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How My Perspective on Religion Has Changed

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posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:26 PM
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Hello Everyone, I'm new here on ATS,(this is only my second post) but I have been visiting this site for a few years. Let me preface what I am about to say by asking you to please read my entire message before discarding or flaming me. I have noticed, on occasion, that anyone who expresses any type of belief in organized religion is immediately ridiculed, or treated as if they are lacking intelligence. I feel that no matter what one believes, it basically boils down to faith. Either you have placed your faith in the teachings of men, i.e. scientist, philosophers, professors, or you have put your faith into God and His prophets. That being said, I cannot prove to you the existence of God, anymore than you can prove to me that carbon dating is perfectly accurate. There are opposing views to almost anything. The philosopher Descartes, basically narrowed it down to "I think, therefore I am" as the only thing that can be absolute.
I will attempt to explain why I feel the way I do, why I have put my faith in God, and why I'm visiting sites like ATS. I was not raised in any one particular faith. My dad chose the church we attended according to whether or not he liked the way the preacher spoke. So, as a result, I attended Baptist, Episcopal, and Pentecostal churches while I was growing up. As a young man I had come to the conclusion that religion was a man-made thing. I believed in God, but I did not believe there was one true religion on earth. I stopped attending church all together, and decided I would read the Bible, and pray, but not affiliate myself with any one religion. Shortly after making that decision, I was approached one day, by missionaries representing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That's right, Mormons! After talking with these two young missionaries, I was asked whether I believed that there were any other Holy scriptures upon the earth besides the Bible. I answered them that "no, I don't believe in any other scriptures" They asked me if I were to pray about the Book of Mormon, do I believe I would get an answer. I replied that if the Book of Mormon was true scripture, I thought God would let me know somehow. That night, as I retired to bed, I said a prayer, and asked our Father in Heaven if the Book of Mormon was true, and I received an answer. The only way I can describe it is to tell that it felt like a feeling of pure love and joy that started in my chest and went through my whole body. I was laying on my bed shouting "it is true! it is true!" I had never felt that way before, or since, at least not to that degree. I know the feeling I had was from the Holy Spirit. And trust me, I do not say that lightly, because blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is and unpardonable sin in my mind. Now, does that mean I expect everyone to run down to the local LDS ward and get baptized. Of course not. I realize that this was a unique experience that God wanted me to have. As a result of that experience, I have straightened out my life in a number of ways. This is the foundation of my faith. It only works for me. Others will need to find their own path.
What I have found particularly interesting since joining the church, is how many of the believes that I have are often strangely related to other discoveries here on ATS. For example, I was reading a statement made by the prophet Joseph Smith where he said, "when the Lord returns, some people will say it is a planet, or it is a comet". I found this intriguing given the theories about Elenin and Nibiru. Our church also believes that other worlds have been created by God, that we know not of. The Pearl of Great Price, another Mormon scripture, talks about the planet where God lives, and the closest star to it is called Kolob. Well, if God lives on another planet, wouldn't that make Him an extraterrestrial, in the true sense of the word.
Let me just finish by saying, these are some of the things that I have thought about in relationship to my life experiences, and should in no way be thought to represent beliefs of the church as a whole. There are already far too many misconceptions about the Mormon religion as it is. If you have taken the time to read this entire message, it is greatly appreciated.




posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:36 PM
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very well put.
i like your take on all of this, makes me begin to think



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:46 PM
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Welcome and thanks for the interesting post.

A lot of us believe in God, don't worry...



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 08:53 PM
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That's an incredible experience you had.

Here's the kicker:

How do you know a demon wasn't behind what you felt? How do you know a demon can't fill you with a profound feeling of love, joy, etc.?

By Demon, I mean a being whose intention was to deceive.


For the record, I don't believe in demons, God, or anything supernatural, though I acknowledge the possibility. I just mean to play Devil's Advocate. (Pun intended.)

And realize that if you respond with, "I just knew it to be true," you'll understand how unconvincing that is. If some being contacted you, it could be lying. People often feel powerful beings do not have the capacity to lie, or that they will immediately reveal their true nature. I don't see how why people feel this way when even small children can be deceptive.

But listen: I am glad you are sure of your beliefs and wish you the best.

edit on 5-6-2011 by osprey00 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:02 PM
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reply to post by osprey00
 


That's a fair question. I suppose I don't know for certain. However, from the teachings of Jesus, we've learned that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. So if the feeling I had was from a malevolent being and it led me to make positive changes in my life that have made me happier, then it would have defeated his purpose of ill-intent, but I believe the feeling was from a benevolent being because it enlarged my soul, tasted sweet, and caused me to make course corrections that have improved the quality of my life.



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by MitchL61
 


Dear MitchL61

I am surely jealous of your faith. I do so which I could go through life knowing I am right and everybody else is wrong. It must be such a wonderful feeling.

Just one question why do you feel that you have to tell us?

edit on 5-6-2011 by MAC269 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:24 PM
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Take note that many members find large blocks of letters very hard to read. You need to break your posts up as an unwritten law. To avoid complaints anyway. Good to have another member/believer. Just this Memo is all that's left from me.



Welcome to ATS..



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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reply to post by randyvs
 

Thanks for the welcome and the advise. By the way, I'm a huge Godsmack fan!



posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 09:36 PM
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reply to post by MitchL61
 


Great answer. If something evil leads you to a positive place, it does not matter that the impetus was bad.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by MitchL61
 



As a young man I had come to the conclusion that religion was a man-made thing.


Yes! Religion is a man-made thing, it's bogus and disgusting.

Most of the Christian Pharisees never realize this.

Praise the Lord!



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 12:58 AM
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On a personal level, I am an agnostic type of fellow. That said, you impress me op. You have your faith. While I may not see eye to eye with your belief system, you show obvious humility. You seem to admit to the possibility of things outside your belief system. Kudos to you, and keep on searching. Even when you have the answers, keep searching and questioning anyway. Thus, in my opinion, is the path to god. Star and flag for you sir.



posted on Jun, 6 2011 @ 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by MitchL61
reply to post by randyvs
 

Thanks for the welcome and the advise. By the way, I'm a huge Godsmack fan!


No...no.





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