Only one path to God

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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SunbeltRed
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by SunbeltRed » 05 Nov 2014, 18:19

Ray DeGraw wrote:
I get your point, but we certainly don't frame it in that way. Oh we say that if someone is a good person in another faith and in the next life they accept OUR baptism with OUR authority then they could receive exaltation. But if you had a chance to hear it in this life and you rejected it, your chance at exaltation is gone. If you were a part of the church and no longer a part of it you better repent and come back to our church or you are done.


If "we" is the general church membership, you are correct - and I understand completely why that is and don't condemn or ridicule anyone for seeing it that way. However, it simply isn't part of our actual theology (framed as you worded it), and I also simply leave that in the hands of the only person / being in our theology who will make that final judgment. (and I see the final judgment very differently than most members, anyway) Our Article of Faith about worship and conscience is my basic standard, and I believe deeply it applies to ALL (wo)men EVERYWHERE, including those who are active in the LDS Church, those who are inactive, those who don't listen to members and missionaries, those who leave the LDS Church, etc. just as much as to those who never hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have no freaking clue how anyone's actions will be judged in the end, since we have no freaking clue exactly why they made those decisions. Leaving it to God to take care of his children is one of my core beliefs, and I am convinced it is solidly within our theology - even if many members see it differently.
Yeah Ray, I am with you. I get why it is the way it is, and i can't judge too harshly, I used to think that way. I'm glad that I don't anymore, and I believe in a much larger amount of mercy than I did previously.

We're on the same page.

Rsbenson
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Rsbenson » 07 Nov 2014, 06:40

Orson:
Would you please interpret D&C 121:36-37? And, by the way, this is not a test, but a gigantic curiosity.

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SunbeltRed
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by SunbeltRed » 07 Nov 2014, 06:54

Rsbenson wrote:Orson:
Would you please interpret D&C 121:36-37? And, by the way, this is not a test, but a gigantic curiosity.
My interpretation: "Don't be a jerk."

Would you please interpret verses 39-41? I am curious as well.

-SBRed

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2014, 07:07

Would you please interpret D&C 121:36-37?


A powerful, important message about the use of power and authority that would make the world SO much better if everyone understood, accepted and lived it. Relative to this topic, people who abuse power (no matter their position or religious affiliation) aren't on "the right path" to godliness.
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

Rsbenson
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Rsbenson » 07 Nov 2014, 22:10

Heber13:
You Wrote:
"I doubt I have much to teach you. I was hoping you had something to teach me. I like learning from others' views.

But I'll share my view anyway...to quote Oaks again since I have that on my mind:
In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something.


Therefore...
It’s Sunday and instead of going to Church, I decide to take a walk in the woods and view God’s creations and....feel the Spirit,…I guess. Anyway. Strait path or wide path?
Strait path. Feeling the spirit, especially in nature, helps me become more like Christ."

Just one monstrous problem. You used a quote from Elder Oaks to support a 'going for a walk on Sunday instead of going to Church' concept? That's kind of a far stretch.

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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Curt Sunshine » 07 Nov 2014, 23:49

That's kind of a far stretch.
Why - first, for you, and second, for someone else?

To use an extreme example, Jesus was chastised for going for a walk on the Sabbath and allowing corn to be picked and eaten while he and his disciples walked. We can't know for sure, but it is likely that he didn't attend synagogue quite often, given what is available in the Gospels - but, at the very least, it is dead certain he didn't follow the customs / traditions of the time that dictated what was necessary to be close to God (on multiple levels with regard to lots of things).

I attend every meeting each Sunday. I never go on walks instead of attending church. When I was on the high council, at one point I attended roughly eight hours of meetings almost every Sunday. I enjoy church, but I don't get fed spiritually on a fairly regular basis. I also know members who are able to continue to function to the best of their ability because they are willing to take a Sunday off from church occasionally in order to recharge their spiritual batteries doing something else - something like walking in nature and communing directly with God in a place that feels like their own sacred grove. They are better for it, in multiple ways, and I absolutely am not going to insist they do exactly what works for me and stop doing what works for them. It would be like insisting my mom stop taking her schizophrenia medication and start taking my son's diabetes medicine because it keeps him alive and healthy.

Not a good idea. Each person must be accountable for their own spiritual growth and nourishment, and doing something differently than I do (or differently than the communal norm) is within their stewardship as agents unto themselves.
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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DarkJedi
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by DarkJedi » 08 Nov 2014, 07:50

Ray DeGraw wrote:
That's kind of a far stretch.
Why - first, for you, and second, for someone else?

To use an extreme example, Jesus was chastised for going for a walk on the Sabbath and allowing corn to be picked and eaten while he and his disciples walked. We can't know for sure, but it is likely that he didn't attend synagogue quite often, given what is available in the Gospels - but, at the very least, it is dead certain he didn't follow the customs / traditions of the time that dictated what was necessary to be close to God (on multiple levels with regard to lots of things).

I attend every meeting each Sunday. I never go on walks instead of attending church. When I was on the high council, at one point I attended roughly eight hours of meetings almost every Sunday. I enjoy church, but I don't get fed spiritually on a fairly regular basis. I also know members who are able to continue to function to the best of their ability because they are willing to take a Sunday off from church occasionally in order to recharge their spiritual batteries doing something else - something like walking in nature and communing directly with God in a place that feels like their own sacred grove. They are better for it, in multiple ways, and I absolutely am not going to insist they do exactly what works for me and stop doing what works for them. It would be like insisting my mom stop taking her schizophrenia medication and start taking my son's diabetes medicine because it keeps him alive and healthy.

Not a good idea. Each person must be accountable for their own spiritual growth and nourishment, and doing something differently than I do (or differently than the communal norm) is within their stewardship as agents unto themselves.
I'll add this to Ray's comment:
One person’s good idea—something that may work for him or her—takes root and becomes an expectation. And gradually, eternal principles can get lost within the labyrinth of “good ideas.” This was one of the Savior’s criticisms of the religious “experts” of His day, whom He chastised for attending to the hundreds of minor details of the law while neglecting the weightier matters
-Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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Heber13
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Heber13 » 08 Nov 2014, 11:11

Rsbenson wrote:Just one monstrous problem. You used a quote from Elder Oaks to support a 'going for a walk on Sunday instead of going to Church' concept? That's kind of a far stretch.
I can tell you haven't read Elder Oaks' talk, and you come across to me as one who thinks you have all the answers. That is the monstrous problem here.

Elder Oaks' talk doesn't talk about going to Church on Sunday. If you care to read just a couple quotes which might peak your interest to actually go read the Apostle talk truth, two good quotes support my position that "straight" could include skipping church and going on a walk in nature.
Elder Oaks wrote:Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. As we do so, we should remember that our family relationships—even more than our Church callings—are the setting in which the most important part of that development can occur. The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother. Being a successful Church leader is not enough. Exaltation is an eternal family experience, and it is our mortal family experiences that are best suited to prepare us for it.

The Apostle John spoke of what we are challenged to become when he said: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn. 3:2; see also Moro. 7:48).

I hope the importance of conversion and becoming will cause our local leaders to reduce their concentration on statistical measures of actions and to focus more on what our brothers and sisters are and what they are striving to become.
The statistical measure of attending church on Sunday seems to be less important to Elder Oaks than what I hear from you. He goes on to say...
Oaks wrote:Instead of being judgmental about others, we should be concerned about ourselves. We must not give up hope. We must not stop striving. We are children of God, and it is possible for us to become what our Heavenly Father would have us become.

How can we measure our progress? The scriptures suggest various ways. I will mention only two.
what were his suggestions? Read further and find out. I'll let you and others read the rest if interested, but ... spoiler alert ... neither of his two ways is going to church on Sunday.

I'm not against attending church. I'll be there this Sunday. I'm just suggesting we keep things in proper perspective, and follow the spirit, and the apostles who tell us to be properly converted to the gospel, instead of judgmental about others. I'm sure Elder Oaks recommends church every Sunday...that in and of itself is not the purpose of the Gospel, which is to help us "become what we are to become". I'm not sure he would object to me finding God in nature on Sunday.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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West
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by West » 09 Nov 2014, 22:58

Concerning the lighthouse metaphor -- I really love the thought that all boats are different, all maps may not be correct, and all paths may not be safe even though they are going in the right direction. Ever since my FC, I've strongly held the belief that there are many paths but only one direction. And I've always thought of it as climbing a mountain in an attempt to meet the summit. There will be the well-trodden paths that those before us have created to provide a relatively safe and clear way for those who follow. Many of these paths have to be maintained to keep them safe. However, there will always be some of us who start at the bottom of the mountain where we cannot see the path, and we have to make our own way. Sometimes, we reach parts of the mountain where we do not have the skills to continue, or we attempt to create a path through dangerous territory and fail. But those who try to make it to the top are still attempting to go in the right direction. And there are certainly others who have no interest in climbing the mountain at all.

Concerning the walk in nature versus attending church -- shortly before my FC, I determined that I was going to take one weekend a month off to go to a national park (there are many where I live) with some of my close friends for the sole purpose of enjoying nature and each other's company before I left on my health mission. The trips required me to miss attending church. However, each time I went on the trip, my mind would trigger a memorized line from my patriarchal blessing, which basically told me to enjoy the glorious beauty of nature, for it is God's gift, and it would bring me closer to Him. And it did. It was the first time I heard one of my now closest friends refer to his belief God, when we stood at the edge of a cliff, looking out over a landscape that was so breathtaking that there are no words to describe it.

The same friend has now become one of my very few outlets (total count: two) for pleasant, honest religious discourse outside of this forum. The moment on that cliff opened up the opportunity for us to share our beliefs and theories with each other very openly, and it has help me greatly with relieving stress from my FC and helping me rebuild my foundation of beliefs. Because of it, I was able to get over the anger and depression phases of my FC very quickly -- it's only been a few months since my FC, but I already feel more at peace with my beliefs than for many years prior, even though I am still rebuilding.

For me, going to church every single Sunday for three hours without fail was not the path I needed to take. However, completely dropping my church attendance has also not been the right path for me. Back to the mountain analogy, it seems like I'm more the person who keeps the path within view and continues laboring towards the summit, but I need to stray off to see what else the landscape has to offer.
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. -Albert Einstein

And God said 'Love Your Enemy,' and I obeyed him and loved myself. -Kahlil Gibran

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Heber13
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Re: Only one path to God

Post by Heber13 » 09 Nov 2014, 23:35

West, I needed to hear this tonight. Thank you so much for sharing.

It's interesting to me how our metaphors typically include nature to convey deep meaning (oceans, mountains, light, seeds, tempests, etc.)

Perhaps a bit if irony that we gather indoors for three hours on a Sunday to discuss the outdoors so much. But I like your once a month retreat to nature. And how your mind reflected on the words of your personal scripture.

Thanks for sharing.


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Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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