Where do thoughts originate? How do they come into our mind?
While many experts with years of education and advanced degrees might suggest the answer, the Lord provided a simple, spiritual explanation to Joseph Smith many years ago. They come from one of three sources.
- They are divinely inspired by God through His Spirit.
- They originate in our own conscious and subconscious mind.
- They are influenced by the opposition, the enemy of our soul, the devil.
If this approach is true, then we should be able to differentiate between them with discernment (1 Corinthians 2:14) and wisdom (James 1: 5). Pretty easy in some cases and far more challenging in others.
Here’s an example: The idea came to me “out of the blue” to send a card of encouragement to someone who has been sick. Well, it may be 1 or 2, but I’m confident it’s not 3. (Not a bad one to follow up on even if it was 2!)
How about this example: I wake up on Sunday morning and the idea comes to me to just stay in bed and skip out on going to church because I just don’t feel like going today. Definitely not 1, maybe 2, but probably 3. This is one of those ideas that you push through, ignore, and do what you know is best for your heart and soul — go to church.
The list of examples can go on and on, as we all know, but I recently had someone ask a question about a topic that required me to do a little research. This person asked, “Where did the idea of the rapture come from since the term isn’t found in the Bible?”
It caused me to wonder. What’s the origin of the term, and who came up with the idea behind it? (By the way, the rapture is the belief that, in the last days, followers of Jesus will be physically taken up to heaven to avoid any period of tribulation on earth.)
After doing some research on the subject, I learned that this ideology was developed in the 1830s by the Plymouth Brethren (a religious group of the time) and is often associated with one of its followers, John Nelson Darby. The idea of the rapture, as it is currently defined, is not found in the origins of Christianity but is a relatively recent doctrine of evangelical Protestantism. Check out the General Church FAQs to read The Church of Jesus Christ’s position on the rapture.
Back to the topic of applying discernment and where ideas come from…
Clearly, there are Christians who believe in the rapture and are looking to be taken up, while as a Church, we’re longing for the gathering of Israel, anxious to see the latter-day prophecies fulfilled as we build the kingdom of Zion! So, based on discernment, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, I’m personally confident this the rapture idea falls under 2 or 3, but definitely not 1.
Let’s pray that we use discernment, wisdom and the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12) to decide which ideas or thoughts to follow in all that we do and believe.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.
Interesting! Thanks for the clarification!
This is a very interesting subject. I have been wondering about many things I have heard over the years from mainstream Christians that are somewhat questionable. I would love to hear more about these kinds of subjects that have been explored & or debunked by TCOJC Brothers, and Sisters. At 80 years old it seems more urgent that My wife Sister Eileen & I are continually & forever learning and hoping that we have been faithful. We have both been faithfully publishing peace & good tidings, the gospel of peace, and that God still reigns to Zion, Eileen through her piano talents and I usually through one on one dialogue and both of us, as two of the earliest promoters of the Songs of Zion throughout the Church. I was thrilled recently When my Podiatrist told me That my feet look very good especially for an 80-year-old man. Isaiah 52:7 KJV. I pray that the blood of Jesus will have washed away my wretchedness as I leave my cocoon of a body so that I am able to enter into Zion or Heaven whichever comes first.
There is an excellent article on Wikipedia (the free online encyclopedia) on the Rapture that goes into a great detail on this subject (do a Google search of “Rapture Wikipedia”). Our earnest hope and fervent prayer is that when all these people realize that the Rapture is not imminent and is more than 1000 years in the future (the Rapture = the 1st Resurrection as Apostle Gorie Ciaravino used to say), then there is only one place that they can come–and that is to The Church of Jesus Christ. We will welcome them with open arms and loving hearts.
I am and will continue to pray for this gift for me and all my Brothers and Sisters.
There can be many gray areas but we all want Gods unadulterated Truth.