|Subject:||Moroni's promise...the sound of crickets chirping.|
|Date:||Jan 30, 2010|
|Author:||Simon in Oz|
|The heavens grow ever quieter.
The February 2010 Ensign has a made up story about someone who read the book four times in one year, prayed repeatedly, and never got the promised answer to prayer. They heard crickets. No answer.
Evidently, its not just evil anti-Mormons who struggled to receive Moroni’s promised answer to prayer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The promise of a spiritual witness is no longer promised. We can just feel good about being a Mormon and your blessings. That’s good enough.
Here’s the take home message from this made up story.
“Bowing my head, I couldn’t even ask the question. “I get it,” I said to the Lord. “I get it. The truth of this book isn’t always manifest in burning bosoms and visions of angels; it’s manifest in the lives of the people who read it and put it to use. I don’t need to ask anymore if this book is true. I experience its truth every day I live its teachings.”
Now why would this sort of story get into the Ensign? Because bishops the world over are getting sick and tired of youth telling them they don’t get the promised witness perhaps??? Hello Mormons. Is there a message here?
|Subject:||Could be their way of invalidating exmos or would-be converts|
|Date:||Jan 30 19:14|
|I told my mom the same thing. I prayed and there was no answer. The whole process was so anti-climatic. As the younger generation seems less fearsome of admitting they don't get that special feeling it behooves the morg to make a preemptive strike.|
|Subject:||Re: Moroni's promise...the sound of crickets chirping.|
|Date:||Jan 30 19:41|
|JEEEEEESUS! the church is getting more and more
desperate. I wonder if this was the advice of morgs Jewish PR firm.
The answer to the truthfulness of the BOM is very subjective or one of a hundred different ways to know that it's true.
|Subject:||Abso-freakin-o-lutely amazing! If you didn't get the confirmation or answer that was promised...|
|Date:||Jan 30 20:45|
|you'd better just pretend that you did anyway because
no other result is acceptable.
---Bowing my head, I couldn’t even ask the question. “I get it,” I said to the Pink Unicorn. “I get it. The truth of your existence isn’t always manifest in burning bosoms and visions of angels or flaming pink unicorn turds; it’s manifest in the happy smiles and day-glo pink color of the dyed hair of the people who believe in the Pink Unicorn and put to use all of your special Pink Unicorn vibrations. I don’t need to ask anymore if you are true. I experience your truth every day that I believe in you, Pink Unicorn. Besides that, if I ever entertained the possibility that there really is no magical Pink Unicorn who watches over me and my family and promises us that we will be together as a happy family forever in the Celestial Unicorn Kingdom one day, I would feel really stupid for having believed in a fairy tale and for having squandered my children's education money by paying Unicorn Tithing to your specially appointed General Unicorn Authorities.”
|Subject:||So basically, Moroni didn't really MEAN . . . .|
|Date:||Jan 30 20:59|
|that if you asked with real intent, that God would
ACTUALLY manifest the truth of it unto you.
He was making an empty promise. If it works for you, then great. If not . . . don't worry about it.
But everything ELSE about the book is still true. (except maybe the parts about horses, sheep, goats, wild goats, grapes, elephants, cureloms, wheat, barley, silk, coins, chariots, and last but not least, JEWS settling the new world).
|Subject:||From "Bad Dog" to "it's ok"|
|Date:||Jan 30 21:04|
|Well the old response was "You aren't trying hard
enough, or you aren't asking sincerely, BAD DOG!, you BAD DOG!"
Now the new response is: "It's ok - everything is going to be alright. How about a group hug?"
Sorry, but my head is spinning again.
|Subject:||It's like they haven't even read their own scriptures.|
|Date:||Jan 30 21:05|
7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
That was a missionary scripture, gang. It's a promise from the Lord that he will answer your prayers with a physical manifestation. What they're basically saying with that Ensign article is that God lied. You don't always get an answer to your prayers the way that God promised. It might be some other way that is contrary to the letter and spirit of the promise.
|Subject:||I think what they're saying is that you still get the burning in your bosom...|
|Date:||Jan 30 21:21|
|It's just that the temperature is actually close to
room temperature, so it might be hard to detect. But, compared to an ice
cube, you're still experiencing a burning in your bosom.
I mean try this faith-building experiment. Stick an ice pack on your bosom and hold it there for about 5-10 minutes. Then take a Book of Mormon that you've been sitting on with your warm butt and place it (the Book of Mormon, not your butt) against your now-very-cold bosom.
Can you feel the warmth of the Book of Mormon--indeed, almost a "burning" sensation? Well, there you go.
(By way of explanation, I've been sniffing some Gospel Glue with my TBM Mom, in the hopes that I can pass an interview for a nice, cushy teaching job in the Church Education System.)
|Subject:||I should add an important warning regarding that faith-building experiment...|
|Date:||Jan 30 22:16|
|Don't try it using any objects other than a Book of
Mormon, or you could end up developing a burning testimony of a wide variety
of strange things.
I once did it with a Woody Woodpecker PEZ candy dispenser and ended up worshipping the Woodpecker for about 3 months before I managed to get back to the Book of Mormon.
|Subject:||What happens when, just for kicks, you apply Moroni’s challenge to Islam,|
|Date:||Jan 30 21:26|
|and you get the same crickets chirping answer? Seems to be a tough way to ascertain spiritual truth.|
|Subject:||Next thing... they're going to say it's all a metaphor. n/t|
|Subject:||My Mormon sister is no longer able to say to me, "I know the church is true."|
|Date:||Jan 30 22:36|
|What she did say during our last conversation about
three months ago was: "I know that Heavenly Father loves me."
No "I know that the Book of Mormon is true."
No "I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God."
I wonder how long it'll take her to realize that the LDS 'Big-Daddy-Near-Kolob' is nothing more than a psychological construct.
|Subject:||No testimony? What's wrong? (From a post in Short Topics)|
|Date:||Jan 30 22:49|
|Here's the problem that the church is having trouble
with. It's from "Short Topics
"No Testimony? -- So What's Wrong With You!"
Date: Jun 03 2004
There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for your not having a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel - period.
Here's the reasoning:
(1) Moroni PROMISES it - it isn't just a "possibility", it's a PROMISE! And God's promises simply MUST happen! The LDS prophets have all reaffirmed it to be "Moroni's Promise" and God couldn't lie about such a thing, because...
(2) "When you do as I say, I am BOUND!" That's what God admits in Mormon scripture, so He has no choice; He HAS to deliver this revelation of certain truth, furthermore..
(3) God will give you no commandment without "preparing a way" for you to obey it. S0...
If you don't know (not just believe, but "know") that the church is true through "personal revelation" it is perfect evidence of your unworthiness, guilt, foolishness, sinfulness, yada yada yada -- and you can't escape this self-evident proof.
PROVIDED THE CHURCH IS TRUE, OF COURSE.
There's the rub. It's also why people who claim to have "testimonies" must necessarily be accusing those who admit they don't have testimonies of being spiritual failures. The church's extreme testimony doctrine creates an inescapable conflict for both souls:
Person one: "If I truly have a testimony and you DON'T, I MUST believe (no matter how tactful I may appear) that you are unworthy."
Person two: "If I truly believe that I AM a decent person in God's eyes but honestly know that I have NO testimony (having not received this "perfect knowledge" via revelation), then you must either be lying or be in a state of delusion."
But we both can't win.
This "knowledge conceit" that is perpetuated by the church ends up dividing nearly everyone: friends, family members, husbands, wives, parents, children, etc.. It amounts to a profound you-verse-me contest striking at the very soul of individual self esteem and inner spiritual security. That's why there's so much tension between members and non-members, actives and in-actives.
It's also why your TBM neighbors and relatives pester you the way they do. It's why the GAs complain that people "leave the church, but don't leave it alone."
Yet the church threw the first punch in this fight and it can't back down without calling God a liar...It's a superiority thing that THEY started, not the rest of us. Now we have a right to defend our spiritual decency!
How best can we do it?
|Subject:||You can't be unsure about whether you are certain or not. Duh.|
|Date:||Jan 30 23:02|
|A testimony "as of a certainty" is when you "know"
something, it means that you are certain. That's what a testimony is
supposed to be all about -- KNOWING as of a CERTAINTY.
So it's impossible not to be sure if you have a testimony. You simply can't be "uncertain about being certain". Uncertain means "no" and "nothing". That's that.
Too many Mormons are discovering that fact.
Now the church has to weasel out of it.
|Subject:||At this rate, the central truths of the gospel will eventually...|
|Date:||Jan 30 23:07|
|be watered down to "just give us all your money and shut up."|
|Subject:||I think that's what it is already. They just dress it up in flowery language. (nt)|
|Date:||Jan 30 23:08|
|Not only did that drivel completely contradict the one true book but it reinforce the bullsh*t stereotype that mormons are super happy. It fails to mention why. Pills Pills Pills! What vapid tripe for the brainwashed masses.|
|Subject:||so if I understand this line of reasoning correctly....|
|Date:||Jan 30 23:18|
"it isn’t always manifest in burning bosoms and visions of angels; it’s manifest in the lives of the people who read it and put it to use."
My messed up, emotionally immature, passive-aggressive TBM family is PROOF to me that it's all a big fake! Whewww! I am on the right track then!
|Subject:||WHAT KIND OF LOGIC IS THIS?????|
|Date:||Jan 31 09:54|
|>>"it isn’t always manifest in burning bosoms and
visions of angels; it’s manifest in the lives of the people who read it and
put it to use."<<
So let me see if I understand. According to Moroni's promise if I want to know if the church is true I pray and wait for an answer. If I get an answer then the church is true. But if I don't get an answer then the church is STILL true.
So why even bother to say the prayer if the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
We should send this to the court room drama writers in Hollywood....they could make great fun with it. Can you imagine "Law & Order" using this logic to convince a jury.
"Ladies & Gentlemen of the Jury.....if DNA testing shows the defendant's blood was found on the murder weapon then he is guilty. But, if DNA testing shows his blood was not on the weapon then he is STILL guilty because of the way it manifests itself in the lives of the people who use it"
|Subject:||Just one more step toward reducing it all to a Pascalian Wager.|
|Date:||Jan 30 23:40|
|Since agnosticism is the one truly defensible position
there might be some validity to this BoM approach. Although I put the odds
that organized religion has a true handle on the nature of God (if he
exists) at next to nil. Tracing the history of religion, all trails seem to
point to yarns told around a campfire ages ago.
> I experience [the BoM's] truth every day I live its teachings.
The added irony here is that most would be hard pressed to find a single yarn in the BoM that has much practical use. So if God tells you to cut off someone's head you should do it without question? That sure is one useful lesson. If there is anything actually useful in there it is merely a subset of Biblical teachings. Your time is better spent reading something that is not so painfully boring.
|Subject:||Amen to everything you said.|
|Date:||Jan 31 04:19|
|But this seems to be a catastrophical, MAJOR, change
in the teachings. I never thought it could get this bad.
What will the mishies tell the people now? Yes, we underline "Moroni's promise" and testify that it really works. Uh oh, well, maybe it won't, but you should get dunked anyway...
Doesn't sound a bit convincing anymore.
|Subject:||Realizing I was clearly getting the answer that it was NOT true|
|Date:||Jan 31 10:17|
|I was always taught that if you pray about something
and it's right you'll get a burning bosom. If it's wrong you'll get a stupor
So one of those times during the desperate-to-believe period of my life I was begging, begging, begging the Lard to just give me some sign that the church or the BOM was true. Just a little warm fuzzy, I didn't even need the burning thing.
Nothing. In fact, I couldn't even concentrate on trying to get a good feeling, I just kept feeling numb. Then I realized that if I ever had a "stupor of thought," THAT WAS IT. So clearly I was being sent the message that it was WRONG! I, of course, now have a 100 times stronger "testimony" i.e., "certainty" that it's wrong than I ever even tried to convince myself I had that it's "true."
And if I took it a step further and said that, well, I didn't get a feeling that it was true, so I look at the lives of the members, that would totally back up my feelings of it being bullshit. Yes, look what it does to people's lives... creates stupid, extremely hypocritical, bigoted, hateful, self-righteous a-holes. It MUST be true!
|Subject:||UNOFFICIALLY, we were using this tactic when I was a missionary 25 years ago ...|
|Date:||Jan 31 10:20|
|I don't recall receiving any official instruction on
"testimony coaching" of investigators beyond "Moroni's promise, with its
implied and (hopefully!) unmistakable divine manifestation:
However, whatever the inspiration for our methods, I recall telling people that one sign of a testimony would be a "good" feeling--how's that for meaningless ambiguity??? However, if they reported back to us that they had a "bad" feeling, you guessed it, this was an even more impressive indication of Mormonism's truth; satan was obviously trying to deceive them and cloud their minds through fear or negativity, as they were one of "The Chosen!"
So, the bottom line: if someone feels something when they read "The Book of Mormon," that means it's true! And, obviously, if they don't feel anything, they need to try harder. So, anyway, maybe the "official" church is finally catching up with the mind-melting tactics that have been used by the trench-fighting missionaries for decades!?!?!?!?!
|Subject:||Is a testimony an ABSOLUTE matter, or a RELATIVE matter?|
|Date:||Jan 31 10:28|
The church wants it both ways: somehow a testimony is “relatively absolute”. If a testimony is an absolute (certain) knowledge then it is either there or it’s not there. But no sooner does the church describe this testimony in the black-and-white terms of certainty, then it turns around and talks about people having “strong testimonies” and “weak testimonies” and “growing testimonies” or “lost testimonies”.
How can you have a weak certainty?
It’s the church’s way of muddying up the water between knowledge and belief (faith); That is, between what you really know and what you wish you knew – or what you simply hope is so.
If the absolute definition doesn’t work, then the church shoots for the relative one – even though they are contradictory.
(Excuse me, I need to get back to sleep – of this I might be totally certain, although I’m not quite sure yet.)
|Subject:||The wording of this piece sounds suspiciously like the "tithing" letter ...|
|Date:||Jan 31 12:36|
That we saw last year. Compare the two styles and tones against each other:
# 583. July 2009 Ensign - The Church is Pressuring the Members to Pay Tithing
|Subject:||Less important prayers|
|Date:||Jan 31 16:43|
|Author:||Simon in Oz|
|If there was one sincere prayer that the Mormon God
would REALLY want to answer with an undeniable witness, it would be the
prayer about the Book of Mormon...the keystone scripture.
If he is not prepared to answer this prayer he's not doing his job. How could he be trusted to answer any other prayer about less important matters?
He can't be trusted because he's too busy playing spaghetti monster games.
|Subject:||Moroni has always been THE test that Missionaries have pushed. Now what? nt|
|Subject:||If you get the warm fuzzy feeling = it is true. If you don't get any answer = it is true. Win-win.|
|Date:||Jan 31 17:25|
|You can't go back in time. As with the tithing issue,
you can't go back to find out that you would have received the exact same
blessings if you had NOT paid tithing.
You can not go back and live another life WITHOUT Joseph Smithism, because it is over. But, you can move forward.
The Anit-Moroni Promise--ask families to live completely Mormon-free, tithing-free, meeting and calling-free and see if they will be cursed and have their blessings "withdrawn" from them.
Actually, we can make some real, truthful promises, that the Mormon church can not make:
1. Stop paying tithing, and you will immediately be blessed with 10% more money.
2. Stop obeying Mormonism, and you will have more time.
3. Let go of the cult's influence, and your marriage and family will be immediately strengthened. (For example, You will practice love and acceptance, instead of perfectionism and criticism.)
4. Stop believing in the Mormon religion (including the elitism, comptetitiveness, inferiority of women, racism, brainwashing and abuse of children, lies, hype, secret rituals for dead people, investing members' money in businesses, useless callings and janitor work, etc) and we gurantee you will be happier!!! At least on Sundays!
We, as successful ex-Mormons are living proof that the church is not true.
|Subject:||Same thing happened to me|
|Date:||Jan 31 19:35|
|I knew I didn't have that solid Holy-ghost induced
testimony that came from God. You know, that unshakable knowing that all the
leaders, the bishop, EQP etc. talk about. I didn't have it. I was BIC and
the family went back to Briggy's first company that entered the Salt Lake
Valley in '47.
I knew what I had to do--Read the BOM and pray about it and THEN it would happen. Well this wasn't easy for a kid with ADD. The BOM is hard enough to get through for normal people. Well when I was 21 (around the time when you start thinking seriously about life and your future etc.--notice that the Morg puts guys on missions during this formative time) I decided that I had to get a testimony for myself. I had leaned on the testimonies of others for too long. I was constantly having doubts and I wanted to know.
So I began my assault on the Book of Mormon. Being older than when I had made my teenage attempts I was able to get through longer passages without totally spacing out. However, now and then I'd find myself at the bottom of a page realizing that I had no idea what I'd just read. So I'd go back to the top and start it again.
Anyway, while I'm reading the Book of Mormon the thought pops into my head that "Joseph Smith made this up." Now this wasn't what I wanted. I was trying to GAIN a testimony. I tried to put it out of my mind with a slick bit of mental gymnastics. I reasoned that if Joseph Smith was trying to perpetrate a fraud he would not have made it look so palpably like a fraud, right? So it must be true.
Anyway when I finally get to the end I get down on my knees and pray as per Moroni 10:4-5. Of course nothing happened. I didn't know what I was expecting but I wasn't expecting nothing.
This was scary--very scary. I was a Mormon and it defined my whole being. My entire family was Mormon, the only way I knew to look at the world was through Mormon eyes. My social life from infancy on had been formed in a Mormon environment.
So, like the guy in the story, I rationalized. I said to myself, "well I got nothing when I prayed but I'm not quitting the Church. That means I must believe in it. And that belief in it must be my "testimony."
I've sense seen this argument (gussied up a bit with more flowery images and language) presented to the membership by the Morg. Evidently I'm not the only one who got NOTHING from the Moroni 10:4-5 "promise."
It's interesting the epistimological double standard under which the Church operates. It's a "gospel principle" that you have to WANT it to be true, you have to approach things with a bias TOWARDS it and then use your subjective feeling to judge whether or not it really is true. This is considered giving it a fair test. But if you approach it with any amount of skepticism then it's your fault that you didn't get the right feeling--you haven't given it a fair chance. If you aren't living a perfect life at the time you try the Moroni promise, well, then it's YOUR fault that the Holy Ghost couldn't dwell in you yadda yadda.
The story is told of Zina Diantha Huntington who saw a copy of the Book of Mormon, picked it up and knew, without opening it, that it was true. This is acceptable. See? She got a testimony right away--she must have been a really righteous person! [we won't go into Zina's marriages to Henry Jacobs and then to Joseph Smith and then to Brigham Young all the while still legally married to Henry]
Anything, absolutely ANYTHING that favors belief is accepted. Absolutely NOTHING that doesn't favor belief is considered valid. A test that cannot, in principle, be failed is not a test at all.
After my testimony attempt I still knew something was not right--I figured it was me. I must be some sort of spiritual leper. It took me 10 more years before I finally woke up and realized that what it appeared to be is what it was: baloney.
|Subject:||BTW, they've been using this same dodge for at least a generation|
|Date:||Jan 31 19:58|
|"I wanted a burning bush" from Oct, 1978 ENSIGN
He just looked around and realized that all the Mormons at Church were so happy so, Gee, why ask for more?
Here's basically the same thing in 1994:
She also didn't need any supernatural experiences because she already knew it was true anyway.
A similar thought was part of the GD lesson manual of Spencer W. Kimball's teachings:
In 1947 Elder Spencer W. Kimball received a letter from his son Andrew, who was serving a full-time mission. Andrew wrote: “I told one fellow … that I knew of the truthfulness of what I told him, and said that the Holy Ghost had borne witness of it to me. … When I thought about it later I was a little concerned that I should do such a thing.” Because of his concern he said, “I’ve carefully avoided bearing my testimony to anyone beyond the point of saying ‘I feel, I believe, etc.’ "
. . .
“Undoubtedly, the day you testified to your investigator that you KNEW it was true, the Lord was trying so hard to reveal this truth to you through the power of the Holy Ghost. While you were in the Spirit and in tune and defending the holy program, you felt it deeply, but after you were ‘out of the Spirit’ and began to reason with yourself and check yourself and question yourself, you wanted to back out.
"Now my son, take my advice and QUENCH NOT THE SPIRIT, but whenever the Spirit whispers, follow its holy promptings. Keep in tune spiritually and listen for the promptings and when you are impressed speak out boldly your impressions. The Lord will magnify your testimony and touch hearts. I hope that you will know that there is no criticism herein, but only attempted helpfulness."
The fact that Moroni 10:4-5 doesn't work has to be addressed over and over because, well, Moroni 10:4-5 doesn't work.
|Subject:||Happened to me, too. No testimony for this little girl.|
|Date:||Jan 31 20:22|
|Author:||Mother Who Knows|
|Baura, your post is genius, as usual!
Do not blame your ADD, or whatever, though!
>now and then I'd find myself at the bottom of a page realizing that I had no idea what I'd just read. So I'd go back to the top and start it again.
>Anyway, while I'm reading the Book of Mormon the thought pops into my head that "Joseph Smith made this up."
This was my exact same reaction to the BOM, every time I read it, in Jr High, in High School, and later. And, I was a book freak! I loved to read everything and anything! I read War and Peace twice, it was so good! Tolkein, Dostoyevski (sp?), Dickens, Shakespeare's and Chaucer's difficult language--not bragging, but just saying that I was someone who could totally immerse myself in a book, and had no trouble concentrating--yet I could not tolerate the Book of Mormon for longer than 10 minutes at a time.
Funny, how we were brainwashed into blaming ourselves and not the book's lame ideas and bad writing. I was a very obedient little girl, and felt I was a good person, plus I knew good literature when I read it! Self-confidence is a real deterrent in building a testimony. I guess that's what they mean, that we must first "become as a little child." A little child who doesn't know what "baloney" is.
Related Topics Book of Mormon
111 Dallin H. Oaks and the BofM (see also 537 in this listing)
|537. Dallin Oaks on the Book of Mormon - A Mormon Apostle||538. What was the Urim and Thummim?|
|534. Book of Mormon Apologetics recommended reading||544. Vern Holly Maps Shows Book of Mormon Names are of Recent Origin|
|567. Mormon Histronics||568. Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation - Book of Mormon and DNA|
|601. Book of Mormon and Recent DNA Studies - 2010||406 Southerton - DNA and the Book of Mormon|
|603. Moroni's Promise? It Does Not Really Mean what It Says - Ensign Feb. 2010|
Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church www.exmormon.org