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Roper

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Testimony
« on: September 08, 2019, 04:43:59 pm »
My testimony of Joseph Smith has always been weaker than my testimony of other things. I have the most doubts about Joseph Smith. Writing that part of the charter was the hardest part. I'm grateful that recommend questions don't specifically ask about Joseph Smith. I don't think I'd pass.

Until today.

Everything came together, today. Many things I've read in the Joseph Smith Papers were on my mind. Our first speaker in Sacrament Meeting used that quote from Elder Holland's address "Lord, I Believe": She quoted, "Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work." Then, for our intermediate hymn, we sang, "Praise to the Man."

By the time we finished the hymn, my mind was filled with light, answering questions and driving out doubt. I felt the familiar thrill of the voice of the Spirit testifying to me that Jesus Christ chose Joseph Smith. I still have questions about other things which came later in church history. My conviction on this point, however, is sure: Jesus Christ called Joseph to be the first prophet of this dispensation, and Christ began the work of restoration through Joseph.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Sparky

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2019, 05:38:41 pm »
Oh, Roper, I am so happy for you. I know you've had various issues, and have been working hard to figure things out. I'm so grateful that you were able to receive the light and understanding that you did today. Thank you so much for sharing.
 
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Sparky

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 05:46:27 pm »
My testimony about redemption. I never thought I'd see it in such action. My brother married young to a girl who was a member of the church. But I don't think either of them had strong testimonies. Early in their marriage they experimented with drugs, but she left it behind fairly quickly, finding it didn't do much for her. Unfortunately, it did a lot for him, apparently. They had five beautiful children, but stopped being active in the church fairly quickly into their marriage. Then she joined a non-denominational Christian church and that is where the children were raised. They eventually got a divorce and the children were very acrimonious toward their father, my brother, because of his drug use during their childhoods. It's taken a very long time, and he got very, very low, when he finally started looking at the church again. After a few setbacks, he was finally able to kick the drug habit and became active. My dad bestowed the Melchizedek priesthood on him in June. He got his patriarchal blessing in July. He's going to the temple for the first time this coming week. I am so very pleased for him and how far he has come in his life in relation to the gospel. His patriarchal blessing says that his children will come to know him as a righteous man. That seemed impossible just a year ago, but his son and fiance had dinner with him for the first time in ever, and that went really well. I never thought it would happen. But I can see how the Holy Spirit really can bring a rebirth to people. I'm so grateful for that.
 
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Roper

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 09:36:35 pm »
I find that to be the most beautiful part of the atonement of Christ: He heals we who are broken. Thank you for sharing that, Sparky.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

beefche

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 10:19:51 pm »
Roper, thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your faith struggles. I find it very courageous and inspiring. 
 
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cook

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 11:08:10 pm »
Thank you for sharing. I think it tells about the desire to believe Alma talks about. It is enough if you plant the seed and cultivate the soil, the fruit will come at some point. Thank you!
 
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JLM

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 12:50:01 pm »
Yes.  It helps to keep in mind that the correlation between church leadership (from top to bottom) and righteousness is weak at best.  We are all clawing our way through the mists of darkness.
 
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Scruffydog

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Re: Testimony
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 03:34:00 am »
My thing has always been that Joseph Smith's character is not relevant to the truth of the doctrine. Whether he was a saint or a villain, what counts is whether the Book of Mormon is true or not. I know that when I read the Book of Mormon, I read the word of God and I don't need to worry about the means He chose to bring the word to the world. As it happens, I believe that Joseph Smith was a good man with flaws, just like any other man, but it really doesn't matter. Whatever he might have thought he was doing, the absolute fact is that he was transcribing the word of God. By their fruits shall ye know them - the Book of Mormon is the word of God, there is a Plan of Salvation given to us by our eternal Heavenly Father, and implemented by His Son Jesus Christ through the Atonement. Joseph Smith testified of this, so everything else in his life, good and bad, is irrelevant to me
 
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