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06.2007 The Secret


The Secret

Fragments of a Great Secret have been found in the oral traditions, in literature, in religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. For the first time, all the pieces of The Secret come together in an incredible revelation that will be life-transforming for all who experience it.

In this book, you’ll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your life money, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You’ll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that’s within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.

The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating disease, acquiring massive wealth, overcoming obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

{ 88 comments… add one }

  • spitfire June 1, 2007, 3:32 pm

    Hmm…..I’ve just recently returned to the “new” website, so I’m not sure how the book club is run. So, the “I sustain” vote..I understand but I’m not sure I can sustain this book. But before I go any further, I must admit that I have not read it. However, I did see several shows on “Oprah”, including interviews with the author & individuals who implemented “The Secret” as well as other “news” reports. Several of the gals I work were reading the book & are constantly discussing it, so I feel like I have, by osmosis, absorbed some of it’s insights.

    I’m probably older than most of you & remember a wonderful gentleman named Norman Vincent Peale who wrote several books, namely, The Power of Positive Thinking. He combined the process of a positive attitude coupled with prayer as his formula for sucess. He also stressed hard work and doing ALL you CAN do to make things happen for yourself. My limited interaction has left a perception of “The Secret” is one of “willing” your situation to be better without effort. Now the book may say otherwise, but the interview with the author left me with that funny feeling when the Spirit is saying to you, hmmmmm “is this a good thing?” I think the overall idea of having positive thoughts & responding positively to others does bring you increased happiness & ultimately joy. As I watched, at minimum, 4-5 interviews, not by choice but by default as it seemed that every show had the author on, I sensed some a bit of “charleton” is the author. I can’t put my finger on it, but she just didn’t give me warm fuzzies. And interestingly enough, all those gals at work who couldn’t stop talking about “The Secret” (it went on for weeks…), they now never even speak of it. My litmus test is that if it is worthy or true, then it shouldn’t run out of steam… It just seems like “The Secret” was a fad. I just can’t help getting over the woman who was on “Oprah” who had breast cancer & was not partaking of medical care or treatment, saying she was going to “will” her cancer away. Oprah strongly objected to this mindset, but I fear their are many out there who will respond like the woman with cancer. The mindset of ,if I think positive about money, I will be rich, all the while, working a minimum wage job or no job & not pursuing further education or training to truly affect changeis not a true gospel principle. The “younger generation” i.e. those 18-25’ish seem to want it all & do nothing for it. I have taken exception to this attitude for quite a while, so perhaps my exception with “The Secret” is sourced from those feelings. It’s a something for nothing or minimal output. So….please disregard my remarks if they are incorrect or offensive. I am the queen of self help books…I could open a library!! I’m usually the 1st to buy any book that will help me improve, but ladies, I have to say, there was something about this one that I just couldn’t do it. Sorry!!!

  • Alison Moore Smith June 1, 2007, 4:01 pm

    spitfire, I really want ALL kinds of input on this. I don’t just expect some kind of whitewashed, “Hoorah” for it. :) So, truly, no need to apologize! Bring it on!

    Perhaps you could check the book out so that you could give us more specifics? Or maybe borrow it from your co-workers who forgot about it?

    I suggest all of you take a look at the reviews of this book on the Deseret Book site. Interesting addition to the conversation, I think.

  • spitfire June 1, 2007, 4:11 pm

    I just read the comments on D.B. Very strong remarks and interesting. I promise to give the book a once over, however, I’m stuggling with my initial strong feelings I have had from my first exposure to “The Secret”. I keep hearing the words, “just read the scriptures, you will find all you want & need in them”. As I previously indicated, I’m not closed minded to self improvement, whether it be by a member or non-member. Quite frankly, I never really look to see if the author is LDS or not. I have tremendous respect & regard for many authors who have written self help/improvement books & I believe they have pieces of the truth. Hmmmmmm, as indicated, I will take a look at the book….

  • mlinford June 1, 2007, 4:21 pm

    I watched the movie preview, so that’s all I have to go on at this point, but my inner radar has not felt good about this one, either. That said, I do think it has some interesting tidbits of truth, and so I can appreciate that. This one just felt more focused on worldly pursuits (money, success, etc.). Without God in the picture, I think no matter what principles are taught, they will be incomplete. And especially as one who feels the need to seek God’s help more and more rather than simply exerting my own efforts more and more (because the weight of trying to “save myself” is crushing me), my gut is not too thrilled about this. However, of course there is that element of agency and all of that, so again….

    I’m a see saw right now. :)

  • Sharilee10 June 1, 2007, 4:39 pm

    The Secret is actually another book in a very, very long line of books that teach basically the same concept. One of the very best books out there on this topic is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. I could go on and on listing others, but I won’t unless you ask me to. The thing I like about The Secret is that it puts it in elementary terms that everyone can understand. Now– that said– think about elementary books. They teach science in such short and basic terms that there is a lot of ‘depth’ missing, and all other topics the same. Also, keep in mind that most of these people do not have the fulness of the gospel, so they are sharing the portion of truth they have without some critical truths (such as prayer, faith, repentance, etc.) Those of us that have the fulness of the gospel have a particularly powerful advantage as we take these truths that are being taught in such basic terms and then add the depth we have access to through the scriptures.

    I could talk for hours about this book, and have in a variety of settings, actually. I have been studying similar books for the past 3-4 years and The Secret was, again, just the culmination of putting it in elementary terms and making it available to everyone. It does not, however, teach principles counter to gospel doctrine. Consider, for example, a quote by Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 197 (I wish lds.org was working so I could link it, but it’s not), ” . . . Then let us live to inherit that glory. God has promised you, Jesus has promised you, and the Apostles and Prophets of old and of our day have promised you that you shall be rewarded according to all you can desire in righteousness before the Lord, if you live for that reward. As Patriarch Joseph Smith, the father of Joseph the Prophet, said– ‘If I have not promised blessings enough on your head, and stated enough in the blessing I have given you, sit down and write every good thing you can think of, and every good thing your neighbor can think of, and put all into your blessing, and I will sign it and promise the whole to you, if you will only live for it.’ . . . Be faithful, and you shall see the day when you will have all the power you can wield and manage to advantage.”

    Heber C. Kimball says virtually the same thing in Volume 2, p. 107, “I know you will prosper, and live in peace in the mountains of the Great Salt Lake . . . You will have . . . everything your hearts can desire, that there is in heaven and on earth . . . and you will increase in knowledge, in power, in grace, and in every good thing that you can think of, or mention. I have said often, you may go and write blessings for yourselves, and insert every good thing you can think of, that is in heaven or on the earth, and it will all come to pass on your heads, if you do right.”

    Over the past several years I have found great power in my thoughts, words, and expectations. I have seen relationships improve, stress disappear, abundance of joy and peace show up even in challenging circumstances. It has nothing to do with wanting something for nothing. It can be one of the hardest things in the world to stay in the right energy and frame of mind. The biggest shock to me was to listen to what I was telling myself, and then wondering why my life was turning out the way it was. As soon as I changed the way I talked my life changed. It may sound crazy, but it’s true.

    Considering other scriptural ties I have found: The law of attraction and power of intention teaches us to live as if we already have what it is we want and what we intend to have. Think about in the Book of Mormon where Lehi say, “I have obtained a Land of Promise . . .” Actually— he is in the desert at the time living in very difficult circumstances. Think about how many prophets teach of Christ’s atonement long before it ever happens.” Yes, they have learned it through revelation, but so have we learned through revelation what our futures hold (patriarchal blessings), so why not live for that end? Situations like this are replete throughout the scriptures.

    I had an incredible experience when preparing a lesson about the miracles of Christ as well that I will share sometime, but for now this is already getting long. My life has been living proof to me that the law of attraction is working whether we are aware of it or not. I am really grateful to have been given this gift at this time in my life, and I love to share it with others who want to know more.

  • Sharilee10 June 1, 2007, 4:53 pm

    Warning: If you are watching the movie, the trailer and the beginning is overly theatrical in my opinion and does give an ‘eerie’ feel. I usually skip right over and go straight to Bob Proctor.

    Rhonda Byrne is not LDS, nor are most of the other teachers featured, but I would encourage you not to set aside truth because of the source. Just remember to always, no matter what book you are reading, measure it against the counsel of the scriptures and the prophet. Take what works and let the other go.

  • spitfire June 1, 2007, 8:12 pm

    Sharilee10~

    Please see my post re: Norman Vincent Peale….I was able to internalize his thoughts & teachings b/c he included prayer & recognized the ultimate role the Savior plays in our lives. I did not get any feeling that Rhonda Byrne even remotely recognizes Christ’s role in our lives. By focusing on Christ and internalizing His teachings, we take on a positive frame of mind because we ARE daughters of our Heavenly Father & have a right to certain blessings in this life. I just feel that “The Secret” is devoid of any religious component.

  • Sharilee10 June 1, 2007, 9:32 pm

    Spitfire– I referenced Norman Vincent Peale because of your post. His book is excellent. I just re-read it last week, actually. My point is that the thoughts and principles taught in The Secret is the same as in The Power of Positive Thinking and many other books, with varying degrees of reference to spiritual things and different ways of referencing it. Perhaps the fact that I have read so many of these books over the past few years has lead me to blend them together and take the various parts from each without necessarily looking at them completely and individually as what they have or don’t have. Also, each of the books have a different way of referencing spiritual things. The Secret is written to reach a wide audience and therefore is devoid of LDS terminology. The Secret refers CONSTANTLY to the universe. Even atheists and agnostics believe in the universe. If you were to throw in the terms God or higher being or whatever other terms people view as spiritual, this group of people would go no further. However, they can relate to the universe, and as they practice these concepts I believe in time it very likely could bring them closer to this power, which at some point they may even begin to realize has to be based in a higher power. Therefore, maybe The Secret will be able to reach some people that Norman Vincent Peale cannot because of his choice to use the term Christ and focus on His role in our lives.

    To me, the universe spoken of in The Secret is God. God created the universe and I know that He is all powerful and all knowing. Christ understands all of the laws and thus was able to perform miracles that to us seem impossible. In reality, they are merely Christ working with laws that are foreign to us. Look at where Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou bid me come unto thee on the water.” As long he stayed focused on Christ and had faith he was able to walk on water also. However, as his faith wavered, when he doubted, he began to sink. The secret talks specifically of similar situations.

    When the storm raged and the disciples, in fear, woke the Savior saying, “Master the tempest is raging . . .” what did the Savior say? “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” I have always thought he meant that they should have had more faith that with him, the Savior, on board they would be safe. It hit me recently as I was preparing this lesson for my gospel doctrine class that perhaps what the Savior was saying was that the apostles themselves could have calmed the sea and let the Savior get some much needed rest. After having this little ‘aha’ moment, I came across the following quote in The Mortal Messiah by Bruce R. McConkie, “Their very importunings bore witness of their assurance that this man, whom they followed as the Messiah, could do whatever must be done to prevent disaster. Their lack of faith– as with all of us– was one of degree; had they believed with that fervor that might have been the case, they of themselves could have stilled the storm, without arousing their weary Lord from his needed rest.” (pg. 277 in Book 2)

    Yes, The Secret focuses on world things like money and ‘worldly’ relationships, etc. Again– I believe this is because they are easier to quantify and perhaps more universal to talk about. However, don’t limit yourself as you read the book. Think about what matters to YOU. I don’t have any need or desire to walk on water, but I have had a desire to have the rain stop long enough to get into the store without ruining my hair or even having a storm calmed while I was on the road, and it has happened. Actually, so has the opposite. Just last week as I returned home I realized that my lawn was dying from lack of water. My sprinkling system needed to be repaired and I hadn’t done anything about it because it hadn’t been a priority. I said to myself, “I need to have it rain. My lawn is thirsty.” The next morning I woke up to literal pounding on my roof. I was amazed and ran to the computer to check the weather forecast, and there was no forecast of rain– but my lawn got a drink. I then made fixing the sprinkling system, at tleast to the point I could use it, a priority, and by the end of the day a friend who has NEVER stopped by my home unannounced just happened to stop by my house– and just happened to have the tool I needed in his trunk. Coincidence, perhaps if you want to look at it that way. I have coincidences happen numerous times every day, and I am constantly thanking God and my angels for the little coincidences that happen.

    It has worked against me, too. People have been asking me lately what my summer plans are and if I am traveling while the kids are away. I have told them that I am actually looking forward to just staying put this summer and spending some time at home reading and doing some things I haven’t been able to do. Yesterday I found out that they are flying the Schools to Watch team back to D.C. in June and as PTSA President I technically SHOULD be on that team, but for unusual circumstances they are taking the Community Council Chair instead. My first reaction was disappointment until I realize that I helped create that. I told the Universe (God) that I was looking forward to staying put this summer and my wish was their command. (D&C 82:10 I the Lord am bound when you do what I say . . .) It’s not that the Lord is bound to give us everything we want, but when our energy is in harmony with His we will ask for righteous things, and I think the message, and what I have learned, is that it’s not just the big things we can ask for. It’s the little things, and He does answer prayers. The universe (God) is waiting to bless us if we will only ask in the right spirit and with the right intent. That is exactly what The Secret teaches from my perspective.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 12:58 pm

    While I think it’s interesting to get principles from a book like this, why share it when we have a fuller picture? I guess this is part of what I don’t understand.

    I also am aware and have experienced many a situation where all the will or hope or positive thinknig in the world won’t change reality. I do believe there are principles of worth in this book, and it sounds like Sharilee has a balance with God’s will and hand in mind, but I’m still a bit skeptical of too much emphasis on the power in US and not enough on the power in GOD.

    That said, I’m sure I live beneath my privileges in many ways, as most of us do, so I dunno…. I just don’t know how to reconcile what you are saying, Sharilee, with many righteous desires that are not fulfilled, and having to wait on God’s timetable, not on ours, which we are reminded about a lot with regard to prayer, desires, etc.

    I guess before commenting anymore on the book itself, I should prolly read it, eh? :)

  • Alison Moore Smith June 2, 2007, 1:42 pm

    Posted By: mlinfordWhile I think it’s interesting to get principles from a book like this, why share it when we have a fuller picture?

    I’ll tell you my reasons for choosing it:

    1. Recent forum discussions about the law of attraction could be better analyzed with some exposure to what it teaches
    2. I find the ideas intriguing
    3. There is so much buzz about it, I think it serves us to analyze the actual contents in light of the gospel
    4. So many members (frankly, most who haven’t read it or thought much about it) are claiming, “Well, it’s really just the gospel.” that the veracity of those statements deserve some discussion
    5. The “fuller picture” does not expose all truth in the universe and so, if there is truth there, it’s fine to incorporate it into your philosophy
  • Sharilee10 June 2, 2007, 1:55 pm

    :-) Reading it is a good idea in my opinion. As you read keep YOUR full knowledge in mind and fit in the pieces with what you already know. I think you will find that the little tidbits will enhance your understanding of what you already know but have not fully understood or experimented with, like my comments regarding the scripture, “Ask and ye shall receive” in another thread titled something about abundance, I think.

    For me the reconcilement with what appears to righteous desires that are not fulfilled lies in the understanding and my mantra, “Everything is exactly as it should be. God is in the Heaven and all good comes to me in perfect timing and sequence.” Whenever I ask for something, I also add “or something better” onto the end. What I have found is that I either get what I asked for, I get something I immediately recognize as something better, or I receive the peace in my heart by knowing that what I got really is something better and perhaps someday I will understand it. In a sense, it helps me to see things from God’s perspective, even if somewhat limited and blurred.

    I will share one somewhat embarrassing experience that shows what I mean. Back in January our PTSA Awards Committee notified me that they were nominating me for the KUED Golden Apple Volunteer award. I was very honored by their nomination. I included it in my gratitude journal and yes (here’s the embarrassing part) I put in my Ask My Angels list that I would like for MLMS to receive all of the awards we had submitted, or something better. When I got back from Vienna I had a message notifying me that our Teacher had been selected. When I called our principal to let him know he was so excited and blurted out, “You got it, didn’t you!? We all knew you would. There was no chance they would find a more outstanding volunteer.” I excitedly told him our teacher had been selected, but I could tell from his reaction he was pretty surprised (can you say AWKWARD!?!) Anyway– long story short, over the next few days we received word that 3 of the 4 awards had won. Mine was the only award that had NOT (I actually found out over time that it had accidentally not been turned in the way it should have been.) Now. I could have been hurt or angry or said, “This doesn’t work! Why do I even pay attention to it!” Instead, I went back to my gratitude journal and thanked God and my angels for arranging to have the 2 individuals and the one program (our PTSA as a whole, which was actually awarded to me as the President and the one who had written it) selected, AND thanked them for providing me something better where my own award was concerned. Mind you– at the time I wasn’t sure what that something better was. I just knew there was something better on the way. Of course there was, the fact that I didn’t get the award was my proof!

    Several weeks later KUED came to our school to tape for the Golden Apple Award show and I was asked to be there for an interview as the PTSA President. I had the most incredible day with the Utah PTA Awards rep that came. As she and I spent the day together I was able to share some of the fun things our PTSA has been able to do this year, and connect with her on another project I had spearheaded back during 9/11 that she turned out to be the individual I have been intending to find to deliver a particular quilt to. It was a most incredible day and I have found a friend that I will value for years to come. None of that would have happened had the circumstances been different. I did have to laugh as she kept saying all day, “You should be a getting an award. Someone should have nominated you!” I was smiling inside thinking, “Someone did and you guys didn’t pick me!” This was before I knew it had never actually been turned in.

    Anyway– the point is that I got the something better that time. It wasn’t a big thing, but it was meaningful to me. A few weeks later our principal, who was also an award winner, announced that he was retiring. I am so grateful that we were able to honor him this last year at our school with the Utah PTA Administrator of the Year Award his last year here. I don’t have a story to tell you about the teacher, but who knows that 20 years down the road I won’t find out that him receiving the award had some incredible impact on him and his teaching career that I don’t know about!?!

    I know these seem so inconsequential when compared with things like illnesses that aren’t cured or accidents that happen, etc. Am I saying that if the Lord doesn’t cure someone from an illness and they die that their death is something better? I guess, actually, I am. I’m saying that no matter what is happening everything is as it should be and all good will come to each one of us in perfect timing and sequence. Who knows what unknown blessing will come through the illness or accident or death?

    At the same time, I’m saying (and the law of attraction) is saying that you can also know what you believe about your life by looking around you and seeing what is happening, because you are attracting it all into your life. The good news is that you can change it by believing and thinking different thoughts and speaking different words. It’s not about US creating our world without God’s involvement; it’s about US creating our world in partnership with God/the universe. It’s saying that we have the option to be a much more active partner in that partnership than we are currently being. I know that I was sitting back waiting to see what the Lord created for me and then complaining that it wasn’t really what I had wanted. What I have learned is that I can be an ACTIVE partner WITH Him and that the majority of the time I get exactly what I want, or something better. On occasion I have to rely heavily on my faith in the process when things turn out totally different than what I thought I was asking for and realize that my Spirit is in harmony with Him and it knows subconsciously what is good for me even when my conscious thoughts are stuck in my lesser desires.

    One more quick story– my friend is moving this week. A few weeks ago when they found out they needed to move I asked her to tell me exactly what she wanted. She described a beautiful home with a spacious kitchen, etc. Last Sunday as she told me about the little house they are moving into with a kitchen much smaller than what she had imagined she laughingly said, “Sometimes I look at the kitchen and I try to figure out how this is my ‘something better’ since I didn’t get plan A. It makes it kind of exciting to go into this new experience as my eyes are wide open looking for that little experience that is will reveal itself as my ‘something better'” :-) She will find the something better, and perhaps someday down the road she will find that large beautiful home with the spacious kitchen, but meanwhile she has found something better in that she greets each new experience with joy and wonder as she looks for something better instead of with sadness over leaving her comfort zone and pity for herself that their home is so small.

    That has always been available to us in the fulness of the gospel, but many of us, myself included, have overlooked the simple things in the quest to understand the big, complicated things. THAT has been the miracle of The Secret for me– putting in such elementary terms and saying it in such a way that I had to stop and look at it and say, “Does this match what I’ve been taught my whole life or is it counter?” For me I found that it DID match what I have been taught and I had only been scratching the surface of what the Lord intended for me to be doing. I am slowly working on correcting that and being a more active partner in my partnership with God. It’s been a great experience for me!

  • Sharilee10 June 2, 2007, 3:22 pm

    I have to share one more funny experience. It’s our family favorite when it comes to “creating your world” as we call it. The Secret will talk a lot about putting your desires out there and then letting the Universe (God and our angels) take over and arrange for what you have asked for to show up in your experience. Some people have a hard time with this, or limit themselves by trying to figure out how it can possibly happen, etc. etc. Here is a funny story that shows how the Universe can arrange things in our lives if we put it out there and then just let it/them take over.

    One night I had fixed one of our favorite soups, Taco Soup. I had decided this would be a good way to use the several bags of the broken little pieces of chips that the kids seem to leave at the end of a bag of tortilla chips. I took out 5 bowls and lined each with the tortilla chip ‘chips.’ Just then my daughter came in and saw that they were salt and vinegar and began insisting that she did not want any chips. I was tired and just said, “It’s dinner and if you’re hungry you’ll eat it.” (Okay— so not my better moment as an understanding mom– but understand that this particular daughter was never happy with ANYTHING I fix! I have 2 of those, which could be partly responsible for my aversion to cooking.) She left and I continued dishing up the soup. I picked up a bowl, filled it and set it in Thomas’ place; picked up the next bowl, filled it and set it in Josh’s place; picked up a bowl, filled it and set in in Nick’s place; picked up a bowl and dropped it. Little tortilla chip ‘chips’ went flying all over the kitchen floor.

    Remember— I was already tired! In frustration I called my daughter into the kitchen. When she arrived I calmly said, “You created this mess. You clean it up!” Of course I had every expectation that she would protest insisting that she hadn’t made the mess. To my surprise she took one look at the chips spread all over the floor, smiled as big as she could and said, “Are those my chips?” I said, “Yes, and I’m sure you created it so you get to clean it up.” Instead of arguing she threw both hands in the air, began dancing around and chanting, “Yes! Thank you, Angels! I knew you could do it! I LOVE this creating stuff!” I have never seen her clean up the floor so willingly or so cheerfully– and frankly, never so thoroughly! She HAD created it— INTENTIONALLY– and she knew it. (This is my daughter who totally gets this. She blows me away with the stuff she creates, in partnership with her Father in Heaven and her angels, both material things like a harp and non-tangibles like traffic flowing and brothers including her in their activities. If she could only remember to remember more often!)

    Anyway— that was one we still laugh about. Thanks for letting me share.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 3:44 pm

    Alison and Sharilee, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 3:57 pm

    p.s. I actually think it’s an interesting choice for some good discussion, and your reasons were good ones, Alison. I might not have checked it out otherwise, but I will give it a looksie so I can discuss beyond my first impression with it.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 2, 2007, 5:24 pm

    Posted By: Sharilee10:-) For me the reconcilement with what appears to righteous desires that are not fulfilled lies in the understanding and my mantra, “Everything is exactly as it should be. God is in the Heaven and all good comes to me in perfect timing and sequence.”

    This doesn’t flow logically to me. If everything is as it should be, then there would be no reason to ask. In fact, asking would be to request that things be NOT as they should be, unless you’re asking for things to stay just as they should be. I don’t believe that all things come to me in perfect timing, because that would, to me, indicate predestination. If I’m single and pregnant, I was meant to be, because it’s as it should be and it’s the perfect time to be single and pregnant.

    I recall well, back in my Oprah days that she would say, “All things happen for a reason.” Her implication that the reason was intended by God (or the Universe or the great Oz…). Yea, everything has a reason, but sometimes the reason is just that you were an idiot or that someone else was evil or that it was just part of living in an imperfect world.

    Although parts of the law of attraction are reasonable to me, I really don’t believe that President Hinckley asked to be a widower or that President Kimball asked for throat cancer. And I mean that by all possible interpretations of the word “ask.” I believe God gave us a world that has things in it that cause difficulties and trials and sometimes he lets them run without interference. I don’t believe our situations are entirely dictated by what we ask for–or nearly to the extend described in the books.

    Of course, there’s difficulty in telling someone who has been raped or abused that they simply “asked” for it. But I’m not saying this because of the inherent difficulty in saying it, I’m saying it because I do NOT believe this is a general truth.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 6:45 pm

    OK, so I’m listening to it on CD. It’s so far a little bizarre and there are things I don’t agree with (which I realize isn’t surprising), but I DO like the idea of controlling my thoughts more, so I’m running with that one so far. I think discipline in thinking is an important part of the gospel, in focusing on life in faith, not fear or doubt or frustration.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 6:49 pm

    I believe God gave us a world that has things in it that cause difficulties and trials and sometimes he lets them run without interference. I don’t believe our situations are entirely dictated by what we ask for–or nearly to the extend described in the books.

    Thank you, that was some of what I was getting at before. One of the things that has helped me through chronic illness problems is that I have been told in different blessings given by different people that this was something I agreed to, that it’s part of my plan. It has helped me through many a tough day. The trick that I can take so far from the book is to think with faith, not fear or frustration, to be aware of my thought patterns in the midst of my trials, because that can affect how tuned into the Spirit I am, even if the facts of my existence don’t change. Maybe they will and maybe they won’t, but I can be OK with whatever happens because I can still live with faith, have peace, know God loves me, etc.

    I also think that some “feelings” are really physiological. Let’s not take this too far for our friends who suffer from a biological depression that all the positive thinking in the world can’t necessarily take away. I think there are some situations that are intensified by negativity that is chosen, but not all depression, etc. can be thought away.

  • mlinford June 2, 2007, 7:00 pm

    OK, seriously, if you have a chance to listen to the CD, do it. It’s a kick. Feelings are a warning mechanism, she says, and then you hear sirens and a weird robotic voice starts to chant, “Warning, change your thoughts! Warning, change your thoughts!” Drama at no extra charge. :)

  • Sharilee10 June 2, 2007, 10:56 pm

    This is very interesting to see the reaction to The Secret from a different group of individuals. I am realizing that perhaps the elementary language is not necessarily something that can be understood without a little more depth of study about the law of attraction and power of intention. I had been studying this for 4 years when The Secret came out, and my understanding of different aspects came gradually. I am also realizing how much of what I read I combine with the other concepts I have learned and fill in gaps without even realizing they are there.

    If everything is as it should be, then there would be no reason to ask. In fact, asking would be to request that things be NOT as they should be, unless you’re asking for things to stay just as they should be. I don’t believe that all things come to me in perfect timing, because that would, to me, indicate predestination. If I’m single and pregnant, I was meant to be, because it’s as it should be and it’s the perfect time to be single and pregnant.

    Then “everything is as it should be” comes AFTER the asking and progressing and moving forward. We must constantly be striving to grow and progress. This involves asking, studying, praying, and living life the very best we know how. Then when things happen, whatever it is that happens, I find peace in knowing that everything is as it should be and there are lessons to be learned for someone through the situation, perhaps even me! Then I can look for the lesson to be learned instead of being angry or fearful that it turned out that way. For example, recently when my son didn’t come home one night (turns out his keys and cellphone were locked in someone else’s car so rather than wake me– like I would be ASLEEP– he sacked out at a buddies house until morning when he could get his stuff) I found GREAT comfort in this. It doesn’t mean I used it as a copout and didn’t do everything in my power to figure out where he was and take action, it just means that I was able to keep my sanity because I do know that everything is as it should be and I knew that no matter what had happened— NO MATTER what had happened, everyone was exactly where they needed to be learning the lessons they needed to be learning. Even if it had turned out to be something awful– yes, I believe everything is as it should be. There are no accidents. It’s not about pre-destination, it’s not about using it as an excuse or a copout. It’s about having faith in God and in the plan of salvation and knowing that everything is as it should be, we are all exactly where we need to be in this moment and doing exactly what we need to be doing and learning the lessons we need to be learning– so when our conscious minds are filled with fear or anger and sadness, there is great peace in remembering that everything is as it should be, God is in the heaven and yes— everything comes to us in perfect sequence and timing– even when our physical bodies and minds don’t understand it.

    Yea, everything has a reason, but sometimes the reason is just that you were an idiot or that someone else was evil or that it was just part of living in an imperfect world.

    God gives us our agency and we are free to act for ourselves. Always our actions impacts others around us, and sometimes it may appear to the natural eye that what we or others have done impacted us in ways that should not have happened, but we know that with God nothing is impossible. NOTHING happens in our lives that HE can’t correct and turn to our good. When things happen there is a reason for it to have happened that way, whether it was from our own choice or someone elses. Why do some people get in accidents and die while others have less dangerous accidents and live? We don’t know the answers, but we know that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and he doesn’t leave us abjectly subject to someone else’s idiotic behavior. If something has happened in our lives we can know that there is a reason for it, a lesson to be learned, a blessing to come from it. When understood correctly it brings peace, not a desire to use it as a cop-out.

    I really don’t believe that President Hinckley asked to be a widower or that President Kimball asked for throat cancer. And I mean that by all possible interpretations of the word “ask.” I believe God gave us a world that has things in it that cause difficulties and trials and sometimes he lets them run without interference.

    I believe that both of these great men asked to be given the experiences that would help prepare them to fulfill their purpose on earth and to become like God. I have no doubt that when these things happened to them they had faith that there was a reason behind it and did everything in their power to utilize the circumstances to draw them closer to God and learn the lesson that was in the experience to be learned.

    I don’t believe our situations are entirely dictated by what we ask for–or nearly to the extend described in the books.

    Again, I have a completely different understanding of ‘ask’ than what I see us discussing here. The word entirely certainly gives reason to hesitate before saying I totally agree (there– maybe entirely and totally balance each other out), but as I’ve said before, I think we have far more power than we realize.

    Of course, there’s difficulty in telling someone who has been raped or abused that they simply “asked” for it. But I’m not saying this because of the inherent difficulty in saying it

    . . . or the inherent difficulty in hearing it. I’ve been there, done that. Was it fun? NO! In the end was I grateful that someone had the courage to help me realize that I was NOT a victim but that my life had a purpose, there was a purpose in what had happened in my life, and I had the power to change it. I’m not sure how to share 4 years of reading hundreds of books, listening to hundreds of talks and searching the scriptures in-depth into a short space, along with prayer and incredible experiences that can’t be put in words, but FWIW, I have found the law of attraction to be extremely powerful and completely in-line with the scriptures.

  • mollymormon June 3, 2007, 12:14 am

    I haven’t read the Secret yet, but I have seen the movie. And at the end, there is a brief segment where they do link God as being “the Universe” if you so choose to believe in God .

    I really liked the movie, and it helped me think of thought control in a very different way than I had before. I didn’t agree with it all, especially the manifesting part. But of course they’ll say that’s because I never tried it, lol. I watched this in December, then I thought it was great when the YM/YW them of “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” was introduced.

    This year, my 6 year old’s fondest wish for his birthday was a new black Sunday suit. I didn’t relish the thought of purchasing a brand new suit for someone who’d outgrow it quickly, so I checked the DI every time I happened over there for a few months. I never found anything remotely close. On his birthday, I was running errands, and I happened to have an extra 10 minutes. I got the idea in my head that if I went to the thrift store, I would find him a suit today. I went to the thrift store. I walked right back to the kid’s clothing, and found the perfect size suit coat in good condition. Of course I thought that was great, but there were no pants. So I walked right over to the pants, and immediately saw pants that looked as though they’d match. They not only matched, they WERE the exact match. I just KNEW I’d find the suit that day, and I did! Was this from positive thinking? Did I attract the suit to me? Did the spirit whisper this thought to me? Was this one of God’s “tender little mercies”? I really don’t know!

    We put on a huge theater production last weekend. There were SO many problems during dress rehearsal, not only with the actual play, but also with the building (pipes bursting, sound was terrible, no water, no permit, etc) that it would’ve been very easy to have been extremely stressed out. But I knew that it HAD to work out, so I just kept working on the assumption that it would. I didn’t just sit there, but I worked to resolve all the issues w/o worrying about it. I decided to just have the confidence that it would work (and of course say a lot of prayers!) And you know what? It did work out wonderfully. The kids did a great job, and the myriad of building issues were all resolved as well. So did I apply the Secret? Was success attracted to me? Was it a righteous desire fulfilled? I really don’t know that either. BUT, I do know that because I resolved to keep a positive attitude, I knew it would work out. There was a strong possibility that we wouldn’t have been able to use the theater because we needed a permit and we didn’t know if we could get one. That mean there was a big possibility we wouldn’t be able to use the theater, and we were only 4 days from show time. Had that happened, though, I would’ve worked to find an alternative venue. Maybe not what I was picturing, but it would’ve worked out and been great still. I simply refused to let failure be an option in my mind. I think the attitude/thinking has a lot to do with it how success is perceived, because often the success WE pictured may not be the success that actually happens.

    The Secret has been marketed amazingly well, I think it’s pretty funny. Guess it’s not so much of a secret anymore, lol.

    My mom said she was going to give me a copy of the book, so I’ll be interested in reading it and comparing it to the movie. I’ve also read “The Magic of Thinking Big” which I really enjoyed. I just ordered the Norman Vincent Peale book off paperbackswap.com (which, btw, is an awesome way to get cheap books!!)

  • Oregonian June 3, 2007, 1:44 am

    I think one of my favorite things about Mormon Mama is that we can disagree respectfully. I haven’t posted in this thread, yet, but I’ve read a ton about this kind of thing. My opinion still sounds a lot like mlinford even after my reading. I’m really not stupid. So let’s not act like everybody who has a different idea must not have read “as much as I have” or is just dumb or needs more education.

    There is nothing new in this book; completely recycled. The author is a total whack job. Look at the titles she gives to the people she quotes (mostly motivational speakers, I’m sooooo surprised). They are “visionaries” and “philosophers.” Yea, right. The two guys who are quantum physicists are fringe workers (look up their credentials) and even then they don’t really go along with the stuff when interviewed.

    Anyway, I read this stuff because it’s good to think positive and look at things differently, but reading more of it might not make you agree with it.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 2:17 am

    Posted By: Sharilee10I am realizing that perhaps the elementary language is not necessarily something that can be understood without a little more depth of study about the law of attraction and power of intention.

    I may not have read as much as you about this, but I am not just reading The Secret now. And I’ve read books from the mild end (like Think and Grow Rich) to the utterly bizarre (like The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent) and a bunch in between (like The Aladdin Factor). I think the first book I read in this genre was somewhere in 1984. I’m not coming at this completely uneducated.

    Then “everything is as it should be” comes AFTER the asking and progressing and moving forward.

    So it wasn’t “as it should be” before? Which was kind of my point.

    We must constantly be striving to grow and progress.

    Why? Within the context of “everything is as it should be” there is no REASON to grow and progress. And if we choose not to grow, then that’s just how it should be, too. I think the wording of this is very problematic, even if it is comforting. I don’t think being comforted by something, necessarily, makes it true.

    It’s very true that we can learn from bad situations and that we can grow from the consequence of sin, etc. Does that mean that there are SUPPOSED to be bad situations (ALL of them) or that we are SUPPOSED to sin. That that’s “how it should be”? Being able to learn lessons in a given situation is not equivalent to finding the situation appropriate (“as it should be”). The former is always true, the latter is only sometimes true.

    I’m sorry that you aren’t use to me yet. :) I’m very particular about language (just ask the TJEd crowd or the unschoolers…augh!).

    Always our actions impacts others around us, and sometimes it may appear to the natural eye that what we or others have done impacted us in ways that should not have happened, but we know that with God nothing is impossible. NOTHING happens in our lives that HE can’t correct and turn to our good.

    But the truth is, he often does NOT correct them in this life. The fact that God will, at some point, right all the wrongs doesn’t mean the wrongs were as God wanted them to be–or as they SHOULD have been. The fact that things occur contrary to God’s desire and that he STILL doesn’t correct them, is backed up by numerous authoritative sources.

    We don’t know the answers, but we know that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and he doesn’t leave us abjectly subject to someone else’s idiotic behavior.

    Sure he does. In fact, I’d go so far as to say he does unless there is a compelling reason NOT to leave us subject to it. That’s so according to Elder Nelson and others. I’ll take some time tomorrow to get some quotes or someone else can. If God PREVENTED the effects of the idiocy or evil of others, where would that leave agency?

    I believe that both of these great men asked to be given the experiences that would help prepare them to fulfill their purpose on earth and to become like God.

    The brush, though, becomes so broad now that it basically paints everything the same color. Good people want to be closer to God, so everything that happens to them, no matter how horrible, must is there for that purpose and it must have been requested, because we get everything we ask for and so they had to have asked for it and it’s all as it should be, so it must be for the purpose of getting closer to God.

    I have no doubt that when these things happened to them they had faith that there was a reason behind it and did everything in their power to utilize the circumstances to draw them closer to God and learn the lesson that was in the experience to be learned.

    I agree that they became closer to God, more faithful, etc. in their trials. I doubt that “they had faith that there was a reason behind it.” I don’t think that’s an accurate statement of LDS doctrine.

    I think we have far more power than we realize.

    I do, too.

    . . . or the inherent difficulty in hearing it.

    Since I haven’t been raped or abused I have never been on the receiving end. My point was that I’m not avoiding the idea because I’m being PC or don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. I’m not saying it because I do not believe it. I do not believe the sexually abused infant on the news last year was asking for it or attracted it into her life. Nor do I believe that she asked God to allow that to happen so she could learn a lesson and grow spiritually when she was an adult. Simply put, I believe it happened because an utterly evil man had agency.

    FWIW, I also don’t believe that I asked to be fat–before I was born–so I came out of the womb chubby. I suspect it had more to do with genetics than anything else.

    In the end was I grateful that someone had the courage to help me realize that I was NOT a victim but that my life had a purpose, there was a purpose in what had happened in my life, and I had the power to change it.

    Frankly, I find these entirely different issues. Of course you were a victim, be definition. When your husband beat you, you suffered. Your kids were, too, just by being there. The real question isn’t, “Are you a victim?” or “Did you ask for this?” but, rather, “Do you have to REMAIN a victim?” If someone gave you the courage to change the situation so that you would no LONGER be a victim, that is wonderful and appropriate.

    Yes, there’s a problem with people who have been victimized not taking the initiative to get away from the perp, for all sorts of reasons including that they feel helpless. But that’s not the same as saying that they ASKED for the abuse or willed it into their lives.

    Tomorrow, I’d like to post a few actual quotes from the book and get some feedback on how they align with scriptures and, if oso, how they could benefit us.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 9:37 am

    Well, my statement is being completely misunderstood, but I guess an explanation isn’t going to explain it unless I practically write a book about it, because that’s just how I am. I’m not really good at one-liners or making things clear in a paragraph or two. Not a problem. Everything is as it should be and we are all right where we need to be in this moment, so I’m good with it and so is everyone else.

    For anyone who read my statements to mean that I thought you were dumb or need more education, my apologies. That wasn’t what I meant nor what I believe.

    FWIW, I actually do believe that I attracted my past experiences into my life, unknowingly, of course, because the lessons I learned were a key part of me fulfilling my purpose here upon the earth. I don’t regret any of it anymore. There was a time when I did, but that was as it should be. That’s part of the experience and part of the learning and part of the fulfillment of my purpose here. No, the Lord won’t fix it all in this life, but that is as is should be. My children may have been victims, but they were also blessed through what they learned and they are being prepared to fulfill their purposes here on earth as well. I have no idea what those are, but I don’t need to. AIAISB.

    By the way, Molly, my opinion is that you are experiencing exactly what the book is talking about. I love it when things like that happen!! It makes me smile!

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 10:08 am

    First, I’d like to point out something. To the best of my recollection, the movie doesn’t contain the words of the author, Rhonda Byrne. The movie was mostly the italicized portion of the book, the “expert” quotes. Some of these quote are objectionable and others are insightful I think Byrne has added a lot (and, unfortunately, a lot of nonsense) in the written form. Almost universally I find her statements to be extreme and problematic and they make up a good chunk of the book. Frankly, I find many of Bryne’s comments to be insidious.

    Second, when I read various self-help books (and I read a ton of them), what often comes to mind is the phrase “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.” I believe there is a serious danger in incorporating such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel. For example, if we are commanded in the scriptures to pray to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name, and we are taught in a book to ask “the universe,” our guardian angels, our non-physical vibration, Mother Nature, a tree, our inner child, Allah, etc., at what point does doing so become heresy?

    Third, Oregonian, I hadn’t even looked at that description page. (It’s on page one.) It is pretty funny. There are only a couple of the contributors whose descriptions aren’t oddly inflated.

    Last, here are a few quotes from the book. Let me know how you think these things fit with the gospel and how you may have used them positively in your life.

    Bob Proctor:Everything that’s coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it’s attracted to you by virtue of the images you’re holding in your mind. It’s what you’re thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you. (p. 4)

    Mike Dooley:And that principle can be summed up in three simple words. Thoughts become things. (p. 9)

    Bob Proctor:See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It works every time, with every person. (p. 12)

    John Assaraf:The simpleset way for me to look at the law of attraction is if I think of myself as a magnet, and I know that a magnet will attract to it. (p. 7)

    Apparently none of the contributors realizes that a magnet attracts it’s opposite? :)

    Rhonda Bryne:It is the law that determines the complete order of the Universe, every moment of your life, and every single thing you experience in your life. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, the law of attraction is forming your entire life experience, and this all-powerful law is doing that through your thoughts. You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts. (p. 5)

    Byrne also claims that the law of attraction was part of the poetry of great poets, music of Beethoven (source please?), the paintings of da Vinci (which ones?), and the writings of most of the philosophers you’ve ever heard of. But she doesn’t give a single example.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 10:27 am

    Posted By: Sharilee10I’m not really good at one-liners or making things clear in a paragraph or two.

    As any of the WHEN members know, that’s exactly why I have a problem with one-liners (“It’s about you, not them.” “Inspire, not require.”). :) They usually aren’t clear and can be misleading because they aren’t clear. A complex thought reduced to a one-liner is usually inaccurate.

    I don’t regret any of it anymore.

    I sincerely regret every single time I have sinned. Yes, I did (or could have) learned a lesson from my sin, but I could also have learned those lessons without sinning. Had I done so, I would not have lost the time and the spiritual ground that could have brought me closer to God. Following God would have brought me closer to where God wants me, not farther away.

    I also sincerely regret when I have unintentionally or unnecessarily hurt someone else or when I caused difficulty due to character flaws.

    There is a difference, I believe, in regretting something (to feel sorrow, loss, remorse, disappointment) and in beating yourself up over it or in allowing it to keep you from progressing. I actually think the regret is part of “Godly sorrow” that teaches us how to conduct ourselves in the future. In fact, if I don’t feel regret if nothing was lost and it was supposed to be that way because I learned something why not just keep sinning?

    Honestly, the statement “all is as it should be” baffles me with regard to the gospel. Christ is as we should be. We are to become like him. We are to align with him. That requires change for all of us, not just acceptance of the status quo.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 10:58 am

    I sincerely regret every single time I have sinned. Yes, I did (or could have) learned a lesson from my sin, but I could also have learned those lessons without sinning.

    But how would you have learned the steps of repentance and the feeling you get and the gratitude you feel when the repentance is complete and the sin is forgiven? How meaningful would the Savior’s sacrifice be in your life if you had never sinned and had no need for His atonement?

    I also sincerely regret when I have unintentionally or unnecessarily hurt someone else or when I caused difficulty due to character flaws.

    Some of my most wonderful experiences and life’s greatest lessons have come from misunderstandings and circumstances where I have been hurt or unintentionally or unnecessarily hurt others. I could say a lot more . . . but I’ll try to keep it short. Please try to understand what I’m saying without all the details (Is that an unfair request or what!?!)

    There is a difference, I believe, in regretting something (to feel sorrow, loss, remorse, disappointment) and in beating yourself up over it or in allowing it to keep you from progressing. I actually think the regret is part of “Godly sorrow” that teaches us how to conduct ourselves in the future.

    Agreed. And when the repentance is complete there is no need for further regret. I believe the Lord wants us to move forward with gratitude for the lessons learned and the power of the Atonement that makes it possible for us to live our lives with our sins, though they be crimson, as white as snow . . . in other words, no need for further regret.

    Christ is as we should be. We are to become like him. We are to align with him. That requires change for all of us, not just acceptance of the status quo.

    Absolutely! And, unfortunately, since none of us are Christ, the only way to become like Him is through living and learning through the trials and the challenges. God knew we would sin, thus He provided the atonement and a way for us to return. He knew that we would align ourselves with Him and Christ through the mistakes we make and the process of repenting and learning. ‘All is as it should be’ does not mean an acceptance of status quo to me. Man– you clearly don’t know me if you think I am accepting status quo!

    Perhaps you would feel better about it if I said ‘All is as it should be in this moment,’ but my guess is that that still doesn’t cover it, because I actually think we are saying the same thing– and I know we believe the same thing– but this statement is carrying a different message to you than what it carries for me. This different meaning can only come from our past experiences and perceptions of the different things we have read and studied, including the scriptures, and the experiences we have had.

    This is a place where another favorite mantra kicks in for me– There is no reality, only perception.
    You are right, and I am right, and Oregonian, and Molly and MLinford are right. And I just realized that this statement could start a whole new source of discussion on the fact that sometimes we are WRONG!! LOLOL. Too funny!

    Maybe I should say your perception of this conversation is your TRUE perception and my true perception of this conversation is my TRUE perception, and I think the Lord is getting a kick out of this! Or maybe He’s wondering why we’re spending so much time on it when we could be doing other things. I guess I don’t know, but IMHO, everything is as it should be and when it’s time to ‘move on’ for any one of us we’ll feel it and we’ll do it.

    That time has come for me, at least for this moment, because I really need to get ready for Church now!

    Funny how I can feel like saying ‘love ya all’ after what– 3 or 4 days!?! Oh well– it’s what came to mind and what I really feel, so for what it’s worth– Love ya all. Have a GREAT day!

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 11:50 am

    Rhonda Bryne:
    It is the law that determines the complete order of the Universe, every moment of your life, and every single thing you experience in your life. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are, the law of attraction is forming your entire life experience, and this all-powerful law is doing that through your thoughts. You are the one who calls the law of attraction into action, and you do it through your thoughts. (p. 5)

    The scripture that comes to mind is, ” . . . there is a law irrevocably decreed in Heaven.” I may or may not take time later to find supporting quotes, but I have always been taught that the creation was performed according to established laws and just because we don’t understand them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. Of course, the law of gravity influences everyone’s life whether they understand and acknowledge it. Even babies, though they don’t yet understand the law of gravity, are affected by it when they try to walk for the first time (and other times, of course).

    I have also been taught, and have a new appreciation or understanding, that Christ’s miracles were all performed within the boundaries of the laws established by God. We just don’t have full understanding of them all, therefore they appear to be almost magical and unbelievable– miracles to us, which indeed they are, but performed according to law, nonetheless, by One who is all knowing and is a Master at using existing laws to create worlds beyond measure.

    In other words, while I don’t think for a minute that Rhonda Byrne has the fulness, and I also find her a bit annoying (even her accent, which I normally love), I don’t find a problem with the statement. In fact, I find it funny that she came up with that with the limited knowledge she has. I actually believe that SHE doesn’t really understand how true it is– or maybe what I’m thinking is that she is misunderstanding what she is saying or putting more emphasis on the lesser parts of the truth. Anyway– I do believe that law controls every aspect of the Universe. I also believe that the law of attraction is an actual law, just like the law of obedience and the law of gravity. I believe they are all laws of God and they function through Him.

    Too funny— just moments ago I was trying to think of other ‘laws’ to add but had a brain freeze and simply thought, “I wish I could think of other laws, but I’d better just move on.” Not two minutes later the Aaronic priesthood holders showed up at my door for fast offerings— LOLOL — oh yeah, law of tithing, law of the fast, law of consecration, law of chastity. Okay– you get the point. There are LOTS of laws– some directly tied to gospel teachings, and others (law of gravity, law of attraction– I need a scientist to show up at my door next to teach me all of those worldly, scientific laws, but I REALLY don’t have time, so please, angels (who work under the authority and with the power of God), don’t let anyone else come, especially since I’m not fully dressed for company! I had to hide behind my chair because I only have on a camisole on top!)

    I’ll say more about thoughts and the other quotes in a separate post.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 11:57 am

    One more thing that just hit me that I should point out. My statement that everything is as it should be didn’t come from The Secret. I have believed that long before the book was ever written!

    It comes from my understanding and perception of the law of attraction and power of intention as developed through reading many different books, both LDS and non-LDS, many of which have been mentioned by myself and others in these posts.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 12:09 pm

    Mike Dooley:
    And that principle can be summed up in three simple words. Thoughts become things. (p. 9)

    A few of my ‘thoughts’ that have become ‘things’ over the past few weeks. By the way, I actually have this printed off on pretty paper and hanging on my pantry door. :-)

    1. The new door I bought 2 years ago finally got installed.
    2. New siding will be showing up on my house within the next 2 weeks.
    3. The assistance I need to investment my savings more effectively.
    4. Parking Spots (I did this long before the movie! This kids jumped out their seats at that part saying ‘That’s how you do it!”
    5. The 4-H van is available all this next week, even though we asked last minute.
    6. The PTSA issue will work out perfectly due to schedule changes taking place.
    7. The pool of candidates for principal at MLMS will be left open for another couple of weeks, removing conflict from my schedule.
    8. My family relationships are healing.

    Maybe some of you are thinking I’m getting away from ‘things.’ Okay– I do see ‘things’ and ‘abundance’ as far more than just material things. I have seen many material things show up in my life and many intangible things show up in my life as a direct result of my thoughts. Especially now that I am aware of my thoughts I see things happen on a daily basis, but even looking back in time I can see how my thoughts were creating ‘things’ in my life even though I wasn’t aware of them.

    The scriptures are replete with counsel to watch our thoughts, to keep our thoughts on the Lord, etc., etc. I think the reason behind that could be tied to the fact that the Lord knows our thoughts will become things. I may share scripture later, but I really have to run now. I have to play the organ, so I’d better get ready and get over to the Church!

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 5:29 pm

    Today in Relief Society they gave us an opportunity to share a favorite scripture. I wasn’t going to even try because I have so many favorite scriptures, but after time I decided to do what I usually do in the temple and just open the scriptures and see what the Lord has to say to me that day. What I opened up to answered both of the major thoughts on my mind this morning:

    D&C 98:1-3
    ” . . . fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks; Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament–the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted. Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled. . .”

    The scripture goes on to say, “and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.” It hit me when I read this that saying ‘everything is as it should be’ is my reminder and declaration of faith in this scripture and all others like unto it that promise us that all these things shall give us experience and shall be for our good. It has been a very powerful statement for good in my life, and actually motivates me to higher levels of spirituality and greater motivation to strive to become like Him. It works for me.

    As I say with the writings of anyone and everyone– take what works and leave the rest. If this works for you, use it. If it doesn’t, leave it.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 5:31 pm

    Posted By: Sharilee10But how would you have learned the steps of repentance and the feeling you get and the gratitude you feel when the repentance is complete and the sin is forgiven?

    How did Christ learn all he did without sinning? Is there something I need to know that Christ does not know?

    How meaningful would the Savior’s sacrifice be in your life if you had never sinned and had no need for His atonement?

    So the atonement is most meaningful for those who sin the most, right? So, the more we sin, the better it is because then we appreciate the atonement the most? Or should I only be thankful for the first sin, because that’s the only one I needed to “appreciate” the atonement, and the rest were superfluous? So I can regret those?

    Some of my most wonderful experiences and life’s greatest lessons have come from misunderstandings and circumstances where I have been hurt or unintentionally or unnecessarily hurt others.

    That well could be and I have had similar experiences as well. But I doubt that the good that came from correction of wrong-doing is ever BETTER than the good of doing good. Opportunity cost. Unfortunately, we usually don’t know what it is we really lost by doing evil, although we can speculate.

    Spencer W. Kimball:
    Many of them involve harm to others, but every sin is against ourselves and God, for sins limit our progress, curtail our development, and estrange us from good people, good influences, and from our Lord.

    The sins we commit do not propel us forward. Although I’m grateful that even after I sin, I can be forgiven and get back on track. I still don’t get to erase the consequences of my choice–in my life or in the lives of others And I wish that I had taken those opportunities to move forward instead of moving back and having to recover.

    And when the repentance is complete there is no need for further regret.

    I think this might be a semantic disagreement in part. There is a reason that WE don’t forget our sins even though God does. Repentance doesn’t require amnesia. But it does mean that the deep remorse we felt throughout the repentance process can be relieved. Remembering what we did is part of the lesson we learned. A leads to B and causes C. So A is best to avoid. When A comes up, if we learned our lesson, it repels us because we know the result.

    Marion D. Hanks
    Almighty God has promised to forgive, forget, and never mention the sins of which we have truly repented. But he has given us the gift of remorse to help us remember them constructively, thankfully, and humbly…

    So if our past sins weigh us down and prevent progress, that is contrary to what God wants in our lives and it isn’t helpful. In fact, Sterling W. Sill said doing so ADDS to the sin. But proper “remorse” will lead us to remember them in ways that bring progress and/or keep us from regressing.

    ‘All is as it should be’ does not mean an acceptance of status quo to me. Man– you clearly don’t know me if you think I am accepting status quo!

    OK. So here’s the question again. If all is as it should be, why do anything different? If all is as is should be, why repent?

    I may or may not take time later to find supporting quotes, but I have always been taught that the creation was performed according to established laws and just because we don’t understand them doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

    I think it’s pretty common knowledge that LDS theology includes a belief that God follows universal laws and did so in the creation, miracles, etc. But those statement don’t corroborate Bryne’s claims about the laws of attraction being determinant by any stretch. Remember, she does NOT call God all-powerful. She calls the law of attraction all-powerful.

    Of course, the law of gravity influences everyone’s life whether they understand and acknowledge it.

    OK, so can the “all-powerful” law of attraction override the law of gravity? :)

    I do believe that law controls every aspect of the Universe.

    So do I, but is the law of attraction the all-powerful, determinant law. If not, we need to temper what is written in the book by the gospel.

    I also believe that the law of attraction is an actual law, just like the law of obedience and the law of gravity.

    This is not something I’m convinced of, although I leave the possibility open. It’s certainly not a law by the standard of anything else we call a law, either spiritually or temporally. God hasn’t declared it to be law and it has not been proven scientifically. Certainly part of my problem with the book is that is claims status of law without authority to do so.

    AND the law simply cannot exist as simplistically as it is STATED by most (all?) of these people. If there is a Law of Attraction, it is utterly incomplete as we have it.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 5:33 pm

    I think this question I asked earlier is still crucial:

    When I read various self-help books (and I read a ton of them), what often comes to mind is the phrase “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.” I believe there is a serious danger in incorporating such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel. For example, if we are commanded in the scriptures to pray to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name, and we are taught in a book to ask “the universe,” our guardian angels, our non-physical vibration, Mother Nature, a tree, our inner child, Allah, etc., at what point does doing so become heresy?

  • Alison Moore Smith June 3, 2007, 5:49 pm

    Posted By: Sharilee10It hit me when I read this that saying ‘everything is as it should be’ is my reminder and declaration of faith in this scripture and all others like unto it that promise us that all these things shall give us experience and shall be for our good.

    I’m perfectly comfortable with (and comforted by) the scripture that states “and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.” To me, that is part of the essence of the atonement. First, because it’s speaking of things you are “afflicted with,” things that are brought upon you in innocence (in my reading), not evil things you have CHOSEN to do. Evil is simply not promised a good reward. Second, because it doesn’t state that the affliction was SUPPOSED to happen, it merely acknowledges that afflictions exist and that they will be compensated for.

    Elder Maxwell, who talked a lot about adversity, has a great talk on tape (which is probably also in print somewhere) where he specifically gives the reasons why we experience pain/suffering/adversity in this life:

    • Consequence of our own sin (allowed by agency)
    • Consequence of sin of others (allowed by agency)
    • Inflicted by God to teach us a specific lesson
    • Incidental experience as part of living in an imperfect world

    In only ONE of these cases was the affliction God’s will. In the others, he simply allowed humans and other forces to work on us. So, if God didn’t will it, what does “should” mean? By whose determination?

    Time to go have family council. :)

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 6:15 pm

    Bob Proctor:
    See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It works every time, with every person. (p. 12)

    For me abundance comes in many forms. While many think of financial and worldly abundance, I do not believe it is limited to that. Here are some examples of how this has worked in my life:

    On January 1st I wrote into my daily affirmation, “I am so grateful now that I have plenty of time in my life to do everything that needs to be done and still have 2-3 hours a day to study The Mortal Messiah and Jesus the Christ.” (I had just returned from Jerusalem and had reason for this specific intention.) In the mornings when I woke up to my daughter’s harp music I would picture myself having plenty of time. As I talked to people I was careful to NOT make comments about not having enough time or life being crazy, etc. Between January 1 and the time I left to go to Vienna in mid-March I spent the majority of my days reading and studying. I didn’t drop anything that I had normally been doing, didn’t miss any deadlines, didn’t change my calendar at all, but I did have an abundance of time– and frankly, everything else– peace, joy, serenity. I remember many times thinking and writing how blissful my life was. Granted, when I got home from Vienna it was different. When I first became aware of this and started wondering why I realized that 1) I was no longer reading my daily affirmation, and 2) I was ‘talking’ about everything I needed to do to get caught up, etc. When I had first gotten home and people started making comments about how hard it is to get caught up after travelling, I played right into it. Yes– I have an abundance of time when I picture myself living a life of abundance (of time) and I don’t have near enough time when I don’t.

    Second category is relationships. At the time I started learning this stuff I believed that the family I was born into had become the most dysfunctional nuclear family in the world, and I’ll leave it at that. This one issue alone has been the single most difficult area for me to ‘create’ the abundance that I have longed for and if ever there was reason to question if ‘it works,’ this was the area that put us (my ‘creating’ friend and I) through the ringer. We have spent hours trying to figure out what it is we are doing that is drawing these ‘dysfunctional family’ experiences into our lives. We have spent 4 long years working on this. For anyone that questions the law of attraction because it seems too easy– let me just add my 2 cents that staying in the right energy and ‘feeling and saying and being’ in a place where the law of attraction can work in our favor is the hardest thing I’ve ever done! That said, I have learned life is whatever we expect it to be and if we say something will be hard, it will be hard. If we expect it to be easy it will be easy, so I have changed my expectation of many things, including manifesting abundance in my life, and at this point in my life it comes much more easily. Take that however you want to, it is how it feels to me. Oh— and about the family. I still have a lot of work to do, but I do have a fabulous relationship with my sister right now, and we went to a family event last week and had a fabulous time. I’ll keep working on it with my brothers.

    I’m going to share one other thing that isn’t my story, and maybe not what I think it is, but I think it is. On New Year’s Day the kids and I watched the movie The Secret and I had them keep their laptops near them to jot down whatever thoughts they had. I honestly don’t know they wrote, but my oldest son did jokingly say, “So if I just picture myself getting straight A’s it’ll happen?” I responded with, “What do you think? Maybe you ought to give it a try.” Now, I have to say that my boys have always been capable of straight A’s— they both actually got moved ahead in school– and, in all honesty, they have usually gotten A’s with a stray B here and there, so we’re not talking about a great miracle or major turn around, but they have both been less than committed to schooling and excelling academically, more some times than others. He never said anything more, and I haven’t asked, but I did notice this past semester that his study habits improved dramatically, he enjoyed his classes and shared what he was learning with me and was excited about school. I will never forget the day I heard him scream from downstairs and then he came bursting upstairs yelling, “I did it! I aced the test! I got the top score out of 302 students in biology!” and gave me a high five that just about broke my arm. He got straight A’s. I don’t know for sure what happened, but I have my ideas of what I think happened.

    As far as attracting material abundance, I’ve seen that happen to. So I guess my opinion is that, yes, I believe the statement to be true. They have a pretty worldly way of presenting it in the movie, which I can understand being seen as a bit bizarre, but they tried. It is what it is. For what it’s worth– my friend did visualize herself right into the exact car she wanted at the right price. As for me, I keep visualizing my current car getting me where I need to go every single time, even though the world believes it won’t, because I haven’t decided exactly what kind of car I want yet! I know it doesn’t sound or look like the one in the movie!

    This may sound bizarre, but my brother just called to see if I was home and is coming to kill some time here at my house. Call it what you want. Did I not just say 5 minutes ago that I would keep working on it? :-) I guess this is my chance! LOLOL . . . and I don’t know what my son just said, but my daughter’s response was, “Don’t create that or I won’t have anything to do with it!” LOLOL For better or worse– this household has taken the law of attraction to heart. I think it’s for better. It is steeped in solid gospel teachings and strong testimonies and I only wish I had known at their age what I know now . . . but alas, all is as it should be and I learned what I learned right when I needed it.

  • Oregonian June 3, 2007, 7:47 pm

    I guess I don’t know, but IMHO, everything is as it should be and when it’s time to ‘move on’ for any one of us we’ll feel it and we’ll do it.

    I’m lost on this. So Hitler was supposed to exterminate everyone and then, when it was time to stop he “felt it” and committed suicide? I’m really lost. That’s how it SHOULD have been? It sound like the law of attraction is a god of it’s own or something. It’s almost creepy.

    No one answered the question about the baby who was sexually abused. I really want to hear someone say the baby brought that on by thoughts of rape.

    Allison, your stuff about science hit a good point. So, why don’t we test it out. If we all visualize ourselves in Ferrari’s it should work, right? It works EVERY TIME. If it doesn’t work, I bet Sharilee would say that it didn’t work because I didn’t really believe it. So Sharilee and Molly seem most converted to the “law” of attraction, so they shoudl do it. I know you don’t know what your exact perfect car is yet, but who cares? A Ferrari won’t be an awful thing will it? And you can sell it to get your dream car anyway. So, go get your Ferrari!!! It workds EVERY TIME!

    If anyone gets a Ferrari really soon, I’ll be convinced I promise. (Unless you already have one or have tons of money.) I’m just afraid that if someone ends up with a new Mazda, Sharilee will just say that that was better than the Ferrari anyway because it gets better gas mileage or something. IF your thoughts determine everything and your thoughts become things, think your way to a Ferrari.

    I will even try it, but since I don’t believe it is a law or truth i probably disqualified myself.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 9:39 pm

    How did Christ learn all he did without sinning?

    I don’t know. I only know that Christ was the only perfect person to ever live on earth and that was part of the plan.

    So the atonement is most meaningful for those who sin the most, right?

    Not at all. The atonement is equally important to each one of us because the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. Of course, Christ did give the parable of the creditor and the two debtors, “the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged . . . Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

    I am not in ANY way suggesting that this scripture encourages us to sin much that we can love the Lord more. Obviously, Christ progressed in wisdom and knowledge and stature with man as quickly as He did because he was not held back from sin. The less sin we have in our lives the more quickly we can progress as well. We definitely agree on that point (and most, frankly. I think we are saying the same thing the majority of the time!)

    But I doubt that the good that came from correction of wrong-doing is ever BETTER than the good of doing good. Opportunity cost. Unfortunately, we usually don’t know what it is we really lost by doing evil, although we can speculate.

    I’m not sure if I agree with this or not. The truth is that I think sometimes the lessons we learn really ARE of greater value. I’m trying to determine if I feel differently about sins of omission and sins of commission or maybe not really even sins at all but the little things in life that appear to be less than ideal. I don’t know. For example, I do know that I would not be who I am today and could not have helped some of the women I have helped if I had not gone through some of the experiences I did, and I suppose part of that experience involved both sins of omission and commission. I don’t know. I really am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and I do believe that it was all meant to be– NOT because I was foreordained to be who I am, but because I chose– perhaps partly in the pre-earth life and on a continuing basis in this life. I have repented where repentance was necessary, I have made the best of the circumstance and I have come to appreciate the lessons learned, the understanding developed and the talents I have developed through the experiences to help and lift others.

    So if our past sins weigh us down and prevent progress, that is contrary to what God wants in our lives and it isn’t helpful . . . But proper “remorse” will lead us to remember them in ways that bring progress and/or keep us from regressing.

    I agree that we are talking semantics here. I’m thinking regret that weighs us down and prevents progress, you’re thinking remorse. I have no doubt that we both understand the part sin plays in our lives and the process of repentance.

    If all is as it should be, why do anything different? If all is as is should be, why repent?

    I’m going to answer this in a separate post and share one example that might help you see what the statement means to me.

    I’ll just end this post by saying that the law of attraction as I understand and ‘believe’ it does not over ride any other laws, but it is one of the laws that is working in our lives whether we realize it or not. Of course the law of attraction is not all-powerful, God is all-powerful. The law of attraction represents, to me, the opportunity we have to take a more active role in our half of the partnership with God. In the past I left all of the burden of action on the Lord, while meanwhile sitting back thinking thoughts like, “Things never work out for me,” “I’m not good enough for that,” “It will probably won’t happen anyway,” etc. etc. And then when it didn’t work out, and I wasn’t good enough, and it didn’t happen I would feel bad and wonder why God didn’t love me more and make my life easier. What I have learned is that I AM 1/2 of the partnership, albeit the weaker half, and YET it is MY free agency that the Lord is honoring in my life, and what I ask for through my words, my actions, and my beliefs is what HE helps me to create– just as He has promised over and over and over in the scriptures. That is a very brief explanation, and there is so much more behind what I am saying, but I would imagine everyone is getting tired o my posts.

    Certainly part of my problem with the book is that is claims status of law without authority to do so.

    I’m not going to disagree with this. I’ll just point out that MOST of the scientific laws that man has figured out are not necessarily mentioned in scripture but rather discovered and named by man. There is a science of quantum physics that studies what is called the law of attraction, etc. My point is that they believe what they are talking about is a science, just as those who teach the theory of evolution consider themselves to be as legitimate a science as the next theory or law.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 10:09 pm

    I believe there is a serious danger in incorporating such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel.

    You are making an assumption that I have incorporated such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel. That would be an inaccurate assumption.

    For example, if we are commanded in the scriptures to pray to our Heavenly Father in Christ’s name, and we are taught in a book to ask “the universe,” our guardian angels, our non-physical vibration, Mother Nature, a tree, our inner child, Allah, etc., at what point does doing so become heresy?

    This is where what I have said all along fits in— take the parts that work (with the gospel if you want me to be more clear, I thought that was understood), and leave the rest. I pray to my Heavenly Father in Christ’s name and as I read any book that talks about a high power (including such authors as Stephen R. Covey and other LDS authors who write to a wider audience and don’t want to limit their ability to reach out to the masses) I replace the words universe, higher power or whatever term they choose to use with God– He is my higher power (and everyone else’s too, but not all people realize it). I also carry a prayer in my heart at all times, and I acknowledge that the Lord blesses my life in many ways, including through angels of flesh and bones (aka my Relief Society sisters, people I work with, strangers that show up in my life at just the right moment) and through angels from the other side, and I acknowledge ALL of those angels and express gratitude to them and for them. Heavenly Father is pleased with that, not offended. My life has been a great deal more rewarding and I have grown a great deal closer to Him since I have been more actively participating in our partnership. Again– if that doesn’t work for you stick with the type of prayers that do.

    As far as the question about the baby that was raped— I can’t find it right now to quote, but here that is definitely one of the situations where my friend and I find ourselves on the phone saying, ‘Okay, where does this fit into things?’ I absolutely don’t have all of the answers and still have many questions myself. I was very interested down at the PTA Convention a couple of weeks ago, however, during a presentation called Rachel’s Challenge.

    It is a non-profit started by the family of one of the victims of the Columbine shootings. Their goal is to encourage students to use kind words and actions (I won’t spend a lot of time on the group), but I found it very interesting as they shared Rachel’s story and time and time again talked about the numerous times she told people that she would have an impact on the world that reached far beyond their community, that she would be famous, that her name would spoken throughout the world, and that she wouldn’t live very long. This was NOT the message of their presentation– they were just sharing what a sweetheart their little girl was and how she had such a passion for helping others and blessing others lives. In fact, I didn’t get the idea from them that they had any understanding of the law of attraction, and, in fact, wondered if they would structure the presentation the same way if they did– but it came out over and over and over that she had been saying from her earliest words that she would be famous, be known throughout the world, would have a positive impact on people’s lives, and not live to be go to college, get married, etc. Does that mean she attracted that into her life? I’m not going to say that she did, but I’m not going to say that it is impossible that the victims killed in that tragedy, and other tragedies, played a role in choosing their role in such circumstances.

    I don’t know. You can bet that on my list of questions to ask the Lord someday when I meet Him will be how the law of attraction works and everything else that goes with it.

  • facethemusic June 3, 2007, 10:10 pm

    To be honest, I started reading the posts on this, just curious to see what everyone was saying about it. Curious to get the general gist. But I’m really amazed at how “Shirley McClaine-ish” much of this is. II keep waiting for someone to start talking about astro-projection. It’s also reminiscent of much of Scientology. So after I did get the basic idea, I started kind of skimming through, since some of the posts are just entirely too long and too “out there” for me.
    All I can say is this– this is sooo “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture” that I can’t even begin to describe how disturbing it is to me. Sorry to be so frank, but when active members of the church start making lists of things to ask their angels for instead of Heavenly Father, and when member children start thanking angels for blessings (even if their as minor and frivolous and not having to eat salt and vinegar chips) I can see how Lucifer’s method of slowly luring away the hearts of men, even hearts of members, by disguising man’s philosophies with a sugar coating of true doctrine.
    Sad, sad, sad…
    I won’t be back to this thread, it breaks my heart.

  • Sharilee10 June 3, 2007, 10:49 pm

    All is as it should be.

    Have a wonderful week everyone. I have enjoyed getting to know you over the past few days.
    I’m off to Bear Lake for the week.

  • mlinford June 4, 2007, 12:15 am

    I believe there is a serious danger in incorporating such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel.

    This is my key problem with books like this. It gets really tricky. Someone above (I don’t mean this to be a personalized comment, but just a comment that illustrates a concern) said something about a good thing happening and then wondering, “Did I make that happen or was that a tender mercy or …?” It could be easy to just eliminate God from the picture at all. (The universe “could” be God if you want it to be, according to the book, but the whole point is that our thoughts should be directed toward God, not necessarily toward our wants and needs, because some of them are just plain wrong. I have run into people who really like the whole law of attraction idea because they see the gospel in it, but there is enough of the gospel that ISN’T in it that I think it becomes problematic. I think I would be hesitant to share this with someone who doesn’t have a good footing on some sort of faith in God because it really could become out of whack really quickly.

    Thoughts ARE powerful in the realm of agency and accessing power beyond our own. We can change negative thought patterns that have repurcussions on our world. Our thoughts in many ways define who we are. But it’s not the thoughts in the end that allow change and blessings to come. All good things come from God. If thinking good thoughts and seeing blessings in our lives helps us turn to Him, then great. But I think the paradigm this sets up makes it too easy to pat oneself on the back because “look what I did with my thoughts!” It’s a bit too humanistic for my liking.

    But I think that those who do like it might be able to take the good and apply it in their relationship with God, in applying and acting in faith, and that’s great. But that isn’t what this book really does. The gospel lens makes this possible. I don’t know that you can hand someone the book and somehow expect that it will help them draw closer to God (although I suppose it could happen if somehow this was a steppingstone in that process, but in the end, it’s not a book I would recommend, at least not so far). But if it helps someone stop negative thought patterns, that alone could be a big deal for some, perhaps. But I still think I’d much rather give a person a book that isn’t so mystical or trying to be “scientific” and coming across a little weird IMO (thought wavelengths and all of that) and just one that talks about agency in a bit more plain and practical language.

    So, yeah, there are good principles there. Law of love is a good concept, for example, and again the agency factor in controlling thoughts. I like the idea of creation within the realm of faith — each day is an opportunity to create experiences and perspective on life. It’s just that I feel I’m grabbing for those glimpses within a lot of weirdness that seems to distract more than enhance the principles and is so Godless in its approach that I think there is a great risk of putting too many eggs in the “law of attraction” basket and missing other laws as defined by the gospel.

    I’m rambling. It’s late. I’ll check in again when I get more listening done. :)

  • Alison Moore Smith June 4, 2007, 12:46 am
    Alison:Certainly part of my problem with the book is that is claims status of law without authority to do so.

    SharileeI’m not going to disagree with this. I’ll just point out that MOST of the scientific laws that man has figured out are not necessarily mentioned in scripture but rather discovered and named by man.

    That’s why I distinguished between spiritual and secular and also two kinds of authority. God can make any declaration he wants and I will believe it with no double-blind studies to back it up. So, he’s an authority I respect. Scientists, however, must do much more than just SAY so, in order to claim law. They must go through a process of proof before a theory is anything more than a theory. I respect that authority, too, when it’s based upon the accepted practice of research and proof.

    There is a science of quantum physics that studies what is called the law of attraction, etc. My point is that they believe what they are talking about is a science, just as those who teach the theory of evolution consider themselves to be as legitimate a science as the next theory or law.

    Do you have a source for the quantum physics study? From what I have read, even the “quantum physicists” cited in this book have distances themselves from Bryne and openly say that what she’s promoting isn’t the same thing that they are. I can probably dig up some quotes if you really want.

    Evolution is a good example. It’s been studied for decades and decades. It’s still theory. Even it’s greatest proponents don’t call it the Law of Evolution. It doesn’t meet the standard of law. Neither does the so-called “Law of Attraction.” So the name itself causes a loss of credibility in the scientific community.

    God hasn’t given his authority and neither does science. So who has elevated the “Law of Attraction” to “law”?

    You are making an assumption that I have incorporated such ideas without a careful analysis of how/whether they align with the restored gospel. That would be an inaccurate assumption.

    No, I’m not, because the statement wasn’t about you. It was a general statement about the importance of being sure that anything we bring into our lives aligns with the gospel. This comes up in the educational world all the time, too.

    Too often (in many different realms) people hear a method or idea that SOUNDS great and so they try to gerrymander it to fit with the gospel, even when it’s at odds with it. In my experience the ideas that are most popular in this way are things that are EASIER than the “traditional” way. Easier to lose weight. Easier to make money. Easier to homeschool. Whatever.

    This is where what I have said all along fits in— take the parts that work (with the gospel if you want me to be more clear, I thought that was understood), and leave the rest.

    I guess I’m suggesting that it might not be that simple. I’m not making a definitive statement, I’m just not sure. If a book tells you to pray to Allah or a tree or your non-physical vibration INSTEAD of teaching you to pray the only acceptable way, it is denying God as the source of the power. I believe at some point the work is heretical. I’m not sure if The Secret has reached that point, but Bryne’s statements (such as those about the omipotence about the law of attraction) make me very uncomfortable.

    There is another idea that might be important as well. Does the fact that something WORKS, ipso facto mean that it’s good or acceptable? I think we all know that can’t be true. So, if the anything (including the law of attraction) requires us to disregard the gospel, it can’t be good. I’m not saying it does, necessarily, but some of the quotes certainly suggest that.

    Tracy, I appreciate your input to and am sorry that you won’t be participating, but I understand.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 4, 2007, 12:54 am

    Oh, I wanted to add something. Was flipping through a Canfield/Hansen book and found a quote I’m much more comfortable with:

    It’s fear that thwarts us, stalemates us, erodes our self-esteem ad places imaginary roadblocks in our path. Fear keeps us from taking action, and if we don’t act, we never get beyond where we are now.

    To me all the PMA stuff, all the positive thoughts are helpful, but not because they are the end and cause the result. I believe there is a spiritual creation and a physical creation and the former must usually precede the latter. To me the thoughts are just the spiritual creation. They help us be aware of opportunities we might otherwise miss or discern help that we might not otherwise see or utilize. They remind us of our goals. And they can be the catalyst that propels us to ACTION. I believe it is the action that moves us forward, not the thought, alone.

  • mlinford June 4, 2007, 12:58 am

    So, if the anything (including the law of attraction) requires us to disregard the gospel, it can’t be good.

    I would agree with this except for the fact that I have sometimes seen how someone can be taken a step or two toward the gospel through secular means, so it might depend on where someone is in their spiritual progression, and what they might be responsive to at that point. I think “line upon line” is not only within the realm of the gospel itself, but any degree of light a person is willing to receive. And sometimes light can come in a way that is packaged to be understood based on that person’s frame of reference…to plant a seed for further light and knowledge that could be coming later via authorized servants, bearers of Truth.

    But, again, my concern is when something isn’t leading someone to the Light but instead becoming a humanistic replacement for the Light of Truth (capital-T truth) and causing someone to lean on the arm of flesh. The faster we get to the core of the Truth, the better, and the less likely it is that we can be deceived.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 4, 2007, 10:04 am

    Posted By: mlinfordI would agree with this except for the fact that I have sometimes seen how someone can be taken a step or two toward the gospel through secular means…

    Absolutely true, but I would not NECESSARILY call that “disregarding the gospel.” For example, if I go to the doctor and get medication for something, that’s likely to be considered more secular than, for example, just getting a blessing and praying and having faith. But still, it doesn’t contradict known doctrine or require me to set it aside.

    And sometimes light can come in a way that is packaged to be understood based on that person’s frame of reference…to plant a seed for further light and knowledge that could be coming later via authorized servants, bearers of Truth.

    Again, absolutely true. But heresy only applies to those who submit to a particular orthodoxy, right? So what would be considered heretical from an LDS point of view, might not from a Catholic, Baptist, Wiccan, etc. point of view.

    Since this is an LDS forum, my questions are asking if some of these ideas (like the law of attraction being omnipotent) don’t constitute heresy to a faithful LDS member…since we know better. So, as LDS members, if we choose to follow a path that disregards the doctrine that we know, we are heretics, by definition. (Technically, we don’t even have to know it to be heretics, but I’m operating under the thought that we are only condemned for that which we understand.)

    The faster we get to the core of the Truth, the better, and the less likely it is that we can be deceived.

    Great point. I actually think some of the ideas presented in this book (and similar ones) are helpful, but I also think others are heretical, and I’d like to sort those out. The input of all of you is much appreciated.

  • Rebecca June 4, 2007, 10:41 am

    I haven’t read The Secret but I have a few friends that are ga-ga over the book so I have heard a lot about it. I can’t say that I have had very good feelings about what I have heard and seen of the book…things that I have heard just don’t ring true to me and honestly rub me the wrong way. I guess it sort of reminds me of Amway as well. They are all about the law of attraction…they don’t call it that but if you go to their pep rallies or whatever they are called you’ll hear a lot of the same things.

    I believe in prayer and inspiration and a lot of the anecdotes that I have read in this thread seem more like answers to prayers to me. Maybe it is the same thing but to me it’s about semantics and by calling it a Law it does seem to take God out of the equation. It sounds more like a self centered thing to me. If YOU want something and YOU think about it enough it will happen because of YOU. If you are praying for something than that seems to me as if you are humbly asking for help and accepting His will as to how that prayer will be answered.

    It is sort of difficult for me to put into words the ideas I have about this and I think I understand what Molly and Sharilee are trying to express, I guess I just don’t quite see things in the same way…I believe a lot of what they are saying but in a different way. Not that that makes much sense but that’s about as good as I can do this morning… :)

  • mlinford June 4, 2007, 12:13 pm

    Alison,
    I think we are in agreement. I like the idea of parsing out the “light” from the, er, other stuff. I’m gonna keep listening to the book and adding my thoughts as I go….

  • Rachel June 4, 2007, 2:37 pm

    Posted By: facethemusicTo be honest, I started reading the posts on this, just curious to see what everyone was saying about it. Curious to get the general gist . . . . All I can say is this– this is sooo “the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture” that I can’t even begin to describe how disturbing it is to me. Sorry to be so frank, but when active members of the church start making lists of things to ask theirangelsfor instead of Heavenly Father, and when member children start thankingangelsfor blessings (even if their as minor and frivolous and not having to eat salt and vinegar chips) I can see how Lucifer’s method of slowly luring away the hearts of men, even hearts of members, by disguising man’s philosophies with a sugar coating of true doctrine.

    This is a strongly worded version of how I feel . . . I’m pretty much convinced to steer clear of The Secret.

  • spitfire June 4, 2007, 7:43 pm

    I orignally posted earlier, stating that I did not get a good feeling from any part of “The Secret”. (I have not read it but watched various interviews & TV shows about it). Well, Ladies, my initial impression, as I previously stated was followed by a distinct impression to “read the scriptures, you will find all you need in them”. So, inspite of that prompting, I somewhat agreed to “look” at “The Secret” but after reading some of the posts in support of The Secret & it’s philosophies, I have to rely on the prompting I received, I’m not going to read “The Secret”, for me I don’t not feel it will serve any purpose. This doesn’t mean that “self-help” books that are inappropriate, but this particular book just really gave me that baaaaad feeling and I won’t go against that, it has served me well in the past, why disregard the promptings of the Spirit now? I, too will not continue to follow this post. It may be appropriate for others, but for me, I’m on to another discussion.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 5, 2007, 8:41 am

    Posted By: RebeccaMaybe it is the same thing but to me it’s about semantics and by calling it a Law it does seem to take God out of the equation.

    Perfectly phrased, Rebecca. Thank you. That’s much how I feel. Praying to the Universe is NOT the same as praying to God.

    I’ve thought a lot about the Ask My Angels list that bothered Tracy. I had kind of passed over it. So, what is doctrine with regard to angels?

    There was a woman in my ward when I was young. Her name was Margaret Johnson. She was an ultra-faithful :), elderly lady who had never married. EVERY SINGLE fast Sunday, she bore her testimony (know what I’m talking about?) and it took about half the alloted time. (OK, that’s probably an exaggeration, but it felt that way to me as an elementary-aged kid.) She ALWAYS talked about her guardian angels. Every single month without fail. The bishopric always did a gentle disclaimer about guardian angels.

    Anyway, I looked into it a bit. There are ten references to “guardian angels” on lds.org. Here is one I found interesting:

    Q&A

    Scroll down to see the relevant question.

    My discomfort with the idea is probably more like Tracy’s. When Sharilee gets back she can clarify. Yes, there are earthly angels who minister to us and I have no problem asking a PERSON or thanking PERSON, but asking or thanking a non-human being does seem to move to the realm of prayer, which seems problematic to me. Why not have a prayer list or even a wish list instead?

    spitfire, we’ll miss you, too. :)

    Off to the treadmill…

  • Alison Moore Smith June 5, 2007, 5:51 pm

    Posted By: OregonianSo, why don’t we test it out. If we all visualize ourselves in Ferrari’s it should work, right? It works EVERY TIME.

    My first thought was that Oregonian had her knickers in a twist and was out to get some serious jabs going. :/ But as I’ve thought about her response, it makes more and more sense.

    Look, the “law” of attraction is purported as LAW. The book DOES say it “works every time.” It claims to be science. It’s simply disingenuous to make such claims and the disallow the very criteria by which such claims can be made. So, why doesn’t someone take this on? Seriously? Why focus on a tortilla chips and black suits, if we can get a Ferrari? Even if you don’t WANT one, I’ll sell it for you to fund Give-a-Dime…or the charity of your choice! (Yes, I’m serious.)

  • Alison Moore Smith June 5, 2007, 6:13 pm

    How does it work? Nobody knows. Just like nobody knows how electricity works.

    Anyone else find that at least amusing?

  • partone June 6, 2007, 4:07 pm

    I think people jsut like it because its way easier than hard work. Just think about it and then magic happens. Is that what the gospel says?

  • ChanJo June 6, 2007, 7:00 pm

    I’m not going to read this whole thread because I have a life! But I skimmed through and I don’t understand why people would get mad about this or refuse to participate. This book is a **huge** thing right now. You don’t have to agree, but you might at least be knowledgeable about it, even if it’s just so you can respond the way you think is right.

  • mlinford June 6, 2007, 11:18 pm

    ChanJo, that is why I’m participating.

    But by the same token, we gotta realize that some people feel uncomfortable with exploring it and that is OK, too. (Or they may not want to spend the time because, well, “they have a life!” :) )

  • facethemusic June 7, 2007, 12:18 am

    Okay– so I’m back! A friend who’s always lurking and never posting (*hint hint* Laura!:) alerted me to ChanJo’s post
    and said I should check it out.
    ChanJo, and anyone else wondering, I don’t know if you were referring to me specifically, or maybe to the others who stopped reading the thread or all of us. But I can only speak for myself, and I’ll try to explain.
    I didn’t get “mad” about the thread. I just completely disagree with the whole idea of this book, not that people are discussing it. And I AM knowledgeable about it BECAUSE of the thread. I haven’t studied it in depth, but I have no desire to. From what I’ve read here, I think it’s very humanistic, very “scientology” and I think it leads people astray. Like you said, you have a life and you didn’t want to read the whole thread, but skimmed instead. I have a life too, and I skimmed too, and decided that I don’t want to waste my time on something that I think is worthless. I don’t care if the book is ”huge” or not. That doesn’t make it worthy of my time. Dancing with the Stars is huge too, but I don’t watch it. I know what it is, and it isn’t interesting to me and the women are half naked, which is against the viewing standard in our home, so we don’t watch it.
    The same thing applies to this book– and to be perfectly honest, even though the discussion is simply about a very popular book and how LDS women might feel about it, it felt to me like (was it ShariLee?) was totally trying to convince everyone else that the book is true, stating case after case to show that it’s true, that it really works, etc.
    She said that she didn’t believe that EVERYTHING in the book was true, that you have to read it with an understanding of the gospel and pick and choose the parts that fit with the gospel and leave the rest. But it seems to me, that if you’re starting to ask angels for favors and blessings and your kids are doing the same thing and thinking that they “created” or made mom spill a bowl of chips just with their thoughts and a desire to not have to eat them, and they’re thanking the angels for it, then you’re not just picking the parts that fit with the gospel. You’re accepting the false things about it too. And I just don’t want to read post after post of what I think is false teachings. It’s very disturbing to me spiritually.
    I’ll give one example, that I think may explain a little further. It’s a dramatic example, but it will explain what I mean.
    When my husband was first investigating the church after we met, a friend gave him a copy of the famous anti-Mormon book (that was made into a movie) that I don’t want to name because I’m afraid it will show up in an ad to the left if I use it’s proper name. :)
    I was at his apartment, waiting in his living room while he was getting ready for our date, and the book was on his coffee table. (We mormons should come up with our own name for that particular piece of furniture.) I knew what the book was, I’d heard about it, but I’d never read it.
    I picked it up and started reading the first few pages. Almost immediately I had a sick feeling in my stomach. I FELT evil– I don’t know if you’ve ever actually felt it before. But the only way I can describe it is that it’s the exact opposite of how you feel when the Spirit touches you. The Holy Ghost makes you feel “light”– you don’t SEE light, you just feel it in your heart. It’s hard to describe, but I think you know what I mean. Well this is the opposite. You FEEL darkness. I’d only felt it twice before in my life. But when I felt it reading that book, I immediately recognized the feeling for what it was and put it down.
    The first time I felt it was when I went to a friend’s pentecostal church and they were all “speaking in tongues” (jibberish, non-intelligible to anyone) and several were laying on the floor “convulsing”, one was even foaming at the mouth. No joke.
    The evil feeling was so thick that I literally couldn’t be bear it, and I left and waited for my friend outside. I won’t go into the details of the other time I felt it. I don’t even like discussing it and can’t even remember when I ever have, except in discussion with my husband and birth family members. But just imagine what might happen in your home if one of the kids actually started experimenting with the occult, wizardry, and reading the evil one’s version of the bible- (yes, there really is such a thing, but again, I don’t want to name it by it’s proper name in case it attracts an ad for a website) Think “catholic priests and exorcism” (not from my brother personally, but from our home) except insert “Bishopric”. Except for ancient stories from the Bible, I didn’t know that it was a real thing or that we practiced it until it happened in my home.
    Now I know that’s all very dramatic, and different than The Secret, and I didn’t mean to go on and on like that. But my intention was to illustrate what I meant by “very disturbing to me spiritually”. This certainly isn’t the same, no overwhelming darkness– BUT in all honesty, the feeling is similar in how it’s spiritually disturbing. It’s a very unsettling, uneasy feeling that I’ve come to recognize as a warning to me. And I honestly don’t feel it very often at all. But when I read about LDS children being taught to believe the stuff describe in this thread, it really was upsetting and unsettling to my spirit, and I couldn’t bear to read anymore — I don’t know how else to describe it.
    And I hope this isn’t interpreted as an attack on ShariLee(?), by herself or anyone else– I’ve read her posts and comments elsewhere and have enjoyed what she’s had to say and have agreed with much of it. But this is just something that I so thoroughly disagree with and feel so strongly against, that I truly just didn’t want to participate in the discussion any further.
    (Which seems kind of odd since I just yapped for a lengthy time)

  • daisy June 17, 2007, 7:45 pm

    I read this before it was our book club book.

    I wasn’t real impressed with the book. For me It kind of danced around gospel principles without quite getting it.
    I did feel that it does have one resounding saving grace and that is that it is positive in nature. It repeated what I was told quite specifically in my patriarchial blessing and that was to “look to the positive in life” and I think that’s important no matter what the outcome we should be positive.

    I just wanted to add to Sharilee10 that I LOVED the story about your daughter and the chips! Loved, loved, Loved it!!!!
    Like practical magic I ‘d like to belive I can make things happen just by thinking them.
    However, there is a pretty dominant disbeliver residing in me too.

  • partone June 18, 2007, 9:53 am

    Anyone going to do the ferrari challenge? I think its a good idea.

  • Oregonian June 21, 2007, 2:04 pm

    My knickers aren’t in a twist, Alison! I just think we should back up such strong statements with evidence. Let’s use science. If it works every time, show me. It should be simple to demonstrate.

    I’m sad that this thread has died out. It’s not evil to discuss stuff like this.

  • SilverRain June 21, 2007, 6:35 pm

    Well, I finally got the book. So far, my impressions are triple. Firstly, I don’t understand why there is a book when everything I have read so far could be summarized in two sentences. Secondly, the entire theory is self-fulfilling. It’s too easy to say “well, it didn’t work because you didn’t believe hard enough.” I find it difficult to swallow that. Though I’m well aware the same argument could be made for faith, at least faith also has “the Lord’s will” argument. Thirdly, I’m really, really sick of hearing what a secret the idea of positive thinking is when it’s been a widely used psychological method for decades.

  • Alison Moore Smith June 21, 2007, 11:20 pm

    Three good points. I’ll just say amen to that. :)

  • heather June 27, 2007, 12:04 am

    Im so excited to have found this site! Anyone tell me if there is a chat line on this site? I would love to talk about a mormon mommy’s schedule for a mother of three. I guess I’m really stupid on how this thing works!

  • mlinford June 27, 2007, 12:11 am

    Heather,
    If you want to start a topic, just click on “start a new discussion” in the top left corner (in red).

    Welcome!

  • heather June 27, 2007, 12:48 am

    FInally, some people who can appreciate good talk about literature and the gospel! How refreshing! THanks for welcoming me

  • Sharilee10 June 29, 2007, 8:31 pm

    Okay— like many of you I have been encouraged to come back and read. I don’t want to say a lot, but I do want to share some emails from a friend that is also exploring the law of attraction and power of intention. It doesn’t matter to me whether or not people agree with the book or not as it doesn’t change the experience I have had. It is extremely fun, though, to see people who are just discovering it for the first time. Here is an email I got the other day. This friend is exploring a variety of books on these topics, not just The Secret, which is where my comments come from as well. I have read lots of books on the topic and am not necessarily sure exaclty where each quote or concept comes from. They all teach basically the same thing, a someone else pointed out. This stuff has been around FOREVER!

    I am sharing parts of her email with permission:

    I was at the Bountiful Temple today, and although I have been to the temple a couple of times while reading these intention/creation ideas, I was still trying to understand them, and so they didn’t change my temple experience. But, as I told you, I have been matching up scripture and prophetic statements to Wayne Dyer’s statements. I have noticed that his philosophy is missing three very important things: Atonement, Repentance (although he’s all about forgiveness, as you know), and a physical Resurrection. But otherwise, there is very profound truth there. I am so interested in how natural laws are in place to facilitate the answers to our prayers and worthy desires and to carry out the gospel plan.

    While I was at the temple today, it just hit me like a ton of bricks that this all lines up with the things that are taught in the temple so much! I’m sure you’ve noticed that yourself, especially with the emphasis on creation. I’ve wondered why the creation of the earth would be so relevant to us in our daily lives, and now that I “get it” I’m just shocked by what I’ve been missing all these years. If we were all not living on a lower plane, so “far beneath our privileges,” as Brigham Young said, the temple wouldn’t be so strange to and different from the other activities we do. You know? I just had a ton of insights there today in all areas, thanks to looking at the gospel from this different perspective. I felt that the “ceiling” I’ve hit in temple understanding has finally opened up to me! So thanks again, for recommending these books and ideas.

    Anyway, I have been sharing some of these ideas with my husband, but cautiously, thinking he would pooh-pooh them, but today in the temple, he brought up the story of Ephraim Hanks as an example of the power of Intention, and then we just got talking and talking about it all the way home and it was very fun. But I thought I would pass on this story, in case you hadn’t heard it, because it is great. My brother is a real LDS history buff and a huge fan of Ephraim Hanks, who was the first one out of Salt Lake to rescue the handcart pioneers. Ephraim was in Provo fishing and had the impression he needed to go to Salt Lake. So he headed up there, and stayed overnight in Draper. While he lay wide awake in bed, he had a dream/vision two days before Brigham Young called the saints to the rescue, wherein a voice was heard and then a man appeared and told him the handcart pioneers were in trouble and he needed to help them. This happened three times. He agreed to go if he was called and immediately after breakfast drove to Salt Lake and began to get ready, so when Brigham Young made the call at conference, he was ready to go that moment and took off on his own that day, where the other rescuers took longer to get ready. Later, when others gave up and turned back, he continued on, because of his vision.

    Anyway, here is the part my husband mentioned. It is quoted in the book Remember, published by the Riverton Wyoming Stake, found on p. 123. It is also partially quoted by President Faust in his April 1999 Conference Address, and by Susan Easton Black in the March 1997 Ensign. In his own words, as Ephraim was headed east to the rescue, but still by himself in the huge snowstorm, “The next evening as I was making my bed, I thought to myself, how nice it would be to have a buffalo robe to lie on, and some fresh meat for supper. I kneeled down and asked the Lord to send me a buffalo. Looking around, imagine my surprise when I beheld a big, fat buffalo bull within fifty yards of my camp. As soon as I could get my gun, I brought him down with the first shot. After eating tongue and tenderloin to my heart’s content, I went to sleep.”

    The next day he shot another buffalo, and was able to butcher and treat all this meat and have these buffalo robes ready for the starving pioneers that night when he found them. “In a short time everybody was eating bison with a relish that did one’s eyes good to behold.”

    Then he details how he raised a man from the dead, after another brother refused to bless the man because he was already dead. Then he blessed and healed “as many as one or two hundred and in scores of instances they were healed almost instantly.” Despite that, he said, many lost limbs and he was the medic who treated them and amputated them.

    Then he said that on the way back to Salt Lake with the handcarts pioneers after the rest of the rescue team had reached them, he would leave the trail during the day, and hunt for food for them. He said he killed many buffalo and distributed the meat to the pioneers. He said, “The most remarkable thing about it was that I had traveled that road more than 50 times, and never before saw so many buffaloes in that part of the country. There was not a member of the party but what believed that the Lord had sent them to us in answer to prayer.”

    Cool story, huh? I was so excited about it that I had to share it. It was just another example of someone obeying a law irrevocably decreed in heaven, and receiving the attached blessing.

    Regarding the comment that why bother with this stuff when it is available in the scriptures and elsewhere (or something like that– it was way back somewhere and I may be remembering wrong) she has also sent me the following quotes that I found interesting:

    Here are the quotes from Brigham Young:

    “Our religion measures, weighs, and circumscribes all the wisdom in the world–all that God has ever revealed to man. God has revealed all the truth that is now in the possession of the world, whether it be scientific or religious.” Journal of Discourses 8:162 (or Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 2)

    “I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.” JD 13:335 (or DBY, p. 2)

    “Our religion is simply the truth. It is all said in this one expression–it embraces all truth, wherever found, in all the works of God and man that are visible or invisible to mortal eye.” JD 10:251 (DBY, p. 2)

    “‘Mormonism’ embraces all truth that is revealed and that is unrevealed, whether religious, political, scientific, or philosophical.” JD 9:149 (DBY, p. 2)

    “‘Where is your code, your particular creed?’ says one. It fills eternity; it is all truth in heaven, on earth or in hell. This is ‘Mormonism.’ It embraces every true science; all true philosophy.” JD 14:280 (DBY, p. 2)

    “Every true philosopher, so far as he understands the principles of truth, has so much of the Gospel, and so far he is a Latter-day Saint, whether he knows it or not.” JD 18:359 (DBY, p. 2-3)

    And my personal favorite:

    “‘Mormonism,’ so-called, embraces every principle pertaining to life and salvation, for time and eternity. No matter who has it. If the infidel has got truth it belongs to ‘Mormonism.’ The truth and sound doctrine possessed by the sectarian world, and they have a great deal, all belong to this Church. As for their morality, many of them are, morally, just as good as we are. All that is good lovely, and praiseworthy belongs to this Church and Kingdom. ‘Mormonism’ includes all truth. There is no truth but what belongs to the Gospel. It is life, eternal life; it is bliss; it is the fulness of all things in the gods and in the eternities of the gods.” JD 11:375.

    “If there is anything that is great and good and wise among men, it cometh from God. If there are men who possess great ability as statesmen, or as philosophers, or who possess remarkable scientific knowledge and skill, the credit thereof belongs to God, for he dispenses it to his children whether they believe in him or not, or whether they sin against him or not; it makes no difference; but all will have to account to him for the way and manner in which they have used the talents committed unto them. If we believe the plain, broad statements of the Bible, we must believe that Jesus Christ is the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; none are exempt.” JD 11:123, or DBY p. 19

    Yesterday she sent me this one:

    Since I’m discussing all these concepts with both of you, here is another great quote from an LDS perspective that really lines up with the Law of Attraction:

    “In a very large measure each of us holds the key to the blessings of the Almighty upon us. If we wish the blessing, we must pay the price. A part of that price lies in being faithful. Faithful to what? Faithful to ourselves, to the very best that is within us.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, One Bright Shining Hope, p. 93)

  • Sharilee10 June 29, 2007, 9:31 pm

    Okay . . . one more comment regarding the red ferrari. Again– let me state that I don’t WANT a red ferrari. ‘Asking for a red ferrari’ just to prove a point feels a lot like Matthew 4 and I choose not to go there. I do, however, have things that I WANT. Many seem pretty small and inconsequential compared to a red ferrari, but the fact that they have ‘showed up’ in my life shortly after ‘asking’ has been anything but inconsequential in my life. Many of them, thought seemingly small, have had a huge impact in my life.

    I will share just one of them that may be comparable to the red ferrari. On January first when I wrote out my yearly goals in the format recommended by so many of the books I have read, including The Secret, when it came to the ‘income/career’ category I was stumped for a minute. That hasn’t really been a big focus for me– my focus has been on being home for my kids and developing skills and networks that will make it possible for me to secure adequate employment later in life after the kids are gone. However— career/income is certainly a category you don’t just skip over– even when you are virtually ‘unemployed.’ So . . . I put one sentence:
    “Life is so peaceful and calm now that my yearly income exceeds $100,000, retirement is in place and I am in a position to donate money to the organizations and causes I care about.”

    I then continued to work my $10.60 per hour part-time job. Every morning as I read that sentence I would smile and visualize myself handing checks over to various people in the organizations I worked with— okay– and partly because it seemed so out of place in everything else I had written and what seemed possible at the time.

    The end of March I sat in a meeting where I realized that the vehicle for meeting some of my favorite people (another desire I had focused on) had just materialized. Over the next couple of days I realized that there was a way to utilize the same vehicle to build sources of cash donations into the non-profits I work with. A few days after that, as I began to learn more and more about my new ‘hobby’ I suddenly realized that the same vehicle would also provide an income that far exceeded $100,000 per year and would continue and increase well into retirement. All 3 of my desires expressed in that one statement and repeated every morning for 2.5 months were met in one vehicle, and it has completely changed my life in extremely positive ways, including spirituality and my focus on the Lord. It’s a lot easier to focus on spiritual things, read the scriptures, be a good neighbor, and be a nice mom when you aren’t having to worry about the financial future or the present. Truly– “Life is so peaceful and calm now that my yearly income exceeds $100,000, retirement is in place and I am in a position to donate money to the organizations and causes I care about.”

    I still don’t own a red ferrari– I don’t want one. (I am getting the car I want next week! Woohoo!) But I got what I wanted and I got what I asked for and what I focused on. I hadn’t realized how many limitations I had put myself by believing that as a single mother I was ‘supposed’ to not have a lot of extra money. I have almost felt guilty for having the comforts of life and the savings and lifestyle I have enjoyed in previous years. All I had to do was get rid of that belief that single moms are supposed to be strapped and focus on wealth. I no longer believe that is a less than charitable desire, either. The thrill I get just from THINKING ABOUT going to these organizations and saying, “That is such a worthy cause– here is $5,000– go make it happen!” just lifts me in ways I can’t even express.

    Of course the Lord wants us to be wealthy! How else would His temples and churches be built and His programs be provided. He just wants us to be giving with the wealth he provides.

    That’s how I feel about it. I know someone said that if anyone ended up with a red ferrari they would believe. Well— I don’t think knowing this will change very many minds— and it isn’t intended to. I don’t think anyone would ‘believe’ if I went out next week and bought a red ferrari instead of the car I really want! That’s okay. It has made a huge difference in my life and in my relationship with my Savior as I have taken a more active role WITH my Father and Savior rather than just sitting back waiting for them to do all the work.

    They sent us here to become like them– Creators. Why wouldn’t They want us to be actively involved in the creation process, just as Michael was involved in the creation of the world– through thoughts and words, at least in part.

    I highly recommend that no matter what we read we read with the scriptures and counsel of the prophets as our standard and guide– but as Uncle Brigham said, for me it’s time to quit living so far beneath my privileges and be more active in my partnership with God and creating my earthly experience. It has been the best thing to happen to me spiritually and otherwise in a very long time. I have seen it work over and over in my life and it is working for me. I suggest anyone who chooses to ‘try it’ with the things you really want, both big and small. If that’s a red ferrari, go for a red ferarri! If it’s time in your day to get everything accomplished, focus on that. If it’s something else . . . focus on something else. If you don’t want to get anywhere near the book or concepts, that works too.

    My best to all . . .

  • Sharilee10 June 29, 2007, 9:54 pm

    My friend just sent me a few more quotes:

    “Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great and good things. Believe that no mountain is so high that you cannot climb it. Believe that no storm is so great that you cannot weather it. You are not destined to be a scrub. You are a child of God, of infinite capacity.
    “Believe that you can do it–whatever it is that you set your heart on. Opportunities will unfold and open before you. The skies will clear when they have been dark with portent.”
    (President Hinckley, One Bright Shining Hope, p. 105, emphasis added)

    “Some years ago I clipped an article on Commander William Robert Anderson, the man who first took a submarine under the North Pole from the waters of the Pacific to the waters of the Atlantic. It was an untried and dangerous mission. In his wallet he carried a tattered card with these words: ‘I believe I am always divinely guided, I believe I will always take the right road, I believe God will always make a way where there is no way.'”
    (p. 151)

    “You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed. You have accomplished so much so far. It is only the beginning. As you move forward on the trail of life, keep the banner of faith in self ever before you . You may not be a genius. You may not be exceptionally smart. But you can be good, and you can try. And you will be amazed at what might happen when in faith you take a step forward.”
    (p. 152, emphasis added)

  • SilverRain June 30, 2007, 5:50 am

    I think that most of what you say, Sharilee, is good and true, as far as the power of thinking positively and gathering truth from everywhere we find it. We still have to be very careful, however, when the philosophies of men mingle with God’s word. When we start to look for this power in ourselves, whether or not it is there, we run the risk of no longer finding it in God. I believe we are meant to rely on God for all things.

  • Sharilee10 June 30, 2007, 8:53 am

    I absolutely agree, SilverRain, and I rely on God for all things. To me this isn’t about finding ANYTHING without relying on God. I confess it’s a little bit hard for me to understand where people aren’t seeing that because to me it has brought me closer to and so much MORE dependent on Him. It has actually led me to being CONSTANTLY aware of HIM no matter what I’m doing. It has literally brought me to a place of ‘praying,’ thanking’ and ‘asking’ not only over the obviously spiritual things but when I am ‘in the fields’ of life and wherever I am. However, somewhere there is obviously a disconnect in the words I put on the page and what I feel in my heart and the impact all of this has had on my relationship with God.

    I wish I could share that in a way that everyone could see what is in my heart, not because it’s shocking to me to have people questionning my commitment to God and the gospel and my absolute reliance on my Savior and the atonement, but more because as my friend said– it has raised the ceiling on my own understanding and joy IN Christ and my reliance on God and I would love to share that. However, I do believe things are as they should be, everyone is right where they need to be and many of you are probably far ahead of me in your understanding of some gospel principles, and it’s all okay. I am okay with it.

    I did just go to the Topical Guide to look up the ‘pray in the fields’ scripture and found so many that fit here. I’m going to just share a few:
    2 Ne 4:35 God will give me if I ask not amiss
    3 Ne 18:20 and Moroni 7:26 Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing . . .behold it shall be given unto you
    D&C 6:11 If thou wilt inquire, thou shalt know mysteries
    D&C 8:10 Do not ask for that which ye ought not (this goes with the ‘feeling’ part they talk about)
    D&C 9:8 Study it out in your mind, then you must ask me
    D&C 19:28 Pray vocally as well as in thy heart
    D&C 50:30 It shall be given you what you shall ask
    D&C 112:10 Lead thee . . . and give thee answer to thy prayers

    Anyway– love you all and I can agree to disagree with anyone who doesn’t see my personal reliance on God in what I have said, or anyone who just disagrees. It’s okay with me. I know where I stand with God and I know where my reliance on Him stands, and that’s what really matters for each of us.

    Thanks for letting me share without attacking, SilverRain.

    P.S. I am really looking forward to next month’s selection. Should be much safer to discuss!

  • SilverRain June 30, 2007, 8:24 pm

    Oh, Sharilee . . . I wasn’t doubting that you had that connection with God. I think that is obvious in your written voice that you have a deep conviction and personal relationship with God. If methods such as “The Secret” have brought you closer to God, that is great. I do have, however, a reluctance to say that it is wise to teach that methodology, as not all may be able to discern which is truth and which is error. I have, shall we say, had experience with things that start out good and lead to evil because of that mingling of good and evil. I think, though we must search for good wherever we find it, that we need to be extremely careful testifying to good when it is found mixed with that which is not of God. If we do, we need to clearly elucidate exactly what we are testifying to.

  • Sharilee10 July 1, 2007, 11:56 am

    Here are more of my friends Education Week notes that fit in this thread:

    Masters see their creations before they are created. Ether 12:19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. ? The eye of faith ? is a God-like attribute.

    The David ? statue by Michelangelo depicts the eye of faith. David looking over his left shoulder depicts looking at his enemy (in the cultural context) before the fight, yet he already has the image of a victor on his face. The making of the statue was also an example of the eye of faith, as exercised by Michelangelo. The huge marble piece he used to carve the statue had been drilled and carved and abandoned by other artists over time. But with his mental eye, he could see that these chunks and flaws were in such places that they would not affect the final product.

    The subconscious mind is not totally on this side of the veil. We can communicate with deity, intelligence, ancestors on the other side.

    There is a chart here I won’t reproduce. I really like the comments about “Don’t spit” and all you picture is the spitting part. This definitely goes right along with the explanation in The Secret about how your mind does not hear the negating words in what we tell ourselves.

    The conscious mind activates the subconscious with dominant thoughts. The subconscious mind then develops plans, searches for solutions. This is the natural law employed in inspiration/revelation. This is what happens when you are thinking on a problem and then later, suddenly, an idea pops into your head, often in the night when the subconscious can get through the conscious. Then the conscious should make a value judgment about the idea and whether to implement it, as taught in D&C 9.

    Russell M. Nelson, The Power Within Us, p. 60.

    The subconscious is a vast repository of data and memory. ( Every idle word you shall give an account of, ? etc.) It works in pictures, not paragraphs. (Sometimes your great idea is difficult to convey in language.) When you tell yourself while golfing, I ?m not going to drop the ball into the lake, ? the subconscious receives a picture from the sentence and the picture is of a ball dropping into a lake. When it happens, you say, I knew I was going to do that! ?

    The Conscious Mind ? Willpower ? Words
    The Subconscious Mind ? Drive ? Images

    The power is in the picture. When you are told, Don ?t spit on the floor, ? what kind of image is brought to your mind by the word don ?t ?? Nothing! But the rest of the sentence has an image for the subconscious. This is why little kids will often do exactly what they were just told not to do.

    Habits are not broken, they ?re replaced. They ?re replaced with a superior image. The more sensory-rich and emotionally-laden, the more powerful the image. This is why Christ taught in parables. McDonald ?s commercials are all sensory-rich. They never even show a hamburger. Spiritual experiences are sensory-rich, emotion-laden. We can hunger for these. Remember Satan also uses sensory-rich, emotion-laden pictures. Create a picture of your goal. (If you cannot ask God to help you with your goal, you have an inappropriate goal.) If you want a temple marriage, for example, create a detailed movie in your mind of your temple marriage.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2007, 12:16 pm

    FWIW, there is lots written about spiritual creation vs. physical creation. Covey, for one, addresses it at some length.

    The David ? statue by Michelangelo depicts the eye of faith. David looking over his left shoulder depicts looking at his enemy (in the cultural context) before the fight, yet he already has the image of a victor on his face.

    Oh, puhleez. David is just looking around to see anyone notices he left his loincloth at home.

  • Sharilee10 July 1, 2007, 12:29 pm

    LOLOL. “There is no reality, only perception”, as Jack Canfield puts it in The Success Principles . . . or “prior experiences have great impact on present perceptions, and these perceptions significantly affect or even deterine our feelings, our communication, and our behavior” and “our perception governs our beliefs, our attitudes, and our behaviors” and “Most of us think we see the world as it is, but I believe . . . we each see not with the eye but with the soul. Each person sees the world not as it is but as he or she is.” as Stephen R. Covey puts it in next month’s book of the month.

    I’ll allow you your perception Alison. After all, it’s as plausible as anyone else’s!!

    Off to Church I go!!

  • mlinford July 1, 2007, 2:49 pm

    Of course the Lord wants us to be wealthy!

    Do you think this is universally true? I am not convinced. Joseph Smith’s whole life was dedicated to the Lord, and yet the Lord told him that “in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling.” This is where I again get a little sqeamish. I believe we live far beneath our privileges in seeking gifts and blessings the Lord would give us. But I don’t believe we can go so far as to assume that everything we want (even worthy desires) will be granted because not all such things fit into His plan and will for us.

    In fact, I think one key of life is to learn to ask with the Spirit, letting HIM be the one to tell us what to pray for. Yet again, I would suspect that Sharilee doesn’t disagree, but I think it’s really important to be explicit about these things. It’s too easy to take principles like this and let them become humanistic.

  • Sharilee10 July 1, 2007, 5:04 pm

    I’m not sure what you think I will disagree with, but here is my response.

    I believe Joseph Smith was EXTREMELY wealthy!! I don’t believe there is a man on earth more blessed in abundance of the spirit and truth and in strong relationships with family, friends AND many he never met. I believe he was a man of great wealth in faith and trust and strength of character. “”in temporal labors thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling” is EXACTLY the key here— Joseph Smith’s role was not to be temorally wealthy, but his wealth was unmatched in many other areas.

    It appears to me that you are stuck on me looking at ‘wealth’ in terms of money and red ferrari’s. I view wealth as an abundance in something that brings peace and joy and happiness. I think this is where the disagreement is coming, but I can’t seem to ‘express’ my thoughts in such a way that you understand the big picture of what I am saying. It seems to get stuck on ‘money’ and ‘things’ and ‘red ferraris.’

    Some people are wealthy in financial terms, and yes, I believe the Lord wants His people to be wealthy in those terms as well in order to fulfill His purposes — thus He has always provided those among His saints who have the financial wealth to fulfill the purposes of His Church (yes— I know we could talk about how poor the Saints were, etc., etc., but the Lord sent people of wealth to join and ‘save’ the Saints at critical times. It was all part of His plan and the right people were there at the right time with the RIGHT form of abundance— some had abundance of truth, some abundance of faith, some abundance of health, some abundance of testimony on the words of the Lord’s leaders and others an abundance of money.) The point I make and believe is that the Lord wants us all to enjoy abundance and I believe He wants us to be actively involved in seeking that abundance, and I believe that there are many more blessings available to most of us than what we are enjoying because we are limiting ourselves– blessings of faith, blessings of testimony, blessings of stronger relationships, blessings of financial wealth. Not all the same for everyone, but many blessings for each of us.

    I believe we live far beneath our privileges in seeking gifts and blessings the Lord would give us.

    I think one key of life is to learn to ask with the Spirit, letting HIM be the one to tell us what to pray for.

    Exactly what I am saying, so I agree.

    I don’t believe we can go so far as to assume that everything we want (even worthy desires) will be granted because not all such things fit into His plan and will for us.

    I believe as we seek the Lord and pray for guidance we will be led to ‘desire’ the same things for ourselves that He wants for us. I also believe that when we are asking for that which is not His desire we will know and will be led in another direction. My friend that has been emailing told me the story the other day of how her husband was in a job that took him away from family for long periods of time to visit Russia. They had a lesson in Relief Society on prayer (won’t go into details), but she went home with the intent to pray for a new job focus for him. She said as she knelt to pray she was struck so strong with the knowledge that shew as praying for the wrong thing and she was literally unable to pray for what she had intended. Some time period after that they were able to adopt a child from Russia as a direct result of her husband’s travels and that job.

    I think we really believe the same thing for the most part.

    It’s too easy to take principles like this and let them become humanistic.

    I think this is where the difficulties seem to arise. I believe you think I am letting this become humanistic for me. You couldn’t be further from the truth on that. I am not, and God knows I am not, and my Father in Heaven is pleased with where I am in this moment (while still far from perfect!), so I can go forward with faith and peace and just let this drop and let each person be wherever they are with it.

  • mlinford July 1, 2007, 9:13 pm

    Sharilee,
    I only translated what you said to wealth=money because you talked about money in that example. :) I sense that what you are doing is grounded in faith and your spiritual life and that is great. I don’t believe you are letting this be humanistic for you. I was speaking more in generalities. I’m sorry it came across that way. I really can sense the spiritual power these principles have brought you and that is great.

  • mlinford July 1, 2007, 9:15 pm

    I believe as we seek the Lord and pray for guidance we will be led to ‘desire’ the same things for ourselves that He wants for us. I also believe that when we are asking for that which is not His desire we will know and will be led in another direction.

    And we agree on that point as well. Again, some of the concerns I raised were more for general thoughts, not directed at how you approach your life personally. Sorry for the miscommunication.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 1, 2007, 10:31 pm

    Posted By: Sharilee10It appears to me that you are stuck on me looking at ‘wealth’ in terms of money and red ferrari’s…It seems to get stuck on ‘money’ and ‘things’ and ‘red ferraris.’

    Probably because you couched the phrase in exactly those terms:

    Of course the Lord wants us to be wealthy! How else would His temples and churches be built and His programs be provided. He just wants us to be giving with the wealth he provides.

    He’s not building temples with an abundance of scrapbooking. ;)

    Some people are wealthy in financial terms, and yes, I believe the Lord wants His people to be wealthy in those terms as well in order to fulfill His purposes

    I think that’s where you’re going to have an ongoing sticking point. Of course God wants us to be _________–so long as being/having ___________ will fulfill his purposes. If it doesn’t, you’re outta luck. Since sometimes fulfilling his purposes allows us good health and other times it allows us to be martyrs (or just murdered), it’s hard for many to build a life on some kind of faith or expectation that God is going to back up their dreams.

    I believe as we seek the Lord and pray for guidance we will be led to ‘desire’ the same things for ourselves that He wants for us.

    I don’t know if this is true overall. I think sometimes (often?) it is just ours to accept even though we don’t desire it. Apparently God either felt it was time for Sister Hinckley to move on or at least he didn’t want to intervene to keep here here any longer. I have never gotten the impression that President Hinckley has desired for that to be so, even though he is dealing with it the best he can.

    In the same way I know lots of good people who sincerely want things they aren’t getting. I do not believe it’s because they aren’t in tune enough to be led to correct desires.

  • Sharilee10 July 1, 2007, 11:58 pm

    Thank you for the clarification, MLinford. That means a lot.

    Alison—

    He’s not building temples with an abundance of scrapbooking. ;)

    Actually– His Church and programs ARE built on ‘scrapbooking’ enrichment activities that build sisterhood along with a ton of other wealth-sharing efforts: members sharing their wealth in testimony and faith and teaching ability, etc. I give you that THAT particular comment did seem more focused on the financial wealth and was not real clear about the sphere it was referring to, but that is because of the context and what I was responding to. If you look at my comments overall I think you would see the general term, at least now that you would hopefully be looking for it. Don’t waste your time looking, though. We’ve spent enough time on this.

    Which takes to me my response on the other. As I said once before, I think there is a lot more to all of this– in fact, I think you brought up Sister Hinckley’s passing once before and I responded, but it would take a lot more time and space than available in this blog to say it well enough that it could be understood and I don’t want to start an uproar again. I can agree to disagree on this and let the topic go. I’m happy where I am with the topic and I’m sure everyone else is happy where they are– so let’s agree to be happy in different places for the moment.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2007, 12:37 am

    Posted By: Sharilee10
    Actually– His Church and programs ARE built on ‘scrapbooking’ enrichment activities

    Sheesh. I knew I had to clarify that. We all know that the temples are built with an abundance of MONEY and not nail art classes. Oh, except that nail art classes bring together all the fabulously nailed women who then grow in sisterhood and then do their visiting teaching better and their testimonies grow so they give more to the temple fund…you know, the butterfly effect. (Let’s debate that!)

    I give you that THAT particular comment did seem more focused on the financial wealth

    Which was what both Michelle and I were pointing out.

    So, if the point of saying, “Of course the Lord wants us to be wealthy!” is really to say, “God wants us to have an abundance of SOMETHING that he knows is best and will serve his plans and will ETERNALLY make us happy–although we might have no idea what it is and it might not even be something we want and, even, might be something that makes us really sad and lonely and destitute HERE!” then I guess we’re on the same page.

    FWIW, I’m incredibly happy in my different place for the moment.

  • Sharilee10 July 2, 2007, 8:15 am

    Sorry — I guess I didn’t know that only some of us were supposed to be be ‘nit picky about words and the way things are said!” ;-)

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2007, 9:21 am

    You can be as picky as you like, I give you permission. ;)

    So notice that I said TEMPLES weren’t built with an abundance of scrapbooking (using your statement about temples (and churches) being built with wealth) and you responded by saying that “His Church and programs” are built by scrapbooking. First, it’s debatable, second, it was changed from the physical “temples and churches” to the collective people and less tangible things, which is a different discussion, really.

    Thing is, temples and churches ARE built with money and it has to come from somewhere. But whether or not the fact that God wants us to build things that cost a lot of money translates into “Of course the Lord wants us [all] to be wealthy” is a different discussion.

    And while these things do cost a lot, they don’t necessarily come from wealth. Historically the building has often come from great sacrifice.

    In fact, I’d say that the idea that “OF course the Lord wants us to have ‘an abundance in something that brings peace and joy and happiness'” is at least up for discussion, rather than being a given. Unless, again, we’re talking only about ETERNAL peace and joy and happiness. In which case, again, what are we talking about?

    FWIW, Sharilee, I have not questioned your commitment to God. But I do find incongruity between some of the things in this book and the gospel, not to mention this book and science.

    I understand your point on the car. I drive a red, Ford Excursion 4×4. It IS my dream car–and one of the few on the market that holds my entire family. And I own it free and clear. Perfect, right? But I think the ferrari is an interesting example. If you can get what you want every single time (rather than, as we did, carefully selecting and then working to pay for the SUV, etc.), why not ask for the most efficient thing? Why ask for a lesser car, when you could “every time” get a more expensive car? Then you could resell it for the car you want to drive and give thousands to charity or put it in retirement or pay down your mortgage ?

    In fact, if you’re asking for material things, why ask for any car at all? Why waste your time and energy and “asking” on something so insignificant? Why ask for a million dollar house? Why not just ask for, oh, a billion dollars? Or, better ye, ask for more money than you could reasonably spend in your entire life! Then you’ve got material stuff covered in one shot and can move on to other stuff. If the claims in the book are true, as written, then all this car, house, charity stuff is just spare change. Just ask for the big deal and get it over with.

    That is a reasonable test of the truth of the book’s principles.

    Understand something, I think there is a great deal to be said for removing barriers and self-imposed limits. I think there is great value in some of the ideas. But I do think there are many things in the book that are just patently false and others that are antithetical to the gospel–if ONLY because they deny the source of power by excluding it. If we give a sincere prayer to Heavenly Father, we are in line with the gospel. If we say the EXACT same words to a statue we are worshiping idols. So I think it’s a legitimate question to ask whether this book, because of it’s non-religious focus, is countering appropriate worship and action. Even if it WORKS. (Sincerely, I understand that worshiping Satan and literally “making deals with the devil” also provides some benefits to those who do it.)

    I think Tracy’s objection was to the idea of “praying” to angels instead of (or even in addition to) to God. I don’t know if that’s orthodox or not, but I think it’s at least unusual within the church. I can’t recall any conference talks that teach us to “ask our angels” for things. So, I think it’s at least a legitimate concern about how the book aligns with orthodoxy if it promotes such things.

    To sum up my rambling here, I do believe there are valuable ideas in the book. Still, two questions remain:

    (1) Are the principles, as presented, scientifically sound as they claim to be
    (2) Are the principles, as presented, appropriate within an LDS context

  • agardner July 2, 2007, 9:40 am

    I have found this whole discussion to be absolutely fascinating. I haven’t chimed in because I didn’t read the book and was not planning to. At this point, I might check it out of the library (although I won’t personally put any money in the author’s pocket by buying my own copy) just so that I understand exactly what it is that everyone is talking about.

    My only experience with this book at all was from Oprah. I don’t watch the show often, but happened to watch the first few minutes when she highlighted this book. To be honest, I turned it off because it just seemed like a bunch of new-agey pseudo-science and it seemed like a passing fad to me.

    A few weeks later, I caught a portion of a follow-up show where people were talking about how their lives have changed since reading the book. Again, I turned it off once one woman was talking about how she was diagnosed with cancer and was healing herself through positive thinking. Now, I’m not going to judge anyone’s choice of treatment, but it just doesn’t ring true to me that we can have whatever we want if we just wish our way to it. Disease is still going to be there. Poverty is still going to be there. People are still going to struggle.

    I do think that clearing your mind of negative feelings does open up many possibilities that you may not have noticed before.

    Like I said, I haven’t read the book. I have a pile of books I’d like to read and didn’t feel like this one was worth the time. But perhaps it is worth at least taking a look at. I have appreciated the comments on both sides of this debate.

    I am looking forward to The Divine Center. I ordered my copy and it should come tomorrow!

  • Sharilee10 July 2, 2007, 8:17 pm

    it was changed from the physical “temples and churches” to the collective people and less tangible things, which is a different discussion, really.

    It started out temples and churches and programs . . . the tangible and the intangible.

    I do find incongruity between some of the things in this book and the gospel, not to mention this book and science.

    So do I!! They do not have the fullness. That was discussed in the beginning. I’ve made the point from the beginning that you take what works and leave the rest. You take the truth and the part that brings you closer to God.

    If you can get what you want every single time (rather than, as we did, carefully selecting and then working to pay for the SUV, etc.),

    I have never said anything about NOT working for what we get. That’s not the point at all. Some in the book may feel that and promote that. That is NOT how I take it or what I am drawn to.

    why not ask for the most efficient thing? Why ask for a lesser car, when you could “every time” get a more expensive car? Then you could resell it for the car you want to drive and give thousands to charity or put it in retirement or pay down your mortgage ?

    Who’s decision is it that the most efficient is the ‘lesser’ car? This goes right along with what Stephen R. Covey is saying in the section on perception governs meanings . . . “each person’s interpretation of these facts represents his prior experiences, and the facts have no meaning whatsoever apart from this interpretation.”

    I agree with your viewpoint– that’s why I don’t want a red ferrari. I’ll go for what I consider to be most economical and put the extra money into my charities and causes. I also prefer to get new ‘used cars’ rather than buy brand new and have them depreciate drastically as you drive them off the lot. Some people would disagree with that. I also pay cash for my cars and everything I buy other than my home– there are plenty of other people who believe that’s not the best choice. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? It’s all perception!

    I think there is great value in some of the ideas

    And this is all I’ve ever said. Combined with a TON of other books, ideas, thoughts, etc. I have found great value in them as a whole. As Uncle Brigham said in the quotes my friend sent, all truth belongs to the gospel. I spent years reading pretty much only gospel books. I now sprinkle that gospel reading with a variety of other good books and take the truth where I find. The standard I hold everything I read next to is the scriptures and the words of the apostles.

    the idea of “praying” to angels instead of (or even in addition to) to God.

    First of all– I didn’t get ‘angels’ from THIS book. Did anyone read one word about angels in The Secret? That came from a peripheral conversation about an experience that went along with the concept of the book. I have been reading and studying this stuff for 4 years and have read HUNDREDS of books. It’s impossible at this point to keep the concepts separate. We will find MANY of these same concepts coming up in The Divine Center.

    Secondly, I don’t pray to angels. I acknowledge that I am surrounded with angels, both on this side of the veil and on the other side of the veil and I know that they work in conjunction with God. This is not doctrine counter to gospel teachings. As I mentioned before, a church leader recently made the comment to a large group of people involved in service here in Utah that he gives his angels assignments and then he can focus on the things he needs to do, knowing that the other will take care of itself. I feel very comfortable with where I am. That’s what counts.

    it just doesn’t ring true to me that we can have whatever we want if we just wish our way to it

    Again . . . to me this is NOT what is being taught at all, but again– this is MY perception of The Secret in context with everything else I have studied.

    I do think that clearing your mind of negative feelings does open up many possibilities that you may not have noticed before.

    agardner, That is EXACTLY what I have learned, along with adding the positive thinking and feelings and ASKING for specific things.

    K . . .this is starting to feel like us trying to ‘convince’ each other again, and the thing is that we don’t need to agree. We are all RIGHT– we all have valid perceptions. I’m ready to move to the topic of The Divine Center where I believe people will see many of the same concepts but feel more confident and comfortable with the source. There is nothing wrong with that!

    Anyway– I’m going to disengage from this thread and what is beginning to feel heavy again now and move on. Thank you, everyone, for your perspectives.

  • Alison Moore Smith July 2, 2007, 10:21 pm

    Can we agree that in English, generally, “wealthy” is a monetary term when it its NOT qualified?

    For example, what would 99.9% of Americans think “He is very wealthy” means:

    (a) wealthy in cash or material goods
    (b) wealthy in friends
    (c) wealthy in knowledge
    (d) wealthy in health
    (e) wealthy in die cuts
    (f) wealthy in online shopping choices

    I would suggest that UNLESS QUALIFIED OTHERWISE, the term wealthy would mean A to almost everyone. And if we’re talking about wealth as a way to “build” “temples and churches” and “provide” “programs,” a huge percentage of the time thats going to be interpreted as cash wealth, not scrapbooking wealth (or health wealth or hair wealth). At which point, I suppose, the debate about whether or not scrapbooking wealth will really, reasonably build a temple will begin. :)

    So, I’m saying that stating that, “Of course the Lord wants us to be wealthy”–and having it interpreted as meaning money wealth, isn’t really a case of everyone else getting “stuck” thinking about Ferarris. :)

    You take the truth and the part that brings you closer to God.

    As I said, I’m still undecided. But I think there is something to the idea that something that denies God as the source of power (and replaces it with SELF), might, perhaps, be UNABLE to bring one closer to God. (Realizing that one’s PERCEPTION of where they are, might not be accurate.) I don’t think that can be dismissed so easily as to say “use what works, discard the rest.” As I said, if Satan (or an evil source) has any power, then things that are contrary to God, might still WORK. So using what “works” may well take us away from God–even if we don’t realize it.

    I have never said anything about NOT working for what we get. That’s not the point at all. Some in the book may feel that and promote that. That is NOT how I take it or what I am drawn to.

    Sharilee, you might be confusing some objections to what’s in the BOOK with objections to what YOU believe. I see lots of problems with the book–many more than you seem to see. I do not see the book promoting work or action, really, in ANY substantive way at all. I don’t see anything about saving money, comparison shopping, reading consumer publications. I see it as saying you should wish for it and “every time” it will appear. “Thoughts become things.” Not “thoughts become plans become action become things.” I see a marked difference in the two. And the former IS what the book promotes.

    Who’s decision is it that the most efficient is the ‘lesser’ car?

    That’s not what I said. Sorry to be unclear. What I said was that it’s inefficient to wish for a car AND wish for a house AND wish for money to give to charity AND wish for tuition money AND…

    So, if the book is accurate and this WORKS EVERY TIME, then why muck around with WISHING for each piece one by one. Just go for the whole enchilada and be done with it. Then you’ve got all the material stuff (including your used, fuel-efficient car) taken care of and you can move on to wishing about other stuff.

    I guess this is what I see here, as well as in other forums I’ve read on this book:

    Yes, it works every time…but I’m not going to prove it because I don’t want ______. I COULD get _______ if I did. But I don’t. So there.

    Honestly, at first I was taken aback by Oregonian’s request, but on more thought, it makes complete sense, although I’d take it to something more liquid than a Ferrari. :)

    See, if you do that, you won’t even HAVE to get an economical car in order to have “extra” for your charities. You’ll be rolling in the dough. But, of course, you still could.

    First of all– I didn’t get ‘angels’ from THIS book. Did anyone read one word about angels in The Secret? That came from a peripheral conversation about an experience that went along with the concept of the book.

    No, I didn’t read about angels in the book. I was trying to point out that some were uncomfortable with what seemed to be your implementation of the principles IN the book. So the book says to ask and you “ask your angels.” As I said, I don’t know if that’s unorthodox. (My Sunday School teacher as a kid bore testimony of her guardian angels every single fast Sunday.) But you could probably understand that it’s something some people might THINK is. (My bishops always stood after Sister Johnson talked to give the “guardian angel disclaimer.”) And so they might see the book as LEADING to the unorthodox. Does that make sense?

    As I mentioned before, a church leader recently made the comment to a large group of people involved in service here in Utah that he gives his angels assignments and then he can focus on the things he needs to do, knowing that the other will take care of itself.

    When I’ve heard such things, the context has been that “angels” are living humans who serve others. But, obviously, I don’t know what this man meant. Still, I’m just trying to help you understand why some might not go for the “asking the angels” thing. I don’t do it, but I don’t know if there’s a problem with it. I’m just trying to help you see how others see it.

    I feel very comfortable with where I am. That’s what counts.

    That’s true, in your life and I’m glad to hear it. But since this is a discussion of the book, it stands to reason that others might disagree or question your position on it. They might change their minds. For example, I was home sick yesterday and read some of the scriptures you posted and found it helpful in understanding you when they were linked in that context. But others might still see things differently.

    Again . . . to me this is NOT what is being taught at all, but again– this is MY perception of The Secret in context with everything else I have studied.

    But The Secret isn’t being taught IN THE CONTEXT of all the other books either you or I have read. So, while you might temper it with the gospel and other readings, and I might as well, that doesn’t change the EXPLICIT teachings in the book. If the book is ONLY good (or helpful or true or whatever) OUT OF ITS ACTUAL CONTEXT, then it is flawed. And those flaws, I think, are very worthy of discussion.

    In fact, that was the whole point of choosing the book. When a woman in my ward taught in her RS lesson that “The Secret is just the gospel” I really thought it was important to point out the MAJOR difference and contradictions.

  • Oregonian July 2, 2007, 11:47 pm

    Sharlee, you say you get it, but I don’ tthink I’ve heard you do anything but defend the book the whole time. Sorry if that is wrong, but it seems whenever someone says something negative, you defend it. If you really don’t agree with it all, what don’t you agree with?

    The wealth statement bothered me. It seemed like bait and switch. God wants us all to be wealthy. Wait, there’s a scripture that counters that. Oh, then that’s not what I said, I said that he wants us all to have something good. I think mlinford showed that God doesn’t want us all to be wealthy at least not JS. So let’s acknowledge that and move on.

  • partone July 3, 2007, 2:33 am

    How it “asking your angels” different from “praying to angels?”

  • Sharilee10 July 4, 2007, 6:31 pm

    I got this email from my friend today. I want to post it for those who wish to read it. It is fairly long, but there really weren’t parts I felt I could choose to cut out:

    Hi, Sharilee!

    I have found the answers to my questions and I’m so excited! My walking-partner, —–, with whom I’m also discussing all these faith concepts, found the answer to the question of how does the power of intention match or differ from the Gift of the Holy Ghost? How come people don’t have to be members of the Church, or even Christians (such as Deepak Chopra), to have access to this power? How does the Atonement factor in, the key doctrine of our religion?

    ——- got on lds.org and looked up “The light of Christ.” This definition was posted in answer to her search: “The light of Christ is the divine energy , power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the light of Christ is what we call conscience.” The words “divine energy” just excited both of us so much!

    Her search also pulled up an article and she e-mailed me a link to it. It’s in the Ensign, “I Have a Question,” by Brent Bulloch (an institute teacher), June 1989, p. 26-29, and the question is “What is the difference between the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Christ, and the Light of Christ?” After reading that, I feel like–yes!–all the pieces fit and make perfect sense!

    Here are some excerpts from that article:

    “Elder Joseph Fielding Smith taught that ‘the Holy Ghost should not be confused with the Spirit [the Light of Christ] which fills the immensity of space and which is everywhere present. This other Spirit [the Light of Christ] is impersonal and has no size, nor dimensions; it proceeds forth from the presence of the Father and the Son and is in all things.” ( Doctrines of Salvation, 1:49-50)

    “There is a spirit–the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ, the light of truth, the light of Christ–that defies description and is beyond mortal comprehenseion. It is in us and in all things; it is around us and around all things; it fills the earth and the heavens and the universe. It is everywhere, in all immensity, without exception; it is an indwelling, immanent, ever-present, never-absent spirit. It has neither shape or form nor personality. It is not an entity nor a person nor a personage. It has no agency, does not act independently, and exists not to act but to be acted upon.” (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 257.)

    D&C 88:12-13 says the light of Christ is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God.”

    The light of Christ is “the agency of God’s power; it is the means and way whereby ‘he comprehendeth all things,’ so that ‘all things are before him, and all things are round about him.’ It is the way whereby ‘ he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things.'” (McConkie, A New Witness…, p. 258)

    “The Spirit of Christ [Light of Christ] is the agency through which the Holy Ghost operates.” (Elder McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 341)

    “Every one of you born into this world enjoys the blessing of this Light that shall never cease to strive with you until you are led to that further light from the gift of the Holy Ghost that may be received only upon condition of repentance and baptism into the Kingdom of God.” (Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, p. 144)

    The Holy Ghost, of course, is received by the laying on of hands, through obedience to the first principles of the gospel, after baptism. It is “the increased rays of that light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” (President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 6:315)

    A person who receives the gift of the Holy Ghost receives “a greater and higher endowment of the same spirit which enlightens every man that comes into the world.” (Elder Charles W. Penrose, Journal of Discourses, 23:350)

    Unlike the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost does not fill the universe and cannot be personally present everywhere at the same time; however, his power and influence, through the light of Christ, can be manifest at the same time throughout all the immensity of space. (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:38)

    So here is my new understanding:

    The “power of intention” as identified and labeled by Wayne Dyer is exactly the same as the “light of Christ.” The definition matches perfectly. Everyone on the earth, absolutely everyone, has access to it. The idea that you must “match up” with it, as Wayne Dyer says, by being loving, creative, believing things will manifest, expecting to expand and learn, etc. (in other words, being Christ-like) to access it and feel peace and joy and see amazing coincidences (miracles) come together to fulfill your life’s mission is precisely correct. The idea that it exists at the quantum level and can effect miracles in healing, etc., as Deepak Chopra teaches, also is in complete agreement.

    However, members of the Church, who have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost (if they have indeed actively accepted it or “received” it, as they have been commanded to do when they were confirmed members of the Church), can, if they remain worthy to it through “matching up with intention” as, Wayne Dyer says it, and also are obedient to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, have a higher manifestation of that power on a regular basis.

    I just had no idea previously how immensely powerful the Light of Christ is until I saw it described by people who observed it and experimented with it, without even knowing what it was, such as Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra and any number of other great philosophers and observers of life. Gandhi would be another example. Then to add more power to that really makes the Gift of the Holy Ghost just astronomical! And the prophets have continually told us that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest thing about our Church. When Joseph Smith met with the President of the United States to plead for the saints who were being persecuted, “he interrogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day. Brother Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost…” ( History of the Church, 4:42)

    As for the necessity to repent (which Dyer doesn’t directly teach) and therefore access the power of the Atonement, I have received the answer to my question about that also. Without repenting, the light of Christ is still in us and in everyone else in the world, as indicated above. But if we repent and call upon Christ, we have access to the power of the Atonement, or grace, which is so much more powerful. An incident from my own life has come to my mind to answer this question as I have prayed about it. When my older children were young, I struggled so much with being patient. I was frequently irritable, and I often lost my temper. I kept praying for help, and I kept resolving every day to be better, and I seemed to make very little progress. (You could say, I kept trying to “align myself with the power of intention.”) I couldn’t even make it through the morning without getting angry.

    I got so low about it and felt I was just a terrible mother and was undoubtedly going to ruin my children, not to mention that I was unable to enjoy them in the present. Now I recognize that state as being “poor in spirit,” (3 Nephi 12:3) or grieved by my sins, as described in the Beautitudes. At that time I came across an Easter Ensign article entitled “Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ,” by Elder Bruce C. Hafen (April 1997) that gave me so much hope. After studying that article, I prayed and begging fervently and specifically that the power of the Atonement would cover for my past sin of anger as a mother, and that it would also change me to be better. The result felt miraculous. I remember specifically being in the park with my family a few days later, and I felt so much joy as a mother, and the children seemed so cute and smart, and my thought was that this must be what it felt like to be the mom in a Disney movie. I felt much, much, much more patient and loving than I had been able to do on my own. Nothing bugged me or irritated me. I just felt love. I recognized a huge jump in my ability–not just a “line upon line,” gradual increase in my ability, but a huge jump. That was the power of the Atonement working in my life.

    I believe, therefore, that the power of the Atonement, the power of repentance, is very much superior to the growth that you can receive through the Light of Christ alone and through trying to be better on your own by being loving, grateful, seeking beauty, serving others, being non-judgmental, etc., “matching up with intention” as taught by Wayne Dyer. It’s in the same direction (upward, toward Christ), but much accelerated. There is a necessity of repentance and calling upon Christ to become one with God and celestialized and a begotten child of Christ and heir of the promise, etc., but without knowing about Christ and repentance, there is still the wonderful blessing and power of the Light of Christ available to everyone.

    I think that these wonderful non-LDS or non-Christian people who have lived such saintly lives, sometimes without even knowing about the example of Jesus Christ, but just through recognizing the Light of Truth [the light of Christ] will recognize the rest of the truth immediately when they get to the other side, and will advance immediately when they repent and then have access to the infinitely superior power of the Atonement, and they will pass a lot of us up in the Spirit World as if we were standing still. But they have filled a great and vital role on the earth, that of teaching people in their own culture true principles of happiness, and provided a preparation for the further light of the gospel.

  • agardner July 12, 2007, 5:37 pm

    I realize that this topic is pretty inactive right now (and that’s probably a good thing), but I just want to say that I finally got my copy! When I heard it was the book club choice, I got on the waiting list at the library for both the written and audio versions. I got the call this morning that it was my turn!

    So, I picked it up when I took the kids to the library today (the one I got was the audio version) and popped it in the CD players on the way home. All I can say so far is…interesting.

    One thing that stuck out was that we are a product of our thoughts up to this point in our lives. So how do you account for the different circumstances that we are born into? Do they not mold us (or at least contribute to the molding) into who we are as adults? What if you are born into extreme poverty and never have an opportunity to receive an education or even leave your small community? That is somehow something you wished upon yourself?

    I also thought it was interesting that the law of attraction doesn’t recognize the word “don’t”. So if I am always thinking, “I am happy to be debt free” or “I don’t want this debt”…either way the word that the law is focusing on would be “debt”, and that’s what I would attract more of…right?

    From what I got so far (about 10-15 minutes) is that I attract whatever I am thinking about. So if I’m obsessing about money because I don’t have any, shouldn’t that bring me more money?? Especially since the law doesn’t recognize “don’t”. So if I say “I don’t want any more money” or “I want more money”…either way I should get a whole lot more money! Well, I can already tell you that doesn’t work – or I’d be rich!

    I’ll give it a chance. I’m sure there are some correct principles in there and it will be interesting to find them. More than anything, it is quite fascinating to listen to the words right out of Rhonda Byrne’s mouth. By the way, if you want some comic relief you should listen to the dramatizations on this thing. Pretty funny.

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