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Bill "Papa" Lee

Joseph’S Civil War Prophecy, Can Some Of The Pundit’S Help…

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Even were we to assume his statement is correct, I am not "there" yet, and I doubt nackhadlow is, either. (I've been wrong before, twice today, already, so take this latter with the proverbial grain of salt.)

Lehi

The question isn't if you are currently in alignment with the mind of Christ. It's if your view of the Old Testament God can be reconciled with how you think you should be as a perfected man.

Do you, for example, feel honor killings are justified?

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Do you, for example, feel honor killings are justified?

That should be a question asked of God, not him, probably =P.

In other words... If God can see something, he knows what is right. Thus, if you know what is right, is it really a killing?

Or just bringing people along the path they will go along?

Quiet Wishes,

TAO

Edited by TAO

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delete

Edited by Mike Reed

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No can do, much as I'd like to. Some other guy (who's name's most likely not "Lehi") took it long ago. He hasn't used it in years, but he's staked it out, and I can't use it.

Change your name to "Lehi Sellers" then.

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That should be a question asked of God, not him, probably =P.

In other words... If God can see something, he knows what is right. Thus, if you know what is right, is it really a killing?

Or just bringing people along the path they will go along?

Quiet Wishes,

TAO

The challenge, TAO, is that there are people who do feel that the mind of God is consistent with honor killings. It's a legitimate question once we posit that God would kill a people including children because of covenants.

From my perspective, if I know what is right, I know that killing is killing. It isn't right. Sometimes it can become necessary for terrible terrible reasons. As a former soldier, I promise you TAO that even necessary instances are not right.

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The challenge, TAO, is that there are people who do feel that the mind of God is consistent with honor killings.

So they do =).

It's a legitimate question once we posit that God would kill a people including children because of covenants.

And so he does. Is that any less horrid than letting them suffer for their sins? Not particularly =P. And I see both as necessary at times. Whether God takes me because of old age, or because I was shot, it doesn't make a difference; what my acts were make a difference though =).

From my perspective, if I know what is right, I know that killing is killing. It isn't right. Sometimes it can become necessary for terrible terrible reasons. As a former soldier, I promise you TAO that even necessary instances are not right.

I understand, but from God's view, it is different. Again, death is not really death. If death is not death, then how do we look at it differently? It is just the next step in life... in our progress... in our future. Death isn't an end to things, but a beginning. A new beginning and dawning era.

If I disagree with how some do honor killings, then I do my best to stop them. If I am unable to, then there must be some reason God would have me not do it, or I didn't try hard enough. I do not though, think it is God's fault for how they think. He can show them things... but he can't force them to think a certain way.

I've experienced temptations, and I've experienced God... and one of the things I've noticed about God is he never forces you to do something. He says, 'this is the way', and sometimes 'this is why'. But there is no compulsion. And I am grateful for it. I can feel when the devil tries to pull on me though... temptation is different from how God speaks. And sometimes the devil tries and disguises it... but I haven't found an instance so far where he has been able to do such without pulling. Now I don't think this will change, but I could be wrong. But I know that God lives in this manner =).

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It comes down to whether one accepts him as a prophet. There is enough here to strengthen the testimony of the believer, and enough ambiguity to reassure the disbeliever that he was only connecting the dots.

It shouldn't come down to that at all.

The fact is there is no reasonable basis to assume this was a "prophecy" from God, specifically because numerous individuals made similar predictions. It was a reasonable prediction by informed commentators. Period. There is enough to strengthen a testimony only if one is willing to ignore the well argued debunking that have been presented in this thread. The Civil War "prophecy" is, well, a case of another one bites the dust. Only a superficial understanding of history would excite those seeking validation for their faith-based presupposition that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. There is simply no good reason to believe Joseph Smith could produce reliable prophecies.

Same God Who ordered the destruction of the Canaanites, the Jaredites, the Nephites (twice), and the Israelites (twice before Christ, and once afterward). You may not like Him, but He's consistent

He's not consistent at all. Human history is riddled with immoral societies that have never seen the wrath of God fall upon them (especially in the way he did in the Old Testament). Funny how this only happens in ancient times, eh? Come to think of it, how come the God of the OT would send a bears to kill 42 children for simply making fun of a Prophet's lack of hair, but in modern times, grown adults who know better get away with all sorts of ridicule towards LDS prophets? Consistent? Hardly.

PS: at the risk of being reprimanded, I'll go on record and say that genocide is abhorrent and never justified.

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So they do =).

And so he does. Is that any less horrid than letting them suffer for their sins? Not particularly =P. And I see both as necessary at times. Whether God takes me because of old age, or because I was shot, it doesn't make a difference; what my acts were make a difference though =).

I understand, but from God's view, it is different. Again, death is not really death. If death is not death, then how do we look at it differently? It is just the next step in life... in our progress... in our future. Death isn't an end to things, but a beginning. A new beginning and dawning era.

If I disagree with how some do honor killings, then I do my best to stop them. If I am unable to, then there must be some reason God would have me not do it, or I didn't try hard enough. I do not though, think it is God's fault for how they think. He can show them things... but he can't force them to think a certain way.

I've experienced temptations, and I've experienced God... and one of the things I've noticed about God is he never forces you to do something. He says, 'this is the way', and sometimes 'this is why'. But there is no compulsion. And I am grateful for it. I can feel when the devil tries to pull on me though... temptation is different from how God speaks. And sometimes the devil tries and disguises it... but I haven't found an instance so far where he has been able to do such without pulling. Now I don't think this will change, but I could be wrong. But I know that God lives in this manner =).

So, then what's all this business about how children shouldn't suffer due to the sins of their fathers? According to you, their mass slaughters are sometimes justified because "covenants" were broken by those before them. And what's all this business about the plan of salvation and living a life on earth so we can endure to the end, learn to use bodies, etc, when God arbitrarily incinerates lives on a whim, before people have a chance to truly discover the purpose of life?

Face it. The only reason to believe this is what God would do, are the ancient fables found within the Old Testament. If this were an accurate portrayal of God's character, then we'd see some consistency and verifiable examples throughout the past two thousand years. Funny how all these examples of God destroying entire communities due to sin, can only be found in ancient literature that is becoming increasing exposed as myth among Bible scholars. Even the parting of the Red Sea had been proved myth (the Bible actually says Reed Sea). No serious scholars accept the story of Job as true history, and LDS scholars are fond of referring to the Josiahn purge which spent a great deal of effort rewriting sacred texts to suit the monarchy. So why then, is it so difficult to assume these stories that you use to justify conditional genocide, are in fact ahistorical?

Is it because it would implicate the Book of Mormon as fiction just the same? Apologists defend BoM violence by cross referencing Old Testament violence which they automatically take for granted as historical. And if breaking a covenant is enough to justify slaughter, then by your standards all ex-Mormons could suffer atrocious deaths, and it could be used as evidence that God did it. That's scary.

Edited by Xander

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Absolutely incredible. And pathetic.

So are statements like this from Chris Smith "Any God who commands genocide should go the way of Hosni Mubarak and Slobodan Milošević" and "criminal neglect from God."

We don't allow personal insults to individuals and certainly not insults to God. You may not believe in God but respect those who do and discuss the issues without resorting to such comparisons.

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PS: at the risk of being reprimanded, I'll go on record and say that genocide is abhorrent and never justified.

And that is a true statement if we are looking at men who make such a choice and carry it out. But the question comes as to whether God who knows the end from the beginning and knows the eternal nature of man can commit what we call genocide. It also comes down to how correct and complete the scriptural text is on which we base our notions of Biblical genocide. I think there is more to the story.

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So are statements like this from Chris Smith "Any God who commands genocide should go the way of Hosni Mubarak and Slobodan Milošević" and "criminal neglect from God."

We don't allow personal insults to individuals and certainly not insults to God. You may not believe in God but respect those who do and discuss the issues without resorting to such comparisons.

So to clarify, even though the concept of the possibility of God committing genocide is under discussion, it is not proper in this context to compare and bring up thoughts of other known rulers who also are known for their genocidal tendencies?

Just wondering, can anyone bring up any non-biblical ruler who committed (or attempted) genocide that they do respect?

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Xander,

Your posts brought a few different thoughts to mind.

The fact is there is no reasonable basis to assume this was a "prophecy" from God...

Would there ever be a reasonable basis for assuming something was a prophecy from God and not the result of careful analysis or lucky guesses? Is it unreasonable to suppose that God reveals the future to those who are pondering on information related to that future?

There is simply no good reason to believe Joseph Smith could produce reliable prophecies.

I'm currently trying to collect all the prophecies from the D&C to see how they turned out, and will possibly continue with other prophecies made by Joseph Smith and others in church history. Do you have an exhaustive/comprehensive/ (or at least thorough) source that discusses Joseph's/others' prophecies?

[God's] not consistent at all. Human history is riddled with immoral societies that have never seen the wrath of God fall upon them (especially in the way he did in the Old Testament). Funny how this only happens in ancient times, eh? Come to think of it, how come the God of the OT would send a bears to kill 42 children for simply making fun of a Prophet's lack of hair, but in modern times, grown adults who know better get away with all sorts of ridicule towards LDS prophets? Consistent? Hardly.

My problem with this statement is that it presumes that you are sufficiently aware of the conditions of all the populations involved to claim that consistency from God would require his treating all of these populations the same way. I don't think you are, and I'd be surprised if you really thought you were.

So, then what's all this business about how children shouldn't suffer due to the sins of their fathers?

I'm aware of the concept that people are not held accountable for the sins of their parents, but that (at least in my mind) is very different from suggesting that they won't suffer for their parents sins. There are countless ways in which children suffer because of their parents sins each day. Consider fetal alcohol syndrome, crack babies, abused children, etc...

And what's all this business about the plan of salvation and living a life on earth so we can endure to the end, learn to use bodies, etc, when God arbitrarily incinerates lives on a whim, before people have a chance to truly discover the purpose of life?

By saying God does something arbitrarily, you are suggesting that you have all of the relevant information and that God's action was not based on any of it. Again, I don't think you do. I presume you're familiar with the 3 act play analogy. You seem to be missing the idea that things which took place in a pre-mortal existence could impact what happens in this life (both positively and negatively).

Face it. The only reason to believe this is what God would do, are the ancient fables found within the Old Testament. If this were an accurate portrayal of God's character, then we'd see some consistency and verifiable examples throughout the past two thousand years. Funny how all these examples of God destroying entire communities due to sin, can only be found in ancient literature that is becoming increasing exposed as myth among Bible scholars. Even the parting of the Red Sea had been proved myth (the Bible actually says Reed Sea). No serious scholars accept the story of Job as true history, and LDS scholars are fond of referring to the Josiahn purge which spent a great deal of effort rewriting sacred texts to suit the monarchy. So why then, is it so difficult to assume these stories that you use to justify conditional genocide, are in fact ahistorical?

While I don't have a problem with any of these "fables" of violence being false, I also don't presume to know enough about God and how he operates to agree with you. It seems to me like many of the arguments against God, scriptures, prophets, etc are based on assumptions that are not well justified.

Mike

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Would there ever be a reasonable basis for assuming something was a prophecy from God and not the result of careful analysis or lucky guesses?

Sure. But there is nothing from Joseph Smith that would warrant this conclusion. And I keep hearing this "lucky guess" repeated in this thread when there is no "luck" required.

Is it unreasonable to suppose that God reveals the future to those who are pondering on information related to that future?

Without evidence? Yes, it is unreasonable.

My problem with this statement is that it presumes that you are sufficiently aware of the conditions of all the populations involved to claim that consistency from God would require his treating all of these populations the same way. I don't think you are, and I'd be surprised if you really thought you were.

The claim by LeSellers is that God is consistent throughout history. God has destroyed people, according to biblical myth, for commiting all sorts of sins, including covenant breaking. I don't need to known the "conditions of all the populations" throughout history to know that sin and offenses towards God have not only continued but have occasionally increased. IF you want to justify the biblical myths and count them as historic fact, then you're going to have to provide something more concrete than the Bible tales themselves, as this would be circular reasoning.

I'm aware of the concept that people are not held accountable for the sins of their parents, but that (at least in my mind) is very different from suggesting that they won't suffer for their parents sins. There are countless ways in which children suffer because of their parents sins each day. Consider fetal alcohol syndrome, crack babies, abused children, etc...

Yes, but in LDS doctrine, God is supposed to be "just" in the sense that he doesn't punish us for the sins of others. "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression" (A of F 1:2). But you're telling me that the destruction of entire communities isn't a punishment? If not, then what, a sad consequence of being born at the wrong place at the wrong time?

By saying God does something arbitrarily, you are suggesting that you have all of the relevant information and that God's action was not based on any of it. Again, I don't think you do. I presume you're familiar with the 3 act play analogy. You seem to be missing the idea that things which took place in a pre-mortal existence could impact what happens in this life (both positively and negatively).

You have not established that there is "relevant information" that could change the fact that God, according what I'm hearing in this thread, has been entirely inconsistent throughout history. And yes, I know the myth about the preexistence too, and that is why some people are born with black bodies - because they were disobedient in the preexistence. So what are you saying here, that those children who were destroyed by the wrath of God were also disobedient in the preexistent? You're rationalizing from left field here. There is no doctrinal basis for your assumptions.

While I don't have a problem with any of these "fables" of violence being false, I also don't presume to know enough about God and how he operates to agree with you.

Well I do presume to know that if God exists, then he wouldn't exist as a self-contradicting entity as defined by ancient story tellers.

It seems to me like many of the arguments against God, scriptures, prophets, etc are based on assumptions that are not well justified.

These aren't arguments against God. These are arguments against some religious claims that God, or at least their idea of God, is consistent.

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So, then what's all this business about how children shouldn't suffer due to the sins of their fathers? According to you, their mass slaughters are sometimes justified because "covenants" were broken by those before them.

No, my friend. They are justified because God says it is the right time for them to return. No more, no less. Not punishment, but mercy.

And what's all this business about the plan of salvation and living a life on earth so we can endure to the end, learn to use bodies, etc, when God arbitrarily incinerates lives on a whim, before people have a chance to truly discover the purpose of life?

For some people, their job is to endure till the end. For others, they have different trials to overcome, different things to accomplish. And because, we are given an opportunity after this life, people still do have a chance to truly discover the purpose of life.

Face it. The only reason to believe this is what God would do, are the ancient fables found within the Old Testament.

I don't face it. Maybe you believe it. I believe something different, in a God who is seeing... and can see the results and meanings behind things. You believe in something else. A seeing God can see the results of his actions... he has a reason, to take people away from this life. If God wanted to take me away tomorrow, so he would, and I would be well with it, because, it is his will to do it, and not mine, that should be done. I am fallible. I am weak. I make mistakes. I don't see far. But he does. He is not weak, or fallible, or capable of mistakes. He sees far; he is much better than I, and his words and laws are justice, the accomplice, being mercy, when the laws so receive it in justice.

If this were an accurate portrayal of God's character, then we'd see some consistency and verifiable examples throughout the past two thousand years.

When you look at God like a man, yes, you can get that sort of perspective. I don't think we should judge him as a man, for he is God... an exalted man... something much greater. He is not a natural man.

Funny how all these examples of God destroying entire communities due to sin, can only be found in ancient literature that is becoming increasing exposed as myth among Bible scholars.

So what, my friend. We know that such an event may come once more. We know not when, but the point being, you throw doubt on God simply because of chance, and yet, isn't that what God is? The defiance of chance? Indeed, he is that. And much much more.

Even the parting of the Red Sea had been proved myth (the Bible actually says Reed Sea). No serious scholars accept the story of Job as true history, and LDS scholars are fond of referring to the Josiahn purge which spent a great deal of effort rewriting sacred texts to suit the monarchy. So why then, is it so difficult to assume these stories that you use to justify conditional genocide, are in fact ahistorical?

My friend, I assure you the death of the Jaredite race would not be under those same problems. The Jaredites disappeared due to their wickedness; war and famine causing many or most of the casualties. But does it make a difference whether it is by war and famine, or by old age? No. We are still taken by God, when he wills us. What matters is our state of being, how much or the right we chose, and how much of the wrong.

Is it because it would implicate the Book of Mormon as fiction just the same?

Again, my friend, your logic does not work. Consider the horses, which were thought to originally to have re-entered the American continent through the Spanish. Such was/is taught in textbooks. However, that has been discovered to be wrong. You assume you know most of history, and I assure you, the farther you go back, the more muddled history is, and the more things that we think are fact, tend to get switched around. I do not think the history behind the Book of Mormon is anywhere near decided yet.

Apologists defend BoM violence by cross referencing Old Testament violence which they automatically take for granted as historical. And if breaking a covenant is enough to justify slaughter, then by your standards all ex-Mormons could suffer atrocious deaths, and it could be used as evidence that God did it. That's scary.

Apologists defend the violence in the BoM by quoting Nephi. So does the church. I don't know why you think that I am using the OT to justify violence, I am certainly not. I am saying that the reason God uses in the OT, and in the BoM is relatively similar. He says both times, of both people, wickedness, is his reason, to save other people from unbelief. I wish I was able to find the verse I found once though... I found a verse remarkably similar in phrasing to the one in Nephi... and yet I can't find it now =/.

Also, breaking a covenant wasn't the reason, I believe. It was wickedness that was the reason... which may or may not be worse.

In addition, it is not up to me to decide who dies and who does not. That's God's job. I'm sure you'll recall all the times he didn't kill wicked men. Sometimes God decides not to kill them, after all. I think it may be up to his purposes, whatever they be. I do not know them myself.

Edited by TAO

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Do you, for example, feel honor killings are justified?

It would depend on several things.

First, and most importantly, on whose honor was being impugned by the person who would die. If it is a man (not The Man of Holiness), then no such killing is justified. In that case, it is purely pride, and "pride goeth before destruction".

Second, the person who would die must have either actively broken a covenant, or his culture is such that he has no chance of observing it. This is what I believe the Lord meant when He told Abraham this.

16 But in the fourth generation they [the Israelites from Egypt] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

In the latter case involving culture, such a killing is an act of mercy, for the lost one and also for the children he will not have.

Third, through whom is the order given? If it not a prophet of God, then the killing does not qualify.

There are other criteria, too, but I doubt many would get past these three.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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It would depend on several things.

First, and most importantly, on whose honor was being impugned by the person who would die. If it is a man (not The Man of Holiness), then no such killing is justified. In that case, it is purely pride, and "pride goeth before destruction".

At it's core, I think this is the best argument against accepting biblical stories that depict genocide as being reflective of God. If God is good, then He can not have pride. And why would he act in a manner different than humans should?

If, on the other hand, God is impartial, then God would not feel anything in the cases where someone impugns His honor.

This leaves only one option for God to kill. And it's the one already contested in this thread.

As a person seeking to obtain the Mind of Christ, Lehi, why would you assume that God should be otherwise? You already accept that scripture is imperfect, right?

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Xander,

Thanks for responding.

I aksed: "Would there ever be a reasonable basis for assuming something was a prophecy from God and not the result of careful analysis or lucky guesses?"

You responded

Sure. But there is nothing from Joseph Smith that would warrant this conclusion. And I keep hearing this "lucky guess" repeated in this thread when there is no "luck" required.

What would warrant such a conclusion, in your mind? I certainly wasn't suggesting that you thought Joseph's civil war prophecy was a lucky guess. Instead I was pointing to a common explanation of other prophetic things from Joseph.

Next I asked: Is it unreasonable to suppose that God reveals the future to those who are pondering on information related to that future?

You replied

Without evidence? Yes, it is unreasonable.

This seems odd to me. What kind of evidence would you need for it to be reasonable? Here is a hypothetical scenario that seems fairly analogous to the situation we're discussing. A number of people are all reading a book. Elaine has finished reading the book. Steven, John, and Joseph are all part way through the book. Steven and John, based on what has happened so far, believe that a certain event will shortly occur in the book. Joseph learns of their expectation and asks Elaine, who confirms that the event will happen shortly. Joseph then states that it will certainly happen, even though he hasn't read that far yet. Xander, after having read the book himself, learns of Joseph's statement and concludes that he made his statement based exclusively on his own reasoning and the reasoning of Steven and John. Xander claims that it is unreasonable to believe that Elaine told Joseph what would happen.

Do you see why this seems odd? Your response seems to me to be saying that God will only reveal the future to people who aren't thinking about it. What justification do you have for such a position?

I then said:"My problem with this statement is that it presumes that you are sufficiently aware of the conditions of all the populations involved to claim that consistency from God would require his treating all of these populations the same way. I don't think you are, and I'd be surprised if you really thought you were"

To which you replied:

The claim by LeSellers is that God is consistent throughout history. God has destroyed people, according to biblical myth, for commiting all sorts of sins, including covenant breaking. I don't need to known the "conditions of all the populations" throughout history to know that sin and offenses towards God have not only continued but have occasionally increased. IF you want to justify the biblical myths and count them as historic fact, then you're going to have to provide something more concrete than the Bible tales themselves, as this would be circular reasoning.

I am not trying to justify "the bibilical myths"--in fact, I believe I mentioned I wouldn't have a problem if they were not true. I was simply pointing out that, as I understood it, your reasoning for discounting them was faulty. Perhaps I didn't make my point clearly enough. Another example might help illustrate the error. Population X has characteristics A, B, C, and D, a combination which evokes a response Q from God. Population Y has characteristics B, C, and D. Xander claims that in order for God to be consistent, God also must respond to population Y with Q. Do you see how this is faulty reasoning?

Next, I said: I'm aware of the concept that people are not held accountable for the sins of their parents, but that (at least in my mind) is very different from suggesting that they won't suffer for their parents sins. There are countless ways in which children suffer because of their parents sins each day. Consider fetal alcohol syndrome, crack babies, abused children, etc...

You said:

Yes, but in LDS doctrine, God is supposed to be "just" in the sense that he doesn't punish us for the sins of others. "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression" (A of F 1:2). But you're telling me that the destruction of entire communities isn't a punishment? If not, then what, a sad consequence of being born at the wrong place at the wrong time?

I'll quibble a bit with your language, but I think I largely agree with what you seem to be saying here. First the quibble--I'm unaware of God destroying an entire community that was without sin. Now, the agreement: it does seem that ordering the killing of children who, because they are not accountable, are without sin would constitute punishment of those children for the sins of their parents. I agree that, exactly as described, such a scenario would render God unjust in our estimation. I suggest, however, that there is more involved in such a scenario than we can observe.

You said:

You have not established that there is "relevant information" that could change the fact that God, according what I'm hearing in this thread, has been entirely inconsistent throughout history.

See my explanation of different treatment of different populations above.

You then said:

And yes, I know the myth about the preexistence too, and that is why some people are born with black bodies - because they were disobedient in the preexistence. So what are you saying here, that those children who were destroyed by the wrath of God were also disobedient in the preexistent? You're rationalizing from left field here. There is no doctrinal basis for your assumptions.

I am not saying that God ordered the killing of children because they were disobedient in the pre-mortal life. I'm simply suggesting that if the assumptions that God is just and that there is a pre-mortal existence are both true, then events that took place in the pre-mortal life could make the scenario from above go from being unjust to being just. I'm saying we don't know, and that your description of the scenario (God arbitrarily incinerating people) is very possibly wrong.

Well I do presume to know that if God exists, then he wouldn't exist as a self-contradicting entity as defined by ancient story tellers.

By implying that the God described in the scriptures is self-contradicting, you presume you understand such scriptures' descriptions of God without error. I can't imagine such is the case.

Finally, you said:

These aren't arguments against God. These are arguments against some religious claims that God, or at least their idea of God, is consistent.

You know, I can see where you are coming from. I, however, don't think your positions are as strong as you seem to think they are. Rather, it seems to me that there is plenty of possibility for God to exist as we believe in him and for Joseph to have made a correct prophecy regarding the civil war. Let me know if you feel like I've misunderstood or misrepresented your positions.

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So are statements like this from Chris Smith "Any God who commands genocide should go the way of Hosni Mubarak and Slobodan Milošević" and "criminal neglect from God."

We don't allow personal insults to individuals and certainly not insults to God. You may not believe in God but respect those who do and discuss the issues without resorting to such comparisons.

Not a particular fan of cdowis - I am sure the feeling is mutual.

But I agree with him 100% and I would add that it was a completely pathetic statement to make. And those (including members) who were "impressed" by it with whatever sad "justifications".... well, I will leave it at that.

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No can do, much as I'd like to. Some other guy (who's name's most likely not "Lehi") took it long ago. He hasn't used it in years, but he's staked it out, and I can't use it.

It's not like I don't make it clear, both by these explicit pleas, and by signing every message with my name.

Lehi

Hey Lehi,

You aren't asking much here so don't feel like no one is hearing your plea. You have earned that respect, unfortunately not on the playground.

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Hey Lehi,

You aren't asking much here so don't feel like no one is hearing your plea. You have earned that respect, unfortunately not on the playground.

You are kind.

I should, however, point out, that the reason I issue this invitation to nearly everyone who types out "LeSellers" (five letters more than "Lehi", in case one didn't notice—be lazy, folks!) in references to me is not out of pride (although I am proud to bear my grandfather's name), nor stubbornness (but that, too, is a foible of mine). It is because I want people to know that I am a real person, I am not hiding behind a façade, and, if I mistake once in a while, it may come back to me, on my card.

One reason I do not use my full name is, however much I want my reality recognized, I do not want Google to destroy me professionally, as it could. I've paid that price in the past, more than once. I do not wish it to happen again. While there are probably thousands of, e.g., "Mik* R**ds" in USmerica, there are decidedly fewer "L*hi S*ll*rs" out there (indeed, I believe I am unique). I still have to feed my family, and, odd as this may sound, there are people who are unlikely to hire a "Mormon" on that basis alone (some won't even consider a Saint as President of the united States, even in this day of universal tolerance). Best, for this, to keep my full name somewhat occluded. A wise Man once said, "Be ye therefore wise as serpents but harmless as doves". I read that somewhere.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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Even appearing in the clouds and saying, "you really shouldn't do that!" would be a nice start. Instead, he does nothing. (Or, at the most, gives us shoddy and ambiguous sacred texts with limited moral and historical credibility.)

Or maybe he is…

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Kahlil Gibran

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No, my friend. They are justified because God says it is the right time for them to return. No more, no less. Not punishment, but mercy

Not true at all. CFR? The genocidal incidents in the Bible are usually described as punishment, not mercy. You're spinning it this way to fit the benevolent, just and merciful God model.

For some people, their job is to endure till the end. For others, they have different trials to overcome, different things to accomplish. And because, we are given an opportunity after this life, people still do have a chance to truly discover the purpose of life.

So the plan of salvation only pertains to some. I was always told that our purpose was to endure till the end. That is what God wanted for all his children. But you're telling me this isn't necessarily true, and you seem to be doing this for no other reason than to justify a fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

I don't face it. Maybe you believe it. I believe something different, in a God who is seeing... and can see the results and meanings behind things.

Which has nothing to do with the fact that only Old Testament myth supports this crude concept of an unmerciful God. But what you believe is beside the point. Why you believe it is the point. You believe it because the Bible says so. It is canonized scripture and binding official doctrine. So you accept it as true. You do not make distinctions between what is actual history and what is fiction. My point is that there is no reason to believe a merciful, loving God would slaughter children.

You believe in something else. A seeing God can see the results of his actions...

I can see the result of those actions to, which is the point. You're trying to impose some deeper meaning into genocidal rages, which is quite disturbing because you seek to rationalize and reconcile them with a loving God. My point is you cannot have it both ways. If God loves us all equally, and the plan of salvation is true, then it is true for everyone, not just some of us who were lucky enough to be born into a society that hadn't brought the wrath of God upon them.

he has a reason, to take people away from this life

This is a concenient assumption on yoru part, but you're just assuming. And you're still not dealing with the fact that god apparently decided to not do that anymore. All of these horrific events took place so long ago, that they're conveniently unfalsifiable. Meanwhile, societies become more and more immoral, blasphemous, secular, etc., and God does nothing to punish them.

If God wanted to take me away tomorrow, so he would, and I would be well with it

We're not talking about you, I'm talking about the justification for slaughtering children before they ever had the chance to experience any of the stuff you hear about in those tear-jerking Church videos. Clearly both cannot be true. In my view, the Church's modern day concept of God is much closer to the truth, as opposed to the ancient version of an eternally vexed deity who is constantly destroying those who offend him.

because, it is his will to do it, and not mine, that should be done. I am fallible. I am weak. I make mistakes. I don't see far. But he does. He is not weak, or fallible, or capable of mistakes. He sees far; he is much better than I, and his words and laws are justice, the accomplice, being mercy, when the laws so receive it in justice.

You've wandered off the reservation... I'm not talking about any of this.

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When you look at God like a man, yes, you can get that sort of perspective. I don't think we should judge him as a man, for he is God... an exalted man... something much greater. He is not a natural man.

I'm not judging God. I'm saying I simply do not accept the Old Testament description of God, precisely because it is filled with too many fables. We know already that most of that stuff never happened. Scholars doubt that the exodus ever took place. We know that the Old Testament was written by subsequent editors who were frequently trying to explain why their God, Yahweh was greater than all the other gods and why the Israelites were his favorite people. One way to do this was to refer to great battles where the enemies of God and the Israelites, were destroyed.

We know that such an event may come once more.

No, we don't know this. We don't know that such events ever took place in the past either.

We know not when, but the point being, you throw doubt on God simply because of chance, and yet, isn't that what God is? The defiance of chance? Indeed, he is that. And much much more.

What on earth are you talking about? I am not trhowing doubt on God because of chance. You're equating discredited biblical myths with "God." I'm not. I'm saying I reject the Old Testament descriptions of a jealous, vengeance driven God who thinks burning children alive if a good thing.

Again, my friend, your logic does not work.

It works just fine. The fact is you base your claims on a book that is becoming increasingly exposed as a work of fiction. It is the only source you have and the only reason you have to believe God would condone genocide. The fact that God has not acted accordingly in the past 4000 years, is pretty good evidence that those stories are false, and that God doesn't really act that way at all.

Consider the horses, which were thought to originally to have re-entered the American continent through the Spanish. Such was/is taught in textbooks. However, that has been discovered to be wrong.

No it hasn't. Horses in America today are here because they were brought here, this is what the textbooks teach. If there are horse bones dating back 100,000 years, well big deal. There are also shark's teeth all over the hills of Ft. Benning Ga. Neither of these facts does anything to support Book of Mormon claims.

You assume you know most of history, and I assure you, the farther you go back, the more muddled history is

Yes, that's actually my point. It is muddled because it is recreated by subsequent writers who wish to use history to suit their agendas. What better way to scare off your enemies than to make it sound like God will kill them if they keep harrassing you?

and the more things that we think are fact, tend to get switched around

Not true. But I know how this apologetic thinking goes. It is very much a non sequitur. Science has been shown to be wrong sometimes, therefore virtually anything we want to believe can be true.

Apologists defend the violence in the BoM by quoting Nephi.

But there is no reason a loving God would tell Nephi to kill someone who was drunk. Joseph Smith knew this would be believable simply because people were familiar enough with the Old Testament.

I am saying that the reason God uses in the OT

God doesn't "use" the OT at all. The OT is a compilation of redacted texts. LDS scholars will even admit this, and in fact make this precise point when trying to use it to support their heavenly mother doctrine.

and in the BoM is relatively similar.

Yes, which presents more problems for Mormons than you're willing to concede.

He says both times, of both people, wickedness, is his reason, to save other people from unbelief.

Except, as I already said, there is no reason to believe any of these things in the Old Testament are based on historical events. They are based on the story telling of subsequent redactors.

I wish I was able to find the verse I found once though... I found a verse remarkably similar in phrasing to the one in Nephi... and yet I can't find it now =/.

There are numerous verses in both texts that are similar, and this is probably due to the fact that Joseph Smith used both the Old and New testaments when creating the Book of Mormon narrative. Even David Bokovoy agrees that Joseph Smith probably used a KJV Bible when "translating" the Book of Mormon.

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Not true at all. CFR? The genocidal incidents in the Bible are usually described as punishment, not mercy. You're spinning it this way to fit the benevolent, just and merciful God model.

Please read this article on lds.org: http://lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/as-many-as-i-love-i-rebuke-and-chasten?lang=eng

God's punishment is an act of mercy, in a way.

So the plan of salvation only pertains to some. I was always told that our purpose was to endure till the end. That is what God wanted for all his children. But you're telling me this isn't necessarily true, and you seem to be doing this for no other reason than to justify a fundamentalist reading of the Bible.

The end is whenever God wills it, my friend. The plan of salvation is still in effect, and not all things are over with after this life. The next life has challenges too. Do you understand what LDS believe about the next life, because I am not sure you look at it the same way we do.

Which has nothing to do with the fact that only Old Testament myth supports this crude concept of an unmerciful God. But what you believe is beside the point. Why you believe it is the point. You believe it because the Bible says so. It is canonized scripture and binding official doctrine. So you accept it as true. You do not make distinctions between what is actual history and what is fiction. My point is that there is no reason to believe a merciful, loving God would slaughter children.

I look at God as a whole, my friend. You seem to want to divide him up. For me, God is the same in one book as he is in the other, and by dividing him up, no wonder you come up with a different conclusion than I. You are not looking at him in the same way LDS do, my friend.

And no, my friend, I have never believed 'because the Bible says so'. I believe because I have asked God.

I can see the result of those actions to, which is the point. You're trying to impose some deeper meaning into genocidal rages, which is quite disturbing because you seek to rationalize and reconcile them with a loving God. My point is you cannot have it both ways. If God loves us all equally, and the plan of salvation is true, then it is true for everyone, not just some of us who were lucky enough to be born into a society that hadn't brought the wrath of God upon them.

So, my friend, can you see what they are doing right now? I do not think you have any more of a vision of what spirit paradise and spirit prison are like than I. Again, my friend, I am not sure you understand the LDS concept of what happens after you die very well. There are many steps in it, and things aren't entirely over with death.

And of course I rationalize it. Just as you are rationalizing him as well. We all rationalize. Be it in a positive or negative manner. I would be afraid if someone wasn't rationalizing to some sense or degree.

This is a concenient assumption on yoru part, but you're just assuming. And you're still not dealing with the fact that god apparently decided to not do that anymore. All of these horrific events took place so long ago, that they're conveniently unfalsifiable. Meanwhile, societies become more and more immoral, blasphemous, secular, etc., and God does nothing to punish them.

Not in LDS thought, my friend. I could provide a source, if you would like, from statements of apostles and prophets. Again, my friend, unless you start looking at things from the LDS POV, you are going to start butting heads with people's ideologies. I have faith and reason to believe what I do, your attacking of what I believe is absolutely pointless.

We're not talking about you

My friend, considering you are talking to me, in a sense, you are talking about me. You are talking about my beliefs, which are a part of me.

I'm talking about the justification for slaughtering children before they ever had the chance to experience any of the stuff you hear about in those tear-jerking Church videos. Clearly both cannot be true. In my view, the Church's modern day concept of God is much closer to the truth, as opposed to the ancient version of an eternally vexed deity who is constantly destroying those who offend him.

My friend, again, you don't understand LDS view of the afterlife very well. You don't understand that all of those who missed oppurtunities in this life will recieve it in the next. You don't understand why I have faith in the fairness of Christ, nor why I believe it will happen. And you don't understand that I let my views of the whole effect the whole, not one specific bit sour the whole lot. I will use sources of modern day prophets to justify what God did then, because to me, he is the same God.

You've wandered off the reservation... I'm not talking about any of this.

But you are. You object to my POV, therefore, I am explaining my POV to you so that way conversation can proceed =).

Best Wishes,

TAO

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I'm not judging God. I'm saying I simply do not accept the Old Testament description of God, precisely because it is filled with too many fables.

Ok, so what? I know things are left out, but I can still defend him as such, even if things weren't.

It is so much the better. It will make it even easier defending him when we get those lost things back =).

And of course I know the Lord is more merciful then portrayed in the OT. But that doesn't make me lose the practicality of defending him.

After all, people are so interested in what can be seen now, these days.

We know already that most of that stuff never happened. Scholars doubt that the exodus ever took place. We know that the Old Testament was written by subsequent editors who were frequently trying to explain why their God, Yahweh was greater than all the other gods and why the Israelites were his favorite people. One way to do this was to refer to great battles where the enemies of God and the Israelites, were destroyed.

CFR that we know that most of that stuff never happened. I can assure you, we don't know any of it. We have our suspicions, but we hardly know anything about that time period, considering what could have been actually going on.

I am used to history changing over the years, and I assure you, this is not the only way to look upon the information. With a few more years of study, who knows, we may look upon the issue completely differently.

No, we don't know this. We don't know that such events ever took place in the past either.

Second coming?

What on earth are you talking about? I am not trhowing doubt on God because of chance. You're equating discredited biblical myths with "God." I'm not. I'm saying I reject the Old Testament descriptions of a jealous, vengeance driven God who thinks burning children alive if a good thing.

No, my friend, I am simply stating to you that history has not been decided yet, and so I would hazard to make any 'doubts' considering we know very little at this point.

And I am saying that it is known that God will let some of his children be killed in the future, too. It is also known that he did so in Alma.

It works just fine. The fact is you base your claims on a book that is becoming increasingly exposed as a work of fiction. It is the only source you have and the only reason you have to believe God would condone genocide. The fact that God has not acted accordingly in the past 4000 years, is pretty good evidence that those stories are false, and that God doesn't really act that way at all.

Again, my friend, history changes. You think it is a work of fiction now, but in twenty years... things may have changed.

It is not the only source I have to believe God would condone genocide. Again, the Jaredites in the Book of Mormon. The Nephites in the Book of Mormon as well. You discount these stories because you believe them to be false, alas, that doesn't really help in your attempte to convince me.

No it hasn't. Horses in America today are here because they were brought here, this is what the textbooks teach. If there are horse bones dating back 100,000 years, well big deal. There are also shark's teeth all over the hills of Ft. Benning Ga. Neither of these facts does anything to support Book of Mormon claims.

I introduce you to these threads:

http://www.mormondia...entry1209016848

http://www.mormondia...entry1208999878

http://www.mormondia...are-the-horses/

If you ever get the chance to talk to Zakuska or RayCallisHilton (though especially Zakuska), I would. They are experts and have tons of sources on why the Spanish could not have been the ones to bring the horses over. This is a good example of how 'history' can change.

Yes, that's actually my point. It is muddled because it is recreated by subsequent writers who wish to use history to suit their agendas. What better way to scare off your enemies than to make it sound like God will kill them if they keep harrassing you?

But you don't know they are rewriting it. You think they are. But you do not know that. So why bother assuming?

Not true. But I know how this apologetic thinking goes. It is very much a non sequitur. Science has been shown to be wrong sometimes, therefore virtually anything we want to believe can be true.

Not what I was saying, my friend. I was saying that you cannot use science, nor history, to disprove something, as they both evolve over time.

But there is no reason a loving God would tell Nephi to kill someone who was drunk. Joseph Smith knew this would be believable simply because people were familiar enough with the Old Testament.

Okay, what if Laban would somehow prevent Nephi from reaching his destination, causing the Great Apostasy to be permanent.

Do you know this would not have happened? I certainly don't.

God doesn't "use" the OT at all. The OT is a compilation of redacted texts. LDS scholars will even admit this, and in fact make this precise point when trying to use it to support their heavenly mother doctrine.

=| I said God uses the same justification... not that he uses the OT. Though he does that too.

Yes, which presents more problems for Mormons than you're willing to concede.

Of course, my friend, because history and science aren't very solid at times =P.

Except, as I already said, there is no reason to believe any of these things in the Old Testament are based on historical events. They are based on the story telling of subsequent redactors.

Except you base this on history, which as I said, has been shown to be not very solid.

There are numerous verses in both texts that are similar, and this is probably due to the fact that Joseph Smith used both the Old and New testaments when creating the Book of Mormon narrative. Even David Bokovoy agrees that Joseph Smith probably used a KJV Bible when "translating" the Book of Mormon.

Xander, I am used to disagreeing with my fellow apologists, using a call to authority isn't ideal for this one. Just because they are similar, or the same, doesn't mean he used it, I'm afraid. You will have to do better than that. It isn't a strong argument, considering the numerous other possibilities.

Edited by TAO

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