A helpful guide to understanding the source of inspiration

As we all know, true revelation comes to both the heart and mind and teaches of Christ. And yet, our ability to rationalize frequently renders us incapable or unwilling to discern such revelation. On occasion, people ask how to know the difference between divine revelation or inspiration and the wayward desires of our own heart. It is no easy task. Or, at least, it wasn’t prior to today.

Thank goodness for you, I’m here to offer a few definitive guidelines so that you need never ask yourself if a given inspiration is of God or of your stomach again. I don’t claim these guidelines are inspired (they violate guideline #1), but I do claim they are good enough to help you differentiate the celestial ideas from those which are telestial. If you feel inspired to add corollaries, examples, or to argue individual guidelines, please do so in the comments below.

1. If you feel inspired to tell some other person how best to live their life, what choices they ought to make, whom they should marry, or how to make some other decision that is theirs, not yours, and believe that you should insist they comply, you are not inspired. Even if you are in a position of ecclesiastical authority over them, you are not inspired. Christ invites; he never coerces.

2. If you feel inspired to be a martyr for some cause, this is not of God. Martyrs did not seek their fate and you shouldn’t either.

3. If you feel inspired to do something that you already want to do, it is safe to assume it is not inspiration. It may be inspiration, but there is no harm in assuming otherwise and it will save you from getting a fat head.

4. If you feel inspired to do something you really would rather not, first check and make sure you really would rather not. Is what you are feeling residual guilt that you feel compelled to experience before enjoying some choice? Then that is not inspiration; it is you trying to make yourself feel better regarding something you want to do, but don’t want to think of yourself as wanting to do. Get counseling.

5. If you feel inspired to do something you really would rather not, ask yourself if you are doing it out of commitment to some higher law, principle, or authority. If so, it is not inspired. People do all sorts of nasty things out of a commitment to higher authorities; it is doubtful that they are all inspired. Own your choices and be prepared to accept the consequences. More importantly, do your best to make yourself the sole or primary recipient of negative outcomes; decisions to make someone else pay for the world’s (or your) betterment are uninspired.

6. If you feel inspired to do something you really would rather not, ask yourself if you are doing it to set an example to the audience (believers or otherwise). If you are, you are not inspired. It might still be a good thing to do, but do not kid yourself. How you behave when you think you are uninspired says more about you than the occasional action based on pretended divine insight.

7. If you feel inspired to do something you really would rather not, ask yourself if you are doing it because you think it might actually help somebody (this somebody can be you). Don’t ask yourself if the recipient could use the help; instead ask yourself what it would mean for them to receive this act from you, anonymously or otherwise. Would it cause them stress or worry? Would it cause them to feel obligated? Do you want them to feel obligated? Does it reveal a power imbalance between the two of you? If, upon examination, you can argue that this is genuinely about the recipient getting needed aid, and not about you, then you are looking at inspiration. If the recipient is yourself, refer back to guideline #3 and move on with your life.

Comments

  1. “Christ invites; he never coerces” needs to be tattooed on the inside of the eyelids of every person with any ecclesiastical authority over anyone.

  2. “Christ invites; he never coerces.”

    Ahem. Invitations are often treated as coercion. You only have to combine “sin no more” and “I am the way”, and you have a threat if you choose to perceive it that way.

    Sorry, this is a bad set of hedges that basically make any inspiration invalid.

  3. Beautiful. Especially #7. Amen to all of it.

  4. “Sorry, this is a bad set of hedges that basically make any inspiration invalid.”

    Could you elaborate on what you mean by this, Frank?

  5. Angela C says:

    #3 (cont.) . . . or blaming God for your own stupid, rationalized ideas when they don’t work out or accord with reality.

    tl;dr: “Own your choices and be prepared to accept the consequences.”

  6. These guidelines remind me of a lesson a while back on priesthood power. Starting with D&C 121 (“as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion”), we asked what “righteous dominion” might be: what does the priesthood actually give one power to do? After spending some time reading scriptures about the power of the priesthood, we reached the (to me) inescapable conclusion that priesthood power is exclusively the power to SERVE: any and every use of the priesthood for something other than service is unrighteous dominion.

    I think we misread D&C 121:41 to mean that power and influence can be “maintained by virtue of the priesthood” if it is done with persuasion, gentleness, meekness, etc. Instead, I think we should read it as if there were a period after “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood.” Period. Gentle, meek, persuasive leadership is fine, but that’s distinct from the power of the priesthood, which can only be used to serve.

  7. Old Man says:

    “Christ invites; he never coerces,” Thank goodness Jesus only invited the money changers out of the temple. He braided the whip as an artistic venture and overturned the tables to, um, you know, help them get moving when they asked for His help in following through with His wonderful suggestion which they readily accepted.

    #1 implies that no missionaries or church authorities should ever invite a person to change their life. Wow. Who came up with this one? Sartre or Camus?

    After reading #2 and #4, I am burdened by the idea that a mother deciding to not terminate a pregnancy which could end her own life should be ashamed of herself.

    Whatever happened to “Greater love hath no man…”?

    #4 implies that Jesus’ actions in Gethsemane were uninspired. Jesus was obedient to the Father in partaking of the bitter cup.

    I agree that these numbered suggestions would create a psychological cascade of self-doubt that would make any act of Christian service or loving kindness virtually impossible. The voice of revelation could never challenge to improve or call to repent or sacrifice. Whoever follows them will need counseling. These suggestions are the antithesis of Christian love wrapped with a veneer of society’s current version of “kindness”. They engage in shaming anyone who feels they have sacrificed after hearing the voice of God.

    Is this post serious? Or is John C. trolling for responses?

  8. I think we overcomplicate this. If the inspiration leads you to do good, it is coming from God. If not, then it’s not divine inspiration.

    As to 1, my guess is parents do feel inspiration to tell their kids how to live their life at times. Agree about the coercion part.

    As to 2, I think there are rare times where inspiration leads to martyrdom (Bonhoeffer, Joseph Smith, Christ, etc.)

    As to 3, i think there are probably times where the Holy Ghost inspires you to do something that is also something you want to do (hug your kid, say thanks, be kind).

    As to 4 and 5, I don’t think the fact that you feel guilty about something necessarily means that any ideas you have to change or fix the problem is necessarily not inspiration. My guess is the two (inspiration and resolving guilt) often go hand in hand.

    As to 6, isn’t trying to be a good example a good thing? I am not sure why the desire to be a good example means you are not receiving inspiration. If you are doing it to receive the glory of others, then I agree that’s probably not inspiration.

    As to 7, explain power imbalance. I have 20$ to a homeless person the other day. I have more power over him. Not inspiration?

  9. your food allergy is fake says:

    “Christ invites; he never coerces.”

    If by “invites” you include “commands,” then OK. If not, your image of Christ isn’t entirely scriptural.

  10. If you cannot admit the realistic possibility that you are not inspired, you are most likely not inspired.

  11. JKC, fair enough. Is the corollary true? If you cannot admit the realistic possibility that you did receive inspiration, then are you inspired?

  12. It’s not hard to come up with exceptions where these guidelines wouldn’t apply. But I don’t think John intends them to be hard and fast rules. To me, it comes down to this: are you abdicating your agency by blaming “inspiration” for the thing that you are choosing? Are you trying to excuse yourself of responsibility for your actions because you were “inspired” to do it? I’ve known people who do that, and I’ve done it myself. It’s not a good way to live. Even when we are inspired, we are always responsible for our own actions and choices. We can’t responsibly act like we have no choice b/c we felt inspired to do something, or like we and those around us just have to live with the consequences of our choices b/c we felt inspired. No. We own our choices, we own our actions, and inspiration does not change that.

  13. In other words, “God made me do it” is little better than “the Devil made me do it.”

  14. Marc: If you believe there’s no possibility that you were inspired, does that mean you are inspired? No. You could be, but your refusal to accept the possibility doesn’t guarantee that you are.

  15. JKC,

    Well stated. Agree with all you said. For the record, I liked John C.’s post.

    We should all be more willing to own what we do. I don’t think the excuses (I was inspired, McConkie said I could do it) are going to work on judgment day.

  16. My main thought is that, at the end of life, when we know more than we do now, we will see that we got more help via inspiration than we realized at the time. It’s not an original though (Footprints poem) but (IMHO) I believe that is the way things will shake out.

    I fully agree that many claim inspiration when they have none or when they want to justify unrighteousness dominion.

  17. Please note the post doesn’t say inspiration might not “lead to martyrdom,” Marc and “Old Man”. It says if you *want* to be a martyr (i.e. are seeking to be a martyr to show your piety) and therefore think you are being inspired to actually be a martyr, that’s probably not inspiration. Bonheoffer, Joseph Smith, and thousands of other real martyrs in the history of the world comply with this — they weren’t seeking it but it just happened to them.

  18. For #1, Jesus broke it when he said “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

    If the man didn’t comply, then he couldn’t have perfection. If your believe system involves any rewards, then those rewards have conditions. Any expressed condition can be perceived as “insists that they comply”. Maybe the young man went away troubled because his inspiration was different, that what he was doing with what he had was right and good.

    For #7, say my ward leaders are inspired to anonymously leave a packet of money on my doorstep for Christmas. I get more uncomfortable the larger the amount. I may not need the funds, and now I feel obligated to them (whom I presume to have done the deed), and a bit intimidated at their use of authority. Does this mean they weren’t really inspired?

    Say I’m an Elders Quorum President (as if) and I’m inspired to go visit someone and drop off some homemade bread. As far as I know, they may not need it, it could cause them to feel an obligation to me, or even stress that I’m visiting at all. Does this mean I’m not really inspired?

    Working with inspiration is hard, and even more difficult to explain. It takes practice and a lot of possible (and real) mistakes. If often conflicts with others inspiration, your own previously held beliefs, and can even conflict with previous and future inspirations. God is working with imperfect people

    It is impossible for any of us to judge someone else’s inspirations. Our vision is far too limited.

    Any inspiration can be perceived as failing something in this list and be declared “not inspiration”.

    Except for the inspiration that you should change lanes on the freeway, those are -always- sure inspiration that’s keeping you out of an accident (or putting you into one, depending on God’s will). ;)

  19. Frank, your example from #1 isn’t ethereal “inspiration” but a direct injunction from Jesus Christ himself in the flesh during his earthly ministry. Don’t you see a difference?

  20. Angela C says:

    IOW, you can only be sure you are inspired if it’s a good thing and you don’t want to do it. If it’s a good thing and you already want to do it, you don’t need inspiration. If it’s a bad thing and you want to do it, you aren’t inspired, just rationalizing. The problem boils down to what is a good thing and what is a bad thing because an agile mind can make a “bad thing” look like a “righteous thing,” (even when it’s not pure evil like committing terrorism) such as:
    – living beyond your means
    – being controlling, overbearing or harsh toward someone whose choices you disapprove
    – pursuing a relationship that’s bad for you
    – stalking someone
    – replying discourteously to an internet comment

    And theoretically, as disciples, we should be (over time) becoming MORE aligned with God’s will, not less, so theoretically the more you follow inspiration, the less you need it because it’s already your will. But then again, you could just be rationalizing.

  21. John F.,

    I don’t follow. Because Christ commands us to give to the poor, promptings to follow this commandment are not inspiration? What if a Buddhist who had no knowledge of Christ’s injunction felt prompted to give to the poor? Inspiration?

    I think inspiration and commandments work together to lead people to do good things. Joseph read the injunction of James to “ask of God.” Inspiration supported the injunction, “never did any passage of scripture come with more power to the heart of man than this did at this time to mine.”

    Christ commands us to give to the poor. We can, in turn, like Frank’s example, feel inspiration to give bread to a specific person.

  22. Joseph Smith would fail #1 in a big way. From commanding people to take plural wives to telling a brother to carry a whip to use with his mules, which ended up saving his life.

    Not sure if you consider Jesus saying anybody who offends a little child would be better off having a millstone hung about his neck “coercion” or “invitation” but I’m guessing He would also fail.

    ProTip: If you find yourself using your mortal mind to determine what a deity would or wouldn’t ever do, you’re probably wrong.

  23. “ProTip: If you find yourself using your mortal mind to determine what a deity would or wouldn’t ever do, you’re probably wrong.”

    But then what else would we have to talk about?

  24. A few general notes first:
    Neither you nor I are Jesus and I wouldn’t suggest that these guidelines should apply to his acts or his statements.

    As John F. noted, seeking martyrdom is a different thing from becoming a martyr.

    Old Man,
    I’m deeply skeptical that the money-changers didn’t make their way back to the temple the following day. They served a vital capitalist function, after all. In any case, see the above regarding Christ’s actions.

    “After reading #2 and #4, I am burdened by the idea that a mother deciding to not terminate a pregnancy which could end her own life should be ashamed of herself.”
    You’re going to have to walk me through this because I don’t see the relevance at all.

    Also, why do you think Christ felt guilty about fulfilling the atonement? That strikes me as a weird reading.

    “I agree that these numbered suggestions would create a psychological cascade of self-doubt that would make any act of Christian service or loving kindness virtually impossible. The voice of revelation could never challenge to improve or call to repent or sacrifice. Whoever follows them will need counseling. These suggestions are the antithesis of Christian love wrapped with a veneer of society’s current version of “kindness”. They engage in shaming anyone who feels they have sacrificed after hearing the voice of God.”
    Again, I’ll need you to walk me through this. I don’t think I was diminishing sacrifice or curtailing Christian kindness.

    food allergy,
    yeah. It does.

    JKC,
    “If you cannot admit the realistic possibility that you are not inspired, you are most likely not inspired.”
    Guideline #8!

    Marc,
    I don’t think we are disagreeing. As for the $20, if you want to constrain how the gift given is spent, then it isn’t freely given, is it.

    Frank,
    Did the bishopric do it in order to make you feel obligated? Did they realize this would happen and then do it anyway? Was there a way that they could have talked with you about it, instead of just making assumptions? There are many ways this can be approached that might be or might not be inspired. Like Angela says, the real question is the purpose behind the act. We are deontologists, after all.

    As for declaring things inspired or no, isn’t that the purpose of “By their fruits you shall know them”? Of course, that assumes an accurate knowledge of what the fruits are and how they ripen (or spoil). Maybe judgment is too much for any of us. Let’s just stick making guidelines for deciding if a given inspiration is from God or our own dern self then, shall we?

  25. mjb33
    “If you find yourself using your mortal mind to determine what a deity would or wouldn’t ever do, you’re probably wrong.”
    I know you think you are disagreeing with me, but actually you’ve articulated a fine guideline #9. Welcome to the intent judging club!

  26. “Let’s just stick making guidelines for deciding if a given inspiration is from God or our own dern self then, shall we?”

    For the most part, that’s been everyone’s only option. Depending on someone else’s definitions, especially when those definitions get overly detailed and complex, just causes more problems when those definitions fail. For all the complaints about the vagueness of “burning in your bosom”, going much further is -really- hard to apply to everyone.

  27. Frank,
    I guess I don’t find the above overly complex. YMMV

  28. >If you find yourself saying or thinking that your every act within the scope of your calling is of God because God would not let bad things happen, including by your hand, no. Just no.

    >If the sense of your inspiration is “no” regarding something that you otherwise were inclined to do or say, pay attention.

  29. karpetlapangan says:

    Good Post ! :)

  30. Mark Clark says:

    Those trying to justify coercion in Mormonism and Christianity can go eff themselves. The LDS church is a voluntary organization, you stooges. Old Man sounds like a self-righteous zealot who doesn’t understand the first thing about Jesus’ teachings and life. And he is the one calling John C. a troll? Moderate his comment. Better yet, ban him from this blog.

  31. I can’t help but question whether this post itself passes its own test. Some scriptural support would’ve been nice.

  32. Jeff G, re-read the first and last paragraphs and you’ll find the information you’re looking for.

    All,
    It is fascinating to me that so many of the detractors of this post are happy to stake out a position defending the notion that God occasionally wants us to be jerks to other human beings. Further, they call out my hubris in dismissing this notion, but not their own in apparently having decided that someone can easily know when they are divinely inspired to be a jerk to someone else, as opposed to doing it because they are just being a jerk. I don’t deny that God may work through jerks, but I’m real skeptical that being a jerk for Jesus will ever be some kind of defense at the judgment bar. And I say that as someone who admits to behaving like a jerk with some frequency; I just try to lay the blame at my own stupid feet.

  33. Who’s defending the notion that God wants us to be jerks to other human beings?

  34. Segullah says:

    Marc,

    No one. But they are acknowledging that God’s ways are not our ways. That God may command a sacrifice the magnitude of Abraham’s. Or His will was that His innocent Only Begotten would suffer at a magnitude beyond our comprehension. The post proposes that human beings should evaluate the commands of God based upon a rubric which cannot endure a scriptural test. I read #1 as a direct attack on LDS Church leadership in maintaining any standards of morality, especially opposition to same-sex marriage. Am I correct in reading it that way, John C.?

  35. Franklin says:

    Personally, I find all guidelines in this area just a load of horse hockey. In my own experience, my encounters with the Spirit that I was certain about turned out, after the fact, to be wrong about half the time, sometimes disastrously so. And my observation of the prophets and apostles and how often they have been wrong convinces me that inspiration is no easy matter, even for those we assume are experts. Take the Kirtland Safety Society, for example, or the priesthood ban or all those prophetic pronouncements about going back to Jackson County (notice how we don’t hear them any more?) or all the patriarchal blessings that include promises that didn’t come true. Inspiration seems to be a hit-and-miss venture.

  36. “I read #1 as a direct attack on LDS Church leadership in maintaining any standards of morality, especially opposition to same-sex marriage. Am I correct in reading it that way, John C.?”

    No, you are not correct.

    I mean, I guess maybe it’s possible that John intended that, but then write something entirely different that bears no relationship to that, but if so I’m sure he’ll tell us.

  37. Segullah,
    As I said above, these rules don’t apply to the intentions of God or Christ. I’m willing to take it on faith that they have good intentions. My fellow folks, I’m less willing. For that matter, God seems okay with our questioning his questionable commandments (see, for instance, Abraham, Nephi, Gideon, and others); his pride and purpose never seem to be on the line. It’s just people, who insist that they should be given due deference and obedience based on some form of authority, rather than all the stuff in D&C 121, who are uninspired.

    Although I don’t agree with the current Church leadership regarding their approach to our LGBT members and neighbors, my intent was not to argue that they cannot maintain standards of morality or even make church membership dependent on that. I think they are wrong to approach things in the way they currently recommend, but so what? I ain’t them, won’t change their minds, and I definitely don’t represent some higher authority. So yes, you are misreading me.

    As for people arguing for the opportunity to be jerks for Jesus, just look above. All this talk of possibly being inspired to kill your children, much less expressing incredulity over someone’s faithfulness on the internet, doesn’t strike you as potentially justifying jerky behaviors? Frank and Old Man have some examples of people with good intent doing good things; such behavior wouldn’t run afoul of the guidelines. It is only, as Angela notes, bad things that will get you into trouble.

  38. “It is only, as Angela notes, bad things that will get you into trouble.”

    The problem I’ve been trying to get across is that what constitutes as “bad” is in the perception of the person making the judgement. For example, #1 determines that any ecclesiastical leader inspired to tell someone they can’t marry isn’t really inspired. They are especially not inspired if church discipline becomes involved. The examples I gave, through the rules, are labelled as “not inspiration”, but then are declared inspiration on a judgement call. If a set of rules can be subverted by a simple judgement call, then what’s the use of the rules at all?

    Declaring Jesus to be an exception is a cop-out. If God has done, asked, or inspired something you don’t like, you simply decide that it wasn’t really God. The rules simply reflect the rationales used to get to that conclusion. Take Nephi beheading Laban. Some people believe Nephi was not really inspired to do such a thing, then declare that if he was, it’s “not a God I want to worship”. They remove the possibility rather than try and grapple with the possibility that God’s not the absolutely accepting grandparent they want Them to be.

    Everyone has their own beliefs on determining what is inspiration from God (if they believe it can come from such). Their system being different from yours doesn’t make theirs wrong.

  39. “#1 determines that any ecclesiastical leader inspired to tell someone they can’t marry isn’t really inspired.”
    Again, why? I don’t follow your logic here at all. What ecclesiastical leader would have the ability, much less the authority, to coerce non-marriage?

    “Declaring Jesus to be an exception is a cop-out.”
    Pretending that we have the wisdom, insight, and inspiration of Jesus in order to justify hypothetical beheadings is hubristic. Whatcha gonna do?

    To put it another way: I’m perfectly happy to believe in a God who, knowing that the afterlife is a thing, is not particularly upset over quick deaths in one’s own stupor. I am, however, much less likely to believe that you happen to be speaking for or representing him if you start chopping away some night. Why are you all clinging to the hypothetically divine Jason Voorhees’ out there?

  40. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen someone told they can’t marry their same gender partner and be threatened with excommunication be referred to as coercion. “Ecclesiastical abuse” is the term most often used. What is “right” here is up to interpretation. If you don’t like the policy, it’s uninspired. If you’re fine with it, it’s inspired.

    “Pretending that we have the wisdom, insight, and inspiration of Jesus in order to justify hypothetical beheadings is hubristic.”
    We’re really not going to get anywhere beyond this, since we’ve now both accused the other of hubris.

    I’m perfectly happy to believe in a God who does a lot of things and gives a lot of inspirations for reasons that I can’t even imagine. A God that allows such incredible horrors in the name of helping Their children grow. There are a lot of things I’d do differently, but it’s more likely my ideas on it would be equivalent to my giving advice to someone playing Patolli.

  41. “Why are you all clinging to the hypothetically divine Jason Voorhees’ out there?”

    ummmmm……straw man much?

    Kind of a strange response after you asked for comments and arguments in your original post. The Nephi and Jason Voorhees comparison is entertaining though. It will give me something to think about in my next overly correlated gospel doctrine class.

  42. Happy Hubby says:

    I felt inspired to read this blog post, but afterwards I am not so sure. ;-)

  43. Frank,
    If you are saying that you know of countless examples of local bishoprics threatening LGBT people with excommunication specifically to stop them getting married to a partner of their preferred gender, then I suppose that I have to believe you. I don’t know of a single case of that. But I’m not following any of that closely. What a bizarre world we live in, no?

    “A God that allows such incredible horrors in the name of helping Their children grow.”
    Perhaps there is a God who does such things, but since we know that a human who did such things would be a monster, presuming that some monster is inspired of God strikes me as wrong-headed.

    Marc,
    They brought up killing in the name of…, not me.

  44. Brandon says:

    Someone should have told Obi One Kenobi about rule #2.

  45. My question for the “God’s ways are not our ways” and “we can’t judge God with our mortal minds” crowd: is there anything, anything at all, God could command or do that would lead you to question whether this is in fact a being worthy of worship? And can you imagine any situation in which you would refuse to carry out God’s command? If the answer to these is no, it’s hard for me to see how you haven’t complete abrogated any real moral responsibility for your own actions. Also, on a practical level, I would like to know that about someone upfront, so I can keep my distance in case they decide that God is telling them to do something horrific to the people in their vicinity.

    While I do think taking one’s relationship with God seriously means being open to the possibility that God might ask things that don’t seem to make sense sometimes, I get nervous with the idea that anything at all God asks is right and it’s not our place to have judgments about that, especially given how lousy most humans seem to be about discerning and interpreting inspiration. I think God expects us to make use of our reason and our conscience, as fallible as they are, in dialogue with authoritative texts and spiritual experiences in making decisions. And I think that it’s not a bad rule to say that if God is asking you to be a jerk in some way, that’s at the very least worth a lot of serious thought and scrutiny before you decide to act on it. The people who claim to be directly emulating Nephi’s killing of Laban may be pretty rare, but instances of people citing things like the Nephi killing Laban story as the reason why they’re not going to question their belief that God has commanded them to act awful to other people are depressingly not as rare.

  46. “And can you imagine any situation in which you would refuse to carry out God’s command?”

    Lots. Lots and lots. For one, I have a really hard time Home Teaching, no matter how many times I’m inspired to do it. If I had an angel with a flaming sword come tell me I have to do something that involves hurting some animal or person, I’d get ready for the sword. I’m glad to eat non specific animal products, but I’m not the person to butcher a rabbit or even pull apart cooked crustaceans. I, too, would look in askance at someone who declared God inspired them to kill.

    What bothers me is the habit people have of taking their miniscule knowledge of something and assuming that’s all there is. It doesn’t matter the subject, history, science, religion; there is so much more that we don’t even know how much more there is.

    God is quite capable of killing anyone at any time. It doesn’t take much to kill off these bodies. A simple misfire or clot in the wrong place and you’re done. Since God doesn’t always do such things (could happen more often than not), there must be some reason or long list of reasons that are well beyond me. Reasons why God would inspire someone to do something, from turning left instead of right through Nephi’s killing Laban, are also well beyond me.

    My personal opinion is that you should stick to the two prime laws, aka “don’t be a jerk”. Inspiration for anything beyond that should be pushed back against.

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