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The Sermon on the Mount and the LofC


David Bokovoy

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Mansquatch,

Adam Smith held charity in high regard, that much is absolutely true. He is not known for that so much today, I think. He did however believe that man's lesser nature meant that charity, while a virtuous act, could not alone provide the essentials for living. Self-interest is the mechanism he felt would remedy this shortcoming. Said Smith:

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Good grief !! "Inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the land." Omni 1:6

And why will you not prosper in the land? Because God makes you poor?!! Nonsense! "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" (D&C 82:10). The fact that the disobedient do not have a promise for prosperity does not mean that God makes them poor! These statements in the Book of Mormon simply reflect a Deuteronomic perspective regarding prosperity in accordance with obedience to the will of God. Note the scholarly commentary provided by Moshe Weinfeld in his classic study Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School:

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But there are too many that would--so to speak--walk right over the very face of Christ in their rush to get to a John Birch Soc. meeting

I have not heard of any LDS I know belonging to a John Birch society in over 40 years in any place that I've lived. The only LDS my husband (who is a Utahan) has ever considered might belong to it due to his stated political sympathies is an inactive member.

I'd really like to see some data demonstrating that a significant or even an insignificant portion---just some numbers---of LDS are members.

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Ignoring for the moment the presuptuous claims to "plian meaning of the scriptures", the only way for any economic system to eliminate poverty or temporal inequalities, is to exclude those people who disobey or won't obey the precepts upon which the respectivbe economic systems are based.

Zion can only succeed and become poverty free by exluding those who are not only unwilling to impart freely of the substance, but who are unwilling to work and produce.

Somewhat free and inclusionary economic systems like U.S. capitalism, don't have the luxury of excluding the uncharitable and deadbeats.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I would make the analogy with living the Law of Chastity and the Covenant of Marriage when one is single. One can live it fully to the extent one is allowed, but not fully as to the potential of the covenant. That must wait for the millennium.

This sounds nice. It is just that I am stuggling to comprehend the meqaning and application. As a help, let me ask: "In what way will I be able to more fully live the LoC under Zion, which I am not able to fully live under capitalism?"

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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This sounds nice. It is just that I am stuggling to comprehend the meqaning and application. As a help, let me ask: "In what way will I be able to more fully live the LoC under Zion, which I am not able to fully ive under capitalism?"

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

One cannot live the Law of Consecration at all without a community living it - that is, until the church re-institutes it, or rather collects on the covenants entered into. You are perfectly free, however, to adhere to the Law of the Gospel, and be free and familiar with your substance, and give unto the beggar who putteth up his petition unto thee that he might not perish, and the like.

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One cannot live the Law of Consecration at all without a community living it - that is, until the church re-institutes it, or rather collects on the covenants entered into. You are perfectly free, however, to adhere to the Law of the Gospel, and be free and familiar with your substance, and give unto the beggar who putteth up his petition unto thee that he might not perish, and the like.

So, to you, the LoC is not personal or individual in its application, but only collective?

If so, I can respect that, though I don't agree. I consider certain personal covenants made by indivuduals in the temple as constituting the LoC.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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And why will you not prosper in the land? Because God makes you poor?!! Nonsense! "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise" (D&C 82:10). The fact that the disobedient do not have a promise for prosperity does not mean that God makes them poor! These statements in the Book of Mormon simply reflect a Deuteronomic perspective regarding prosperity in accordance with obedience to the will of God. Note the scholarly commentary provided by Moshe Weinfeld in his classic study Deuteronomy and the Deuteronomic School:

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One cannot live the Law of Consecration at all without a community living it - that is, until the church re-institutes it, or rather collects on the covenants entered into.

Here I am donating time and abilities, putting all this effort into something I can't actually live. Boy is my face red. Just let me know when we are going to start that up.

Was there also a delayed beginning of the Law of Chastity?

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Nice try Mary Lou Retton. :P So God will decide that someone is disobedient and then make them not prosperous but they will not, in any case ever, be poor. Of course they are choosing for themselves, but whose justice demands repentance or punishment? The justice of God.

Try those gymnastics on other verses where God says He will send famine and pestilence. Is that magical famine and pestilence that doesn't make anyone poor?

My claim was that God creates poverty and I have given references showing that He does. Regardless of whether it is a test or a curse He does send it. It may also surprise some that God sends trials to mankind and that He doesn't just throw fluffy marshmallows down on us.

Do you honestly want to go this route?!! That cancer, rape, abuse, famine, poverty, i.e the evils that plague this word due to human agency and natural disasters are evils that God makes happen?!! As I illustrated, neither Omni, nor the Deuteronomic view associated with this Book of Mormon passage states that God makes people poor.

I personally find your view that God is responsible for human suffering extremely distasteful, to say the least. Suffice it to say that yours is not the god I worship. The God I worship is the deity who created the blessings of this earth that all might have

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Do you honestly want to go this route?!! That cancer, rape, abuse, famine, poverty, i.e the evils that plague this word due to human agency and natural disasters are evils that God makes happen?!! I personally find your view that God is responsible for human suffering extremely distasteful, to say the least. Suffice it to say that yours is not the god I worship.

And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

Especially those noxious weeds which torment and afflict man....

Or those birth defects in the bodies he creates for Adam and Eve....

Or fires, floods, and earthquakes which bury, burn, and drown cities, and the people thereof....

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And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.

Especially those noxious weeds which torment and afflict man....

Or those birth defects in the bodies he creates for Adam and Eve....

Or fires, floods, and earthquakes which bury, burn, and drown cities, and the people thereof....

This is a very problematic reading of D&C 59, to say the least! Indeed, God's hand is in all things. However, the fact that he allows poverty to exist does not mean that he makes people poor. Moreover, notice the context for the statement you cite:

"The fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth; Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards; Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart; Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion. And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments" (D&C 59:16-21).

So is this verse really saying that God is the cause of human suffering, or does this statement mean contextually that people should recognize the hand of God in all the blessings they enjoy?

I'm confident that we both know the answer to this.

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So is this verse really saying that God is the cause of human suffering, or does this statement mean contextually that people should recognize the hand of God in all the blessings they enjoy?

I'm confident that we both know the answer to this.

Indeed - it means all things.

You really ought to concede the point. As you are familiar with the Old Testament, you know examples can be multiplied - and pretty horrific ones, too.

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Do you honestly want to go this route?!! That cancer, rape, abuse, famine, poverty, i.e the evils that plague this word due to human agency and natural disasters are evils that God makes happen?!! As I illustrated, neither Omni, nor the Deuteronomic view associated with this Book of Mormon passage states that God makes people poor.

Yes, I want to go that route. God is supremely and ultimately responsible for it all. We were all created by Him and it is His plan to send us down to be proven herewith. Being 'proven' is not simply a happy, fluffy time. We agreed to the plan and we should also be "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon" us. [Mosiah 3:19]

I personally find your view that God is responsible for human suffering extremely distasteful, to say the least. Suffice it to say that yours is not the god I worship. The God I worship is the deity who created the blessings of this earth that all might have

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Don't worry David, I will share my capitalist Zion bread with you anytime. :P

There shall not be capitalism in Zion, anymore than there is in Heaven, the model of Zion. For who can love God with all his might, mind, and strength, and his neighbor like unto himself, and yet make merchandise of his neighbor's needs?

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Wow. I leave for half a day and the thread erupts. :P

Mansquatch,

Is God the creator of opposition or are those bounds within which He must operate? Lehi seems to be saying that were there no opposition there would be no God. If that is the case, the opposition is the natural order of things and God works within that system rather than being the creator of it. Same with justice. He violates that and He can cease to be God.

So if He cannot bless us when we violate the covenant, and is compelled to allow or enact the natural reaping that follows what we sow, is that His system? Or is it simply the only way He can function and remain God?

I've always thought that God's system (Zion) operates within this framework of eternal laws (justice, opposition, etc) and this is precisely the reason convenant relationships work - God cannot violate them and be perfectly just (God). He is bound when we do as He says. So He calls all to the covenant and promises that if we work within His system (Zion) it will be a defense and a refuge from the law of the harvest (strict justice).

MnG

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There shall not be capitalism in Zion, anymore than there is in Heaven, the model of Zion. For who can love God with all his might, mind, and strength, and his neighbor like unto himself, and yet make merchandise of his neighbor's needs?

Fair enough. Zionist Capitol Bread??

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Is God the creator of opposition or are those bounds within which He must operate?....So if He cannot bless us when we violate the covenant, and is compelled to allow or enact the natural reaping that follows what we sow, is that His system? Or is it simply the only way He can function and remain God?

Is there reason to believe that the answer to each question couldn't be "both"?

Didn't God create this world with the intention that it would fall in order to provide the opposition in all things needed for growth in faith--including opposition between poverty and riches? By virtue of his creation, we may experience poverty, otherwise we would never know riches. Right?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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"The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all." (Prov. 22:2)

"The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up." (1Sam 2:7)

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Well, there you go Wade. Except of course when one understands the nuances of biblical poetry. Proverbs 22:2 uses the word pair

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Completely random interjection:

David, my friend and crusader of the poor, have you had a chance to look at the paper of faith, grace, and works I sent you? :P

Sorry about that Bro. I'm afraid my spare time has been taken up by this thread, and I'd forgotten. I'll take a look at it tomorrow.

All the best,

--DB

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Sorry about that Bro. I'm afraid my spare time has been taken up by this thread, and I'd forgotten. I'll take a look at it tomorrow.

All the best,

--DB

No problem at all! I'm glad that you take time on the threads. I learn a lot when you do.

I appreciate you taking the time to read it though. Looking forward to your input.

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Is there reason to believe that the answer to each question couldn't be "both"?

Didn't God create this world with the intention that it would fall in order to provide the opposition in all things needed for growth in faith--including opposition between poverty and riches? By virtue of his creation, we may experience poverty, otherwise we would never know riches. Right?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I don't think so. I think He knew what would happen but that's different. Brace yourself. Here's comes some doctrine according to MnG or doctrine as best I understand it... :P

Opposition exists independently being the natural state of the universe.

God works within that natural state to create order out of chaos, teaching us to master the laws by which He is governed.

These universal laws are based on the behavior of intelligence and element and are perhaps better described as naturally

occurring conditions.

God is an exalted man who lives perfectly with respect to that set of universal laws or conditions.

The only way He can circumvent opposition is to teach us how to live in unity (Zion), and the most effective way (perhaps the only way) He can get around the law of the harvest is by providing an alternate satisfaction of justice. A covenant. A scapegoat. etc... (Of course, this is satisfaction of justice is perfect as the covenant relationship with the scapegoat leads to unity anyway.)

Unity (reconciliation or atonement) is His primary goal as expressed by the Savior in the intercessory prayer, and this unity is what allows us to have a fullness of joy in spite of the naturally occuring condition of opposition.

He is omnipotent and omniscient in that He knows how to work perfectly within those laws to bring others intelligences through the process of eternal progression.

This all seems tangential to the thrust of David's thread but if you believe God is seeking to elevate us above our natural condition (Mos.3:19), then it makes sense that not only did he not create that condition, His intent is to teach us how to overcome it. The only instructions in the scriptures for creating poverty, despair, depravity, etc. consist in DISobeying God's explicit instructions and reverting to our natural state.

Remember God created a garden. Man fell and God could not allow Him to remain in that garden state without violating natural law (justice). It was man that created the lone and dreary world, not God.

edit: MDalby just posted a wonderful quote on another thread which I find applicable here.

Do not suppose that God willfully causes that, which for His own purposes, he permits.

(Boyd K. Packer, The Play and the Plan)

edit: One more quick thought... often we think of the creation of the negative when we talk about opposition. Perhaps, God is creating the positive in order to bring order and balance.

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