The Holy Ghost will entice, and then when ready the Spirit will then bear witness -- knowledge.

16 hours ago, Fether said:

Where I am stuck on is how can we know something, but later doubt when we come up with another potential explanation for it. Or how can we know something, but still consider the options if it was false. Is that really knowledge?

That is a good question, and sadly this is a human trait in a fallen world. How often in my youth did I "know" my parents loved me, and then when I received a harder discipline then expected I doubted their love? This entails our imperfect knowledge (why we still act in faith, although we may know "a thing"). If our knowledge was perfect (in all aspects like God) we would have no reason to doubt. We would accept what is and move on.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is so interwoven with other principles it can then easily branch into a new topic. What we are discussing here is now opposition -- tests and trials. This is why I like this verse of scripture, "Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other."

When the Holy Ghost bears witness of a truth, we can ultimately expect some form of enticement rendering the opposite of the witness. As our knowledge isn't perfect we can expect at times we will "act" toward our doubt, rather than our faith. Faith and knowledge are complimentary. As we act in faith, we gain knowledge (witness from the Spirit for spiritual truths, and through study and hard work for temporal truths). Our knowledge isn't perfect, which means we can choose to doubt, or we can act in faith until further light and knowledge is received.

I think @Carborendum touched further on this, and hopefully I simply provided further thought.

16 hours ago, Fether said:

A couple examples:

(1) I had this conversation with a friend and he insists that he knows there is a God. Yet on many occasions, he has said to me and others “even if the church is not true or there is no God, then I would still stay a member because of the goodness it has brought my life”. The fact that he is entertaining the though suggests that he doesn’t know. Contrast that with JSjr who saw God as well as many other angelic beings. From what I have read, he never even considered the idea or had backup plans for if there is no God. He simply knew. In my life, I am not concerned whether my work office is where I know it to be, I don’t go to work thinking “If my office isn't there, then I guess I’ll just find s real job.”

I recognize that this is just two different levels of knowing, but it still seems improper to use “I know” for something you are still making contingency plans for if it isn't so.

This is different levels of knowing for sure, and it is also the world in which we live in. I would think this highlights how we can know something but not have a perfect knowledge of something. There are aspects he knows, which is why he will say "I know." But as our knowledge isn't perfect a safeguard statement satisfies our "ego." I used to use this terminology, especially when debating on YouTube. I don't anymore because of what you have shared. Either I accept what has been witnessed, or I don't. Personally, if the Church weren't true I wouldn't be a member of it. I don't see any point in staying in any religion that has been identified as -- false.

16 hours ago, Fether said:

(2) My work office read the book “The Secret” a while back. He had a guy in the office that was heavily into energy, crystals, the mind, and a myriad of other self help energy type stuff. After reading the book, I began to truly believe in the power of our thoughts and how they can manifest things into reality. I then began to consider (not seriously) an atheistic approach to prayer and fasting, how perhaps there is no God, but our thoughts are creating these things we want. Now I never gave heed to these thoughts or seriously considered them, but Had I seen God and spoke with him face to face these thoughts would be nowhere near my mind. I would KNOW there was a God so there would be no need to consider other solutions to why I experience answers to my prayers.

Not trying to play devil's advocate, but simply creating a thought. Remember it was by the "words" of God that the earth and all other worlds were first created spiritually before they were temporally. Remember the words of Nephi that if God commanded him to say to the mountains become a valley, or the valley become a mountain it would be done. Thoughts proceed words. The thoughts that became words is why we have all that we see.

Right, because in "a thing" the existence of God, we would know it. But isn't it interesting that an angel declared unto Laman and Lemuel that God had delivered Laban, and they immediately looked to the power of Laban rather than the "word" of God -- as given by his servant (Clarification -- I am not likening you to Laman and Lemuel -- just so that is clear). Even if we see God face to face we can still deny "who" He is. Satan knows Jesus Christ is God/Savior, but when Lucifer presents himself -- who does he present himself to be (although he knows otherwise).

Simply stating, we can act contrary to what we KNOW -- would you agree?

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One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon is the simple quote that Helaman makes from his stripling young warriors: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it.” Those simple words are so profound to me. How did those mothers (and their fathers, grandparents, etc.) teach their young sons, that those young men did not doubt? The experiences the people of Ammon went through were so spiritual, and also traumatic (thousands killed when they would not take up arms to protect themselves). They would rather die than break their oath to lay down their weapons of war. These people, I believe, had a sure knowledge of the plan of salvation. They knew that to die is not the end, but they would be with God. To reach this knowledge, they had the witness of the Holy Ghost. That witness is the sure knowledge. If one has received that witness, there is no doubt.

Many of these young warriors probably grew up in homes where their fathers, grandparents and even mothers had died in the massacre of their people. Along with the surviving mothers, their fathers and grandparents, also had a hand in teaching these young men. The teachings must have been done with the Spirit. That Spirit witnessed to these youth the truth. These young men did not doubt, they knew it because their mothers (and other adults in their lives) knew it. 

For myself, when I was a missionary, I personally needed to know for myself. I couldn’t just believe. I couldn’t witness and testify of Joseph Smith unless I knew.  I poured my soul out in prayer, much like Enos in the Book of Mormon. My answer didn’t come immediately, but when it did, the spiritual witness by the Holy Ghost was so strong, that I could say “I know”, and I could say “I testify to you in the name of Jesus Christ that Joseph Smith did see God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ.” That witness has remained with me. And, because of that knowledge, and faith, there have been times in my life when I have received other personal revelation that I know I would not have otherwise received.

Some people are blessed with the spiritual gift to know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that Jesus is the Christ (D&C 46:13). Others are blessed to believe in their words (D&C 46:14). I believe those stripling warriors had that spiritual gift to believe in their mother’s words. And then received the gift to know it was true—all through the gift of the Holy Ghost. When we are confirmed we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. We should try to utilize that gift by praying for the spiritual gifts we lack. There are certain gifts that I personally feel I need in my life, so I pray for those.

 

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