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Do We Believve God's Love Is Conditional Or Unconditional?


Ihearya

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Is there an official position on what we believe about God's Love? Do we believe it is conditional or unconditional?

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How do you define the words, love, conditional and unconditional? My initial reaction is to say we believe God's love for us is unconditional; that is, He loves us as His children no matter what. His blessings and gifts to us, however, seem to be conditional on many things, but willingness to be obedient would be the basic requirement.

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"Divine Love Is Also Conditional

While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of usâ??and certain divine blessings stemming from that loveâ??are conditional. Before citing examples, it is well to recognize various forms of conditional expression in the scriptures."

Ensign

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How do you define the words, love, conditional and unconditional? My initial reaction is to say we believe God's love for us is unconditional; that is, He loves us as His children no matter what. His blessings and gifts to us, however, seem to be conditional on many things, but willingness to be obedient would be the basic requirement.

According to Elder Nelson, it seems that there are situations in which God's love IS conditional:

Divine Love Is Also Conditional

"While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of usâ??and certain divine blessings stemming from that loveâ??are conditional. Before citing examples, it is well to recognize various forms of conditional expression in the scriptures..."

Elder Russell M. Nelson Ensign Feb 2003 Issue Reference: http://tinyurl.com/299q43

This is a very good article about God's Love. Some people don't agree with it because of the "God loves us no matter what" concept.

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Read the entire article, it's spot on! I don't think you do understand exactly what he is trying to say, so read or reread the article. God's love is perfect, as he embodies perfection in all the godly attributes (love, truth, knowledge etc).

I did read it. I read it at least twenty times after it came out in 2003. I have subsequently read it many times. I still think he's wrong.

Does the Church require that I agree with him?

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I did read it. I read it at least twenty times after it came out in 2003. I have subsequently read it many times. I still think he's wrong.

Does the Church require that I agree with him?

No. But you are not disagreeing with him, necessarily, you are disagreeing with doctrine based on scriptural foundation and taught by an apostle. When people find themselves disagreeing with scriptures and apostles, it's generally a slippery slope leading to apostasy...

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No. But you are not disagreeing with him, necessarily, you are disagreeing with doctrine based on scriptural foundation and taught by an apostle. When people find themselves disagreeing with scriptures and apostles, it's generally a slippery slope leading to apostasy...

That's what Joseph Fielding Smith said about evolution to Henry Eyring (the Scientist). He was wrong and so is Elder Nelson IMO. And my opinion is based on the same Apostles and Scriptures and doctrinal traditions that his is. If my testimony were based on Elder Nelson then that would be a slippery slope, good thing it's not.

What's hilarious is that you are not even one bit interested in why I disagree with him. Typical rank and file Mormon thinking...."the thinking has been done for us".

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That's what Joseph Fielding Smith said about evolution to Henry Eyring (the Scientist). He was wrong and so is Elder Nelson. If my testimony were based on Elder Nelson then that would be a slippery slope, good thing it's not.

What's hilarious is that you are not even one bit interested in why I disagree with him. Typical rank and file Mormon thinking...."the thinking has been done for us".

So please explain. Why do you disagree with him? Because "In my heart and mind God's love is unchanging and drawn out and extended to us always and forever, despite our actions, thoughts, behaviors etc."

As Elder Nelson stated (quoting the Book of Mormon)

Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly â??unconditionalâ? can defend us against common fallacies such as these: â??Since Godâ??s love is unconditional, He will love me regardless â?¦â?; or â??Since â??God is love,â?? He will love me unconditionally, regardless â?¦â?

These arguments are used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception. Nehor, for example, promoted himself by teaching falsehoods: He â??testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, â?¦ for the Lord had created all men, â?¦ and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.â? Sadly, some of the people believed Nehorâ??s fallacious and unconditional concepts.

In contrast to Nehorâ??s teachings, divine love warns us that â??wickedness never was happiness.â? Jesus explains, â??Come unto me and be ye saved; â?¦ except ye shall keep my commandments, â?¦ ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.â?

Now I know you have read this before, so I'm not sure how you can disagree. Do you believe the Book of Mormon?

BTW, my thinking has not been "done for me" as you suggest, but my thoughts are reaffirmed through scripture and prophetic counsel.

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Is there an official position on what we believe about God's Love? Do we believe it is conditional or unconditional?

Yes, we have an official position on this, but I think some people don't understand it when they hear it.

I'd say it like this:

God loves everyone, but those who don't know God loves them do not feel it, hence, in a sense, they don't have it, and God still loves them anyway.

To know God loves you is different from the fact that God does in fact love you, and me, and everyone else in the universe.

God is love.

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I love my kids unconditionally. When they do good, they have more leeway to do what they want. When they act poorly, what they are allowed to do is restricted.

When they do good, I enjoy doing things for them and getting them treats. When they act poorly, I don't get treats for them, and perhaps they may need to be taken out of the mix to think about what they have done.

Sometimes when they act poorly, I still do nice things for them. Sometimes when they are good, I don't do anything special for them.

I may not always be happy with them for what they have done, but I always love them.

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God's love is unconditional but is conditional on us. God loves us, what is conditional is whether or not we love him.

Forgive me, but this sounds like the "saved by grace" argument but with different terms.

Come on, you can't have it both ways. Either it's yes or no.

but those who don't know God loves them do not feel it, hence, in a sense, they don't have it, and God still loves them anyway.

We must feel it to know it?

I rarely feel His love, what does that say about me?

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So please explain. Why do you disagree with him? Because "In my heart and mind God's love is unchanging and drawn out and extended to us always and forever, despite our actions, thoughts, behaviors etc."

As Elder Nelson stated (quoting the Book of Mormon)

Understanding that divine love and blessings are not truly â??unconditionalâ? can defend us against common fallacies such as these: â??Since Godâ??s love is unconditional, He will love me regardless â?¦â?; or â??Since â??God is love,â?? He will love me unconditionally, regardless â?¦â?

These arguments are used by anti-Christs to woo people with deception. Nehor, for example, promoted himself by teaching falsehoods: He â??testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, â?¦ for the Lord had created all men, â?¦ and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.â? Sadly, some of the people believed Nehorâ??s fallacious and unconditional concepts.

In contrast to Nehorâ??s teachings, divine love warns us that â??wickedness never was happiness.â? Jesus explains, â??Come unto me and be ye saved; â?¦ except ye shall keep my commandments, â?¦ ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.â?

Now I know you have read this before, so I'm not sure how you can disagree. Do you believe the Book of Mormon?

BTW, my thinking has not been "done for me" as you suggest, but my thoughts are reaffirmed through scripture and prophetic counsel.

Again, this goes to definition. By "love" do we mean the actual blessings and help of God and His saving grace? If so, then you are right, it is conditional. But if by "love" you mean (as I generally take it to mean), God's desires for our well-being, His constant wish for us to be happy by accepting Him and His love, His everpresent (if not always accepted or felt) care for us as His children, even when He cannot save us or bring us back to Him because we do not cooperate, then His love is unconditional.

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We must feel it to know it?

I rarely feel His love, what does that say about me?

Saying you "rarely" feel it suggests to me that you have felt it before and perhaps still feel it on occasions.

So you tell me.

Do you know God loves you, or not, and if you know it, how do you know it?

I'd say you know it because you have felt it and/or still feel it when you feel it.

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I find the Nelson talk very strange and I can't quite figure out what his purpose was in delivering it. Since God's love is not unconditional that means there are conditions to either have or not have His love. It is not clear from the talk if He conditionally loves or conditionally doesn't love. Suppose I find myself in that state of having met the conditions to be out of His love. What does that mean?

Does that mean I am no longer eligible for repentance and the atonement. If that is not the case, then how is not having the conditional love of God any different than having the conditional love of God. Or in other words, what is the difference between the two states?

Maybe someone can help me out.

John

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That's what Joseph Fielding Smith said about evolution to Henry Eyring (the Scientist). He was wrong and so is Elder Nelson IMO. And my opinion is based on the same Apostles and Scriptures and doctrinal traditions that his is. If my testimony were based on Elder Nelson then that would be a slippery slope, good thing it's not.

What's hilarious is that you are not even one bit interested in why I disagree with him. Typical rank and file Mormon thinking...."the thinking has been done for us".

Why do you disagree with him? I noticed that the Bible makes some pretty strong statements about what's going to happen in the Day Of Judgment. Some of us aren't going to feel very loved on that day.

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Maybe someone can help me out.

I already have, John. Read what I have written.

I can't make you believe what I have told you, though.

That's not my job. :P

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Forgive me, but this sounds like the "saved by grace" argument but with different terms.

Come on, you can't have it both ways. Either it's yes or no.

I said nothing about Grace and did not imply it. I am saying that God loves us, what is conditional is whether or not we love him. Have you loved someone and they did not reciprocate it? Have you ever loved someone and they did reciprocate? I seem to recall Jesus saying, "If ye Love me, Keep my commandments" The question is not about God but about us. We can't do much to change the actions of others, what we can do is concern ourselves with what we ourselves feel and think.

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Is an Earthly parents love conditional or unconditional, answer that and you'll have your answer

Not necessarily. God is perfect. Earthly parents aren't. I'm sure Bundy's mother loved her son. Not quite the same thing. Satan got kicked out for a reason.

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Is there an official position on what we believe about God's Love?

Yes. It's found in the scriptures.....

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Moroni 7:47

"Charity never faileth" 1 Corinthians 13:8

Do we believe it is conditional or unconditional?

Since charity never fails, it is unconditional. Examples are the doctrine of the infinite atonement and that God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son.

While 'God's Love' is unconditional, consequences for actions or inactions, thoughts or nonthoughts are conditional.

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Not necessarily. God is perfect. Earthly parents aren't. I'm sure Bundy's mother loved her son. Not quite the same thing. Satan got kicked out for a reason.

That is the point. If "imperfect" human parents can love unconditionally, then a perfect God ought to love unconditionally that much more. Anything less isn't a quality of God, but a projection of humans who are stuck in conditionality and judmentalism.

If a human being can love unconditionally, but a God cannot. I wouldn't trust that God or the person who describes such a God as reality.

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That is the point. If "imperfect" human parents can love unconditionally, then a perfect God ought to love unconditionally that much more. Anything less isn't a quality of God, but a projection of humans who are stuck in conditionality and judmentalism.

If a human being can love unconditionally, but a God cannot. I wouldn't trust that God or the person who describes such a God as reality.

Well, that all sounds good but I am in agreement with Elder Nelson on this one. I think God's Love IS Conditional...

Otherwise...

1. Satan wouldn't have been kicked out along with 1/3 of God's children.

2. There would be no Judgment Day where the wicked (His children) are going to be punished

3. The Flood would have never happened

4. Laban would have kept his head on his shoulders

5. And I can think of a lot of war stories where men, women, children and animal were unceremoniously destroyed.

6. Korihor would have continued to be a motivational speaker

"... the Lord caused Korihor to become dumb (Alma 30: 6-60)...."

7. The thief on the cross would have joined the other one in Paradise...

8. The Egyptian wouldn't have been buried in the sand after Moses whacked him.

9. Cain would have been spared

10. All the first-born in the land of Egypt would have been spared

"And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle."

Exodus 12:29

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