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bluebell

The Parable Of The Prodigal Son

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In another thread, the topic of the prodigal son and salvation kept coming up, and there were quite a few different ideas about whether or not the prodigal son would receive exaltation, or simply salvation...

This is one of my favorite parables, and i really do love the treatment that Talmage gives it in his book, "Jesus the Christ".

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We are not justified in extolling the virtue of the repentance on the part of the prodigal above the faithful, plodding service of his brother

He sure makes it sound like such a chore (which is a dangerous thought).

I believe that to deny the possibility of salvation in the highest degree in this case denies the concept of repentence. However, I think D&C 130:19 certainly applies and the faithful "plodding" son will have a better overall reward.

The danger here is thinking one can sample the sins of the world and easily make it back. From what I've seen in the life examples of others, the prodigal was very lucky indeed to make it back.

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There is a remarkable book by Millett on the parable of the prodigal son.

One of my favorite things about the parable is how each of us can be represented by any of the characters at any point in our lives. At any given time I might represent a father waiting patiently with no grudges, I could be a jealous brother, I could be a wallowing prodigal; I feel I've been all.

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I believe that to deny the possibility of salvation in the highest degree in this case denies the concept of repentence. However, I think D&C 130:19 certainly applies and the faithful "plodding" son will have a better overall reward.

YOU'RE the prodigal son, BC. And what's with this "greater reward?" That notion as you have expressed it runs contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ as I understand it. I remember another parable about laborers in the vineyard. Elder Oaks has somewhat to say concerning the "reward" interpretation:

We do not obtain our heavenly reward by punching a time clock. What is essential is that our labors in the workplace of the Lord have caused us to become something. For some of us, this requires a longer time than for others. What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors.

Many who come in the eleventh hour have been refined and prepared by the Lord in ways other than formal employment in the vineyard. These workers are like the prepared dry mix to which it is only necessary to "add water"--the perfecting ordinance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that addition--even in the eleventh hour--these workers are in the same state of development and qualified to receive the same reward as those who have labored long in the vineyard.

This parable teaches us that we should never give up hope and loving associations with family members and friends whose fine qualities evidence their progress toward what a loving Father would have them become. Similarly, the power of the Atonement and the principle of repentance show that we should never give up on loved ones who now seem to be making many wrong choices (Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge To Become," General Conference, Oct. 2000).

The danger here is thinking one can sample the sins of the world and easily make it back. From what I've seen in the life examples of others, the prodigal was very lucky indeed to make it back.

I agree; and you're the prodigal, too.

"...when the vision of our minds is opened to behold the immaculate purity, perfection, light, beauty, and glory of Zion, the heaven of eternity, the place where Saints and angels dwell in the eternal worlds, then salvation for us poor erring mortals seems almost impossible; it seems that we shall hardly be saved. This, however, is verily true, we shall hardly be saved. There never was any person over saved; all who have been saved, and that ever will be in the future, are only just saved, and then it is not without a struggle to overcome, that calls into exercise every energy of the soul. (Brigham Young, JD 2:132)

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I think the story has so many meanings within. I also think at many times we are both brothers. Sometimes we act as the younger brother and sometimes we act as the older brother. Both characters have flaws so even if we are the one that stays with Heavenly Father, we must be careful of our pride and bitterness. The older brother seems to be of the opinion that his younger brother got the better end of the deal because he went out and partied and was still welcomed home. The younger brother did go out and party, but look at how bad his life got while he was gone.

I would hate to think that my inheritance is gone because of earlier transgressions that I have fully repented of. I do agree that I have consequences from my actions, but I live with those each day. I think my sins are washed clean now and I will not have eternal consequences to my actions so long as I truly am repentant (meaning I don't continue to walk back into my sins).

Anyway, both characters stories talk of the same thing....humility. Whether we walk with the Lord the whole time or we stray and come back, we are to be humble. I personally would rather work on my humility walking with the Lord than away from Him.

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The prodigal son had to be changed from the inside, his human view, if you will. The other son did all the right things (in humanistic terms) yet is not changed. To me, this is another passage that exhibits that God will "draw near to Me whom I will."

It is clear that this passage negates the factor of works.

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The prodigal went home and his father welcomed him.

But one unanswered question, did he actually repent? Do we actually see forgiveness here or just joy to see him back in the household.

Did the father restore him back to his previous state.

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I think the story has so many meanings within. I also think at many times we are both brothers. Sometimes we act as the younger brother and sometimes we act as the older brother. Both characters have flaws so even if we are the one that stays with Heavenly Father, we must be careful of our pride and bitterness. The older brother seems to be of the opinion that his younger brother got the better end of the deal because he went out and partied and was still welcomed home. The younger brother did go out and party, but look at how bad his life got while he was gone.

I would hate to think that my inheritance is gone because of earlier transgressions that I have fully repented of. I do agree that I have consequences from my actions, but I live with those each day. I think my sins are washed clean now and I will not have eternal consequences to my actions so long as I truly am repentant (meaning I don't continue to walk back into my sins).

Anyway, both characters stories talk of the same thing....humility. Whether we walk with the Lord the whole time or we stray and come back, we are to be humble. I personally would rather work on my humility walking with the Lord than away from Him.

so does the story mean that no matter how bad we are we can always come back and will be accepted?

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so does the story mean that no matter how bad we are we can always come back and will be accepted?

Among other things, yes. God is much bigger than our puny sins, even our huge ones. I like to think of God as big enough to draw to Him any one He wishes.

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Hoops22:

Even against their wishes?

I don't even know how to wrap my arms around that question. Why would you think He could not? Do you think God would draw someone kicking and screaming into His company? God can not change our hearts? The very heart ("heart" in the classical sense) He created?

I don't understand. You are imposing your humanistic view on One who clearly operates on another "plane". "Arbitrary" may be your next claim, but an invalid one. "Arbitrariness" implies a standard that you have determined for One greater than you. Rather presumptous don't you think?

Not being snotty - at least trying not to be. Moving furniture today so I'm sore, hungry, and short tempered. Seems like a lot of folks here move furniture every day. :P

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It is clear that this passage negates the factor of works.

I completely disagree. I don't see the father going out and carrying the prodigal home while the prodigal does nothing; I see a prodigal making an effort to return home.

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The prodigal son had to be changed from the inside, his human view, if you will. The other son did all the right things (in humanistic terms) yet is not changed. To me, this is another passage that exhibits that God will "draw near to Me whom I will."

It is clear that this passage negates the factor of works.

I get the opposite here hoops-

For one thing, it's clear that the faithful son retains his inheritance-all that the father has is his.

How is that possible if the works of the faithful son have nothing to do with gaining this inheritance and this son is only doing the right things on the outside but is not 'right' on the inside-is not 'changed'?

:P

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I completely disagree. I don't see the father going out and carrying the prodigal home while the prodigal does nothing; I see a prodigal making an effort to return home.

After repentance. Would the father gone to get the son if he knew he had repented?

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After repentance. Would the father gone to get the son if he knew he had repented?

Repentance is a work?

Or does God repent for us?

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so does the story mean that no matter how bad we are we can always come back and will be accepted?

Read my post above. I slightly address this question.

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Hoops22:

In the Judgment there are clearly those that reject the Lord. Does God force them into Heaven?

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Repentance is a work?

Or does God repent for us?

Yes, defining "work" would prove useful. I never thought of repentance as a work.

No. We must agree to making "the change". Now, whether God draws us to that change in a Calvinist way or not is another discussion, but regardless, I don't see repentance as a work.

Hoops22:

In the Judgment there are clearly those that reject the Lord. Does God force them into Heaven?

Calvinist= He has not drawn them to Him.

Arminian = They have not made a "decision" for Christ.

Does that answer it? I'm not sure where you're headed.

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Hoops22:

Don't overdo the moving of furniture. It's hard on the body. :P

You are lucky. Repentance has always been hard work for me.

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Repentance has always been hard work for me.

That's interesting. Explain.

Bear in mind there are really two repentance "forces" at work here.

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Yes, defining "work" would prove useful. I never thought of repentance as a work.

No. We must agree to making "the change". Now, whether God draws us to that change in a Calvinist way or not is another discussion, but regardless, I don't see repentance as a work.

Calvinist= He has not drawn them to Him.

Arminian = They have not made a "decision" for Christ.

Does that answer it? I'm not sure where you're headed.

I feel you avoided the direct question. Did the prodigal choose to repent? If so, how did he repent? And how is that repentance not a work?

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I feel you avoided the direct question. Did the prodigal choose to repent? If so, how did he repent? And how is that repentance not a work?

I don't know.

You are making the assertion that repentance is a work. Define work and tell me how it is.

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Hoops22:

I think ultimately the question is Does God save us when we refuse to repent? The Bible leaves that question unanswered in the Parable of the Prodigal son. But I do believe that God will only exalt us to our willingness to accept.

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Hoops22:

I think ultimately the question is Does God save us when we refuse to repent? The Bible leaves that question unanswered in the Parable of the Prodigal son. But I do believe that God will only exalt us to our willingness to accept.

I would disagree. I think the ultimate question becomes "CAN God save us when we refuse to repent."

I believe there is evidence that He does/can. Rhino can speak to it better than I since I am not sold yet. Still the evidence is there.

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so does the story mean that no matter how bad we are we can always come back and will be accepted?

I think there is only one sin that we aren't not able to repent against and only Son's of Perdition can do that (denial of the Holy Ghost when we know with certainty that is what we are doing).

For everything else we can repent and be forgiven. Actually He would start forgiving us when we are still in the repentance process as well. But repentance is very hard so it is much easier if you can, not to mess up in the first place. However He will always love us and accept us back. He accepts us as His children even when we don't repent, but our eternal life will be different.

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