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Thread: A Believer Thread

  1. #1
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    A Believer Thread

    I want to try a thread for believers of any faith. This is not intended for sectarian debate or criticizing any religion or church. It's really a place for for believers, or people who want to believe, or for people who wish they could believe, to discuss their personal faith journey. I'm glad vBulletin allows us to set up these interest group-oriented threads. Let's see how this goes.

    By way of introduction, as most of you probably know I am what I call a convinced Mormon. That means I believe all the church's restorationist claims and try my best to live its teachings. I'm unsuccessful in that effort daily, but I try. That doesn't mean I don't have questions or that I am blind to the church's warts. Meanwhile, having grown up in Utah and then lived for many years in L.A. I've come to appreciate, admire and even cherish the faith and traditions of others.

    I'll start by borrowing the photo I posed in the astronomy thread of the Sombrero Galaxy:



    As I noted there, this galaxy is 28 million light years from Earth. It has 800 billion suns and is 50,000 light years across.

    The vastness of the universe always causes me to think of what to me is the most stunning teaching of my church (and, in different ways, other churches). One of my favorite scriptures is in Moses 7:30:

    And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever....
    I choose to believe that God is the creator of all that vast universe, and yet still knows my name, and the name of every human being in all of history -- past or present. And that is stunning to me. It is a huge concept, and it's difficult to get my mind around it. But I try.

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

    And while we may look at the vast expanse of the universe and say, “What is man in comparison to the glory of creation?” God Himself said we are the reason He created the universe! His work and glory—the purpose for this magnificent universe—is to save and exalt mankind. In other words, the vast expanse of eternity, the glories and mysteries of infinite space and time are all built for the benefit of ordinary mortals like you and me. Our Heavenly Father created the universe that we might reach our potential as His sons and daughters.

    This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. We have the incomprehensible promise of exaltation—worlds without end—within our grasp. And it is God’s great desire to help us reach it....the most powerful Being in the universe is the Father of your spirit. He knows you. He loves you with a perfect love.

    God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.
    These are the kinds of ideas that keep me going every day.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 02-22-2013 at 09:23 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  2. #2
    The believer thread is an air ball. lol

  3. #3
    I think we are just less outspoken

  4. #4
    Agree with you Seattle. Hard to give much creedence to a quote about outer space from an airline pilot.


    -What would you do
    if you saw spaceships over Glasgow?
    Would you fear them?
    Every aircraft, every camera, is a wish that wasn't granted.

    What was that for?
    Try to be bad.


  5. #5
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoUteTroutHead View Post
    Agree with you Seattle. Hard to give much creedence to a quote about outer space from an airline pilot.
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    The believer thread is an air ball. lol
    You guys probably are the type that wander in the women's rest room because you don't read the sign before entering.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  6. #6
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    OK, it looks like this thread hasn't exactly caught fire. Yet. Probably because my first post makes it looks like I intended some kind of board testimony meeting. Not so!

    Anyway, for now I'll just note that one thing I like about all Christian churches is choirs. I like singing in them and I like listening to them. I'm singing in our stake's choir tonight and tomorrow morning.

    Any other choir aficionados out there?

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    OK, it looks like this thread hasn't exactly caught fire. Yet. Probably because my first post makes it looks like I intended some kind of board testimony meeting. Not so!

    Anyway, for now I'll just note that one thing I like about all Christian churches is choirs. I like singing in them and I like listening to them. I'm singing in our stake's choir tonight and tomorrow morning.

    Any other choir aficionados out there?
    Don't let the nay sayers bring you down LA. Great idea for a thread. I consider myself a devout Mormon. I love my faith and it's cultural peculiarities. Perhaps, what brings me the most comfort is the simple yet, profound teaching of the following verse, from the book of Mormon:

    “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” 2 Nephi 2:25

    In response to the above scripture and by way of abstract connection to your opening post, as a part of my personal philosophy I have written:

    "Am I an act of creation that has been added to a grand narrative with a perpetual archive … is my purpose to extricate myself from that narrative, write my own text and create a new archive as infinite as my own existence?

    My faith helps me feel very much a part of the vastness of the universe as you describe it ... as if I am not merely a part of it but, that have a part in it.

  8. #8
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    If you came this way,
    Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
    At any time or at any season,
    It would always be the same: you would have to put off
    Sense and notion. You are not here to verify,
    Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity
    Or carry report. You are here to kneel
    Where prayer has been valid.
    --T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  9. #9
    I believe in Mormonism as established by Joseph Smith; that would include the United Order, plural marriage, the original garments and endowments, etc. I believe with all my heart. My religion defines who I am and who I want to become.

  10. #10
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnightversion View Post
    I believe in Mormonism as established by Joseph Smith; that would include the United Order, plural marriage, the original garments and endowments, etc. I believe with all my heart. My religion defines who I am and who I want to become.
    Good to see you here, MV, and thanks for joining this thread. This is a great addition.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    OK, it looks like this thread hasn't exactly caught fire. Yet. Probably because my first post makes it looks like I intended some kind of board testimony meeting. Not so!

    Anyway, for now I'll just note that one thing I like about all Christian churches is choirs. I like singing in them and I like listening to them. I'm singing in our stake's choir tonight and tomorrow morning.

    Any other choir aficionados out there?
    I hate church choirs. I was once "called" to sing in the stake choir. I accepted and didn't show up. I figured I'm not supposed to turn down a calling but I also hate choirs, so voila.

    I'm a believer so don't even try and kick me out of this thread.

  12. #12
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    I hate church choirs. I was once "called" to sing in the stake choir. I accepted and didn't show up. I figured I'm not supposed to turn down a calling but I also hate choirs, so voila.

    I'm a believer so don't even try and kick me out of this thread.
    This thread is about what believers like about their faiths. But I like Christianity's teachings about forgiveness, so I forgive you.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    This thread is about what believers like about their faiths. But I like Christianity's teachings about forgiveness, so I forgive you.
    I like that LA Ute and I belong to the same church and are both fully participating members. That's a pretty cool church that would allow two very different people to both be in leadership positions.

    I also like doing service. This weekend I'm going to help a church friend move. Then the weekend after that I'm going to clean up the yard of a widower in my ward. Some of these service opportunities only arise through the connections I make at church and I come away from serving, every single time, feeling better than when I started.

  14. #14
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moliere View Post
    I like that LA Ute and I belong to the same church and are both fully participating members. That's a pretty cool church that would allow two very different people to both be in leadership positions.

    I also like doing service. This weekend I'm going to help a church friend move. Then the weekend after that I'm going to clean up the yard of a widower in my ward. Some of these service opportunities only arise through the connections I make at church and I come away from serving, every single time, feeling better than when I started.
    Good post. You and I are not so different.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  15. #15
    I love the following two quotes:

    "I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am.”—Gerard Manley Hopkins
    http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/284

    “The only begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”—Thomas Aquinas
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aquinas/

  16. #16
    Here. Let me help:

    Da-da Da Da dahhh-ahhh! Screw the Y!

  17. #17
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Bump. We need a Catholic or a Hindu believer in here. Another Mo would be fine too.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by midnightversion View Post
    I believe in Mormonism as established by Joseph Smith; that would include the United Order, plural marriage, the original garments and endowments, etc. I believe with all my heart. My religion defines who I am and who I want to become.
    The original garments? Can you still get those? Aren't they hot in the Summer?

  19. #19

    I'm in.

    I'm also a Mormon. I believe in God, Jesus & the Holy Ghost. I also believe in the restoration. I believe in Jesus' teachings. I don't live them very well. I have a hard time with the current corporate Church. But I stick around anyway.

  20. #20
    Educating Cyrus wuapinmon's Avatar
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    Argumentum Ornithologicum

    I shut my eyes and glimpse a flock of birds. The image lasts for a second or even less; I don't know how many birds I saw. Was the number finite or infinite? The problem concerns the existence of God. If He exists, the number is finite, because He knows how many birds I saw. If God does not exist, the number is infinite, because no one could keep tally. In my case, let us say I saw fewer than ten birds and more than one but did not see nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two birds. I saw a number between ten and one, which is not nine, eight, seven, six, five, etc. This integer is inconceivable; therefore, God exists.
    [1952]



    --Jorge Luis Borges

  21. #21
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC Ute View Post
    I'm also a Mormon. I believe in God, Jesus & the Holy Ghost. I also believe in the restoration. I believe in Jesus' teachings. I don't live them very well. I have a hard time with the current corporate Church.
    I've been thinking about this. It often drives me nuts too. I write it off to our culture and to the human factor, and try to refocus on the truly rewarding parts of membership. That response has become habitual for me. But I do think that the believers among us have to be vigilant about protecting the more vulnerable among us from the oddities of LDS culture. Interestingly, in my experience those oddities crop up most often where there is a high concentration of long-time members. That is not a knock at Utah; I've seen it here in SoCal too.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 03-08-2013 at 09:34 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Argumentum Ornithologicum

    I shut my eyes and glimpse a flock of birds. The image lasts for a second or even less; I don't know how many birds I saw. Was the number finite or infinite? The problem concerns the existence of God. If He exists, the number is finite, because He knows how many birds I saw. If God does not exist, the number is infinite, because no one could keep tally. In my case, let us say I saw fewer than ten birds and more than one but did not see nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two birds. I saw a number between ten and one, which is not nine, eight, seven, six, five, etc. This integer is inconceivable; therefore, God exists.
    [1952]



    --Jorge Luis Borges
    I don't get it.

  23. #23
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    I don't get it.
    You're not supposed to get Borges.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    You're not supposed to get Borges.
    It's lovely and perfectly Borgesian.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    The believer thread is an air ball. lol
    Swish!

  26. #26
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    C.S. Lewis on forgiveness:
    Attached Images Attached Images

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  27. #27
    Gene England:

    It is in the Church especially that those with the gifts of vulnerability, pain, handicap, need, ignorance, intellectual arrogance, social pride, even prejudice and sin—those Paul calls the members that “seem to be more feeble”—can be accepted, learned from, helped, and made part of the body so that together we can all be blessed. It is there that those of us with the more comely and world-honored gifts of riches and intelligence can learn what we most need—to serve and love and patiently learn from those with other gifts.

    But that is very hard for the “rich” and “wise” to do. And that is why those who have one of those dangerous gifts tend to misunderstand and sometimes disparage the Church— which, after all, is made up of the common and unclean, the middle-class, middle-brow, politically unsophisticated, even prejudiced, average members. And we all know how exasperating they can be! I am convinced that in the exasperation lies our salvation, if we can let the context that most brings it out—the Church—also be our school for unconditional love.

  28. #28
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    Gene England:
    He was a great man. I had the privilege of knowing him, even had an Institute class from him at the U. He taught that principle of "dangerous gifts" often. He cared a lot about it.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacCoug View Post
    Gene England:
    That's a great quote.

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by wuapinmon View Post
    Argumentum Ornithologicum

    I shut my eyes and glimpse a flock of birds. The image lasts for a second or even less; I don't know how many birds I saw. Was the number finite or infinite? The problem concerns the existence of God. If He exists, the number is finite, because He knows how many birds I saw. If God does not exist, the number is infinite, because no one could keep tally. In my case, let us say I saw fewer than ten birds and more than one but did not see nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, or two birds. I saw a number between ten and one, which is not nine, eight, seven, six, five, etc. This integer is inconceivable; therefore, God exists.
    [1952]



    --Jorge Luis Borges
    This is a perfect quote. Thanks for sharing wuap.

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