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The Confouding World Of Lds Doctrinal Pronouncements


cksalmon

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Fallacy of the false dichotomy.

God may be "omniscient" in that He may know all that can logically be known. This does not mean that He cannot gain more knowledge later on. The most common example cited for this is that God may not, ultimately, KNOW what a truly free agent being will do. Thus, because God will not compel free agent beings, He cannot know until they choose what they, in fact, choose. Since the LDS view of God is within time and space, rather than outside of it in the sense of the creedal God, this is not a problem.

The most extensive elaboration of these views would be Ostler.

Hi Greg--

As you probably suspect, I'm quite leery of the claim that future free acts of creaturely agents are logically unknowable. I don't hold that foreknowledge of those acts is causal.

I agree that the proposition may find ready purchase in an LDS conception of God--bound as the LDS God is within materiality (though I recently heard Ostler speaking about the difficulty in ascertaining what "spiritual matter" might be).

While I do find that topic interesting, I'm even more interested in pursuing what, theologically, was back of Brigham Young corrections of Pratt. I'll let you know what I find out.

Best.

CKS

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While I do find that topic interesting, I'm even more interested in pursuing what, theologically, was back of Brigham Young corrections of Pratt. I'll let you know what I find out.

Best.

CKS

Please do. I am tired of being branded a heretic for believing G-d is increasing in knowledge. Thank you for the info you've hooked up in this thread thus far.

Good stuff.

(Aren't we LDS a slippery bunch :P )

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How can we know if God truly does know "all things" and is not progressing in knowledge?

All we can know is that God thinks he knows all things. And of course, the only way we "know" what God thinks is because other men are telling us what they think He has said. So, we are taking other men's words for what they think God has told them about whether or not God "knows" all things, with the very real possibility that if God (or his prophets) were wrong on the subject, neither would know anyway.

Yea, that sounds like something I'm going to have a real strong opinion about. :P

Indeed, the very first proof we may have that God doesn't know everything is when he discovers that there is something He doesn't know. It would be especially ironic if God alerted the First Presidency by sending Bruce McConkie as the messenger to deliver the news.

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How can we know if God truly does know "all things" and is not progressing in knowledge?

Hi Cinepro--

I think we can get to either conclusion (he does or he doesn't), logically, depending on prior, more foundational assumptions.

All we can know is that God thinks he knows all things. And of course, the only way we "know" what God thinks is because other men are telling us what they think He has said. So, we are taking other men's words for what they think God has told them about whether or not God "knows" all things, with the very real possibility that if God (or his prophets) were wrong on the subject, neither would know anyway.

Again, I think we can circumvent the revelatory aspect and make logical deductions. I don't think we can know that God thinks a certain thing--unless, of course, we have good reason to believe that he does, in fact, know a certain thing. But, at that point, we're punting to logical deduction, and speculation about God's mental state about a given thing is thereby subsumed in a larger discussion.

Yea, that sounds like something I'm going to have a real strong opinion about. <_<

Well, I do...! :P

Best.

CKS

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Please try not to be so moronic. Biblical "casting lots" (edokan klerous, Acts 1:26) is not "drawing straws." 1 Sam 14:41 in the LXX indicates that the Urim and Thumim may have been in part used for "casting lots." Whatever precisely it was, it was a form of divination, that is a means to determine the divine will (Prov 16.33). 1 Chr 26.13-16 indicates that casting lots was used for determining at least some aspects of the order of priestly service in the ancient temple, and is the undoubted antecedent of the practice of the apostles. Of course, you don't have to believe it, but to misunderstand it, and mock others because of your misunderstanding, tells us a lot about you, but very little about ancient Jewish practices and beliefs. (See also Neh 11.1, Jonah 1.7)

According to John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible: "they cast their lots"; that is, into an urn, or vessel; which lots had the names of the two persons on them; and into another vessel, as is thought, were put two other lots; the one had the name of "apostle" upon it, and the other nothing; and these being taken out by persons appointed for that purpose, the lot with Matthias's name on it, was taken out against that which had the name of apostle on it, upon which he was declared to be the apostle: it may be that this was done in the same manner, as the goats on the day of atonement had lots cast on them..."

The Message Bible tells us: Acts 23-26 - They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, "You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way." They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.

Of course, you don't have to believe it, but to misunderstand it, and mock others because of your misunderstanding, tells us a lot about you, but very little about ancient Jewish practices and beliefs.

Admittedly I am not an expert, but to think the Urim and Thumin were that day in this humble meeting place rather than in the Temple does not really inform me about ancient Jewish practices and beliefs, does it?

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Hugh B. Brown, who had served as President McKayâ??s first counselor, resumed his seat as an apostle. A few months later he would confide in his nephew, N. Eldon Tanner, that he missed the intense involvement of the First Presidency. In failing health, he could attend meetings of the Twelve only infrequently, so Eldon became one of his few regular contacts with General Authorities. Following one visit, President Tanner wrote in his diary, â??I am sure it is difficult to adjust after being in the First Presidency.â? He added an experience related by his uncle that had helped President Brown adjust to these years of declining responsibility.

He said it was not a vision, but the Lord appeared to him, very informal, the same as I was sitting talking to him. The Lord said, â??You have had some difficult times in your life.â? Uncle Hugh responded, â??Yes, and your life was more difficult than any of us have had.â? In the conversation Uncle Hugh asked when he would be finished here, and the Lord said, â??I donâ??t know and I wouldnâ??t tell you if I did.â? Then He said, â??Remain faithful to the end, and everything will be all right.â?

--Durham, G. Homer. 1982. N. Eldon Tanner: His Life and Service. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, pgs. 254-256.

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Absolutely not unless that academic is an apostle.

There are plenty of intelligent, well educated men in the Quorum, having someone from outside to 'overrule' them is absurd. If they want research done, they can do it easily enough without having someone 'sit in'.

I was not suggesting overruling in any way shape or form, as that would be impossible anyhow, but to point out previous decisions from the council, to prevent contradition. Sometimes they consult previous minutes to see the result of past decisions, sometimes because of time they do not. There is of course a secretary that sits in and takes the minutes of these meetings, he is not an apostle.

I remember reading a few years ago about a deceased BYU church history professor who upon sorting out his estate it was discovered that he was in possession of something like 6 to 7 decades worth of minutes of meetings of the quorum of the 12 and first presidency. How he gained possession of these items raised a lot of questions, still I suppose nothing is beyond the shrewd academic in his search for knowledge.

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I remember reading a few years ago about a deceased BYU church history professor who upon sorting out his estate it was discovered that he was in possession of something like 6 to 7 decades worth of minutes of meetings of the quorum of the 12 and first presidency. How he gained possession of these items raised a lot of questions, still I suppose nothing is beyond the shrewd academic in his search for knowledge.

It was Leonard Arrington, I believe, and he had gotten permission to have church archive records to continue his research when he stopped being church historian.

You do like rumours, don't you.

You don't need someone sitting in, it is easy enough and more efficient to commission research prior to the meeting if something is being discussed. It would be very difficult to do decent research in a meeting anyway especially since all the relevant documents are likely not at hand even on the computer. I also highly doubt official pronouncements are drawn up in the same meeting that they are first discussed. That would preclude the opportunity to pray and ponder upon the topic.

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I think this is more readable:

8 καίπερ ὢν υἱὸς ἔμαθεν ἀφ' ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν:

9 καὶ τελειωθεὶς ἐγένετο πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου,

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I don't think this is fully true. Because there are impeachment processes drawn up for the president of the church in the D&C.

Impeachment? I would like to see the CFR on that one. I have never heard of such a thing. The only thing that comes close is the following:
(D&C 43:3-6) "And this ye shall know assuredlyâ??that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me."
This quote indicates that the Prophet is the only one who can authoritatively speak for God to the Church and if it were to "be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead." To me this shows clearly that God is in charge of who He chooses to lead His Church and He will do the impeachment if one is required.
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Does anyone care to respond to this quote I gave from the Book of Mormon?

(2 Nephi 9:20) "O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth call things, and there is not anything save he knows it."
Does this not answer the question if God knows all things? Just in case that is not clear enough I will add another:
(1 John 3:20) "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."
That is two, lets try for three:
(D&C 38:1-2) "Thus saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, the Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the same which looked upon the wide expanse of eternity, and all the seraphic hosts of heaven, before the world was made; The same which knoweth all things, for all things are present before mine eyes;"
Let us continue:
(Abraham 2:8 ) "My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee."
Lets go back to the Book of Mormon:
(Alma 26:35) Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name."
That quote adds to the fact that He has all power too. Lets take it one step further:
(D&C 88:41) "He 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."
I think it is fairly certain that the Standard Works teach that God knows all things no matter what anyone else may have said in Journal of Discourses or elsewhere with all due respect to scholars and pundits and peoples opinions.
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Does anyone care to respond to this quote I gave from the Book of Mormon? Does this not answer the question if God knows all things? Just in case that is not clear enough I will add another:That is two, lets try for three:Let us continue:Lets go back to the Book of Mormon:That quote adds to the fact that He has all power too. Lets take it one step further:I think it is fairly certain that the Standard Works teach that God knows all things no matter what anyone else may have said in Journal of Discourses or elsewhere with all due respect to scholars and pundits and peoples opinions.

Him knowing "all" does not necessitate that there may not be things which will come to be in the future for Him to know.

G-d knows "all" presently available knowledge; not future available knowledge. His knowledge is infinite, but not â??allâ? in a definitive sense. He knows â??allâ? that can be known at this very moment in existence, and tomorrow He will know â??allâ? that can be known at that very moment in existence; however, He will have increased in knowledge.

Also, as the writers of the BoM were influenced by the likes of Isaiah, I tend to think they took poetic license and engaged in hyperbole once in a while.

And, I'll say it so you don't have to: "Heretic!"

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Doctor Steuss:

As the past, present, and future are before the throne of God all the time, and it is all one eternal round to God. I don't know as your statement is technically correct.

I don't know how God sees the future, but apparently [He] does. :P

The only problem with that would be He would necessarily have to know "everything." I'm just wondering if people really see how much "everything" would be within the LDS paradigm. He would have to already know who will be exalted (in fact, He would have had to know before He even organized their "intelligences"). He would have to know every action that the spirit children of those exalted would make. He would have to know which of them would be exalted. He have to know which of those in the next generation would make it, and their children, and their childrenâ??s children, and their childrenâ??s childrenâ??s children, and all of their actions, thoughts, dreams, wishes, beliefs, failures, successes, etc., etc., etc... Every thought made by an infinite number of beings. Every belief. Every electronâ??s orbit within an atom. Every digit of an irrational numberâ?¦

All of this, and infinitely times more at this very given moment.

It also opens up the little box of â??can there really be free will if the outcome is already known, and since the outcome is already known, did you even have a choice to make a different outcome.â?

That just donâ??t fly in my heathen realm.

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Does anyone care to respond to this quote I gave from the Book of Mormon? Does this not answer the question if God knows all things? Just in case that is not clear enough I will add another:That is two, lets try for three:Let us continue:Lets go back to the Book of Mormon:That quote adds to the fact that He has all power too. Lets take it one step further:I think it is fairly certain that the Standard Works teach that God knows all things no matter what anyone else may have said in Journal of Discourses or elsewhere with all due respect to scholars and pundits and peoples opinions.

In regards to God's knowledge of things and specifically of his knowledge or lack thereof of the future, I believe the issue is just simply ambiguous. Quoting scriptures in an effort to "close the case" is useless since all that ends up being accomplished is putting on display those statements which contain the ambiguous language. Nothing is settled and everyone is forced to read things they are already aware of.

I think CK mentioned that part of the difficulty of the issue is that the outcome depends variably on other "more fundamental" propositions. Depending on which first propositions a person chooses to accept the conclusion can be made to appear to follow logically. I would hope that nobody is foolish enough to deny that the opposing party doesn't have a valid argument. I should qualify the former statement by acknowledging that I don't intend on providing such arguments. Also, even if somebody presents an argument on either side which is invalid, just about anyone with even superficial knowledge of propositional and predicate logic should be able to patch things up for them. Itâ??s just the nice thing to do.

So, the issue is hardly whether somebody said "God knows all things." That's a point of no debate. The issue is what "all things" could possibly actually mean. Some just accept that â??all thingsâ? means â??all thingsâ? in the sense that it encompasses even contradictory knowledge and experience. Other say that God knows all things that can be logically known which excludes contradictory elements of knowledge and experience. One side boils down to taking what is said at face value and the other boils down to noticing that theyâ??ve never seen or experienced truly contradictory things.

This discussion is specific enough that either way God is still sufficiently powerful to provide salvation. I noticed earlier in the thread others already pointed out that in all likely hood BY and BRM were not actually talking about the same thing. Itâ??s doubtful that BY believed that God could discover some new truth that would invalidate the whole plan. Likewise itâ??s doubtful that BRM believed that God could create a rock so heavy he couldnâ??t lift it, or square circles, or triangles with 63 sides, or cause that 1+1 is ever anything but 2 (which is just representative of 1+1).

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Doctor Steuss:

I don't really understand how God does it either. However it is definitely on the list of my questions for Him though.

:P

I'm willing to be surprised. It isn't something that I will refuse to abandon (I still leave room [although it's very little] for a universal flood, or literal Garden of Eden, or Creation); but as of right now, it's one of those things that causes more questions than it answers. Believing He knows "all" in a definitive sense just seems to throw a log in the spokes of my mental huffy bike.

Quel dommage...

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Here's an interesting and well known case-in-point of scriptural ambiguity. Prior to March of 1830 anyone who had read the Book of Mormon and believed exactly what was contained therein would have no hesitation in accepting that an "endless punishment" was exactly what it sounded like it was.

That was, of course, thrown into question in March of 1830 when the Lord Himself spoke to Joseph Smith and said,

...And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless. Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.

Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment. Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my nameâ??s glory.

Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles. I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest. For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it!

For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Whereforeâ??Eternal punishment is Godâ??s punishment. Endless punishment is Godâ??s punishment.

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Impeachment? I would like to see the CFR on that one. I have never heard of such a thing.
And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; and their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness. D&C 107:82-84.
Some additional commentary can be found here about the Common Council of the Church.

PS: What does CFR stand for? Cite for reference? Cited first reference? Call Fred Reliable?

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I think this is more readable:

8 καίπερ ὢν υἱὸς ἔμαθεν ἀφ' ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν:

9 καὶ τελειωθεὶς ἐγένετο πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου,

TY, but hey, it's still Greek to me.

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Some additional commentary can be found here about the Common Council of the Church.

PS: What does CFR stand for? Cite for reference? Cited first reference? Call Fred Reliable?

Thanks, although I have never heard of that refered to as "Impeachment" but yes that proves that even the Prophet is not considered infallable. (Call for references)
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Him knowing "all" does not necessitate that there may not be things which will come to be in the future for Him to know.

G-d knows "all" presently available knowledge; not future available knowledge. His knowledge is infinite, but not â??allâ? in a definitive sense. He knows â??allâ? that can be known at this very moment in existence, and tomorrow He will know â??allâ? that can be known at that very moment in existence; however, He will have increased in knowledge.

Also, as the writers of the BoM were influenced by the likes of Isaiah, I tend to think they took poetic license and engaged in hyperbole once in a while.

And, I'll say it so you don't have to: "Heretic!"

Doc, I guess I have to subscribe to the BRM theory, because if God's knowledge did not contain all knowledge of the past, present, and future then could He discover some truth or law that would "undo" the atonement or creation or existance itself? I think not. I think that our understanding is what the problem is, here is some more "hyperbole" from the Book of Mormon:
(Mosiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."
I think that is the key, God's thoughts are not our thoughts we are like horses wearing blinders but God has an eternal perspective.
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Doc, I guess I have to subscribe to the BRM theory, because if God's knowledge did not contain all knowledge of the past, present, and future then could He discover some truth or law that would "undo" the atonement or creation or existance itself? I think not.

Hi Lightbearer,

I think He knows all truths. However, I think He is learning about "us." He is increasing in knowledge about others. About menial facts (such as so-and-so brushed his teeth with 34 strokes on August 28, 2007 at 7:38 am). In no way, in my heretical view, do I think He is discovering laws or truths that change His very essence.

I hope that makes senseâ?¦(?)

I think that our understanding is what the problem is, here is some more "hyperbole" from the Book of Mormon:I think that is the key, God's thoughts are not our thoughts we are like horses wearing blinders but God has an eternal perspective.

Touche. :P

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