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Everything posted by echelon

  1. Thanks for making that distinction. I went back to the chapter to understand the context and found more to it: 24 And thus saith the Lord: ... whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. 25 And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord... In that light now it looks to me that while judged of our works, it is still up to us what we do with that consigned view after. Mosiah says that people will feel so bad that they will shrink away (and likely give up hope), though it does not exclude the possibility of alternatively approaching God and applying the atonement to continue with our progression.
  2. When looking for scriptures to find out why Talmage (or anyone) would believe in the finality of assigned kingdoms I found this in Mosiah 3 talking about judgement day: 25. And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return; therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls. 26 Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit; therefore, mercy could have claim on them no more forever. Shrinking from the presence of God (Celestial Kingdom) from whence there is no return tells me there is no progression beyond entrance into the celestial kingdom, and even more so by the withholding of the atonement from them forever onwards. (suggesting a time limit on the availability of the atonement) I don't like it but 'no more return' and forever withholding mercy after judgement seems final to me, at least into the celestial kingdom. Yet D&C 76:88 says those in the telestial kingdom who receive of the ministering of angels 'shall be heirs of salvation', so I don't know what to believe as the two sources seem to conflict with each other.
  3. Yes. Is that a problem, in your view? As we can see from the OP, it is. Holland is saying that if the Church cannot teach it's doctrine in BYU in a way that is acceptable to the secular world, the school will have to risk it's status among other institutions.
  4. I'm not sure why Holland felt like BYU has to single itself out when the issues he raised are not with the school itself but with the Church, as though if Church is going to suffer, he's going to take BYU down with it. Personally I find BYU as progressive and in step with the issues facing all educational institutions and prefer it continues with how it is operating today. If it comes down to losing its accreditation, the Church will do more good for mankind by embracing secular academia and offering an education that while available to all, gives its members a reasonable chance to provide and to be influential in the field they choose to excel in.
  5. I brought up hotels because that's the strictly business side of the church which does not concern itself with the affairs of the people who work or stay there. BYU on the other hand likes to have one foot in the church and the other in the secular/business world, imposing religious beliefs on one side and being lenient with other beliefs (e.g. word of wisdom) on the other. Keep going down that road and one will eventually have to give way to the other. As a school it will be far more successful as a business than as a church.
  6. BYU is a business, not the church itself and as such it's not reasonable to impose it's beliefs on the school as it does its own members. No different than the hotels it owns.
  7. I'm not sure I understand the risk to professional affiliations and certifications. Because I don't see any discrimination on the issue in the school itself, is it solely because of BYU's association with the church that puts the school's professional affiliations and certifications risk?
  8. Having been taught that there are substances which can take away from our spirituality, I often think it reasonable that there would also be substances to increase spirituality. I just never had the courage to experiment on it.
  9. I think it goes all the way back to Adam and Eve when after a few bouts of food poisonings in the mortal world, finally just pleaded with God to bless it, not knowing what is edible and having to learn from trial and error.
  10. I don't think race is the right word to describe those who have potential to be gods. If a god can be appointed an angel and vice versa, it seems to me that godhood is a title bestowed by God the father giving you all the privilege's that come with that title. (like a feudal system among gods) This verse, also from section 132, may be an oversimplification but effectively sums up what it takes to be a god. Speaking of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: "and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods." v37 That's it...perfect obedience = exaltation = godhood. The not so simple part is, that it is in the commandments we are given and must obey that test and mold us according to God's desire into someone who is worthy and capable of living as a 'god'.
  11. I understand it's not reasonable to hold people accountable for 'Church' commitments they did not make. What I don't understand is a Church that not only tempts others to do exactly what it clearly disapproves of from its own members, but also enables them to do so by making it accessible. Perhaps the doctrine being followed is what we learn from the Book of Mormon where it is okay to poison a Lamanite, but not a Nephite (Alma 55:30-32), and that is it is okay to benefit from the suffering of others. In this case we don't get to drink the 'safe' wine, but rather profit from it.
  12. This thread has been a real eye opener for me as to how the church conducts its business and where the thoughts of the members of this board are on it. I still struggle with determining what the lesson or doctrine is (if any) that I am to learn from the church's example in offering goods and services on church property to the general public and at the same time prohibit their own members to partake of it. What is the doctrine they follow that guides their decision from 'selling alcohol is okay, maybe a few VLT's, but we will put our foot down on strip club' on church owned property? (assuming they would put their foot down on a strip club) I would like to know so that I can apply it in my relationships with friends and business partners which I think will certainly improve if I start offering them drinks or lottery tickets, working on Sundays, and an occasional joint. It seems like if the church caters to public needs, I should do the same for my friends so that comfort and enjoyment can be maintained for all without imposing my beliefs on them. In other words, The church's example in the OP is teaching me that I'm allowed to offer things to other people I wouldn't do myself if I know it is something they want...(that would go over well with my kids!) I don't think that any doctrine is being followed by the church in what it allows within its business establishments but rather what is legal and socially acceptable, keeping one foot in Zion (the church) and the other in Babylon (its business end).
  13. What would your thoughts be about God the Father knowing what our pain feels like and how did he get that knowledge? During Christ's atonement (Time not being a factor)? or does He already know from His atoning sacrifice back when He was the savior of His civilization which would then assume that there are no new ways ever to sin in the many plans of salvations and saviors that come afterward.
  14. I wonder then, when that time comes when Christ inherits His people from God the Father and reigns supreme, whether our prayers will be directed to Him in place of God the Father. Until then, while the church bears His name, it sounds like all decisions regarding its affairs require final approval by Father. Jesus may have recommended President Nelson as the prophet or he could also have been the Father's choice, either way the Father has final say to approve his calling after listening to the prayers of earthly servants and godly council members. This also goes for how the bishop and ward presidencies fill callings.
  15. I'm interested in reading that, do you recall the subject so I can look it up? It is odd to me that after reading Matthew 6:9 ("After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name") and 3 Nephi 18:19 (“Ye must always pray unto the Father in my name”) that people would envision praying to Jesus or someone other than to whom the prayer is addressed. Though I'm not entirely surprised by it either because of a long time gripe I have with how we are instructed to perform baby blessings where they first address the Father, and then turn their attention to the baby: Then the one acting as voice: 1. Addresses Heavenly Father as in prayer. 2. States that the blessing is being performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. 3. Gives the child a name. 4. Addresses the child. 5. Gives a blessing to the child as guided by the Spirit. 6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ. Perhaps our prayers are like that, address the Father and then address Jesus for instruction and decisions about His church and close in Jesus' name.
  16. I think I see where I am going wrong in my thinking. I was interpreting the 'head' as someone who independently oversees their area of responsibility. As the head of my house, I decide when it is bedtime, I decide if my kids can take the car, and I decide if they are allowed to stay at a friends house (and I have my wife's permission to say so). For some reason I didn't see being the head of a church after His own name the same way, thinking that Jesus while following His Fathers example and not needing to be commanded in all things, had the flexibility to make His own decisions when choosing who to call as His prophet or endorsing my choices for a counselor. When I read in John 8:28 "I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me" I had no idea how literal that was and reminds me of His part in the temple ceremony in that all 'official business' between God and Man including the affairs of The Church of Jesus Christ are conducted among the Gods or Godhead, Jesus being our intermediary among them.
  17. Does this mean that God, through Jesus, is the 'real' head of the church who is answering my questions about who to select as counselors or the prophet's questions about doctrine or policy?
  18. I believe the direction I get for my personal life and that of my family comes from God the Father who uses Jesus to aid Him so that through the atonement I can make the necessary changes towards my perfection. My prayers are to God the Father and answered by God the Father. Glory be to God the Father. The direction and support I expect to get for the affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is something different. In President Nelson’s opening address this last conference he said “I know for sure that the Lord directs the affairs of His Church. He said, “I will show [you] that I am able to do mine own work.” Many prophets and general authorities have declared the same in the past. “Now brethren, let it be understood by all that Jesus Christ stands at the head of this church which bears His sacred name. He is watching over it. He is guiding it. Standing at the right hand of His Father, He directs this work. His is the prerogative, the power, the option to call men in His way to high and sacred offices and to release them according to His will by calling them home.” - President Hinckley “God is at the Helm” April 1994 Yet, when I pray as to who my councilors should be, or for guidance on fulfilling my calling, it is still to God the Father, not to the head of the church. Why does this matter to matter to me? Well it confuses me and makes my prayers seem impersonal as I know God the Father will not be answering them since all inquiries will simply be forwarded to Jesus for processing. This also makes God the Father seem like a messenger, an administrative assistant to Jesus Christ which I don’t like. The only way I can come to terms with this confusion is this being God’s way of teaching Jesus. Jesus is as much on the path to perfection as we are (just waaaay further ahead), and while he will never sin he may still be learning better ways of doing things, hence God the Father is keeping tabs on all our requests about the administrative affairs of the church so that our prayers are going to both God the Father and Jesus but answered only by Jesus. The only problem with that is that the prayer is still addressed to God the Father and thus the expectation to be answered by God the Father. Another explanation I thought of is that addressing our prayers to God the Father is not about His role in the church but rather the mechanics of prayer which makes more sense to me. Where communication of any type simply just goes through God the Father to its appropriate destination, but that just makes my relationship with Him even more impersonal. So, I would like to extend this question out to this discussion board for your thoughts in helping wade through this confusion of mine. “What is God the Father’s role in the Church of Jesus Christ when we pray to Him for direction in the administrative affairs of His son’s church?”
  19. And yet by following Lucifer into outer darkness they still managed to effectively give up their agency in a mortal experience. This is why I don't think the 'war' can't be so easily summed up as a battle over agency. Lucifer couldn't care less about our agency, he only suggested it because he thought God cared more about our salvation than the means to get there. Apparently he didn't count on agency being a sensitive and non negotiable component of God the Father's plan. Unfortunately we only have one side of the story, and I think it has to do with much more than simply agency. The results of this mortal test will affect kingdoms, glory, civilizations, governments, resources and possibly the balance of power in the eternities to name a few reasons why taking the role as 'Savior' might have been important to Lucifer. Look at the praise and glory Jesus now has because of his role as Savior, that's what Lucifer wanted. Lucifer was a high ranking intelligence judging by heaven's reaction at his fall and he would not have given up his chance for a body and eternal progression lightly. Instead he took a calculated risk and for all we know (until we hear his side of the story) could be working out for him and his followers.
  20. Interesting. I often wondered if those who are destined to fill the role of 'Christ' and 'Adversary' were genetically modified to become such considering the importance of each role, that to leave it to chance/evolution for them to randomly appear would severely slow a god's progression. I think God had a purpose for Jesus and Lucifer the moment they were conceived into His family and received the special mentoring that was needed to fulfill their individual roles. It would be a simple matter for Lucifer to undo God's trial of mans' agency by tempting people to do good instead of evil, yet he can't because that is his not his role and is compelled to entice others to do evil in order to fulfill God's plan as he was designed to do as bolded in the scripture below: If Lucifer had any personal motivation to walk away from God, It would be as the scripturas say because of personal glory, he who saves the world(s) will inherit those who inhabited it and they will become his children (John 17:7-12). Because of his pride, there was no way he, the 'Son of the Morning' was going to subject himself to his brother Jesus and call Him his king. Lucifer knew exactly what he was doing from experience and knowledge of other executed plans. He knew he was going to be cast out with some followers, he knew he will gain more followers from their mortal trials, and as far as we know everything is going according to his plan. Between God the Father, Jesus the Christ, and Lucifer it's a win-win-win plan. I don't know if I would call it a war as everyone ends up where they want to be with their choices. A war suggests people suffering because of being outmatched by the opponent and that hardly seems fair.
  21. Justice would only be required after we sin, so taking on the infirmities that could lead to sin would have no meaning in the eyes of justice. Though I do believe that infirmities do come as a result of sin and perhaps that is the justice God requires. If you steal, deal with loneliness and mistrust, you envy others then deal with low self esteem, ect. Not all suffering comes from sin and part of the atonement that interests me too, why did He do it and what do we get from it? Consider suffering from clinical depression, did He suffer it just so he can say "I know exactly how you feel". Does knowing that he knows help me in any way? I think there is more to this than justice and sympathy. As a result of taking on our infirmities He understands the decisions we make, perfectly equipping Him to decide on how much mercy to extend and secondly, thinking of the suffering of Joseph in Liberty Jail, to perfectly judge our character in our responses to these infirmities when assigning glory or callings in His kingdom.
  22. The crucifixion is part of the atonement. Suffering on the cross was the final piece to understanding our infirmities which began in Gethsemane. This also sparks an interesting question, which do you think caused more suffering, the price of sin? or the price of understanding ALL our infirmities (including suffering on the cross)? The recorded experience in Gethsemane does not differentiate between the 2. In both cases Christ suffered, one to satisfy justice and the other to understand us. Though it seems to me that all the physical, mental, emotional suffering we go through as a product of our mortal experience occurs more often than the suffering we go through as a result of sin. (Assuming that the price for sin is limited to only those committed in the mortal world)
  23. (Bold added) My son who is currently serving a mission asked me a question that you remined me of and could not answer to my satisfaction. In addition to taking upon Himself the price for our sins, where in the Plan of Salvation does it say that Christ also needs to take on our infirmities? At the time I can only think that while God requires 'payment in full' for sin, Christ cannot adequately extend mercy without an intimate knowledge of our own selves (thinking about Alma 7:12). However I have not been entirely satisfied with that because how can taking on our infirmities (e.g. lack of self esteem, embarrassment, insecurity ect) be linked to the pain He felt in Gethsemane as He did for our sins. Can this aspect of our relationship with him even be considered part of the atonement? And if not, how and maybe even more importantly why, did he take that part of our lives onto Himself?
  24. The burning like a fire, I think is more like team spirit, feeling really passionate about something. The spirit of God (lower case 's') I think is a mechanism that connects everything together and is constant. The Spirit of God in the context of having to ask for it in the Sacrament Prayer and risk losing it ("For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man." 2 Nephi 26:11 ), is not constant and leads me to believe it is referring to the Holy Ghost.
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