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The Fate of the Unredeemed


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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

The center figure of the group is a woman on her knees, hands clasped and looking upwards.  The impression I get is while she may not recognize Christ, she is still seeking God so is unlikely eternally lost.  There is hope being portrayed even for the 'goats', they may yet become 'sheep' (goats are great, btw; I get that they have their own minds, but it can make them fun if they have good tempers, especially when young; their milk is delicious too...I am curious why Jesus chose goats, can't remember, need to look it up because it doesn't make sense to me given how very useful they are, would have made more sense to use pigs as they are unclean).

I can't find the name of the picture on churchofjesuschrist.org, added:  title "The Last Judgment" and artist is John Scott.  Be interested if it has a story to go with it.

You may find it by the time I get this posted :)   

But it's the Washington D.C. Temple Mural:    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/media/image/the-last-judgement-john-scott-bb81bb8?lang=eng

The version on the church website isn't the full width mural.   But it's in the Museum Store Art Catalog and used as an illustration in a few manuals (as I recall):   https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/exhibit/museum-art-catalog-alphabetical?lang=eng#mv157

Edited by InCognitus
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So not Harry Anderson like I thought, but John Scott was a friend of his and Anderson is in the picture.  :)

Go to the bottom:

https://harryandersonart.com/religious-art-i/religious-art-ii/

Not finding any story behind the work, so I guess we are free to give it whatever meaning we want. 

Edited by Calm
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58 minutes ago, Calm said:

The center figure of the group is a woman on her knees, hands clasped and looking upwards.  The impression I get is while she may not recognize Christ, she is still seeking God so is unlikely eternally lost.  There is hope being portrayed even for the 'goats', they may yet become 'sheep' (goats are great, btw; I get that they have their own minds, but it can make them fun if they have good tempers, especially when young; their milk is delicious too...I am curious why Jesus chose goats, can't remember, need to look it up because it doesn't make sense to me given how very useful they are, would have made more sense to use pigs as they are unclean).

I can't find the name of the picture on churchofjesuschrist.org, added:  title "The Last Judgment" and artist is John Scott.  Be interested if it has a story to go with it.

Azazel   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azazel

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

A scapegoat is not evil though, it has to be without blemish and it is only the sins of others that cause it to be cast out.  Though that might have created a distaste, rather than gratitude for goats among the Jews.

According to this, goats are positive characters in Jewish storytelling:  https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/about/why-goat

Edited by Calm
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Why then does Jesus appear to have a negative view of the goats in Matt 25? This passage has almost universally been read in the light of the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matt 13:24-30, so that the emphasis of the contrast is between the good ones and the bad ones. But in Rabbinic literature, goats are seen as of equal value with sheep, and in some cases more valuable. Goats have a higher milk yield than sheep, and so the idea of the promised land as ‘flowing with milk and honey’ is actually most likely a reference to the benefits of a land where goats graze. Interestingly, many commentators think that Jesus’ teaching in Matt 25has been influenced by Ezekiel 34:17-22, a passage which mentions the action of separation as judgement, and includes a reference to both sheep and goats:

As for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will judge between one sheep and another, and between rams and goats. Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet? 

Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says to them: See, I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.  Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, I will save my flock, and they will no longer be plundered. I will judge between one sheep and another.

The key thing to note here is that judgement is not on the basis of type of livestock, but on the behaviour of each. Matt 25 appears to be making the same kind of distinction.

So what is going on? Goats reproduce faster than sheep, and if a herdsman is going to keep his flock properly balanced, then as a matter of course he will need to cull the male kids (baby goats), since otherwise they will outnumber the sheep, and with too many males he will not have a supply of milk (a small herd would typically only need a couple of males). When we look at Matt 25, we see that the word translated ‘goat’ is actually the word eriphos, the male term for a baby goat—also used ironically by the elder brother in Luke 15.29. So Jesus’ reference to the separation appears to be drawing on a well-known and regular occurrence in herding—the separation out and culling of the young male goats the herdsmen would do as a natural part of their work.

In other words, the focus is not on the different types of animals, but on the process of separation. This is supported when we read on in the parable; beyond Matt 25.32–33, the two groups are not again referred to as ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’, but as those on the king’s right and on his left. Reading the text carefully in its cultural context actually drives us back to read the text itself more carefully. Someone suggested to me in conversation a modern equivalent which could have been used a few years ago: ‘The king will separate the nations as easily as a housewife separates apples from pears’. This no longer applies, since all sorts of people do shopping, and fruit now comes in separate bags—but it illustrates the point.

https://www.psephizo.com/biblical-studies/what-did-jesus-have-against-goats/

So "goat" is not about sheep vs goats in view of bad and good, but simply Christ separating two distinct groups that have been allowed to mingle (the mixed herds of sheep and goats referenced in the link, but not quoted).

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, Calm said:

A scapegoat is not evil though, it has to be without blemish and it is only the sins of others that cause it to be cast out.  Though that might have created a distaste, rather than gratitude for goats among the Jews.

According to this, goats are positive characters in Jewish storytelling:  https://www.yiddishbookcenter.org/about/why-goat

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2203-azazel

 

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AZAZEL (Scapegoat, Lev. xvi., A. V.):

 By: Morris Jastrow, Jr., J. Frederic McCurdy, Kaufmann Kohler, Marcus Jastrow, Isaac Husik

The name of a supernatural being mentioned in connection with the ritual of the Day of Atonement (Lev. xvi.). After Satan, for whom he was in some degree a preparation, Azazel enjoys the distinction of being the most mysterious extrahuman character in sacred literature. Unlike other Hebrew proper names, the name itself is obscure.

—Biblical Data:

In Lev. xvi. the single allusion to Azazel is as follows: On the tenth day of Tishri (see Atonement Day) the high priest, after first performing the prescribed sacrifices for himself and his family, presented the victims for the sins of the people. These were a ram for a burnt offering, and two young goats for a sin-offering. Having brought the goats before Yhwh at the door of the tabernacle, he cast lots for them, the one lot "for Yhwh" and the other "for Azazel." The goat that fell to Yhwh was slain as a sin-offering for the people. But the goat of Azazel (now usually known as the "scapegoat") was made the subject of a more striking ceremony. The high priest laid his hands upon its head and confessed over it the sins of the people. Then the victim was handed over to a man standing ready for the purpose, and, laden as it was with these imputed sins, it was "led forth to an isolated region," and then let go in the wilderness.

—In Biblical, Apocryphal, and Rabbinical Literature:

The Rabbis, interpreting "Azazel" as "Azaz" (rugged), and "el" (strong), refer it to the rugged and rough mountain cliff from which the goat was cast down (Yoma 67b; Sifra, Aḥare, ii. 2; Targ. Yer. Lev. xiv. 10, and most medieval commentators).Most modern scholars, after having for some time indorsed the old view, have accepted the opinion mysteriously hinted at by Ibn Ezra and expressly stated by Naḥmanides to Lev. xvi. 8, that Azazel belongs to the class of "se'irim," goat-like demons, jinn haunting the desert, to which the Israelites were wont to offer sacrifice (Lev. xvii. 7 [A. V. "devils"]; compare "the roes and the hinds," Cant. ii. 7, iii. 5, by which Sulamith administers an oath to the daughters of Jerusalem. The critics were probably thinking of a Roman faun).

Azazel Personification of Impurity.

Far from involving the recognition of Azazel as a deity, the sending of the goat was, as stated by Naḥmanides, a symbolic expression of the idea that the people's sins and their evil consequences were to be sent back to the spirit of desolation and ruin, the source of all impurity. The very fact that the two goats were presented before Yhwh before the one was sacrificed and the other sent into the wilderness, was proof that Azazel was not ranked with Yhwh, but regarded simply as the personification of wickedness in contrast with the righteous government of Yhwh. The rite, resembling, on the one hand, the sending off of the epha with the woman embodying wickedness in its midst to the land of Shinar in the vision of Zachariah (v. 6-11), and, on the other, the letting loose of the living bird into the open field in the case of the leper healed from the plague (Lev. xiv. 7), was, indeed, viewed by the people of Jerusalem as a means of ridding themselves of the sins of the year. So would the crowd, called Babylonians or Alexandrians, pull the goat's hair to make it hasten forth, carrying the burden of sins away with it (Yoma vi. 4, 66b; "Epistle of Barnabas," vii.), and the arrival of the shattered animal at the bottom of the valley of the rock of Bet Ḥadudo, twelve miles away from the city, was signalized by the waving of shawls to the people of Jerusalem, who celebrated the event with boisterous hilarity and amid dancing on the hills (Yoma vi. 6, 8; Ta'an. iv. 8). Evidently the figure of Azazel was an object of general fear and awe rather than, as has been conjectured, a foreign product or the invention of a late lawgiver. Nay, more; as a demon of the desert, it seems to have been closely interwoven with the mountainous region of Jerusalem and of ancient pre-Israelitish origin.

Leader of the Rebellious Angels.

This is confirmed by the Book of Enoch, which brings Azazel into connection with the Biblical story of the fall of the angels, located, obviously in accordance with ancient folk-lore, on Mount Hermon as a sort of an old Semitic Blocksberg, a gathering-place of demons from of old (Enoch xiii.; compare Brandt, "Mandäische Theologie," 1889, p. 38). Azazel is represented in the Book of Enoch as the leader of the rebellious giants in the time preceding the flood;

 

And then in the middle ages we have our dear buddy Baphomet doing the set-up for all our sweet anti-Mormons in criticizing the inverted pentagrams in the yet-hundreds-of-years-before-being-built Nauvoo Temple.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet

220px-SamaelLilithGoatPentagram.png

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On 6/13/2020 at 7:45 AM, stemelbow said:

That's why I said they thought.  Apparently people, and that's many people, think they are worshipping God and trying to do good, but as it turns out not only are they so wrong about their efforts to do good, God never attempted to know them.  

Or they never really tried to get to know God and instead did only what they thought was good or what they thought they should do.  Relying on their own understanding instead of trying to find out what God wanted from them.

It's common when people believe God doesn't communicate anymore through revelation, with people believing the Bible is all God has revealed and all they need is to understand the Bible.

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50 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/2203-azazel

 

And then in the middle ages we have our dear buddy Baphomet doing the set-up for all our sweet anti-Mormons in criticizing the inverted pentagrams in the yet-hundreds-of-years-before-being-built Nauvoo Temple.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baphomet

 

I think the explanation for why Christ chose the sheep and goats phrasing given by the link I posted fits the parable better.  
 

The Middle Ages would have nothing to do with why Jesus chose those figures in 30ish AD.

Edited by Calm
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11 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I cannot comprehend your obsession with us.

I regret your use of the word obsession - but that is your right to describe me in any way you see fit. Obsession certainly has a negative connotation, does it not? Perhaps I am guilty. For the past six years at least I have probably spent four to six hours on average a day trying to learn more about and understand LDS history and doctrine. Some days I have spent that much just on this forum! I am trying less and less to take the bait from certain folks. Much of surviving on this forum is knowing when to respond and when to ignore. Certainly that goes all the way around - I am sure many here ignore me!

For many reasons my interest and enthusiasm (comes from "in-God" after all) in Mormonism is genuine and sincere. I take much that is said here as accurate and authoritative; then later I find out it is not. I accept that what one of you posits accurately reflects LDS Church doctrine, dogma, and beliefs. Then later I find out it does not. Sometimes the forum drives me to my books. Sometimes my books drive me to the forum. I find the ward fascinating in that it is so similar in so many ways to a Mennonite meeting house. Culturally, we have so many commonalities including the ubiquitous snickerdoodles. That fascinates me. Doctrinally, we each have our own respective truths. I think that both Mormons and Mennonites often confuse transcendent truths with institutional and truths. I find that very interesting. That is why this thread "The fate of the unredeemed" is very interesting to me. Besides Mormonism, the subject I have been reading about the most lately (besides my dissertation) is that of the fate of the unredeemed in Evangelical beliefs.

The use of the word obsession tends to tell me that you don't like or appreciate my interest. I am not sure where to go with that? I don't hear you saying the same thing to your LDS friends on the forum with whom you debate much more than you do with me. I appreciate you very much so I don't want to misconstrue your use of the word obsession. I did take the bait - I hope that is ok. Thanks.

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I think the explanation for why Christ chose the sheep and goats phrasing given by the link I posted fits the parable better.  
 

The Middle Ages would have nothing to do with why Jesus chose those figures in 30ish AD.

Read it again. Or read farther. The whole point is that during the second temple period the goat was regarded as the personification of impurity

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 6/14/2020 at 7:57 PM, mfbukowski said:

These are all biblical, and the gospel has been restored.

And revisions are always in process. God reveals things for a particular time and place, and scripture is subject to interpretation and change.

It is not wise to take literally, in translation, what was meant for another culture and age.

 

That borders on heresy. If you claim that God did not say and mean what is in the bible, you are saying that the bible can not be trusted and that is NOT the position of the Church. The Restoration relates to unknown, lost or omitted truths (by men). The word of God is eternal and so are His teachings and principles. 

We are to take literally what what was meant to be so.  

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On 6/14/2020 at 8:45 PM, Maidservant said:

One of the things to also keep in mind is that Hebrew scriptural writing (includes OT, NT, and Book of Mormon) is highly symbolic and is NOT often the plain or literal meaning, which is meant to be a barrier for those who are not prepared to receive mysteries and thereby also a passcode for those who have learned the scriptural language, memes, and principles.

To paraphrase Maria Guarino and Richard Rohr, "Taking (scriptures) seriously does not require taking them literally." Or I also found a quote the other day which for the life of me I can't recover but that suggested that the OT specifically, i.e. the Hebrew tradition, was written and prepared by those at an extremely 'high' and intricate level; but it is not often read by those at that level, and that to read it at any other level is to not have read it all.

Sure. But we all enjoy the benefits of knowing and understanding what was meant to be literal and what was not. Like Nephi said (and I paraphrase), the words of Isaiah are of great worth to us in the last days because in that day we shall understand them. Well, here we are; we have a much better understanding of the scripture. But to deny that God said what it said when it is plain, because of some novel interpretation, is a dangerous path.  

We claim that the bible is true as long as it has been translated correctly. Our understanding of Greek and Hebrew has been enlarged exponentially in the last nearly 200 years. We have a significantly greater grasp on on the texts than never before. 

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12 minutes ago, Islander said:

But we all enjoy the benefits of knowing and understanding what was meant to be literal and what was not.

You are the only Latter-day Saint I know of that claims to be able to decipher, line-for-line, what is literal and what is not.  If we all enjoy the benefits of knowing and understanding, then why do we all disagree?  

You won't be able to find a single ward in the church that interprets every passage the same.  I don't think you could find a single couple, or any two random people (including GA's), who interprets every passage the same. 

 

Edited by pogi
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22 hours ago, Navidad said:

Culturally, we have so many commonalities including the ubiquitous snickerdoodles. That fascinates me.

Although I know this is just an off the cuff remark, I think it is key to your experience.

I have no idea what you mean here about snickerdoodles being "ubiquitous". Is green jello also ubiquitous? ;)

Perhaps culturally in your location that is the case.

I think that if you experienced the church with a different culture than yours you would find vast differences.

Your descriptions of your ward seem to be vastly different than my ward, or any ward I have attended.

Your speaking in sacrament, your teaching lessons etc etc, are highly highly unusual as well.  I have never even heard of such a thing in my now 40 years in the church.  Bearing testimonies is a different matter. We do occasionally have non-members Express their testimonies in a testimony meeting. But speaking in Sacrament? Never.

I know that you will interpret that as our region there for being even more "exclusive" than yours. 

I am sorry if you find that offensive but that is the case.

As we have often also said we have a wide variety of beliefs held by members of the church. Our church is not about Doctrine it is about orthopraxis, and being led by the spirit with our own testimonies and receiving our own Revelations.

Varieties of opinions on Doctrine even exist in the leadership.  

The book "Mormon Doctrine" is often taken by many to be actually Mormon Doctrine it is not. The 12 did not even want that book published, and yet it was.

In short I wish it were possible for you to experience different cultural interpretations of the church.

Edited by mfbukowski
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4 hours ago, pogi said:

You are the only Latter-day Saint I know of that claims to be able to decipher, line-for-line, what is literal and what is not.  If we all enjoy the benefits of knowing and understanding, then why do we all disagree?  

You won't be able to find a single ward in the church that interprets every passage the same.  I don't think you could find a single couple, or any two random people (including GA's), who interprets every passage the same. 

 

Trust me, I am not the only one. I was baptized nearly 20 years ago and my former Bishop was the one that introduced me to the scriptures and to study, not just read, in order to really understand what was the intent of the Lord in a certain passage. Most of the time it is quite simple. Others not as much but it is possible. When the scripture says, for example, "carry each other burdens" it is not literally meaning to carry a load of firewood for your neighbor (most of the time). The concept is to help those that are in need, that are struggling under a _________ (fill in the blank) burden. Be it financial, emotional, physical, spiritual burden. That is what it means. 

No certainty in the meaning of scripture is extremely problematic, my friend. Because if everybody interprets scripture however they want then it renders the scripture useless and the word of God void. If the scripture means this, or that, or nothing at all, there would be really no point in having scriptures! Like I mentioned before elsewhere, there is scripture interpretation (what God intends the scripture to mean) and then there is application (how our thoughts, feelings, situation and trials) mirrors those of the scripture. Then we can draw from the scripture courage, an increase of faith, strength, humility, reassurance or direction as to what, why and how to take on the life issue before us. We have to be able to make that distinction. There is no such thing as private interpretation. Just remember how misinterpretation in the past was used to commit  unspeakable atrocities "in the name of God". 

Edited by Islander
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2 minutes ago, Islander said:

Well, that is extremely problematic, my friend. Because if everybody interprets scripture however they want then it renders the scripture useless and the word of God void. If the scripture means this, or that, or nothing at all, there would be really no point in having scriptures! Like I mentioned before elsewhere, there is scripture interpretation (what God intends the scripture to mean) and then there is application (how our thoughts, feelings, situation and trials mirrors that of the scripture). Then we can draw from the scripture courage, an increase of faith, strength, humility, reassurance or direction as to what, why and how to take on the life issue before us. We have to be able to make that distinction. There is no such thing as private interpretation. Just remember how misinterpretation in the past was used to commit  unspeakable atrocities "in the name of God". 

Like it or not, we all interpret scripture according to our understanding (which varies from person to person).  I don't find it problematic at all.  Spiritual progression and understanding is an individual experience, not a collective one.  It is an individually progressive and evolutionary process.

The word (aka scripture) is like a seed.  Your understanding evolves as you plant it and nourish it and the seed grows.  That is scripture.    

The condition of our hearts, our personal experiences, our learning capacity, our upbringing, our level of intimacy with the spirit, etc. all play a role in how we interpret scripture.

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15 minutes ago, pogi said:

Like it or not, we all interpret scripture according to our understanding (which varies from person to person).  I don't find it problematic at all.  Spiritual progression and understanding is an individual experience, not a collective one.  It is an individually progressive and evolutionary process.

The word (aka scripture) is like a seed.  Your understanding evolves as you plant it and nourish it and the seed grows.  That is scripture.    

The condition of our hearts, our personal experiences, our learning capacity, our upbringing, our level of intimacy with the spirit, etc. all play a role in how we interpret scripture.

So, based on you statements, I am free to interpret scripture and whatever my interpretation you would have no grounds to say that I am wrong in my interpretation? I don't think you thought about this in any meaningful way, especially in account of history.

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On 6/15/2020 at 1:39 PM, mfbukowski said:

Read it again. Or read farther. The whole point is that during the second temple period the goat was regarded as the personification of impurity

Does it have something to do with the goat being used as a scapegoat offering within the Law of Moses?  Lev. 16.

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On 6/14/2020 at 3:35 AM, InCognitus said:

So this is not simply an issue of you either become gods and receive eternal life or you get cast into everlasting fire.  As the parable of the sower shows, even of those who have the good soil and accept the gospel and bear fruit, there are those who bear fruit an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.   We are not all the same, and neither will be our judgment.  (See D&C section 76 for further details).

According to True to the Faith, eternal life is exaltation.  That's why I quoted what Joseph Smith mentioned in
D&C sections 29 and 101 regarding what happens to the sheep and the goats.

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15 minutes ago, Islander said:

So, based on you statements, I am free to interpret scripture and whatever my interpretation you would have no grounds to say that I am wrong in my interpretation? I don't think you thought about this in any meaningful way, especially in account of history.

I may have grounds to disagree with your interpretation, but that doesn't mean you are not free to disagree. 

I think you are the one that has not thought about it deep enough. 

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9 minutes ago, pogi said:

I may have grounds to disagree with your interpretation, but that doesn't mean you are not free to disagree. 

I think you are the one that has not thought about it deep enough. 

On the contrary. The word of God IS NOT malleable, flexible and bendable to accommodate human whim or error because if so it is useless. 

In fact, one of the things that Jesus abhorred about the religious class in Israel was how they had perverted the Law of God and trampled it with man made commands, rules and ideas that had absolutely nothing to do with what God intended.

In Matthew 23 Jesus pronounces judgment upon the Pharisees for some of their beliefs and behaviors. He pronounces several “woes” upon the Pharisees for what they taught and how they lived. Here we get to the true heart of the issue. The focus of Jesus and the central theme of the woes is the kingdom of heaven, what it looks like, and how the Jewish people should live as a result. But the Pharisees had err in their interpretation of the scriptures and had made it too difficult for people to enter the kingdom or live according to its ways (23:13). The kingdom is about justice, and mercy, and faith (23:23), not about following the minutest of laws and the tiniest principles which not only confuse the clear meaning of Scripture, but also do not provide aid to anyone in their life with God. They had lost their way from the true meaning of scripture an onto a private interpretation, loaded with traditions and thus departed from the word of God. And they were destroyed for it.

In Mosiah 12 we read: And now Abinadi said unto them: Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desire to know of me what these things mean? I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord. Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people?” V.25-27 (emphasis mine)

So, yes; there is the right way and the wrong way to interpret and understand the scripture and God decides which way is right, as you can see, according to His prophet.

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1 hour ago, longview said:

Does it have something to do with the goat being used as a scapegoat offering within the Law of Moses?  Lev. 16.

Yes that's it basically.

I put in a link to the Jewish Encyclopedia in a post above, or go to their site and search for "Azazel"

He was a god in the middle east represented by a goat, and roughly equivalent to our "Satan ", in several cultures iirc, but originated long before the time of Christ.

But I am not a scholar in these matters, but I am a symbology buff, and have studied masonry and the Knights Templar, so I have some familiarity in these areas

 

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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Your speaking in sacrament, your teaching lessons etc etc, are highly highly unusual as well.  I have never even heard of such a thing in my now 40 years in the church.

Well my friend, now you can't say that anymore, can you? And don't forget my wife, she also taught gospel doctrine class and gave a sacrament talk on Christmas Sunday no less. I was so proud of the bishop and of her!  To me the great object lesson in all of that was that the area seventy who was in attendance on the stand, not ten feet from her, had no idea she wasn't a member, didn't have a valid baptism, didn't have the gift of the Holy Spirit, or any of the saving ordinances, even as she was teaching and ministering from the podium. There is at least one ward with one bishop in the church who has welcomed "others" to minister in their midst, at least to the extent he is allowed, or even a little bit more.

I will always be grateful to him and the kind members of our ward who welcomed that. Oh and I think the good Lord in heaven smiled down that morning and was proud of her, our ward, and bishop as well! I have said it at least a dozen times on this forum, he (our bishop) is one of the most Godly men I have ever met! From what I have observed in President Nelson; I think if he were there he would have enjoyed her talk too and would have given her a big hug and maybe even a blessing afterwards! For one twenty minute period on one Sunday morning, she was simply Sister Stover - no walls.

Oh, and off topic - many of you have prayed for her the last few weeks. I appreciate that so very much. She went to the cardiologist this week and he told her that her heart patterns are much more stable. If it means anything to you all; I did not ask any Mennonites or other non-LDS Christians, other than my family to pray for her. I only asked Mormons to lift her up before the throne of grace in prayer. Maybe in spite of my occasional orneriness  that tells you how much I think about and respect you all. Thank you for your prayers.

 

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45 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Well my friend, now you can't say that anymore, can you? And don't forget my wife, she also taught gospel doctrine class and gave a sacrament talk on Christmas Sunday no less. I was so proud of the bishop and of her!  To me the great object lesson in all of that was that the area seventy who was in attendance on the stand, not ten feet from her, had no idea she wasn't a member, didn't have a valid baptism, didn't have the gift of the Holy Spirit, or any of the saving ordinances, even as she was teaching and ministering from the podium. There is at least one ward with one bishop in the church who has welcomed "others" to minister in their midst, at least to the extent he is allowed, or even a little bit more.

I will always be grateful to him and the kind members of our ward who welcomed that. Oh and I think the good Lord in heaven smiled down that morning and was proud of her, our ward, and bishop as well! I have said it at least a dozen times on this forum, he (our bishop) is one of the most Godly men I have ever met! From what I have observed in President Nelson; I think if he were there he would have enjoyed her talk too and would have given her a big hug and maybe even a blessing afterwards! For one twenty minute period on one Sunday morning, she was simply Sister Stover - no walls.

Oh, and off topic - many of you have prayed for her the last few weeks. I appreciate that so very much. She went to the cardiologist this week and he told her that her heart patterns are much more stable. If it means anything to you all; I did not ask any Mennonites or other non-LDS Christians, other than my family to pray for her. I only asked Mormons to lift her up before the throne of grace in prayer. Maybe in spite of my occasional orneriness  that tells you how much I think about and respect you all. Thank you for your prayers.

 

I'm not sure that saying he didn't know helps your case 

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3 hours ago, theplains said:

According to True to the Faith, eternal life is exaltation.  That's why I quoted what Joseph Smith mentioned in
D&C sections 29 and 101 regarding what happens to the sheep and the goats.

Of course eternal life is exaltation, but eternal life or being cast into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels aren't the only two options.  Those are the extremes at both sides of the final judgment.   And of course what Joseph Smith mentioned in D&C 29 and 101 about the right hand and left hand of judgment is the same as what Jesus said in Matthew 25 about the sheep and the goats.  Was that your whole point, that Joseph Smith got it right?  Or what did you mean when you said:  "The wicked (those who don't become gods) are cursed with everlasting fire"?  That makes it sound like a person either becomes a god or they are cast into everlasting fire, and that's not correct.

Edited by InCognitus
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