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The Confouding World Of Lds Doctrinal Pronouncements


cksalmon

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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 suppose that is true, quoting scriptures is useless because people interpret whatever they want to interpret. I guess it is true what I quoted to Doc, in Mosiah 4:9 "man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." Until we are exalted we really cannot tell what the meaning of "God knows all things and there is not anything He does not know."
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).

I agree with both of these points.
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CKS.... upon reading your research, you failed to show that the First Presidency back in Brigham's time was actually "condemning" the idea of Pratts that God does not progress. You take general comments of what he did, as somehow only referring to this idea, when it more appropriately was in reference to a leader preaching things without approval. As well, you failed to show that God progressing was actually doctrine or taught authoritatively during that time or any other.

Thus, your research, while a good start, is wholly incomplete and a very large misuse and misapplication of source materials to try and make your point.

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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?

Ahhh...now that is a thread in the making all of it's own...if God knows the outcome...does it cancell out our agency? I give it as my opinion--and I first thought of this paradox on my Mission about 25 years ago. Yes God does know the outcome!!! :P However because of His infinite mercy and love and wisdom and most of all patience He lets us use our agency...not telling us the individual outcome (thus He uses the word IF when dealing with us) even though He knows it. From our perspective "horse with blinders" we are indeed exercising our agency. From His perspective He "knows the end from the begining" (or else how could He possibly give us a prophecy of the future?) He has no suprises, but that does not govern how He treats us. We would not be able to do this because we are not perfect as He is, we would be judgemental, impatient, and quite incapable of the "unconditional love" required to allow our children the freedom to choose destruction. I think we get an inkling of this problem of our mortal condition in the following:
(Mosiah 8:13) "...And the things are called interpreters, and no man can look in them except he be commanded, lest he should look for that he ought not and he should perish. And whosoever is commanded to look in them, the same is called seer."
That quote I think touches on the heart of the matter, this power is so great that we may be tempted to "see the outcome" and that would be our undoing. So I agree this is a "mindblowing" matter that cannot be cleared up simply as we would like. But having said that if we do not believe that God "knows the end from the begining" then how could we have faith in Him? Might we wonder if He did not know what is best for us? It opens many cans of worms that is probably why I am most comfortable with the literal understanding of "God knows all things." <_<
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CKS.... upon reading your research, you failed to show that the First Presidency back in Brigham's time was actually "condemning" the idea of Pratts that God does not progress. You take general comments of what he did, as somehow only referring to this idea, when it more appropriately was in reference to a leader preaching things without approval.

Actually Pratt was publishing these things, by and large, rather than preaching them. And the reason he was called to task was because his published statements didn't mesh with Brigham Young's doctrinal convictions. As the article concluded, the problem with Pratt's musings was that they were "not true."

If you think the point was simply to chastise Pratt for publishing his own writings (and the Lucy Mack Smith biography!) without approval, I'd suggest you read the entire article.

Bottom line: Pratt was publicly censured for publishing works (including the Smith biography) containing propositions deemed by the Prophet to be untrue. If you don't want to call that a condemnation of the ideas, pick your own word. The issue was manifestly larger than merely "[publishing] things without approval" (although, to be sure, that was a rather large bone of contention re: the Lucy Mack Smith book).

Thus, your research, while a good start, is wholly incomplete and a very large misuse and misapplication of source materials to try and make your point.

If you say so.

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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.

Good points.

Really.

I lean much more towards the Brigham Young thesis than the Orson Pratt/Joseph Fielding Smith/Bruce R. McConkie opinions.

It doesn't bother me at all to think that God is still expanding his breadth of knowledge. My bond to him is not based on his alleged omniscience, but rather on the fact that He is my Father.

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Actually Pratt was publishing these things, by and large, rather than preaching them. And the reason he was called to task was because his published statements didn't mesh with Brigham Young's doctrinal convictions. As the article concluded, the problem with Pratt's musings was that they were "not true."

If you think the point was simply to chastise Pratt for publishing his own writings (and the Lucy Mack Smith biography!) without approval, I'd suggest you read the entire article.

Bottom line: Pratt was publicly censured for publishing works (including the Smith biography) containing propositions deemed by the Prophet to be untrue. If you don't want to call that a condemnation of the ideas, pick your own word. The issue was manifestly larger than merely "[publishing] things without approval" (although, to be sure, that was a rather large bone of contention re: the Lucy Mack Smith book).

If you say so.

CKS..... Your missing the point.

You have taken "general condemnatory" comments related to "unauthorized" theological teaching, and applied them to a SPECIFIC subject that Pratt etc. taught. You haven't proved your case one i-ota. To prove your case you need to show that that "specific" idea was one that the Church as a whole authoritatively condemned. You have not done this at all. If you tried to submit this as a thesis to any professor they would give you an "F"..... a "D" if they were being generous because you did some work. Your data could apply to ANYTHING ever said by Pratt. So, unless you are stating every single thing Pratt and otherwise ever taught or wrote down was false, you need to do better in providing PROPER supporting documentation, that directly apply's to your point. Your point is not that Pratt taught some things that were then condemned, your point is that he taught a "specific" thing that "specifically" was condemned. Your only provided evidence of the former not the latter.

Everyone knows that LDS on whatever chain in the Church have taught things (especially in the early days) that wasn't actually Church Theology. Would you expect anything else from such a new system?

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CKS,

Thanks for a great view into LDS doctrine!

From my side of the fence 'God was, God is, God will be' and can't be surprised because he is omnipotent.

Try this exercise that I used with my kids: Hold a pencil in your hand and note that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end - like time and space. I tell my kids that God as the Creator has the ability to enter time and space at any point since He exists *outside* of time and space and knows all that has, is, and will ever occur.

Now, if something 'learns' things then it can't be the Creator since it is trapped by having to learn things through the unfolding of time - just like people and animals.

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Hi docwatson--

CKS,

Thanks for a great view into LDS doctrine!

It produced some good discussion. Thanks.

From my side of the fence 'God was, God is, God will be' and can't be surprised because he is omnipotent.

Try this exercise that I used with my kids: Hold a pencil in your hand and note that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end - like time and space. I tell my kids that God as the Creator has the ability to enter time and space at any point since He exists *outside* of time and space and knows all that has, is, and will ever occur.

Now, if something 'learns' things then it can't be the Creator since it is trapped by having to learn things through the unfolding of time - just like people and animals.

While I'm in general agreement with you here, I would point out that the LDS "creation" claim is much more restricted than, say, that of traditional Christianity. Certainly for LDS, Elohim cannot be seen as an originary source--the First Cause. But then LDS cosmology holds that the material universe is eternal and that the LDS God(s) "organized" rather than originated the stuff of life.

Best.

CKS

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