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Periodically I read the blog Musings on Mormonism. It is a blog from a former LDS member who is juggling family and spirituality and posts blogs that for the most part appear to be sincere.
The other day I read the post entitled “Can our Hearts be Trusted“. She describes how praying and receiving an answer from God isn’t legitimate because our hearts can decieve us. She then goes on to state the only thing we can trust is God’s word and nothing else.
This statement was very amazing to me for a number of reasons. First, how are we to know God’s word if we can’t recognize and discern his voice? Next, in my opinion it is borderline blasphemy to say that God can’t answer prayers and speak to our hearts through not only feelings, but in our minds and through scriptures as well. Finally, I feel that it is a tool from Satan to deceive us into thinking that we do not need to pay attention to the feelings and promptings God gives us. It states in scripture that God speaks to us in our minds and in our hearts through feelings, visions, scriptures, and other means such as prophecy.
The question then is how do we learn to discern between what our desires are and what God’s desires are? Furthermore, if one claims to be a prophet and speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost as the prophets of the New Testament did, how are we to know if what they are saying is truth? Many people may answer this by saying to look it up in the Bible and that will confirm the truth. However, how is one to know what truth is when reading in the Bible or any other scripture for that matter? Clearly the answer is through the Holy Ghost. But once again, the question arises how do we know if what we are feeling is from God or just our own desires? Worse yet, how do we know what we feel isn’t Satan trying to deceive us?
These thoughts caused me to reflect on a post I wrote about 2 years ago called “Receiving and Recognizing Answers to Prayers.” In this post and especially in the comments by other readers, there are common threads on how we can live our lives in tune so we can receive and recognize answers to our prayers.
In one of the threads, it discusses how God will send us the Holy Ghost through feelings accompanied with a positive conviction. Personally, I feel that all inspiration we receive should be backed up, as our “musings” friend alludes to with the scriptures.
From my own personal experience, I know this is a truth: God speaks to us through His Holy Spirit and we feel this many times as a burning in the bosom, or exceeding joy that is more than just our own made-up desires that confirms all truth. We do need to learn and practice to discern from our own feelings and God speaking to us though.
Personally, I feel that our friend over at Musings has it 1/2 right. We do need to test our answers to the Word of God and not soley rely on a desire…especially if we’re not sure if it’s from God or not. We shouldn’t rely soley on just our feelings and also it is important to have had a witness of what scripture is truth and this will come through an answer from the Holy Spirit as well.
I know we can learn to recognize and discern between Heavenly Father’s promptings and our own desires.
What are your thoughts on this subject?
I recently was sent a link to the worlds oldest Christian Bible that was written over 1600 years ago. It is written in Greek and is called “Codex Sinaiticus”. I found some things very interesting about this Bible and will share some quotes from the website that stick out to me.
- The Original Bible included some books from the Apocropha not included today.
By the middle of the fourth century there was wide but not complete agreement on which books should be considered authoritative for Christian communities. Codex Sinaiticus, one of the two earliest collections of such books, is essential for an understanding of the content and the arrangement of the Bible, as well as the uses made of it.
The Greek Septuagint in the Codex includes books not found in the Hebrew Bible and regarded in the Protestant tradition as apocryphal, such as 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 & 4 Maccabees, Wisdom and Sirach. Appended to the New Testament are the Epistle of Barnabas and ‘The Shepherd’ of Hermas.
2. The Original Order of the Books is different than it is today
The idiosyncratic sequence of books is also remarkable: within the New Testament the Letter to the Hebrews is placed after Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the Acts of the Apostles between the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles. The content and arrangement of the books in Codex Sinaiticus shed light on the history of the construction of the Christian Bible.
3. This is the Oldest known Complete Version of the Original Bible
Codex Sinaiticus is generally dated to the fourth century, and sometimes more precisely to the middle of that century. This is based on study of the handwriting, known as palaeographical analysis. Only one other nearly complete manuscript of the Christian Bible – Codex Vaticanus (kept in the Vatican Library in Rome) – is of a similarly early date. The only manuscripts of Christian scripture that are definitely of an earlier date than Codex Sinaiticus contain small portions of the text of the Bible.
4. The Original Transcript is Viewable with a Greek to English Translator
Check it out by clicking here.
I found this very interesting. What do you find interesting about these points and possibly other points as you visit the site?