No Pretending—-I DO Know!

 Sma Harris PretendingCongratulations If

If you have CERTAINTY in your religious beliefs.  I commend you.  What I’m presenting here should not take away from your conviction one whit.  I commend you on your testimony.  This is just where I’m at.

Me

Throughout my lifetime, I have frequently made important statements that were NOT TRUE.  But, I was not aware.  Now I am.  I don’t consider them lies.  I simply didn’t realize that I was not speaking the truth.  I’m referring to my statements of KNOWING things I didn’t really KNOW.  Specifically relating to religious concepts.

For example:  “I KNOW that God lives.”  A beautiful statement.  At this point, for me, to say it would be a lie…a pretense.  I have now trod a similar path as the apostle Paul:  “Where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”  And, I now embrace Paul’s “enduring” virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

However, there is one thing in the religious arena that I do have certainty about.  No pretending.  No lying.  I KNOW that the teachings and example of Jesus Christ embody a good and noble way to live.  I’m specifically referring to Christ’s gospel of charity, kindness, service, reaching out for the “least” among us, the golden rule, standing up to the marginalization of the weak.  Fortunately, a modern religious leader said that we should believe in the bible as far as it’s translated correctly.  There are some things ascribed to Christ that I view as somehow being translated incorrectly.  Those I discard.

So, there you go Mr. Harris, I’m no longer pretending.  I am a human being.  And, I am certain.  It’s my 64 years of lived experience that has given me my rock solid certainty.

Acknowledgment

Thanks Missedinsunday for the meme.

11 thoughts on “No Pretending—-I DO Know!

  1. I understand the not complicated commandments . No special urim and thumim needed to translate the golden rule.
    If we show love one to another we are Christs deciples.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, Sam,

    Thanks for casting the light of sanity on the absurd “I KNOW” nonsense thoughtlessly regurgitated by clueless Mormon dupe-bots … drunk on Gospel Kool-Aid dispensed by The Brethren.

    Their Mind Control tactics are both ingenious and very effective. Who would not want to join a Club where all the members are automatically super special aka smarter than, and superior to, non-Club-members? The Club members stand up once a month and tell each other “I KNOW our Club is true, beyond a shadow of a doubt and with every fiber of my being. And I feel really sorry for the unfortunates out there who are not in our exclusive Club. This Club makes me happy. I don’t know what I would do or how I would live without the Club. I KNOW this is the only true Club.”

    As you have observed, Sam, this scenario is not only ridiculous, it’s a frontal assault on the intelligence of anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

    I completely agree with your “knowledge” that living the teachings of Jesus is a good way to live. And I like Letty’s summary of Christ’s teachings as the Golden Rule.

    I think there is a connection between why the Golden Rule works and what God is. It takes time to fully disconnect from the patently stupid idea that “God” is a geriatric sky-dude sporting a white beard and seriously unresolved anger management issues. It seems that most Spiritual Education Explorers who disconnect from religion, eventually gravitate to a belief that “God” is not anthropomorphic (human-like) or even an individuated entity. What if “God” is not only the Source of Creation, but also including everything that has ever been Created aka everything that exists in the Universe?

    Including YOU and ME.

    If that is true, then Matthew 25 makes even more sense:

    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
    [ . . . ]
    45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it NOT to one of the least of these, ye did it NOT to me.

    If “God” includes all of Creation, then “God” includes you and me and every other human being we will ever meet. That means you and I and everyone else are separate only like two apples on an apple tree are separate.

    The apple named Sam can treat the apple named Gary with kindness and mutual respect.

    Or the apple named Sam can convince the apple named Gary to leave and go to England on a mission, and then the apple named Sam can have sex with apple Gary’s apple wife while apple Gary is gone.

    I realize this is a stupid metaphor, but the point is that if the separateness we incarnated humans perceive one from another is truly an illusion, then when we do something TO or FOR a fellow human being, we are literally doing the same thing TO or FOR our own self.

    That is why it feels good and positive to treat others well, and ultimately feels like crap to treat others harmfully or disrespectfully.

    How do The Brethren treat the members of their exclusive Club?

    If Jesus reincarnated and joined the Church, how long would it take The Brethren to hold a Court of Love and excommunicate Him for breaking too many of The Brethren’s rules for Club membership?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for writing and sharing this Sam. I have often wondered or doubted or not been sure of some doctrine or another in my nearly 42 years since my baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But I have always been sure of one thing: the fruits of a belief in (and discipleship of) Jesus Christ are good. Those fruits are evidence enough for me to continue following him.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sam, I always appreciate your sincere thoughts and outlook on things. Every 1st Sunday I look forward to testimony meetings and without fail many will say I know such and such…Having read some of your previous posts it’s opened my eyes of what that means to me and how we can say that? Truth comes through both physical (can touch it, smell it, taste it) and spiritual means (can’t see, touch, smell or taste). As i hear members say they know God lives, like you I don’t fault them. I’ve come to understand through my own testimony what Paul expressed to the Corinthians “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” I think as members we often mix up the 2 (physical & spiritual) if that makes sense? And take offense to hear it put in the way you’ve expressed it because we may feel we’re being called liars when in fact it is a testimony borne of spirit and not pure knowledge that we are stating. To say Christ lives is truth that is born of the spirit that comes as a gift from a loving Father. This seems to be a constant struggle to understand especially those who haven’t received of the spirit, similar points have always been brought up as stated by Mr. Harris and others like Korihor, Sherems and will probably always will until it can’t be said anymore. Thanks again for your insights Sam, God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s all about perspective, isn’t it Sam? When we know better we do better. How I wish others would join us in looking a little further, seeing a little clearer, and thereby learning not to judge us and others so quickly for knowledge gained that doesn’t align with their own. Families are being devastated by those shadowy ‘I knows” and by lines drawn in the sand. I have become a thing to fear for my family just because I can not say “I know’, even though I have never once tried to convince them that I hold information founded on facts, history, and Christ’s words. They wouldn’t hear me, anyway. I cannot raise my hand in support of the Church so I am dangerous and must be cast away. Seems as if they would rather have their ‘I know”s over their “I love you”s. I am nothing more than an empty chair now…and that they know for certain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I believe that it is possible “to know”. I believe it is possible to receive personal revelation after humble prayer and know The, Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a true an living but flawed prophet like many in the OT, that the brethren are doing the very best they can do considering the state of the world and I believe we should question things we do not understand. I would not go to a blogger for answers, but to a Priesthood leader who lives and loves the gospel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Janice

      I’m perfectly good with you “knowing.” No way would I want to dissuade you from that knowledge. Hold onto it. Cherish it. Today, I’m in the space of faith and hope. And I cherish that space.

      Like

  7. The older I get, the less I think I know. Right now all I have is hope. And I’m okay with that. I hope that there is some other higher being or power. I hope that there is a life that continues past this one. I don’t KNOW (or even have faith in) either one.

    My philosophy (and the way I am trying to live my life) is to love everyone. Treat people with love and kindness and respect. Serve. Give of myself…time, talents, resourses. Be humble.

    I am convinced that IF there is something beyond this life, the the only thing that will matter in the end is where our individual hearts are and how we have treated others. Basically, how well we did with the above. And that no amount of Pharasian or Mosaic ‘box checking’ is going to matter worth a damn. But that is what the Church has boiled the Gospel down to (IMO). We have become merry band of insufferable box checkers (I actually said that from the pulpit in my last SM talk two years ago). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally agree with you and have taken on the same approach to love everyone and try not to judge others. I participate in service in my community rather than helping a ward family move as I did in the past. I find much greater satisfaction with service outside the church. I’ve turned down the last two callings extended to me as I can’t find it in me now to support the church. I feel better about myself when I do things out my own free will rather than obligation to the church.

      Liked by 1 person

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