How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

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drtanner
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How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:58 am

There is an group of people out there that my heart goes out to. Those who believe in Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon but not in the current LDS church.

But there is a way to gain a testimony of the current church.... Attending The house of the Lord worthily, frequently, and honestly.

Immersing yourself in family history and doing temple work yields sacred personal fruit that are seared into your soul. If done with real intent the blessings of the temple are overwhelming and undeniable. We have been promised if we will attend the temple often these blessings are available to each of us.

Could we have these experiences and blessings without priesthood authority? What does that say of the current status of the church? It is true and lead by prophets and apostles. If you attend but associate or affiliate with groups who oppose the church you will never see the fruits of the temple because you are not being honest to the Lord. Just like anything we are seeking a confirmation of this has to be done with real intent and no deceptive before God.

Experiences, blessings, and answers are available in ways that are undeniable through worshipping in the House of the Lord. I can say that with absolute certainty.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Arenera » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:19 pm

drtanner wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:58 am
There is an group of people out there that my heart goes out to. Those who believe in Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon but not in the current LDS church.

But there is a way to gain a testimony of the current church.... Attending The house of the Lord worthily, frequently, and honestly.

Immersing yourself in family history and doing temple work yields sacred personal fruit that are seared into your soul. If done with real intent the blessings of the temple are overwhelming and undeniable. We have been promised if we will attend the temple often these blessings are available to each of us.

Could we have these experiences and blessings without priesthood authority? What does that say of the current status of the church? It is true and lead by prophets and apostles. If you attend but associate or affiliate with groups who oppose the church you will never see the fruits of the temple because you are not being honest to the Lord. Just like anything we are seeking a confirmation of this has to be done with real intent and no deceptive before God.

Experiences, blessings, and answers are available in ways that are undeniable through worshipping in the House of the Lord. I can say that with absolute certainty.
Read the Book of Mormon.

Follow Nephi's example.
- Have Desire, believe
- Cry unto the Lord (1 N 2:16)
- Do your callings (1 N 3:7)
- Learn to hear and follow the Spirit
- Don't be a complainer or murmurer, see what happened to Laman and Lemuel
- Watch, listen, read conference talks

Temple is important, Nephi built one.

Build your ship. Nephi did.
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eddie
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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby eddie » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Wonderful post, thank you.

Question, when we read the words of people here questioning our leaders , are we affiliating with apostates? Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:53 pm

eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Question, when we read the words of people here questioning our leaders , are we affiliating with apostates? Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
Thank you Eddie,

I personally would say no; affiliate means to “officially attach or connect”

I also believe that several that participate in the forum are not really “all in” with these groups and use the forum as a sounding board, but deep down know the truth. That is also why I think it is important for those who “know” to share, which many do, but there are also several who remain on the sidelines.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby silk » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:53 am

I want to add my testimony about the temple, especially the power there is in doing the work for your own family lines.

My family has had a lot of work done on both sides, but there's still more to be done. Over the past six years, I've become much more active in finding people and doing their work. The strongest impressions I've received in the temple have been while serving my own family (or that of my spouse). We've started a tradition where we do work for individuals throughout the year, and then do a sealing session together in December. It's our Christmas present to those precious souls on the other side of the veil.

The Aaronic Priesthood is about the basic, physical ordinances (like baptism). I think it's possible that the Jews didn't notice that the keys had been wrested from them because of that. But the spiritual ordinances are the domain of the Melchizedek Priesthood -- starting with the gift of the Holy Ghost and going all the way to the sealing power. I think it would be very obvious if those things were gone. My experiences in the temple have taught me otherwise -- not only are the keys present, but they are active. Without going into too much detail, I had an experience where I knew that the keys were taking effect at that very moment. It was one of the most amazing events of my life, and I hope it will be repeated in the future.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby chase » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:24 am

eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
I'm not impressionable = You are closed minded. You think that is a good thing? The best way to gain a testimony of the church is to ignore things that should never be ignored. You would never ignore the kinds of stains of the LDS church if you were investigating the Catholic Church, so why do you ignore them in your own religion? The answer, you are closed minded and just prefer to be blind. Testimonies of something false are completely useless. I'd argue that the church has targeted its marketing campaign at church members in order to prompt emotional experiences that you then interpret as truth. Your emotions are a very flimsy thing to build on. Maybe try logic. It is much more defensible. How about we come into the 21st century and rid ourselves of 19th century fables?

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby eddie » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:28 am

chase wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:24 am
eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
I'm not impressionable = You are closed minded. You think that is a good thing? The best way to gain a testimony of the church is to ignore things that should never be ignored. You would never ignore the kinds of stains of the LDS church if you were investigating the Catholic Church, so why do you ignore them in your own religion? The answer, you are closed minded and just prefer to be blind. Testimonies of something false are completely useless. I'd argue that the church has targeted its marketing campaign at church members in order to prompt emotional experiences that you then interpret as truth. Your emotions are a very flimsy thing to build on. Maybe try logic. It is much more defensible. How about we come into the 21st century and rid ourselves of 19th century fables?
I use prayer and the spirit to guide me, try it!
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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby brianj » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:18 pm

chase wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:24 am
I'm not impressionable = You are closed minded. You think that is a good thing? The best way to gain a testimony of the church is to ignore things that should never be ignored. You would never ignore the kinds of stains of the LDS church if you were investigating the Catholic Church, so why do you ignore them in your own religion? The answer, you are closed minded and just prefer to be blind. Testimonies of something false are completely useless. I'd argue that the church has targeted its marketing campaign at church members in order to prompt emotional experiences that you then interpret as truth. Your emotions are a very flimsy thing to build on. Maybe try logic. It is much more defensible. How about we come into the 21st century and rid ourselves of 19th century fables?
Don't you think it's childish to accuse someone of being closed minded without putting any effort into getting to know why they believe as they do?

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Sirocco » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:45 pm

I like the church, I believe in a lot of what it teaches and feel good about that. I enjoy listening to the various leaders through the ages and that the internet has made that easier then ever.
However I refuse to physically go to the church.
I don't belong, (speaking from a personality angle) it gives terrible anxiety to do so and I'd rather not be harassed for being a miserable single nearing 30 lol.
No thank you, I'll keep my Sunday's and read the scripture in my home vs going out in the horrid cold. I don't need depression every Sunday to get closer to God.
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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:33 pm

Sirocco wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:45 pm
I like the church, I believe in a lot of what it teaches and feel good about that. I enjoy listening to the various leaders through the ages and that the internet has made that easier then ever.
However I refuse to physically go to the church.
I don't belong, (speaking from a personality angle) it gives terrible anxiety to do so and I'd rather not be harassed for being a miserable single nearing 30 lol.
No thank you, I'll keep my Sunday's and read the scripture in my home vs going out in the horrid cold. I don't need depression every Sunday to get closer to God.
I will never forget one of the most difficult times in my life, feeling as if the world was caving in and to the point where I could barely breath. I was in my basement on my knees crying out to the Lord for help and direction and feeling about as low as one can feel. It was in that moment that I had the distinct image of a single women in my ward who had lost everything, an abusive husband who left her, kids in all kids of trouble and one with special needs, loosing a home and literally no family to help her financially or otherwise. I could not shake her image from my mind and I started to feel the depths of what she felt and it seemed to pale in comparison to my trial. I suddenly felt completely different about everything and almost in an instant I felt no despair and instead had an overwhelming desire to pray and help this women and her family. That brought about many wonderful experiences that have been life changing. I have learned that for the most part Church has nothing to do with my expectations for what I am to get from it but rather it is an opportunity for the Lord to bless someone’s else’s life if I allow it and am open to who may need it. There are so many that carry heavy burdens that we can help lift, and in those moments have our own brokenness and despair lifted by the Savior. That is one of the true miracles of going to church.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Sirocco » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:47 pm

drtanner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:33 pm
Sirocco wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:45 pm
I like the church, I believe in a lot of what it teaches and feel good about that. I enjoy listening to the various leaders through the ages and that the internet has made that easier then ever.
However I refuse to physically go to the church.
I don't belong, (speaking from a personality angle) it gives terrible anxiety to do so and I'd rather not be harassed for being a miserable single nearing 30 lol.
No thank you, I'll keep my Sunday's and read the scripture in my home vs going out in the horrid cold. I don't need depression every Sunday to get closer to God.
I will never forget one of the most difficult times in my life, feeling as if the world was caving in and to the point where I could barely breath. I was in my basement on my knees crying out to the Lord for help and direction and feeling about as low as one can feel. It was in that moment that I had the distinct image of a single women in my ward who had lost everything, an abusive husband who left her, kids in all kids of trouble and one with special needs, loosing a home and literally no family to help her financially or otherwise. I could not shake her image from my mind and I started to feel the depths of what she felt and it seemed to pale in comparison to my trial. I suddenly felt completely different about everything and almost in an instant I felt no despair and instead had an overwhelming desire to pray and help this women and her family. That brought about many wonderful experiences that have been life changing. I have learned that for the most part Church has nothing to do with my expectations for what I am to get from it but rather it is an opportunity for the Lord to bless someone’s else’s life if I allow it and am open to who may need it. There are so many that carry heavy burdens that we can help lift, and in those moments have our own brokenness and despair lifted by the Savior. That is one of the true miracles of going to church.
Well as I said it's anxiety, due to various things in my life, mental illness being one (and it heavily impacts my social skills and such).
Yes there is always someone worse in this world, but... yeah my headspace is pretty shaky.
I think i need help before I could really ever be much use to anyone, because I am very introverted, I don't much like talking to other people.
People might certainly speak to me there, expect things of me, say cruel things to me.
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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:56 pm

Sirocco wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:47 pm
drtanner wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:33 pm
Sirocco wrote:
Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:45 pm
I like the church, I believe in a lot of what it teaches and feel good about that. I enjoy listening to the various leaders through the ages and that the internet has made that easier then ever.
However I refuse to physically go to the church.
I don't belong, (speaking from a personality angle) it gives terrible anxiety to do so and I'd rather not be harassed for being a miserable single nearing 30 lol.
No thank you, I'll keep my Sunday's and read the scripture in my home vs going out in the horrid cold. I don't need depression every Sunday to get closer to God.
I will never forget one of the most difficult times in my life, feeling as if the world was caving in and to the point where I could barely breath. I was in my basement on my knees crying out to the Lord for help and direction and feeling about as low as one can feel. It was in that moment that I had the distinct image of a single women in my ward who had lost everything, an abusive husband who left her, kids in all kids of trouble and one with special needs, loosing a home and literally no family to help her financially or otherwise. I could not shake her image from my mind and I started to feel the depths of what she felt and it seemed to pale in comparison to my trial. I suddenly felt completely different about everything and almost in an instant I felt no despair and instead had an overwhelming desire to pray and help this women and her family. That brought about many wonderful experiences that have been life changing. I have learned that for the most part Church has nothing to do with my expectations for what I am to get from it but rather it is an opportunity for the Lord to bless someone’s else’s life if I allow it and am open to who may need it. There are so many that carry heavy burdens that we can help lift, and in those moments have our own brokenness and despair lifted by the Savior. That is one of the true miracles of going to church.
Well as I said it's anxiety, due to various things in my life, mental illness being one (and it heavily impacts my social skills and such).
Yes there is always someone worse in this world, but... yeah my headspace is pretty shaky.
I think i need help before I could really ever be much use to anyone, because I am very introverted, I don't much like talking to other people.
People might certainly speak to me there, expect things of me, say cruel things to me.
Well I wish you were in my ward Sirocco. There are things I know I could learn from your experiences and I would do my best to listen and be a friend. We were just talking on Sunday about several in the ward who suffer from severe anxiety and what we can do to help them. I can't imagine how difficult some Sundays must be. What advice would you have for us and how we could help these individuals feel loved while at church?

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Sirocco » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:45 am

I don't know, because at the end of the day, a lot of it is all me.
Sometimes it isn't anyone's fault, I've never gone to the ward near my place (I recently moved).
Some people with anxiety want to be included but are too shy to engage themselves and others are afraid people dislike them and talk behind their backs.
I am genuinely a strange person so am obviously afraid of the latter. I've heard a lot of stories about people, about how they treat the new and the shy and the less successful.
The first one I went to, before I moved back to my home city, was quite nice, I figured out why i felt that and it was because no one there was my age.
There was no one 20-30 there, it was either all kids or people like 35-40 + (not counting missionaries).
There wasn't that heavy underlying judgement about being single or my job or anything, I was young enough to be the same age as many of their son's.
Now I am older and, have more burdens in life and it's not really something anyone can do. I don't belong in such a family heavy religion, such a social religion, I know what those girls are like lol.
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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby 5tev3 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:33 am

If one has been born of God and has the fruits of the spirit active in their lives, the question put forward in the OP isn't something that would come up. I'm not trying to be cocky or judgmental, let me see if I can explain it better.

The church is what it is. There is an order of priests who have a duty to teach and perform ordinances so that people can covenant with God. Most people that grow up with these teachings take on the covenants while young and may see them more as markers of progress instead of what they really are and learn that much later on. In that space between youth and finally discovering God and being born of the Spirit, many are like Enos who grew up with the truth but it never culminated in an experience with God until later on.

I think many are in that between space. Instead of having a knowledge of God and the ability to recognize his work, we wrestle observable things and are blinded by the failings of men. We question and worry far more than we need to. That said, what does "the church" teach? Well, the keystone of our religion is the Book of Mormon, so what does it teach? Do you abide by its precepts? Do you really? Have you put forth the faith of Enos, Nephi, Alma, Amulek, Ammon, Lamoni, etc.? Have you studied their teachings and applied the precepts they teach? Examine yourself in the light of Alma 5 and consider where you are lacking.

If one follows the precepts of the Book of Mormon they will feel a great desire to be baptized. If one has already been baptized, then like Enos, they will be stirred by the words to seek out God and find a remission of their sins. If the Book of Mormon leads you to God, it stands to reason that it would be wise to associate with people that cleave to it. Alma 32 teaches that we can experiment with the word, so focus on the word, less on the vessel it arrives to you in.

There are probably a billion ways you can organize a church for good or ill. The present form is one way and it adapts from time to time to our needs and situations. On the whole, the church champions the Book of Mormon and encourages people to be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. This is the gospel and this church teaches it. Sure there's a bunch of other stuff but the vast majority of it is good. There are cultural problems and the sins and weaknesses of men pop up every now and then which is to be expected. This happened constantly among the Nephites. Look at the big picture. Focus on your relationship with God and he will enlighten your perspective and allow you to see all things with clearer eyes.

Your salvation and a remission of sins are far more important than seeking some kind of "testimony of the church." Even if God says to you, "Yes, child, this is my church" you still have to walk the path to salvation anyway. Think of Alma 32. The church is kind of like the tree and salvation is the fruit. Before you've tasted the fruit you may wonder if the tree is a good tree or a bad tree, you don't know because you haven't tasted the fruit. Once you taste the fruit, you don't worry about the tree.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:52 am

Your salvation and a remission of sins are far more important than seeking some kind of "testimony of the church."
Why was Jospeh concerned about gaining a testimony of a church to join if not for the benefit of his salvation? Why did he even organize a church and establish a temple if not to this end?

They go hand in hand.

I would agree that being born again / receiving a remission of sins is a pre-requisite to experiencing all that is available because of the temple. But to say that you only need that experience is selling yourself short of the most beautiful blessings and promises available to us because the priesthood authority is on earth.

If you are attending the temple to have an “experience” chances are you are missing the boat. It is about worshiping the Lord in his house and joining with him in his work of salvation for others. When he is the motive the outcome is overwhelming and undeniable.

Ultimately, A testimony of what is taught in house of the Lord is critical for our salvation especially if the definition entails being brought back into his presence. The Book of Mormon is also a witness of this. Could unbelief include not believing that the house of the Lord really is on the earth, having faith that the ordinances and covenants are the way and striving to be faithful to every promise made there with all of our hearts? Many have faith in “another way” and will be left wanting but my hope is that in time they will recognize his house for what it really is.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby brlenox » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:58 am

chase wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:24 am
eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
I'm not impressionable = You are closed minded. You think that is a good thing? The best way to gain a testimony of the church is to ignore things that should never be ignored. You would never ignore the kinds of stains of the LDS church if you were investigating the Catholic Church, so why do you ignore them in your own religion? The answer, you are closed minded and just prefer to be blind. Testimonies of something false are completely useless. I'd argue that the church has targeted its marketing campaign at church members in order to prompt emotional experiences that you then interpret as truth. Your emotions are a very flimsy thing to build on. Maybe try logic. It is much more defensible. How about we come into the 21st century and rid ourselves of 19th century fables?
Chase you clearly have a story to tell. I have reviewed some of your posts over the years since around 2012 and they did not possess the tone that you currently manifest in your posts. This gives the appearance of the past five years being years of transition in your testimony. Do you elaborate on why you are where you are now in any other posts on any other threads in this forum. If so I would be interested in understanding the specifics of what motivated your change in demeanor. If you can provide a link or such I will review. If you have not opened up about your transition but would not mind I would appreciate a respectful rendition of your path.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby mcusick » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:51 pm

The whole line of reasoning that if JS/BoM is true, then the LDS church is true is just inane. Plenty of other groups have claimed the same foundation. Just because one of these churches is bigger/more successful doesn't matter. By that same logic (i.e. priesthood derived from generations prior + success = true church) we should all be Catholic.

The spiritual fruit argument is probably better, but . . .

People in other churches have spiritual fruit. That is a consequence of faith.
I have met individuals who have had visions of God outside of the church.
In a recent General Conference, Oaks (I believe) admitted that people in other churches (sans priesthood) could heal.
Jesus conceded that devils had been cast out by the sons of Pharisees (Matthew 12:27).

If fruit can be obtained outside of the church, how do you ascertain the truth of the church?

In other words, if you grew up outside the LDS church and had experienced a healing (either personally or of a close family member) and the LDS church were to tell you it was not a "real" healing because you didn't have the "real" priesthood, would you give their truth claims any thought? If you had experienced some sort of theophany or vision and communed with God (maybe learned unspeakable things) why would you believe people who claimed you need their "real" priesthood to access God or the atonement?

I don't know.

I'm not trying to come off bitter or snobbish. The world is a complex place, people have experiences which inform their belief systems. I don't think anyone is going to talk drtanner out of believing the church or the importance of the temple, based on drtanner's personal experiences.

For the reasons above truth claims based on authority or spiritual fruit are not especially convincing to me. I think the primary purpose of a church is to teach true doctrine (so people can best exercise faith, spiritual fruit and authority follow faith). If doctrine changes or is inconsistent, I am troubled. I am trying to figure things out in this life. I am skeptical that a church that keeps changing its doctrine and practices is going to be efficacious to my salvation.

Again, this isn't to throw stones at other approaches. Personally, of the three truth claims (i.e., based on authority, spiritual fruit, or doctrine), doctrine has the greatest appeal to me. Arguing authority or spiritual fruit isn't going to convince me. Arguing doctrine with drtanner won't convince drtanner.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:49 pm

mcusick wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:51 pm
The whole line of reasoning that if JS/BoM is true, then the LDS church is true is just inane. Plenty of other groups have claimed the same foundation. Just because one of these churches is bigger/more successful doesn't matter. By that same logic (i.e. priesthood derived from generations prior + success = true church) we should all be Catholic.

The spiritual fruit argument is probably better, but . . .

People in other churches have spiritual fruit. That is a consequence of faith.
I have met individuals who have had visions of God outside of the church.
In a recent General Conference, Oaks (I believe) admitted that people in other churches (sans priesthood) could heal.
Jesus conceded that devils had been cast out by the sons of Pharisees (Matthew 12:27).

If fruit can be obtained outside of the church, how do you ascertain the truth of the church?

In other words, if you grew up outside the LDS church and had experienced a healing (either personally or of a close family member) and the LDS church were to tell you it was not a "real" healing because you didn't have the "real" priesthood, would you give their truth claims any thought? If you had experienced some sort of theophany or vision and communed with God (maybe learned unspeakable things) why would you believe people who claimed you need their "real" priesthood to access God or the atonement?

I don't know.

I'm not trying to come off bitter or snobbish. The world is a complex place, people have experiences which inform their belief systems. I don't think anyone is going to talk drtanner out of believing the church or the importance of the temple, based on drtanner's personal experiences.

For the reasons above truth claims based on authority or spiritual fruit are not especially convincing to me. I think the primary purpose of a church is to teach true doctrine (so people can best exercise faith, spiritual fruit and authority follow faith). If doctrine changes or is inconsistent, I am troubled. I am trying to figure things out in this life. I am skeptical that a church that keeps changing its doctrine and practices is going to be efficacious to my salvation.

Again, this isn't to throw stones at other approaches. Personally, of the three truth claims (i.e., based on authority, spiritual fruit, or doctrine), doctrine has the greatest appeal to me. Arguing authority or spiritual fruit isn't going to convince me. Arguing doctrine with drtanner won't convince drtanner.

Good point, the doctrine of "sealing power" is also a witness to the reality of the temple. By bearing witness of these things it does not mean that others of other faiths are some how less or don't have spiritual fruit. I'm sorry if that was your take away. When any blessing is received it is by obedience to a law, there are several "laws" that can be met that do not require authorized priesthood authority to produce spiritual fruits. The sealing power however does require the authority and that can only be found currently in one place because of one person who holds those keys.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Finrock » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:59 pm

drtanner wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:49 pm
mcusick wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:51 pm
The whole line of reasoning that if JS/BoM is true, then the LDS church is true is just inane. Plenty of other groups have claimed the same foundation. Just because one of these churches is bigger/more successful doesn't matter. By that same logic (i.e. priesthood derived from generations prior + success = true church) we should all be Catholic.

The spiritual fruit argument is probably better, but . . .

People in other churches have spiritual fruit. That is a consequence of faith.
I have met individuals who have had visions of God outside of the church.
In a recent General Conference, Oaks (I believe) admitted that people in other churches (sans priesthood) could heal.
Jesus conceded that devils had been cast out by the sons of Pharisees (Matthew 12:27).

If fruit can be obtained outside of the church, how do you ascertain the truth of the church?

In other words, if you grew up outside the LDS church and had experienced a healing (either personally or of a close family member) and the LDS church were to tell you it was not a "real" healing because you didn't have the "real" priesthood, would you give their truth claims any thought? If you had experienced some sort of theophany or vision and communed with God (maybe learned unspeakable things) why would you believe people who claimed you need their "real" priesthood to access God or the atonement?

I don't know.

I'm not trying to come off bitter or snobbish. The world is a complex place, people have experiences which inform their belief systems. I don't think anyone is going to talk drtanner out of believing the church or the importance of the temple, based on drtanner's personal experiences.

For the reasons above truth claims based on authority or spiritual fruit are not especially convincing to me. I think the primary purpose of a church is to teach true doctrine (so people can best exercise faith, spiritual fruit and authority follow faith). If doctrine changes or is inconsistent, I am troubled. I am trying to figure things out in this life. I am skeptical that a church that keeps changing its doctrine and practices is going to be efficacious to my salvation.

Again, this isn't to throw stones at other approaches. Personally, of the three truth claims (i.e., based on authority, spiritual fruit, or doctrine), doctrine has the greatest appeal to me. Arguing authority or spiritual fruit isn't going to convince me. Arguing doctrine with drtanner won't convince drtanner.

Good point, the doctrine of "sealing power" is also a witness to the reality of the temple. By bearing witness of these things it does not mean that others of other faiths are some how less or don't have spiritual fruit. I'm sorry if that was your take away. When any blessing is received it is by obedience to a law, there are several "laws" that can be met that do not require authorized priesthood authority to produce spiritual fruits. The sealing power however does require the authority and that can only be found currently in one place because of one person who holds those keys.
The Father and the Son have all of the keys and all of the authority. In the end an ordinance is only valid if God approves and performs the ordinance. Because a man with delegated keys seals and performs an ordinance doesn't mean that the actual ordinance has been performed. The Holy Spirit of Promise is needed to ratify all things performed by mortals. Any mortal who has any authority or any keys, have them because they were delegated to him from Jesus Christ. If you are implying that God can't do His own work when you say there is only one person who holds those keys, I believe this idea to be in error. It seems from your post that you are denying that God has authority, that He has keys, and that He can lay His hands on people, seal them, and perform ordinances; that these can only be done by a single mortal and in only temporary structures build by mortal hands.

-Finrock
"You can't reason with a wolf" -rewcox

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:37 pm

The Father and the Son have all of the keys and all of the authority. In the end an ordinance is only valid if God approves and performs the ordinance. Because a man with delegated keys seals and performs an ordinance doesn't mean that the actual ordinance has been performed. The Holy Spirit of Promise is needed to ratify all things performed by mortals. Any mortal who has any authority or any keys, have them because they were delegated to him from Jesus Christ.

Very True


If you are implying that God can't do His own work when you say there is only one person who holds those keys, I believe this idea to be in error. It seems from your post that you are denying that God has authority, that He has keys, and that He can lay His hands on people, seal them, and perform ordinances; that these can only be done by a single mortal and in only temporary structures build by mortal hands.
No one is saying he can't. But my experience is he has established his house for this exact purpose and I know others can and do experience the same confirmation as a testimony of the reality of his delegated authority on earth to provide these opportunities.

Would your council to the members of the church be to avoid the temple and seek for him to provide all of those blessings personally or are you just trying to make the point that God is capable of doing anything he wants?

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Thinker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:36 pm

chase wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:24 am
eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
I'm not impressionable = You are closed minded. You think that is a good thing? The best way to gain a testimony of the church is to ignore things that should never be ignored. You would never ignore the kinds of stains of the LDS church if you were investigating the Catholic Church, so why do you ignore them in your own religion? The answer, you are closed minded and just prefer to be blind. Testimonies of something false are completely useless. I'd argue that the church has targeted its marketing campaign at church members in order to prompt emotional experiences that you then interpret as truth. Your emotions are a very flimsy thing to build on. Maybe try logic. It is much more defensible. How about we come into the 21st century and rid ourselves of 19th century fables?
It’s understandable to suggest not putting trust in anything except God (who is pure love based on truth). You make some good points. I can relate because I saw things in terms of either emotional illusion...or... skeptical logic. Discovering that Jesus (&Buddha) was right that “the kingdom of God is within you” not external - was very hard for me. I felt like not only was I betrayed but also that I had been fooling myself. How could I know what was real, and true when all I thought, felt & experienced was obviously subjective?

I still believe that no person or group should come before God, but I’ve come to realize there are various perspectives of, or tools to understand, truth. Ie: I didn’t take notes based on scientific method to try out experiments while watching Star Wars series. And I didn’t go to Science classes expecting to be spiritually uplifted.

Emotional intelligence has been found to be more indicative of success than IQ. Carl Jung wrote, “There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotions.” It’s true that logic and studying things out is important- but without emotion - without desire to do anything - we wouldn’t.

To me, the lds church is not true in the sense of being logically, historically or scientifically accurate- it’s true based on certain perspectives. Truth is based on perspectives. The other day, I sat between 2 older people on a subway - one swore the ac was too strong - the other that it wasn’t strong enough. Truth is also that which causes true influence- including the placebo effect - the power of belief.

I’ve taken my kids to various religious services - each of which had some good and bad aspects. I see flaws but I also see that our church has an unmatched application of spirituality - opportunities to love and be loved. I haven’t found it to such an amazing degree anywhere else. Try not to get upset by the trivial things - just enjoy what’s GOoD, take the best & leave the rest. Joseph Smith suggested similarly - “take what portion belongs to you.”

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby silk » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:33 pm

Finrock wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:59 pm
If you are implying that God can't do His own work when you say there is only one person who holds those keys, I believe this idea to be in error. It seems from your post that you are denying that God has authority, that He has keys, and that He can lay His hands on people, seal them, and perform ordinances; that these can only be done by a single mortal and in only temporary structures build by mortal hands.

-Finrock
I don't think anyone is saying that God can't, just that He won't interfere without specific reason. After all, the world ended up in apostasy for hundreds of years, and He chose to let it happen. Why? I have no idea, but I trust in God and His plan.

We need to not only believe in God, we need to believe him. Do you believe him when he spoke in D&C 65?
2 The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.
I think it's apparent that He expects mankind to use the keys to the best of their ability to preach the gospel and do temple work for both the living and the dead.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:10 pm

drtanner wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:58 am
There is an group of people out there that my heart goes out to. Those who believe in Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon but not in the current LDS church.

But there is a way to gain a testimony of the current church.... Attending The house of the Lord worthily, frequently, and honestly.

Immersing yourself in family history and doing temple work yields sacred personal fruit that are seared into your soul. If done with real intent the blessings of the temple are overwhelming and undeniable. We have been promised if we will attend the temple often these blessings are available to each of us.

Could we have these experiences and blessings without priesthood authority? What does that say of the current status of the church? It is true and lead by prophets and apostles. If you attend but associate or affiliate with groups who oppose the church you will never see the fruits of the temple because you are not being honest to the Lord. Just like anything we are seeking a confirmation of this has to be done with real intent and no deceptive before God.

Experiences, blessings, and answers are available in ways that are undeniable through worshipping in the House of the Lord. I can say that with absolute certainty.
I was doing those things at the time I struggled....I was doing monthly temple attendance, daily scripture study and weekly family history, and nightly family prayer and personal at the time I started to struggle....., I even served in the temple (and never comprehended it, until I began to walk by faith). I was used to following the brethren, but not the spirit(which is a completely different experience when an individual does that. ) then my new struggle came from putting total faith in the leadership, because the spirit taught me new truths that I couldn't see because I was "blind". I believe in going to god directly. The church is a vehicle, and the priesthood power is something that is accessed.....authority comes from god. Anyone can access preiesthood power...people of other faiths do it every time someone is healed through prayer and blessings (and healing can and does occur all the time outside of mormonism..we shouldn't be blind to this).

I don't believe our works will save us. I don't follow any groups, and yet some of my understanding has threads that relate to some of these outsiders groups so I don't think they are completely off base....the whole temple ceremony is intended to teach individuals how to go to god directly and part the veil to commune with him. Modern Mormonism struggles to understand the original purpose of Mormonism.....they still believe it's our attendance at the temple that brings us closer to God, (which on some level may) but the ultimate goal is to "become" the temple experience, and to "experience" the ordinances themselves..this is how one become a "melkezedek" and has constant access to the power of God...although Brigham young taught very few would walk through the ordinances in the flesh..most would experience it after they passed. Joseph smith taught that the ordinances were for the 144,000 who would be called forth in the last days...,if we were the ordinances, we would be Zion, but we are not Zion. That is a reflection of us and our understanding. We don't teach these things, but you can find these teaches in church history, and in the scriptures....so yeah, I listen to the brethren on Sunday, but I don't give them any more credence than anyone else at church. They are prone to error just like the rest of us...if you want more wisdom and knowledge, you're going to have to follow the spirit...and you will make mistakes as you learn to identify what it is telling you, but it is the quickest way a pure heart learns to access God.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:17 pm

silk wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:53 am
I want to add my testimony about the temple, especially the power there is in doing the work for your own family lines.

My family has had a lot of work done on both sides, but there's still more to be done. Over the past six years, I've become much more active in finding people and doing their work. The strongest impressions I've received in the temple have been while serving my own family (or that of my spouse). We've started a tradition where we do work for individuals throughout the year, and then do a sealing session together in December. It's our Christmas present to those precious souls on the other side of the veil.

The Aaronic Priesthood is about the basic, physical ordinances (like baptism). I think it's possible that the Jews didn't notice that the keys had been wrested from them because of that. But the spiritual ordinances are the domain of the Melchizedek Priesthood -- starting with the gift of the Holy Ghost and going all the way to the sealing power. I think it would be very obvious if those things were gone. My experiences in the temple have taught me otherwise -- not only are the keys present, but they are active. Without going into too much detail, I had an experience where I knew that the keys were taking effect at that very moment. It was one of the most amazing events of my life, and I hope it will be repeated in the future.
Do u mind sharing? It's those vague responses that prevent me from trusting someone's witness....when I very directly have asked leadership for their personal witness...they either don't have one, or have no greater witness than my own. If you believe the keys are in effect....why so, and what is your witness?

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:25 pm

Finrock wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:59 pm
drtanner wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:49 pm
mcusick wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:51 pm
The whole line of reasoning that if JS/BoM is true, then the LDS church is true is just inane. Plenty of other groups have claimed the same foundation. Just because one of these churches is bigger/more successful doesn't matter. By that same logic (i.e. priesthood derived from generations prior + success = true church) we should all be Catholic.

The spiritual fruit argument is probably better, but . . .

People in other churches have spiritual fruit. That is a consequence of faith.
I have met individuals who have had visions of God outside of the church.
In a recent General Conference, Oaks (I believe) admitted that people in other churches (sans priesthood) could heal.
Jesus conceded that devils had been cast out by the sons of Pharisees (Matthew 12:27).

If fruit can be obtained outside of the church, how do you ascertain the truth of the church?

In other words, if you grew up outside the LDS church and had experienced a healing (either personally or of a close family member) and the LDS church were to tell you it was not a "real" healing because you didn't have the "real" priesthood, would you give their truth claims any thought? If you had experienced some sort of theophany or vision and communed with God (maybe learned unspeakable things) why would you believe people who claimed you need their "real" priesthood to access God or the atonement?

I don't know.

I'm not trying to come off bitter or snobbish. The world is a complex place, people have experiences which inform their belief systems. I don't think anyone is going to talk drtanner out of believing the church or the importance of the temple, based on drtanner's personal experiences.

For the reasons above truth claims based on authority or spiritual fruit are not especially convincing to me. I think the primary purpose of a church is to teach true doctrine (so people can best exercise faith, spiritual fruit and authority follow faith). If doctrine changes or is inconsistent, I am troubled. I am trying to figure things out in this life. I am skeptical that a church that keeps changing its doctrine and practices is going to be efficacious to my salvation.

Again, this isn't to throw stones at other approaches. Personally, of the three truth claims (i.e., based on authority, spiritual fruit, or doctrine), doctrine has the greatest appeal to me. Arguing authority or spiritual fruit isn't going to convince me. Arguing doctrine with drtanner won't convince drtanner.

Good point, the doctrine of "sealing power" is also a witness to the reality of the temple. By bearing witness of these things it does not mean that others of other faiths are some how less or don't have spiritual fruit. I'm sorry if that was your take away. When any blessing is received it is by obedience to a law, there are several "laws" that can be met that do not require authorized priesthood authority to produce spiritual fruits. The sealing power however does require the authority and that can only be found currently in one place because of one person who holds those keys.
The Father and the Son have all of the keys and all of the authority. In the end an ordinance is only valid if God approves and performs the ordinance. Because a man with delegated keys seals and performs an ordinance doesn't mean that the actual ordinance has been performed. The Holy Spirit of Promise is needed to ratify all things performed by mortals. Any mortal who has any authority or any keys, have them because they were delegated to him from Jesus Christ. If you are implying that God can't do His own work when you say there is only one person who holds those keys, I believe this idea to be in error. It seems from your post that you are denying that God has authority, that He has keys, and that He can lay His hands on people, seal them, and perform ordinances; that these can only be done by a single mortal and in only temporary structures build by mortal hands.

-Finrock
Yeah, that's my understanding finrock. I have received my witnesses directly from god....I do believe that it could happen at the temple at the same time, but for example, my baptism of fire was three days spent in emotional prayer and pouring out my soul...and then I received a witness....I wasn't asking for a witness...it just came and I knew and FELT with tangible witness that lasted for 3 days, and outpouring of energy...sooooo, yeah, I have had a couple more experiences that tell me, the Holy Spirit of promise seals things, and we can go to god directly. I couldn't have had my experience in the temple....I'm a mom of small children, and it was emotional...I couldn't have been that raw in prayer in public. maybe other people can go sit in the temple all day, but I couldn't....I know my experience has taught me to be less judgmental about others and their "works".....God ministers to us anytime, anyplace....even outside the temple....he knows our needs and abilities.....I believe that we may be damning some individuals by teaching that these events can only occur in the temple....this is simply not true.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:28 pm

An ordinance is a type, shadow, and pattern.....it doesn't say event, or witness, or acceptance of. Type, shadow and pattern means exactly what it means....a type of the real thing, a pattern of he real thing, a shadow of the real thing....a shadow isn't you.....but it's like you...and it's an image or pattern for you....so you can kinda visualize. Were supposed to apply these things to ourselves.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:13 pm

eddie wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm
Wonderful post, thank you.

Question, when we read the words of people here questioning our leaders , are we affiliating with apostates? Sometimes I don't even want the words in my head, although I'm not impressionable, some are.
If you can't listen to the words of an "apostate" without fear of it influencing you.....then I could see bigger issues for you in the future. See i would actually encourage you to face the words of those things you fear directly. How do you expect to discern the words of a korihor....see, those seeking to diceive you are the ones who will flatter you with their words.l.you won't see it coming. I choose to confront those things directly and take it to the scriptures.....we shouldn't be afraid of information.....how would you discern Christ if he came....the entire Jewish leadership claimed he was a blasphemer and a fraud. Only those who were willing to listen would scratch the surface of whether or not he was....we shouldn't be afraid of people and information, instead we should build ourselves up to be able to discern the information.

I don't worry whether or not the conversations I have are with someone who has diffenrt views or even carries the "label" of an apostate.....I worry about whether or not a person influences me and leads me to believe something contrary to scriptures.....follow the spirit, and study the scriptures...frame all your beliefs around the teachings of Jesus Christ....He should be our filter and lens. Remember, even Jesus Christ was labeled an "apostate"...and so was his apostles .it's just a label....discern the message, and u will find true messengers. ..there are prophets and false prophets....discern the message, don't adopt someone else's label for an individual. You may miss out on a true messenger.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby drtanner » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:30 pm

Do you ever scratch your head after reading some of these responses and wonder how in the world people draw conclusions about the intented purpose of a post?

Maybe I need to be a better communicator or just spell things out a little clearer? A forum is great for many reasons but sometimes I wish I could have an old fashion face to face conversation.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby Juliet » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm

Maybe the wheat struggles because it can sense evil but it can't see or identify the tares among them. Hold on folks, the church is true but the 2nd coming has not happened yet.

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Re: How to gain a testimony of the current lds church

Postby TrueIntent » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:46 pm

drtanner wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:30 pm
Do you ever scratch your head after reading some of these responses and wonder how in the world people draw conclusions about the intented purpose of a post?

Maybe I need to be a better communicator or just spell things out a little clearer? A forum is great for many reasons but sometimes I wish I could have an old fashion face to face conversation.
Or maybe speak directly instead of passively. Like....is the comment above in reference to what or whom? Or why did you just make that comment.


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