Testimonies and Idol Worship

Discussions about holding onto your faith and beliefs, whether by staying LDS or by exploring and participating in other churches or faiths. The belief in any higher power (including God, Christ, Buddha, or Jedi) is true in this forum. Be kind to others.
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Bonfire
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Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by Bonfire » Sat Oct 14, 2023 8:35 am

When children, adolescents, or adults bear their testimonies, what is being done?

You may hear "beyond a shadow of a doubt" or "I know this church is true" so many times you begin to pair the speakers with the sacred yet personal truths they are going through. This can be very dangerous unless you have your own testimony.

Leaning on others' testimonies is idol worship.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; “For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him” (D&C 18:10–11).

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by RubinHighlander » Mon Oct 16, 2023 12:32 pm

Bonfire wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 8:35 am
When children, adolescents, or adults bear their testimonies, what is being done?

You may hear "beyond a shadow of a doubt" or "I know this church is true" so many times you begin to pair the speakers with the sacred yet personal truths they are going through. This can be very dangerous unless you have your own testimony.

Leaning on others' testimonies is idol worship.
Leaning on other's testimonies is exactly how the game works. Bearing testimony solidifies and vitrifies the indoctrination. If you say it, especially in front of peers, you have to own it. If you repeat it enough times you'll believe it. If you say it in a public setting among your tribe and get them all to nod and cry along with you, it strengthens their indoctrination and yours via confirmation bias and elevated emotion. This is how most testimonies evolve, via participation and expression, from the day you can walk and talk.

I think the root of what you might be getting at is something I used to cringe at; when little children would parade up to the pulpit and repeat what was being whispered in their ears or what a parent may have helped them remember to say. Eventually they get better at it and express their own feelings, but those feelings have been groomed for years into the church's world view. Some become stalwarts in their testimonies, so sure they are right, with god on their side, there's no way they could be wrong, no matter how much evidence might stack up against their view.

I remember one of the last testimonies I gave was out of desperation, I was at the beginnings of my faith crisis. I talked about how the BOM was true, not because of physical evidence for or against it, but because of it's purpose to bring us closer to god. I'd recently read an article about DNA research in the Americas that did not support Jewish blood among any of the natives. It's a cringe worthy moment for myself, because deep down in my heart of hearts, I could feel that the BOM probably wasn't true. I felt this way because I'd shelved lots of other things I'd come across over the years, back to my mission. Now I was in my 40s and the evidence just kept coming out of the woodwork to show it wasn't true, not too mention all the other historical inaccuracies the church tried to cover up or avoid talking about. I guess I did not doubt my doubts well enough, as Dieter suggests. But my ego eventually gave in. It was time I was more honest with itself about my experience and belief in the mormon dogma.

The cogdis is incredibly painful when you face your core beliefs, admit you might have been deceived or lied to, after so many years of investing in a way of life. Some will never make it past that barrier and just keep lying to themselves or just keep living it even though they don't believe.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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Bonfire
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by Bonfire » Sat Oct 21, 2023 1:38 pm

RubinHighlander wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2023 12:32 pm
The cogdis is incredibly painful when you face your core beliefs, admit you might have been deceived or lied to, after so many years of investing in a way of life. Some will never make it past that barrier and just keep lying to themselves or just keep living it even though they don't believe.
Deception to protect the truth along with those who may be harmed by the plain or simple events that make up every day living becomes a problem. When you teach a child to think green is blue, or that up is down, or to recall a story incorrectly, this may help one generation avoid embarrassment or pain, yet it casts an entire species into ignorance.
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; “For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him” (D&C 18:10–11).

Gatorbait
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by Gatorbait » Thu Oct 26, 2023 6:38 am

First of all- the word testimony is not a stand alone word, yet in Mormon culture when the word is used the assumption by others is that you believe the entire sha-bang-a-bang, and no one really does because no one has all of the facts of the church. It changes all the time and is impossible to keep up with.

How long was it before people around the world found out that they were winning a battle of Satan when they called others Mormons or heaven forbid, called themselves Mormons? All those words that offend god and no one knew about them. Big world. Yet people the Mormon church is the only true church on the face of the earth. How stupid is that? Have they seen every portion of the earth's surface to find out? Or is there some other true church hiding inside the church? Maybe another golden bible hidden there? Good grief.

With all due respect, I don't feel baring a testimony is idol worship- it is just bullsh*t. And it is a trap that many of us have had our foot caught in many times because we believed people we trusted about Mormonism.

Furthermore, all the pithy sayings, "I know with every fiber of my being"- what the hell does that mean? Fibers? What fibers? Who counts them to make sure every one of them knows? Or "beyond a shadow of a doubt", as mentioned. Doubts have shadows? News to me, since it's just a word- and how do you go beyond it.

As said before- it is all ego. That's it. Look at me, I'm somebody. I "know" something because I'm special and the knowledge has come to me, and by the way, I'm righteous too, and so on and so forth.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

dogbite
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by dogbite » Mon Nov 27, 2023 11:49 am

The idea that any given noun, verb, action, idea or some such is holy or sacred is idol worship. If a church, or book or robe, or shroud is holy, it partakes in the divine, but is not itself god(s). It is just an object. A holy object. That is the definition of an idol.

Cnsl1
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by Cnsl1 » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:19 am

Was it Elder Cook who said that the only way to gain a testimony was in the sharing of it?

I believe it's true that if you repeat something long and often enough, you start to feel more of a veracity in the thing you're spouting. It doesn't really matter if it's true. You keep saying it's true so it must be. If it wasn't, why would you be saying it? Then cognitive dissonance sets in.

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moksha
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Re: Testimonies and Idol Worship

Post by moksha » Wed Jun 19, 2024 3:58 am

Image
Traditional Shinto worship as an alternative.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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