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Suffering Of The Righteous


Flyonthewall

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I did not want to derail the other thread on suffering as this goes in a different direction.

A while ago, on a different board, I was asked: "What do LDS think about the stigmata?"

Well I really hadn't thought about it and really didn't know anything about it except as portrayed by Hollywood, so I simply did not answer.

I realize that there are people who view this as a deeply spiritual thing so I hope there will not be any offensive talk about it...please keep it respectful.

That being said, it got me to thinking it, and if God is the one to single out a righteous person and cause suffering upon him or her as a result of their righteousness. Now I know the righteous have sufferings, but I don't see those as at the hand of God and as a result of their righteousness.

In light of Christ's statement that He suffered these things so that we may not have to if we repent, and, men are so they might have joy...things aren't adding up in my mind.

I tried looking up a definition on lds.org about the stigmata, but there was nothing. So there is no 'official' position on it that I know of, so what do others think it?

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As it specifically relates to stigmata . . . as a history student, and if you have a mind to study some religious history . . . you will see that different eras, ages, times and places relate to God in various ways and has very little to do with God as he is and more about the relationship and engagement human beings have with God and what form that takes. I think, in my limited understanding, stigmata arises from the dark and middle ages, and that was a time of suffering and thus if a person wanted to remain in their understanding of the fold of God, you have to fashion a framework that allows for God plus whatever the reality of your current situation (suffering). And I mean this on a culture wide basis more than an individual one, although they work together.

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I did not want to derail the other thread on suffering as this goes in a different direction.

A while ago, on a different board, I was asked: "What do LDS think about the stigmata?"

Well I really hadn't thought about it and really didn't know anything about it except as portrayed by Hollywood, so I simply did not answer.

I realize that there are people who view this as a deeply spiritual thing so I hope there will not be any offensive talk about it...please keep it respectful.

That being said, it got me to thinking it, and if God is the one to single out a righteous person and cause suffering upon him or her as a result of their righteousness. Now I know the righteous have sufferings, but I don't see those as at the hand of God and as a result of their righteousness.

In light of Christ's statement that He suffered these things so that we may not have to if we repent, and, men are so they might have joy...things aren't adding up in my mind.

I tried looking up a definition on lds.org about the stigmata, but there was nothing. So there is no 'official' position on it that I know of, so what do others think it?

Suffering for people in general is described here in:

Matthew 5:45

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

I think most suffering that originates from outward sources (that is, it isn't brought on by our own errors in judgement) comes as a result of living in an imperfect world. It just goes with the territory so to speak.

As to Stigmatics or ecstatics, I believe there is actually a powerful form of self-inducement (not unlike self-hypnosis) that begins to operate in their psyche creating a hyper-identification with the Savior's suffering.

Just as a good hypnotist can (but won't for ethical reasons) induce a blister on the hand of a subject who is holding a silver dollar by suggesting to them that it is burning hot.

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That being said, it got me to thinking it, and if God is the one to single out a righteous person and cause suffering upon him or her as a result of their righteousness.

No God worth worshipping would do such a thing.

My wife, who is better than me in every possible way, was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of uterine cancer, that will most likely result in a hysterectomy if we want to avoid the possibility of it spreading and killing her. It is one of the greatest desires of her heart to have more children.

God did not give that to her because she was righteous. God did not give that to her because she was wicked. God did not give that to her, period. It just is. And it sucks.

Suffering happens. But I refuse to believe in and worship a God who would torture his children in order to give them growing experiences. That's not a Father.

If I were to send my daughter off to a boarding school, with full knowledge that she would be raped and tortured, and allow it just so she could more fully appreciate coming back home to me - knowing I had the power to help her avoid those circumstances and didn't - I'd be viewed as a Monster. And yet many try to explain that this is exactly what God does.

Sorry. Not buying it.

I believe in God, but not that God.

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I did not want to derail the other thread on suffering as this goes in a different direction.

A while ago, on a different board, I was asked: "What do LDS think about the stigmata?"

Well I really hadn't thought about it and really didn't know anything about it except as portrayed by Hollywood, so I simply did not answer.

I realize that there are people who view this as a deeply spiritual thing so I hope there will not be any offensive talk about it...please keep it respectful.

That being said, it got me to thinking it, and if God is the one to single out a righteous person and cause suffering upon him or her as a result of their righteousness. Now I know the righteous have sufferings, but I don't see those as at the hand of God and as a result of their righteousness.

In light of Christ's statement that He suffered these things so that we may not have to if we repent, and, men are so they might have joy...things aren't adding up in my mind.

I tried looking up a definition on lds.org about the stigmata, but there was nothing. So there is no 'official' position on it that I know of, so what do others think it?

God does not cause suffering. He may allow it, but he does not cause it.

The Stigmata is just simply someone who has becomes so obsessed with their own righteousness that he/she is causing himself physical injury. I believe they are doing it to themselves.

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My wife, who is better than me in every possible way, was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of uterine cancer, that will most likely result in a hysterectomy if we want to avoid the possibility of it spreading and killing her. It is one of the greatest desires of her heart to have more children.

Very sorry to hear this, while not as extreme a case as your wife's, my health prevented me from having more children as well...it is heartbreaking and not something you really get over, just learn not to think about as much. I hope all goes well or as well as can be hoped with you and your wife.

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No God worth worshipping would do such a thing.

My wife, who is better than me in every possible way, was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of uterine cancer, that will most likely result in a hysterectomy if we want to avoid the possibility of it spreading and killing her. It is one of the greatest desires of her heart to have more children.

God did not give that to her because she was righteous. God did not give that to her because she was wicked. God did not give that to her, period. It just is. And it sucks.

Suffering happens. But I refuse to believe in and worship a God who would torture his children in order to give them growing experiences. That's not a Father.

If I were to send my daughter off to a boarding school, with full knowledge that she would be raped and tortured, and allow it just so she could more fully appreciate coming back home to me - knowing I had the power to help her avoid those circumstances and didn't - I'd be viewed as a Monster. And yet many try to explain that this is exactly what God does.

Sorry. Not buying it.

I believe in God, but not that God.

Nack,

Keeping our fingers crossed and you and yours in our prayers.

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Sometimes he is. Simply ask Job.

With the story of Job, I don't see God as the source of Job's suffering. God may have allowed it but it came at the hands of Satan. Then as a result of Job's steadfastness, God blessed him with more than before.

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No God worth worshipping would do such a thing.

My wife, who is better than me in every possible way, was recently diagnosed with a very rare form of uterine cancer, that will most likely result in a hysterectomy if we want to avoid the possibility of it spreading and killing her. It is one of the greatest desires of her heart to have more children.

God did not give that to her because she was righteous. God did not give that to her because she was wicked. God did not give that to her, period. It just is. And it sucks.

Suffering happens. But I refuse to believe in and worship a God who would torture his children in order to give them growing experiences. That's not a Father.

If I were to send my daughter off to a boarding school, with full knowledge that she would be raped and tortured, and allow it just so she could more fully appreciate coming back home to me - knowing I had the power to help her avoid those circumstances and didn't - I'd be viewed as a Monster. And yet many try to explain that this is exactly what God does.

Sorry. Not buying it.

I believe in God, but not that God.

I agree with Palerider in that suffering comes part and parcel in living in an imperfect world. There are many sources of suffering, but I do not believe God to be one of them, especially in light of Matt 7:9-11.

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If I were to send my daughter off to a boarding school, with full knowledge that she would be raped and tortured, and allow it just so she could more fully appreciate coming back home to me - knowing I had the power to help her avoid those circumstances and didn't - I'd be viewed as a Monster. And yet many try to explain that this is exactly what God does.

Sorry. Not buying it.

I believe in God, but not that God.

I would not contradict you here, and in fact, this line of thinking is precisely where all human beings have to come to at some point and until they understand this, they cannot go "farther" in their understanding (imo).

However, I would like to add just a slight angle here.

In the case of Heavenly Father, the rapist is his child . . . not the daughter.

In the case of Heavenly Father . . . his children are those that rape, kill, yell at their kids, sell drugs, forget to buy their wives flowers, criticize each other, cheat on tests, nag their husbands, litter on the sidewalk, maintain wars in the name of power and money, so on and so forth.

We are not the daughter. We are the rapist.

God didn't send his innocent children into a world of horror. He sent his fallen children into a world of innocence and we violate that innocence of ourselves and others over and over again. And as we know, our gospel teaches the saving of the sinNER not the sinned against.

Of course, in our further understanding we know that Jesus Christ's atonement DOES save and help those who are violated (sinned against); that we all need him either for what we've done or what has been done to us. But none of this is immediate (which is the question). Why doesn't the rapist IMMEDIATELY become clean (do you think in his deepest heart he wants to be a rapist)? Why doesn't the one raped IMMEDIATELY be rescued, protected or sufficiently comforted afterward? The fact that we have no immediacy in atonement, but atonement in time and struggle, is the suffering.

I don't know why either, I'm with you. I tell God every day these days . . . "I don't need to be here any more just so I can wake up and make all these mistakes and hurt people. I withdraw my permission to be a human being, I don't want to hurt anybody else. YOU'RE God. I'm not. I don't need to be here just to see how much I can screw up your plan."

But I still wake up every morning, and I still don't know what God is going to tell me about this so it makes sense to me and justifies my existence in terms of the suffering I give to others. It makes no sense to me.

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As to the stigmata, I never heard of it until the movie came out.

I can try to see it from the point of view of those who see it as something holy, but it doesn't add up for me.

There are those in the world who re-create the crucifixion by being nailed to a cross.

There are those in the world that self flagellate or cause other pain to themselves.

I do not see any of these things as what God wants for His children.

We should not seek out suffering, as there is plenty to be had in this world, but very definately, God's reward for righteousness would not be suffering at His hands.

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If God created the conditions in which he knew extreme suffering would take place then he is just as responsible as any criminal who directly inflicts pain.

Does that make us all accomplices after the fact for allowing the suffering to continue?

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If I were to send my daughter off to a boarding school, with full knowledge that she would be raped and tortured, and allow it just so she could more fully appreciate coming back home to me - knowing I had the power to help her avoid those circumstances and didn't - I'd be viewed as a Monster. And yet many try to explain that this is exactly what God does.

Sorry. Not buying it.

I believe in God, but not that God.

In what God do you believe in so as to not have this problem?

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Does that make us all accomplices after the fact for allowing the suffering to continue?

If you can prevent it without sacrificing something of similar moral worth, then of course. If you see your son starving in front of you while you hold five plates of food and you choose to eat three and throw away the other two and let your child die, then there's something extremely wrong with you. That's what God does. We are not speaking of giving everything you have to the destitute... we are speaking of being able to stop suffering at the snap of your fingers and not doing it (God's situation). If we are accomplices, and we are to a degree, God's fault is just unmeasurable higher than ours.

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If you can prevent it without sacrificing something of similar moral worth, then of course. If you see your son starving in front of you while you hold five plates of food and you choose to eat three and throw away the other two and let your child die, then there's something extremely wrong with you. That's what God does. We are not speaking of giving everything you have to the destitute... we are speaking of being able to stop suffering at the snap of your fingers and not doing it (God's situation). If we are accomplices, and we are to a degree, God's fault is just unmeasurable higher than ours.

I don't know about that. We are the ones who have the control over the world we live in. God isn't here... and unless I am mistaken you would say that God doesn't exist anyway; that leaves the burden to make things better strictly on our shoulders.

So, what good have we done in the world today, have we helped anyone in need? Are we simply cogs in the wheel of society doing nothing to stop the pain, or have we stepped out of our comfort zone and lifted another up?

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If God created the conditions in which he knew extreme suffering would take place then he is just as responsible as any criminal who directly inflicts pain.

In what God do you believe in so as to not have this problem?

If Christ is truly a revelation of God, then it is mankind who requires violence, and imposes violence on God, and not God who imposes violence on us. Humans are the hands through which God works. When mankind didn't save Christ from being murdered, when mankind chose to rebel against the divine Will and kill Christ, perhaps we are to understand that this was a revelation of God not being able to save Christ from being murdered.

If our understanding of God in this generation is meant to be understood as a Perfect Divine Parent, then we need to re-interpret and re-think a lot of what we know about what has been attributed to God in the scriptural past based on previous ancient generations' conceptions of His character and nature (Warrior & Conquering King).

When the revelation of the Father arrived, Man killed Him. Man kills God. God does not kill man. I believe more and more that The Gospel is designed to transform all the world into the likeness of God, and to guide us (generationally) into a people who would not desire to kill God - who would assist in fulfilling God's true will and desire.

Violence reveals the problem God is trying to overcome, and needs us to assist with. Not something that God imposes on us or desires to happen as part of His greater plan.

Advances in medicine and medical sciences I view as being part of divine inspiration, and tools we need to continue to devote our resources to in order to better fulful God's Will.

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I don't know about that. We are the ones who have the control over the world we live in.

Sure but this is irrelevant to the present discussion. This is like asking, "what are WE doing to raise our kids better?" in a court trying to determine whether person X tortured his child to death. Yes, we should ask that question (and many other questions relating to how we ought to behave) but this is another issue. We are discussing the role of God in suffering.

God isn't here... and unless I am mistaken you would say that God doesn't exist anyway; that leaves the burden to make things better strictly on our shoulders.

Sure, that person X tortured his child doesn't speak anything about how I ought to treat my child but that's not what we are discussing here right now. I was also granting some premises (God exists, he created the world, etc) to illustrate how unbelievable the mormon position is.

So, what good have we done in the world today, have we helped anyone in need? Are we simply cogs in the wheel of society doing nothing to stop the pain, or have we stepped out of our comfort zone and lifted another up?

Well, yes, sure we need to do more or do if we aren't doing... but this is besides the point of what the role of God is in suffering.

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If you don't have a larger picture of life, all suffering is bad, and yet, the person who never suffers is probably the most stunted ignorant individual upon the earth. As such, do we really want our children to be so incredibly stupid?

And since suffering is ultimately subjective, any type could be considered terrible by the individual.

One persons diet is another persons starvation. You cannot argue subjectives since they are mere opinion unless you have an absolute standard by which to judge.

If your perspective is not myopic or short sighted and if you perspective is longer than this life, then the suffering is short in the realm of eternity, and it is for the better, when an ojective absolute standard is applied. The argument therefore is whether or not this world is all there is. Not why God allows suffering.

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Sure but this is irrelevant to the present discussion. This is like asking, "what are WE doing to raise our kids better?" in a court trying to determine whether person X tortured his child to death. Yes, we should ask that question (and many other questions relating to how we ought to behave) but this is another issue. We are discussing the role of God in suffering.

Sure, that person X tortured his child doesn't speak anything about how I ought to treat my child but that's not what we are discussing here right now. I was also granting some premises (God exists, he created the world, etc) to illustrate how unbelievable the mormon position is.

Well, yes, sure we need to do more or do if we aren't doing... but this is besides the point of what the role of God is in suffering.

Actually, "what are we doing" is exactly the point. Why should we just be sitting around waiting for God to make things better? One part of the Three Fold Mission of the Church is to "Perfect the Saints"; part of making ourselves better is service to our fellow human beings. If that means giving money for clean water in Africa, so be it. If that means volunteering at a homeless shelter, so be it.

What are we doing? What more can we do? Where can we lengthen our stride? Where can we do more?

Maybe doing more means we get 100% on our home teaching this month, and we learn to love our Home Teaching Families a little more. Maybe it means you join in assisting a family move into or out of the ward...

Everyone has the choice to make the world better, in that way we are in service to our fellow men, and in service to our God. Why wait on God, we are the ones we have been waiting for.

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If Christ is truly a revelation of God, then it is mankind who requires violence, and imposes violence on God, and not God who imposes violence on us.

God certainly has done much violence so, what do you mean he doesn't impose violence on us? Have you read the Bible?

Humans are the hands through which God works.

I hope you know the consequences of thinking this. Hitler was God's hands. Murderers and rapists are God's hands, too, by what you're saying.

When mankind didn't save Christ from being murdered, when mankind chose to rebel against the divine Will and kill Christ, perhaps we are to understand that this was a revelation of God not being able to save Christ from being murdered.

?

If our understanding of God in this generation is meant to be understood as a Perfect Divine Parent, then we need to re-interpret and re-think a lot of what we know about what has been attributed to God in the scriptural past based on previous ancient generations' conceptions of His character and nature (Warrior & Conquering King).

When the revelation of the Father arrived, Man killed Him. Man kills God. ]God does not kill man.

Open the Bible.

I believe more and more that The Gospel is designed to transform all the world into the likeness of God, and to guide us (generationally) into a people who would not desire to kill God - who would assist in fulfilling God's true will and desire.

This can only be a good thing if God is good; that's what we are trying to determine so this doesn't help.

Violence reveals the problem God is trying to overcome, and needs us to assist with. Not something that God imposes on us or desires to happen as part of His greater plan.

...did you read my post at all? I don't think you did. I say there what his fault is.

Advances in medicine and medical sciences I view as being part of divine inspiration, and tools we need to continue to devote our resources to in order to better fulful God's Will.

lol

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If you don't have a larger picture of life, all suffering is bad, and yet, the person who never suffers is probably the most stunted ignorant individual upon the earth. As such, do we really want our children to be so incredibly stupid?

And since suffering is ultimately subjective, any type could be considered terrible by the individual.

Would you allow children getting raped and tortured for them to get "less stupid"? Would you concent for another person to allow children getting raped and tortured for them to get "less stupid"?

One persons diet is another persons starvation. You cannot argue subjectives since they are mere opinion unless you have an absolute standard by which to judge.

...and you judge that standard to be absolute, how, exactly?

If your perspective is not myopic or short sighted and if you perspective is longer than this life, then the suffering is short in the realm of eternity, and it is for the better, when an ojective absolute standard is applied. The argument therefore is whether or not this world is all there is. Not why God allows suffering.

So, let's say this life is not all there is... how does that change things?

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Actually, "what are we doing" is exactly the point. Why should we just be sitting around waiting for God to make things better? One part of the Three Fold Mission of the Church is to "Perfect the Saints"; part of making ourselves better is service to our fellow human beings. If that means giving money for clean water in Africa, so be it. If that means volunteering at a homeless shelter, so be it.

What are we doing? What more can we do? Where can we lengthen our stride? Where can we do more?

Maybe doing more means we get 100% on our home teaching this month, and we learn to love our Home Teaching Families a little more. Maybe it means you join in assisting a family move into or out of the ward...

Everyone has the choice to make the world better, in that way we are in service to our fellow men, and in service to our God. Why wait on God, we are the ones we have been waiting for.

Sure, let's do more! Let's not wait on God!

The discussion, however, and what I was addressing was a different question. Can't you distinguish that, for Pete's sake?! I explained why this is irrelevant to THIS specific discussion; read what I wrote and try to understand it.

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eguanteloko:

I do read the Bible. I see lots of individuals using God as an excuse for their own violent behavior, or an explanation for devastating events they don't understand. Perception and reality are often very different things.

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