What do you believe?

I think I have a fairly small but consistent group of regular readers, and I really appreciate your coming here and helping me feel like somebody is paying attention. 🙂

This morning I was wondering about where you stand in your belief system. I have described myself as a hopeful agnostic: I want to believe in God, but I’m not really sure. I find myself very reluctant to try organized religion, having been so badly burned by Mormonism in the past, but I don’t rule it out at some future time.

But what do you believe? I suspect that there is a spectrum of belief among my readers (I hope it’s OK to call you “my” readers) running from belief in God to atheism. So, I’m asking you to write a comment and just tell me briefly what you believe. You can even bear your testimony, and I won’t be offended.

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44 Responses to What do you believe?

  1. I, for one, am honored to be called a “reader.” Speaking of which, I really look forward to the book. As for my belief system, I consider myself a “Mormon Humanist.” I believe in goodness, love, and all of those transcendent virtues. I don’t necessarily believe that there is a God, but I’m not adverse to the concept. I honestly believe that if God exists, he is pleased with me.

    Sadly though, there is little to no doubt that the Mormon church is not true. I say “little to no” because I always believe that there is a possibility, no matter how small. I don’t much care for absolutes. So, I am still open even to the possibility, regardless of how unlikely, that Mormonism is true.

  2. Scott says:

    I’m a Christian, no doubt, but I have an agnostic flavor, and my theology is somewhat liberal. It’s a long story, but when I ended up doubting my faith for highly intellectual reasons, I re-examined it and came to the point of accepting I might have to give up what I had always believed in. Nonetheless, I came out a believer, I’ve just learned not to treat the Bible the way fundementalists do. I had learned of context issues before, but having actually taken classes on the Bible this past year, what I knew grew enormously. Thankfully my professors were actual scholars, and not confessional fanatics. Those things I had suspected in earlier years I fully embraced, such as my belief in a figurative book of Genesis (as dictated by an evaluation of the literature), evolution, a diluted belief in supernatural things (I think your last post talked similarly about that), and specific authorial reasons for “contradictions” and ordering of events. I could go on a long time, it’s really fascinating stuff. The ancient scribes are brilliant writers.

    Just to mention, I like reading here because of the depth of perspective. A lot of my old friends are Mormons, and here in Colorado they park their seminaries outside of all our highschools. Well, not all, but you get the idea. I care about those friends, but I only wish they saw all this stuff. Nonetheless, it seems I’d have a hard enough time convinced fellow Christians to give up their blind, traditional interpretations, and learn to look at ancient literature for what it is. However, your approach here I think represents the best method for moving a point across anyone.

    Hope that’s not too long 🙂

  3. bull says:

    Atheist. Rationalist. Materialist.

  4. Brad says:

    Southern Baptist.
    Salvation only in Jesus Christ (as depicted in the Bible).
    Salvation only through grace, not by any works.
    Baptism not necessary for salvation.
    Believe in only 2 possibilities after death – Heaven and hell. All will go to 1 of them.
    Believe in absolute truth.
    Believe that the Mormon church is false.

  5. zackc says:

    At least you can humour yourself in saying you have a handful of readers. 😉

    Me…I’m really apathetic to the issue of God. It doesn’t really matter to me except when I see how it effects people negatively in society. If it works and is benign then fine, but when it’s negative then I get interested in it.

  6. Tim says:

    That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me

  7. K*tty says:

    Wow Runtu, I almost feel like I am physic. I was going to ask how you were doing, especially since you are going to church every other week. How can you keep your tongue in check? Even before I left, I was always saying inappropriate comments in church. But then, I am always saying inappropriate comments everywhere.

    When all of this started for me, I had no one to talk about it with. Long story short, I ended up communicating via Internet with an ex-mormon who had found her way out of the church and into another. We communicated for months, and through it all I felt an underlying pressure from her to find a true Christian church. I asked her how she went about finding the church she had settled with. She told me of her struggle to find the wonderful church she now attends and added she had to leave a few other churches she thought she could join, but those churches were supportive of gays. I wrote back and said I am no longer looking for a church. I just can’t get back on that ride, and having a few wonderful gay friends in my life, I guess we have nothing further to discuss. I also have to admit that I am somewhat agnostic, but believe me when I tell you, I will be keeping that info ALL to myself. I am just trying to live a good life, be kind and loving to the family of man and take my chances on what comes next. It is what it is, no matter what I believe. But every now and then, I do pray.

  8. Travis says:

    Agnostic. I no longer believe in God or Jesus Christ. I know that I don’t know a lot, but trying to figure things out. All I really know about is Mormonism, so I’m looking into religion as a whole and it’s not promising.

  9. K*tty says:

    Tim says: Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me

    What did He look like and how is He doing? Will you be starting your own church? 😉

  10. erlybird says:

    Bull turned me on to your site and I have enjoyed reading. I like the missionary memoir aspect. I have lots of memories of my own which still need to be written related.

    I am hoping to network your readers to look over at mine a bit too…so pass on the word if you like what you see at my place.

    As far as belief goes you can put me in the Rationalist, Atheist category as well. I wouldn’t go so far as Bull and say that being a Materialist is anything to be proud of, however. Even as an Atheist two of my models for behavior are Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers), perhaps the best Christer to have lived in the past 100 years, and St. Francis, at least the legend of St. Francis. Society at large first, my family second, me last. My life is not necessarily “better” if I am “happier”. I firmly believe that I must leave this world a better place than when I found it no matter how “happy” I am doing it, yet I also FIRMLY resent the notion that this attitude must needs be co-opted by Christers and other religious yahoos that think it has something to do with believing in sky faeries.

    All that is wrong with religious thinking people is summarized in what Brad said above. Undeniable ignorance…one way or the highway. Can’t be proven. Picks and chooses Bible context. (“Faith without works is dead” tell me, Brad, what the hell that MEANS!) Silly beyond words. Even if it WERE the “truth” I would reject it out of hand. Wouldn’t even WANT to be with a God like that for all eternity…send me to hell…don’t care.

    So, with that said, or ranted, I have a question for YOU. Why do you WANT or HOPE there to be a God? Is it about Happiness? Is it about the fate of the World? Is it about you worrying about your death and what will happen afterward? Would believing in God make your life here better? Why does it concern you?

  11. I don’t know what I believe, other than I believe that when all is said and done, none of us really knows anything.

    I have days of pantheism. I have days of deism. I have days of Mormonism. I have days of agnosticism. I have days of atheism. I have days of Judaism. I have days of Jainism. I have days of Buddhism. I have days of Hinduism.

    I’m one confused hombre.

  12. zackc says:

    I have days of Steussism. And Blixism also.

  13. runtu says:

    erlybird. I don’t know. I find myself being more apathetic than I used to be about the existence of God. Everything I know points towards atheism, and maybe I just don’t want to let go of belief for whatever reason.

  14. Mina says:

    I was going to say atheist but perhaps Zack’s apatheticist is a better descriptor. I don’t find religion all that interesting except in the sense that one has to account for it given the grotesque conditions it has historically created and which many of us continue to suffer under (me, not so much, runtu, a lot). That’s not to say there aren’t positives as well and if one could divorce them from the absolutist and supernatural frameworks in which they’re embedded, well, that would be something, wouldn’t it?

    I’m curious why one would think materialism something to be ashamed of—perhaps some mistake a vulgar determinism for strong historical critique?

    I’m also curious why Tim thinks he’s received the final, and not merely a penultimate, audience with Christ. Is he not expecting The Return?

  15. Brad says:

    All that is wrong with religious thinking people is summarized in what Brad said above.

    Wow, those 8 lines summarize all that? I must be a more prolific writer than I thought…

    Undeniable ignorance…one way or the highway. Can’t be proven.

    Runtu asked what people believed, and I answered. You believe differently, and you’ve voiced as much. But look at your statement for just a second. You call it “undeniable ignorance”, b/c it can’t be proven. By definition, if it can’t be proven, then it can’t be disproven either. I’m not saying I think it can’t, just that with YOUR line of thinking, neither proof or disproof is possible. In that case, maybe it really IS true, and you just don’t realize it? In that case, maybe YOUR point of view is “undeniably ignorant.”

    Picks and chooses Bible context. (”Faith without works is dead” tell me, Brad, what the hell that MEANS!)

    You quote “faith without works as dead” as proof that I’ve taken something out of context (presumably, you mean salvation by grace alone)? Are you kidding? If you think that James 2, in context, supports works-based salvation, then it is YOU who understands NOTHING about Biblical context. Explain Eph. 2:8-9 for me, in light of what you think about James 2. Explain Rom. 10:9-10 for me, in light of what you think about James 2, and also in light of Eph. 2:8-9. Explain John 3:16 for me, in light of what you think about James 2, in light of Eph. 2:8-9, and also Rom. 10:9-10. All Scripture works TOGETHER, not separately.

    Silly beyond words. Even if it WERE the “truth” I would reject it out of hand. Wouldn’t even WANT to be with a God like that for all eternity…send me to hell…don’t care.

    Thus, you have a VOLITIONAL objection to it, not a rational one. “Even if it WERE true, I STILL wouldn’t believe it.” Nice basis. But don’t worry, God will grant your eternal wish, if you really want it.

    So, with that said, or ranted, I have a question for YOU. Why do you WANT or HOPE there to be a God? Is it about Happiness? Is it about the fate of the World? Is it about you worrying about your death and what will happen afterward? Would believing in God make your life here better? Why does it concern you?

    Doesn’t matter what I WANT or HOPE – only matters what IS. And God IS. He WAS before any of us were here, and He will always BE. We don’t get to choose whether there IS a god or not – there is one. We just make the choice to acknowledge and serve Him, or not.

    I sense some pent-up hostility on your part. Wonder where that comes from…

  16. erlybird says:

    Thanks for the response, Runtu, as this is what I am most curious about with folks, especially former LDS like myself. I would like to chat with you about it further.

    Mina, all I am saying is that I AGREE with the seldom followed and often co-opted notion of Christers that “stuff” does not buy one happiness or fulfillment. I love “stuff”. I do. But like I said, my philosophy is that I come last…and being materialistic defeats THAT purpose. But it is a very personal belief and I am loathe to force it upon anyone.

  17. runtu says:

    I appreciate the comments. I would ask that we try and keep things civil and focused on what WE believe, not what others believe. Thanks.

  18. erlybird says:

    My apologies, Runtu. I will take any further comments to Brad off-line.

  19. runtu says:

    No problem, eb. I hope everyone knows that they can say whatever they want here without any censoring from me. But I do hope people will be civil to each other. That’s all I’m asking.

  20. jr says:

    Until fairly recently I was a mostly believing Mormon. I say mostly believing because some of the rhetoric we all hear from Mormons was impossible for me to believe in. By that I mean any justification of withholding the Priesthood from Blacks as well as polygamy.
    The small stuff that was difficult to swallow were mention of family units in the premortal life. That may not have been official church doctrine but talking about it was never discouraged. Also, I often heard comments that God would never allow certain things to happen to faithful members while the reality of it is that God clearly doesn’t play favorites and the thought of God controlling what happens to us contradicts the whole free agency concept.
    I still attend church every week with my wife & kids, I just don’t believe it or enjoy it.
    I don’t see how anyone could take the bible as literal truth. So much of the bible is simply myth and completely different than our day to day reality. The teachings of Christ are obviously good, but most self-professed Christians don’t actually follow his teachings.
    I wouldn’t mind it if the LDS Church were true, my life would be easier if it were but it (along with taking the bible literally) just isn’t ‘true’. It’s good, just not true.

  21. Simeon says:

    Runtu,

    Been out of the loop and haven’t been participating, but have been reading posts still here and at the foyer and rfm.

    Your question really struck a cord with me. Just like a Lamanite mother, I’m greatly lamenting the loss of my religion. Many of my bitter feelings from two years ago have passed, but it’s still in my face daily with my wife and kids.

    To answer the question, I find it hard to believe in anything at all. I want to, but I just can’t. Ishmael and my other siblings feel similarly. It’s a relief to be out of LDS Inc. and I’m thankful for that, but finding the ability to exercise faith in any kind of deity or religious system just isn’t possible with the scars and hurt that remain. If Jesus was real, I just don’t understand why he would stand idle while so many people could really use his help.

    PS. Your mission posts were awesome. I really enjoyed them.

  22. K*tty says:

    jr, bless your heart. I do feel your pain. I think it is great that you are going for your family. You would have loved sitting next to me. I was always teasing someone.

    jr Says: I don’t see how anyone could take the bible as literal truth. So much of the bible is simply myth and completely different than our day to day reality.

    When people cite scripture to me to prove their point, I always joke and say, “You can’t believe everything you read in the Bible.” They usually gasp and want to harm me, but the conversation is all but over. In the Bible, two stories really, really bother me. One is the story of Job. I can’t get a grip on why God would possibly have to prove anything to anybody and use poor Job as an example. And when Job is made “whole” again, it is with a different wife and kids, reinforcing the paradigm of women being expendable.
    Then there is the story of the children making fun of a bald man and God sends a she bear to rip their sorry little a%$*s. Me thinks these are what they are, stories to teach a lesson, with the operative word being stories.

  23. runtu says:

    jr, I can totally relate. I did what you are doing for quite some time. It is painful, but you do what you have to do (even if some people call you cowardly for doing so–I don’t).

    Simeon, it is so good to hear from you. It’s been a while, and I have wondered how you and your brother have been getting along. It sounds like life is better for you these days. I’m really glad to hear it.

  24. Bull says:

    Let me clarify. By Materialist I mean the idea that the world is material, not spiritual or ethereal and that there is an objective reality that can be observed, measured, falsified, etc. I don’t mean materialistic in the sense of consumerism or happiness through acquisition, which I very much do not believe in.

  25. mattman says:

    Atheist. Secular Humanist. Bright.

    If there is any kind of higher intelligence, I think it’s possible that it moved on or doesn’t care or cannot interact with us in any meaningful way, and thus would be unrecognizable by any perceived notions of “god” up to this point.

    I feel that all traditional ideas about “god”, “savior”, etc, are all superstitious man-made nonsense lacking in both substantive evidence as well as common sense (which unfortunately isn’t all that common).

    I believe in being good and doing good on those merits alone. And by good I mean that which is of the greatest benefit and least (or no) detriment to humanity, its survival, and its progress & evolution.

    I believe that humanity will ultimately save or destroy itself through wise use of technology & progress or religion (the destroy part), respectively. Technology & progress also holds vast power to destroy humanity as well, that’s why I included the “wise” caveat. If religion, as it exists today, survives much longer, I am not so hopeful in the “wise” part of that clause.

    As a firm believer in the scientific method (I don’t mean that science is infallible, but I believe in the scientific method because I believe science is self-correcting, unlike religion), I am always open to new discoveries, new evidence, etc, and reserve the right to change my views & beliefs as new information becomes available.

    As for any chance of afterlife that does not involve immortality or resurrection by means of technology, I’m firmly undecided. I seriously doubt it. I’d like to think that some form of currently unknown consciousness preservation physics may be possible, similar to the laws about matter & energy cannot be created or destroyed, but that’s admittedly quite a stretch.

    My bets are on immortality or resurrection at the hands of technology from human progress. That is if we can awaken from religious & destructive stupor we seem to be stuck in — to avoid a religious fervor of nuking ourselves or consuming all our resources or sliming the planet so badly it’s no longer inhabitable for humans.

    On a side note — I hate the phrase “save the planet”. The planet will likely survive much longer than us. “Save humanity” would be a more accurate phrase. The self-correcting actions taken by the planet, or the end game of all the damage will result in us effective destroying ourselves. The planet will just keep spinning without skipping a beat, completely oblivious to the observation of whether the spec of humanity is found on the thin layer of habitable environment or not.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg that is the thoughts in my head, but I don’t think I should ramble on any longer than I already have. 🙂

  26. runtu says:

    Hey, two of my favorite Texans posting in a row. I hope all is well with you, Matt. Life’s good here in Zion. 🙂

  27. OutontheFarm says:

    Agnostic and very glad to have let go of mormonism. I feel relieved, happy and I’m just enjoying life. Life is random and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  28. GBSmith says:

    I believe what I can and in some ways I guess I’m what Jeff Burton in Sunstone would call a borderlander. There are some things I’ve just decided aren’t plausible or possible but at the same time I’ve decided they’re not all that important. It’s allowed me to be able to teach the High Priests if I’m careful and to be able to speak in church this month. I’ve never been religious or spiritual even though I’ve always enjoyed reading and discussing theology and early in my life and while a missionary tried to rely on performance in exchange for what others called the Spirit. But over the last 30-40 years too many things have weighed down the shelf and prayer has been pretty much a one sided conversation. If someone asked me just what I do or don’t believe I’d tell them but at this point in my life I figure I’ll just keep it to myself. As to the reality of God and Jesus, time will tell.

    One other thing. You’ve touched a lot of people, Runtu, not many people can have that said about them.

  29. Mina says:

    Thanks Bull, I was just about to make that correction for erlybird, too. The philosophy of materialism, that social and historical forces produce the conditions of possibility for various actions and beliefs is not the same as being materialistic.

    I wish philosophy (along with many other things) was part of the american public school curriculum.

  30. vitaminbook says:

    I’m a fairly hardcore atheist, in that I not only don’t believe in God but also think religion is fairly pointless and/or harmful. (But not universally so!). I don’t believe in any sort of afterlife or anything that most people would refer to as ‘supernatural’, although I’m fairly open minded about all of those things.

  31. SillyNut says:

    Dude, you “compromised” and are going to church every other week? How’d I miss that thread?

    That said, I think I’m deist atheist. I don’t really believe in god, I don’t really hope there is a god, and I’m not really confused or conflicted about it. BUT I do think that something, somewhere started this whole shebang going. THough I’m not sure how because who would have started them? And who would have started them?

    I guess this means I don’t know. 😉

  32. Tim says:

    I’m also curious why Tim thinks he’s received the final, and not merely a penultimate, audience with Christ. Is he not expecting The Return?

    That was all taken from I Corinthians 15 and is an early Christian creed that they all learned to memorize and repeat. The last part about “then he appeared to me” was Paul’s own addition to the creed.

  33. geeze–lots-o-comments…almost too many to read.

    i am a ‘christian’–or whatever you want to lable it, a believer in jesus christ and that he offers salvation to anyone who wants it and also offers a different and, i believe, better way to live. it can be hard to talk about beliefs because some people can get so hostile, but if what i believe in –jesus christ, crucified and rose from the dead for my sins–if that way is all about love…love is the point–then where is there room for hostility? where is there room for pointing fingers and condemnation?

    i believe many, many, many more people would come to know jesus christ for who he really is if believers represented HIM better and not OUR values, beliefs and traditions that we have tagged to be ‘christian’.

    love. love wins. and that IS what jesus christ is all about–runtu, please don’t let organized religion dictate your views on jesus. jesus is NOT about organized religion or anything close to that. he hated organized religion as well.

    the church can be a beautiful thing, but so many times its connected with connotations of all things negative.

    the question i have is how can a message so amazing, so good, so pure, so true so…hopeful come across as condemning, arrogant, ignorant and discouraging.

    this, my friend, is not what jesus had in mind. i promise you that.

    i do believe, though, that jesus is here–ready to meet you–outside of religion and outside of tradition. i would encourage you to seek after him–the only one who can offer true hope.

    new reader,
    lauren

  34. geeze–lots-o-comments…almost too many to read.

    i am a ‘christian’–or whatever you want to label it, a believer in jesus christ and that he offers salvation to anyone who wants it and also offers a different and, i believe, better way to live. it can be hard to talk about beliefs because some people can get so hostile, but if what i believe in –jesus christ, crucified and rose from the dead for my sins–if that way is all about love…love is the point–then where is there room for hostility? where is there room for pointing fingers and condemnation?

    i believe many, many, many more people would come to know jesus christ for who he really is if believers represented HIM better and not OUR values, beliefs and traditions that we have tagged to be ‘christian’.

    love. love wins. and that IS what jesus christ is all about–runtu, please don’t let organized religion dictate your views on jesus. jesus is NOT about organized religion or anything close to that. he hated organized religion as well.

    the church can be a beautiful thing, but so many times its connected with connotations of all things negative.

    the question i have is how can a message so amazing, so good, so pure, so true so…hopeful come across as condemning, arrogant, ignorant and discouraging.

    this, my friend, is not what jesus had in mind. i promise you that.

    i do believe, though, that jesus is here–ready to meet you–outside of religion and outside of tradition. i would encourage you to seek after him–the only one who can offer true hope.

    new reader,
    lauren

  35. Ray A says:

    Always evolving, always changing, forever flip-flopping. “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Dr. Steuss reminded me of Gandhi when asked which religion he belonged to – “I am a Hindu, a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Muslim…..”.

    I am, and have been for a long time, an agnostic theist. Another quote I’ve never forgotten, from Dan Vogel on FAIR (when it was FAIR), when asked if he believed in God – “it depends on how I feel at a given moment, and what I’m watching on TV.” (paraphrased) My latest post about the Black Death is a good example. Some days I think Steve Benson and Richard Dawkins make more sense than Dan Peterson and Paul Davies, and vice versa. But I find myself not attracted to any long term personal dogma, nor “beyond shadow of doubt” beliefs, be it materialism or spiritualism. I think we engage at times in lots and lots of self-deception. I remember one young lady, back in the late 1970s, getting up to bear one of the strongest testimonies the members in our ward ever heard, and the next week she was inactive, and has never returned. Yet, somehow, I could see her weakness, and her apostasy didn’t surprise me, at least. Some things have become mythology, for me, in fact lots. I think our beliefs reflect our feelings and experiences, not objective reality. When I became a Mormon at 20, my wiser older brother warned me, “you’re sublimating”, trying to make sense of the world in the wrong way. Religion is a fine way to cover our inadequacies, and make us feel better about ourselves, and it’s our way of making sense of the senseless. More and more, I see how difficult it is for those BIC to escape it, emotionally. When I posted on PostMo, this realisation struck me with great force, for those in transition it’s like trying to get out of a tornado, like trying to speak Arabic when English is your birth language. My BICatholic sister is no different. She holds amazing personal prejudices, yet unashamedly goes to Mass every week, unable to surrender her Catholicism to reason. When I told her Catholicism was “BS”, I don’t think she ever forgave me. Her religion allows her to hold neat prejudices and form simplistic paradigms from which she can judge me. Her husband, a doctor for nearly 50 years now, former Catholic, became atheist in his early 60s. Lots in Mormonism is also BS, but for many it’s the vehicle through which they make sense of the world, and their lives. I haven’t had any “defining moment” which persuaded me I knew the answer to the riddle of the universe, and sometimes I think I even gravitate more and more to my brother-in-laws’ views. The world is just totally full of madness.

    All I know is that 33 years after “the journey” began, I would never want to go through it again. IMO there are lots and lots of confused people in Mormonism, and even more in the world. It’s the human condition, not necessarily a “religious condition”. In spite of all I don’t know, I now feel happier living with that uncertainty than entertaining religious fantasies. It’s just how I’ve evolved through experience.

    An admiring frequent reader, who thinks Blogs are much better than forums.

  36. I am, like Einstein, a Deist. I think science is rather close to proving the existence of God and the afterlife, and, in fact, has pretty much already done so (just we haven’t yet figured out how to look at it all).

  37. Beeky319 says:

    Lutheran Christian +

  38. gigidiaz says:

    I believe that the bible is just another fictional book, that Jesus may or may not exist, and that (independent from Jesus and organized religions) there is a higher force way beyond our understanding that lingers in everything we do and is a part of what we are. I don’t believe this force I mentioned is necessarily the god of any religion, it is just a force. I don’t think there’s a heaven and hell or eternal punishment for not getting right. This life is hard even for those that “have it easy.” How can we be punished if given only about 80 years to get it right? I believe true goodness from within whether or not you believe in anything or anyone. You can be the most biblically educated catholic and be a social savage who repents on Sundays. Just like you can be an Atheist who would never consider lying, stealing, or hurting another person. The ladder means more in my frame of thought.

  39. Hudson says:

    Jesus was real
    He makes believing in God tangible.
    You cant get rid of Jesus, he is recognized in all other religions.
    Truth prevails and no one can escape truth.
    This is why other religions have Jesus somewhere in their midst.
    The fact that other religions recognize Jesus as some one of importance whatever it may be Shows how He is the one truth
    The Bible seems to not have any of these other religions gods in it.
    Thats because truth prevails in the end.

    God is Love and Love is Real

  40. Nia says:

    From a rational Muslim, to an Agnostic theist, to an atheist. Me. I’ve even tried my hand at Buddhism and I know it’s not me, so I gave it up.

    I have always been a spiritual person, even if I do resent organised religion. While it is not for me, I do not wish the same fate for others because there are a lot of things in organised religion necessary for society.

    While these things, like morality and law, can be secular and a-theist.. how did people ever learn to resist a Greater being? Myths, legends, modern fantasy.

    It’s a bit harsh to live without hope. 🙂

    Belief is such a hard thing to specify.
    While I was still an adherent to an organised religion, at least I knew my limits. That is one thing I know I personally need: limits.

    Now that I’m free.. it’s all been a bit shocking to say the least.

    And sometimes I have moments of Monism.

    Sometimes I wish I was a believer.
    But I can’t even remember what that was like.

  41. Eric Nielson says:

    I believe that God exists, and always have. My testimony of this is similar to Almas in Alma 30 where he tells Korihor that all things denote there is a God. I feel that I see evidence of Him in everything.

    I believe that Jesus is the Savior. I have had a few personal religious experiences that allow me to believe that He can forgive sins.

    I believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God like the Bible. And I believe in the restoration of the gospel associated with it.

  42. jr says:

    GBSmith wrote: “prayer has been pretty much a one sided conversation”
    That is my experience as well.

    Has anyone had an earth-shattering spiritual experience in the Temple?
    I haven’t. When my family went to the Temple to do the work for a deceased brother, I was expecting or hoping for one of those mythical experiences that someone’s uncle or cousin always seems to have.
    Nothing happened.
    I can honestly say, I’ve never been anything but freaked out and bored as can be in the Temple. I don’t understand those who claim it’s a wonderful experience, even when I would go with the best attitude and fasting, I’ve never had one of those great experiences that I keep hearing about.
    Part of the problem with the Temple ceremony is that it perpetuates the myth that Adam & Eve were the first humans on earth.

  43. Todd Wood says:

    I believe a lot. My faith in the unseen defines me much more than what I see, which is really pretty meaningless if the physical data simply stands on its own.

    Living in the wild country above you in S.E. Idaho,

    et

  44. Flygirl says:

    I don’t know what I believe anymore. I just know I don’t believe any/most of the claims of Mormonism. I am trying to figure the rest out, but am not nearly as worried about it as I was when I was desperately trying to make myself believe in Mormonism.

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