A life of sacrifice for the Mormon Church. A non-Mormon mother writes about her and her children's experience living in Utah. Life in Utah is often difficult for non-Mormons with young children. Rare is that person who will say, "I???ll admit I was wrong all those years and I???ll face the consequences of those that will scorn, shun and ridicule me???. Why Mormons believe in Big Foot. More on the Mormon ad campaign.
Richard Swinburne’s contribution to the debate on religious experiences has changed the tone of it as he places the onus of the authenticity of experiences not on the claimant himself, but rather on the public. He likens a religious experience claim to that of any scientist or historian: if I were to claim that I had experienced some scientific phenomenon, I would be expected to credit my experience unless I had good reason to doubt it. Likewise, those I tell about my experience would be themselves expected to trust my word unless they had reason to doubt me. Keith Ward uses the simple example of dreams to emphasise this point: If I dream during the night, I generally accept that I have done so, though I have no empirical evidence to support that claim. In the same way, should a colleague inform me that he had a dream, while he can show me no evidence, I would be foolish to doubt him as I have no reason to do so. This demonstrates that Swinburne’s principles offer us an opportunity to accept the authenticity of religious experiences on the basis that we trust ourselves and others.
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However, the authenticity of these experiences relies heavily on our acceptance of the authenticity of the Bible itself which remains largely in debate. If the Bible is an account of non-propositional revelation, not statements from God about himself, but rather opinions about God and feelings of his presence, then we would not be obliged to accept the authenticity of the experiences at all. If St Paul’s encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus was a personal life change brought on by his physiological ailments – such as temporal lobe epilepsy – forcing him to re-evaluate his life – as at that point he was responsible for the deaths of many Christians – then his religious experience should not be taken to be authentic, but rather as a convenient change in psychology given a divine origin.
After two long drinks I started on. There was the great double log-house on the corner. I remembered the broken, blighted family that used to live there. The strong, hard face of the mother, with its wilderness of hair, rose before me. She had driven her husband away, and while I taught school a strange man lived there, big and jovial, and people talked. I felt sure that Ben and 'Tildy would come to naught from such a home. But this is an odd world; for Ben is a busy farmer in Smith County, "doing well, too," they say, and he had cared for little 'Tildy until last spring, when a lover married her. A hard life the lad had led, toiling for meat, and laughed at because he was homely and crooked. There was Sam Carlon, an impudent old skinflint, who had definite notions about "niggers," and hired Ben a summer and would not pay him. Then the hungry boy gathered his sacks together, and in broad daylight went into Carlon's corn; and when the hard-fisted farmer set upon him, the angry boy flew at him like a beast. Doc Burke saved a murder and a lynching that day.
Prayer is the essence of Orthodox Christian life, so one of the best ways to experience Orthodox Christianity is to attend a service. Holy Trinity’s aims to incorporate as much as is possible the interweaving daily, weekly, and yearly cycles of the ancient, apostolic Church, complete with its many feasts, services, and Biblical readings. As noted author Frederica Mathewes-Green writes in an essay entitled “” before visiting an Orthodox church, Orthodox worship is different, and those differences can be perplexing to the newcomer.