the last comment is really important. that scripture is veiled in mystery, that truth is revealed line upon line, that the entire mystery is yet to be solved...these are extraordinarily important concepts.Jeff Walsh wrote:Parley P. Pratt wrote...At length a Moses came, who knew his God, and would fain had led mankind to know Him too, to see His face, but they would not receive His heavenly laws or abide His presence.
Thus the holy man was forced to veil the past in mystery, and in the beginning of his history assign man to an earthly origin. Man moulded from the earth as a brick!!!!!!, Woman manufactured from a rib!!!!!!, thus parents would fain conceal from budding manhood the mysteries of procreation, or the scource of life's ever flowing river, by relating some childish tale of new born life , engendered in the trunk of some old tree, or springing with spontaneous growth life mushrooms from the heaps of rubbish. O MAN! WHEN WILT THOU CEASE TO BE A CHILD OF KNOWLEDGE? MAN AS WE HAVE SAID, IS THE OFFSPRING OF DEITY. The entire mystery of the past and the future, with regard to his existence, is not yet solved by mortals
i commend you on your ability to pick and choose among scientific opinions to justify a literal interpretation of scripture. you are quite talented at this, seriously, and with no condescension intended. i choose to select from scriptural symbols to grasp the divine, while acknowledging that if something does not work within this world according to natural law, it may not be literal. perhaps neither approach is ideal, but I hope we share the idea that there is room in the Church for people of both persuasions. As you acknowledge that there are hidden meanings, i would ask, rhetorically, how does one sort between the literal and the figurative? because there is no objectve method for this decision, i would suggest that personal revelation, the sense of faith-based insight that comes to my mind and heart after legitimate study of the issue.
i like what you said above in another post, "I don't know".cwald wrote:Well Jeff, that is interesting. You sound like a very fundamental and traditional Mormon. I have no problem with your faith, and your belief in a literal Adam and Eve and the whole Noah's Flood thing. But you won't answer my question.
Do I have to believe it? Is there room in this church for those like Wayfarer and myself who just cannot accept a literal translation of the Bible stories you have mentioned, and perhaps see it as only mythology meant to teach man spiritual truths about the nature of humans and their relation with the gods?
sometimes, apologetics can be seriously damaging. the speculation about why blacks couldnt have the priesthood, when they would get it, and their ongoing slave status in the CK were flat out wrong doctrines, yet preached with the same certainty Jeff is proposing with his literal genesis worldview. i dont think there is a lot of harm in a literal genesis worldview, except where it rejects the legitimate benefits deriving from accepting evolution, for example.
not knowing is the honest answer. not knowing, according to laotzu, is true knowledge. not knowing, we can have a speculative discussion, exploring possibilities, and sharing creativity, without the summary rejection of our ideas from "the smartest guy in the room". the key of practicing "not knowing" is that it cuts both ways -- the certain atheist is as obnoxious as the certain fundamentalist. so regardless of my theological position or lack thereof, "not knowing" is the way to express belief without disparaging the belief of the other. this does not diminish the passion with which we hold to our beliefs, but they are just that: beliefs, not knowledge--hence, the raison d'etre of "Faith".
lovely comment. whenever someone defines what it means to be a "true" LDS, or more particularly, to define what is not "true", i get suspicious. i believe that a true LDS is true to the extent they proclaim and attempt to follow christ. and none of us are there yet... so these are the weightier matters: living and loving in the here and now.GBSmith wrote:I remember an Ensign article in the last 10-12 years on the flood and at one point the author said something to the effect that no true Latter-Day Saint would not believe in a literal world wide flood. Well, I didn't then and I don't now and I realized that believing this sort of thing has precioius little to with staying LDS. It doesn't get the home teaching done or a roof on someone's house or food for a single mom or dad that's out of work. It doesn't get the girls to girls camp or boys to their summer 50 miler or comfort someone who's lost a spouse, a child, or a parent. It has nothing to do with trying to be a decent person or a good neighbor or a better spouse or parent. So until someone tells me I have to believe in this version of things, I won't and if possible try to be what I'm supposed to be, that is an LDS version of a Christian. I've not made it yet but then I'm still above ground and there's still daylight.