What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

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bridget_night
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What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by bridget_night » 27 Sep 2009, 16:16

Hi All,

I do believe in personal revelation but have sometimes gotten inspiration that is against church teachings. Not as bad as Nephi who was told to kill Laban, but other things in my life. I have had people tell me that God would never tell you anything against church teachings but I have definitely experienced that and when I followed the prompting it turned out for the good. What are your thoughts on this?

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Bruce in Montana
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by Bruce in Montana » 27 Sep 2009, 16:31

I think Joseph Smith did a wonderful job of addressing this issue.
See TPJS pages 255-256. It's entitled "happiness the design of existence" but that title was added later. It's actually a letter to Nancy Rigdon.

Pretty insightful stuff IMHO.

He says such things as "That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.

There are millions of Mormons and personal revelation is, as a matter of necessity, going to differ from cookie-cutter general teachings from time-to-time.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
-William S.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 27 Sep 2009, 17:07

I have no problem with it, as long as it doesn't become the norm.

I think church teachings generally are very good generalities that work for the general populace in general situations. Thus, I generally try to live by them - and I end up doing so a large percent of the time, generally speaking.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Rix
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by Rix » 27 Sep 2009, 18:10

I think it is helpful to keep the attitude that we are all doing the best we can with what we've been given. That includes the church leaders.

As we've discessed before, I think most church members are in stage three...and in that state, obedience is important; I find the phrase "fake it till you make it" applicable. But, particularly when in stage 4 or 5, there is absolutely nothing or nobody, IMHO, that has the right to force you to go against what you feel strongly is pure inspiration from God.

:)
Überzeugungen sind oft die gefährlichsten Feinde der Wahrheit.
[Certainty (that one is correct) is often the most dangerous enemy of the
truth.] - Friedrich Nietzsche

God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that. -- Joseph Campbell

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MisterCurie
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by MisterCurie » 28 Sep 2009, 05:20

Bruce in Montana wrote:
He says such things as "That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.
This is an example of "theocratic ethics" and something that I have come to find very disturbing since my disaffection. I find it frightening that someone can claim God told them something was right so they can perform acts that would normally be wrong (we find examples of this in Nephi with Laban, Old testament genocide, the catholic crusades, Muslim Jihad, JS and early phophets with polygamy, the church's whitewashing (lying) about church history).

That said, I don't think the church is the source of ultimate truth (although it is a good church and the leaders are trying) and so it is perfectly reasonable to obtain answerrs to prayer against church teachings. I think it is important to obey your personal answers to prayer, but we should be especially careful if that answer is against generally accepted societal norms (murder, stealing, lying, etc.) I think it is entirely too difficult to definitively distinguish between our own desires and personal revelation at times. I also think too many evil deads have been done in the name of Diety.

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bridget_night
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by bridget_night » 28 Sep 2009, 07:44

MisterCurie wrote:
Bruce in Montana wrote:
He says such things as "That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.
I think it is important to obey your personal answers to prayer, but we should be especially careful if that answer is against generally accepted societal norms (murder, stealing, lying, etc.) I think it is entirely too difficult to definitively distinguish between our own desires and personal revelation at times. I also think too many evil deads have been done in the name of Diety.

That is so important what you said as I think one of mankinds greatest weaknesses is to rationalize in order to do what we want. I guess we have to ask ourselves whether this is really the loving thing to do before we do it.

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mormonheretic
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by mormonheretic » 29 Sep 2009, 22:02

Thou shalt not kill, but Abraham was supposed to kill his son Isaac.

There are exceptions, but we should be wary of them. I don't care if an angel commanded me to do the same thing as Abraham--I wouldn't do it.

That has to be one of the most paradoxical stories in all of scripture.

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HiJolly
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by HiJolly » 29 Sep 2009, 22:48

mormonheretic wrote:Thou shalt not kill, but Abraham was supposed to kill his son Isaac.

There are exceptions, but we should be wary of them. I don't care if an angel commanded me to do the same thing as Abraham--I wouldn't do it.

That has to be one of the most paradoxical stories in all of scripture.
Yep. Balance is the key.


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

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HiJolly
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by HiJolly » 29 Sep 2009, 22:54

bridget_night wrote:Hi All,

I do believe in personal revelation but have sometimes gotten inspiration that is against church teachings. Not as bad as Nephi who was told to kill Laban, but other things in my life. I have had people tell me that God would never tell you anything against church teachings but I have definitely experienced that and when I followed the prompting it turned out for the good. What are your thoughts on this?
My approach (and yes, this happens to me also) is to quietly examine the issue, and wait for confirmation. If many events occur which confirm or at least support the heretical concept, I begin to accept it personally as 'truth'. I am very careful whom I share it with, even if I am 100% sure my heretical belief is true.

What I love :twisted: is dropping occult quotes in Gospel Doctrine class. They like it, 'cause its the truth, but oh, my, if they only knew where it came from... Things like "As Above, So Below"... or, "Nature, unaided, always fails". LoL.


HiJolly
Men are not moved by events but by their interpretations.
-- The Stoic Epictetus

Poppyseed
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Re: What if your answer to prayer is against Church teachings?

Post by Poppyseed » 30 Sep 2009, 07:18

Well this has happened to me too. I think the key is following God and not going too far with things and to be very sure of what God is telling us and not telling us.

If God told a person to get clear of the church for a time, that doesn't necessarily mean the church is false. But a person could draw that conclusion. I think its easy to get confused when we get so stuck in the law or attached to the bible, for example, that we dont' understand how personal revelation works inside the system.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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