Did God really help you find a boat?

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MockingJay
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by MockingJay » 31 Aug 2014, 07:14

Cadence wrote:This kind of blather supports the atheist view. When the only thing that god seems to do could just as easily be a coincidence, we need to pick the most plausible. Thus the need for god becomes moot. Did an all powerful being intervene in my nautical adventures or did I happen upon a vessel that meet my desires. Seems rather obvious.
This is how I feel most of the time, but then something will happen that's so far beyond the coincidental, that I don't know how to reconcile it and my confusion starts again.

Recently, my God has sort of been the laws of physics that govern the universe. I believe that the power of God is involved there. But now, even the laws of physics that I have found so comforting have come into question (which I do find fascinating, BTW), so all I seem to be learning is that I don't know anything.

For a while, post FC, I thought that the "God of the lost car keys" was a kind of neural physiological process that helped us remember or sense where the keys were (or which store had the best boat) because I saw the same things happening with believers and non-believers alike. Now, I'm leaning a little bit to there being some kind spiritual power there that we can tap into, and maybe this is guided by a God. Even non-believers believe in something, and maybe that's enough. Maybe someday, someone will come up with the right formula to explain it, or maybe God will allow some human to figure it out. I know this doesn't make much sense as I write it out, but like M&G said, these thoughts sometimes whirl in my head. The good thing is that now I can let them whirl without fear or guilt. It's very liberating.

Roy
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Roy » 31 Aug 2014, 09:01

Matters of perspective.

Some find great comfort in these little daily reminders that God is watching out for them. I found comfort in them too for a long time.

Who am I to take that away from them?

At the same time - I feel that compassion and validation needs to be preached to those with the opposite perspective - those that could really use help and no help comes.
"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

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Unknown
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Unknown » 31 Aug 2014, 20:51

I've been thinking a lot about prayer and what to pray for. I've also been trying to pay attention to the inner voice that we often call the Holy Ghost. I have started to open my mind to the idea that any good thought or impression comes from God and this is how I can distinguish between my thoughts and the impressions of the Spirit, they are often one and they same, I just choose to believe that the good is inspired of God.

I wrestle with what things I should actually ask for because a lot of prayers would violate the principle of agency if they were answered. Other prayers are just superstitious.

So, more recently I've just been asking to hear the Spirit. Since I believe that good impressions come from God, I am ok with the idea that he intervenes on a daily basis in seemingly trivial matters.

For example, I love pizza. The other day I went to buy a slice, and as I was waiting in line, I felt an impression saying, "don't buy any pizza today." I had a clear choice, ignore it, or obey it. I obeyed it, and I felt good about it and built some momentum to exercise more self control and had a productive day.

Many would not frame this as a spiritual experience, and that's ok, but I choose to because the idea that I can commune with God daily inspires me.


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Cadence
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Cadence » 01 Sep 2014, 05:07

Unknown wrote: So, more recently I've just been asking to hear the Spirit. Since I believe that good impressions come from God, I am ok with the idea that he intervenes on a daily basis in seemingly trivial matters.

For example, I love pizza. The other day I went to buy a slice, and as I was waiting in line, I felt an impression saying, "don't buy any pizza today." I had a clear choice, ignore it, or obey it. I obeyed it, and I felt good about it and built some momentum to exercise more self control and had a productive day.

Many would not frame this as a spiritual experience, and that's ok, but I choose to because the idea that I can commune with God daily inspires me.


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I use to live exactly that way. It worked for a long time, until one day it lead me down a path that caused terrible consequences.Now it is near impossible to trust that voice in my head. Sometimes I wish I could.
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

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Unknown
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Unknown » 01 Sep 2014, 06:02

I can appreciate that, Cadence. I guess for me, it's near impossible not to trust that voice, because it is the most reasonable. I think "that voice" means different things to different people.

A while back I would attribute almost anything to that voice, things like "turn left here, there might be someone who is ready to hear the gospel." This was a destructive approach for me because I became hypersensitive and was always worried about being worthy so I could receive "guidance".

The difference now is that I see that voice as the thoughts that lead me to clearly do good. While "don't buy any pizza today", seems small, it is good because it is important to eat healthy and moderation and all that.

I think we may be talking past each other because "that voice", for me, is probably what some would call their own common sense. And we all disobey our own common sense from time to time.


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Unknown
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Unknown » 01 Sep 2014, 06:18

Another example, recently, I have been watching a series on Netflix, and when you have a whole series available, it's tempting to watch it an entire season in one sitting. I watched several episodes Friday night, and woke up Saturday morning with the impulse to watch several more. Before I could power up my laptop, I heard the voice, "it's a good show, there's nothing really wrong with it, but why don't you read some scriptures first? The show will still be there when you finish." I thought, "Man, I really want to watch this show now, but I guess I could read a chapter first."

After I finished reading, I heard the voice, "yeah, you could watch the show, but why don't you read up a little on that new book you got for work." I thought, "I can do that, the show will still be there." So, I did, and as I was reading my wife woke up and invited me to go running. I heard the voice, "Go." So I did.

Had I been mid episode when she invited me to go running, I probably wouldn't have.

All three times that I "heard the voice", it was prompting me to do good things. Study, work out, spend time with my wife, and ultimately exercise some self control over a bad habit.

Why don't I just call that voice my own common sense? I do. I just choose to believe that it comes from God and it is inspiring to think that He uses it as a medium to communicate with me in my otherwise mundane daily affairs.


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cwald
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by cwald » 01 Sep 2014, 08:55

MockingJay wrote:
Cadence wrote:This kind of blather supports the atheist view. When the only thing that god seems to do could just as easily be a coincidence, we need to pick the most plausible. Thus the need for god becomes moot. Did an all powerful being intervene in my nautical adventures or did I happen upon a vessel that meet my desires. Seems rather obvious.
This is how I feel most of the time, but then something will happen that's so far beyond the coincidental, that I don't know how to reconcile it and my confusion starts again.

Recently, my God has sort of been the laws of physics that govern the universe. I believe that the power of God is involved there. But now, even the laws of physics that I have found so comforting have come into question (which I do find fascinating, BTW), so all I seem to be learning is that I don't know anything.

For a while, post FC, I thought that the "God of the lost car keys" was a kind of neural physiological process that helped us remember or sense where the keys were (or which store had the best boat) because I saw the same things happening with believers and non-believers alike. Now, I'm leaning a little bit to there being some kind spiritual power there that we can tap into, and maybe this is guided by a God. Even non-believers believe in something, and maybe that's enough. Maybe someday, someone will come up with the right formula to explain it, or maybe God will allow some human to figure it out. I know this doesn't make much sense as I write it out, but like M&G said, these thoughts sometimes whirl in my head. The good thing is that now I can let them whirl without fear or guilt. It's very liberating.
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  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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DarkJedi
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by DarkJedi » 01 Sep 2014, 16:52

Cadence wrote:
Unknown wrote: So, more recently I've just been asking to hear the Spirit. Since I believe that good impressions come from God, I am ok with the idea that he intervenes on a daily basis in seemingly trivial matters.

For example, I love pizza. The other day I went to buy a slice, and as I was waiting in line, I felt an impression saying, "don't buy any pizza today." I had a clear choice, ignore it, or obey it. I obeyed it, and I felt good about it and built some momentum to exercise more self control and had a productive day.

Many would not frame this as a spiritual experience, and that's ok, but I choose to because the idea that I can commune with God daily inspires me.


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I use to live exactly that way. It worked for a long time, until one day it lead me down a path that caused terrible consequences.Now it is near impossible to trust that voice in my head. Sometimes I wish I could.
Me too, Cadence, with a bad outcome as well. What I was doing was not "bad" - it was a very good thing. I felt very strongly that it was the right thing to do, guided by that inner voice. It's why I am where I am today - much less of a believer in that voice and quite frankly not the same person I used to be - not all of which is necessarily for the better (more cynical, etc.). I, too wish I could trust it (as in "trust your feelings, Luke). Alas, I cannot.
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: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Sep 2014, 14:21

I had an interesting experience on Sunday while attending a ward in Utah.

A woman in Sunday School talked about an experience praying to find her keys after four days of not being about to find them, and she ended her story with the following statement, to the best of my memory:
"I know it's a little thing that doesn't mean anything to others, but it helps me remember that God will help me when I face much bigger challenges. I tend to get stressed out and forget how much I have appreciated the help when I needed it most."


I think there is something powerful and profound in that - particularly the idea that some people really need and actually are blessed by seeing blessings in things others see as silly or even ridiculous.

Who am I to say she wasn't right - and, more importantly, why would I feel the need to insist that she wasn't? When I do that, am I really any different than those who insist everyone can have that sort of experience if only they are faithful enough? Aren't both positions exclusive and dismissive in nature?
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

Minyan Man
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Minyan Man » 02 Sep 2014, 14:32

I completely agree.

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