The Enlightenment, Mormonism and Personal Revelation

By: Jake
December 13, 2012

Over the past two months I have been teaching seminars on the Enlightenment at my university. The Enlightenment was a period of intellectual history that arguably was the start of modern western values and a significant factor in the formation of modern France and America. Discussing the ideas of the Enlightenment with my students has brought home to me just how powerful and ground-breaking some of their ideas were.

For instance, Thomas Paine, writer of two revolutionary pamphlets that influenced the US in their declaration of independence from Britain, published a book called The Age of Reason that voiced a hostile critique of eighteenth century Christianity. Like many other Enlightenment figures Paine viewed organised and institutional religions as tyrannical constructs made by men to control people. In The Age of Reason Paine collects some of his views on religion within it. Paine advocates a cafeteria approach to religion in which the individual forms their own set of beliefs free from the constraint of national religious institutions.

“My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit… Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.”

Whilst his ideas of an individual focused religion have recently been denounced by some members of the twelve as a pick and mix type of obedience, while others claim ALL Mormons are cafeteria Mormons to some extent. He also discusses free-thinking and revelation:

“No one will deny or dispute the power of the Almighty to make such a communication, if he pleases. But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it.

It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication — after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.”

The key point that Paine is making is that just because someone else says that something is a revelation it does not make it a revelation to me. This idea sounds like common sense; after all we don’t take every prophet of doom at the street corner at his word. We all seem to know inherently that not everything that is called revelation is necessarily revelation (such as revelation of the hormonal type that tells some single men that a certain woman should marry them).

The question then is how do we move from hearsay revelation to actual revelation that is binding to us personally. Mohammed claimed to have received a revelation, just like Joseph Smith and modern day leaders, yet we don’t simply accept that on face value.  How do we filter the claims to revelation to determine what is actually revelation?

One method is a mechanism taught in the church called ‘personal revelation.’  Using this method an individual has a personal spiritual or emotional experience that confirms that it was in fact a revelation. Lectures on Faith describes a chain of communication in which God first reveals himself to a prophet who then testifies to others about his experience with God. These others then build their faith on the basis of the prophet’s testimony. The basis of faith in these stories is trust in the testimony of others.  As the Lectures say:

“What testimony have men, in the first instance, that there is a God? Human testimony, and human testimony only. . . It was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers, this testimony having aroused their minds to inquire after the knowledge of God”

By having faith in human testimony we seek confirmation from God for ourselves. The problem is that this process has circular parameters set about what can be considered a satisfactory answer. Boyd K. Packer and others have reminded us that if our personal revelation is true, our confirmation will always be in harmony with the revelation given to those leaders above us.

“The Lord’s house is a house of order. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “it is contrary to the economy of God for any member of the Church, or any one [else], to receive instruction for those in authority, higher than themselves.”

This is not describing an individual finding out for him or herself; rather, it is about bringing the individual into line with the institution. The leaders of the church receive revelation, and we must either take it on trust that it was a revelation, or we must seek out a revelation or an emotional response (i.e. warm fuzzy feeling) that confirms to us that it was a revelation. If we receive anything other than confirmation that the revelation came from God then evidently we have received a false or counterfeit revelation, and we must not be in tune with the spirit enough. This puts the institutional leaders in the role of arbitrators of our own personal experiences; what may have been a spiritual experience and seemed like a revelation to me can be debunked and dismissed by the church as part of Satan’s power over me if it is not in harmony with the Brethren and the already accepted canon of revelation.  By this logic, if my own experience ever contradicts what a leader claims as revelation, I am always in the wrong; I must blindly trust the experiences of leaders over my own experiences.  On the other hand, if I doubt that they have received revelation and feel no obligation to accept it, it is viewed as my personal failure, not a failure of the method of personal revelation.

This leaves me with the problem of working out what are the necessary conditions for me to accept something as revelation? How do I escape the revelation circle and discovery for myself what is in fact a revelation and not just hearsay and trust in the experience of others?

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30 Responses to The Enlightenment, Mormonism and Personal Revelation

  1. Hedgehog on December 13, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    “It’s a problem, it’s a problem. a terrible, terrible problem.” to quote from one of my favourite musical pieces for children.

    And not only limited to revelation from the top of the church, but in stake and ward organisations, and even within a family. It can feel like ‘my revelation trumps yours’ on account of the position held in a lot of areas: a bishop may veto the inspiration of an auxilliary president for instance.

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  2. Aaron R. on December 13, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    Jake, this presents one model of revelation in the church but I do not think it is the only one. That is not to say that this might not be dominant nor that it is wrong but merely that I think this oversimplifies the view of revelation. Here are a few random thoughts:
    - Revelation is often framed differently when it applies to institutions or to individual circumstance.
    - The notion of common consent has, at times although perhaps rarely, served as a source of counter-revelation.
    - Dialogic revelation is an important mechanism for communicating the will of God through a group.
    - Propositional and/or practical revelation is currently highly valued in the church but this often ignores inter-personal revelation which involves the revelation of God’s presence to us and also the revelation of the divine in others.
    - Finally, I am not convinced that we can ever escape ambiguity of revelation. It is inherently polysemic. Rather it is the constellation of a variety of revelatory sources that often most profoundly shapes our view of the revelatory. In this sense, packer is merely trying to give greater weight to one source of revelation over another.

    This is a little incoherent but then I think our theology of revelation is exactly that.

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  3. Jake on December 13, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Hedgehog,

    I agree its a problem in many different areas from the institution to the individual. I can’t help think, albeit cynically, that in cases such as Bishops inspiration trumping the auxiliary president’s, that the use of ‘inspiration’ is a rhetorical tool to render their opinion indisputable. If I claim that a decision is made not from my own reasoning and opinion, but from a revelatory experience from the spirit it can not be refuted, at least not without resorting to the power hierarchy of the church to trump different revelations. The rhetoric of revelation can through this process potentially (but not always) become a veneer for the brute exercise of the power of their position.

    Aaron,

    Agreed that their is no consistent revelation model. But this does not resolve the issue because if we accept a plurality of revelatory models then we have more ways of distinguishing one form as ‘revelation’ rather then policy or opinion and they are not all consistent with each other. You can end up with a definition of revelation that is unfalsifiable as you can always repeal to another model of revelation if one is rejected or unsatisfactory. In which case if I can not prove that a claimed revelation is NOT a revelation because of the plural models then it makes the claim that something is revelation hollow and devoid of epistemic weight. Thus, I still can not ascertain between true and purported revelations.

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  4. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    There are many paths that lead to God. The LDS church is just one of them, not the only one. It’s a good path because it puts minivans and SUVs full of families in the God express lane. It used to be a great path when it was more spiritually (God) and less pharisaically (man) focused. The main problem with organized religion is that they make a business out of brokering your relationship with deity. This is a benefit and a feature for those less spiritually inclined but it becomes a limiter to those more spiritually inclined. Don’t believe everything you hear about LDS copyrighted and trademarked communication with God, much of it is spun and slanted to retain you as their customer. Seek your own relationship with deity and you will not need them a broker…this is what they fear and seek to prevent, so they do not teach how to personal revelation beyond prayer and encouraging you to receive it provided of course it doesn’t conflict with theirs, but it will conflict because God is spiritual not pharisaical.

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  5. GBSmith on December 13, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    The other side of the coin is if you don’t get the accepted answer. If you don’t get a yes to “is the church true”, the only advice you’ll get is, “try again”.

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  6. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    Contrary to popular Mormon belief a novice won’t get a “yes” answer to ANY question. Beginning communication with the Spirit is a feeling or no feeling at all. What makes you think that the feeling is a blanket endorsement of the truthfulness of the church? It is apparently encouragement to continue in your communication along those lines, to continue seeking but you won’t know what the feeling really means until your skill increases to the point that you can accurately parse these questions to a more detailed level, but most Mormons never go that far. I got a feeling! So the church is true! No, sorry the church is an organization and some teaching material, it is both true and not true, pick the blend that’s right for you. A better question: is the gospel true?

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  7. Hedgehog on December 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    #3, Yes, add to that there doesn’t necessarily have to be one right way, or one thing that will serve the purpose. Either the inspired idea of the auxilliary president or the bishop would probably do just as well a fair amount of the time. Some people are much better at allowing others freedom to act within their sphere of authority though, whilst others seem to have to micro-manage. An answer that one idea would be good, doesn’t imply that there are no other ideas that wouldn’t serve just as well. Some people can get very hung up on both sides. Talking and listening more would probably be helpful in those situations, and perhaps result in a better idea still. (Would this be Aaron’s dialogic revelation? #2 Aaron, you are losing me on terminology.)

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  8. Hedgehog on December 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    #6 Howard: “Beginning communication with the Spirit is a feeling or no feeling at all.”
    Well, I’m still right at the beginning then. No feeling at all seems to be the most frequent answer I get. On the other hand, I do feel guided to some extent, throughout my life, in a navigational sense, of directions to take, but very intangible.

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  9. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Hedgehog,
    That rings true to me. I’m curious how can you tell that such guidance is taking place?

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  10. Steve on December 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    I’ve been reading the Lectures on Faith of late and the sense I get is that one begins their faith on the testimony of another, but then must persevere until they get their own revelation. That sure seems to be the pattern we see in Nephi’s life and in Joseph’s life. Joseph, and others, berated the Saints for depending upon their leaders too much.

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  11. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    I’m involved with a lot of people outside the church who seek and receive revelation on a variety of Eastern enlightenment paths. They generally begin with meditation – be still and know that I am God! This often leads to some introspection and psychotherapy techniques are used to remove blocks and dissonance allowing them to be more centered and with practice progress to deeper meditative states. At this point quieting the mind leads to spiritual communication which can be enhanced and amplified by concentrating on the spiritual signal which is down low buried in the noise of our minds and in the noise of life. For believers meditation is also prayer, this was true for President McKay but prayer is not necessarily meditation, like all rituals in the LDS church prayer is symbolic of something deeper and more spiritual. A trance is nothing unusual you probably do it a lot. You were in a trance when you wake up and realize that you drove the last few miles without being aware of doing it! Learning to do this at will helps you to relax, communicate with deity and manage stress.

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  12. Steve on December 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Howard,

    How does one learn to do such?

    Steve

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  13. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Steve,
    The goal is to not think, but you won’t be able to do that so meditation is sleight of hand, by giving your mind something mundane and repetitive to do like chanting or listening to meditation music you busy a small part of your mind while freeing the rest to idle this converts our mind from a processor to a receiver. This isn’t easy to do and takes a lot of practice but it is much easier to do than not thinking at all. Go to a meditation class in your area, change to a different class if the instructor is simply doing entertaining and relaxing guided fantasy, you want someone who will help you learn to stop thinking and concentrate on listening for the Spirit. At first you will not be able to stay in a trance for more than a few seconds so keep practicing until you can enter and stay in a trance at will. At this point you will not want to leave the trance, it is so pleasant but leave it anyway until you learn to easily leave and reenter at will. Listen to your minds inter chatter. This chatter goes on without your conscious involvement, it is mostly trash, that is thought fragments and things you think over and over without any purpose. Learn to eliminate these thoughts by willing them out of your mind. Begin in the quiet early morning hours but as you progress increase your rate of learning by practicing in noisy areas and with distractions until you can meditate anywhere, anytime. It took me ten years to reach this point.

    Along the way you will uncover things about yourself you buried and don’t want to think about, many are from childhood, open your mind to them and hire a therapist if necessary to resolve them.

    If have any kind of communication with the Spirit now add the above to what you have been doing.

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  14. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    I forgot to mention personal revelation improves as you go. I was receiving profound revelation after three years or so. As you go the Spirit will build your spirit to spirit vocabulary in a way similar to learning a new language without the use of your mother tongue in line upon line fashion.

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  15. Steve on December 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    Howard,

    Thanks for the info.

    You know, decades ago I got irritated at the chatter in my head and so I just – I don’t know – suppressed it. So, today my norm is not to have any such going on in my head. I do have tinnitus, so there is that. But no chatter.

    I’ve wondered about maybe reading a scripture and then concentrating on it as an object of meditation. Perhaps I just need to add that listening part you mentioned.

    Isn’t it odd that with our history of the First Vision, multiple other heavenly communications and the same in our core book of scripture, we talk and teach so little about the actual mechanics of connecting with Deity?

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  16. Mike S on December 13, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    - Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
    - Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.
    - Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books.
    - Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.
    - Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

    - But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

    - Buddha

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  17. Howard on December 13, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Steve,
    Well, if you suppressed you chatter it will probably show up again as you go through this because the process uncovers more and more of your subconscious. I have tinnitus too, I learned to ignore it and hear through it. Meditating on a scripture is a great idea. Yes, I’m very disappointed that the church ignores teaching the enlightenment path of it’s beginnings and focuses so strongly on filling it’s members lives up with busy work and builds so many buildings.

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  18. James Justice on December 13, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    Most members never get past the first steps of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. Therefore, they never learn how to ask God, and recognize revelation for themselves on things other than just the basics.

    Moses stated: “Would to God that all the Lord’s people were prophets”.

    We all need to learn to train our spirits and minds to see and recognize truth, and advance from one level to another in discerning and living those true principles, receiving revelation upon revelation, until we see and act like God. Being spoon fed makes us only children.

    “Be ye no more children…”

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  19. Hedgehog on December 14, 2012 at 2:05 AM

    Howard #9,
    Tricky question. Is guidance even the right word, except I’m not sure what else to call it?
    So, at some points in life there are major decisions to make, what to study at Uni, what to do after that, and other things too, where to live, jobs to apply for, all that kind of stuff that can have a big influence on what happens next. And sometimes I just have a sense of having reached such a junction, without it being obvious why. Each time I reach one of those junctions, there are lots of things in my mind, lots of considering and contemplation and mentally reaching out in different directions exploring possibilities. And it’s there, even with all the other day to day stuff that is going on anyway. And sometimes it can be a faster process, and sometimes it can take days or weeks or months as more information is added to the mix, but still no conclusions. And then with all the mental exploration there comes a sense of clarity and knowing which path to take. As if all the things being tossed around have melted away, and the answer has crystallised, or gelled. Sometimes I don’t do something because it just doesn’t gel.
    I suppose some people may compare all the tossing in the mind to a stupor of thought, except it is the thought to me, and really the process for me doesn’t involve formal prayer, because once the answer is there, well I just know already bone deep, and doing formal asking for confirmation seems somehow unnecessary, or to doubt the experience.
    On a very small scale, an example would be in one ward I was in the missionaries were asked to ask members to identify a road on a map for them to tract, where they would find someone who would listen to them. Got to say I was kind of sceptical. But anyway, my husband gave me the map, sensing I would be better at the suggesting the road part. So I sat there with the local AtoZ turning pages, doing this reaching out thing and I settled on a page, and then I did it again for the roads, and settled on a road. Logically, I was concerned with the result. It was a small road – no so many houses, so statistically less likely maybe. And there was a less (or irregularly) active family on that street, and I knew at that point, they’d be less than thrilled to see the missionaries (they’d requested no contact shortly before). But that was the result. My husband who is rather better at the formal praying and getting answers than I am, then prayed about it, and said yes, it was the right street. And yes, the missionaries did get in to teach a different family the first discussion.
    Maybe the formal way we are taught has caused me not to place enough value on my personal experiences, and to get too hung up on the formal prayer part. So sure, I pray morning and evening, we have have family prayer morning and evening, we pray at meals, and we pray as couple morning and evening. But often I feel nothing in those formal settings, on my knees, head bowed etc., bogged down in appropriate language. I feel closest to God curled up on the sofa, staring at the ceiling, just contemplating, or trying to communicate in a less formal way. Then I can feel wrapped in a sense of warmth and love and belonging. I experienced this particularly powerfully in the temple not too long ago, as I mentioned elsethread.
    Maybe I should be paying more attention on a smaller scale than I tend to, since like everyone else I have my blind spots and biases, and have been known to fall flat on my face on account them.
    Anyway, thanks for asking, it’s been beneficial for me to examine this. We’re all different, and maybe God communicates with us all individually in the way that best suits us.

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  20. Howard on December 14, 2012 at 6:08 AM

    Hedgehog,
    This is a good description, thank you. I’ve talked with several people who receive guidance in a way they describe very similar to this.

    By meditating on my words and working backward I learned that I edit them for acceptability by my audience before I speak or type them, that they are what I’ll call “thought words” before that and concepts before they become thought words.

    How they become concepts is very interesting; often I am aware of forming them myself and sometimes I experience them precipitating in my mind like a rain drop in a cloud forming from a cloudless sky as I observe more than participate and occasionally they appear as a dense nugget of divinely downloaded knowledge and the words I attempt wrap around these concepts to explain them are very inadequate because the nugget is much too profound and too dense to understand quickly in words, it often contains knowledge that could only have come from a non-mortal third party and requires unpacking over time to understand it more completely. To me this describes the process of; thinking > intuition > inspiration > and one form of revelation.

    Having come to understand this progression and having experienced the difficulty of attempting to quickly interpret the knowledge download into words the many versions of the first vision (not visitation) make sense to me and I accept them as evidence that Joseph was telling the truth.

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  21. Steve on December 14, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    James,

    Good to see you so far from our usual haunts.

    I think you’re probably right about many of us never making it past the first steps. I remember Joseph saying that he had found a way whereby a man might ask and receive. I thought that odd, because that should have been so easy and already learned. Based on this thread, perhaps not.

    What works for you?

    I’ve been reading the Lectures on Faith and today read about making the sacrifice of all things. That sacrifice was/is necessary for us to receive the assurance that we are doing the Lord’s will and that we may obtain the faith necessary for life and salvation. Obviously Joseph made that sacrifice. Part of it seems to be detailed in D&C 132. I wonder if it is a part of our giving ourselves to the Lord or if perhaps it’s a ritual or an ordinance.

    Steve

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  22. FireTag on December 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    It seems to me that if I can’t trust my own sense of the spirit to determine WHETHER something is revelation, I logically can’t trust any sense I have as to WHICH authority figure or organization would legitimately be in the “chain-of-command” between me and God to determine revelation for me.

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  23. GBSmith on December 14, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    I remember a few years ago hearing the dean of the local Episcopal cathedral make a comment about the “Spirit”. He’d been in the running for bishop of the diocese and hadn’t been selected. His comment was something to the effect that the spirit had a wicked sense of humor. I assumed that he felt he’d been called to place his name foreward and then hadn’t been chosen. Since I’d heard mormons have similar experiences what it said to me that was in or outside of the LDS church, believing that God or the Holy Ghost or whatever wants you to do or be something is a chancy business and deserving of a lot of thought.

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  24. James Justice on December 14, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Steve,

    Good to see you too! Yes, this is a bit away, but since you invited us…

    What works for me? Well, that depends on what type of revelation/through the veil experience you are talking about.

    What worked for me most of the time in my teenage years was speaking with the spirit – I’d be teaching a friend gospel principles and the spirit would take over and we’d both be taught at the same time. Granted, I wasn’t learning something I had inquired about, generally, but it was revelation nonetheless.

    For other through the veil experiences such as open day vision, dreaming dreams, hearing words spoken through the veil, etc. most of the time I just asked and it came (vision), or it came on my own as I pondered, or slept, upon a question. As I read and ponder scriptures, its interpretation usually just comes as I read it closely or ponder upon its meaning. Rarely do I go kneel down and pray about something and it come while kneeling – but usually after as I continue to seek out an answer.

    For me, when I am seeking an answer that is important to me, I have found that I usually get it when I have made the determination that I would NOT CEASE until I received an answer. That is the “praying in faith, nothing wavering” part. Showing the Lord that I won’t cease until I receive an answer has been an important key to receiving answers to prayers/desires.

    One of my revelations came after I had made my commitment to and offered up a “sacrifice of all things” (my family), so of course Joseph Smith was right about that need. It is what is required, as Joseph taught – in order to receive the same blessings of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and other great men, we need to “make the same”, or similar, sacrifices these men have made. Have we, or will we, sacrifice ALL THINGS for God. It is not until we have done such that we can receive such assurances through the veil.

    I hope my answers above make some sense – are clearer than mud.

    Take care!

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  25. James Justice on December 14, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    GBSmith,

    “I do, therefore I can be” – Sartre

    “I can be, therefore I do” – Kierkegaard

    “Do, be, do, be, do…” – Sinatra

    ————————-

    Good points, GB Smith!

    Being worthy, and prepared, to hold a particular position/office is far more important than actually being called to it, for the Lord judges by the heart. True, you miss some experiences, but others await. Have a pure hart, and “seek ye first the Kingdom of God”, and all will be added to you by and by.

    Later!

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  26. James Justice on December 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    Something else I may add on the subject of other churches and the spirit:

    While I was away in South Carolina in the military at Basic Training I attended a non-denominational church meeting (LDS weren’t available to us new recruits) and during the meeting, I felt the spirit while the pastor was speaking.

    Why do you suppose that was (or, was I just imagining it)? Could it be that the Holy Ghost is a testifier of truth, no matter who speaks it?

    Take care!

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  27. Howard on December 15, 2012 at 6:58 AM

    …believing that God or the Holy Ghost or whatever wants you to do or be something is a chancy business and deserving of a lot of thought.. I’d like to add something to your thoughts; God’s ways are not our ways. I’ve been following the Spirit for 9 years through thick and thin, I have been put through many experiences that would be considered negative and not of the spirit by most Mormons. Part of it involves the demolition of much of your material life (sell what you have, give to the poor and follow me) because craving for and attachment to material things stand in the way of truly being spiritual (a rich man, camel and eye of the needle). Ego reduction and overcoming one’s fear of loss of creditability is another part of this lesson, Christ who is our example was disgraced by being publicly treated like a common criminal. Why are we taught this? Because ego opposes spirituality.

    Btw having learned these lessons I can tell you that the LDS prosperity gospel and “Let’s go shopping” at City Creek is NOT part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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  28. Hedgehog on December 16, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Howard #20
    That sounds a very useful exercise.
    I think most people modify for the audience to some degree, often unawares. It’s good to understand that we do.

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  29. Outlier Mormon on January 3, 2013 at 3:58 AM

    Unless those in authority are infallible, which they claim they are not, then they are liable to error. Their error could be in interpreting their revelation, it could be an error articulating the revelation, it could be that the revelation was received from ‘an unbecoming source’ and yet they were not aware of it.

    The problem is that while the Brethren do not claim infallibility, they do not take too kindly to people questioning the validity of said revelation, or parts thereof. Its said in General Conference, how could it be wrong?! This of course, creates confusion, which invites some not-so-nice spirits into our midst. We are told we have to be obedient – but to whom? Christ is the Truth, therefore, let us not be afraid to find the Truth. In so far as man hinders ones access to the Truth, he hinders us coming to Christ.

    The Holy Spirit speaks to all, and is not limited to the LDS Church, despite common folklore. Scripture does not define where the Spirit is heard, rather, it is the will of God.

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  30. James Justice on January 3, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Outlier spoke the truth – the Holy Spirit does speak “to all”. Here’s the scripture:

    2 Nephi 29:

    12 For behold, I shall speak unto the Jews and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto all nations of the earth and they shall write it.

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