Feelings, a Good Start, but an Unreliable Foundation

The principle of Faith requires a correct understanding of the perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God. It also requires that you know that the path you are on is pleasing to God. This Joseph Smith taught in the lectures on faith. Such a requirement to know these attributes require intensive study to lay hold upon it. However, when study does not solidify this understanding of God’s correct perfections, attributes, and characteristics, then we are left to our emotions to direct our understanding, and our power of discernment is weak.

Often times modern saints associate the presence of the Holy Spirit by the emotions that they feel. While emotions can indicate the Holy Spirit, emotions can also be caused by many other things as well. Watching the movie Braveheart can stimulate the emotion of bravery. The movie Steel Magnolias can stir feelings concerning death, friendship, and love. But movies, while they use emotions to convey a story, are not necessarily promptings of the Holy Spirit. Likewise, when people share stories that entertain, it can be easily confused with being associated with the Holy Spirit.

Moses, after Christ visited him, had Satan come to him in the form of an angel of light. This was not by any means a demonic form. Rather it was attractive, and desirable. But Moses was able to discern that this being, in the form of an angel of light, was Satan, and Moses cast him out. What allowed Moses to discern Satan? It was the content of the message! Moses was familiar with the perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God, such that he knew the content of God’s message, and Satan’s message was so far off, that Moses could detect him and cast Satan out.

When the words of Christ is added to the softness of the heart, it does not require emotions to dictate the presence of the spirit. All that is necessary is to recognize the further light and knowledge being given. It will give you a better understanding of the words of Christ. It will add to your previous knowledge, thus expanding your understanding, correcting false beliefs, and increasing your knowledge of the mind and will of God. That is why whenever angels appear to man, they always expound the scriptures. The natural effect of this situation is an increase of confidence in the presence of God, due to understanding. That is why Joseph Smith said, “no man can be saved in ignorance.”

Joseph Smith taught that if we don’t have this correct knowledge of the perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God, then our faith will grow weary in the trial, and will fail us. He says that in this condition of ignorance, it will be insufficient for us to have the power to develop the faith necessary unto life and salvation.

When we choose to lay hold upon the words of Christ, we are told by Nephi, that the words of Christ will tell you all things what you should do. I repeat this in most of my blogs for that very reason. The word will expand from the page, to include words from angels, and then finally words from the presence of Christ. The words of Christ were always meant to bring it’s readers to the presence of Christ.

When we finally lay hold upon the words of Christ, then we don’t need to depend upon emotions to identify the spirit. You will be able to perceive the light coming from the windows of heaven. It will be pure light to your soul, and you can feel confident that the path you are on is acceptable to God, even when the entire world rebukes and rejects you. Such a knowledge is invaluable in a constantly changing world. But the price all must pay to obtain this knowledge is the time studying the words of Christ, and pondering His mind and will.

Conclusion: Emotions will not be sufficient to endure the upcoming day. If you disagree, you can try your way instead. But for those who recognize the truth here, lets study together to know the correct perfections, attributes, and characteristics of God, so that we cannot be led astray by men, so that our faith will not grow weary, so that emotions don’t confuse us, so that we become followers of the way (what the ancient Christians called themselves), rather than followers of men, no matter their office.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Feelings, a Good Start, but an Unreliable Foundation

  1. So I am guessing that my response to your last blog was interpreted by you to mean I was filled with emotion which prompted me to say what I said. Wrong! No emotion involved. Testimony. You did bring much to light for me and one of the things that brought light was that “stoning” the prophets can come in different forms. The very literal meaning of it is to get stones and throw it at someone. But your nit picking against an apostle of the Lord (yes, that is the “position” given to a particular 12 that were called anciently and today) while you, yourself have not “ascended” nor have you been brought into the presence of God, nor have you seen Christ, would caution me when I see you picking apart a talk by one who has been in the presence of those who have witnessed so much more the words and ways of Christ than you have.

    I do not mean to discard your scholarly knowledge of the scriptures you have read. I congratulate you on that. Nor do I mean to challenge the words of Christ. I admittedly do not know all the details that you have read, studied, conferenced, or “proven”. I simply – very simply – know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the only church upon the face of this planet that has Christ at the head of it. It is His Church and thus called by His name. He has from ancient times and in the restoration of the Church called prophets, seers, and revelators and apostles as leaders of His Church. These “positions” are not to raise one above the other by “positions” but to give the responsibility of discharging his words and works for Him throughout the world to bring us back into His presence.

    We are to personally read the scriptures and you have done an awesome job of that. Continue to do good. Continue to read and gain as much scriptural knowledge as possible. Continue to share your TESTIMONY with us. But don’t pick apart the words of an apostle to discredit him or to pick apart anyone else’s understanding or testimony or limited knowledge of the scriptures to discredit them to prove your own point. That does not show anyone the way, the truth and the light. The way, the truth and the light works without downing someone or discrediting someone or pointing out someone’s flaws. I think your mother must have taught you that in your youth.

    I love your knowledge. Thank you for taking great lengths to share it. You will be blessed for the good you do.
    Love Mom

    • To be clear, your response is not the source from which I choose my blog topics. This topic on emotions had nothing to do with your response, at all. So whatever assumptions you made about the topic were inaccurate. The topic has been pressing on my heart and mind, and became very clear at the time that I wrote it. I have been pondering upon how the spirit works, and how we can be confirmed in our understanding of the words of Christ to be unshaken, so as to have our confidence wax strong in God’s presence, because that is what I am concerned with obtaining- God’s presence.

      Concerning your comment on the church, the apostles, the offices, …you are right, Christ did establish this form. But men and church organization, since the time of Adam, have been restored, and then fallen into apostasy repeatedly, due to man’s desire to elevate men in offices, while ignoring God’s words. I make no judgment on the condition of other men. But I will be held responsible for understanding correct doctrine, based on the words of Christ. Christ criticized the Jews for claiming special rights because of being descendants of Abraham. He also cursed the Children of Israel for wanting Moses to represent them in Christ’s presence, instead of coming themselves for salvation. So why would I be condemned for having studied the scriptures, hearing Elder Nelson talk about angels, noticing his redirection approach that neglects the context of the scripture, seeking the correct principle and then teaching it to those whom I love? It is not a condemnation against Elder Nelson I seek or desire. I don’t know enough to judge him that way anyway. However, I do have enough knowledge to judge “the matter,” and the scriptures instruct us to do this very thing. While you might call it being “nit-picky.” I call it spiritual fiduciary responsibility.

      I mean no disrespect, but I am also no respecter of persons. The prophet can make the same mistakes that I can in misjudging a situation. If I thought any different, I would be qualifying the “calling” as what elevates a man, and not his correct understanding of God’s attributes, perfections, and characteristics laid forth in the scriptures. God is not a respecter of persons either. If he were, then man could not know what they could do in order to please God, because office would override knowing the correct attributes of God. People could claim office and still remain ignorant. Joseph Smith spoke out against that idea by saying, “no man can be saved in ignorance.” But God has shown all men what they must do to please Him, within the scriptures. So don’t think that I have any disrespect for Elder Nelson or his Apostleship, or God. I am doing what I think God expects all men to do in order to please Him, I am seeking His mind and will to tell me what is truth, and not trusting in the arm of flesh.

      I am not trying to discredit others. I am only trying to use the words of Christ to tell me all things that I must do, just as Nephi recommended. Since angelic ministrations are rare anymore, men have defined it to fit experiences that they have had, rather seeking out the experiences described in scripture. What Elder Nelson has done in his description of angels was reduce the expectations that the scriptures describe. He ignores the possibility that angels have ceased appearing to men. If angels have ceased, the scriptures say, it is because of unbelief. But since we see angelic spouses, angelic children, and angelic goody makers all the time in our neighborhoods, by this scripture it means we have faith and there exists no unbelief in us. If you believe we have no unbelief, evidence being the presence of angels, then where is Zion? Why have we not been instructed to the veil to be in Christ’s presence in the flesh? That is the purpose of angels, to lead us to Christ. I am suggesting that angels are rare BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF.

      Now if you want to disagree with me for that, that is your choice to follow and trust in something other than the words of Christ. That is a “simple testimony.” That is very simple. The words of Christ teach clearly that the future church will not remain unpolluted (2 Nephi 28, Jacob 5, 3 Nephi 16, etc.). It will be tainted. It will lead men astray. There will be a separation of wheat from tares among the church members. The fruits that get its moisture from the roots (the words of Christ) will be the sweet fruit gathered into the garners and protected by the Lord. My efforts are to transition my faith into the permanent words of Christ, and not trust in the arm of flesh, while still hearing what they say and seeking to be counseled of heaven. Salvation is an individual pursuit. Each individual must know the words of Christ and judge accordingly. If you have Christ’s presence, you have obtained salvation. If not, you have not. Your dead rely upon your obtaining it, because they haven’t, and it requires being in the flesh to do so.

      Thanks for your responses Mom. This back and forth is helpful to think the matter through even more than when I first wrote it. I hope that what I say is clear. What you do with it is your kuliana, but I hope that what I am presenting is done clearly, so that you know what I am expressing.
      Love,
      Son

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