We have received, and we need no more!

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We have received, and we need no more!

Post by mackay11 » 22 May 2014, 21:55

My mum just shared a scripture with me. We've been exchanging messages for months and she appreciates my open mind. She suggested that perhaps the following is applicable to those who push back on be open-minded and instead try to keep church practices within the current format:

2 Nephi 28:24-30
24 Therefore, wo be unto him that is at ease in Zion!
25 Wo be unto him that crieth: All is well!
26 Yea, wo be unto him that hearkeneth unto the precepts of men, and denieth the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost!
27 Yea, wo be unto him that saith: We have received, and we need no more!
28 And in fine, wo unto all those who tremble, and are angry because of the truth of God! For behold, he that is built upon the rock receiveth it with gladness; and he that is built upon a sandy foundation trembleth lest he shall fall.
29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!
30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.
She sent this was after a Facebook conversation erupted slightly after I shared the following status update:

"Wow! Just read this from Elder B. H. Roberts (of the Seventy and Church Historian at the turn of the last century). This was in the July 1909 Improvement Era (a youth targetted magazine and forerunner to the New Era). The last paragraph is particularly thought provoking:
"These latter reflections bring to mind some observations I remember to have read some time ago in the philosophical works of John Fiske respecting two classes of disciples or partisans in the world of religious and philosophical opinion, which I think with profit may be reproduced here. By the way, I see the passage occurs in the introduction to Fiske's Work, written by Josiah Boyce, and is as follows:
"Disciples and partisans, in the world of religious and of philosophical opinion, are of two sorts. There are, first, the disciples pure and simple, — people who fall under the spell of a person or of a doctrine, and whose whole intellectual life thenceforth consists in their partisanship. They expound, and defend, and ward off foes, and live and die faithful to the one formula. Such disciples may be indispensable at first in helping a new teaching to get a popular hearing, but in the long run they rather hinder than help the wholesome growth of the very ideas that they defend: for great ideas live by growing, and a doctrine that has merely to be preached, over and over, in the same terms, cannot possibly be the whole truth. No man ought to be merely a faithful disciple of any other man. Yes, no man ought to be a mere disciple even of himself. We live spiritually by outliving our formulas , and by thus enriching our sense of their deeper meaning. Now the disciples of the first sort do not live in this larger and more spiritual sense. They repeat. And true life is never mere repetition.

On the other hand, there are disciples of a second sort. They are men who- have been attracted to a new doctrine by the fact that it. gave expression, in a novel way, to some large and deep interest which had already grown up in them- selves, and which had already come, more or less independently, to their own consciousness. They thus bring to the new teaching, from the first, their own personal contribution. The truth that they gain is changed as it enters their souls. The seed that the sower strews upon their fields springs up in their soil, and bears fruit, —thirty, sixty, an hundred fold. They return to their master his own with usury. Such men are the disciples that it is worthwhile for a master to have. Disciples of the first sort often become, as Schopenhauer said, mere magnifying mirrors wherein one sees enlarged, all the defects of a doctrine. Disciples of the second sort co-operate in the works of the Spirit; and even if they always remain rather disciples than originators, they help to lead the thought that they accept to a truer expression. They force it beyond its earlier and cruder stages of development."

I believe "Mormonism" affords opportunity for disciples of the second sort; nay, that its crying need is for such disciples. It calls for thoughtful disciples who will not be content with merely repeating some of its truths, but will develop its truths; and en- large it by that development. Not half — not one- hundredth part — not a thousandth part of that which Joseph Smith revealed to the Church has yet been unfolded, either to the Church or to the world. The work of the expounder has scarcely begun. The Prophet planted by teaching the germ-truths of the great dispensation of the fulness of times. The watering and the weeding is going on, and God is giving the increase, and will give it more abundantly in the future as more intelligent discipleship shall obtain. The disciples of "Mormonism," growing discontented with the necessarily primitive methods which have hitherto prevailed in sustaining the doctrine, will yet take profounder and broader views of the great doctrines committed to the Church; and, departing from mere repetition, will cast them in new formulas; co-operating in the works of the Spirit, until they help to give to the truths received a more forceful expression, and carry it beyond the earlier and cruder stages of its development."
https://archive.org/stream/improvemente ... e_djvu.txt

One of my good friends took offence to the suggestion that there was something wrong with being "Disciple 1." I can see where he's coming from. If you feel that you are a D1, not a D2, then it might be quite derogatory. He said he preferred to put his questions on the shelf and concluded with "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." He's a genuine, well-meaning person. If that's the way it works best for him then I'm happy for him.

How can we better get people to consider having a more open mind without the way we communicate that idea making them slam their minds shut in defense?

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Re: We have received, and we need no more!

Post by intothelight » 23 May 2014, 00:03

Being kind and respectful of the beliefs of others (ie not trying to change them) and accepting them as they are/as they think seems to open up minds to alternate points of view quicker than anything else I've ever seen. I guess as soon as a person feels like we don't approve of or accept them, they immediately do the same to you.

The other thing is that actions are louder than words. If you can find an action that demonstrates the value of what you're trying to get them to accept, that is what people react to.

And most importantly, it shouldn't matter to us how a person does choose accept what we are trying to get them to see. We should treat them with kindness irrespective of their actions. I need to make another note to myself to actually begin living up to some of my own advice. I guess I'm still big-time working on making my actions louder than my words.

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Re: We have received, and we need no more!

Post by Sheldon » 23 May 2014, 10:03

What I found most startling about this was it was in a church magazine for the youth! Can you imagine anything like this in the Era today? Or even the Ensign? Shows how much we’ve lost in the past 100 years in meaningful discourse in the church.

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Re: We have received, and we need no more!

Post by mom3 » 23 May 2014, 11:06

I have been running an idea in my mind and was even formulating a post about it when your question came up. I was even going to entitle it "I hope they call me on a Mission.

1. I agree with Intothelight - no matter what tactic we take - valuing the other person whether they agree or not is vital. Presenting that is so hard but necessary.

2. Increasing our knowledge before classes. We do it, but I think if we had a running thread where those who are teaching or speaking can share beforehandtheir words and quotes to help us be prepared to share similar messages in our individual wards.

2b. In the same thread, if no one is talking/teaching, can we come together and discuss the upcoming lesson, the correlated overview, then contribute to each other, additional quotes, scriptures, acceptable articles that we can again carry with us, and add thoughtfully to our own wards discussion. (To me this helps us build the kingdom with valid material, not just personal opinion, and may keep us from feeling caught off guard or on the defensive.)

3- We should probably take a moment of personal assessment and determine what our personal goal with "the mission" is. Like our Elders and Sisters in the field, some want numbers, others want to just love the people, others are spouse hunting. What is our intent? What is our personal gospel/our Christ gospel - is is important enough to Him, for us to present it.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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Re: We have received, and we need no more!

Post by Curt Sunshine » 23 May 2014, 21:08

Cultivate a delivery method that doesn't threaten those who see things differently than you do.

I don't have anything else, since I believe this is one area where less is more.
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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