What does "I know this church is true" mean?

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DarkJedi
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What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Apr 2014, 07:31

Back in my more active and orthodox days I used to use the phrase "I know the church is true" like many others did. Admittedly, it was not an every testimony kind of thing, but I did sometimes say it. And I meant it. From the perspective that Joseph Smith had a vision telling him, in part, that all other churches were wrong and that he organized a church under God's direction (or so I believed at the time), the church was, therefore, true. But after coming to the point where I didn't necessarily believe Joseph Smith organized a church under God's direction and spending a great deal of time here, I have come to understand that just because that's what I meant when I said I knew the church was true wasn't necessarily what other people mean when they say it. For what it's worth, at this point I would not say "I know the church is true" simply because I don't, nor do I believe it is in that same sense.

So, what do you mean or what do you perceive others mean when they say they know the church is true?
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."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 04 Apr 2014, 07:35

As is my tendency, I will try to find and link to previous posts about this topic.

Everyone else, comment away. :D
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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nibbler
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by nibbler » 04 Apr 2014, 07:57

I remember semi-answering that before so I searched my posts and dug up:
nibbler wrote:I know where you're coming from, that phrase sticks out to me as well. It means something to the people saying it and the majority of the people hearing it so I give it a pass. Still I think people would get more out of bearing their testimony if they could better articulate what it is.

At best it's a condensed way of saying "I know that this church is the the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth with which the Lord is well pleased." At worst it's just something that's repeated out of routine. People repeat it because that's what people hear.
To that I would amend:
  • The LDS church is the only church with the priesthood, the authority to perform ordinances like baptism
  • The LDS church is the only one that Christ is directly involved with leading and directing
  • And of course, all other churches are false, fall short
If one dream dies, dream another dream. If you get knocked down, get back up and go again.
― Joel Osteen

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On Own Now
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by On Own Now » 04 Apr 2014, 08:04

There is some related discussion near the middle of the page of this thread, starting with Orson's comment:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4187&start=20

Speaking for myself, when I used to say it, I believed that I did know... and what I knew was that the Church, its organization and its teachings were directed by God and in the form He wanted, and that it was the only Church in that position. I 'knew' based on personal experience, spiritual manifestations, and by the fruits of the Church in the world at large, as well as in my own life. I know people say it who couldn't possibly 'know', but I'm not concerned with that. I wish I could again "know the Church is true." Knowing that would solve a lot of problems.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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Eric Merrill
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by Eric Merrill » 04 Apr 2014, 08:15

From Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth...
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.
To me, hearing "I know the church is true" has become to me synonymous to hearing "I know the principles underlying the gospel are true."
"Tradition is not the same as doctrine, and I will not hold myself back for fear of offending."
"Life before death, strength before weakness, journey before destination"

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SamBee
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by SamBee » 04 Apr 2014, 10:29

I think you're getting all ontological on us.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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DarkJedi
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Apr 2014, 10:48

Just so you all know, I'm "listening" to this one for the time being because I asked what you think it means. I already know what I think it means, but that can change.
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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SamBee
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by SamBee » 04 Apr 2014, 12:46

Sorry, correction.

You be getting all epistemological on us, Dark Jedi...
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Ilovechrist77
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by Ilovechrist77 » 05 Apr 2014, 00:03

For me it means it has the priesthood, Christ is the head of it, and necessary ordinances for exaltation. What it doesn't mean for me is the church leaders, even the presidents of the church, not being perfect. One of those imperfections is misinterpreting doctrine and teaching the wrong doctrine. It also doesn't mean Christ always needs everyone in his church. For me, it does also mean when Christ comes for his second coming he will probably make some corrections in his church.

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What does "I know this church is true" mean?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 05 Apr 2014, 12:42

Generally, for most people, I believe it means,
"My experiences tell me it's God's work - that the vision at its heart is important and right."


In other words,
"It works for me (in some way) and I believe what it is all about (whatever that means to me)."
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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