If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Public forum for topics that don't fit into the other categories.
User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7227
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by SilentDawning » 03 Jul 2019, 18:55

Perhaps we've discussed this before, but I have a question. If the church is as true as we say it is, and so essential for salvation, and if you can live a much better life with the gospel than without it, then why isn't this world structured so it it is widely known? Why does it require such faith to even find it or accept it?

Please don't quote Satan's plan -- he wanted to force everyone to heaven. I'm not saying that. I'm talking about accessibility, and initial believability. I feel that if our religion is essential for salvation, then God would want it to be accessible. Perhaps requiring faith to live it at the highest levels, but to at least give us a certain amount of knowledge up front so we can distinguish between all of the religions. All of which, by the way, require faith, thus lacking differentiation on that count. I also wonder why we weren't given a less implausible story to believe, in place of Joseph Smith's story.

Particularly when it's surrounded by the magic and other things that seem to have been de-emphasized over time. And why lace our history with a plural marriage -- something that is a stumbling block for so many people. Or allow questionable guidance from prophets like Brigham Young, such as the priesthood ban. These are reasonable stumbling blocks I believe a reasonable person would expect to find difficult to overcome.
Last edited by SilentDawning on 21 Jul 2019, 09:04, edited 2 times in total.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Curt Sunshine
Site Admin
Posts: 16575
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 03 Jul 2019, 19:27

If those things are true, upbringing, bias, blinders, habits, social and cultural pressure, greed, ignorance, addictive issues (not just alcoholic and drug substances), etc. (human weaknesses) still exist and are powerful.

People gonna people, no matter what seems obvious to some. We really do see through a glass, darkly.
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

User avatar
Always Thinking
Posts: 189
Joined: 29 Dec 2015, 11:46

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Always Thinking » 03 Jul 2019, 19:59

I have also thought on this subject before. What I've come to believe is that, if there is a God, he doesn't seem especially attached to any one religion over another. Things are so unclear with every religion in the world claiming to be God's true church, and so many religious books, and so many different teachings, so many different ideas of God that have changed over history, etc. With everything being as unclear as it is, it seems like God either God is pretty unfair in expecting everyone to figure out His true religion, or, if He's a loving God, that he actually doesn't care what religion we follow. Either that, or it isn't important to him that people belong to his true church while they're mortal. Maybe instead of Mormonism being God's one true church, and every other religion having only some truth, maybe every church (including Mormonism) in the world and every church in history has some truth to it.

That's my view now. I have a hard time believing in a God who would be mad at me for losing my faith in Mormonism, when He's made things unclear enough that I was able to misunderstand his communication with me, and by using my brain instead of my feelings, realized the church made no sense and could be a fraud, and I thought I had been tricked into following that fraud. I lost my faith based on a untrue prayer answer, and that was supposed to be my connection with God, so it made me realize if His way of communicating with us can be wrong, even when it feels like a very clear answer, then it wasn't a valid way of figuring out truth.
Anyways, back to your thought, I think God is way less worried about what religion people join, than people seem to think He is.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7227
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by SilentDawning » 03 Jul 2019, 22:19

Always Thinking wrote:
03 Jul 2019, 19:59
I have also thought on this subject before. What I've come to believe is that, if there is a God, he doesn't seem especially attached to any one religion over another. Things are so unclear with every religion in the world claiming to be God's true church, and so many religious books, and so many different teachings, so many different ideas of God that have changed over history, etc. With everything being as unclear as it is, it seems like God either God is pretty unfair in expecting everyone to figure out His true religion, or, if He's a loving God, that he actually doesn't care what religion we follow. Either that, or it isn't important to him that people belong to his true church while they're mortal. Maybe instead of Mormonism being God's one true church, and every other religion having only some truth, maybe every church (including Mormonism) in the world and every church in history has some truth to it.

That's my view now. I have a hard time believing in a God who would be mad at me for losing my faith in Mormonism, when He's made things unclear enough that I was able to misunderstand his communication with me, and by using my brain instead of my feelings, realized the church made no sense and could be a fraud, and I thought I had been tricked into following that fraud. I lost my faith based on a untrue prayer answer, and that was supposed to be my connection with God, so it made me realize if His way of communicating with us can be wrong, even when it feels like a very clear answer, then it wasn't a valid way of figuring out truth.
Anyways, back to your thought, I think God is way less worried about what religion people join, than people seem to think He is.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
I feel the same way as above. Although I wonder why he gives us answers to prayers telling us to join the church when it may not be what it says it is? I asked if it was true and if I should join. I felt the Spirit strongly enough to forge ahead.

I often wonder if he was more concerned that at that point in my life, it was a good thing for me to join the church. So, he gave me the spiritual feelings I needed to join. Perhaps being a member would bring greater good than being a non-member? I'm not sure God is so concerned about absolute truth, as he is about influencing us to make decisions that are useful to Him, or his children. Particularly given our limited understanding relative to him.

But back to accessibility....this lack of accessibility and clarity about what is true is giving me confidence. Confidence that I may be able to die someday, not necessarily "firm in the faith". This also gives me drive to simply do as well as I can on this earth from a character perspective.

But I agree with AlwaysThinking that it seems really unfair to make finding the true religion an easter egg hunt -- particularly when we learn this life is the time to prepare to meet God, that what we learn in this life will give us a big advantage in the life to come, etcetera.

For me, it's a case for what AlwaysThinking said -- God may not be as attached to one religion as we say He is. Further, I think he allows churches, even the LDS Church to contain quite a lot of falsehoods for periods of time.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Roy
Posts: 5695
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Roy » 04 Jul 2019, 09:15

I do not believe it is reasonable that people's entire lives, their mortal probation, is wasted because they did not have access to the gospel (or failed to recognize or misunderstood the gospel). Therefore, whatever experiences or growth that they find must count for something. We LDS like to imagine that everyone will have the chance to convert and become Mormons after they die (when all the mortal confusion will presumably have dissipated). Such a doctrine was pretty expansive and inclusive for the time period.

I do not know if an afterlife exists and even if it does exist I find it impossible to predict what form it might take. Reincarnation? Heaven? A hive mind consciousness? Nothingness? Whatever happens I choose to have faith that "whatever experiences or growth that [life gives] must count for something."

That seems to be enough for me right now. Live, grow, laugh, and love. Help others to do the same and respect others even if they do it differently.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

User avatar
Always Thinking
Posts: 189
Joined: 29 Dec 2015, 11:46

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Always Thinking » 04 Jul 2019, 09:31

SD said:
"Although I wonder why he gives us answers to prayers telling us to join the church when it may not be what it says it is? I asked if it was true and if I should join. I felt the Spirit strongly enough to forge ahead.

I often wonder if he was more concerned that at that point in my life, it was a good thing for me to join the church. So, he gave me the spiritual feelings I needed to join. Perhaps being a member would bring greater good than being a non-member? I'm not sure God is so concerned about absolute truth, as he is about influencing us to make decisions that are useful to Him, or his children. Particularly given our limited understanding relative to him.

But back to accessibility....this lack of accessibility and clarity about what is true is giving me confidence. Confidence that I may be able to die someday, not necessarily "firm in the faith". This also gives me drive to simply do as well as I can on this earth from a character perspective."

-------------------------------------------------------------

For me personally, since I don't think prayer answers are legit, I think those feelings are from us, and we know more about what we need than we think we do. I think sometimes in life we feel a connection to something and are driven to be a part of it. Whether it's because it makes sense to us and gives us a feeling of security, or because it tells us something we need to hear, or because it resonates with beliefs we already have from our upbringing and view of how the world works. There are just so many people who get spiritual witnesses for their religion, it doesn't seem to have to do with which religion is true. This could work in a scenario where there is no God, or if God is very uninvolved in our lives and mostly lets our lives pan out however they will. I think both are possible. I have a hard time personally believing in a God who is loving, and all powerful, and willing to let people suffer so badly. Especially when the suffering has no point to it, pointless suffering goes against the idea of it being "for our good". Those are my thoughts at least, what do you think SD, do you think that feeling you had when you felt the spirit could have been from you?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk









User avatar
Heber13
Posts: 7108
Joined: 22 Apr 2009, 16:37
Location: In the Middle

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Heber13 » 08 Jul 2019, 21:11

Matt 13:9. Who Hath Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear.
Come Follow Me wrote: “For whosoever receiveth,” Jesus declared, “to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance” (Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:10 [in Matthew 13:12, footnote a]). So as we prepare to study the Savior’s parables—or any of His teachings—a good place to start is to examine our hearts and determine whether we are giving the word of God “good ground” in which to grow, blossom, flourish, and produce fruit that will bless us and our families in abundance (Matthew 13:8).
What I like about how Jesus teaches these things is to have us focus inward to our hearts.

It does not matter if the rest of the world does or does not also believe it...but are we preparing our heart to find truth. To go on the journey. To find truth. The kind of truth that cannot be spoken or explained to someone else, but truth that is experienced, felt, believed. It is myths that Joseph Campbell spoke of, which are not of this world.
Campbell: The Buddha's word is nirvana. Nirvana is a psychological state of mind. It's not a place like heaven. It's not something that's not here. It is here in the middle of turmoil. What's called samsarah, the whirlpool of life conditions. That Nirvana is what, is the condition that comes when you are not compelled by desire or by fear, or by social commitments, when you hold your center and act out of there.

Bill Moyers: and like all heroes, the Buddha doesn't show you the truth, the illumination; he shows you the way to it.

Campbell:. The way. But it's got to be your way, too. I mean, how should I get rid of fear? The Buddha can't tell me how I'm going to do it. there are exercises that different teachers will give you, but they may not work for you. And all a teacher can do is give you a clue of the direction. He's like a lighthouse that says there are rocks over here, and steer clear.
Our church, the prophet Joseph, Jesus...all are signs pointing you to truth. Truth that is not explained in words. You must find your own truth, regardless of the rest of the world.

It is found in the parables of Jesus, but not the parables themselves. It is found in temples and symbols and covenants and ordinances, but not by those arbitrary things. It is faith that must be walked, not studied. Felt, not thought.

We must get out of our minds, and into our hearts, or we do not find the kingdom of heaven that is within us.

Since that is the way to God, we must find our path, and may find Mormonism helps point us towards that, until Mormonism holds us back from progressing further.

Every individual must journey to find what works for us. We must prepare our hearts to receive truth, and our ears to hear, and our eyes to see.

There are so many levels of the mysteries of God, we will never find it in this world Only pursue it. And let my children, my family, friends and loved ones find their path too. Love is greater than Religion.

Because that is God's plan for us to grow...I don't believe He is interested in more efficient ways to convert His children to a religion that provides one answer. He is more interested in teaching them the way to find it themselves. And the way has many paths. All that are true lead to Him.
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."

User avatar
Cadence
Posts: 1170
Joined: 08 Dec 2009, 21:36

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by Cadence » 10 Jul 2019, 11:24

The obvious answer is the church is not as true or important as we are told.

It would be hypocrisy on the part of god to make it so important, yet it’s reach and desire to join be an obstacle to that.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction--faith in fiction is a damnable false hope. Thomas A. Edison

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7227
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by SilentDawning » 21 Jul 2019, 09:10

Always Thinking wrote:
04 Jul 2019, 09:31
For me personally, since I don't think prayer answers are legit, I think those feelings are from us, and we know more about what we need than we think we do. I think sometimes in life we feel a connection to something and are driven to be a part of it. Whether it's because it makes sense to us and gives us a feeling of security, or because it tells us something we need to hear, or because it resonates with beliefs we already have from our upbringing and view of how the world works. There are just so many people who get spiritual witnesses for their religion, it doesn't seem to have to do with which religion is true. This could work in a scenario where there is no God, or if God is very uninvolved in our lives and mostly lets our lives pan out however they will. I think both are possible. I have a hard time personally believing in a God who is loving, and all powerful, and willing to let people suffer so badly. Especially when the suffering has no point to it, pointless suffering goes against the idea of it being "for our good". Those are my thoughts at least,

...what do you think SD, do you think that feeling you had when you felt the spirit could have been from you?

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
The short answer -- I'm not sure. Those powerful feelings only happened to me a couple times in my life. The first time was when I prayed to God for the first time after being taught by a minister from a protestant religion. It was very powerful. And very convincing. Faith-inducing about the existence of God.

The second time was when I asked if the LDS church was true and if I should become a member of it. It wasn't as powerful, but it was enough.

That is why I'm agnostic about my LDS faith. As I have said before, I have great faith in my own ignorance. And that means keeping myself open just in case the LDS church is what I thought my prayer said it was.

Later evidence in my life seems to dictate otherwise. But I am not sure.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

User avatar
SilentDawning
Posts: 7227
Joined: 09 May 2010, 19:55

Re: If it's true and essential, then why is not widely known?

Post by SilentDawning » 21 Jul 2019, 09:19

I also want to add -- the quote below, taken from another thread, sort of answers why I think God might have told me to join when the church may not be all it purports to be:
A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young
This is so powerful to me it's in my signature line now.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

Post Reply