A former Mormon, John D. (I’m not going to give his last name) recently wrote the following critique about his experience with “revelation”.
“Did I have incredibly powerful and inspiring emotional experiences in a LDS context when I was a child, teenager, and young adult? Absolutely. Was I explicitly instructed from a very early age — by the church — on precisely how to interpret those emotional experiences? I believe I was…I remember very explicitly being taught in early morning seminary that if I were to feel any of these emotions in a church context, I was to interpret them as the Holy Ghost bearing witness that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the only true church on the planet. I was taught to teach my “investigators” as a missionary the same thing. If we could ever get our investigators to feel an emotion, we would immediately say, “See! Those are the fruits of the Holy Ghost testifying that this is the true church, and that you should be baptized!”
…And for the record, I still cannot find a believer to explain to me the meaningful difference between “emotion” and the “Holy Ghost.” I certainly could never tell the two apart when I was a believer. This was made clear to me once when I felt as inspired by the Muppet Movie as I was by any LDS General Conference talk. It was very confusing for me as a teen, believe it or not.”
Even though John D. is no longer Mormon, I think John brings up some good points in his critique for active, believing members to consider.
I’ve been an active member for 50 years. During this time I have pondered the points John makes many times. I’ll give an answer to John’s question based on my understanding, and more importantly, my experience. Continue reading
1. True or False
Nephi, being led by the Spirit, knew exactly what to do to obtain the Brass plates when he and his brothers tried for the third time?
“And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand
the things which I should do.” 1 Nephi 4:6
2. Fill in the Blank
“And it came to pass that I was _______by the Spirit that I should kill Laban.”
Constrained (1 Nephi 4:10)
3. Multiple Choice
What does it mean to come out in “open rebellion against God”?
A. To be excommunicated
B. To be convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison.
C. To dwindle in unbelief and stop attending church.
D. To withdraw yourself from the Spirit of the Lord. Continue reading
Heavenly Father Provides Us with Mountains to Climb So We Can Become Like Him
Acquiring and growing a testimony is like climbing a mountain. As we ascend the mountain we can turn and view the vista behind us, and feel a sense of accomplishment at how far we’ve come.
As we continue the climb we will arrive at the top and feel a rush of accomplishment and growth. However, as we look into the distance we soon become aware that there are towering peaks before us that need to be climbed. We know if we leave theses unclimbed we’ll be missing out on experience, experience that we need and should not put off.
Not all who climb continue, it is difficult and many chose to ignore the invitation of the inviting peaks beckoning them. It is so easy to plateau in our journey, especially when everything is going well.
This is when we can begin to forget the Lord and take side paths instead of climbing towards the peaks. These side paths have many destinations but none of them offer the rewards of climbing towards the peaks. Continue reading
I prefer to blog about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, and receiving the Holy Ghost. The topic of this post is speculative. I don’t have any idea how long it will be before the prophets warn the Gentile nations that “destruction awaiteth this people” save they repent and have faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
I don’t have any idea when such a warning will be given, but I expect that one day the Lord will command the prophets to deliver a warning to the Gentiles: repent or suffer.
The Book of Mormon provides a benchmark, an indicator to help followers of Christ to assess the times they are living in. Mosiah taught:
Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land. Mosiah 29:26 – 27 Continue reading
Those who follow Christ with real intent understand the importance of faith. The scripture teach “without faith no man pleaseth God” (D&C 63:11). Why? “For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them” (Ether 12:12). In other words, God cannot intervene in our lives without faith being present.
The apostles said to the Savior, “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5). The Savior’s answer came in two parts. First he said: “If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6). This is a straightforward answer. He taught that even with the smallest amount of faith a man can do mighty works. This parable also teaches that faith being compared to a seed can grow and increase if properly nourished (Matthew 13:32).
In the second part, the Savior used another parable to explain how faith is increased. It isn’t as straightforward, and easy to understand as the parable of the mustard seed. In this parable there is interaction between a servant and his master.
7 But who of you, having a servant plowing, or feeding cattle, will say unto him when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? Continue reading
Hardly a week goes by without hearing of another church member losing their faith. There is even a lawyer who, for no legal fee, will help members remove their names from church records. He may even think of himself as a good Samaritan.
“The internet era is taking a toll on the faith of many church members”. This is a frequent explanation for what’s happening. Meanwhile, the Tribune and Mormon Stories increase revenue with each account of lost faith they publish.
Question: is the internet really the primary cause for loss of faith? Or is there something else at the heart of the internet generation’s dissent? I think there is.
Here’s how I see it. The Lord set up a way for his people to acquire a testimony. This is taught in Moroni 10:4-5. Those who have paid the price to gain a testimony in the Lord’s way are not the one’s dissenting from the church. They have built their faith on the rock of their redeemer (Helaman 5:12). Continue reading
From beginning to end, the Book of Mormon testifies of the gifts of the Spirit. It would be interesting to know the number of times the concept of gifts of the Spirit is portrayed in the Book of Mormon. A computer search of the word “spirit” shows it appears 234 times in the Book of Mormon, and 880 times in the Standard Works. Without doubt Heavenly Father wants church members to be informed about things of the Spirit.
Whenever a manifestation of the Spirit occurs it can be considered a gift from God. We’re taught that the gifts of the Spirit come through the Holy Ghost to men and women as they seek to follow Christ.
The following verses explain how the four sons of Mosiah were able to acquire the gifts of the Spirit:
“They had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.” Alma 17:2-3 Continue reading
Note: All of the scriptural references below are active links.
Who is satan?
He is a son of God, and one of his names is Lucifer. D&C 76:26
Where does he come from?
He lived in the pre-mortal world before being cast down to earth. D&C 29:36-37, Revelations 12:4
Why was he cast down? Continue reading
The following account was written by Bobby Van Rooy. It details why Bobby decided to join the Mormon church after studying, pondering, and praying for nearly two years.
My conversion took about two years, but I’ll take it from the last 8 months. I was 27 years old and divorced already. Living in Hawaii and a professional musician/entertainer.
While performing in San Diego I decided to go to the LDS church in Mission Bay where I was staying. I was very depressed and feeling guilty about things in my life. I was a bit late and the church service was packed. I noticed the front pew was open, so I walked down to the front and sat down. I didn’t realize I came in on what they called their once a month “fast & testimony” meeting.
I had not slept much lately and was a bit exhausted, I was listening to an attractive young woman talking and, to tell you the truth, can’t remember one word she said. But as I listened, something funny happened; I started seeing an aura, a golden aura around her. Continue reading
I don’t know if everyone is born with some degree of faith or not. But I think it is safe to say that some are born having the gift of faith, and others can develop it.
When I refer to faith, I mean faith in God. The following list expresses a few things we know about faith as Latter Day Saints:
1. Because faith is wanting, the fruits are
2. The fruits of faith are the gifts of the Spirit
3. Faith comes by hearing the word of God Continue reading