I received an email today which highlights a serious error which I believe runs rampant among some members of the Church, especially those I encounter online. Here are some excerpts from the email which demonstrate the issue:
… You should allow this point to be made. You can always oppose that point, but to suppress it altogether points to a lack of honesty, and integrity in the debate…
Being a fan of Nibley, you should recognize that all is not well in Zion, and it’s up to the inhabitants of Zion to make corrections. … We have a duty to put pressure on our leaders … [Read more…]
(This is a continuation of my thoughts about The Lost Symbol from my previous post.)
One of the themes taken up again and again in Dan Brown’s latest novel The Lost Symbol is the idea of power in group thinking and concentration. Katherine’s character in particular is engaged in the scientific study of producing physical changes through the power of group thought and concentrated collective intention. In connection with this, the practice of prayer circles is brought up:
The shocking discovery, it seemed, paralleled the ancient spiritual belief in a “cosmic consciousness”—a vast coalescing of human intention that was actually capable of interacting with physical matter. Recently, studies in mass meditation and prayer had produced similar results in Random Event Generators, fueling the claim that human consciousness, as Noetic author Lynne McTaggart described it, was a substance outside the confines of the body . . . a highly ordered energy capable of changing the physical world. ((Page 56))
In another place, Brown continues:
Galloway knew, of course, that one needn’t go to a lab to witness proof of this bold new idea, this proposal of man’s untapped potential. This very cathedral held healing prayer circles for the sick, and repeatedly had witnessed truly miraculous results, medically documented physical transformations. The question was not whether God had imbued man with great powers . . . but rather how we liberate those powers. ((Page 313-314))
Katherine smiled down at him. “We have scientifically proven that the power of human thought grows exponentially with the number of minds that share that thought.”
Langdon remained silent, wondering where she was going with this idea.
“What I’m saying is this . . . two heads are better than one . . . and yet two heads are not twice better, they are many, many times better. Multiple minds working in unison magnify a thought’s effect . . . exponentially. This is the inherent power of prayer groups, healing circles, singing in unison, and worshipping en masse.” ((Page 504))
A few days ago I posted a request for thoughts on the temple. I’ve received a few messages from some readers, but not as many as I would like. We’d really like to hear from more of you. I think this could be a very powerful missionary tool for all of us.
What does the temple mean to you? Why do you go to the temple? Do you have a short experience you’d like to share? Do you have a testimony of the temple you think others could benefit hearing? Does the temple have an important place in your life? What have you learned about the temple that you’d like to teach others about? Is the temple a blessing to you? How has the temple changed your life? What is it that makes the temple different from the rest of ordinary life? Have you been privileged to do temple work for your ancestors? What was it like? Are you grateful for the temple? Why? Has the temple brought you closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ?
Here is an excellent example from a convert who has been a member of the Church for 11 years, and who has a genuinely powerful testimony of the temple. Press the play button below:
Thank you, brother, for sharing with us your witness and testimony of the temple and the Holy Ghost. You’ve blessed my life today.
What could you share with us about the temple?
The method is the same. Just click the “Call Me” button below, enter in your name (or “anonymous”), your phone number, select “keep number private,” and then click “Connect.” You will receive a phone call and be connected straight to the TempleStudy.com voicemail where you can share with us your message (3 minute limit). In a few days I’ll select some to share with everyone.
Feel free to be a missionary today and share what the temple means to you. It’s easy and you could make a positive difference in someone’s life by something you share.
So, we’re going to try something a little different and creative, something that I haven’t seen done anywhere else on the internet, and certainly not in the Bloggernacle, so we’re setting a new precedent here. You get to hear so much from me, but we don’t often get to hear from you, the readers, except very briefly in the comments or sometimes in private emails with me. I’d like to hear more of your thoughts, insights, stories, feelings, testimonies, things you’ve learned, good books you’ve found, and experiences about the temple. What does the temple mean to you? I want to hear your voices! You all have so many rich things to share that could add to our understanding of the temple, and I want to tap into that treasure-trove of faith and cumulative voice. [Read more…]
A few months ago we showed a TV news story of an interview with a missionary who, how should we say, didn’t quite know how to answer questions about the Church or the temple, and which just left more suspicion and misunderstanding than it dispelled. We concluded that we must have a good grasp of our own religion in order to answer questions intelligently and articulately, and to teach others about our beliefs.
Yesterday I received an email with a link to a videoclip of a Harvard student, Rachel Esplin, who answered questions about the Church and Mormonism in a very clear and forthright manner. It looks like the event was an “Engaging Religious Differences” panel discussion, in which many different religious views were shared. Greg has more details at Believe All Things, who referenced aquinas at Summa Theologica on the same topic.