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Showing posts from September, 2023

Repentance hurts: Buyer's remorse from quitting church

A viewer left this question on YouTube. Q: "I feel out of sorts.  Almost hollow. When will the Lord confirm the steps you have taken are according to his will?  What do I do for the sacrament now?  I guess I will seat in the back of the church and leave after?" A: Of course you feel out of sorts. Of course you feel hollow. You've spent your entire life focusing some large percentage of your thoughts, feelings, and actions on something that God has now shown you has no worth. How did you expect to feel? There is a reason sacrifice is so tightly associated with cutting. Do you think it would feel good to have your heart cut out? Or an eye or an arm removed? Why do you think the Lord described obedience to God with these images, and not with puppies and rainbows? When will the Lord confirm your actions as according to his will? How long? What was the answer for Isaiah or Jeremiah? There is a reason Jesus taught that a king should not go to battle without ensuring he had suff

What constitutes a failed ministry? Limitation of love.

Throughout time, there have been multiple times when God has sent to earth people so determined in their faith and love that they would be able to minister to people who would not respond. Isaiah was told that his ministry would cause the people to turn even further away from the Lord (see Isaiah 6:10). Ezekiel was told that his determination against opposition was crucial for the work he would do: 7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. 8 Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 As an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. (Ezekiel 3) Many others faced similar lack of response. How would one measure the value of the ministry of these people, since there were no obvious cases of people becoming more like God as a resu

"Now that I know Jesus for real..."

 Andrew Tiner posted this a few days ago ( video ): "Now that I know Jesus for real, I will never go back to doing church, doing worship, doing the ceremonies that they do in church to try to prove to the world that they are a church and that they are Christians. The churches here in America are apostate. They have fallen away from God or maybe they never were with God. They advocate for all kinds of sin. They teach people that you will always be a sinner, that you never truly repent. They accept all kinds of perverted things. They keep people out of the kingdom of God and they themselves are not entering the kingdom of God. If we want to come into a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, we have to sever ourselves from the world and from false religion. Do you love Jesus Christ? Do you want to hear His voice? Do you want to be led by Him? Or are you content with the lies in church? May the grace of Jesus be with you."

Come out from Babylon

Here is a talk by Marc M. that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to: I find it to be excellent. He succinctly addresses many important ideas regarding governance and the past, present, and future disposition of Zion for those who believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Marc said he wrote and read this speech from the LDS pulpit by invitation, and I think it stands as a wonderful example of how the Lord is using people to teach what he has taught them in a way that is accessible to those who might not otherwise access those ideas. I've made several videos on teaching that address a bit of what I'm referring to here . I happen to know that Marc has a lot  going on in his life. He faces many demands on his time and attention, and many of those things are out of his hands. And he still found the time to work with the Lord to write, deliver, and record this talk. If he can do it, so can you. So many precious blessings God offers are l

Idiots and doofuses

I received the following email yesterday: <begin quote> Could you stop referring to doofuses...and idiots? ....It's just many of us do often feel like doofuses and idiots (I guess we all are compared to God) and we want to feel like we have a bit of a chance as well. It may sound funny to you, but when you said a while back in a video that no doofuses would make it to heaven it really discouraged me. Because I am one in many ways, and probably in the way that you meant, more than I would normally care to admit. If I knew how to easily overcome this condition I would have already because I've put a substantial effort into not being one. I know God can't look upon sin with the least degree of allowance, but I was hoping he'd have some mercy on idiots. I wouldn't want you to lose any sleep over this. You haven't offended me, it was just a bit discouraging for a little while is all. Then I decided that I may as well keep trying because the alternative

Q: Is there a big test to get into God's presence?

Someone wrote me the following: "Is part of getting into the presence of God, that a person overcome a big physical test? Was there one significant test you passed that cracked the heavens for you?" One good place to look for this is "The Glory of God is Intelligence."  Here is a snippet from page 41: <begin quote>  Law, glory, light, and truth are all intimately tied together. Any time you have one, you have all the others, and any time you lack one, you lack all the others. Reconciliation to the law of the level of truth you possess sanctifies you, or makes you able to receive the glory pertaining to that kingdom, or all the blessings reaped as a natural consequence of living the truths at that level: “that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.” (D&C 88:34) There is a range of light and truth corresponding to a given kingdom. There is a minimum and a maximum. Everyone who possesses the minimum amount

Terrible tests for putative truth from one who should know better

There are many articles on the internet that counsel people not to pray to know whether the Book of Mormon is true. You should check them out and add your voice to the conversation of articles that allow them. In this article, the author makes what I believe is a solid argument for why putative truth can't be evaluated by one's feelings about it. He uses scriptures to support the idea that one must use their minds and reason about putative truth. Then he takes a huge turn into a less supported conclusion: "In summary, then, we should never be tempted to accept the Mormon challenge to pray about the Book of Mormon. Rather, we should use our minds to investigate its origin, examine its teachings, and compare it with Scripture. In so doing, we remain consistent with Scripture and subject a book that claims to be the Word of God to a factual and realistic assessment." I am writing this post because I think this is a great specific example of what I've referred to as

Q: "How do you get to the point where you speak the truth regardless of how offended the other party will take it?"

A viewer wrote: "To be honest, one of the ways I deviate from God is by not saying what The Lord would in my place.  Many times, I’m silent when I should be verbally standing apart from the crowd.  This has come to my attention with greater clarity because of your videos.  How do you go from a, How To Win Friends and Influence People, kind of approach to life to being a verbal warrior for Christ?  My whole life I’ve been agreeable....I’ve spent my life finding common ground and avoiding conflict.   How do you get to the point where you speak the truth regardless of how offended the other party will take it?  I don’t believe The Lord ever worried about that.  I’m so amazed at how blunt and offensive he was at times and how kind and loving he was to others.  He had the ability to deliver exactly what the individual needed because he had the spiritual gift of being able to “see” their hearts.  I don’t have that now.  I assume that gift comes as you do it, otherwise you are shooting i

LDS temple sealings do not confer anything unavailable outside of LDS temples

Q: "What would you say to your wife if she asked you, 'don’t you believe in the temple anymore and the covenants you made there, don’t you believe in eternal marriage?'  This is how I responded saying, 'yes, I believe in those promises we made, and we can be married forever, but that depends on how we live, that ordinance in the temple was an invitation, God is the one that seals in the Heavens what is sealed on earth.'  So bottom line, is that true?  Is there still a sliver of truth in the LDS temple rites?  Would God recognize that marriage performed in the temple if we live righteously?" A - what: There is nothing done in LDS temples today that confers anything beyond whatever true information is contained in what is done or spoken. The blessings available to anyone who has been married in an LDS temple are available to all people under the same conditions, which have everything to do with how they treat each other and how diligently they learn from and act

Q: Do you still believe the Book of Mormon is inspired given how it was translated?

In reply to a video I published on how to respond to those who claim to have had supernatural experiences in LDS temples , someone wrote: "Insightful video.  Do you still believe the BoM is inspired after knowing it was translated by automatic writing using a well known method of occultic divination?  The early restoration folks also became violently possessed as did Mohammad, Siddhartha Buddah, etc..upon their encounters.  I investigated Mormonism for a few years exhaustively and it just couldn't stand any scrutiny whatsoever. I'd be interested to hear any epistemic reasons there are for that belief." Here is my reply: To someone who believes the Bible: The means of translation The commenter above referred to the purported means of translation of the Book of Mormon. While he used strange phrasing, it seems he doesn't dispute that Joseph Smith dictated the Book of Mormon. He refers to the process as a potential problem. Do you also have a problem with Joseph of Eg