Tuesday, April 24, 2007


HOFRS--Helping Other Feel and Recognize the Spirit

This was a lesson I learned in the MTC. It was the most important part of developing conversion--you taught a lesson, showed a video, etc., then would say something to the effect of, "You feel that nice happy/warm/peaceful feeling? That's the Spirit telling you this is true."

This all seemed very straightforward. Having never felt the Spirit, how could we expect people to recognize it?

But, according to many faithful Mormons, the Spirit is not a feeling. It's something different and unique. According to my FIL, it's a combination of a feeling and knowledge. According to many believers (not just Mormons), the Spirit can make you just "know" something.

So, here's the problem.

Why doesn't the Spirit self-identify? Is it just me, or is that not the most obvious thing for the Spirit to do? You've got an investigator discovering a "true" message; why would the Spirit suddenly decide to be so coy? If it's just a feeling, then it makes sense that you need someone to frame the meaning: "That feeling (which is just a feeling) means what I just told you is true." If they feel the same thing in the presence of an annuity salesperson, they'll have it framed another way: "You can trust me--this is a good investment for your family." Con-artists probably get people to feel good about dubious propositions all the time--that's why their called confidence- artists.

If it's not a feeling, why would it have to be explained? I do not understand how Spirit=Knowledge can be reconciled with Spirit=Unusual Feeling. Given that even the church acknowledges the latter, I have to seriously question the former.


Blogger Sideon said...

Missionaries should have travelling chili-carts (with lots of onions and jalapeƱos). Nothing like a meet and greet over a nice bowl of chili.

That "feeling" can be framed and clarified through examples of heartburn.

The Spirit can further be manifested and demonstrated through the powers of Tums or church-sanctioned antacids.

June 4, 2007 at 2:00 PM  

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