What’s This Mormon Thing?

Hostile Anti-Mormon posts subject to editing or deletion

Posts Tagged ‘testimony’

1 Nephi 14:9 – The Great and Abominable Church- Which One Is It?

Posted by JLFuller on January 24, 2009

Is there one evil and corrupt church that is the church of the devil and which one do Mormons think it is? The Book of Mormon passage (1st Nephi 14: 9) that many misunderstand and from which many people (a few Mormons too) think seperates Mormons from everyone else really provides a clearer understanding of this doctrine.  It says Behold that great and abominable church, which is the mother of abominations, whose founder is the devil.” Some cite comments made by a few very early church members and leaders, right after the church was founded, as supporting the notion that this is one particular church. They were in error. The LDS Church does not teach and does not believe that any other established church as we know them is the Great and Abominable Church.  Rather we believe the “church” spoken of is all the people who fight against God. The next verse helps to clarify. 

Verse 10 continues. ” Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.I suppose some used this verse to suggest that there are only two players – Mormons and everyone else. But that just isn’t so and never has been.  

Verse 12 further identifies who the players are. “I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.” 

Just as is said, the number of the people in God’s church is few and they are on all the face of the earth. We interpret that as meaning members of God’s Church are all those that seek after Him and seek to have Him guide their lives. They are many good people who abide by and seek to live their lives according to God’s will in whatever light that has been given them. These can be and are people in every religious denomination. The others, members of the Great and Abominable Church, are those who corrupt, persecute, defame, malign and abuse people with whom they disagree and over whom they seek advantage or dominion. They fight against godliness. They seek to destroy and enslave. In short, they seek the things of this world and reject God.  

We believe  the gospel has always been on the earth, But it was only in its fullness for certain periods of time and then only according to how much the people could accept and live. We believe that to hear, know and understand the gospel but not live it, or abide by it, results in condemnation. In many cases, giving the people everything would just set them up to fail. So as an act of a loving father, God only allowed as much as the people could live.  But it would have been available if the people were ready for it. 

The advent of Jesus Christ restored the full gospel to the earth once again. But because of the wickedness of the people, and the Great and Abominable church, it was lost when the last apostle died. The record of the entire gospel – which we know was under attack even during the time of Christ and the Apostles – was further attacked afterward. Eventually, much of the record of the Gospel was removed or distorted and only a part of it remains in the traditional canon today. God had said it would happen but that He would restore it in the end times. The Book of Mormon is that restored Gospel. It was being kept by a separate group of God’s people on the American continent.   

Within the group of people identified in Nephi as those who are not members of the Great and Abominable Church, you find the Mormons. While we were still in our pre-mortal life, we took upon ourselves the obligation to take this message to the rest of the world. We understand and accept that some will find a certain resonance with what we claim and will want to learn more. Others, for various reasons, will not.  That doesn’t make them part of the other group though. They may have hardened their hearts and been swayed by the craftiness of men. It is expected.

All people learn and are ready to receive in their own time. It may mean those who reject the message in this life will learn of the fullness of the gospel after they pass over to the other side where they will be taught by Christ’s missionaries as it says in John 5:25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”

So, we Mormons are very much a part of the Church of the Lamb of God just as Methodists, Pentecostals, Baptists, Catholics and Jews and all the other good and godly people of the earth. We also accept that membership in any one church or religious group does not exclude a person from membership in the Great and Abominable Church too. Now I understand some people are going say this is too black and white and that there are many shades of gray. That is true. There are many interpretations of scripture that lead to long and deep discussions. But for a short hand version of who Mormons are and how we see ourselves fitting into the world, this I think works – for now.  I invite others to put a finer point on my comments if they wish to do so. I am coachable. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

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.)

 

Posted in Anti-Mormon, Mormon, Mormonism, testimony | Tagged: , , , , | 15 Comments »