Saturday, April 18, 2009

Undeniable thought killers

Refuting Spritual Confirmations —renegade

We have all heard a tbm claim that they have received an undeniable, personal witness of christ or joseph smith. They claim that it was far too powerful to have been generated internally, that it must have been transmitted externally, and that it even spoke truth to their mind. I have actually had such experiences in relation to the church, but I know now that our mind is perfectly capable of eliciting such a powerful sensation.

I am interested in any scientific studies that show how the mind accomplishes such powerful "spiritual" experiences. But I am even more interested in examples where individuals claimed a powerful spiritual attestation, which was later proven certifiably false or misleading, especially within the church.

One example in my family. A few years ago, several family members claimed to receive strong revelation that a certain family member not marry a certain person. They claimed that their personal revelation (for him) was undeniable, and that it would end badly. Even as a believer at the time, I questioned them as to how it was that they could receive inspiration on behalf of a brother/BIL, since they did not have dominion over him. They explained that if they prayed/fasted enough, with the right intention, that God would unveil the truth to them as well (and that he indeed had). He married her anyway, and so far, the marriage is just fine. All those who had this manifestation seem to have forgotten all about it, and frequently express how she is such a great addition to the family.

Do any of you have similar accounts?
When a Mormon says, "I can't deny the experiences I've had," what they mean is, "You're hurting my head with what you're saying and I don't want to think about it anymore."

I don't think it's an assertion you need to deal with head-on, because that would be fruitless anyway. I always just respond with, "No one's asking you to deny anything." If and when that person is in an emotional and psychological state where they're ready to deal with the possibility of the church not being true, they'll find it easy enough to reevaluate and reinterpret those experiences. No sense pushing them before that.

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