Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Kevin Christensen at Meridian Magazine

"Plain and Precious Things Restored: Why Margaret Barker Matters" by Kevin Christensen is a short article at Meridian Magazine that I encourage you to read. Kevin discusses some of the scholarly work of Margaret Baker, a fascinating woman who has provided some startling insights into ancient Judaism that are relevant to Book of Mormon studies.

A hat tip to Dave's Mormon Inquiry.

6 comments:

Cory Brenner said...

What a breath of fresh air your blog is. You seem to have a very even head even in the midst of what I can tell is a deep faith.

I was fortunate to have The Missionaries knock on my door not long ago and I had many fine visits with them and followed all their guidance and instruction and am now am an active member of my ward.

I have prayed and when I pray if the book is true I get that warm sensation that has been promised me. But then I prayed about a totally non-related question and I felt that SAME warm feeling.

Well, I'm new at all this. I've never believed in God. I've never ever prayed. Not even in crisis. But now I was praying and I was feeling things but I felt that it was not logical of me to interpret that "warm feeling" to mean that the book of Mormon was true when I got that same feeling from asking other questions, too. Like are other things true.

What do you say?

Mormanity said...

I can't help but agree. A warm feeling is not enough, if that's all it is. I get a warm feeling reading stock advice from various pundits, only to watch the stock plummet after buying a few shares.

The Holy Ghost operates on our heart and mind. Spiritual perceptions and mental acuity are both involved. That's why the missionaries should also be challenging you to study, to read, to ponder, and then to pray. It needs to click and make sense to the mind and heart. However, there are some things that the mind will have to take on faith - like the reality of Jesus Christ as our Savior. To me, it makes sense, but only after the enlightenment of experiencing His love and power and healing.

I discuss some of these issues in more detail on my LDS FAQ page on testimony. I hope that helps.

Mormanity said...

Another take: As Paul writes in Galatians 5:22-23, the FRUITS of the Spirit are peace, joy, etc. - such feelings are not the Spirit itself, but a side effect. Other things can cause peace and joy. The Spirit is the key to gaining a testimony - it requires revelation from God, and when it comes, it can affect our heart and our mind. You can KNOW and UNDERSTAND things through the power of the Spirit, not just feel happy about it. Learning to perceive the Spirit and understand the revelation that God gives when we turn to Him and pray is not always easy, but it goes far beyond mere feelings. One can truly know. As we read in Mosiah 4 and 5, the result of revelation can change our hearts and our attitudes, and give us knowledge about divine realities. It's far more than something that might be mistaken for indigestion or the warm session a good cellist can bring to one's heart (but don't underestimate the power of music to inspire and bring man closer to God).

Bookslinger said...

Cory,
Sometimes people who are antagonistic to the church pretend to be investigators or new members, thinking that their challenges will be taken more seriously.

If you really are a new member, please forgive me for doubting you, and I hope you check with your ward mission leader or Gospel Doctrine teacher to find someone in your ward who can address your questions in person and one-on-one.

But to quote you (or one of your friends), I don't have to know what kind of fish it is to know that something smells fishy.

Sincerely,
The Moron.

cctayl said...

Cory, I recently was told this: Pray to Heavenly Father and ask him if he loves you, and wait.
He will obvioulsy tell you he does, in whatever way he will, and you can probably use the answer you receive as something you can reference to in looking for further answers.

Mormanity said...

As you can see in the next series of later posts, Corey turns out to be an impostor. Confronted with evidence from Indy, he admits as much and reveals that his intent all along was to tear down our "stupid" faith - a faith that he claims kills 10% of our members by not accepting homosexual practices.

Very sad. But an important lesson about the tactics of some of our enemies: the end justifies the means, in their view, so any lie or deception is justified.

There are wolves in sheep's clothing. Use some caution in dealing with strange stories from alleged members, alleged ex-members, or purported investigators. There are frauds out there just looking for a way to tear down the faith of others.