Music to my Soul

This post is inspired by Allie Taylor’s page.

The names are listed for the sake of giving credit to the artists/bands. I don’t know all about these people and I can’t affirm that I endorse all they stand for.

I do know, though, that the words of their songs have touched my heart in my quiet moments with God.


Holy Uncreated One
Your beauty fills the skies
But the glory of Your majesty
Is the mercy in Your eyes

-Chris Tomlin


0103-music-to-my-soul


You’re not a God created by human hands
You’re not a God dependent on any mortal man
You’re not a God in need of
Anything we can give
By Your plan, that’s just the way it is

-William McDowell


You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard

-Hillsong


Lord of all creation
of water earth and sky
The heavens are your Tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on high

-Third Day


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19 thoughts on “Music to my Soul

  1. Beautiful lyrics! Isn’t it amazing how music can touch your soul like nothing else does? I know I wouldn’t have the testimony I do without sacred and beautiful music. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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    1. Oh, hi Lana! I checked out your blog just yesterday after our mutual friend Kellyn told me about it! (It’s clear she esteems you highly 🙂 ) I loved the ways you integrate your creative writing into your blog and let your readers in on some sneak peaks!

      But, yes! Music really can touch us deeply, can’t it (like so many other forms of creativity)? I think that the ability to create new music (or stories) is one that God made us in His likeness and a fantastic way to honour Him. Do you care to share your testimony – in part of in full?

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      1. Hi! I saw that you’d followed me, so I came to check out your blog! 🙂 And thank you, I’m glad you liked it!

        Yes, exactly! Well, music has especially helped me understand the depth of love that our Savior had for us, when he suffered for our sins and died on the cross. I know that his grace allows me to be changed and saved, and I love his teachings and his gospel. I know that he died for us and that he lives again, so that we can become perfected. His gospel has been restored to the earth in its fulness, and prophets live and guide it today. Without Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father, I would not be who I am today.

        Thank you for letting me share that! Would you like to share yours as well? 🙂

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      2. Thanks Lana! I didn’t know if you’d take me seriously and share your testimony there in the comments, but I’m so glad you did! Those are some beautiful, life-transforming truths! Though, I must say that I don’t understand what you mean about how Jesus’ gospel has been restored to the earth in its fullness, and prophets live and guide it today. Would you mind elaborating?

        Hmmm, my testimony… Well, I grew up in a Christian home and – being so richly surrounded by God’s truth and grace – often took it for granted. I “prayed the prayer” at a young age and may never knew what it meant for a four-year-old. But now I’ve come to believe that salvation is less about one prayer, and more about following Jesus day by day, by His grace. So I can’t tell you the day I received the Holy Spirit, but perhaps, even at four, He began in me a work that He will carry on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 🙂 Did you grow up in a Christian home?

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      3. Oh, of course. 🙂 I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). In short, we believe that Jesus’ complete gospel was lost from the earth (though of course there is still truth in many religions!) and it was restored to the earth through a sincere prayer by a boy named Joseph Smith, who later became the first prophet. We believe that the prophet & his counselors that lead our church are appointed by God and have the power to reveal His truths and teachings for our day, just as He did in the Bible.

        That’s a beautiful testimony. 🙂 I agree about salvation being about following Jesus day by day! And yes, I did grow up in a Christian home, but it was only around age twelve when I started to really pray and receive a testimony of what I’d grown up with.

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      4. Oh, it’s no wonder I didn’t understand what you meant. It seems that there are some ways that our beliefs differ quite dramatically. Thank you for sharing with me your train of thought. When you say that Jesus’ complete gospel was lost from the earth, do you mean the written account of his life, ministry, death and resurrection (ie. the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), or do you mean the teachings of Jesus, themselves (literally the “Good News”)? I guess I’m trying to learn what exactly was lost from the earth. I’ve never heard of Joseph Smith before.

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      5. Hehe, sorry, I’ll try to explain better. 😀 We believe that Jesus didn’t just share ideas and teachings but that he actually established a church with prophets & apostles leading the church.

        They had authority from Jesus (and therefore God) to use his power to do miracles–which is what we call the priesthood. This is also the power that the Levites were authorized to use in the Old Testament. This priesthood allowed them to perform miracles and ordinances such as baptism (hence why John the Baptist was able to baptize Jesus, because he was a Levite).

        They also had ability to receive revelation from God about how to direct the church (such as in Acts 10, when Peter receives the vision & commandment to share the gospel with the Gentiles and not only with the Jews).

        After Jesus’ death, however, the apostles were slowly killed. With the apostles gone, the church no longer had people with divine revelation to direct them, and unauthorized changes were made to the church. I’ve heard it compared to a plate being dropped and breaking–different churches took different pieces of the truth from Christianity. No one had the true gospel/church anymore, and we call this the Great Apostasy. We believe that’s what Paul spoke of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 — the “falling out” that had to come before Jesus would come again.

        The truth was lost from the earth, but there needed to be a restoration to bring it back. In the early 1800s (1820), the Second Great Awakening was raging in Manchester, New York, where a 14-year-old boy named Joseph Smith lived. He was confused about all of the different sects and denominations of religion and wondered which could be true and how he could know it if it was.

        During this time, he was studying the Bible, and one day he read 1 James 1:5 (If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.)

        Joseph Smith said in his history: “Never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine. It seemed to enter with great force into every feeling of my heart. I reflected on it again and again, knowing that if any person needed wisdom from God, I did . . . At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God.”

        One spring morning in 1820, he entered a grove near his home and knelt and prayed to God. Then he saw what we call the First Vision.

        “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

        Joseph asked God and Jesus Christ which church was true, and they told him that none of them had the full truth and that he shouldn’t join any of them.

        Throughout the next few years of his life, Joseph received instruction from an angel and was taught about the true gospel and that he would be the founder of the church. He was also directed to golden plates that held the record of the righteous people in the ancient Americas. Through the power of God, Joseph translated the plates and they became what is now called The Book of Mormon. It is one of our foundational scriptures, along with the Bible.

        Through angelic ministrations & revelations, Joseph was given the priesthood and taught how to direct this restored church–with prophets and apostles–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

        Today, we still have a church with a living prophet and twelve apostles, who direct our church through revelation through God, and I truly believe that this is the truth. I have felt the stirrings of the Spirit in my heart as I have pondered and prayed about these things, and I know that being a member of this church has improved me and helps me to be truly happy.

        Anyway, I hope that answered your question more fully! If you want to read more of what Joseph Smith wrote about his experiences, you can find that here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1?lang=eng

        And, of course, I’m always open to more questions if you have them! 🙂

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      6. Wow, Lana! Thank you for taking the time to write out such a comprehensive, thoughtful response! The link that you shared with me at the end, would that be kind of like linking to BibleGateway.com (if you’re familiar with it) – in that it’s Scripture according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? And if you don’t mind, may I ask what you think about various denominations of the Protestant Church? Do you think their members are saved through Jesus’ sacrifice, or do you think they can’t be because they don’t have the whole truth?

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      7. Yes, the link leads to an excerpt of his history that’s included in one of our books of scripture (The Pearl of Great Price). The website in general, lds.org, is the church’s website which has all of our scriptures (including the Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine of Covenants) as well as the words of the prophets, and other devotionals and stuff aimed for members (though you could read them, of course, if you wanted). http://www.mormon.org, on the other hand, is for nonmembers who want to learn more about the LDS church. 🙂

        As far as your question…well, here’s my answer. Of course we need Christ’s grace & sacrifice to be saved! Without him, we couldn’t ever be able to come back to God. But we believe that there are ordinances that must be performed through the power of the priesthood in order to progress in the next life.

        We believe in something called the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness. God didn’t just create us so that we could come back to him. Before the earth was created, we lived with God as spirits, without bodies. But He knew that if we were to stay there, we would not be able to grow and improve (just as Adam and Eve could not improve until after they ate the fruit of knowledge & were cast out from the Garden of Eden), so He created a plan that would make us happy, allowing us to progress. We would go to the earth in families who would help us, and we would go through trials so that we could learn new things–with a Savior who could deliver us from our sins. Essentially, our Heavenly Father created a plan in which we could become like Him.

        Lucifer, or Satan, wished to take the place of Jesus, but he wanted to take away our agency & receive God’s glory. Jesus had already been chosen, and Satan was cast out from heaven. In Isaiah 14:12-14:

        12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

        13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

        14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

        Then there was war in heaven (Revelation 12:7-9). 1/3 of the heavenly host followed Satan and were not allowed to come to earth (Jude 1:6)–but the rest of us, we wanted to follow our Father’s plan, and so we came to earth.

        Yes, Christ saves us, but there are ordinances that we need in order to progress after this life. We believe that there are three degrees of glory that we enter after the Final Judgement of Jesus Christ–celestial, terrestrial, and telestial (somewhat mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:40-41).

        Though each is beautiful and glorious, only through the celestial kingdom (the highest) would we be able to progress and learn even after our deaths and resurrections, and only through priesthood ordinances could we enter into this kingdom. In that way, if I were to go to the telestial or terrestrial kingdoms, I would be damned–my way would be stopped–I would no longer be able to progress.

        But what of the people who died having never heard of the LDS church or during the Apostasy? God is merciful and just; He would always give them a chance. That is one of the things that we do in our temples–ordinances for the dead. Living members can be baptized & perform other sacred ordinances for those who have died in proxy, and they can choose whether or not to accept these ordinances.

        I love people who love Jesus Christ, and I have met so many good people who aren’t members of the LDS church, but I hope you understand why I believe that though Christ’s sacrifice does save them, they can’t be saved without the knowledge and acceptance of these ordinances. But it is my personal belief that these good Christians will encounter the gospel and accept it sometime–whether in this life or after their death.

        Hopefully that answered your question and didn’t create too many new ones, haha. I’m sure some of it was confusing, so if you need me to explain anything else, I’ll do my best!

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      8. On the contrary, I think you did a great job at articulating it all so clearly! It’s been very eye-opening for me to learn what you believe. That’s not to say that I agree with it. Based on the what I read in the Bible (such as Hebrews 10:1-18) I believe that sinners are made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ alone – once and for all. And I believe that this is the message throughout the whole Bible. I don’t understand how anyone could start with the Bible alone and, after reading it, meditating on it and becoming very familiar with it, conclude that in addition to Jesus’ sacrifice, sinners need certain ordinances to be saved (or fully saved).

        The Plan of Salvation/Plan of Happiness that you mentioned is warming to the heart! It speaks of a very intricate, beautiful and purposeful design. In that regard, I agree! I believe that God is the Master Designer and He has a perfect plan in which everything fits together beautifully. But when I read the Bible, I don’t get anything about us having lived with God as spirits before the earth was created. I just don’t read that in there.

        And maybe that’s why you have the Book of Mormon and the Pearl of Great Price – because you believe the Bible isn’t sufficient all on its own. Well, you did say that the gospel was lost from the earth and truth was scattered among the various denominations. Is that why you need other sources for Scripture? On the contrary, I believe (based on 2 Timothy 3:15-16) that the Holy Scriptures – the Old and New Testament alone as the apostle Paul would have meant when he wrote 2 Timothy 3:15-16 – are able to make us wise for salvation. And based on those verses I believe that the Old and New Testament alone are useful for teaching, training up in righteousness, *thoroughly* equipping us for every good work and more. That’s not to say that other literate can’t inspire or encourage us, but I believe that the Bible is sufficient all on it’s own, that it does not need additional teachings to complete it, and that no other literature should be viewed as equal to it.

        Those are my thoughts. (I realize that you didn’t ask me what I thought regarding all you’ve shared, so I hope you don’t feel that I’m overstepping my boundaries) Please feel free to challenge my thinking as you please or as you feel lead.

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      9. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and of course you’re not overstepping your boundaries. 🙂 As a conversation between friends, you can share whatever you’d like.

        I do believe that the Bible supports what I’ve said, but as Joseph Smith wrote, two people can interpret the same scriptures so differently as to find no agreement in them. I don’t want to “Bible bash” with you, as it’s called.

        In the end, my beliefs come down to the fact that this church is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and that I believe God still speaks to His children today.

        I cannot claim to have an answer to everything–that is limited to God alone. But even with the things that I do not understand, being in this church has changed me. I have grown more loving, more confident, more obedient, and though I still have a long way to go, I know that God will always be with me. I have looked into other churches, but nothing makes as much sense or promises as much change as this one. If I were to leave, as Peter said, “to whom will I go?”

        Secondly, I cannot imagine that God would stop guiding His children as He did all throughout the Old and New Testaments. I believe that He was the one to create this church upon the earth. It is a church led by Christ and not by man, and we have prophets and apostles and temples just as there was in the New Testament.

        In the Book of Mormon, there is a passage of scripture that explains exactly what I’m trying to say. (2 Nephi 29:7-11)

        7 Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

        8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

        9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

        10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.

        11 For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.

        I do not blindly follow this church. As 1 James 1:5 says, “ask of God”, and I have. The Holy Spirit has spoken peace to my heart and I know that this church is true. More than that, I know that anyone who truly wishes to know the truth and live it can ask of God and receive His wisdom.

        I understand that you believe differently than me, and I respect your beliefs. I will still answer your questions if you want me to, but understand that this is where I’m coming from. I cannot prove that this is true–only God can do that through the Spirit’s testifying power. Regardless of whether or not you want me to explains further, I’ve loved getting to have this conversation with you and get to know you better. I love your beautiful faith in the Savior and I hope you have a fantastic Easter Sunday. 🙂

        (Also, if you want something beautiful and uplifting to listen to today, here is the music that has helped strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ: https://youtu.be/fulgbfMoqYw?list=PLFkjXjXQFfHpjmWlITRJRLGGXCpk635F7

        It is a non-denominational musical production about the death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, and it is absolutely beautiful.)

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      10. Hi Lana! I’m glad you didn’t feel that I was overstepping my bounds because yeah, me neither – I don’t want to “Bible bash”! It doesn’t represent God well in all His grace and patience, does it? (On a side note, that’s one realization that I’ve been captivated by recently; how the pure Creator God would associate Himself with a group of people who – even though redeemed by Him – fail to represent Him well to the watching world… it’s incredible!)

        Praise God for the love and obedience that He’s developed in your life. I believe that He’s the source of all good, and even though I don’t agree with your belief system, it seems He’s used it to work in you. Actually, that brings me to another question. What do you believe regarding salvation and works? How do they relate? When you talk about your love and obedience, would you view them as the the root of your salvation along with Jesus’ sacrifice, or would you view them as the result of salvation?

        It was really interesting to read that quote from the Book of Mormon. Thank you for sharing! 🙂 And I must say that it certainly challenged me! See, I believed that the Bible is the only Authoritative Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit, but when I read that quote from the Book of Mormon, I didn’t know how to justify my beliefs. Did I believe it because that’s what I grew up being taught? Anyway, I was then prompted to look into the matter further. Because who is to say what is inspired by God and what isn’t. (Jesus affirmed his support for the Old Testament, but what about the New Testament? How were it’s books selected and how can we know whether or not more books can/should be added to it as time progresses?) I think it’s a valid question, and one that I should be ready to answer should someone ask me what I believe. So I hope to look into it further. Do you ever wonder whether John Smith was inspired in the same way that the other Bible authors were? Or do you wonder how you might know?

        But what struck me most about your last comment was when you affirmed that you know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. It speaks of such assurance! The funny thing is that I would say just the same about me and the Protestant Church! And just as you said, I would affirm that I can’t prove anything with my best reasoning, the ultimate proof is the Spirit’s power to testify. I think you put that well! So neither of us can convince the other (nor do either of us wish to “bash” the other with Scripture). That puts us at an interesting place. Regardless, I look forwarding to learning from and with you as a friend as we both learn and grow in this big, wide world, which we both agree God placed us in.

        Oh and thanks for sharing that song! It looks like our conversation has come in a full circle and is back to song lyrics and their potential for God to use them to work in our hearts. ❤

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      11. I’m sorry for taking so long to reply to this! I have been on a bit of a hiatus and haven’t had much time.

        Anyway, in response to your question, the relationship between salvation and works: We cannot be saved by works, but we do need works for salvation, if that makes sense. Actually, can I link you to a devotional/speech from someone in my church? It is about grace and explains much better than I could what I think on this subject: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/brad-wilcox_his-grace-is-sufficient/
        The whole thing is so awesome and definitely helped me understand grace better, but this is probably the important line to answer your question: “We will all be resurrected. We will all go back to God’s presence. What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body we plan on being resurrected with and how comfortable we plan to be in God’s presence and how long we plan to stay there.”

        As far as who is to say whether scripture is from God or not, I think there is a simple test. At the end of the Book of Mormon, there is what is called “Moroni’s Promise”:

        4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

        5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
        (Moroni 10:4-5)

        I know this scripture is true after having put it to the test. The Spirit testifies of truth after we have faith & act, so if we read scripture, pray about it, and receive a witness by the Holy Spirit, then it must be true.

        Do I wonder whether Joseph Smith was inspired in the same way as the other Bible authors? Well, I don’t really “wonder”, because I know he was. Of course there are doubts at times, but I believe that he was truly a prophet of God just as in Biblical times. I know this because of the Spirit’s testimony. (1 Cor. 2:11-12)

        We are indeed at an interesting place here, but I am glad that we can learn from each other! I’m very interested in your thoughts on these subjects. 🙂

        And of course! Have you had a chance to listen to it yet?

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      12. Hi Lana, I just finished listening to the message. What stood out to me most about it was not the reason why you originally shared it with me – to explain the relationship between works and grace as Mormons believe it – but the part where he asks born again Christians whether they have been changed by grace. Because honestly, I wish more Christians could honestly answer “yes”. Not that we never make a mistake, but that our lives may serve as a testimony to the fact that God changes lives. If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here. I think that born-again believers often give God a bad name. We’re meant to represent Him, but we do such a poor job. So that was kind of discouraging to learn that born-again Christians have gained a reputation among Mormons of not being changed by God’s grace.

        It seems like there are some parts of your theology and mine that are quite similar. But besides that you consider other literature to be Holy Scripture besides the Bible, one other thing comes to my mind, at least right now. That is that you believe God’s truth was scattered over the earth – that different churches took different parts of truth and separated because no one had divine revelation anymore (correct me if I’ve worded that wrong and misrepresented what you believe). I do believe that little-c churches veer from the truth, but that the true Church never does because it is defined by the truth. And I believe that the Church always had all the divine revelation they needed (and will always have even it until Jesus returns) because we have Scripture – God’s Word as He revealed it to us. He never changes and His Word is sufficient through the ages. He doesn’t need to add to the Words that He’s already made clear to be sufficient.

        I hope this explains my beliefs a bit more, too. Conversing with other born-again believers is like iron sharpening iron and a huge blessing!! But conversing with someone with a different belief situation is challenging and grows me in a whole different sense.

        And yes, I did listen to that song! I couldn’t view the video that you linked to because I got an error message telling me that it wasn’t available, but I used the title to search for a different video with the song. (Actually, it only had part of the song, but it was the only other video I could find with it)

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      13. Definitely–that through Christ, we have a change of heart! And being changed by grace, conversion, is a lifetime process, because no one is perfect, but as we draw nearer to him, we become perfected. And I am so glad that even though our beliefs differ, we both believe in Jesus and what he has done for us. It’s a wonderful connection.

        I understand your explanation, but I do not believe that the God I know would ever leave us without his direct guidance. He has always worked through prophets–all through the Bible, there are prophets who testify of Jesus Christ and lead the church, and God speaks to them.

        Here is an excerpt from this talk: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2006/06/the-profile-of-a-prophet?lang=eng. And it’s a great article if you want to read the whole thing, but this is the part that I remembered.

        Hugh B. Brown (who was an apostle in our church) was talking to another Christian who believed the God stopped speaking to people after around when the Bible is. After establishing that God did indeed speak to people throughout the Bible, there is this:

        “May I suggest some possible reasons: perhaps God does not speak to man anymore because He cannot. He has lost the power.”

        He said, “Of course that would be blasphemous.”

        “Well, then, if you don’t accept that, perhaps He doesn’t speak to men because He doesn’t love us anymore. He is no longer interested in the affairs of men.”

        “No,” he said, “God loves all men, and He is no respecter of persons.”

        “Well, then, if He could speak and if He loves us, then the only other possible answer, as I see it, is that we don’t need Him. We have made such rapid strides in science, we are so well educated, that we don’t need God anymore.”

        And then he said, and his voice trembled as he thought of impending war: “Mr. Brown, there never was a time in the history of the world when the voice of God was needed as it is needed now. Perhaps you can tell me why He doesn’t speak.”

        My answer was: “He does speak. He has spoken, but men need faith to hear Him.”

        I just cannot believe that God would leave us. All throughout the Bible, He says that He will always be with us. Isaiah 49:15-16:

        15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

        16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

        Yes, the Bible is truth, but is it enough? It can be applied in our day, but it speaks nothing of some of the problems & events our day faces–drugs, pornography, social media, and so forth.

        He is not a changeable God, and yet that doesn’t mean that He cannot add to the commands He has given. The Law of Moses was done away with when Jesus made his Atonement. And after Jesus’ death, Peter received a revelation that the gospel was now to be preached to the Gentiles instead of just the Jews.

        I don’t understand how it works, but I just can’t see how God would not give us revelation specific to us, because that’s what He did in the Bible. I don’t know why He would stop working through prophets, because that’s what He did in the Bible.

        Please understand I’m not trying to be rude or unaccepting of your beliefs; I just can’t agree with them, if that makes sense. If I said anything offensive, I apologize.

        And I would love to hear your view and your reasoning as well! I agree, speaking with people of other beliefs is challenging, but rewarding! I love to learn what other people believe & why they believe it.

        (You got an error? That’s odd, since it still works for me… It was a playlist of songs. I can’t remember which of these ones I linked you to, but maybe the other one will work?

        If not, I could give you links to the individual songs, perhaps?)

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      14. First off, I don’t take your comment to be rude and it’s of no offense to me. You’re sharing your beliefs and I think you’re doing it in a very gracious, honorable way. I hope you feel the same way about how I’ve been relating to you because I want to paint my beliefs in the beautiful light that they ought to be painted in. I truly believe they’re such glorious truths!

        Yes, it *is* a wonderful connection that we both believe in Jesus. Then again, there are so many different ways people believe in him. I believe he is fully God and fully man, a member of the Trinity – God the Son. I believe he was born to Mary by a virgin birth (conceived by the Hol Spirit) and grew up without sinning. Ever. Even though he was tempted in all the ways we are. I believe that He died completely on the cross and rose three days later and that it’s because he was the sinless Son of God that His punishment could be attributed to us – our sins are paid for by it. Then, after he rose, I believe he appeared to his apostles and others, and then ascended into heaven and is now preparing a place for us to live, and interceding before the Father on our behalf. And I believe that this atonement for sin only applies to those who submit to him and trust him as their personal Savior *and* Lord. What about you? What do you believe about Who Jesus is?

        With regards to the link you shared with me, again, I found it very interesting (you’re very resourceful), and it helped me to understand just a little more about what you believe. Each time you reply, I learn a little more. It’s been an interesting journey and as long as you don’t regret it, I don’t either.

        In the article, Mr. Hugh B. Brown said “He [God] does speak. He has spoken, but men need faith to hear Him.” With this, I agree! But then he went on to prepare what he called the “profile of a prophet” (yes I read the whole article). I feel like he skipped an important step and like he made an assumption which leads to –
        if you’ll allow me to share my thoughts quite honestly – shaky ground: that God still speaks the *same way* today as He did in the Old Testament, that is, through prophets. Hebrews 1:1-2 is of interest here. The NIV says: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways,” that was verse one. Verse two goes on to say, “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.” The way I read it, it seems natural to conclude that there is a progression. In the Old Testament, God didn’t speak through his Son, but through the prophets. Verse two shows a transition. God – as I understand it – stopped speaking through the prophets and started speaking through His own dear Son. What about now? What about us in the 21st century who don’t have Jesus walking around? Listen, if you would, to Romans 15:4. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” – Everything that was written in the past was written *for us*! So do I believe that we would be disadvantaged for not having prophets among us today? I don’t believe it. We have all that they wrote in the past (AKA the Old Testament) which is still relevant and applicable in our day. Not only so, but we have the New Testament – the part where God spoke to us through His Son. And if all that wasn’t enough, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to help us understand these texts and to apply them to our lives today. Even without prophets today, we have more communication from God than ever before! The Holy Bible is sufficient.

        May I propose one more way for you to prayerfully consider this? Okay, so the Old Testament means the old covenant (or old agreement), right? And the New Testament means the new covenant? There are many things about the old covenant that we no longer practise today because we are living in the era of the New Covenant. Animal sacrifices, for example, are no longer necessary or appropriate. Jesus’ sacrifice paid for the sins of all who would trust in Him as their Savior. For once and for all. End of story. So animal sacrifices aren’t part of this new agreement between God and His people. The book of Hebrews – as you may already know – talks a lot about this. Now, let’s think in terms of prophets. A large part of their role was to tell about the future events – particularly related to the first coming of Jesus – so that when he came, people would recognize him and recognize the testimony that the prophets had given about him and glorify God. We no longer need this because Jesus has already come. True, there are still future events of interest that the hypothetical prophet of today might speak about, but prophets have already spoken about these events in the past, anyway. And Jesus really is the center of the whole picture. In saying all this, I don’t mean that Jesus came to abolish the Old Testament. He makes that very clear in Matthew 5:17. The Old Testament serves – even today – to teach us about what God is like (since, as you said in your last comment, God is unchangeable). It also serves as a shadow of the things to come in the New Testament. It was perfect as a covenant for its season in the span of world history and remains perfect today, not as a covenant, but to point us towards Jesus and the new covenant.

        Again, I believe that the Holy Bible is completely sufficient and that it’s relevant to us in the 21st Century. I don’t believe that it’s outdated or that more up-to-date revelation from God is needed to complete or supplement it. I believe that there are things we can learn from godly men and women who teach from the Bible but nothing, ought to be raised to the same level as the Bible or received as the direct, infallible Word of God as the Bible is. It’s not that God doesn’t still speak or that He isn’t the perfect communicator when does speak through His Holy Spirit to everyday individuals like you and me. It’s that we, on the other hand, don’t always hear His Word clearly and we ought not say that what we think we heard from Him is most definitely His Word as He intended to speak it. Does that all make sense? That’s what I most sincerely believe. Comments? Quandry? Criticism? Your side of the story?

        And as a sidenote, I shared verses from the NIV. Is there a particular version of the Bible that you prefer? Or is there one particular version that all Mormons must read or generally prefer?

        Oh, and about the Youtube error, it may be because I live in Cambodia? Sometimes I get errors related to my region. This time it didn’t specify that the error was region-related, but maybe it was anyway? I got the same error with the two links that you shared more recently. :/

        I’m looking forward to ongoing discussion with you, Lana. It really is a pleasure.

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      15. I have the same beliefs on nearly everything you shared about who Jesus Christ is! Our view on the Trinity is just a little bit different than most other Christian churches. While we do believe that He is both God and human, we do not believe that he is God–as in, God the Father. They are two separate and distinct personages, but are united in spirit and purpose. 🙂 In addition to everything you said, I believe that He is our older brother (Firstborn of the Father) and He loves us more than we can comprehend. Because of his Atonement, He has experienced all of our pains and sufferings and He knows how to guide and to help us. He is there to heal us just as much now as he was during his mortal lifetime! And I know that He wants all of us to turn to Him and follow Him because it will lead to happiness.

        You bring up an interesting point that I hadn’t thought about before: were prophets done away with along with the Law of Moses?

        Well, if they were, then after Jesus Christ came, there would be no need for prophets and apostles, correct? But consider Matthew 16:18-19, when Jesus is speaking to Peter.

        18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

        19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

        And what of Acts 10-11, where Peter is given revelation to guide the entire church on who to preach the gospel to?

        Or Revelation 1:11, where John is commanded to share what he sees to the whole church?

        If there are no prophets after Christ, then the rest of the Bible after the Gospels can’t be considered as the Word of God, since it is not from Jesus Christ. The epistles would merely be words of advice, not commandments. The Revelation of John wouldn’t matter to us. But I know that you believe in the truth of the Bible–because it is true and because it is the word of God!

        Consider this as well. If the Bible is sufficient, then why are there so many different Christian churches and belief systems? In 1 Corinthians 14:33 it states that “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints”, and this message is emphasized throughout the Bible. Jesus’ message is a message of peace (John 14:27), and He says in John 10:16 that “there shall be one fold and one shepherd.” In Ephesians 4:5 it says that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism”. (And verses 1-15 all talk about this topic.)

        God does not want us to be confused. He does not want us to be unsure. He wants us to know of a surety the truth. Yes, the Bible is written for us! Yes, it is still relevant to us today! Yes, it is true! But man cannot create God’s church. We need more, not only including prophets, but also the Book of Mormon, which includes the fulness of the gospel, in order to be a part of His one fold and one church.

        I know that it is true, and I know that you can, too. From what you have said, it seems clear that you know that God can speak to you through the Holy Ghost. If you sincerely desire the truth, He will tell you it.

        (Oh, yes, we use the KJV, with fairly extensive footnotes that connect topics both with other Biblical scriptures & with the Book of Mormon and other revealed scriptures. There are also Joseph Smith Translations, where Joseph Smith went through and added/clarified certain parts of the Bible, and these are all in the footnotes, so the original text is still the same.

        Oh, yeah, that’s probably why. I wish you could’ve listened to them, but that’s all right. 🙂 Maybe someday it’ll work… 😛 )

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