Above is a video recently put out by the Mormon Church, with a number of good looking individuals with nice music in the background talking about how through their feelings inside them, the Holy Ghost regularly reassures them that everything is ok, and that the gospel, meaning the Mormon Church is true.
This idea finds its place in the Book of Mormon in a section refferred to as Moroni’s Promise.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Whenever you speak to Mormon Missionaries ultimately their goal is to get you to read some or all of the book of Mormon, but particularly this passage and get you to pray and ask God if its true, their hope is that some kind of warm feeling will come inside you at this point. They will seek to say things in a certain way, and almost create a warm atmosphere as they do this they will ask you how you feel about what they are saying.
In the 4 part interview I put up recently from Mormon Stories, the ex CES teacher said that teachers would ask him for his most emotionally dramatic stories, so that they could create this feeling of truth confirmation in their meetings. I went to a local fireside meeting which is an LDS kind of visitors meeting, and before the lady even spoke her husband handed her tissues for when she inevitably burst into tears through the talk about how true the church is. The LDS church is all about making you feel its good and not worry so much about the more troublesome things they believe. I heard a phrase “people join the Mormon Church because of what they feel, and leave because of what they know.”
Most if not all Mormon members basis for believing what they believe is found in this internal witness or a testimony, this feeling that tells them what they believe is true. I have spoke to Mormon Missionaries about issues such as racism and had them say I know Joseph Smith wasnt a racist because I have had it confirmed to me.
However this is a massive problem for 3 reasons.
1, You must pray with a sincere heart.
2, This leads to problems of consistency.
3, It goes against the bibles teaching on measuring truth and ignores biblical teaching on listening to the Spirit.
So the first point as I underlined in the Book of Mormon Passage is you have to pray with all sincerity, whats wrong with that? Well what happens if you pray and you feel your sincere and you dont get an answer, or you feel you get an answer saying its false. You tell this to the Mormon Missionary, of your parent, your bishop and what do they say…… Go back and pray with more sincerity. Simple as that and the cycle will go on until you leave or get the answer, so its not surprising that answer comes. A friend of mine in recent discussion with a Mormon Missionary had the missionary confide in him that he prayed around 150 times before he got the answer, its a circular trap.
Secondly this has led to massive problems of consistency, there are around 300 groups that have come into existence as a result of the Mormon Church, all claiming to be the correct Mormon Church. While in Utah I spoke to a member of the fundamentalist LDS Church and he was adamant that his internal witness was the correct one.
This idea of feelings is simply to create a basis of belief so that any issues that arise later will be easily ignored as this initial feeling is there to take away any bad feeling or discomfort they might create.
Bill Mckeever at http://www.mrm.org/feelings says this:
Mormons often tell me how they “feel” that Mormonism is right; however, as a Christian I can respond with equal assurance that I “feel” my faith is right. But does that make it right? I recently read the story of a new convert who said, “Until the very second that I made my declaration, I wasn’t entirely convinced that it was what I wanted to do. Would I wake up one day and want to change my mind? Would I feel like I had made a huge mistake? But already I feel as if my life has been transformed. I don’t know how to describe it, but the moment I said those words, my heart filled with joy and love and it took about four days for me to come back down off the ceiling.” Though this sounds very familiar to statements I’ve heard from both Mormons and Christians, it was actually a comment made by a woman who had recently recited the Shahada, a Muslim testimony that simply states, “La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah.” Translated this phrase says, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” (“Why I took the hijab,” The Guardian, June 20, 2002). What does this prove? Well, when it comes to establishing what is true, it proves absolutely nothing. It is just one opinion among millions.
Which leads onto my 3rd point that the bible gives us a different basis to measure truth. I said to a Mormon Missionary once what if I told you superman was God how would you know I am wrong? Mostly they have said they would search the scriptures however some have said they would pray about it.
In Acts 17:11 we see Paul bringing something new in terms of teaching to the bereans, the bible describes them as noble. Their response was that they searched the scriptures. This is the measure for truth, Christians if your sat with Mormon Missionarys and they ask you to pray about what they are saying tell them lets look at the bible first.
But am I saying that all interaction with the Spirit is wrong? That would be a sad thing to do, to ignore a third member of the Godhead or simply say He is unrealiable, this is not the case, however you need to be aware of the reality of your human condition when you do this.
In the bible in Jeremiah 17:9 it says The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?
Our hearts and emotions can deceieve us in all sorts of ways, this is why we have scripture as that basis to measure truth, and that is a noble way to look at it. All personal feelings or “revelations” must be judged against that which you know for sure God has said.
Hebrews 5:12-14 says For though [a]by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the [b]elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
It takes practice to discern what is good and evil, this and it does not come from getting a warm feeling in your tummy when two Mormon Missionaries tell you its true. This practice involves reading the word of God, the bible and allowing God to speak to you through that and whatever other means He will. Why not ask God to reveal to you what is true, rather than just pin it down to a yes or no answer about one thing, that for some takes over a hundred prayers just to get a feeling.
For Christians this is a message to you pleading that when you get a knock on the door from Mormons share the truth of the gospel with them.
And to Mormons I would never expect anyone to walk away because of what I have said, however look under the surface, there is so much of Mormon History and belief that you will never hear if all you do is blindly follow the prophet. Look at some of the sites linked to on the right or leave a comment to start this journey.