Crazy Things You Believe

March 17, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 10:25 am   Category: Life

Are there things which you believe which sound crazy even to you, and yet you continue to believe them. Are there things that you believe that you’d never share with someone else because you think they’d think you are crazy?

Here are some crazy things I believe:

  1. I believe that Jesus’ suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane may be connected to his taking omniscience upon himself, and thus feeling what Heavenly Father always feels.
  2. I believe that some day the temple ceremony is going to change and be very different than what it is like today, including allowing entrance to non-members for their children’s sealings.
  3. I believe that the future doesn’t exist, but God knows it anyway.
  4. I believe in determinism and free-will being compatible (only sometimes, usually on tuesdays)
  5. I believe there are as many degrees of glory as individual people, and the 3 degrees are mainly symbolic/generic in nature
  6. I believe that we suffered pre-mortally due to deficiencies that required this life
  7. I believe God doesn’t interact with us more directly because it would damage us if he did
  8. I believe polygamy will not be practiced eternally, and may have been merely a form of theolgocial collateral damage in order to bring about sealings as they are practiced now
  9. I believe that sealings are mainly about human interdependence
  10. I believe what many think of as romantic Love is just a chemical reaction 
  11. I believe most of the time God is limited to what’s available at the time in terms of calling people, etc.
  12. I believe the Prophet does have a batphone to God, or atleast a spider-sense to Him or something. He definitely has something I don’t have, or is better at using it, at any rate.
  13. I believe that things that we do that are not for either survival or procreation (like art) are probably the closest we can get to seeing our true eternal selves. 
  14. I believe in evolution and I believe there is absolutely nothing heretical about that
  15. I believe Padre Pio wasn’t lying about the stigmata
  16. I sometimes believe the Holy Ghost may be a calling and not an individual (like Elias)
  17. I believe animals have free-will, but there is some fundamental difference between them and human spirits, like we talk about with Gender sometimes.
  18. I believe more orange juice helps everything
So what crazy things do you believe?

93 Comments »

  1. I believe that the future doesn’t exist, but God knows it anyway.

    Say it ain’t so. I’ll have to decide if there are any crazy things I believe that I’m willing to share.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 17, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  2. I believe that the future doesn’t exist, but God knows it anyway.

    What the???

    You clearly haven’t been paying attention around here Matt…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 17, 2009 @ 10:53 am

  3. Geoff, Jacob: You didn’t seem as scandalized the last time I brought this up.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 17, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  4. “I believe animals have free-will, but there is some fundamental difference between them and human spirits, like we talk about with Gender sometimes.”

    I believe animals, bugs, etx… are lesser intelliggences and will, for lack of a better word, reincarnate until they can become spirit children of God and be born as humans to exercise their agency.”

    Comment by Gilgamesh — March 17, 2009 @ 11:46 am

  5. I believe more orange juice helps everything

    Including canker sores?

    Comment by Geoff J — March 17, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  6. I’m not sure most of those are crazy. (1) seems a common belief. (2) seems a safe bet given how much it has changed over time. (My crazy belief is we’ll have a resurgence of a more masonic character).

    The compatibilism claim I’m pretty dubious of, although I’m open to a determined future being compatible with a revised view of the terms. (Indeed that’s my view and I don’t think it crazy)

    I’m not sure what you mean by “suffered pre-mortality.”

    I think most think the three degrees are more symbolic and point to a continuity of gradation.

    Who’s Padre Pio?

    But overall I think most of those views are pretty in the mainstream of LDS thought.

    Comment by Clark — March 17, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

  7. I believe in soul mates, and in romantic love, AND in chemical reactions.

    I believe when I die I will go to the light, and heavenly beings will give me a big hug and tell me “well done.” But on Sundays, and alternate Tuesdays I realize I am in big trouble and I will be paying the uttermost farthing for a very long, long time.

    I believe I’ve gained some theological understanding from frequenting this site. (crazy, huh?)

    I love your #13.

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — March 17, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  8. I believe that things that we do that are not for either survival or procreation (like art)

    Some evolutionary biologists would claim that young men do things like art to attract mates…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 17, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

  9. # I believe there are as many degrees of glory as individual people, and the 3 degrees are mainly symbolic/generic in nature

    Nope, sorry. I believe the same thing, so that’s not crazy anymore: when two or believe the same thing then it’s heresy, not crazy.

    Here’s mine: I believe that animals don’t have individual spirits; rather, they are all extensions of the Earth’s spirit (along with plants, fungi, etc.). Spider’s, on the other hand, have no spirit as they are pure evil.

    Comment by BrianJ — March 17, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  10. BiV:

    I believe I’ve gained some theological understanding from frequenting this site.

    LOL! (and count me in)

    Comment by BrianJ — March 17, 2009 @ 12:24 pm

  11. I agree with most of almost everything and would add that I believe that God is still learning and growing (even from His mistakes) and that’s what makes Him perfect. Although, my hubbie disagrees with me.

    Comment by Charmaine — March 17, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

  12. Matt would you please number each of your bullets so we can engage with them more easily?

    Comment by Kent (MC) — March 17, 2009 @ 12:56 pm

  13. BYU will beat UConn.

    Comment by Eric Russell — March 17, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  14. BYU will even have the chance to beat UConn…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 17, 2009 @ 2:28 pm

  15. I believe in God.

    Really, that’s the foundation of crazy. All others are mere appendages.

    My appendages:
    - I believe anything more than “become like God” is speculation and not very useful.
    - Related, I believe we know much, much less about how relationships will work in the afterlife than we think we do.
    - I believe the Prophet does NOT have a batphone to God, but that he follows the Spirit just like anyone else with a stewardship and is close to the Spirit.
    - I believe in evolution (it’s the “billions of years” that I can’t comprehend).
    - I believe callings are (nearly) always for the served, not the server (and therefore it doesn’t matter what we are called to because it’s not for us)
    - I believe “soul-mates” is a crock and that I could be happily married to any number of women (now the obligatory just so nobody thinks I’m a jerk…but I’m grateful for who I fell in love with and married.)
    - I believe most peoples’ claims of mystic experiences. Most.
    - I believe Joseph Smith was winging it a lot of the time, but that the veil was extremely thin for him. But he was still winging it.
    - I believe the First Presidency is much more progressive than the general membership.
    - I believe non-Mormons feel the Spirit all the time. Way, way more than we admit.
    - I have no opinion about the free will vs. determinism debate. (now that’s CRAZY!)
    - I believe God’s preferred candy is Nerds.

    Comment by Rusty — March 17, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

  16. Well, you’ve pretty much summed up most of my crazy beliefs.

    I will add one more, just as a personal message:

    I believe BiV has no idea how much I respect her, and I believe that’s my fault entirely for not making it clear.

    Comment by Ray — March 17, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  17. Rusty, pretty much another, “Yep” – with the exception of the last one. You are what you eat, and I see God more as a geek than as a nerd.

    Comment by Ray — March 17, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  18. Oh, and the one about soul-mates. I don’t believe it generally, but I believe it personally. Don’t ask me to explain why; it’s one of my crazy beliefs.

    One more:

    I believe “self-righteousness” should be replaced by “ass-holiness”. There just is an inherent awesomeness in that term.

    Comment by Ray — March 17, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  19. Ray, lol, I had forgotten about the term “ass-holiness”

    I think one of my crazier beliefs (but one that I’ve shared here many times before) is that gods can have differences of opinion, even on important things.

    I believe OJ did it.

    I believe that for most of our pre-mortal life we were not in the presence of God.

    I believe the pairing of males and females is part of an enormous cosmic joke which would be hilarious if we were observers rather than participants.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 17, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

  20. #8: Well, it certainly does attract ME…

    #16: Hmm, now I’m wondering whether to take that as a crazy belief or a personal message (which I usually receive over at my email!) sure love ya, Ray.

    #15, appendage 6: Well as long as your wife is fine with that, Rusty, you are OK. But just so you know, it doesn’t sound that romantic. Probably, to be safe, you should bring her flowers tonight.

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — March 17, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  21. I believe the pairing of males and females is part of an enormous cosmic joke which would be hilarious if we were observers rather than participants.

    Wow, Jacob, that was pretty good. If anything could destroy my belief in soul mates, that might be it.

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — March 17, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  22. I believe that in theory (IN THEORY, not in the actual execution that actually occured), mortgage-backed securities are a good idea.

    I believe that French food is infinitely better than Italian.

    I don’t care at all about the libertarian free will vs. determinism vs. whatever debate (although I hate political libertarianism, so I’m inclined to oppose anything that includes the word “libertarian”).

    Comment by Sam B. — March 17, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

  23. I believe that people who believe BYU will beat UConn are nincompoops. I believe, with every fiber of my being, that BYU will lose by double-digits to A&M.

    Comment by An Aggie Fan — March 17, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

  24. I believe that our heart already knows and head often gets in the way.

    I believe that what we send out returns to us.

    I believe that people are like mirrors for us and when we are bothered by them we are only being bothered by what bothers us about ourselves.

    I believe that no one in the universe has the power to cause me to take offense if I choose not to take offense.

    I believe that our hearts are microcosm of the temple and the universe is a macrocosmic temple.

    I believe that our hearts lock from the inside and we hold the key.

    I believe that I am always free to choose.

    I believe that those who are departed are right here on earth in another dimension.

    I believe that we still have our spiritual eyes and that we see with them all of the time, but we almost always refuse to trust them.

    I know that Italian food is far better than French food.

    I believe that we can choose to either act, and be free, or to merely be acted upon by merely reacting to stimulii and become unfree with the freedom that we try to avoid that we can always change.

    I believe that we made a lot of agreements in the pre-existence about how we would be willing to show up to serve each other and that we consented to undergo certain types of experiences so that we could learn from them.

    I believe that happiness is a choice in each moment.

    I believe that we are accountable for who we are with, what we think, where we go, and how we feel.

    I believe that every person is a miracle of incomparable worth.

    Comment by Blake — March 17, 2009 @ 4:24 pm

  25. I believe that deja vu is confirmation that I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

    I believe that before I die I’m going to figure out who were the parents of my ancestress Atta Bradford Parshall (1796 New Hamphire-1867 Chesaning, Michigan; write if you know her).

    I believe that ginger snaps are delicious.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — March 17, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  26. I believe that the Knights Templar found some version of the Temple Ordinances in Jerusalem, and passed some version of that on to the original Scottish Masons. Or, in some way, some outline of their rituals made thier way in to Masonry. I don’t really care what historians and “experts” have to tell me about this.

    I also believe that Mary Magdelene was Jesus’ wife. Though their having children might be problematic from a genetic point of view.

    Haha. No, really, you asked for crazy and there it is. ~

    Comment by Thomas Parkin — March 17, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

  27. thanks for posting this. and sign me up for #s 2,3,5,7,9,13,14. also…
    I believe that, literal or not, there’s something grounding and pretty important about a stories that place Eden in the Midwest, Nephite gold in the foothills and so on.
    And I believe that, time being illusory and relative, there’s nothing inconsistent about looking at a real anthropomorphic God as the result of evolution.
    (This would also mean I have no problem with lizard Gods, antelope Gods, juniper Gods etc.)
    I believe in breakfast.
    I want to believe in bigfoot.
    And lately I’ve been wondering whether the apocalypse is really necessary.

    Comment by english — March 17, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

  28. english, I also believe in the power of relocating the mythic Eden among us. It’s one of my favorite aspects of Mormonism – and I LOVE having Eden and the Celestial Kingdom less than two hours from my home (in two different physical locations).

    Comment by Ray — March 17, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  29. Blake,
    You are insane. French cooking and technique is the basis for every cuisine that matters (including American and Thai). Italian is accessible, but overdone.

    Sadly, many feel the way you do–just about anywhere in Manhattan I could toss a fish over my shoulder an hit a pretty good Italian place (and, if I’m near a Mario Batali restaurant, a superb Italian place). But the sheer quantity of good Italian near me doesn’t do a darn thing to overcome the incredibleness that is amazing French.

    Evidence? We’ve got the French Culinary Institute, where nearly everyone who’s anyone trained. Italian Culinary Institute? Not that I’m aware of.

    Comment by Sam B. — March 17, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  30. Sam B. The proof of the pudding is in the eatin’; not in the snobbish sense of superiority. That is why there are Italian places all over. Trust me — I have eatin Italian with gusto and choked down French that could only be eatin’ because it was supposed to be good. I’ll leave you to your delusions.

    However, you get the award in my book for the strangest belief.

    Comment by Blake — March 17, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  31. I hate that I’ve never eaten at any of Mario Batali’s restaurants although I also hate that on his cooking shows he rarely appears to clean his hands or instruments. I pray that is just editing by the studio.

    Comment by Clark — March 17, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  32. 1. Of everything mentioned so far, the only thing I believe in more than Blake’s #3 and #4 is that you can only come to that realization if you have lived with someone who hasn’t figured those out yet. Preferably a spouse, but I’ll accept parent as a valid answer also.

    (Physics/Cosmology)
    2. I believe that we are not the only humans in this universe (haven’t made up my mind about the galaxy yet).

    3. I believe that every speck of anything down to the smallest subatomic particle has a speck of spirit attached to it and that more complex combinations of those things are controlled by more complex spirits with us at the top of that spirit MLM. All of those things have free agency and physical laws are not forced like we think but actually just particles choosing not to “sin” within their sphere of choice/influence. So you can move mountains literally just by asking, if you know how and WHO.

    4. I believe dark matter is probably just spirit matter and that dark energy was made up and then believed by a bunch of people who were afraid to just say “I have no freakin’ clue why that happens”.

    5. I believe general relativity is just a bad approximation.

    6. I believe special relativity makes my brain explode.

    7. I believe angels can travel at greater than the speed of light and all that shininess is probably the light coming out of the wormhole. (Don’t ask).

    8. I believe the other planets in the solar system are God art: they exist only because he/we/somebody felt like it (and maybe throw in a little experimentation). And maybe so that we could figure out a lot of math and physics (but that only requires their existence, not the particular configuration: that was totally for fun).

    (Prophets)
    9. I believe that Mohammed was a real prophet but that what he really said got lost once somebody wrote it down.

    10. I believe there is (at a minimum) an Asian version of the Book of Mormon and especially a version of 3 Nephi 11. Australia is the next best option on that list.

    11. I believe that God asked people in the pre-mortal existence to be “backups” in case people like Joseph Smith failed to do their job. But then none of the backups were ever needed and it turned out just to be a grand object lesson.

    (Evolution)
    12. I believe there are lots of plants and animals in existence somewhere that have never been used on this earth and that that probably explains a LOT of the timescale problems in reconciling evolution.

    13. I believe #11 leaves me with an infinite regression problem and I don’t care.

    (Human Body)
    14. I believe that the idea that every celestial being that ever existed looks basically like me (two arms, legs, eyes, head on top, etc) implies that this form is perfect and also optimal in every possible physical and spiritual way.

    15. I believe that this form is not optimal but good enough.

    16. #13 + #14 means I believe there’s something else out there and its as smart as I can become and doesn’t look anything like me.

    (Adam)
    17. I (sometimes) believe that the Adam-God theory was actually Brigham trying to tell us Matt’s #16 is true and Adam played that role at some point.

    (Bible)
    18. I believe the Bible makes more sense in Spanish, even when compared against modern English translations.

    19. I believe you can’t get to the celestial kingdom if you haven’t read at least 90% of the Bible at least once.

    20. I believe you are guaranteed to go to the terrestrial kingdom if you’ve read the Bible more than a threshold I’m still working out (somewhere in the 5-20 realm) unless you have since repented.

    (Extra)
    21. I believe you are better off spiritually if you were born outside of Utah, moved there and then got out again. I’m still working on that last part.

    22. I believe that “soul mate” and “meant to be” and “Saturday’s Warriors” are just emotional crutches and poor rationalizations. Sorry.

    (Extra Extra)
    23. I don’t necessarily believe that life exists within our solar system other than on earth, but I do believe that I would be really excited about it and would definitely not see it as an affront to my faith.

    Ok, I’ve never admitted most of that out loud before. Maybe I am crazy. And maybe I should have posted anonymously… (not that any of you know me anyway).

    Comment by Rob V. — March 18, 2009 @ 1:56 am

  33. Rob #32:7
    My home teachers taught me that when I was a brand new convert of 6 months, and I have believed it ever since.

    #32:22
    People who don’t believe in soul mates may not have had many friends in the premortal existence…

    Comment by Bored in Vernal — March 18, 2009 @ 5:05 am

  34. 1. I believe there will be progression between kingdoms.
    2. I believe that what constitutes the real core of “the restored Gospel” is actually a very small subset of ideas and principles. First principles and ordinances of the gospel, basically, plus the new and everlasting covenant of marriage (minus polygamy).
    3. Accordingly, I believe that most of what we practice is not grounded in eternal principles–at best they’re temporary for mortality, at worst they’re not even of God. This isn’t always bad: the WoW and Family Home Evening are great ideas, but I don’t think they’re eternal. But this is bad when it comes to things like the Black priesthood ban and polygamy: I refuse to justify either of them as anything but the failings of our leaders.
    3. I believe a good 75% of scripture is bunk.
    4. I believe most of the other 25% is inspired fiction, which doesn’t bother me.

    Comment by Bro. Jones — March 18, 2009 @ 7:31 am

  35. Blake,
    All that means is you’ve eaten at good Italian and bad French places. I have too; I’ve also eaten at horrible Italian and divine French places.

    And the proof is in the fact that there are Italian places everywhere? Give me a break on that one; if that were the case, Olive Garden would be the pinnacle of Italian cuisine, and McDonalds would be palatable.

    Comment by Sam B. — March 18, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  36. Clark (31),
    I’m sure that, even when Mario Batali actually cooks at one of his restaurants, he never cleans his instruments; I assume he has plenty of employees for that. (Like you, though, I sure hope he washes his hands!)

    Comment by Sam B. — March 18, 2009 @ 7:51 am

  37. I love this post. I love hearing all the crazy things that people believe (but would probably never admit to during Fast & Testimony Meeting).

    I’ll take a turn: I truly (but unfortunately) believe that I have influenced the outcome of sporting events by such things as where I’m sitting on the couch during the game, how I’m holding the remote control, and/or what type of clothing I was wearing. [sigh]

    Comment by Hunter — March 18, 2009 @ 8:56 am

  38. 1. I believe in extra-terrestrials. I don’t believe they look like us. I believe they are God’s children.

    2. I believe that animals are God’s children, too.

    3. I believe there will be progression between kingdoms. If one is willing to.

    4. I believe that Three Kingdoms is an abstraction representing an infinite number of kingdoms.

    5. I believe that when God said, “My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” He was serious, and that many times He chuckles and says to Himself about us, “That’s a cute way of looking at that.”

    6. I believe in eternal progression.

    7. I believe in infinite space and energy and time. Somewhere. I can’t see how eternal progression would work unless this is true.

    8. I believe in eternal progression for The Church.

    9. I believe that sometimes the Spirit is “just” chemicals and electricity in our brains. I still call it the Spirit.

    10. I believe we will explore space in person.

    Comment by buraianto — March 18, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  39. Aggie Fan, are you referring to the Aggie team that lost at home to a Tulsa team that lost at home to BYU? Just checking.

    By the way, even President Obama picks BYU over A&M.

    Comment by Eric Russell — March 18, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  40. (39.)

    Ha! “Aggie Fan” was actually a reference to my being a Utah State fan–had nothing to do with A&M…though I can see that anyone reading it had no way of knowing that…my bad.

    I know nothing about Tulsa; I know only that “[insert BYU's opponent] by double-digits” is my standard belief, no matter the sport.

    Comment by Scott (Formerly Aggie Fan) — March 18, 2009 @ 2:42 pm

  41. Wow, that’s a lot of responses. Man, you all believe some crazy stuff!

    Geoff: My wife once chastised me for drinking lots of OJ to get rid of my Canker Sores when we were first married. Yes, I am medically am imbecile.

    I could seriously blog forever just going through all these crazy ideas one by one!

    And Blake and Sam B, Mexican food is where it’s at, you Gringos.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 18, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  42. Let’s end the silly food argument once and for all. Authentic Japanese food is the celestial standard; you’re talking about which food gets the consolation prize.

    1) I believe my wife and I were brought together through a series of divine inspirations at a relatively young age, but I also believe it was up to us to make it work once we had been put together.

    2) I believe direct revelation led to the birth of our sixth child – that, for whatever reason, five simply wasn’t God’s plan for us.

    3) I believe in free will, but I also believe God knows what will happen in our lives before it happens. I have no idea how to reconcile those two beliefs.

    4) I believe I really do “know” quite a few things, but I also believe I don’t know anything fully.

    5) I believe I can choose to see the things around me in any way I want to see them.

    6) I believe most of us don’t understand ourselves well enough to judge ourselves properly, much less anyone else.

    7) I believe the Book of Mormon is a visionary transmission of an actual ancient record, and I believe Joseph Smith didn’t understand its content very well – that he assumed a lot that simply is inaccurate and the result of his culture. I believe that is one of the greatest evidences of his prophetic role.

    8) I believe in a literal first man and first woman, but I believe the Garden of Eden account is allegorical – and wonderfully transcendent. I believe Eve ate the fruit because a man wrote the narrative.

    9) I believe the ability to write a 60-word sentence without effort is a gift, but I’m not sure if the source is good or evil.

    10) I believe I should blog a little more than I do currently. (I needed one joke in here somewhere.)

    Comment by Ray — March 18, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  43. I believe in free will, but I also believe God knows what will happen in our lives before it happens. I have no idea how to reconcile those two beliefs.

    You can’t. It’s like trying to reconcile a round square — it is nonsense. So stick with free will and you’ll be ok bro.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 18, 2009 @ 11:23 pm

  44. I’d love to, Geoff, but I’ve had too many experiences that show me He does – at least for some things. I don’t care about trying to reconcile it, however.

    Comment by Ray — March 19, 2009 @ 1:00 am

  45. Ray: this post and the comments after it were my attempt to reconcile the same.

    Geoff himself reconciles free will and God predicting the future in comment #4 there.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 19, 2009 @ 5:25 am

  46. Some crazy things I believe:

    I believe in a literal, universal, eternal, flesh and bone resurrection.

    ….

    At a certain level, it doesn’t get much crazier than that.

    Comment by Eric Nielson — March 19, 2009 @ 5:50 am

  47. I’m a lutheran and am only loosly familiar with mormanisom. i was intrested on how your faith places Eden in the midwest. and if your scripture defines a region or is it more specific?

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:06 am

  48. also from an outside observer some of your language seems to mirror masonic language. so what if any is is the connection between mromanisom and free masonry?

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:11 am

  49. and as for the subject i belive some crazy things too…

    I belive that the mystery god revealed to John in the revelation that John was forbidden to include is that hell is a rouse or at least not permanant for human souls. but if we knew that it may undermine the plan.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  50. i like cross denomonation discussion. i think its intresting to see how countless christian denomonations view scripture.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  51. #47 – Matt M, I view the Garden of Eden narrative as allegorical, so I like the idea of being able to “locate” it anywhere you want to do so.

    If you are interested, I just wrote a very short post about that exact topic on my own blog yesterday:

    Visiting Eden

    Comment by Ray — March 19, 2009 @ 11:35 am

  52. #48 – That, Matt, is an excellent discussion, but probably not for this post.

    If I were you, I’d search the archives here and at other “faithful” Mormon group blogs for threads that deal with exactly that topic. Just click on the links in the “Mormon Archipelago Links” under the “Recent Comments” – and other blogs linked on them. I’m sure there are good discussions available.

    Comment by Ray — March 19, 2009 @ 11:40 am

  53. Thanx guys. And great blog.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:44 am

  54. Commenter #24 – Blake:

    I believe that our heart already knows and head often gets in the way.

    I believe that our head already knows and our heart often gets in the way.

    Comment by Charmaine — March 19, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

  55. Oh, and I agree that Japanese food is Celestial.

    Comment by Charmaine — March 19, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

  56. (see 23, 39, & 40)

    I believe that I am a prophet.

    Comment by Scott (Formerly Aggie Fan) — March 19, 2009 @ 12:23 pm

  57. Matt:

    This might help to answer your Masonry question.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 19, 2009 @ 1:30 pm

  58. Matt W.

    that link told me why Mr. Norton was wrong but not why joseph smith or the early mormon church incorperated these rituals and symbols. with respect it does seem that what ever revelation Mr. Smith received he focus it through an ideaoligicly masonic framework. the influence of masonry seems to have had a profound effect on how joseph smith inturpreted his revelation. he seems to have expounded his enlightment through a system of ritual all ready present in his mind.
    And we do know that he was a mason before he was a mormon. I dont think this is bad. Why do people have a problem with this idea? if you received a revelation you would most likly understand it and seek to fulfill it inside your already personally held philotheological beliefs. so what. If it leads to personal enlightment that pleases you and doesn’t harm then your good. im not saying that all faiths will lead a man to god and im also not saying that any perticular one will. Just that it does not demean a faith to co-op symbolism to get their point across infact most of the time this is the most successful in which movements rise.

    Ex.- Jesus was born in july but we celebrate his birth on Dec. 25 because it was a roman(and many other cultures) feast day in celebration of Mithras(who’s history i will skip for now)or the last and largest day of celebration of the winter solstice. the people were not going to stop this holiday so it was co-oped as jesus’s birthday. Does this really matter when christmas comes?
    No it doesn’t, we still use it to celebrate salvation, promote kindness and charity, and no one fell it to be heresy. but in truth we took this practice as our own and it old conotations are meaningless. the rites mean what the person who is performing them attribute to them. So who cares if some masonic rites were adopted. It only matters what they mean now.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

  59. Matt M,

    the influence of masonry seems to have had a profound effect on how joseph smith inturpreted his revelation.

    Alternatively, it may have had a profound effect on how he presented his revelation. I don’t think it is clear which is the right answer without a lot more substantive argument.

    And we do know that he was a mason before he was a mormon.

    It is always possible I will learn something here, but my understanding is that Joseph Smith became a mason in 1842, a good 12 years after he organized the LDS church and 20+ years after he had his first open vision. We have good reasons to believe that at least portions of what later became the temple ceremony in Nauvoo were revealed to Joseph many years before that in the early 1830s.

    if you received a revelation you would most likly understand it and seek to fulfill it inside your already personally held philotheological beliefs. so what.

    Agreed.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 19, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

  60. Good Charmaine — tell us what your head knows and how it knows it and how it knows that it knows. Good luck.

    Comment by Blake — March 19, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

  61. “We should establish several facts here. Joseph Smith was a Freemason as was his father and older brother. Masonry was common in New England and upstate New York at the time. Mr. Norton however seems to have come to, what I believe, is a false connection between the ritual of the endowment and the endowment itself. Some aspects of the endowment ritual may well have come from Masonic traditions. That said, the endowment’s teachings, which are the real heart of the endowment are uniquely restorationist in nature.”

    this is from the link Matt W. provided and is why i thought he was a mason first.

    “Joseph Smith was a Freemason as was his father and older brother. Masonry was common in New England and upstate New York at the time.”

    His father was so unless his father didnt join til he(joseph) was grown up. Otherwise we can conclude that it was an influence from a young age. My father was a lutheran and so am I. I’ll bet your parents were LDS. so maybe influence by osmosis.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

  62. Matt M, nobody is arguing that Joseph’s presentation in the endowment was free of the influence of masonry. It simply is ludicrous, however, for anyone who is familiar with both Mormonism and masonry to think that the temple ceremonies were created from masonry. There are way too many important, fundamental differences between the two. Seriously, there are some representational similarities that are obviously from masonry; however, they represent very, very little of the full endowment – and have been disappearing as we have moved further and further away from a group that understands masonry.

    Also, it’s pretty clear that you asked your initial question from a base of prior assumption, not a clean slate prompted by this post. Please be upfront, at least, about that for such a major threadjack.

    Comment by Ray — March 19, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

  63. “Ordinances instituted in heaven before the foundation of this world in the Priesthood for the salvation of man, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.”
    (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 308)

    Sorry, I stay quiet most of the time but sometimes I just can’t. You might want to take that whole changing the ordinances thing up with Brother Joseph.

    Comment by Bruce in Montana — March 19, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

  64. i dont know one thing from the other i was referenceing a link from Matt W post. im not sure how I wasn’t upfront. my point was that so what if some is from masonry. until i read the stuff you guys pointed me to i didnt even have a opinion. i was reading your mormon blog as i sometimes do to gain different christian perspectives and reconized some of the language, asked a question got pointed to info and was discussing what i got from it. is it degrading to say that some of mormon ritual built on top of mason ritual.or that joseph smith incorperated rites that he found useful to help him express himself. or are you saying that im just mistaken the order completly and his revelation came before he ever knew about masonry. But whatever the case he amalgamated masonry with his revelation at some point. this is how i understand what ive read today.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 7:10 pm

  65. Matt M (#61),

    It is true that Joseph was surrounded by several people, including his father, who were masons before he became a mason in 1842. It seems clear from the historical record that his joining masonry was largely because of those masons he was close to. I don’t know when his father became a mason. However, even if it was when Joseph was young, it is not at all safe to assume that masonry seeped in by osmosis from a young age, especially unsafe given the secret nature of the masonic rituals.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 19, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  66. Bruce (#63),

    The way in which you choose to phrase your comments (as implicit accusations of the LDS church being in apostacy) is going to get you moderated pretty quickly if you don’t cut it out.

    As to your comment, it is clear that Joseph Smith himself changed the ordinances given the changes between Kirtland and Nauvoo so I am more than happy to “take that up” with Brother Joseph.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 19, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

  67. Matt M (#64),

    I appreciate your participation here and I respect that you come to Mormon blogs to learn about Mormonism rather than from our detractors. You are certainly welcome here.

    The question of how the temple ceremony is related to masonry is actually a topic on which there are some very different ideas among various mormons (of course, many mormons are unaware of the similarities and have no opinion at all). The page Matt W linked to has ideas presented by Greg Kearney, who believes that Joseph Smith used the structure of masonic rituals as a vehicle in which to convey and ritualize a bunch of teachings about the plan of salvation. As a long time participant in masonry and mormonism, he is in a good position to talk about similarities between the rituals.

    However, other experts in mormonism strongly disagree with him. I guess this is to be expected with experts, since they often disagree. There are a whole bunch of mormon scholars following in the tradition of Hugh Nibley who have done extensive work showing that many of the elements of the mormon temple ceremony have direct parallels in ancient temple worship. Some of these parallels happen to overlap things found in masonry as well. This leads to a common view among lay members of the church that somehow or another the ancient temple rituals found their way into masonry and this explains the similarities between the temple and masonry. It is worth noting, as Ray alluded to above, that the differences between masonry and the temple are in some ways as striking as the similarities. The idea that Joseph Smith simply “stole” the masonic rituals to create the temple ceremony is problematic for that reason among others.

    Hope that helps provide a bit of perspective.

    Comment by Jacob J — March 19, 2009 @ 7:34 pm

  68. 7. I believe angels can travel at greater than the speed of light and all that shininess is probably the light coming out of the wormhole. (Don’t ask).

    so i’m not the only one…

    Comment by mfranti — March 19, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

  69. brucein montana give us trouble too.

    Comment by mfranti — March 19, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  70. Yeah Bruce is a minor troll. But he says such silly and easy to refute things that I haven’t yet found him annoying enough to ban him like I do most trolls. But he’s getting there…

    Comment by Geoff J — March 19, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  71. #7: Ditto

    Comment by Sterling Fluharty — March 19, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

  72. thanx jacob thats a point well taken. im always inclined to take logical historical string of thought than the conspiritorial one(helps avoid being wrong and insulting).the overarking connection to the first temple seems to me to be a much stronger reason for the connection than a full on masonic bleand. though the masonry had religious overtones, in joseph smith time it was still as it seems to be now primarily a club for social interaction not religious propigation. the conspirisy theorist will disagree but will provide no real proof to there claims. thanx for the paitence.

    Comment by Matt M — March 19, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  73. Two words for you Matt M: Spell Check.

    Other than that, we welcome non-trolls here.

    Comment by Geoff J — March 20, 2009 @ 1:20 am

  74. My apologies folks. It was not meant as it was taken.

    Comment by Bruce in Montana — March 20, 2009 @ 9:40 am

  75. Bruce, what did you mean by #63 then?

    Comment by Jacob J — March 20, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  76. I meant to express a belief that ordinances should not be changed.

    “The Gospel has always been the same; the ordinances to fulfill its requirements the same.”
    (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 264)

    Yes, we’re all aware that the Nauvoo endowments were not the same as washing in perfumed whiskey etc as was performed in Kirtland.
    But the ordinance we came to know as THE endowment ceremony should not be changed if I read Brother Joseph correctly.
    I’m passing it along as an observation and a point of view..not a jab.

    Comment by Bruce in Montana — March 20, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  77. Brigham changed it from what Joseph Smith observed, Bruce. Also I don’t believe that quote you cited was actually JS, not to say that he would have disagreed. And if JS could say in the Kirtland Temple that all was complete, and yet change things in Nauvoo, why couldn’t Church leaders continue to change things as directed by God?

    Comment by J. Stapley — March 20, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  78. Bruce, we have evidence from the Book of Mormon that the wording of the Baptism Ordinance has changed. We have evidence that the wording of the ordinance for sacrament has changed, we know that the wording for confirmation changes every time it is done. The Temple ordinance was not written down by Joseph, but by BY and WW at a later date, when they put it together purportedly from Wilford’s Journal. (So the Folklore goes). So the statement from Joseph above does not mean what you think it means.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 20, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

  79. Somebody better take up the whole changing of the circumcision ordinance thing with St. Paul. And, don’t tell me that was before God became a Christian. I’ve heard that before.

    I believe that despite the fact that Matt W. believes some crazy things, he’s still a good SIL. (Ain’t that crazy?)

    I believe (along with Coach K) that Obama is about as good with his prediction about the BYU v. Tx A&M game as he is with the economy.

    Comment by mondo cool — March 22, 2009 @ 4:28 pm

  80. Wow. You do believe some crazy crap Mondo!

    Comment by Geoff J — March 22, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  81. The Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and other stuff – these comprise ideas that were purportedly copied or borrowed by Joseph Smith from other sources (like from the Masons and the like).

    But consider – the doctrinal details of these things are so consumate in their reasoning. The way every detail fits in with the details from so many other sources is truly baffling. The ideas brought forth by the works mentioned above are simply extraordinary. The scriptures listed above clarify doctrines so deep that they cannot be attributed to the genius of a mere Joseph Smith.

    Anyone in his right mind would understand the impossibility for a mere Joseph Smith to have put these things together by himself – except if he was a prophet of God as he said he was. So, it is either Joseph Smith was a superlative genius or he was a humble prophet of God.

    Obviously, if one has not substantially read the scriptures listed above, one could readily discredit the doctrines embodied in those scriptures.

    And so, if one does not know enough of the doctrines written in the scriptures listed above, one could readily deny Joseph Smith’s testimony as a prophet of God… and then one could readily try to devalue the knowledge of the sacred things brought forth via Joseph Smith.

    One who has read the scriptures listed above should ask himself – Could these be the work of a mere Joseph Smith? It is certain that if one is sincere in these things one would know that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God.

    Comment by mmanu — March 22, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

  82. #81 – I think you are unaware of the implications of the title of the post relative to your comment. *grin*

    Comment by Ray — March 22, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

  83. I love this post Matt W! So many reasons to love Mormonism. And Mormons. I am totally with you on 3 & 4 :-)
    And as usual, Eric nails it in #46.

    Comment by C Jones — March 23, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  84. Thanks C Jones, I always like when you comment around here.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 23, 2009 @ 10:05 am

  85. I believe that polygamy WILL be practiced in the afterlife and that those who insist it will not be are close-minded poo poo heads.

    Hey, you asked for “crazy” right?

    Comment by Seth R. — March 24, 2009 @ 7:34 am

  86. I believe Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

    Comment by Kim Siever — March 24, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  87. 1. I think blacks and the priesthood was not a divinely instituted ban.
    2. I DON’T think that the Prophet has a batphone or anything even close to similar.
    3. I don’t know if Prop 8 was an actual divine mandate.
    4. I believe Jesus Christ also felt a fullness of our joy in the atonement.
    5. I believe the the line between false and real doctrine is a fine, fine line.
    6. I believe mission calls are processed by a computer that has divine inspiration- I am going to Thailand in June.

    Comment by Jacob — March 31, 2009 @ 7:02 am

  88. Awesome Jacob.

    Enjoy Thailand. For the record. Misson Calls are processed by a committee which includes 70s and Apostles. They flash your data up on a projector, along with open calls, and pick where you go. I’m not sure how much say the computer has in refining their search. I am assuming they do have some sort of filters built into the database though.

    Comment by Matt W. — March 31, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  89. This post is nearly impossible to resist.
    I believe in ‘proximate inspiration.’ That is, the bishop is inspired to change the YW president and that the new president should be able to teach the young woman these particular qualities – But the bishop gets to decide who it is. Or, an apostle is inspired that Elder Smith should be assigned to the far east, but the apostle decides which mission he goes to. I also believe that sometimes the inspiration/revelation is spot on and detailed.

    Comment by Hal — March 31, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  90. I believe that robots are stealing my luggage.

    Comment by V the K — April 6, 2009 @ 11:59 am

  91. Crazy things believed:

    1) The Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church did pretty well overall in not apostatizing as much as the Roman Catholic Church. The more I learn about them, the more impressed I am.

    2) The polygamy doctrine was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, and the LDS Church still pays for this, despite not practicing it and its own persecutions of those who do practice it.

    3) John Taylor did set apart those Polygamists and gave them the keys to continue. He feared the church would capitulate and he created a way for it to continue. (Note: He did so wrongly in my opinion, but I still believe he did it.)

    4) JJ Strang’s Mormon church would had been more successful (measured in membership) than the current Mormon church had it steered away from polygamy as he originally started. Also, I believe he would had made US President had he steered away from polygamy. I also believe the US government was behind his murder. And I believe he was even more charismatic than Joseph Smith (which is amazing!) I believe he did not appoint a successor, since he thought it was time for the charade to end; and this of course killed his branch of Mormonism.

    4) Bishop Koyle’s story amazes me and seems more true by the day, especially with the current state of the economy.

    5) James McCanney is right about comets! They are NOT DIRTY SNOW BALLS!!! And his work on the universe is very interesting.

    6) Jesus understood quantum physics and used this to perform most miracles.

    7) Light is intelligent, but has no memory, hence the results in the split-slit experiment in quantum physics.

    8) I find the story in Acts about Anani’as with his wife Sapphi’ra to be apocryphal.

    9) The law of consecration did not ever work. Not in Enoch’s day or Melchizedek’s day, or ever. It is functionally impossible for it to ever work.

    and last, craziest belief…….

    10) I would not be surprised to find after I died (so I only kind of accept this as a remote possibility) that my whole life was “lived” in some kind of Matrix like computer program. That it was all some kind of strange experiment.

    Comment by SpeakingUp — April 19, 2009 @ 2:17 pm

  92. By the way: A quick comment about soul mates:

    My mother’s story: She prayed and prayed and prayed about who to marry (she had no one in mind.)

    She took a cruise and saw a man smoking and drinking and despite herself being a Mormon, she says that the Spirit told her, that was her husband.

    She then walks up to him and the first thing out of her mouth is: “You’re suppose to be my husband”.

    11 dates later; they are married. He converts about a year later. And a year and a day after they are sealed, along I come.

    Now my mom is from North Carolina and dad, from Illinois. So this was not some crazy Utah thing where they go along and proclaim prophetically to each other that its time to be married. Also, my mom converted as a teenager, so she wasn’t indoctrinated with that Utah crap either.

    So in their unique case, I honestly believe that they were “soul mates”.

    Comment by SpeakingUp — April 19, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  93. Many syncretistic religions formed gnosticism. Gnosticism was rivaling against Christianity and gnosticism held itself better religion as Christianity was. Word gnosticism comes from Greek word gnosis, which means knowledge. Gnosticism had various effects, for instance, some Gnostics taught that divinity can be achieved through unity of the man and woman. This thought led some Gnostics to reach for divinity through sexual intercourse between the man and woman. There existed also some Gnostics, who abstained from sexual intercourse. When we know the fact that Gnostics held Christians as their enemies and that Gnostics held themselves better as Christians and that Gnostics wanted to show in every way that Gnosticism was better as Christianity, so Gnostics made so called gnostic gospels were they twisted, slandered and misrepresented the real gospels. Gnostics went so far in this misrepresent that they wrote “new gospels” by faking the real gospels. In these faked gospels Gnostics wrote that Jesus Christ was an ordinary man who has a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene.

    http://koti.phnet.fi/elohim/marymagdalene.html

    Comment by telson — July 14, 2009 @ 1:02 am

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