Posts Tagged ‘ testimony ’

209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

January 6, 2014
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209: New LDS Statement on Book of Mormon Translation

The LDS Church has recently published on its website, lds.org, a short article titled “Book of Mormon Translation” that lays out in greater detail than perhaps ever before in an official statement some of the lesser-known aspects of the Book of Mormon translation process, such as Joseph Smith’s use of (and even preference for) a “seer stone” that he had found years before receiving the plates and two clear stones set into a bow that he identified as “Urim and Thummim,” and how little the actual plates were used during translation, with them instead usually covered somewhere in the room…

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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

October 21, 2013
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199: Untangling Faith, Belief, and the Expectation to “Know”

We think we know what it means to “believe” or to “have faith.” But do we? Has the current ways we use these terms remained stable throughout history? No, says Frances Lee Menlove in an important essay in her new book, The Challenge of Honesty: Essays for Latter-day Saints. She argues further that these changes have had a large negative impact for many Christians and Mormons today, but she hopes that through better understanding of these shifts and opening ourselves to the terms original meanings we might begin to undo some of the damage that has been done—damages done by…

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153–154: Integrity with Self and Family: Parents on Sharing Their Faith Transitions with Their Children

February 14, 2013
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153–154: Integrity with Self and Family: Parents on Sharing Their Faith Transitions with Their Children

This episode continues a series of conversations about parents and children communicating about changes in faith perspectives. Episode 146 featured faithful, committed Latter-day Saint parents whose children shared with them their movement away from their earlier firm beliefs in Mormon truth claims. This current episode also features LDS parents, this time, however, the parents are the ones undergoing a faith transition and are wrestling with (or have already) how much of that change to share with their faithful, committed Mormon children. The three parents featured here—Carey, Jeff, and Gail—have each approached these questions differently. We learn about their own faith…

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83-84: Creating Spaces for Non-Traditional Latter-day Saints

March 20, 2012
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83-84: Creating Spaces for Non-Traditional Latter-day Saints

This episode explores both the difficulties of creating more comfortable spaces for unorthodox Mormons in wards, stakes, and families, as well as the benefits. What are some of the tensions that arise in LDS communities when engaging those who hold less-literal beliefs or embody idiosyncratic approaches to spirituality, religion, and community norms? What are some positive ways the community or family can welcome and honor those persons? How might these Latter-day Saints assist in their own positive and joyful integration? What are the benefits of having persons from many points on the spectrum be fully integrated in a community? In…

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45: The Mormon Practice of Bearing Testimony

August 2, 2011
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Testimony image

In this episode, Mormon Matters host Dan Wotherspoon and panelists Brent Beal, Brian Johnston, and Jana Riess explore various aspects of one of Mormonism’s most regular (and sometimes it seems regulated) rituals: the monthly opportunity for church members to bear testimony. The discussion ranges from the nature of the expectation that those bearing testimony, including children, will focus on particular truth claims, to the peculiar way Mormonism encourages members to extrapolate from experiences of feeling “the spirit” within a gospel context to conclude that all other LDS claims are therefore true (and even that this is the “one and only”…

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Mormon.org FAQ: Prophets

September 7, 2010
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We’ve explored some of the answers members have posted on the mormon.org site in the church’s new profiles campaign.  So far, we’ve discussed member answers to questions about polygamy, priesthood, politics, and parenting.  Today, let’s see what members had to say about prophets.

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Mormon.org FAQ: Women & Priesthood

August 17, 2010
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Last week we looked at some of the cool profiles on mormon.org that are part of a new effort to make members real and accessible for potential investigators.  And we talked about the difficulties of giving members an open mic on some of the tough questions.  This week let’s look at another tough topic:  Women and the priesthood.

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Resolving the Conflict between the TBM and the ExMo

August 12, 2010
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Today’s guest post comes from Ulysseus, a frequent commenter at Mormon Matters and elsewhere in the b’nacle.  His website can be found here. To take a line from Shakespeare — a pox upon both your houses. The Ex-Mos and TBMs continue to argue past each other and never the twain shall meet. While the thought of a kind, loving heavenly being comforts and then closes the ears of the believer, the list of inconsistencies, logical disconnects and “anti-Mormon” cliches assuages and then closes the ears of the non-believer.

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Mormon.org FAQ: Polygamy

August 10, 2010
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The church has initiated a new online profile campaign on mormon.org in which those interested in the church can “meet” actual members who’ve posted pictures of themselves, personal experiences with the church, and their own answers to a variety of questions about Mormonism.  A few of those questions are on more controversial topics, and it is interesting to read answers that members have posted.

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Why Do People Struggle? (With Poll!)

August 3, 2010
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Through my time in the church, I’ve known many who have left the church, many others who have seemingly never had an issue, and a vast majority who struggled with one aspect or another yet remained active (or resumed activity after a period of inactivity).  What’s your experience with struggling?

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Spiritual Guidance: A GC Talk Review

July 20, 2010
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Spiritual Guidance:  A GC Talk Review

I wanted to try a new feature – going through some of the previous GC talks to discuss some of the ideas put forth.  I decided to start with E. Scott’s talk from the Oct 2009 GC session:  To Acquire Spiritual Guidance.  This was a talk I enjoyed when it was first given, although the last 3rd got a little repetitious on the whole porn thing (Did you notice that porn has now gone mainstream?  New motto:  Porn, it’s not just for Priesthood session anymore.)

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Understanding the Atonement

July 13, 2010
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Understanding the Atonement

The atonement is to Christianity what enlightenment is to Buddhism:  the foundational concept.  How do you feel about the atonement?  I admit to some mixed feelings on the concept of atonement.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 4: Finding Truth – An Optimization Problem

June 30, 2010
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In part two of this series I discussed Bayesian inference. Specifically, I discussed how Bayesian inference provided us with a mechanism for deciding in what we should place our confidence given all the information we possess and will yet obtain. This was all framed in the context of confidence. I’d like to discuss an alternative way of looking at Bayesian inference – namely optimization.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief and Stochastic Theory Part 3: Putting It All Together

June 23, 2010
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In part one I introduced the problem I see with our current understanding of faith, introduced some basic statistics, and weakly drew a comparison to faith. In part two I introduced deductive and inductive reasoning, and showed how Bayesian inference leads to good inductive reasoning. I also gave a brief example of how this might work in real life. In this post I would like to put all these concepts together into at least one way of viewing faith, knowledge, and belief. I will do this by examining the plausible reasoning of three individuals: a stereotypical believing Mormon, a Mormon…

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 2: Inductive Reasoning

June 18, 2010
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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 2: Inductive Reasoning

Deductive reasoning is a form of reasoning in which the conclusion can be drawn directly from the premises. The idea is to show that the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. For example: Bridges built using sound engineering principles are safe. The Bay Bridge was built using sound engineering principles. Therefore, the Bay Bridge was safe (at least when it was built). This form of reasoning is reliable, at least as far as logic goes, producing correct conclusions from the premises.

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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 1

June 9, 2010
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Faith, Knowledge, Belief, and Stochastic Theory Part 1

Faith has always been a perplexing topic for me. The definitions we hear in church, and in the scriptures seem to come up short. Furthermore, faith is almost always accompanied by a discussion of knowledge and belief. But faith is generally what is defined in the scriptures, and we typically just accept the colloquial meanings of knowledge and belief.

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Then I Will Believe

June 6, 2010
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Our guest post today is by SilverRain, who blogs at The Rains Came Down. When Jesus was suffering on the cross at Calvary, those who put Him there surrounded Him to mock Him. They jeered, “If [thou art] the King of Israel . . . come down from the cross, and we will believe . . . .” (Matt 27:42) I have emerged from the other end of a marriage that stripped me of my ability to trust myself. It is taking hard work to believe the things that I have survived. I have been accused of things I did…

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A Control Freak’s Lament

June 2, 2010
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I’m a control freak. Yep, both professionally, by training, and naturally. I like to be in control of machines, robots, airplanes, my life, my spirituality, my kids, my wife, etc. Some of this is healthy! Some if it is not. Yet, despite my proclivity to control I occassionally find myself in situations where I am not in control of my emotions, my spirituality, etc.

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Binding the Broken-Hearted

May 23, 2010
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Binding the Broken-Hearted

Nothing is more painful than a broken heart. When this kind of sorrow gets deep into a person’s soul, all troubles are magnified, blessings are unseen, and it seems almost impossible to bear the daily experience of life. Getting out of bed is misery. Living is torment. A broken heart can cause such an intense reaction that many of us feel our lives have been completely stripped of meaning. Jobs, hobbies, and friends no longer hold any joy for us. In fact, some even experience physical pain with a tight chest, nervous stomach, or terrible insomnia. Nobody understands a broken…

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Church Vernacular and the Magical Worldview

May 7, 2010
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It is Sunday, and Mike and his new bride, Valerie, are up visiting Mike’s family for the weekend. Mike is a physics major and has just finished finals. He is looking forward to some much needed freedom, as well as catching up on neglected chores. Although Mike’s parents typically plant a garden each year, this time Valerie is particularly interested in harvesting her own set of vegetables. The ground was prepared last weekend, but rain has prevented them from planting, and even more rain is in the forecast for the coming week. Now is the time to plant! Unfortunately, contrary…

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