What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

Why Can’t I Get an Answer to…?

Posted by JLFuller on June 20, 2008

This post is in response to a question by another poster on http://blog.mrm.org/2008/06/still-no-apology/.

 

His question –

 

“JLF “The LDS perspective is that we present the message and the Holy Ghost confirms it. There is no need to argue. It is not a contest amongst men.”.

 

I wish it was that easy JLF, but it’s not. I had sought to find truth in Mormonism by praying to God multiple times to have the spirit confirm to me the truth of the church, and received nothing. I attended an LDS ward for 5 years, listening to the teachings and not once has the Holy spirit confirmed the message, even when I asked. How does one reconcile not only my situation, but countless others who either don’t receive confirmation from the holy spirit, or receiving confirmation from God/The Holy spirit about their own faith which is not LDS?

 

Many LDS on this board have said “I dont know why they dont get any confirmation, only that I received mine” and just leave it at that.. That doesn’t make any sense in any way though, do you agree? If someone sincerely asks, they are SUPPOSED to receive this confirmation. Does God/Holy spirit just decide not to talk to some people or what?

 

You’re statement was true to the point that it is the LDS perspective, but it does not hold any weight, especially for me personally.. And I truly wanted to believe it was true because my wife at the time was LDS and if there was any chance she would be seperated from me into a different Heaven because we aren’t sealed, I didn’t want that to happen. It was emotional and I cried a lot that night. But it definitely was not because I received “truth” from the Holy spirit.”

 

My reply –

 

“Jeffrey
That is a good question. It is one we all struggle with. The question many of us ask is “why can’t I get an answer to…” When you ask your bishop, he will ask if you are living the gospel principles. That is, are you praying daily, do you have faith you will receive an answer, are you living the principle even though you don’t have a spiritual confirmation yet? We learn by doing. Such is the way human beings learn. We gain a testimony by practicing. Faith precedes the miracle. Faith is built little by little – by putting into practicing those things we want to have a testimony of to see if they really work. The miracle is what happens after you accept the principle and have made it part of your life, not before. Just like reading the B of M daily results in a more Christ-like view of humanity and a closer relationship to God and Christ. Your testimony is dependant on whether you want one.”

 

This is different from a witness that the B of M is true. That is a prompting, a feeling of or understanding of truthfulness. Some people get it right away. It didn’t happen that way for me. I accepted that it is true because rejecting it created a knot in my stomach. My confirmation came from living the principles found in the B of M. One day you just know and you can’t deny it – it kind of sneaks up on you. So it is for the confirmation that The Church of Jesus Christ is true and correct. So it was when I discovered that the power of the Priesthood is real.  I have put it to the test and discovered that it is real and works. It is that way with the power of the Holy Ghost. I use it almost daily. More likely it is daily. I feel it when I write. It is like an editor sitting next to me. He plants the idea in my mind and it is up to me to express it. If I get it right I get the confirmation. If it isn’t I get a strong feeling to make corrections. If I have animus in my heart or I have otherwise driven the Holy Ghost away by my thoughts or deeds I can’t make the connection and feel its absence.  

 

But there is a caveat too. The more you know the more is expected. Fail to follow through and you loose what you had. It comes back but with some effort and humility. The key is rejecting the ways of the world and making sustained progress on the straight and narrow road. You can’t continue to think and behave in the same old ways. For me it meant living the Word of Wisdom, giving up raunchy friends and finding holy places to spend my time in. It means doing the things my Heavenly Father wants me to do.  It does not mean you have to be perfect. It just means changing your life is your priority and you have good days and bad. But you make progress by following the admonitions of the Prophet and Church leadership and that takes faith. The miracle happens after you accept the premise and start doing. You put it to the test.

 

You said you separated from or divorced your LDS wife. Apparently there was something there that was problematic. The things that cause divorce can be the things that drive the Holy Ghost away. Inappropriate sexual behavior, pornography, raunchy pass-times and so forth are definite deal breakers. Constant criticism of others, especially Church leadership, can create a severe break with the Spirit. Expressing real doubts in place of discussing problems with the bishop can deny the Spirit’s help in overcoming many problems. Sometimes you just have give up being right in order to be effective.  (That ought to generate some questions.)

 

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15 Responses to “Why Can’t I Get an Answer to…?”

  1. I am glad I cam across this website

  2. Jeff said

    JLF,

    When did I say I was separated from or divorced my wife? On the contrary, she stopped believing in the LDS church and is now a Christian. Our marriage is better than ever. We pray to God together every night before we go to bed.

    You say that you found truth by living the principles of the church, or attempting to believe in the doctrines of the church? I can see how that would make sense. If I started living my life as a member of a cult would, that gave me what I desired, perhaps a sense of belonging, and also promises of eternal life only found within that organization, and I prayed about it, how do you think I would feel? I would WANT so badly to believe it is true that I would probably receive good feelings and then I’m told its the holy spirit confessing truth to me.. When I think about not being a part of that organization I imagine I would feel bad about it, just as you felt that knot in your stomach when you thought about rejecting it.

    Your reasoning still doesn’t hold weight.. Joseph Smith wasn’t living the principles of the LDS church because it didn’t even exist, yet when he prayed, he was answered.

    Your reasoning sounds a lot like when ex-mo’s explain their uneasy feelings doing the signs/tokens/handshakes, and then their member family say “Just do it more often and it wont seem so weird.” Well if that isn’t a big no duh!? You do anything consistently over time and it becomes second nature, it becomes natural.. Does it make it right? Not necessarily!

    Also, about you saying that we need to live the principles before we will get our confirmation.. Think about missionary’s who say to people whom never even really heard about the mormon gospel, and they say “Read the book of Mormon, and pray about it to see if you get confirmation of its truth.”… Do they say “You need to stop sinning and start attending these classes, and so on” and then you will be ready to receive the confirmation. No! they don’t. So what your saying contradicts how “millions have received their testimony.”

    I’m utterly speechless now. I just pray that you understand what I wrote and take it to heart.

  3. Jeff said

    Also, let me know how you “tested” the priesthood to see if it worked and that it did in fact work for you.. Give me some examples because I have no idea what instance(s) you are even talking about??

  4. JLFuller said

    Jeff
    I re-read your post. You are correct – you didn’t say you seperated from your wife. Sorry for misreading what you said. Please be aware that comments such as you made above about being “I’m utterly speechless now” and “cult” are not in keeping with the tenor of this blog. I welcome your questions, and participation but please keep it polite.

    You wanted to know about my priesthood experiences. These are sacred to me and from the sounds of what you said, I am not sure whatever I said would be respected. Would you beleive me if I told you? Or would you reject them out of hand?

  5. Jeff said

    I thought there was no restrictions on this blog of expressing how I feel?

    Would I believe you? I would have to examine the facts. I can’t say one way or another. A belief/opinion can change by the information and facts laid in front of a person. I promise I wont put them down like “That’s dumb”, but if I disagree with them, I won’t just say “oh, thats cool”. I try to come at things with as much as an open mind as possible, and then I choose a side. Some arguments are rather good from LDS people, but when I do more digging into it, gather more information, I find it doesn’t hold its own and I choose to reject it.

    Tell me what you thought about how living the principles being necessary as you say to receive “truth” from the holy spirit. As I said, it contradicts what your missionary’s teach. It has been shown it is not necessary because these people that pray said “I received confirmation of the truth of the Church”. I have read many letters in the halls of an LDS chapel posted on the bulletin board from missionary’s and how they describe their situations with people.

  6. JLFuller said

    I don’t know where you got the idea that you could say anything you want here. If you read the header you will see the word “respectfully”. If it isn’t respectful I will delete it. I think it is proper to reply to a question or comment that is responsive to the way something should have been asked. In this case, it is your question about the priesthood. So I will generalize – that is, not be specific.

    A father who holds the Mechizadek priesthood, who is in good standing, can communicate via the power of the Holy Ghost, those things God wants his child to know. In effect, the father who gives a father’s blessing to a child is authorized to impart promises or blessings to the child as he is prompted by the Holy Ghost. I have had that experience and the promises came true. In fact it was nothing short of a medical miracle. Not only was this promise carried out once but twice. Remember, Jeff, I will not allow discussion that denigrates this experience.

    I have been on the outside of these experiences and watched as others used the priesthood in the way Father intended. I suppose I envied the power I saw exhibited but doubted my own ability to live the life these other fine brethren lived. I wasn’t living it at the time. But one does not have to be perfect in all things all the time for the priesthood to work. It is a process of evolving over time that changes a man. Testimonies grow as principles are proved. It is a one-at-a-time thing. Little by little, people learn by doing. So it is with me.

    If this didn’t work for you I am sorry. There are many possible reasons but I think it is up to you to decide if it is what you want. I only know that it works and that there is no way I ever deserved the blessings I received. They were imparted to me through the Grace of God and by the atonement of Jesus Christ. But I did have faith and I knew there was a way if I really wanted to take it. It isn’t always easy and there are some real challenges to overcome. But the process works. The keys are time, honest effort, persistence and believing God will do as He says. Jeff, you can’t be any more cynical than I was. I still struggle with it everyday. But I have chosen to reject rejection and work to foster comity and inclusion. It is a choice I made. Almost daily I have to remind myself of my choice. As a result, I received the blessing of understanding and compassion for others that had diminished in me over time. That isn’t to say my first reflex action to some things is love and peace. It isn’t. But the Spirit reminds me of the better way – Christ’s way.

  7. JLFuller said

    I really like what James says about the Holy Ghost and how we beleivce the system works.
    http://lehislibrary.wordpress.com/2007/12/18/knowledge-by-the-spirit/

  8. Jeff said

    JLFuller. I will not denigrate your experience you had with God granting health upon a person, but it is hardly exclusive because of “The Priesthood”. Christians pray for peoples health and miracles happen all the time. Do they have the priesthood? Biblically yes, but not LDS Priesthood… It is not any power you have, its fully God’s power. You ask the Creator if he will choose to give health to the sick and he chooses one way or another. If it was at all up to the LDS “Priesthood”, then if a blessing was given, it would always work. Which I’m sure you have seen yourself that it doesn’t always work. Like I said, it is Gods choice.

    What possible reasons are there that it didn’t work? I said it with a sincere heart, with real intent and faith in Christ and God that if the LDS church was true, he would give me the answer. Those are the pre-requisites to receiving confirmation as the BoM outlines.. Are you adding other pre-req’s yourself? And after all that, it still didn’t happen.. And these days, I feel uneasy when I think “What if I were Mormon?” – Doing all the masonic secret handshakes in the LDS temple.. Is that the holy spirit witnessing to me that the LDS church is false?

    To be honest JLFuller, you’re doing what all other LDS people do when they don’t have any “good” reasoning for anything — They bare their testimony. I’m not a newbie the Mormon religion so that kind of “I feel good, you should too” tactic doesn’t work.

  9. JLFuller said

    Jeff
    No one is trying to convince you of anything. You asked and I told you what I experienced. I have no doubt that non-Mormons have and such experiences as well. The priesthood holder is just acting as mouth in delivering the blessing upon supplication. Why are you so angry? What church do you belong to now?

  10. Jeff said

    JLF,

    I just greatly disagree with your reasoning and Mormonism in general. If that comes off as angry, then I guess that is just your view. You’re trying to convince me that what you believe is true by giving me “Answers” to my “Questions.”

    So if the priesthood holder is just acting as a mouth delivering a blessing, just as any believer in Christ would, what makes a holder of the priesthood more special?

    I am a Christian. I am a member of the universal body of believers. I go to a Christian church for some of my worship.

  11. JLFuller said

    I suppose you can say I am still a bit confused why people who are so contemptuous of our Church put so much energy into defaming us. Hostility is not love. Contemptousness is not respect for others. I know some say they speak so maliciously because they “love” us but their words are over-powered by their behavior. It sounds more like you want to destroy us. You say you know as much as we know about ourselves but you still ask us to explain. You know when we bear our testimonies we are sincere but you still choose to defame us for it. Yet when I ask about what church you attend you refuse to say. Sincerely, Jeff it really sounds personal. Shame comes from following Satan’s model. Bitterness in one’s heart is not of God. Please take some time and think about who you are and how you want to live your life. Choose to follow Christ’s example. Remember Galatians 5:22 and 3rd Nephi 11 29-30.

  12. Jeff said

    You keep saying “us” as in the Mormon people. Sound’s like your playing the victim card.. Some people, especially Christians, may have anger towards Mormon people in general, but they are wrong for it.

    We try to show that the Mormon gospel does not save. In fact it leads people even farther away from Christ than if someone was simply agnostic..

    The reason I discuss things about the Mormon Gospel with the Mormon people is not because I’m trying to bring down the whole church and its people — Which many LDS unfortunately take this personally and develop persecution complex’s. I discuss LDS doctrine/history with the LDS people to hopefully get them to examine their faith a little more closely instead of relying ultimately upon their “testimony”. Anyone can have a testimony of anything but it does not make it true. I’m not attacking you personally because I honestly believe you’re a good person, but being good does not get one saved. It is to recognize that you truly aren’t perfect, and that you can attempt all you want but it wont help, because you are dead in your transgressions. That you must put complete faith and trust in Christ, that he has indeed saved you from your sins, and that you belong to God because of Him.

    You asked what church I BELONG to, not what church I attend. I told you what “church” I belong to, the universal body of believers in Christ. Those that hold to the doctrine of the trinity, and being saved by grace through faith, given freely as a gift to those that put their trust in Jesus.

    As for the church I attend, I am not ashamed to say I go to Central Christian. Were you trying to imply that I am shamed to say and that I am followings satan’s model? I am hoping I read that wrong.

    Christ’s example was love and care, but if you read the Bible you know full well that Jesus wasn’t a “live and let live” person when it came to false gospels.

  13. JLFuller said

    Jeff
    Thanks for the response about your church. And yes, I think you are playing into Satan’s hand by with your behavior. You allienate people unnecessarily. The scriptures I quoted make that clear. When someone throws a rock at me I duck. If he spits at me then I avoid him. If he defames my family and friends and the things I hold as sacred I… Well, you know what my first response is.

    I think your understanding of some of the important parts of Christianitry is in error. You feel the same way about my understanding. The difference is I don’t bad mouth your church. I don’t parade around in front of your meetinghouse. I don’t carry signs defaming your leadership. But you do all these things – you being anti-Mormons. Neither of us is likely to change the others mind. You want to convert me but I don’t want to convert you. I want you to be respectful of what I hold as sacred but you do not want to do so. I think the onus is on you to change your ways. I ask you to do so. I disagree with you. Christ is a lot more tolerant than you think he is. I think He goes the extra mile.

  14. JLFuller said

    Jeff wrote this, but it didn’t get published. I now require log-in, so I will reprint it on his behalf.

    “JLF,

    Just because you personally don’t go out and try and share the news of your gospel, doesnt mean your church leadership isnt. Do I really need to pull up quotes from the prophets of the church that have said some rather awful things about Christian leadership? The word “Whoremasters” comes to mind..

    Your church does plenty of going out there and preaching that their gospel is correct, and the traditional Christian gospel is false.. They may not blatantly state it, but they do imply it heavily when they claim “total apostasy”. That everyone else has it wrong, but “we have it right”.

    Read 2 Timothy 4:3
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”

    I am not about to attempt stop spreading sound doctrine just to tickle the itching you have on your ears.

    If an LDS person takes the criticism of their faith as personal as you seem to, that is their own problem. Simply put, people like to hear pleasant things, but the truth is NOT always pleasant. From your perspective, we are “alienating” but from ours we are “inviting.”

    Is LDS missionary’s door to dooring invasive? Yes, but that is how you guys spread your gospel. Is Christian Evangelists coming you large gatherings of LDS people invasive? Yes, but that is one way spread ours… Those who wish to listen can choose to enter dialogue, and those who don’t, can choose so as well.

    I’m not throwing rocks and I am not spitting in your face. That would be stuff done to intentionally hurt another human being. I am witnessing to you, which is a lot less violent than you make it out to be, and although it seems mean to you, to Ex-mormons who have found the real Jesus, they are very thankful someone had the guts to engage them.. Just like those who find happiness from leaving alcoholism and drug abuse. It’s a painful painful process, but when its done, there is a freedom found, and in this case, a freedom found in Christ.”

  15. JLFuller said

    Jeff
    I guess the real difference between us, in this area, is we don’t carry picket signs in front of your church. We don’t hollar insults and we don’t defame your church leaders. When missionaries go door to door, they don’t hang around on the curb after they leave. We don’t attack other churchs by name and when we disagree we talk doctrine not personalities. The behavior we see in front of Temple Square and when a new Temple or Church building is dedicated are intentional acts and are designed to be insulting and harmful. It is about respect Jeff. We have it for others. We don’t often see it reciprocated. And I do take attacks on people I care about as a personal afront. I am working on it though and am much better than I used to be. Joseph Smith I think did it right. I will endeavor to do it his way.

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