Tuesday, September 02, 2008

“Acquiring Knowledge…The Mormon Way”

According to Mormon scripture found in the Book of Mormon …

“faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith you hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”

Note the qualifying statement…Faith is a hope in things that eventually turn out to be true. Or in other words…faith fills the gap between ignorance and knowledge.

But does the Mormon method lead to truthful knowledge?

The B of M goes on to state…” concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge…”

So the B of M states that “Faith” in not perfect…it is flawed.

According to this scripture, to make your faith “flawless” you must exercise a little test.

You must... “awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment… and exercise a particle of [that flawed] faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of [the Mormon truth claim].”

So you must want to believe and let this desire to believe work up in you…until you start to believe…based on information and facts? NO! Based only on your desire to believe. Here in lies the problem...

Is this Mormon methodology trustworthy? Is this a “sure-fire” method of acquiring knowledge and truth? Can this Mormon method fill the gap between ignorance and knowledge?

Thomas Edison offered this alternative…” faith, as well intentioned as it may be, must be built on facts, not fiction - faith in fiction is a damnable false hope."

When you exercise faith there has to be the assumption that your faith will ultimately be rewarded with a future confirmation that your faith was not misplaced.

But the Mormon God has stated that if we merely place faith in the words of an individual…and experiment on their words and exercise faith in them…that we can gain knowledge in this manner. But does this make any sense? What if that faith is misplaced? What if we are placing faith in a scam artist or a fraud? How many snake oil salesmen or pyramid scheme promotors have said…”just buy my special elixir or trust me...then you’ll “know” for a surety that I speak the truth…trust me…experiment on my words” Isn’t this really how all scams and fraudulent schemes are run…on a misplaced leap of faith?

Then the B of M goes on to state how to fill the gap between ignorance and knowledge…the Mormon way…

“Now behold, [If you want to believe and let this desire to believe work up in you…until you start to believe] would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; [and I say hell yes, but is this method trustworthy and failsafe…Hell NO!!] nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect [well according to Mormonism it is] in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, [so if you want a thing to be true hard enough…poof…according to Mormonism …it is] for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.”

In other words…your faith has been replaced with Knowledge and faith is no longer needed in that thing which you have experimented on….but is it really? Is this a sure way to replace faith with knowledge?

“Faith is a belief in the absence of evidence, not in a *contradiction* to evidence. And I might add….faith can not make a truth false or a falsehood true…it can not change a fact. No matter how much faith I might exercise that Ireland is an arid desert sand filled void…it just won’t ever become a truth no matter how much faith I exercise…because it is NOT built on a foundation of fact or reality and no matter how much faith I exercise that Mormonism is all it claims to be...it just won't happen because Mormonism is built on a foundation of lies.

The only exercise of faith that will result in the reward of knowledge…is the faith that is built on a foundation of facts…facts that can be tested, scrutinized and subjected to rigorous examination…

The Mormon knowledge quest does not pass this test…and thus fails to qualify as a reliable method to discover knowledge and ultimately truth.


jen said...

I agree faith needs to be based on FACTS. Even mother nature, i.e. a doe leaving her fawn in the thicket, has to have faith that she is hiding her baby and she /he will be safe until she returns. Sometimes things don't turn out the way we want them to, but facts come when applying faith. God did give us a soul, spirit and a body. When we have fellowship with God, church, prayer, reading we can't help but grow in our faith that we were created to have fellowship with God, then man. When you put God first in your life, he sorts out the lies and gives you HIs truth in HIs word to grown up on. Even in the bible, Jesus didn't trust just anyone. People were capable of finding fault, critisizing Jesus to the point of wanting to stone him because He told them what the real contents of their hearts were like.

Interested said...

Unfortunately Jen, your premis is based entirely on a belief in god. How does one apply faith when there is no belief in what one must have faith in?

Paul said...

I agree with your post entirely, cr@ig. I'd like to add my opinion to one point you addressed:
even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place

I like to look at this like those self-help books, that ask you to repeat something daily, to convince yourself of a fact. Soon enough, you wake up one morning and don't even question that it's true.

Like when I go to see a magician, or a hypnotist. I'm always told to let down my defenses, to "want to believe" these things can happen. It's fun for entertainment, but I don't think I can handle revolving my life choices around it.

jen said...

Interested, faith isn't FAITH unless you exercize thought and speak it out loud. Many people pray for their loved ones out loud over and over because they donot only want God to hear them, they want their heart to hear what their mind is speaking bringing in a deeper level of faith. God cannot reveal Himself to you unless you come in faith. Salvation comes through faith and is received by faith. Hope is definitely the opposite of hopeless.
Being angry at God usually stems from somone hurting us and our wondering why God didn't intervene. I know as I am one of those people. I am learning that intervention does come when we seek after God through a third person who can help break the strongholds of anger, resentment, frustration, denial and so. I was indifferent towards God too but I realized holding onto that was only ruining my already short life span. God can restore the years that the locusts have eaten, it's in Joel 2:24-27.
From then on you can live out your God given destiny and enjoy the life He planned just for you!!

jen said...

So in self helping you help your self in man's eyes or your own.

But doesn't God have eyes? Why not read a real bible, Key Word study bible,unadulterated, greek-hebrew text you can order at most christian bookstores, and read some spirit filled faith into your life? Or are you afraid to look into something that might actually bring about change in your life? Some people talk alot of worldly chatter but forget there is a spiritual side to them that only Jesus can change, that comes through faith. And faith comes by reading God's word "The Holy Bible"
There are texts that are not "ad lib." Give it a try you won't be disapointed .

Anonymous said...

If you believed the Church at one point in your life, enough to serve a mission, then why are you trying to tear it down now? It's your mistake, not the Church that should be blamed. Instead of going against the Church, why don't you spend your time trying to get back to the happiness you previously had? just a thought....

Cr@ig said...

An anonymous Mormon poster asks:

"If you believed the Church at one point in your life, enough to serve a mission, then why are you trying to tear it down now?"


Well if you mean that by exposing the Mormon lies to the fresh air of scrutiny, I am destroying the Mormon Church...well...how would that even be posible?

I mean come on...IF Mormonism is all it claims to be...then

1st, there would be no lies to expose,

2nd, If I was merely making lies up myself...the Church could easily expose my lies as such.

3rd, If the church IS True as it claims it could easily stand up to any scrutiny...could it not? I mean can't truth withstand scrutiny...if it is what it claims to be?

So YOU as the church member must ask yourself why the Mormon church is NOT truthful in the telling of its foundational stories? Why does the church feel it necessary to whitewash it's history and make it more faith promoting? Why would Jesus' church need to lie to make itself more palatable?

I await your response...

jONEs said...

I agree with "Interested"
All things said to be true by one group of people can be called foolishness by another people. Atheists can claim all of the same things about religion that you are saying about Mormanism.

No religion can prove that there is a God so therefore there must not be one right?

If faith is foolishness then all religion falls.
It is a house of cards.
If your faith is good, and mine is bad
you are putting God in a box.
He does not belong to you or me.
We belong to Him.

Good luck.