Give me your experience with DandC 9:8

gungholierthanthou Jan. 2014

The Doctrine and Covenants, section 9, advises members about how to resolve questions:

"8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your bmind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right."

In this often cited verse of scripture, the pattern for learning truth gives the seeker the personal responsibility of producing answers that, when prayed about, will cause a burning in the bosom. That feeling is supposed to represent spiritual confirmation that the answer they've produced is right.

When an answer fails to produce that feeling, it is the members’ responsibility to try again, and again if necessary, maybe changing the nature of their answers, until that confirming sensation is produced.

What happened to you when you followed this advice?

Nothing happened, and I *always* turned that on myself

Re: Nothing happened, and I *always* turned that on myself
So one effect is the experience of being responsible for not "feeling the spirit." Also known as "guilt?"

Chicken N. Backpacks
Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
It makes you wonder why god wouldn't simply say: "Hey, it's true, OK? I'm God, why would I sh*t you, dude?"

If I have a manual for my Ford truck that's put out by Ford,, why would I have to ask the Ford dealer if it's legit?

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
So it sounds like your experience wasn't positive either, eh CNBPs?

Re: Give me your experience with DandC 9:8
If you consider that receiving an answer is probabilistic (you have a 1 in x chance of it occurring). Or rather, that you have some feeling while waiting for answer that you perceive that feeling to be the answer. Then, if their response is "try until it works" then it will always work. A random event with a non zero probability over an infinity of trials will eventually trigger. So, that fact changes the nature of the answer. The fact that you will always get an answer no matter what doesn't speak to the truthfulness of the claim, but rather it speaks to the meaninglessness of the answer itself. There is no state of reality whereby you could not receive an answer, therefore the answer itself does not teach you anything about the nature (or state) of that reality. Therefore, Mormon attempts to make this verse or the promise of Mormon to seem like a decent way to pursue truth, is pure sophistry at best.

In other words, it's all bullsh*t.

Re: Give me your experience with DandC 9:8
Yes but, what happened to you personally when you tried it? Did you experience it like you have summed it up here? (I did.)

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
In this verse of scripture, the pattern for learning truth gives the seeker the personal responsibility of producing answers that, when prayed about, will cause a burning in the bosom in order to feel that it is right. Presumably, the sensation is caused by the Holy Ghost. When an answer fails to produce that feeling, it is the members’ responsibility to try again, and again if necessary, until that confirming sensation is produced. The following are some of the possible effects of trying to produce the burning feeling.

1) internal focus on localized sensation (is it burning yet?);

2) defocus from relevant objective, rational criteria and information;

3) de-emphasis on rational thinking once the answer is proposed;

4) inadvertent biofeedback training as the seeker reinforces otherwise unnoticed internal processes;

5) increased sensitivity to internal and external elements that might interrupt the conditioning sequence;

6) active suppression of interruptions of all types;

7) increased susceptibility to suggestion;

8) over-dependence on the intentional inducement of the peaceful state;

9) aversion to discordant elements;

10) production of an altered mental state;

11) a visage (outward appearance) similar to that described of monks and other serious disciples.

Same experience, here.
I'd either feel nothing different after praying, or I would think maybe I felt something, but it would change from day to day (if I was considering an important decision).

I never got an answer when praying about the church.

And I always blamed myself.

When I got to the point of questioning the church, I realized how wrong it would be for God to have scriptures like that (or Moroni 10:4), and then not answer at all--for decades of my life, or answer so vaguely that a person couldn't even tell if they were getting an answer.

I read Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World about the time I started thinking thoughts like that, and he brought up the importance of reproducible results in science. And I realized I had reproducible results in my religion. Nobody answered my prayers. I had been trying from a very young age to get a testimony and be led by the spirit in my life, and it hadn't worked. Why was I still praying for answers when I could reliably predict that there would be no answers? It was time for something different.

So I guess to sum up, my results of praying for answers and guidance were:

-confusion, and often a sense of limbo while I tried to get answers
-difficulty making decisions, because I didn't realize that they were really mine to make
-self-blame that I couldn't feel the answers

Lethbridge Reprobate
Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
I never pray about anything...

Ron Burr

Help with that "burning in the bosom" anyone?
I'm curious if anyone knows if there is a physiological explanation for this "burning in the bosom" feeling. I actually experienced it once, but only once.

It was the day after I went through the temple before leaving on a mission. It was a Sunday. I had traveled to Cardston, Alberta and stayed at a freind's place. After coming out of the endowmwent ceremony, I was very disturbed. It was not at all what I imagined. I stewed over those feelings the rest of the day and night.

The next day, Sunday, I attended F&T meeting with my friend and his family. I was still concerned in the extreme about that temple ritual, the washing and annointing with an open bedsheet over me, the blood oaths, the illogical dressing and undressing with the robes, the secret handshakes and passwords, making promises before you knew the consequences, etc, etc. I was trying to understand what the hell just happened.

So, as I'm sitting there not paying any attention to the meeting, but trying to make sense of what took place the day before, I felt several waves of actual heat inside my chest, which of course I took for that "burning in the bosom". That one experience took me a long way, and essentially kept me active in the church for many years.

25 years later, I couldn't ignore all the facts that were staring me in the face and I walked away.

So, anyone out there have an explanation? I think it may have been an actual physiological reaction to extreme stress, but I have no medical knowledge to back that up. That one experience still bothers me. It's not enough to pull me back in, of course, but I'm curious. Anyone with similar experiences or have any ideas?

The Oncoming Storm - bc
Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
This was EXACTLY the pattern I used to get out of the church.

When I tried to believe that the church was true - and I tried hard for many years, I always had a stupor of thought. Things just didn't add up right.

Sure I had the burning in the bosom, but according to this scripture your heart and mind are both supposed to agree - mine never did.

Finally when I was ready to ask the other way around if it was false - I got the same burning in my bosom, but for the first time the stupor of thought was gone.

Thanks - J.S. the pattern you laid out disproved your church for me.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
I find Pepcid helps

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Oh yeah, the first couple times nothing, but put me in an already emotionally charged place like the MTC?

Eta: to be more specific. I tried and kept trying until I got an answer. It wasn't even a strong answer, but I worked it up in my mind because I wanted Jesus to talk to me, I wanted it to be true.

Re: Help with that "burning in the bosom" anyone?
Random physiological phenomena a nevermo would dismiss as insignificant, but due to the cultural upbringing and the location of said random event it had great significance to you. Had it happened at, say, McDonalds, you probably would have assumed it was indigestion. Had it happened on a roller coaster, you might have assumed it to be motion sickness.

Also, read up a bit on human memory. Your Mormon cultural upbringing may have led you later to slightly (not consciously) revise what happened (no offense intended, we all do this, part of being human) to more closely match your memory of the symptoms to what you would expect based on reading the scriptures.

As a side note. I still have the same "always feeling the spirit" feeling that I did before I left. I have just found out that that perpetual warmth in my chest is not some divine spirit manipulating my heart strings, but rather a cross between my excessive anxiety and acid reflux.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Anyone who takes meditation seriously knows that as your mind quiets down you start to feel energy in certain parts of your body, including in the chest (also known as the heart chakra).

I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea of chakras, but I know for sure that the area at the center of your chest will start to feel charged or warm up the quieter your mind is. It's just a function of the body. Totally natural.

Now, a mormon who "prays" to Elohim for an answer and then waits for an "answer" is essentially meditating since they are listening or waiting for something to happen. They're not thinking about doing laundry or what stores they need to stop by on the way home.

They're really listening, really waiting for something to happen. Therefore, their minds are very quiet. On top of that they're focusing specifically on their chests to see if they get warm which they will take as a sign that the holy ghost is confirming something.

Surprise, surprise! Their chests start to feel energized and warm. So then they go do what they wanted to do anyway because now they think alien Elohim is giving them the thumb's up!

Funny how that works...

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
It is funny how LDS choose to ignore verse 9:

"But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me."

Three points:

1. This advice was actually given in reference to Oliver attempting to "translate" the Book of Mormon using his diving rod as a non-visual instrument.

2. Even if broadly applied to all types of truth seeking, there is ABSOLUTELY NO suggestion for repeated attempts until confirmation is received.

3. The formula is clear that if an affirmative answer is NOT received, then the asker should expect the "stupor of thought that causes them to forget the thing which is wrong." I have never heard of anyone receiving this kind of magical forgetting, regardless of their degree of incorrectness.

Stray Mutt
Re: Same experience, here.
imaworkinonit Wrote:
"I never got an answer when praying about the church.

"And I always blamed myself.

Same with me.

But eventually I realized that in order to be willing to do what D&C 9:8 says, you're already inclined to believe praying is a way to know what's true. You're already more than halfway there. You're praying for confirmation, not disconfirmation.

Then there's the problem of applying this study-it-out-in-your-heart-then-pray-for-confirmation system to various life decisions. You've put mental and emotional energy into developing an idea you want validated, but no one hopes their idea is wrong. So, naturally, they're pre-primed to feel good about their idea. For example, back in college I was really madly, hormonally, desperately "in love" with a girl. I thought I wanted to marry her. I talked her into fasting and praying about it. She agreed. But, funny thing, we got opposite answers to our prayers. Why would the Holy Ghost tell me it was the thing to do but tell her to run away? Duh.

So, fast forward a couple of years, and there I am, inactive in the church, feeling kind of guilty about it, not knowing what I really believed. I'm sitting in my apartment in Los Angeles, the windows open, a beautiful day outside, thinking about where I stood with the church, when the thought entered my mind, "What if it's all just made up?" THAT'S when I had a "burning in my bosom." It was my long-suppressed inner atheist being let free. The war between myself and myself was over, and I'd won.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
If this were true it would not be necessary for BKK or anyone to tell their followers that "a testimony can be found in the bearing of it."

D&C 9:8 and what the "fake it til you make it" method the so-called prophets advocate about gaining a testimony are diametrically opposed.

BKK is in opposition to the church's own doctrine. He is also in opposition of human decency.

Re: Same experience, here.
Awesome. That's what I am familiar with too.

Here's another function of the stupor of thought...
If a questioning member uses the hot (looking) bosom method to inquire about an unattractive aspect of mormon doctrine or history, (s)he can just forget about it! If it doesn't feel good, it's obviously not true.

So it can be a way of ignoring inconvenient, faith dowsing facts.

Love your comments. Keep 'em coming.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Sure I have felt a burning in my bosom many a time.... strangely never when praying about the book of mormon.

I do feel it associated with goodness. I actually feel like I get "hopped up" on it more now than when I was constantly striving for it as a tbm. It doesn't always make me emotional.... sometimes I feel like my chest is going to burst, it feels so good. I believe it is a natural endorphin release.....

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
I just fell asleep. That was my sign and token for rejection.

Really never felt worthy enough, even as a young boy. So the guilt handed down was overly abusive to ever feel god would answer any prayer I offered up.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
"This advice was actually given in reference to Oliver attempting to "translate" the Book of Mormon using his diving rod as a non-visual instrument."

This is important to note. Jesus had already promised Oliver, through Joe, that he would be able to translate. He wasn't able to, and he wondered why. Joe then received this "revelation". I guess Jesus was actually saying, "Oliver, why did you trust Joe when he first made you the promise? If you had just asked, I would have confirmed to you that ol' Joe is a bull$#!+ artist."

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8

Thanks for your thoughtful answer. Truly.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Stray Mutt: my experience parallels.

When I entertained the idea that it was all false, and fit that scenario into the questions and the big picture, it was like the DNA movies--just lined up and came to life. A fan on fog.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Love this line from Stray Mutt:

The war between myself and myself was over, and I'd won.

Exactly. And if the war continues, the church wins.

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Here's an idea about the experience my2cents had.

People feel the "spirit" with a burning bosom all over the world everyday for reasons related to positive experiences. It's part of the human condition. Love, selflessness, stories with happy endings, music, beauty, the good in the universe--they all evoke that feeling and several like it. It is transcendent of religion or philosophy or thought. It can be induced with drugs--lots of people have the Timothy Leary experience, especially the first time they have an hallucigen like LSD or shrooms. My son talks about his hike up the mountain in Colorado on shrooms as the most moving, eye-opening experience of his life.

The LDS church, and lots of other religions and movements, have highjacked this wonderful human experience, defined in their own self-serving way, and sold you their definition.

Why it happened in your instance I can't say, but plugged into the bigger picture, it's understandable in theory.

I asked one of my psychology classes about the topic from our text which it called "altered states of consciousness." It did a fairly horrible job of trying to describe transcendent experiences. Of all those in my class, I was the only one who felt they'd had such an experience. If you've had it, I think you're lucky. If you have it often, you're really lucky. To have it highjacked by an institution is evil.

What percentage of people feel it? About a third, the text said. A good description is here

Recognize it? It doesn't belong to the church.

The Oncoming Storm - bc
Re: Help with that "burning in the bosom" anyone?

Re: Help with that "burning in the bosom" anyone?
I would classify this experience very differently from one of "feeling the spirit". I've had those experiences often, and recognize them as an emotional reaction to some outside stimulus. It is not solelyl within the boundaries of religious experience; it can happen in movie or listening to a song.

I understand your comments about how our recollection of past events can be very different than the reality was, that has actually happened on occassion. My younger sister and I remember family things from when we were young very differently, down to specific facts. And we both swear we remember them correctly.

That being said, this experience was just once, it was so surprising, distinct, and PHYSICAL (actual heat) that I remember the physical sensations to this day, and I've thought about it often over the intervening years - my memory of that event hasn't changed over time. I can see where I was sitting in the chapel (up on the podium because the chapel seats were all full). I remember that I tuned out everything around me, concentrating on that endowment, I remember thinking that I could not accept that the endowment ceremony was god-given absent some sort of confirmation from God. And that's when it hit me.

There were 3 strong waves of heat inside my chest, not just a nice feeling or a tingling sensation on the back of my neck. It was actual, physical, waves of real heat. Then I sat there stunned, and drained.

It did not feel like an out-of-body experience to me, I didn't leave my body and look down on it from some point away. I was completely concious of my surroundings and never left mentally or physically. It wasn't a buzz (I do now know what that feels like :))

Re: Give me your experience with D&C 9:8
Thanks for the information and the link. I was't able to draw any correlation between what I experienced and an "altered state of conciousness" or transcendental experiences.

See my reponse to notnewatthisanymore above.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"