I appreciate your experience. Just don't think it's such a black and white issue.
We've been told in a number of places in the scriptures that we don't know
everything yet, and may have to exercise patience. In the meantime, we are free
to compare speculations, so long as we do not harm the faith of another. And for
every "intellectual" I see intellectualizing himself out of a testimony, I see an
"iron-rodder" putting a young science student in an impossible position, when
there's no need for that to happen.

"John W. Redelfs" wrote:

> After much pondering, Marc A. Schindler favored us with:
> > > John,
> > > The difference is that we have many GAs who have told us that portions of
> > > the Bible ARE symbolic. That leaves the Bible's historicity at least
> > > partially in question. Meanwhile, they have all told us that the BoM is
> > > literal.  Signaturi don't want to believe that any scripture is
> > > historically based. We believe all of the BoM is, and much (if not most)
> > > of the Bible is.  Marc and I are consistent with what the GAs have taught
> > > on these books. We haven't stated definitively that Joshua never was at
> > > Jericho, but only that there are discrepancies with current science.
> >
> >Furthermore, I would add that it doesn't matter. Brigham Young referred to
> >"baby
> >stories" in the Bible, assuming that there is a more transcendent way of
> >understanding them than as mere history.
>
> My father was a medical doctor and an atheist.  Still, he had read enough
> history to know how important religion was in the development of western
> civilization, and he approved of religion.  While he was not a believer, he
> considered this a failing in himself.  And for years he tried to "get
> religion."
>
> On one occasion, he decided to join a church but he didn't know what church
> was right.  Therefore he devised a test that he could administer to all the
> churches in the El Paso, Texas area.  And he went about the town asking
> each clergyman how he explained the tale of Jonah.  As a medical doctor he
> pointed out that 1) there would be insufficient oxygen, and 2) the gastric
> juices would have digested Jonah.
>
> Well, each pastor he talked to tried to explain the story to him.  Finally
> he found an Episcopal priest who told him the answer he was looking
> for.  The story never really happened, you see.  It was a story or fable
> included in scripture to demonstrate that it is impossible to hide from God.
>
> My dad had found the "scientific" pastor he was looking for, so he became
> an Episcopalian.  He attended church two or three times, and that was
> that.  You see, he was an atheist, and he couldn't keep his enthusiasm up.
>
> Forgive me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that some of this kind of
> thinking is coming through in these discussions.  I don't mean that anyone
> here is an atheist, just that some find it easier to believe that stories
> are allegories and fables than to believe they were "miracles," albeit all
> miracles are merely phenomenon that are not yet understood.
>
> I cannot accept the Bible as scripture if it is merely a collection of folk
> tales, not even if those folk tales illustrate and teach true, inspired
> principles.  I demand that the Bible be "true."  This doesn't mean that it
> has to be without error, merely that parables and fables be labeled as
> such, as was the case in the parables of Jesus.
>
> You see, I grew up a chip off the old block.  And my father thought that
> all religion was a fable or extended allegory.  If he was right, which I
> have never believed, then there is no foundation to my faith.
>
> I am not one of the "born agains" that insists the Bible is complete, and
> perfectly accurate even to the punctuation.  I believe that much of the
> Bible is allegorical.  So then my challenge is to figure out which stories
> are mere figures of speech and which stories are actual events that took
> place anciently.  And for the purpose of my own religious faith, I have
> chosen to believe as literal all but those stories that are obviously
> figurative.  I choose to err on the side of belief rather than on the side
> of unbelief.  I am a true believer.
>
> And it is a good thing too.  Because the story of the First Vision
> certainly sounds like an allegory or story told to illustrate a
> principle.  But if one denies the literal nature of that story, he might as
> well turn in his temple recommend and ask for his name to be removed from
> the records.  Because the whole legitimacy of the Church of Jesus Christ of
> Latter-day Saints rests upon that claim being literal as President Hinckley
> so eloquently pointed out in his opening talk to the Sunday afternoon
> session of the General Conference.  Unless the First Vision literally
> happened then Joseph Smith was a false prophet and the Church is a complete
> fraud.
>
> And by the same token, there are stories told in the Bible that would prove
> all of Judeo-Christianity to be a great fraud except the stories be
> literal.  If we throw out all that is not scientifically plausible, we
> thrown out the very heart of our faith.
>
> John W. Redelfs                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> ===========================================
> "Atheistic humanism is the opiate of the self-described
> intellectuals" --Uncle Bob
> ===========================================
> All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
>
> /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
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>

--
Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not
technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we don’t want
a world of engineers.” – Sir Winston Churchill (1950)

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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