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Faith

We just know; that's how we decide

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  • Dadof5sons Montesano, WA
    May 31, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    This is how most people come to know and understand the truth. Well don on this subject matter.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 31, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    While this article compliments how some people are inspired by study of Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon it skips explaining how other people's study of Joseph Smith and the book of Mormon enlightens their sense of the false nature of Mormonism because God tells them that it is not true. There seems to be two sides to the story; which are we to believe.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    May 31, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    My experience has been that those who receive negative answers to such prayers have often conveyed to the Lord in their prayers that they would rather not deal with the tenants of the gospel and would feel much better walking away from it. God loves his children and will not place them in a position that would make them uncomfortable and more likely to violate covenants they are not ready and/or desirous to keep.

    Its the only explanation which makes sense to me. I have felt, unmistakeably, the spirit bearing witness of the truth and countless others that I know. They are people of sound mind, the highest principles and standards. I seriously doubt so many could be deceived. Whereas, many I have known who have rejected these things convey a much less stable resolve in life.

  • IndependentLiberal Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    The article made a few good points on how a few of the early disciples and apostles just dropped fishing nets at Jesus’ command, Follow Me. However I believe in nearly all cases data based decisions serves best. Reasoning based faith instead faith based reasoning.

  • TeamLaws St Marys, Ga
    May 31, 2012 9:35 a.m.

    When Spirit speaks to spirit the familiarity/understanding of the language is certain, while the "explaining" of the dialogue is often complicated. I think President Boyd K. Packer stated "We know more than we can say" which encapsulates the idea pretty well. Though hard to explain it is nonetheless very real to the recipient. This has been my experience with the Gospel. It continues to "distill upon my soul"

  • TeamLaws Ventura, Ca (SoCal), CA
    May 31, 2012 9:43 a.m.

    When Spirit speaks to spirit the language though unmistakeable is difficult to explain to others. I believe President Packer said "We know more than we can say" which sums the idea up pretty well. This is how I have come to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has "distilled upon my soul".

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    May 31, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    Skeptic says "There seems to be two sides to the story; which are we to believe?"

    Excellent question! In fact, it's the same question a young Joseph Smith asked in regard to which church he should join, which caused him to seek an answer himself in the woods near his house after reading James 1:5. So, who are you to believe, Skeptic? Are the Anti-Mormon sites right, or are the Mormon sites right? How do you tell? What can you do to find the answer yourself? If God revealed it to you through the Holy Ghost, would you believe him over the sites?

    The entire faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints hinges on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. If that work is truly scriptural (from God), then Joseph Smith MUST be a true prophet. So, why don't you find out for yourself? Here's how:

    1. Get yourself a Book of Mormon.
    2. Read Alma 32:28-43 first. This should happen to you.
    3. Read the entire Book of Mormom.
    4. Follow Moroni 10:3-5 and find out for yourself.

    That's what this article is about!

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 31, 2012 10:13 a.m.

    ulvegaard - I doubt that the non mormon population of the earth, around 99.5% of the world population has been deceived. Maybe it is the 1/2 of %1 that has been decieved.

    Abeille - I, and I assume many others, have tried the promise of moroni. I found it empty. I got no positive answer. This is not a very reliable means of knowing truth if one person can get one "sure" answer and another person can get a "sure" answer that is opposite. It doesn't quite work. It didn't work for me so I KNOW that it cannot be true.

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    May 31, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    My experience with those who receive negative answers, particularly regarding the Book of Mormon, comes from testimony my husband gave when he was a young, rebellious young man and newly married. I was new to the gospel, myself, and told him he just needed to read the book and pray about it to recognize its truth. I was naive enough to believe he'd do so with the intent to actually know. His history in general wouldn't support that notion, but I was very young too, and thought adults typically wanted to deal with truth instead of anything else. One night after reading the Book of Mormon, he claimed to me that he knew it was NOT true. That floored me. It was a couple of years later before he changed his mind and told our whole congregation he'd lied because he hadn't wanted to know. This tends to support a part of what ulvegaard stated. I also believe in the final analysis, one's answer depends on which god one WANTS to follow.

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    May 31, 2012 10:39 a.m.

    Yes, Brahmabull, I know. That's why I recommend Skeptic read Alma 32:28-43 first. Honesty is important in this type of research. You can't expect to receive an answer if you don't follow the pattern shown in Alma 32:28-43. Gracie's comments are right. I also know that you are 'Mormon in Name Only'. So, why don't you try the same thing I recommended to Skeptic? Why don't you try and read the Book of Mormon the way it was meant to be read - with an open heart?

    Anyone can read the Book of Mormon. But if your attitude is 'I want to read this to prove it wrong', or 'I really don't want to find out, but I'll read it anyway,' then you should expect to receive no answer. Whose fault is that? You must be HONEST in taking the challenge. Also, you must have COURAGE to move forward when you receive confirmation of its truthfulness.

    So, try it again. I know the promise works. It's happened to me.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 31, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    Bramabull ... Your first point would be valid only if you could show that 99.5% of the population had read the Book of Mormon. Not likely. Skeptic asks a good question, but it pertains only to those who have read it and arrived at opposite answers.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    May 31, 2012 10:41 a.m.

    Gracie,

    "answer depends on which god one WANTS to follow."

    As you found out, it appears that the Holy Ghost does not define truth, but is more of what a person wants to be true. If a person prays and prays over a particular subject desiring it to be true, then eventually they will believe it to be true. This is not magic! This is just how our brains work. I've lied many times saying that "I know" the church is true, but in reality I never knew.

    When I was an active member, I experienced a moment of intellectual honesty and I felt strong guilt for all of my church testimonies claiming I knew it was true, but I really didn’t. Why would God allow me to feel such feelings if it was really his church?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 31, 2012 11:08 a.m.

    Abeille

    You are under the false assumption that I have not done so. I am a retunred missionary, I read the Book of Mormon 2 times before my mission, 4 times during, and once after. I never, ever KNEW that it was true. Sure I believed it was true, or I wouldn't have gone on a mission. I had a open heart. To me, it seems like you have to put all logical thoughts out the window in order to get a good answer. I did that, and still got nothing affirmative. I am sure people get similar feelings about all kinds of books, some related to christianity, some not. It is a state of mind, not an answer. Of course if you go in believing an answer is coming you will think you got one. The mind can do crazy things. Once I read it later knowing all of the real history behind it it became very clear that I had been decieved, and I had only been hopeful that it was true. It turned out not to be. Using the spirit as a guide is the most unreliable way anybody could get a REAL answer.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 31, 2012 11:30 a.m.

    RE: Avellle,
    Thank you for your good intentions. Has it occurred to you that I may have studied and sought the truth in as dedicated manner as you profess you have. Please understand that I have nothing against Mormons or their acceptance of their believes. It is attitudes like yours and those of other extremist: Al-Qaida, Christian fundamentalist, etc. that frighten me; because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth. I challenge you to read and study some of the great religious literature of the world that format views different from yours. You may be surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world is every bit as smart an close to their god as you are to yours. I understand others believes; when they claim to know is when the world suffers.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 31, 2012 11:32 a.m.

    RE: Avellle,
    Thank you for your good intentions. Has it occurred to you that I may have studied and sought the truth in as dedicated manner as you profess you have. Please understand that I have nothing against Mormons or their acceptance of their believes. It is attitudes like yours and those of other extremist: Al-Qaida, Christian fundamentalist, etc. that frighten me; because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth. I challenge you to read and study some of the great religious literature of the world that format views different from yours. You may be surprised to learn that much of the rest of the world is every bit as smart an close to their god as you are to yours. I understand others believes; when they claim to know is when the world suffers.

  • Commonman HENDERSON, NV
    May 31, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    Dear Skeptic,

    John 7:17

    17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    May 31, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    Skeptic ... re "because fanatics who think they know, and therefore they try to drag others into their fantasies because, they think they have the only true truth."

    You've mentioned several times that you 'know' the BoM is not what it purports to be, and you are often here to convince others of that.

    Doesn't this make you a fanatic, according to your own statement? Is the world suffering because you 'know' the BoM isn't true?

    And categorizing Abeille with Al-Qaeda... Come on. That's the kind of thinking that should scare you, not Mormons confident in their beliefs.

  • DUPDaze Bakersfield, CA
    May 31, 2012 12:05 p.m.

    Abeille, are you aware that more people have read, prayed and scrutinized the Book of Mormon and rejected it as unbiblical, than those who have just prayed for the warm fuzzies?

    Do you believe God's Word when He warns that Satan masquerades as an angel of light? 2Cor. 11:4, 13-15.
    Do you heed the Apostle Paul's warning about accepting a different Jesus than the one he presented to the Galations? Gal.1:6-10.

    Are you familiar with the verses in Isaiah that state a man's heart/emotions are not to be trusted, but rather His Word?

    What do you do with all the false religions that people follow? The Taliban, Al Qaeda, Islam, the multiple Jesus Christs, which Jesus Himself warned would come in counterfeit? What does God's Word say is the protection against being deceived?

    If man can be deceived, what is your standard to compare your new revelation to? Surely you wouldn't use the book you don't trust to be the book you compare your new gospel to, right? Or if you do, and your new gospel is way off, which do you now trust?

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    May 31, 2012 12:15 p.m.

    Brahmabull -

    Whether you're a returned missionary, a member of the church, or a non-member, the process is the same. You've read the Book of Mormon 7 times. That's a good start. This time, read it because you WANT to - not because you HAVE to. Failure does not mean 'give up.' If it did, I wouldn't have either of my degrees. The logical thing to do would be to try again, this time trying the experiment laid out in Alma 32:28-43. The choice is yours.

    Skeptic -

    Interesting response to my post. I'm a religious extremist now, am I? Just like Al-Quada or Christian Fundamentalists, am I? To you, everything you won't believe is fantasy. To you, anyone of belief is crazy, uneducated, dishonest, or stupid. To you, there is no reason to study these things because you refuse to believe it without even looking at it. Fine. So be it. It is your choice - and your loss.

    I HAVE read much of the great religious literature. People of faith are generally good people. Those that scare me are the Godless - Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Stalin.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:25 p.m.

    Radiolab, around a month ago, told the story of a man who had a brain injury that basically turned off his emotions. The result is that he was unable to make a decision because he was constantly weighing the variables; he'd spend hours in the cereal aisle at the store. Reason, when all variables balance out, appeals to emotion for a quick determination of satisfaction based on historical outcome: "Cheerios tastes good and my mother loved them." Emotions are important in the decision making process. However, as relying solely on intellect is ineffective, so is relying solely on emotions. Marketer, politicians, and con-men (not suggesting they're all negative, just that they all want you to follow them) all rely on capturing people's emotional attention. Emotional control has led nations to great achievements as well as great atrocities. It takes a balance.

    Mr. Peterson's essay promotes relying on emotion for a very important decision: who will control your spiritual life. That decision, like all decisions, should include learning all you can about the issue before relying on the emotional side to make the decision, including weighing the evidence surrounding the BoM and Joseph Smith.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    Abeille,

    I loved how I felt when I read the Book of Mormon both before, during and after my mission. I taught the Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine class and I placed well over 400 books while on my mission with potential investigators. I testified of its truthfulness probably 4-5 dozen times in Fast and Testimony meeting over the course of about 10 years or more. I thought I knew it was God's word.

    However, after deciding to think and use reason, I soon realized that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than one's (or several human beings') writings that speak in 19th century vernacular using biblical language, metaphors and verses quoted verbatim from the Bible to fill the Book of Mormon's pages.

    I know through reason and using my mind rather that it isn't God's word. Before using thought, reason and logic, I used my feelings of wanting and believing it and the LDS church to be from God and not some man.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    @ulvegard, Gracie, and Abeille
    "My experience has been that those who receive negative answers to such prayers have often conveyed to the Lord in their prayers that they would rather not deal with the tenants of the gospel and would feel much better walking away from it."

    Why do you have to demean people who get different answers calling them insincere or dishonest. Fact is I just never got a positive answer to Moroni's promise, even when I really wanted it to be true. I still joined the church and was part of it for four years before leaving to be honest to myself about the fact that I just didn't believe it.

    @Abeille
    "Are the Anti-Mormon sites right, or are the Mormon sites right?"

    Does it have to be either/or? I think both have some things correct. Even after leaving the LDS church there's still some doctrines in the church I believe to be correct (eternal marriage, everyone learning the truth before final judgment) but plenty of things I believe to be incorrect. I don't think any church is 100% right.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    May 31, 2012 12:46 p.m.

    Indeed, which are we to believe? Joshua said, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, but as for me and my house, we serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) Elijah asked, "How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him. If Baal be God, follow him." (1 Kings 18:2) Even so, some are, "ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth." (2 Timothy 3:7) They just don't understand. Isaiah wrote: "I girded (or, clothed) you, though you have not known me." (Isaiah 45:5) Christ said, "Every man that is of the truth heareth my voice." But some, like Pilate will ask, "What is truth?" (John 15:37-38)

    In the end, skeptic, faith is a choice. Lack of faith is also a choice. Choosing neither or believing nothing at all is also... a choice.

  • Abeille West Haven, Utah
    May 31, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    Atl134 -

    I'm surprised at your post. You may post some things I don't agree with, but usually your posts are balanced. In this case, you take me to task for 'demeaning people' by calling them 'dishonest.' Please re-read my posts. I call no one 'dishonest', but I DO say that the HONEST study of the Book of Mormon is required to receive an answer. On the other hand, I've been deemed 'Illogical' by Brahmabull, an 'extremist' and a 'fanatic' by Skeptic, DUPDaze compares my sacred spiritual experiences with 'warm fuzzies', and Thinkman believes I don't use thought, reason, or logic. So, Atl134, just WHO has been demeaned?

    And yes, Atl134, both sites cannot hold the truth when conflicting items are being discussed. Joseph Smith cannot be a lying scoundrel and a Prophet of God. The Book of Mormon cannot be Scripture and, at the same time, not scripture. It's either one or the other.

    Signed your Illogical, fanatical extremist, warm fuzzy-experiencing, unreasonable and thoughtless brother, Abeille.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    @Abeille
    You supported Gracie's statements and she supported ulvegard's statements. Ulvegard suggested that those who got negative answers to Moroni's promise tend to just not want to deal with the church tenants and due to that would have biased their way to a negative answer. That is why I lumped the three of you together since there was that chain of agreement.

    "but I DO say that the HONEST study of the Book of Mormon is required to receive an answer"

    Isn't that an implicit statement that those who don't get an answer are dishonest?

    "just WHO has been demeaned?"

    I realize that demeaning remarks were made towards you and those are wrong. I believe demeaning remarks were made and implied towards people like me who read, prayed, and don't come to the "correct" conclusion. One of the effects of belief that Moroni's promise is true is that one may be left explaining how someone could not come to an affirmative answer and sometimes that explanation involves implications that they weren't honest, sincere, are lying, just don't want to follow church rules, or just want to sin.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 31, 2012 3:41 p.m.

    Maybe that is how Dr. Peterson makes his decisions. It is not generally how I make mine.

    Friends and relationships develop organically. But there are a thousand decisions and evaluations made along the way. The notebooks may be internal, but they are there (at least for me).

    For career and most other decisions, I am definitely the notebook full of data type.

    Then there is the church. I looked at the church from a lot of perspectives. Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon came slowly to me.

    It would be untrue to say that my acceptance of them has been via pure logic. But it has not been done in the absence thereof either.

    I have considered, prayed, and considered again.

    "And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.

    Wherefore, come ye unto it, and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 3:42 p.m.

    Note: 4th post

    @Abeille
    "And yes, Atl134, both sites cannot hold the truth when conflicting items are being discussed. Joseph Smith cannot be a lying scoundrel and a Prophet of God. The Book of Mormon cannot be Scripture and, at the same time, not scripture. It's either one or the other."

    Oh I agree with that. What I mean is that it could be possible for say... the Book of Mormon to be true but instituting polygamy to be wrong so the church would be right on one and wrong on the other. Or perhaps a historical account on one matter could be more accurate on the church sites but the historical account on a different matter may be more accurate on anti sites. Basically, I'm just saying that I doubt either type of site is 100% accurate and that I don't think any church is 100% accurate. I'm sure I'm not 100% accurate either when it comes to what I think is or isn't the correct doctrine but at some point well... I just guess, that's how I decide.

  • dotp POTEAU, OK
    May 31, 2012 3:55 p.m.

    Bottom line, and one that none of the skeptics among us can successfully refute, is that once you get that KNOWLEDGE in your mind, no matter how many times others will tell you it's a lie, you will NOT let go of that knowledge unless YOU desire to and do so. Many WON'T believe -- because to believe makes one assess their habits and desires as well as their actions on a regular basis. NOT believing makes this unnecessary, so why bother to believe? Of course, they can't really explain why the Book of Mormon corresponds so well with the Bible, but it MUST be because Joseph Smith was a cleverly deceitful man. Therefore, it CAN'T be true, so why bother to believe? But when you've used that argument up and realize that upon further study the Bible and the Book of Mormon agree on SO MANY points, you find yourself wanting to believe it. Especially when you realize how much is riding on it. I no longer "believe", I, too, KNOW the Book of Mormon is TRUE. You can argue all you want, but you will NOT change MY testimony. Only God can do that.

  • Grace Bakersfield, CA
    May 31, 2012 3:57 p.m.

    Abielle,

    Where did you get your screen name? I took Hebrew at BYU 41 years ago and have been teaching it ever since.
    As you may know, it means My Father (Abi/Avi), God (El).

    It was through my love of Hebrew and studying to witness to my Jewish and Protestant friends that I became a Biblical believer. I saw all the emotion, tradition and subjectivity they used for basing their spiritual beliefs. I realized that I had to understand what they believed in order for me to make my religion fathomable to them.

    I could not understand why evangelicals had such a fit over Mormonism and categorized us a "Christian cult". It angered and frustrated me, so I sincerely and urgently asked God to help me understand their Biblical Jesus. I became a sponge and could not get enough of the Bible. I read night and day, took classes, and compared everything to my LDS books. I eventually realized that I had never had a passion to know Jesus and suddenly that was all that mattered to me.

    Be careful what you ask God for: I found the true Christ and got radically saved. Try my journey.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    May 31, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    Abeille

    What scares me about you is that you attribute horrific acts of people like Stalin, Hitler, ect. It is not because they are godless that they did these things. They are in the minority. In comparison, I could say that I fear the religious because of people like Warren Jeffs, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan. They killed many in the name of religion Except Jeffs, whos crimes in the name of god are obvious). You can't say you fear atheists because of what a few have done. That is rediculous, don't you think?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    Oh nevermind, I guess I had one more post left than I thought I did...

    @dotp
    "Bottom line, and one that none of the skeptics among us can successfully refute, is that once you get that KNOWLEDGE in your mind, no matter how many times others will tell you it's a lie, you will NOT let go of that knowledge unless YOU desire to and do so."

    Isn't that true of all knowledge though? 2+2=4, stimulus spending is good during recessions while austerity should wait until conditions improve, the Red Sox will overcome their early season slump and make the playoffs... these are all things I think. No matter how much others will tell me its wrong, and regardless of whether or not I'm right, I won't let go of that knowledge until I desire to do so which would come by gaining more information that suggests a different conclusion. So I'm not sure what you're trying to prove with this since holding onto an idea doesn't necessarily mean the idea is accurate.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    May 31, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Some on this thread who have publicly stated that they do not believe in God have also said that they have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and did not receive a confirmation of the book's truthfulness.

    One of Moroni's stipulations is that the inquirer must believe in God for the answer to come.

    Some on this thread (and other threads) have suggested that they came to "Biblical Christianity" or belief in Christ only after leaving the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Personally, I was just the opposite. I was a one-time atheist, raised by anti-Mormons, and I had only a superficial knowledge of the Bible before I joined the Church. I am surprised that anyone would have ever been a member of the Church without, as they say, "coming to Christ."

    My life is so much better than it was before because I have learned to understand the Holy Ghost, how it communicates, and how it gives "evidence of things not seen." That's what Daniel Petersen is really alluding to. Sometimes, the Spirit speaks, and we just know.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    May 31, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    The most important thing is that we be humble about our testimonies. A testimony is nothing more or less than a gift. Why Heavenly Father picks whom He will is beyond our understanding. Anything we can understand is not strong enough to hold our attention. "To know a thing is to kill it," said D.H. Lawrence...or was it Heisenberg? For some of us, we were born into families where the restored gospel was talked about, lovingly or in anger. We chose it to be accepted by our family and friends, by pretty girls, by employers, etc., or we chose it to make all of those people notice us, positively or otherwise. We joined because it fits our personalities, our appetites. We joined because we had a spiritual experience(s) when we explored it. One of the above, some of the above, or all of the above. We are not better than those who don't have testimonies. We are not born into any covenant that we do not choose to make. We hold that all men are created equal. All we need is love to make our testimonies relevant to others.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 31, 2012 7:18 p.m.

    When I read comments here suggesting that Peterson's article advocates relying on emotions without using reason or evidence, I find myself wondering whether I receive a different edition of the paper than certain other people do, because I don't see him doing anything remotely of the kind.

    In my version of the article, he writes about "a very personal combination of evidence, reason, feelings, hunches, hopes, even 'tastes' — and yes, Latter-day Saints believe, . . . the influence of the Holy Ghost."

    Do other versions of the article omit the words "evidence" and "reason"? Somebody please help me out here, because I find this really puzzling.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 31, 2012 7:23 p.m.

    The skeptics on here get no answer. Why?

    Because they are skeptics!

    Parley Pratt and Peter and Andrew had faith in Christ.

    One much read the whole promise of Moroni.

    You MUST believe in Christ and you MUST believe you will get an answer to your prayer.

    Just reading and praying avails you nothing.

    -
    -
    -
    Brahambull

    You need to sudy history better, those leaders did not do what they did because of religion, their intentions and motivations were not faith based,

    though they may have hoped a God or Gods would support their cause, their deeds were of their own choosing.

    The far left, though, will use religion to further their agenda, the ends justifies the means, their are examples from Marx (opiate of the masses) to Obama (to support wealth redistrubution and healthcare).

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    May 31, 2012 8:52 p.m.

    Verdad,

    The sentence you quoted is the only one that mentions reason. The rest of the article pushes the use of feelings and intuitions, casting aside all based on a strong feeling, and, in fact, eschews data in favor of emotion. You probably should read it more closely.

    Jeff: "One of Moroni's stipulations is that the inquirer must believe in God for the answer to come."

    You are assuming that the reason for someone not receiving an answer was because of a lack of belief in God. It is possible that after months, or even years of sincere study and prayer, with no answer, that one would delve into the reasons why that answer may not have come. One very possible explanation is that there is no god to answer it.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 31, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    RE: Moontan:
    Perhaps you miss-read my post, but no where have I said that I know. To the contrary I have acknowledged that I do not know and challenged those who think or claim that they do know to prove that they can know and do know. If one knows they should be able to prove it. The laws of nature witness to themselves. Man's fantasy is his own folly. Let's Try and be honest in our posts.

    Re: Abeille:
    If you read my post more closely you will see that I appreciate and respect others believes, it is when they cross the line to become fanatics that think they know the un-knowable and god's mind that they become a bane to the world's peaceful co-existence.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 31, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    @ We just know; that's how we decide?
    1 Corinthians 13:12 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    The Christians will know the Lord to the fullest extent possible for a finite being, similar to the way the Lord knows the Christian fully and infinitely. This will not be true until the Lord returns. This verse refers to the object of the faith not faith .

    @ Abeille Follow Moroni 10:3-5 and find out for yourself. OK,
    Read Moroni 10:34. …Jehovah( YHWH )The Eternal Judge. From LDS revelation, we learn that Jehovah is the English form of the actual name by which the Lord Jesus was known ANCIETLY (D&C 110:3 ,Jehovah appears to JS, ‘Abraham 2:8 ‘,My is name is Jehovah) 788 Mormon Doctrine. s/b YHWH, JS was unaware of the poor KJV and didn’t know the Personal name of God(LORD)YHWH.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 31, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    Searching: Peterson specifically includes reason and evidence in the decision-making process. Did he need to mention them twice? Would that have been enough? Or do you require a minimum of three mentions before they count as having really been mentioned? It's not my reading that's problematic. Your reading of the article is completely arbitrary, and ignores what it actually, explicitly, says.

  • Gramajane OAKLEY, ID
    June 1, 2012 5:41 a.m.

    --- it is silly to me ( having read MEGA anti Mormon claims/works) how they set up strawmen as our supposed teachings. Or things like supposedly the BofM saying Jesus was born "in" Jerusalem instead of a correct quote - which has been proven historically correct. Like we. even now, will say the name of the largest city instead of a tiny town nearby when speaking to those unlikely to understand the geography otherwise. The restored gospel is true, and folowing it's teachings has brought me happiness in my life. The times I didn't stay centered in the path lead me to regrets and repentance. It works for me.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    June 1, 2012 7:02 a.m.

    To the truth,

    "You need to sudy history better, those leaders did not do what they did because of religion, their intentions and motivations were not faith based, though they may have hoped a God or Gods would support their cause, their deeds were of their own choosing."

    So if anyone acts immorally you throw them in the category of atheists? How can anyone reason with someone who has this belief? Seems like the same raw deal that Satan gets. Everything good goes to God while Satan gets blamed for everything bad. Meanwhile God can murder and kill several of his children with natural disasters and still be called good?

    If you are God or a religion you always get an exemption. Must be nice.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    June 1, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    Verdad,

    From the article: "This is precisely how most of us make many, if not all, of our most fundamental, life-forming decisions. We don't consider evidence and analysis on the topic before concluding that we exist. We know it directly. We don't typically choose a spouse, launch a career, make a life-long friend or accept a job offer on the basis of notebooks full of data marshaled into arguments and counter arguments and then weighed according to a probability calculus."

    How do you interpret the title, "We just know, that's how we decide"? It's about accepting without complete evidence. With a deficit of evidence, what is it that makes the decision? Emotion. I'll capitulate: he does give mention to evidence, but in his article, it's unneeded, and therefore the decision-making process is out of balance. He equates the emotional as "knowing directly," when that isn't the case. It is easy to convince yourself of truth based on emotion, but an ongoing evaluation of truth based on reason will get you closer to truth. Then an emotional evaluation will determine how you use that truth in your life.

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    June 1, 2012 10:01 a.m.

    To Who's Life RU Living: "As you found out, it appears that the Holy Ghost does not define truth... When I was an active member, I experienced a moment of intellectual honesty and I felt strong guilt for all of my church testimonies claiming I knew it was true, but I really didn’t. Why would God allow me to feel such feelings if it was really his church?"

    Two points: You suppose I "found out" that the Holy Ghost "does not define truth." He does. He not only defines it, He testifies of it to those who actually want to accept it. You misunderstand what the most important work of the Holy Ghost is in our behalf.

    Point 2: Why would God allow you to feel such feelings IF it was really his church? It IS His church. Dishonest testimonies are systematic of those who want to belong to a team they haven't prepared to join. You knew the jargon, and you went with it. Why did He allow you to do this? Everyone has moral agency to do what he/she chooses. That was YOUR choice to voice testimony you didn't feel, not His.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    June 1, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    Gracie,

    Maybe God's church is Islam? God will testify of it to those who actually want to accept it!

    Have you ever wanted to accept Islam? How do you know Islam is wrong if you didn’t give it a full chance? Some people have read the BoM 7 times and still do not believe, but then LDS members said that they have given up. How many times have you read the quaran?

    The problem that most people make, without acknowledging it, is that they treat their beliefs with a bias. Everyone is guilty of this. The problem is that LDS members are very guilty of this.
    You give an example. "Dishonest testimonies are systematic of those who want to belong to a team they haven't prepared to join."

    Gracie, I was well prepared and was fully part of the team. I served a mission, married in the temple, and served as Elders quorum president and many other callings. I reevaluated my definition of "I know" and could only say "I believe" without feeling guilty. Fortunately, many people will find this out for themselves. Honesty and truth will always prevail.
    Thanks for your response.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    June 1, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    For "Searching":

    Peterson specifically said that he was talking about issues for which we don't and can't possibly have all of the evidence: 'Living in a world where we know the facts only "in part,"' he wrote, 'and "see through a glass, darkly," under conditions of incomplete information, we have little choice but to make fundamental decisions based, in the end, upon what "feels right" to us.'

    He obviously wasn't talking about simply ignoring easily available evidence and going by emotions. You're misrepresenting what he said.

    I don't typically have all of the information at my fingertips, cut and dried, that I would like to have when I make a major decision. When I invest in a stock, I'd like to know where its price will be a year out. But I don't, and I can't. And the same holds true pretty much for all significant decisions, and even for many trivial ones -- and not just because of the press of time.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    June 1, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    the truth contradicts her moniker and writes,

    "The skeptics on here get no answer. Why? Because they are skeptics!"

    This is the typical vilifying and demonizing of the unbeliever. We see this behavior depicted in "The Emperor's New Clothes". It is the essence of any scam to condemn and vilify those who do not swallow the scam, hook, line and sinker.

    So let's keep this real simple. It is not only erroneous and offensive to assert the false (circular) argument that those who "got no answer" did so "because they are skeptics".

    The more reasonable and humane explanation is that people are skeptics because they got no answer, not the other way around.

  • Gracie Boise, ID
    June 1, 2012 5:45 p.m.

    "Gracie, I was well prepared and was fully part of the team. I served a mission, married in the temple, and served as Elders quorum president and many other callings. I reevaluated my definition of "I know" and could only say "I believe" without feeling guilty."

    That's my point. The "team" of which I speak isn't achieved by membership in the church, nor the callings we hold, nor the temple marriage we go after. It's the KNOWING of things of the most important variety, eternally consequential, of which team members have no guilt but only gratitude to testify. Those who hope and strive towards the highest degree of exaltation are trying for a place in the only team I'm interested in, one that will not be achieved by anyone who merely "believes." That's just the start of things. And thank you for your response, too.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    June 1, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    The skeptics here remain skeptics. Those that are new and have thus started to put forth their testimonies of the truth are again ridiculed for KNOWING. Everyone transfermation must be his own tranfermation. Thinkman states that once he went on a mission taught Sunday School and then left because he used reason and logic to defeat it. Funny but it was reason and logic that transformed my testimony of the truth. I have read the Book of Mormon ever year for the past thirty years and learn something new about it each and everytime I read it.

    Everytime I ask to know the truth of this magnificient book. Everytime the same answer has been received. I've never once received a non-reply when I have honestly asked for a true confirmation of the Book of Mormon. Yes, everything of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints rides on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. EVERYTHING. One it proves Joseph Smith is and was a prophet of God. Two, it confirms that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the ONLY true and living Church of Jesus Christ on the Earth TODAY.

  • filovirus Salem, OR
    June 1, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    There are a few reasons why someone would get no answer.
    1) Don't believe in God
    2) Try to use reason as the only means of receiving light and knowledge
    3) Don't recognize the answer
    4) Are not ready to commit to a new life-style
    5) Are past feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost (mainly anti-s) I believe (my own opinion, not doctrine of the LDS Church) that Saul/Paul was past feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and so God had to speak to him directly to change his ways.
    6) Engrossed in their own agenda that is contrary to Word of God

    There are a myriad of other reasons to not receive an answer. These are just the first few that came to mind. For any reason I can think of, the onus is on man, and not on God.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    June 1, 2012 7:19 p.m.

    @A Scientist ... Re "It is the essence of any scam to condemn and vilify those who do not swallow the scam, hook, line and sinker."

    Prove the BoM is a scam.

    Take all the time you need.

    Prove it.

  • User41 Provo, UT
    June 1, 2012 7:28 p.m.

    In these comments, something like the following often comes up: "I prayed about the Book of Mormon, and my answer was that it is false."

    That's fine! God will judge our individual efforts to find truth and live by what we find. I have respect for many people that find truth in different religions and then spend their lives living by that truth. If they have found something positive, we should listen and consider it's value. If we offer something to others, but are rejected -- we can still appreciate the good that they stand for. We should never resort to antagonism because others decide not to believe as we do.

    So, instead of berating Dr. Peterson or Joseph Smith or the Church -- explain the positive things that you've found that lead you toward living a better life. We can then consider your ideas and choose our path.

    Many of us want to share the Church or the Book of Mormon with others because we've found something so amazingly wonderful that it's completely changed our lives for the better. But it's for each one of us to accept or reject -- it's a personal choice.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 1, 2012 7:59 p.m.

    RE: Moontan Prove the BoM is a scam. Prove it. OK,

    A Marvelous work and Wonder(KJV). JS mis-understood Isaiah. Therefore behold I will proceed to remove this people, and I will remove them: and I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will hide the understanding of the prudent. (Is 29:14 LXX)

    I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prude t(1 Corinthians 1:19) Paul quotes the LXX, from where God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria.

    Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB)A Modern Translation.

    Is 29:14 JSTranslation, But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses.
    Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls ,LXX or KJV.
    Is 29:14 is not a prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness;
    He will remove their discernment from their hearts.. . Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 1, 2012 10:11 p.m.

    Verdad,

    We don't exclude reason and evidence. It's just not the only resource we have available.

    Grace,

    My study of the Bible accelerated significantly when I joined the church.

    atl134,

    When I was a missionary, I would ask folks to read and pray. Those who did got at testimony. Except one. He said that he did so sincerely but got nothing. His wife (not a member) took us aside and told us that he did not want to know because joining the church would mean making changes he was not willing to make.

    Does this mean everyone who did not get a testimony is the same? No. But it does happen.

    Thinkman,

    The Holy Ghost is not emotion. In my experience it is something far deeper.

    DUPDaze,

    Please do not denigrate my beliefs by reducing them to "warm fuzzies". And all LDS are taught those scriptures.

    Brahmabull,

    I am sorry about your experience. I have found the Holy Ghost to be the only way to get through life generally.

    Whos Life RU Living,

    The term "know" is perhaps over used. But I certainly did not want the church to be true. I came to that testimony anyway.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    June 2, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    It appears we all have different experiences with the same situation. My experience is that I have enough confirmatio to know Mormonism is true. I am happy with my decision. I don't try to understand others' decisions.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 2, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    @Straitpath, It appears we all have different experiences with the same situation. My experience is that I have enough confirmation to know Mormonism is true?

    Signs of true regeneration by Johnathan Edwards(Puritan)leader of the great awakening.
    The first sign involves an awakening of conscience of or a conviction of sin. The seconds sign involves one’s esteem of Christ, this leads one to confess an orthodox Christology.(Triune God.)Also A greater regard to Holy Scripture which establishes the more in truth and divinity is certainty of the Spirit of God.

    @ Moontan :The BoM(A Marvelous Work and Wonder KJV),
    A Modern Translation. Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools. (Is 29:14 LB.
    Is 29:14 .is not a prophecy about the Bom But God will punish the Jews for spiritual wickedness; He will remove their discernment from their hearts.. . Fulfilled in that they rejected Christ.

    Is 29:14 JS Translation, But the book (BoM)shall be delivered unto a man(JS).verse 16 by the power of Christ, verse 17,..the three witnesses. Not supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls ,Septuagint or KJV.

  • thrutheeyesoflove O\'Fallon, IL
    June 2, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    @ Abelle---With reference to the process you outline---I'm a convert of over 40years---had been searching for the true church for 10 years when I first heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It would be five years after getting an answer to my prayer before I read Alma 36 and thought "Oh my goodness, that's the process I went thru!" (I kept getting hung up in 2d Nephi where much of Isaiah is quoted---hadn't understood it in the Bible and just kept starting over again until a teacher quoted Elder McConckie: "Among the easiet books of the Bible to understand are Isaiah and Revelation and the key to understanding them IS the Book of Mormon." One week later I'd finished the Book of Mormon for the 1st time and thought, why don't they tell you that Nephi explains much of Isaiah starting in 2 Nephi 25?) The fruit of our lives really does reveal who we are and who we follow. ". . .true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; the Father seeketh such to worship Him." (John 4:23)

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    June 2, 2012 10:45 a.m.

    Sharrona ... we can't establish 'proof' pro or con with isolated passages or by assumptions.

    For example ... Wm Shakespeare (1564-1616) was at one point 46 during preparation of the KJV (1604-1611). Go to Psalm 46. The 46th word from the top is "Shake" and the 46th word from the bottom is "Spear".

    Is that proof that he wrote it?

  • DUPDaze Bakersfield, CA
    June 2, 2012 6:37 p.m.

    Most LDS I know (my family & friends of 35 years, me raised in the church), got our testimonies after sincere prayer about the BoM. However, none of us critically evaluated it against pure Biblical standards. LDS are not given that training. We are a lay church and teach what we're taught. When everything remains "in-house" that's what you're gonna get.

    We were told and passed on what an awesome church we were because we didn't have a "paid clergy". (What a shock to read the NT in Greek that we're supposed to support our leaders!) So instead of seeing the value of studying in Biblical languages and hermeneutics, we just parroted what our 19th century "poor, uneducated" founders did and thought we were virtuous and erudite.

    The rub is that when you attempt an academic discussion with those whose mindset is closed, there's no academic dialogue. I had to be honest and take the "cult" test when I took a Biblical class on false gospels. Of 11 characteristics, we easily had 9 of them in the church. That's when I decided to evaluate and pray based on the Biblical standard: Freedom!

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    June 2, 2012 6:57 p.m.

    Sincerity is not a Biblical shield against false teachers and false gospels. The Apostle Paul warns of wolves amongst the sheep, the analogy of innocents being deceived by the counterfeit. His solution- know the scriptures AND pray. It's both, so let's put the Biblical standard down first.

    Then you can add all the revelations that followed 1830 years (or so) later. If there are popes and prophets with their own interpretations, then get the Bible and read it for yourself. Then compare every other book to that standard:

    You will never come up with:
    1- The New Jerusalem being in America someday;
    2- Michael the Archangel being Adam;
    3- Heaven being populated with polygamous marriages;
    4- God the Father having multiple wives;
    5- Cain's curse having been skin color;
    6- Temples being for marriages;
    7- High Priests having any other roll than sacrifices;
    8- Salvation/Exaltation having anything to do with a garden, caffeine, special diets, tithing, ...
    9- Prophets being presidents/deacons being 12/church leaders having extra wives/gold statues on churches...
    10- More than One God in the Universe.

    And only God's Word as authority. All else is unbiblical. Pray with open Bibles.

  • Lakers Sandy, UT
    June 2, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    It's interesting that Peterson notes that many life decisions are made irrationally or a-rationally. There is certainly something to be said for 'following your heart'. I think conscious-based decisions are usually more enjoyable to follow, they feel more human and organic. Reason is certainly useful too, but if I was about to die and looked back at my life, I would rather know that I had followed my gut than followed whatever analytical model my brain came up with. The key to success seems to be creating harmony between your brain and your gut, which I think is often labelled 'the spirit' in LDS settings. When your brain and gut fight or you try to shut one of them off, you usually feel anguish and stress or at best Romney-esque stiffness. When your brain realizes and accepts that it's best to follow your gut, it is a happy day.

  • Ben Jones Bowie, MD
    June 3, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    The first time I tried to read the Book of Mormon (in 1978) I was rather put off by it after about 5 pages, sure that Mark Twain's first impression was right too. I attended a Sacrament Meeting and was very impressed by the talk that was given but was afraid that if I hung around, I'd be sucked in for sure. So I told the missionaries, "Don't call me, I'll call you." Four years later, two years after marrying an inactive Mormon and adopting her three half grown children, one of my adopted children announced that she wanted to go back to the Church. My wife admitted she too wanted to go back. So I read A MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER, which explained what the Church was all about. Within a week I was ready to be baptized. Over the next several years, I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much my experiences in Church confirmed my decision to join. I was also surprised by how much I'd missed in those first 5 pages of the Book of Mormon. Since then I've served in the Tabernacle Choir and a bishopric.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 3, 2012 3:53 p.m.

    OnlytheCross,

    No, sincerity is not a shield. As to the biblical standard, I have found my background in the bible stacks up well against my friends in various protestant denominations.

    Yes, Paul warned of wolves among the sheep. And here folks are trying to persuade members of the church to abandon their faith.

    Why the reference to popes? Catholics are Christians.

    Most members I know have read the bible for themselves. Several times. It is a regular part of the Sunday School curriculum. I have read it multiple times (though I am not an expert).

    DUPDaze

    Perhaps not in your situation. In mine, I know a lot of converts. Nearly all of them came at it from a biblical background.

    As to scriptural training remaining "in-house", I have seen that phenomenon in every denomination. Same with closed mindedness.

    Regarding hermeneutics, this is fine to a degree. But it can also devolve into arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    The gospel is the power to live our lives on the path of discipleship. It is not an academic exercise. If relatively uneducated fishermen could understand it, so can we.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    June 4, 2012 4:18 p.m.

    @ Searching: It has taken me several days to get back to your suggestion that, if a belief in God is required for Moroni's promise to work, and if someone does not recieve a response to sincere prayer, then it may be that there is no God.

    You sort of beg the question. If there is a God, and if I pray to Him for an answer, my failure to get the answer I anticipate cannot cancel His existence. The expected answer or non-answer has nothing to do with His existence. I hope you can see, logically, that God's existence is an independent principle in this case.

    But an answer to Moroni's promise is contingent on belief in God. One does not approach Moroni's promise hoping that the answer will give one a belief in God; one must already both believe and acknowledge God's goodness.

    Some occasionally try to say that THIS approach begs the question (ie, if you believe already, then you're answering your own question), but that isn't so. The existence of God, and the validity of Moroni's promise are two separate questions and cannot beg each other.

  • Big Lunch REDMOND, WA
    June 4, 2012 7:04 p.m.

    So, I have you good elders and sisters telling me of the infallibility of your own witness, but I also have other good friends who tell me of their own unshakable witness. Only their witness directly contradicts yours. How does "just knowing" the Book of Mormon more legitimate than "just knowing" the Quoran is true? How do you knowyour conviction coming from Moroni's Promise is more authentic then a Jehova's witness conviction that his church is true?

  • -RJ- South Jordan, UT
    June 8, 2012 5:09 p.m.

    Is this article a joke, or for real?