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Divine Love Is Conditional

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10 hours ago, Freedom said:

You may not like it, but this is the doctrine of the bible and the doctrine of the lds church. I have children and my love for them is everlasting and I am always there for them, but I can't and won't force my benevolence upon them.  

No, it's not anyone's doctrine. It's an idea a few people have thrown together on an ad hoc basis during the course of this discussion and a distortion of the term "unconditional love"

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12 hours ago, Gray said:

No, it's not anyone's doctrine. It's an idea a few people have thrown together on an ad hoc basis during the course of this discussion and a distortion of the term "unconditional love"

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 

14:23 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In other words, God loves those love the Savior. 

15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

16:27 27 the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. Again, if you do not love the savior, God does not love you. 

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Conditional upon us being worthy to receive the holy ghost. 

2 Cor 97 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Hebrews 126 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1 Jon 215 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

June 1: 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Need I go on? The scriptures are very clear. If you want Gods conditional love, you need to keep the commandments. Nowhere does it say Gods love is unconditional. 

There are also multiple examples in the book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 17:40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God.

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On 1/27/2018 at 10:38 PM, Freedom said:

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 

14:23 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

In other words, God loves those love the Savior. 

15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

16:27 27 the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. Again, if you do not love the savior, God does not love you. 

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Conditional upon us being worthy to receive the holy ghost. 

2 Cor 97 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Hebrews 126 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

1 Jon 215 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

June 1: 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Need I go on? The scriptures are very clear. If you want Gods conditional love, you need to keep the commandments. Nowhere does it say Gods love is unconditional. 

There are also multiple examples in the book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 17:40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God.

If you're talking about truly conditional love, that's not the doctrine you've thrown together either. You're calling unconditional love plus self-estrangement from God the conditional love of God.

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1 hour ago, Gray said:

If you're talking about truly conditional love, that's not the doctrine you've thrown together either. You're calling unconditional love plus self-estrangement from God the conditional love of God.

I would much appreciate it if you would quote each the verses of scripture referenced in Freedom’s post and then provide your own interpretation of what you think each verse means. Perhaps you would end up answering your own doubts and questions.

It is obvious the perfect God’s emotional feelings of love for each of his children are perfect, but his ability to express that perfect within spiritually heathy Father and child relationships is conditioned on whether or not the children want to have such relationships with him. The following quote from D&C 88 explains this principle in a clear and comprehensive way.

32 And they who remain (the sons of perdition) shall also be quickened (resurrected); nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.

33 For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

34 And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same.

35 That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still. (D&C 88)

I’m sure Heavenly Father sill has perfect emotional love for each of the sons of perdition, but because of their own decisions he cannot express the perfect love he feels in ways that produce spiritual health and joy. The problem is that the sons of perdition utterly reject the blessings of God’s love and there is now way in righteousness that those blessing of love can be forced upon them. That’s all those of us who support President Nelson are trying to say, and it’s all President Nelson himself was trying to say.

 

Edited by Bobbieaware

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2 hours ago, Bobbieaware said:

I would much appreciate it if you would quote each the verses of scripture referenced in Freedom’s post and then provide your own interpretation of what you think each verse means. Perhaps you would end up answering your own doubts and questions.

It is obvious the perfect God’s emotional feelings of love for each of his children are perfect, but his ability to express that perfect within spiritually heathy Father and child relationships is conditioned on whether or not the children want to have such relationships with him. The following quote from D&C 88 explains this principle in a clear and comprehensive way.

I agree some verses do support conditional love, and some support unconditional love. But Freedom is actually talking about unconditional love but redefining it as conditional love.

 

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1 hour ago, Gray said:

I agree some verses do support conditional love, and some support unconditional love. But Freedom is actually talking about unconditional love but redefining it as conditional love.

 

I’m delighted to learn that for once we partially agree on something, in this case that there are verses in the scriptures that seem to support both sides of this argument. But the fact is that both sides of this debate are true in their own way, and for this reason it is not an either or argument. God’s emotional feelings of love for all his children are perfect, eternally complete and never change, but how he is able to manifest the visible blessing of his love to his children in righteousness is conditioned upon the degree of individual receptivity to receiving those blessings of his love. He cannot in righteousness cram the blessings of his love  down unwilling throats and hope to succeed in truly changing minds — this is Satan’s plan.

Edited by Bobbieaware

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7 minutes ago, Bobbieaware said:

I’m delighted to learn that for once we partially agree on something, in this case that there are verses in the scriptures that seem to support both sides of this argument. But the fact is that both sides of this debate are true in their own way, and for this reason it is not an either or argument. God’s  emotional feelings of love for all his children are perfect, eternally complete and never change, but how he is able to manifest the visible blessing of his love to his children in righteousness is conditioned upon the degree of individual receptivity to receiving the blessings of his love. He cannot in righteousness cram the blessings of his love  down unwilling throats and hope succeed in truly changing minds — this is Satan’s plan.

You've just described unconditional love.

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5 hours ago, Gray said:

If you're talking about truly conditional love, that's not the doctrine you've thrown together either. You're calling unconditional love plus self-estrangement from God the conditional love of God.

Ah, so you are relying on semantics rather than doctrine to support your position. Gods love is manifest through the atonement. 1 John 4:8. The atonement is accessed through our obedience to the commandments. The condition of receiving Gods love is that we must follow him. Your pay at work is conditional on you going to work. Your good health is conditional on you living a healthy lifestyle. Can you find a verse that says Gods love is unconditional? If god loves those who loves the son, then he does not love those who do not love the son. 

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27 minutes ago, Gray said:

You've just described unconditional love.

If a parent offers the full expression of his love to one child for good behavior, and to another child, only a partial expression of his love for bad behavior, can that expression of love correctly be called "unconditional"?

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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

If a parent offers the full expression of his love to one child for good behavior, and to another child, only a partial expression of his love for bad behavior, can that expression of love correctly be called "unconditional"?

If I send my child to time out for misbehavior, my love hasn't changed one iota, regardless if they yell "you hate me!" on the way there. They're not experiencing hugs or conversation - both "expressions of love".  And yet, my love is still unconditional. That means my love won't change based on the choices they make.

Edited by Gray
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23 minutes ago, Freedom said:

Ah, so you are relying on semantics rather than doctrine to support your position.

No, you're relying on semantics to try to sneak unconditional love into the term conditional love.

 

23 minutes ago, Freedom said:

 

Gods love is manifest through the atonement. 1 John 4:8. The atonement is accessed through our obedience to the commandments. The condition of receiving Gods love is that we must follow him. Your pay at work is conditional on you going to work. Your good health is conditional on you living a healthy lifestyle. Can you find a verse that says Gods love is unconditional? If god loves those who loves the son, then he does not love those who do not love the son. 

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

Psalm 52:8b I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Psalm 136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

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3 hours ago, Gray said:

If I send my child to time out for misbehavior, my love hasn't changed one iota, regardless if they yell "you hate me!" on the way there. They're not experiencing hugs or conversation - both "expressions of love".  And yet, my love is still unconditional. That means my love won't change based on the choices they make.

Nope, your expression of love (hugging and conversation) is conditional.  If they misbehave, they miss out on a higher expression of love.  Period.  And in the plan of salvation, "time out" is not a time-limited condition.  It is a conditionally limited condition.  In other words, the "time out" is permanent unless conditions are met, even if you believe in potential progression between kingdoms. 

Do you not accept that love is a verb too?

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3 hours ago, pogi said:

Nope, your expression of love (hugging and conversation) is conditional.  If they misbehave, they miss out on a higher expression of love.  Period.  And in the plan of salvation, "time out" is not a time-limited condition.  It is a conditionally limited condition.  In other words, the "time out" is permanent unless conditions are met, even if you believe in potential progression between kingdoms. 

Do you not accept that love is a verb too?

This is equivocation. Also not an accurate representation of what I would do as a parent, but that's besides the point.

Let me use a similar bit of equivocation to demonstrate. You have a coupon that entitles you to 1 free extra value meal. However, upon coming to redeem it, the cashier informs you that this actually entitles you only to smell the meal - you can't eat it. The experience of having a meal could be thought of as merely enjoying its smell, she says. So enjoy!

 

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9 hours ago, Gray said:

No, you're relying on semantics to try to sneak unconditional love into the term conditional love.

 

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

Psalm 52:8b I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

Psalm 136:2 Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.

none of these refer to unconditional. Eternal life is everlasting but it is not unconditional. An unfailing amount of money is conditional. Just because God's love endures forever does not mean it is unconditional. I have proven that with my verses. 

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2 hours ago, Gray said:

This is equivocation. Also not an accurate representation of what I would do as a parent, but that's besides the point.

Let me use a similar bit of equivocation to demonstrate. You have a coupon that entitles you to 1 free extra value meal. However, upon coming to redeem it, the cashier informs you that this actually entitles you only to smell the meal - you can't eat it. The experience of having a meal could be thought of as merely enjoying its smell, she says. So enjoy!

What are you talking about? What part of what I said is equivocation? The plan of salvation?  That love is also a verb? 

The plan of salvation aside, your own example of parenting is an example of conditional love!  Enforcing rules and consequences, withholding certain privileges (higher expressions of love) for bad behavior = conditional love (the verb).   To have privileges suggests that one is privileged over another.  How is that not conditional love.  Unconditional love (the verb) is a myth.  It doesn't mean that we love our children less on the inside, but that our highest possible expression of love is privileged (conditional).  How do you not see that in your very own example of enforcing a time out?  The kid who is not in time out is privileged.  Simple!  Equivocation?  Really?

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I am very late to this old thread, having just joined this site, but I would like to comment on this essay Nelson wrote very many years ago that caused me a great amount of pain and heartache.  I was 22 when it came out, and struggling with a variety of things.  I was very active in the church at that time, committed 100% to living the standards the church preached, and following the tenets of the brethren.  When I read this article in the Ensign I literally threw the magazine across the room I was so upset -- given the things I was struggling with at the time I was then told, by reading this article, that God did not love me, and it INFURIATED me.  How DARE Nelson say that to me.  My own mother has told me over and over again how much she loves me, and how that love is conditional, and even if I were to do something as heinous as murder someone (I would NEVER do that, it was just an example,) she would still love me because she would know that doing that would not really be *me* doing it, but the effect of a lot of factors on my mind and heart that had taken over.  So then I started thinking -- if my own mother, a mortal, can love me unconditionally, why not God, the perfect parent, whose love is preached as supposedly being infinitely greater than any love my mother or any mortal could give to me.  I also do not believe the "doctrine" that, well, yes God's feelings of love are unconditional, but his blessings or manifestations of that love are conditioned upon following the "rules."  Love, ultimately, is a verb.  An action.  It's not just a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I no longer believe in a God (or Holy Ghost) who is a fickle friend who runs away at a violation of the rules, offended and pissed off.  That's not a God I can trust, that's not a God I can put my faith in, that's not a God I can invite into my life -- inviting him in, but tiptoeing and walking on eggshells the whole time for fear that if I dare and screw up something he will be GONE.  Nelson's article contains scriptures, yes, but there are many other scriptures that describe God's love as being from everlasting to everlasting, and not some special something reserved for those who bloody themselves to keep all the rules and earn their way into his grace and love -- that is NOT "grace" at all -- that's earning our own salvation (which we Mormons are good at preaching; and which is one reason many other Christians hate us and I don't blame them on that point.)  I have a way I presently live my life.  I am seeking; I am learning; I am exploring; I am trying things and seeing what I want.  And I have had a powerful witness that God loves me just as I am and that he is always with me.  I will concede that if we intentionally shut God out it may be more difficult to comprehend his love, but I think even in those circumstances he is RIGHT THERE, watching over me, protecting me (I have a witness of that too,) and taking care of me.  He has NOT walked away because I don't follow all of the rules.  That's not a "loving Father;" it sounds more like something Satan would do -- when his "children" fail him, they're OUT.  No.  That might be how Nelson's god operates, but NOT MINE.  

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16 minutes ago, NobodyKnowsMe said:

I will concede that if we intentionally shut God out it may be more difficult to comprehend his love, but I think even in those circumstances he is RIGHT THERE, watching over me, protecting me (I have a witness of that too,) and taking care of me.  He has NOT walked away because I don't follow all of the rules.  That's not a "loving Father;" it sounds more like something Satan would do -- when his "children" fail him, they're OUT.  No.  That might be how Nelson's god operates, but NOT MINE.  

The issue at hand is the definition of love, or to be more precise, how God will respond regardless of his love.

God may still love the sinner but that doesn't mean he will continue to accept, tolerate, or embrace.  God may love but that doesn't mean he allows unrepentant  sinners free access.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

The issue at hand is the definition of love, or to be more precise, how God will respond regardless of his love.

God may still love the sinner but that doesn't mean he will continue to accept, tolerate, or embrace.  God may love but that doesn't mean he allows unrepentant  sinners free access.

Then He isn't God...ultimately ...this is what a loving Heavenly Father would do.  He is waiting...even for you...and me!

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Then He isn't God...ultimately ...this is what a loving Heavenly Father would do.  He is waiting...even for you...and me!

That's YOUR definition of God or a loving Father.  Not THE definition.

God shows he loves his children in innumerable ways, not the least of which is enforcing sacred laws and creating a heavenly kingdom by ensuring it stays heavenly.

Scripture is clear on God's character concerning both his love/mercy and obedience/justice.

And they mesh perfectly.

ETA - Actually I see what you are saying.  My post wasn't super clear.

Edited by JLHPROF

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34 minutes ago, NobodyKnowsMe said:

I am very late to this old thread, having just joined this site, but I would like to comment on this essay Nelson wrote very many years ago that caused me a great amount of pain and heartache.  I was 22 when it came out, and struggling with a variety of things.  I was very active in the church at that time, committed 100% to living the standards the church preached, and following the tenets of the brethren.  When I read this article in the Ensign I literally threw the magazine across the room I was so upset -- given the things I was struggling with at the time I was then told, by reading this article, that God did not love me, and it INFURIATED me.  How DARE Nelson say that to me.  My own mother has told me over and over again how much she loves me, and how that love is conditional, and even if I were to do something as heinous as murder someone (I would NEVER do that, it was just an example,) she would still love me because she would know that doing that would not really be *me* doing it, but the effect of a lot of factors on my mind and heart that had taken over.  So then I started thinking -- if my own mother, a mortal, can love me unconditionally, why not God, the perfect parent, whose love is preached as supposedly being infinitely greater than any love my mother or any mortal could give to me.  I also do not believe the "doctrine" that, well, yes God's feelings of love are unconditional, but his blessings or manifestations of that love are conditioned upon following the "rules."  Love, ultimately, is a verb.  An action.  It's not just a warm and fuzzy feeling.  I no longer believe in a God (or Holy Ghost) who is a fickle friend who runs away at a violation of the rules, offended and pissed off.  That's not a God I can trust, that's not a God I can put my faith in, that's not a God I can invite into my life -- inviting him in, but tiptoeing and walking on eggshells the whole time for fear that if I dare and screw up something he will be GONE.  Nelson's article contains scriptures, yes, but there are many other scriptures that describe God's love as being from everlasting to everlasting, and not some special something reserved for those who bloody themselves to keep all the rules and earn their way into his grace and love -- that is NOT "grace" at all -- that's earning our own salvation (which we Mormons are good at preaching; and which is one reason many other Christians hate us and I don't blame them on that point.)  I have a way I presently live my life.  I am seeking; I am learning; I am exploring; I am trying things and seeing what I want.  And I have had a powerful witness that God loves me just as I am and that he is always with me.  I will concede that if we intentionally shut God out it may be more difficult to comprehend his love, but I think even in those circumstances he is RIGHT THERE, watching over me, protecting me (I have a witness of that too,) and taking care of me.  He has NOT walked away because I don't follow all of the rules.  That's not a "loving Father;" it sounds more like something Satan would do -- when his "children" fail him, they're OUT.  No.  That might be how Nelson's god operates, but NOT MINE.  

Congratulations on finding my namesake’s religion I guess. It is pretty popular from what I hear.

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The issue at hand is the definition of love, or to be more precise, how God will respond regardless of his love.

God may still love the sinner but that doesn't mean he will continue to accept, tolerate, or embrace.  God may love but that doesn't mean he allows unrepentant  sinners free access.

Jesus dined with the harlots, sinners, and publicans.  We don't know what he said to them.  We DO know what the said to the rule-following self-righteous Pharisees -- that the harlots will go into the kingdom of heaven before they did.  Certainly he may not have liked the choices of the harlots, but he obviously did not reject them -- he supped with them.  Not to mention the woman who came and anointed his feet and washed his feet with her tears, Jesus knowing she was a "sinner" (we don't know what her sins were, but likely of a sexual nature -- Jesus said her sins were "many") -- I believe it was Pres. Kimball who said something along the lines of the fact that every time someone sins, it is because of an inner struggle/pain that the person is going through -- some struggle of the heart, some feeling of emptiness.  We now know through study and other means that many people use sex, alcohol, drugs, food (a violation of the WoW that is for some reason NEVER brought up,) video games, hoarding money (again, NEVER mentioned) as a means of escaping painful things in their lives.  Maybe they were abused.  Or raped.  Maybe they are on the verge of homelessness.  Maybe they ______ [fill in the blank with just about anything.]  I believe God understands ALL of this and is always available to those who even take the slightest almost imperceptible baby step in his direction -- and maybe it's a series of baby steps over a ten-year period.  Maybe it's one forward and two back.  Maybe their heart is still inclined to him but they just can't let go yet.  It could be a million situations.  I refuse to believe in a God who sits on a throne, watching all of this, shaking his head at those poor, lost, depraved people and withhold his grace and love to them.  No one will ever change my mind about that.  For him not to do so would make him a monster.  

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1 minute ago, The Nehor said:

Congratulations on finding my namesake’s religion I guess. It is pretty popular from what I hear.

And thanks for the sarcasm towards someone who has a different idea than "the mainstream."  Sarcasm surely helps things a great deal.  I've been on this site 10 minutes and I am thinking deleting my profile and saying Adios to you judgmental people might be the best thing for me. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, NobodyKnowsMe said:

 I refuse to believe in a God who sits on a throne, watching all of this, shaking his head at those poor, lost, depraved people and withhold his grace and love to them.  No one will ever change my mind about that.  For him not to do so would make him a monster.  

I agree with you.

But he also permanently cast out 1/3 of his children who rebelled and cannot allow any unclean thing into his presence.  D&C 76 tells us many will never return to his presence.

However the repentant sinner will be made clean and returned to him.  God never shows love by accepting sin.  Only by accepting sinners turning to him for grace.

Edited by JLHPROF
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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

The issue at hand is the definition of love, or to be more precise, how God will respond regardless of his love.

God may still love the sinner but that doesn't mean he will continue to accept, tolerate, or embrace.  God may love but that doesn't mean he allows unrepentant  sinners free access.

I see it as God will not drag back in people who walk out the open door because they aren’t comfortable with how God does things (I don’t equate how the Church does things in general with how God would choose to do it, I think he gives more nudges than specifics imo, confirming if something is alright in terms of helping the Church move in the direction he wants).  God wants people in his home, but it doesn’t work to try and rearrange the furniture once you are there. You can therefore align your will to His with his help so you enjoy the functionality and beauty of his home or leave to pursue life in your own way. 

Edited by Calm
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