Monday, August 25, 2008

Respect to Other People's Religious Opinions????

First let me say the obvious, least I be misunderstood, that as LDS we should support the right of all people to have religious opinions contrary to our own. And we should support their rights to practice those beliefs where the practice doesn't infringe on the God given rights of others. We should also show respect to them, as individuals, in spite of their opinions. But how much respect should we show to those actual opinions?

Christ strongly opposed the false doctrines that had crept into the church. He talked to the Scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees; who actually belonged to the true church which he himself had established through Moses and Aaron. Yet is this respect he and John the Baptist showed to them? - "O generation of vipers" (Matt 3:7, Matt 12:34), "an evil and adulterous generation" (Matt 12:39), "child of hell" (Matt 23:15).

And what did Christ say of the Jews? - "Ye are of your father the devil" (Jn 8:44), "liar" (Jn 8:55), He said that it would be more tolerable for the Gentile cities in the day of judgement than for Jewish cities that had seen the miracles and yet rejected him (Matt 11:20-24).

And what did prophets preach to those they were sent to? How wicked they were, and they were doomed to hell if they don't change. Even the more moderate statements say things like, "ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity" (Hel 13:38).

And what did Christ say of other religions? "all their creeds are an abomination." Should I hide from the words of Christ? Perhaps be more diplomatic than my Savior?

I have many Protestant friends, but they all know exactly what I think of the god taught by Protestant churches. Following Christ's example, I don't hide this. They know that I love them as people, and reserve their right to those beliefs. Yet they know that out of that love I seek to help them see how unbiblical it is.

I know that some of my posts are very pointed send-ups of many false ideas embedded in society. I have done send-ups or had a go at theory science, feminism, psychiatry, philosophy, the legal system, political systems, Catholicism and Protestantism. And as long as lies persist, that won't change. I make no apologies for following my Savior's example and declaring falsehood to be such, in the strongest terms.

Nevertheless I would say to anyone who feels that I don't love them, that they are mistaken. My writings are out of concern for those involved. They are a wake-up call, not a desire to look down on those believing such things. These things bother me because I seek the true joy of all. And I know these things are contrary to that joy that I seek for others.

Feminists winging about men and distorting history and reality, aren't happy. Psychiatrists giving people false advice aren't helping anyone. Flaws in the legal system that create a loss of hope and/or condemn the innocent are also destructive to a people. People believing themselves to be advanced apes have lower self-esteem and more reason to commit suicide when problems arise. Protestants and Catholics believing in that horrid god can't appreciate the joy of a truly loving God. Those compromising truth to fit in with their invented philosophy are suffering the affects of their false perceptions.

The world is paying the price of falsehood. It is demonstrated in so many ways. The truth will only hurt for a while. If you reject the falsehoods and follow the truth it will bring you that happiness inside that you truly desire.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Deep Doctrine - Can we just Wait and learn it "Later On"?

A point of some confusion, in the church, is just how important is it to learn uncommonly known doctrine while alive? Should we just put it off until we are resurrected and have God tell us then? Some will argue that it is confusing, and so it is best to just wait.

Some past GAs have mentioned that not everything can be learnt in this lifetime, and will require instruction afterward. But what are these things that won't be learnt in this lifetime? It seems obvious to me that the state of a resurrected body is likely to be one of these things referred to. After all, how can we understand the physical make-up of something we don't actually have? What is it like dwelling in everlasting burnings with a resurrected body? How much space is best left between solar systems, and why? How many inhabited planets should be governed by one Savior? There are so many questions and things to learn. So it certainly can't all be learnt in this lifetime.

On the one hand the idea is posed - leave learning unknown doctrine to later. Yet on the other hand we have - should we put off until tomorrow what we could do today? Or - procrastination; a tool of the Devil.

Then we have on the one hand - we could get it wrong. Yet on the other hand - "fear" a tool that Satan uses: A concept of spiritual ignorance is definately something he is pleased with.

But additionally questions arise, such as - How are we better off by learning mysteries? How does our learning affect others? How does our learning affect our relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ? Is there a responsibility put upon us to learn for some reason? And what do the Scriptures say about this?

Alma 34:32 tells us that this lifetime is when we should prepare to meet God. And while Alma emphasises the repentance point, surely the same logic applies to everything.

John 8:32 states, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." In our missionary discussions it quoted this, and then went on to say, "knowing the truth frees us from the consequences of following false information." In other words ignorance (and Christ was referring more to spiritual truth) leaves us in a greater position to make wrong choices (do evil). Having the truth also allows us to help others stay free of such consequences.

Then we are also informed, "Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more KNOWLEDGE and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the ADVANTAGE in the world to come." (D&C 130: 18-19).

That certainly doesn't propose waiting until afterward to learn things. In fact quite the opposite. It tells us that the more we learn in this life, that relates to spiritual things, the greater advantage we will have later.

"The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." (D&C 93: 36). Therefore the more truth we obtain, that we live by (D&C 93:39), the greater intelligence we have.

Amidst a collection of revelatory gems D&C 131:6 states, "It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance."

But I would suppose the most conclusive to be, "If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things - that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal." (D&C 42:61).

This is saying that if you will ask you will learn the mysteries that bring eternal life. This is, naturally, proposing that if you don't ask you won't know sufficiently the things that will bring eternal life. That seals it all to me.

But while this message is clear, what is the benefit for me today: The person inside?

I can't begin to explain the feeling of joy that comes as truth comes flooding in. It is just like your being is gaining all this wonderful light. Your life is that much better from that time henceforth. Nothing else can even begin to compare with it, other than looking in the eyes of a woman beautiful with the light of truth that is in her. Or standing in the presence of Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ.

But this is one more area involved in this. Desiring to know the truth, sincerely, will bring you closer to God. You will begin to find you are talking with him, and he with you personally. This relationship will develop to where you begin to see him. You will love this relationship.

So there is no downside to learning the mysteries provided you follow the things he says.