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Five Solas

Would you worship a God who commanded lying?

Would you worship a God who commanded lying?  

21 members have voted

  1. 1. Please choose the answer that best fits your position

    • I’m LDS and I would worship a God who commanded lies
      8
    • I’m LDS and I would NOT worship a God who commanded lies
      10
    • I’m Christian, non-LDS and I would worship a God who commanded lies
      0
    • I’m Christian, non-LDS and I would NOT worship a God who commanded lies
      3
    • I’m non-Christian, non-LDS and I would worship a God who commanded lies
      0
    • I’m non-Christian, non-LDS and I would NOT worship a God who commanded lies
      0


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On another thread, several LDS posters rallied to defend a statement made by the late Robert D. Hales that had been called into question.  I won’t rehash it here, but among the more ingenious defenses was the notion that Jesus commanded Peter to deny him (initially attributed to the late Spencer W. Kimball).  The story is told in John 18:15-27 and elsewhere (sans the command to lie).

Called out on it, another LDS poster defended the notion by arguing God (or at least the LDS one) had established a precedent for commanding lies—a couple thousand years previous in the case of Abraham and his wife Sarah, wherein Abraham lied to Abimelech about the status of Sarah, claiming she was his sister.  The story is told in Genesis 20 (again, sans any command to lie).

My request for a Scripture reference was ignored and when I asked again, another LDS poster chimed in that it wasn’t necessary for any to be provided.  (A curious attitude for a discussion board, at least in my opinion--but he got a "like" for his effort from the other one--so there you go.)

But I wanted to explore the topic further and with the help of a poll on a dedicated thread.  So here we go: Would you worship a God who commanded lies?

--Erik

____________________________________

So lie to me
But do it with sincerity
Make me listen
Just for a minute
Make me think
There's some truth in it

--Depeche Mode, 1984

 

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"commanded you to tell lies" is far too generic.

I said yes, because I recognize that context and circumstance matters.  Blanket ban on "lying" in all situations sounds good and scripturally consistent, but I don't think God expects that.

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No I would not.

God can take care of things pretty much by Himself without requiring me or any other mortal to break one of the 10 commandments. To think that God needs us to lie for Him diminishes what we think that God has the power to do all by Himself without us mortals being used in an inappropriate way.  

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47 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

On another thread, several LDS posters rallied to defend a statement made by the late Robert D. Hales that had been called into question.  I won’t rehash it here, but among the more ingenious defenses was the notion that Jesus commanded Peter to deny him (initially attributed to the late Spencer W. Kimball).  The story is told in John 18:15-27 and elsewhere (sans the command to lie).

Called out on it, another LDS poster defended the notion by arguing God (or at least the LDS one) had established a precedent for commanding lies—a couple thousand years previous in the case of Abraham and his wife Sarah, wherein Abraham lied to Abimelech about the status of Sarah, claiming she was his sister.  The story is told in Genesis 20 (again, sans any command to lie).

My request for a Scripture reference was ignored and when I asked again, another LDS poster chimed in that it wasn’t necessary for any to be provided.  (A curious attitude for a discussion board, at least in my opinion--but he got a "like" for his effort from the other one--so there you go.)

But I wanted to explore the topic further and with the help of a poll on a dedicated thread.  So here we go: Would you worship a God who commanded lies?

--Erik

____________________________________

So lie to me
But do it with sincerity
Make me listen
Just for a minute
Make me think
There's some truth in it

--Depeche Mode, 1984

I worship the God of Abraham -- do you think He lied?

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7 minutes ago, california boy said:

No I would not.

God can take care of things pretty much by Himself without requiring me or any other mortal to break one of the 10 commandments. To think that God needs us to lie for Him diminishes what we think that God has the power to do all by Himself without us mortals being used in an inappropriate way.  

I am curious as to your thought process on this, not judging one  way or another.

If you were in a difficult position such as described above by Nehor, would you choose to lie about the presence of any kids or Jews or remain silent/tell the truth knowing this would likely lead to further searching based on your belief that God can take care of things?

Edited by Calm

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I can imagine scenarios where its a good thing to lie (hiding a jew from the Nazis sounds like a good example to me).  I don't know that God commands in all things.  each situation is different.  You try your best and fib if you think it benefits someone or protects someone.  With that said, if danger or protection is not at issue, then honesty is the best policy.  Often times no matter what we say falls into some gray area between clear truth and outright lie anyway.  I tend to think one difficulty of humanity is dealing with all the lies we tell ourselves just to keep our heads above the water. 

Edited by stemelbow

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1 hour ago, Five Solas said:

On another thread, several LDS posters rallied to defend a statement made by the late Robert D. Hales that had been called into question.  I won’t rehash it here, but among the more ingenious defenses was the notion that Jesus commanded Peter to deny him (initially attributed to the late Spencer W. Kimball).  The story is told in John 18:15-27 and elsewhere (sans the command to lie).

Called out on it, another LDS poster defended the notion by arguing God (or at least the LDS one) had established a precedent for commanding lies—a couple thousand years previous in the case of Abraham and his wife Sarah, wherein Abraham lied to Abimelech about the status of Sarah, claiming she was his sister.  The story is told in Genesis 20 (again, sans any command to lie).

My request for a Scripture reference was ignored and when I asked again, another LDS poster chimed in that it wasn’t necessary for any to be provided.  (A curious attitude for a discussion board, at least in my opinion--but he got a "like" for his effort from the other one--so there you go.)

But I wanted to explore the topic further and with the help of a poll on a dedicated thread.  So here we go: Would you worship a God who commanded lies?

--Erik

____________________________________

So lie to me
But do it with sincerity
Make me listen
Just for a minute
Make me think
There's some truth in it

--Depeche Mode, 1984

 

In general the principle of telling the truth is the best policy, but there are exceptions.  That being said, I'm not a fan of Joseph Smith deceiving his wife, or of the morally problematic prevaricating that has been done in Mormon history with the justification that God commanded or condoned those deceptions.  

Personally I don't believe God "commands" us to tell the truth.  I think God gives us principles to live by and then lets us govern ourselves, and I really don't like it when people try to blame God or make God the excuse for the immoral decisions they make.  Polygamy, lying, hurtful treatment, all kinds of evils have been perpetuated the world over using this idea that God commanded these things.  I'm sick of people using God as an excuse for unethical behaviors.  

Edited by hope_for_things

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58 minutes ago, Five Solas said:

Called out on it, another LDS poster defended the notion by arguing God (or at least the LDS one) had established a precedent for commanding lies—a couple thousand years previous in the case of Abraham and his wife Sarah, wherein Abraham lied to Abimelech about the status of Sarah, claiming she was his sister.  The story is told in Genesis 20 (again, sans any command to lie).

My request for a Scripture reference was ignored and when I asked again, another LDS poster chimed in that it wasn’t necessary for any to be provided.  (A curious attitude for a discussion board, at least in my opinion--but he got a "like" for his effort from the other one--so there you go.)

Lest you think CFR's go unanswered:

  • Abraham 2:22 And it came to pass when I was come near to enter into Egypt, the Lord said unto me: Behold, Sarai, thy wife, is a very fair woman to look upon;
    23 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see her, they will say—She is his wife; and they will kill you, but they will save her alive; therefore see that ye do on this wise:
    24 Let her say unto the Egyptians, she is thy sister, and thy soul shall live.
    25 And it came to pass that I, Abraham, told Sarai, my wife, all that the Lord had said unto me—Therefore say unto them, I pray thee, thou art my sister, that it may be well with me for thy sake, and my soul shall live because of thee.

I would also say that Christ's command in Matthew could also necessitate a lie in the right circumstance:

  • Matt 7:6 ¶ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

So when a non-member asks about something sacred, say the temple endowment, and we withhold the specifics are we lying by omission or simply following Christ's command?

https://www.fairmormon.org/answers/Mormonism_and_church_integrity/"Lying_for_the_Lord"

 

 

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1 hour ago, Five Solas said:

On another thread, several LDS posters rallied to defend a statement made by the late Robert D. Hales that had been called into question.  I won’t rehash it here, but among the more ingenious defenses was the notion that Jesus commanded Peter to deny him (initially attributed to the late Spencer W. Kimball).  The story is told in John 18:15-27 and elsewhere (sans the command to lie).

Called out on it, another LDS poster defended the notion by arguing God (or at least the LDS one) had established a precedent for commanding lies—a couple thousand years previous in the case of Abraham and his wife Sarah, wherein Abraham lied to Abimelech about the status of Sarah, claiming she was his sister.  The story is told in Genesis 20 (again, sans any command to lie).

My request for a Scripture reference was ignored and when I asked again, another LDS poster chimed in that it wasn’t necessary for any to be provided.  (A curious attitude for a discussion board, at least in my opinion--but he got a "like" for his effort from the other one--so there you go.)

But I wanted to explore the topic further and with the help of a poll on a dedicated thread.  So here we go: Would you worship a God who commanded lies?

--Erik

Numbers 23:19

19 God is not a man, that he should alie; neither the son of man, that he should brepent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he cspoken, and shall he not make it good?

jfyi - Abraham did not lie about Sarah who was his half-sister so the poster was wrong. God withholds stuff all the time. That is not lying.

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9 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

So when a non-member asks about something sacred, say the temple endowment, and we withhold the specifics are we lying by omission or simply following Christ's command?

No, we are not lying. In fact we can simply state that we consider the ordinance holy so don't talk about it or that we have covenanted not to reveal it.

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8 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

No, we are not lying. In fact we can simply state that we consider the ordinance holy so don't talk about it or that we have covenanted not to reveal it.

And when the well internet-read critic says "don't you do this in the temple" or "isn't this part of your temple ordinances"?

And we say:
1. Yes - we are honest but reveal something holy as Christ told us not to.
2. No - lie of commission because we know full well they are right.
3. I decline to answer due to sacred nature of things - doesn't that qualify as a lie of omission.

"Lying by omission, otherwise known as exclusionary detailing, is lying by either omitting certain facts or by failing to correct a misconception"
Maybe that applies, maybe not.
I have no issue lying to keep sacred things private.

Edited by JLHPROF

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11 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

jfyi - Abraham did not lie about Sarah who was his half-sister so the poster was wrong. 

I like that.  Never thought about that before.
 

Quote

God withholds stuff all the time. That is not lying.

How do you consider this to be different from a lie of omission?
The first definition I pulled off a quick google says "Lying by omission, otherwise known as exclusionary detailing, is lying by either omitting certain facts or by failing to correct a misconception".

Does God not omit facts and fail to correct our misconceptions when we pray from time to time?
True, the Holy Ghost is given that we may know the TRUTH of all things.  So God definitely wants us to have the truth.
But he often expects us to operate on faith without all the facts.

If we had all the facts and the answers to every question we prayed about it wouldn't really be faith any more would it?

 

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I have always wondered how God responds when His wife asks Him if Her dress makes Her look fat.

 

:o

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1 minute ago, CA Steve said:

I have always wondered how God responds when His wife asks Him if Her dress makes Her look fat.

 

:o

Probably depends which wife ;)

But I don't think weight is much of a concern.

 

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4 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

And when the well internet-read critic says "don't you do this in the temple" or "isn't this part of your temple ordinances"?

3. I decline to answer due to sacred nature of things - doesn't that qualify as a lie of omission.

No, it doesn't. Taking the 5th is not lying. You cannot be convicted of perjury for it.

Quote


I have no issue lying to keep sacred things private.

Don't need to. God's servants have told us numerous times that they were commanded not to reveal certain things. Is that a lie? Of course not.

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3 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

I have always wondered how God responds when His wife asks Him if Her dress makes Her look fat.

 

:o

I respond by telling my wife what I think she looks most fabulous in.

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42 minutes ago, stemelbow said:

I can imagine scenarios where its a good thing to lie (hiding a jew from the Nazis sounds like a good example to me).  I don't know that God commands in all things.  each situation is different.  You try your best and fib if you think it benefits someone or protects someone.  With that said, if danger or protection is not at issue, then honesty is the best policy.  Often times no matter what we say falls into some gray area between clear truth and outright lie anyway.  I tend to think one difficulty of humanity is dealing with all the lies we tell ourselves just to keep our heads above the water. 

It is a wise man that says no when his wife asks if this dress makes her look fat.

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Nephi was lying when he assumed Laban's identity.  So yes, but only in special circumstances.

My labor and delivery nurse with my first son lied to save me from a C-section.  First she wouldn't give me as much Pitocin as he told her to and then she started lying about how dilated I was to keep him away.  He had a rule that laboring women were supposed to dilate 1 cm per hour or else he looked at doing a C-section.  I will be grateful forever that she lied and tried to keep him away from me.  My son was born the old fashioned way and I never had to have a c-section with my four other kids.  

 

 

 

 

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a commandment...thou shalt not lie or bear false witness...my God today is different than the one I was brought with.  That is, my perception of who He is.

 

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Quote

Would you worship a God who commanded lying?

A few thoughts:

1. The question is too vague.  It presumes too much, and provides too little context.

2. A relevant quote from Joseph Smith:

Quote

God said, "Thou shalt not kill;" at another time He said, "Thou shalt utterly destroy." This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted—by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.

3. And another:

Quote

Let us here observe that three things are necessary for any rational and intelligent being to exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.

First, the idea that he actually exists;

Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes;

Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which one is pursuing is according to His will. For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive. But with this understanding, it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness unto the praise and glory of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

4. God's perspective and knowledge is infinitely greater than ours, to wit:

  • "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." - Isaiah 55:8
  • "{God} comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever." - D&C 88:41
  • "And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all." - Abr. 3:19
  • "But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things." - 2 Nephi 2:24
  • "For now we see through a glass, darkly..." - 1 Cor.13:12

5. Applying the foregoing precepts, I conclude that God is perfect.  He is all-powerful and all-knowing.  He is perfectly righteous.  He is perfectly just.  He is the ultimate arbiter of "right" and "wrong."  So whatever He commands is, by definition, "right."  Our perception is blinkered and finite, and is therefore subordinate to His.

6. There is a Latin legal maxim which may have some application here: "Affectio Tua Nomen Imponit Operi Tuo." This is generally translated as "Your motive gives a name to your act."  If this is so, then an act, in and of itself, is devoid of morality.  It is the context, the motive behind the act that is determinative of whether it is "right" or "wrong."  This is why a police officer can be hailed as a hero shooting and killing an armed suspect on the cusp of killing an innocent, while a thug who shoots and kills a person so as to rob him is a murderer.  The motive matters.  The motive is determinative.

7. Here is another legal concept that may merit consideration: "Hard cases make bad law."  From Wikipedia:

Quote

Hard cases make bad law is an adage or legal maxim. The phrase means that an extreme case is a poor basis for a general law that would cover a wider range of less extreme cases. In other words, a general law is better drafted for the average circumstance as this will be more common.

I suppose we can formulate "hard cases" and present them to religious people, with the apparent purpose of tripping them up in their faith, or (assuming a more benign motive) getting them to re-examine what they believe and why.  But I don't think it's a very useful exercise.  "Don't lie" is a very good maxim to live by.  "Ah," you can say, "but what about people who hid Jews from the Nazis, and lied to the Nazis about it?"  That, I think, is a "hard case."  But it's not one that really merits much attention, particularly if it is presented with the intention of persuading someone that everything is relative, that lying is generally perfectly acceptable, and so on.

The "general law" is that we should not lie.  I have a hard time imagining a real-world situation in which God would command someone to lie.  I don't really worry about it, though, since the general rule is good, and I am not seeking to evade it by presenting "hard case" hypotheticals.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97

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