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Agency and children who die before the age of accountability


BBDD

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3 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Ah, no. They were accountable, so they sinned in partaking of the fruit. 

The problem sometimes is that words have different meanings but similar connotations. For example, a sin is always a transgression, but a transgression isn't necessarily a sin. Sinning requires accountability. Adam and Eve had accountability: they knew that partaking of the fruit was against the law they had been taught, but did it anyway. Thus they were required to repent in order to be forgiven.

On the other hand, even a transgression requires justice -- but Christ's atonement covers all transgressions by those not accountable. And that includes those who are otherwise accountable but who do not know that an act is a transgression.  

Transgressions can mean the same as sins depending on the context, but I was always taught that what Adam did could not really be called a sin but only a transgression of a commandment. "We believe that we will be punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression." (A of F 2)

Adam disobeyed a commandment of God but you can't really call it a sin because he did not know the difference between right or wrong yet. The ability to choose between right and wrong is a requirement for someone to willfully and intentionally commit sin. 

Elder Richard G. Scott differentiates the two words:
"Broken law from sin or transgression causes anguish of mind and heart from an offended conscience. Knowing that all of His spirit children save His Only Begotten, Jesus Christ, would unintentionally (transgression) or intentionally (sin) violate His laws, our Eternal Father provided a means to correct the consequences of such acts. (Elder Richard G. Scott, Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind)

If Adam and Eve did not know right from wrong, how could they know that it was wrong to do disobey God in the way they did.  To me that makes them unaccountable for the transgression. They were deceived by Satan and were convinced by him to transgress the law.

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President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) said: “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin. … This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin … for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!”  (Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 1:114–15.)

Even though Adam and Eve had not sinned, because of their transgression they had to face certain consequences, two of which were spiritual death and physical death. Physical death came to Adam and Eve at the end of their earthly lives, but spiritual death occurred as they were cast out of the Garden of Eden, being cut off from the presence of God (see Alma 42:9).The (Church website, Fulness of the Gospel: The Fall of Adam and Eve)

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:27 PM, teddyaware said:

The only way it can work and still be fair is if God has some way of making sure the only children who die before the age of accountability are those who would have lived a life worthy of celestial glory had they been permitted to tarry. And if that’s how it works I’m OK with it because it at least seems fair.

I think the "some way" could simply through his Intelligence of every atom in the universe and every event.

I have mentioned this before but I think the key here is that folks will cry "Predestination!" under the incorrect assumption that if God knows who will be righteous and who will not be, somehow implies predestination.

It doesn't for several reasons but I will only mention one here and now

I have mentioned this before so if you have heard it, sorry.

William James I think was correct in his theory that God is like a master chess player who knows what novices make so well that- without supernatural means or "knowing the future" he still knows what will happen by knowing all the causes and complications and details of everything that he can deduce what the results will be in any situaiton.

We are not yet so great at weather prognostication as we might be, but imagine a super duper computer perhaps a hundred or more years from now, into which every detail of every nuance of the causes and effects of the weather- once the proper information was input- could deduce perfectly the exact weather conditions for any particular area under its purview.

I mean it could tell us that a castle-shaped cloud would hit a certain wind pattern, which would cause it to grow into a storm cloud, and the first raindrops would drop on the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City at 4:07 am on Wednesday March 9 on 2027, and ultimately result in a rain storm which will last all day, until 6:48

Of course this knowledge of conditions is in no way "supernatural" nor is the fact that the computer can deduce all these things in any way imply that it is causing the weather patterns

Perhaps we could consult the computer when planning a ground breaking ceremony for March 9 2027 and discover that a storm will begin at 4:07 am and rain all day, so we might decide to schedule the ground breaking for a different time.

Of course the analogy here is that God as an even better "computer" and in the same way predict who will "make it" and who will not.

It is all knowledge that happens simply because of his knowledge of natural law.   It is not "supernatural" nor is he causing the result to happen because he knows it will.

No magic, just smarts.  ;)

I mean we are all guessing anyway- I propose that as a possible hypothesis.  ;)

 

 

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23 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I mean we are all guessing anyway

While we guess, try this scene: 8 people are lined up at the starting line of a 100 m race as follows

lane 1 - is you

lane 2 - is a 75 year old bow-legged cowboy

lane 3 - is an 8 month pregnant lady

lane 4- is an army vet amputee with one leg

lane 5 - is a woman lined up with her back to the finish line

lane 6 - is a blind lady on crutches

lane 7 - is a man carrying 250 lbs on his back

lane 8 - is Usain Bolt

The starting gun fires and they're off. If all needed guidance is allowed, who finishes the race?

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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

While we guess, try this scene: 8 people are lined up at the starting line of a 100 m race as follows

lane 1 - is you

lane 2 - is a 75 year old bow-legged cowboy

lane 3 - is an 8 month pregnant lady

lane 4- is an army vet amputee with one leg

lane 5 - is a woman lined up with her back to the finish line

lane 6 - is a blind lady on crutches

lane 7 - is a man carrying 250 lbs on his back

lane 8 - is Usain Bolt

The starting gun fires and they're off. If all needed guidance is allowed, who finishes the race?

Yeah but by your descriptions I am both 1 and 2 at the same time.

How do you handle that one smarty pants?  😠

8P

Now we have to get into how God can be two places at once without violating natural law ;)

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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2 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I think the "some way" could simply through his Intelligence of every atom in the universe and every event.

I have mentioned this before but I think the key here is that folks will cry "Predestination!" under the incorrect assumption that if God knows who will be righteous and who will not be, somehow implies predestination.

It doesn't for several reasons but I will only mention one here and now

I have mentioned this before so if you have heard it, sorry.

William James I think was correct in his theory that God is like a master chess player who knows what novices make so well that- without supernatural means or "knowing the future" he still knows what will happen by knowing all the causes and complications and details of everything that he can deduce what the results will be in any situaiton.

We are not yet so great at weather prognostication as we might be, but imagine a super duper computer perhaps a hundred or more years from now, into which every detail of every nuance of the causes and effects of the weather- once the proper information was input- could deduce perfectly the exact weather conditions for any particular area under its purview.

I mean it could tell us that a castle-shaped cloud would hit a certain wind pattern, which would cause it to grow into a storm cloud, and the first raindrops would drop on the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City at 4:07 am on Wednesday March 9 on 2027, and ultimately result in a rain storm which will last all day, until 6:48

Of course this knowledge of conditions is in no way "supernatural" nor is the fact that the computer can deduce all these things in any way imply that it is causing the weather patterns

Perhaps we could consult the computer when planning a ground breaking ceremony for March 9 2027 and discover that a storm will begin at 4:07 am and rain all day, so we might decide to schedule the ground breaking for a different time.

Of course the analogy here is that God as an even better "computer" and in the same way predict who will "make it" and who will not.

It is all knowledge that happens simply because of his knowledge of natural law.   It is not "supernatural" nor is he causing the result to happen because he knows it will.

No magic, just smarts.  ;)

I mean we are all guessing anyway- I propose that as a possible hypothesis.  ;)

 

 

Something definitely worthwhile considering, especially while our focus is on a being whose mind is infinite and eternal. But aside from the eternal God knowing beforehand what will happen in the future without having to resort to a scheme involving radical Calvinist predestination and violations of individual moral agency, my main concern is twofold:

1) Why are some of us deemed instantaneously worthy of exaltation at the moment of death, without having to pass through the refiner’s fire of mortal adversity, when the most noble, great and pure of God’s spirit children, the great Jehovah, was required to pass through this mortal veil of tears with infinitely greater trials and suffering than any other? If Christ wasn’t able to shortcut the process of mortal testing before he could be exalted, why are others given an apparent ‘free ride’ without having to be tested in the crucible of mortal adversity? Could it be that they are more noble, great and holy than the holy messiah himself? That’s one possible answer.

2) Since the dawn of man, there have surely been millions of incorrigible, disobedient and disrespectful brats who tragically died prior to their 8th birthday to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they all would have somehow inevitably turned out to be extraordinary paragons of Christian virtue.  It strains all credulity to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they wouldn’t have turned out to be typical mortals in desperate need of repentance. 

Edited by teddyaware
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5 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Something definitely worthwhile considering, especially while our focus is on a being whose mind is infinite and eternal. But aside from the eternal God knowing beforehand what will happen in the future without having to resort to a scheme involving radical Calvinist predestination and violations of individual moral agency, my main concern is twofold:

1) Why are some of us deemed instantaneously worthy of exaltation at the moment of death, without having to pass through the refiner’s fire of mortal adversity, when the most noble, great and pure of God’s spirit children, the great Jehovah, was required to pass through this mortal veil of tears with infinitely greater trials and suffering than any other? If Christ wasn’t able to shortcut the process of mortal testing before he could be exalted, why are others given an apparent ‘free ride’ without having to be tested in the crucible of mortal adversity? Could it be that they are more noble, great and holy than the holy messiah himself? That’s one possible answer.

2) Since the dawn of man, there have surely been millions of incorrigible, disobedient and disrespectful brats who tragically died prior to their 8th birthday to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they all would have somehow inevitably turned out to be extraordinary paragons of Christian virtue.  It strains all credulity to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they wouldn’t have turned out to be typical mortals in desperate need of repentance. 

1) I believe Christ is the one exception. Everyone is innocent in the beginning of life in this world, but not everyone comes to know good and evil, becoming accountable in the flesh. He is the only one who remained both innocent and accountable while knowing both good and evil. Thus, He expiated for the innocent and unaccountable as well as the guilty and accountable. There was a proving in the first estate and the second estate. It seems to me that “whatsoever” in the phrase “to see if they will do all things whatsoever” indicates some variation in our individual testing in the second estate

2) It may strain credulity, as those who proved themselves in the first estate do not need to do so in the “whatsoever” way we might expect of ourselves in the second estate.

"26 And they who akeep their first bestate shall be added upon [these are the innocent and unaccountable in the flesh]; and they who keep not their first estate [the rest of us] shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate [yet]; and they who keep their second cestate [both the innocent and unaccountable in the flesh and the rest of us] shall have dglory added upon their heads for ever and ever."

Of course, the following is also true as taught from a mortal perspective:

"26 And they [all of us on the right side of the war in heaven] who akeep their first bestate shall be added upon [given a body]; and they who keep not their first estate [the devils] shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate [they do not come to earth]; and they who keep their second cestate [those repentant souls who are washed in the blood of Lamb] shall have dglory added upon their heads for ever and ever."

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35 minutes ago, CV75 said:

1) I believe Christ is the one exception. Everyone is innocent in the beginning of life in this world, but not everyone comes to know good and evil, becoming accountable in the flesh. He is the only one who remained both innocent and accountable while knowing both good and evil. Thus, He expiated for the innocent and unaccountable as well as the guilty and accountable. There was a proving in the first estate and the second estate. It seems to me that “whatsoever” in the phrase “to see if they will do all things whatsoever” indicates some variation in our individual testing in the second estate

2) It may strain credulity, as those who proved themselves in the first estate do not need to do so in the “whatsoever” way we might expect of ourselves in the second estate.

"26 And they who akeep their first bestate shall be added upon [these are the innocent and unaccountable in the flesh]; and they who keep not their first estate [the rest of us] shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate [yet]; and they who keep their second cestate [both the innocent and unaccountable in the flesh and the rest of us] shall have dglory added upon their heads for ever and ever."

Of course, the following is also true as taught from a mortal perspective:

"26 And they [all of us on the right side of the war in heaven] who akeep their first bestate shall be added upon [given a body]; and they who keep not their first estate [the devils] shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate [they do not come to earth]; and they who keep their second cestate [those repentant souls who are washed in the blood of Lamb] shall have dglory added upon their heads for ever and ever."

Why would the “innocent and unaccountable” need expiation?

Definition of expiate

transitive verb

to extinguish the guilt incurred by

Edited by teddyaware
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2 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Why would the “innocent and unaccountable” need expiation?

Definition of expiate

transitive verb

to extinguish the guilt incurred by

They don't need it, in a narrow sense of this definition. But I was using the term "expiate" to refer to the power of the Lord's redemption, as in the chapter heading for Moroni 8 (dealing with the verses surrounding 22) and as referenced in D&C 20:46-50. When the Lord atoned for Adam's transgression, the outcome of his guilt (death) was extinguished for his posterity, both accountable and unaccountable. The difference is that the other outcome (spiritual death) falls upon some and requires repentance from them to be extinguished. These two forms of expiation are expressions of the merciful aspect of the Lord's Atonement. My opinion is that little children also need the other expression, grace, to be able to progress to His level of fulness just like the rest of us.

image.png.7cdeb0d90867c3b66febdf9836f59eb9.png

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11 hours ago, strappinglad said:

While we guess, try this scene: 8 people are lined up at the starting line of a 100 m race as follows

lane 1 - is you

lane 2 - is a 75 year old bow-legged cowboy

lane 3 - is an 8 month pregnant lady

lane 4- is an army vet amputee with one leg

lane 5 - is a woman lined up with her back to the finish line

lane 6 - is a blind lady on crutches

lane 7 - is a man carrying 250 lbs on his back

lane 8 - is Usain Bolt

The starting gun fires and they're off. If all needed guidance is allowed, who finishes the race?

All of them finish the race.  But I can't say who finishes in first place because the amount of
assistance granted to each is not specified.

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15 hours ago, teddyaware said:

Something definitely worthwhile considering, especially while our focus is on a being whose mind is infinite and eternal. But aside from the eternal God knowing beforehand what will happen in the future without having to resort to a scheme involving radical Calvinist predestination and violations of individual moral agency, my main concern is twofold:

1) Why are some of us deemed instantaneously worthy of exaltation at the moment of death, without having to pass through the refiner’s fire of mortal adversity, when the most noble, great and pure of God’s spirit children, the great Jehovah, was required to pass through this mortal veil of tears with infinitely greater trials and suffering than any other? If Christ wasn’t able to shortcut the process of mortal testing before he could be exalted, why are others given an apparent ‘free ride’ without having to be tested in the crucible of mortal adversity? Could it be that they are more noble, great and holy than the holy messiah himself? That’s one possible answer.

2) Since the dawn of man, there have surely been millions of incorrigible, disobedient and disrespectful brats who tragically died prior to their 8th birthday to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they all would have somehow inevitably turned out to be extraordinary paragons of Christian virtue.  It strains all credulity to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they wouldn’t have turned out to be typical mortals in desperate need of repentance. 

Thanks for your comments!  I really respect your love of the Lord.

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Something definitely worthwhile considering, especially while our focus is on a being whose mind is infinite and eternal. But aside from the eternal God knowing beforehand what will happen in the future without having to resort to a scheme involving radical Calvinist predestination and violations of individual moral agency, my main concern is twofold:

Yes I was looking for a paradigm that would accomplish that in a naturalistic way and I think it works pretty well for that result.

 

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1....If Christ wasn’t able to shortcut the process of mortal testing before he could be exalted, why are others given an apparent ‘free ride’ without having to be tested in the crucible of mortal adversity? Could it be that they are more noble, great and holy than the holy messiah himself? That’s one possible answer.

I am not sure if that IS really one possible answer.

Considering the idea that God can "do all things" (as opposed to being 'omnipotent'- which is a creedal and sectarian description with a lot of attached baggage I think that we need to avoid , like the allegedly confusing problem of calling God "Omnipotent" while He is yet unable to do logically impossible things like being powerful enough to lift a boulder he supposedly can't lift) becomes a central point in seeing this model as a "possible answer".

The entire definition of a Christian God - and I think this is beyond creedal notions- is that God IS holy beyond any possibility of any other being being "More Holy".

In fact I think if one held that position it would then be easy to turn that reasoning around by simply saying "Well then you are worshiping the wrong God- since God by definition is the One who is Supremely Holy- the Being who is supposedly 'more noble, great and holy than the holy messiah himself' IS then God- and you have picked a deficient being to worship!"

So I think that would limit the utility of the idea that there is a greater Being than God himself.

But IS the messiah God and equal to his Father?   

I think that that becomes perhaps an irrelevant issue when one knows that repeatedly the Son is identified with the Father within scripture itself (I will skip the list unless you want it- but I am sure you are familiar with those scriptures probably more than I am).   Regardless of the possibility that the Father is "greater" in some way than the Son, I think that possibility becomes irrelevant FOR US as mortals since we are repeatedly instructed that the Messiah is the Jehovah of the OT, that "The Word" created the earth, it is through Jesus that all our blessings come.  So I don't see that as a viable hypothesis at this point.

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 It strains all credulity to imagine that if they had been permitted to tarry they wouldn’t have turned out to be typical mortals in desperate need of repentance. 

I agree that it strains credulity.

And frankly I think some of the possible explanations of what we don't know- even if explained by prophets- themselves strain credulity, but I trust in God that there IS a way that this all works out in the end.  

Maybe it's all just a story with holes in it to get us through life because the story is the best we can understand things for now.  But when God tells me this is the path I am supposed to be on, all I do is salute and say "Yes Boss!"  ;)   I mean other folks may not even get that much evidence.  ;)

I don't think with our ant brains that we CAN understand it all.  Ours is just to keep sniffing for that trail and following it.   I think they call that "living by faith.   ;)

 

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On 11/26/2020 at 6:31 PM, CV75 said:

This is interesting because repentance would require remorse of conscience, something Adam and Eve did not have.

They didn't? I hesitate to point this out, but you weren't there to observe their reaction.

If the temple presentation is any guide, they were certainly well aware that they were transgressing, and expressed regret even as they were doing it.

On 11/26/2020 at 6:31 PM, CV75 said:

Instead, they initially exhibited fear and shame at Satan's urging.

Again, you weren't there. And again, if the temple presentation is any guide, their initial reaction was sorrow at the need to disobey. Their subsequent reaction of shame and fear was due to the trepidation at facing the music, as it were, something that Satan may have exacerbated, but did not originate.

On 11/26/2020 at 6:31 PM, CV75 said:

They also submitted to the Lord's correction, much as Eve submitted to Satan's twisting and as Adam acquiesced to Eve's plea. They certainly felt the pains of a lost paradise, but obeyed thereafter anyway. They also obtained joy in the hope of their redemption, something far better than either the fallen world or paradise.

They repented in a way that would inspire them to offer sacrifices without not knowing why, obeying not out of remorse but out of not wanting anything worse. Like a child might obey after a spanking (not advocating that!). It was knowledge, or finding out why they sacrificed, that brought them joy. They really did not know why they were to keep the first commandments before the Fall, so could not have they joy of keeping them.

I don't get that at all. They obeyed the commandment to sacrifice, and obeyed not knowing why, yes, but that doesn't rebound to their condemnation. Just not knowing why does not substantially reduce their "credit", as it were, for obeying. Does your lack of full understanding of the need to obey reduce yours?

Neither you nor I entirely understand who we really are, and what our real potential is. We literally cannot understand. Does this make our desire to obey any less?

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

They didn't? I hesitate to point this out, but you weren't there to observe their reaction.

If the temple presentation is any guide, they were certainly well aware that they were transgressing, and expressed regret even as they were doing it.

Again, you weren't there. And again, if the temple presentation is any guide, their initial reaction was sorrow at the need to disobey. Their subsequent reaction of shame and fear was due to the trepidation at facing the music, as it were, something that Satan may have exacerbated, but did not originate.

I don't get that at all. They obeyed the commandment to sacrifice, and obeyed not knowing why, yes, but that doesn't rebound to their condemnation. Just not knowing why does not substantially reduce their "credit", as it were, for obeying. Does your lack of full understanding of the need to obey reduce yours?

Neither you nor I entirely understand who we really are, and what our real potential is. We literally cannot understand. Does this make our desire to obey any less?

There are of course as many ways to present this as there are ways to look at it. I am here, I have these variations presentations which present knowledge of things as they are and are to come and as they were, and I am as Adam. I think the scriptural account of Adam and Eve is more geared to things as they were, subsequent revelation is more geared toward applying that to things as they are to come, and the temple presentation is more geared to combining all these perspectives at once. These sources give us spiritual knowledge which leads to meaning and joy. Finding greater meaning and the accompanying joy is a developmental process, hence eternal progress. To paraphrase, man is that he might have joy and that we might have it more abundantly.

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On 11/28/2020 at 3:32 AM, Stargazer said:

And again, if the temple presentation is any guide, their initial reaction was sorrow at the need to disobey

How could they experience sorrow (misery) when they had no joy before the Fall?

p.s. I have not gone into the temple yet

Edited by TheTanakas
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17 minutes ago, TheTanakas said:

How could they experience sorrow (misery) when they had no joy before the Fall?

p.s. I have not gone into the temple yet

They were fully human and had emotions, they weren't just rocks. The scriptures say that they'd been told that if they broke that commandment they'd die. Do you think that they didn't have enough imagination to be able to contemplate what was going to happen if they disobeyed, and that it would not be pleasant? They might not have had a full understanding of death (neither do you and I, since we haven't died yet), but they did have consciences, and surely could feel guilt, including being able to imagine the guilt they'd feel if they disobeyed, even before they actually disobeyed.

When the scriptures say that without sorrow there is no joy, I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean there's an absence of any positive feeling without first whacking your thumb with a hammer while trying to build something. There may not be a full appreciation of joy without experiencing the opposite, but it's not like you're standing there lacking all feeling.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Stargazer said:

They were fully human and had emotions, they weren't just rocks. The scriptures say that they'd been told that if they broke that commandment they'd die. Do you think that they didn't have enough imagination to be able to contemplate what was going to happen if they disobeyed, and that it would not be pleasant? They might not have had a full understanding of death (neither do you and I, since we haven't died yet), but they did have consciences, and surely could feel guilt, including being able to imagine the guilt they'd feel if they disobeyed, even before they actually disobeyed.

When the scriptures say that without sorrow there is no joy, I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean there's an absence of any positive feeling without first whacking your thumb with a hammer while trying to build something. There may not be a full appreciation of joy without experiencing the opposite, but it's not like you're standing there lacking all feeling.

They had neither joy or misery before the fall - "And they would have had no children; wherefore they 
would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, 
for they knew no sin"

Apart from them knowing about death for disobedience, I don't think they were aware of all the
other negative consequences that would happen.

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On 11/25/2020 at 5:27 PM, teddyaware said:

It’s a perfectly logical question that a fair minded person who understands the importance of being tested in the crucible of adversity while in mortality would ask.

Why are most people, including the most noble and great among the Father’s spirit children, required to spend a lifetime slogging through enormous difficulties and continual trials and tribulations before they are able to inherit celestial glory, while other fallen mortals, who show every indication they will grow up to be typically sinful fallen mortals, inherit the fulness of celestial glory without even having to make an effort as long as they die before their 8th birthday? It sounds more like magic than the plan of salvation that insists there is no other way to grow spiritually other than by tasting the bitter in order to learn how to prize the good.

The only way it can work and still be fair is if God has some way of making sure the only children who die before the age of accountability are those who would have lived a life worthy of celestial glory had they been permitted to tarry. And if that’s how it works I’m OK with it because it at least seems fair.

I think that idea is messing you up and I suggest you give some more thought to what really happens when we learn it is best not to sin in the first place.

I think about it something like this.

First, I get a thought from Satan or one of his minions suggesting that I do something that I have been taught would not be a good thing for me to do.  (Satan and his minions aren't allowed to tempt children under 8 years of age)

Next I then make a choice about whether or not to give in to that suggestion.  I give in by choosing the stupid option otherwise I'm intelligent enough to not give in because I know that would be stupid.  

And that is the whole process in a nutshell.  We're either intelligent enough to not do stupid things or we choose to learn the hard way that stupid is as stupid does.

I think what you see when you think you see a little child under 8 years old committing a sin is just a little child doing something stupid, but doing something stupid doesn't necessarily equate to committing a sin.

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

I think that idea is messing you up and I suggest you give some more thought to what really happens when we learn it is best not to sin in the first place.

I think about it something like this.

First, I get a thought from Satan or one of his minions suggesting that I do something that I have been taught would not be a good thing for me to do.  (Satan and his minions aren't allowed to tempt children under 8 years of age)

Next I then make a choice about whether or not to give in to that suggestion.  I give in by choosing the stupid option otherwise I'm intelligent enough to not give in because I know that would be stupid.  

And that is the whole process in a nutshell.  We're either intelligent enough to not do stupid things or we choose to learn the hard way that stupid is as stupid does.

I think what you see when you think you see a little child under 8 years old committing a sin is just a little child doing something stupid, but doing something stupid doesn't necessarily equate to committing a sin.

There always have been and there now are plenty of children under the age of eight who demonstrate clear traits of antisocial personality disorder who go up to be (you guessed it!) individuals who are officially diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder —  and it’s obvious to all intimate observers that the trajectories toward becoming full fledged sociopaths stated when they were quite young. To imagine that in every single case such individuals would have grown up to be virtual angels on if they hadn’t tragically died prior to turning 8 seems more like superstition than clear headed analysis.

There are two main issues I have with all of this: 

1) It seems manifestly unfair that while many are required of God to wade through the fires of hell and be tested tested to the outer limits of their faith and endurance before they can fully learn how to prize the good and appreciate the blessings of salvation, others apparently only have to die before they lose their innocence in order to remain pure, innocent, holy, and fully fit for the fulness of exaltation. As a consequence of the obvious unfairness of what’s been revealed on this point of doctrine thus far, I can only conclude that the law of the harvest and the indispensable need to overcome the forces of darkness by faith also pertain in some heretofore undisclosed way to those who die before reaching the age of accountability, but that for a wise purpose the Lord that process is yet to revealed.

2) I actually feel sorry for those who are apparently exalted without having to be tried and tested in the crucible of adversity because the scriptures plainly teach that the only way anyone can fully appreciate the blessings salvation is to be a valiant soldier in the eternal war against the forces that stand in opposition to God and his goodness, and that it’s only by being valiant participants in that struggle that minds and hearts can be fully converted to the cause of truth and righteousness.

10 And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God.

11 And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient. (Moses 5)

Edited by teddyaware
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5 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

There always have been and there now are plenty of children under the age of eight who demonstrate clear traits of antisocial personality disorder who go up to be (you guessed it!) individuals who are officially diagnosed as having antisocial personality disorder —  and it’s obvious to all intimate observers that the trajectories toward becoming full fledged sociopaths stated when they were quite young. To imagine that in every single case such individuals would have grown up to be virtual angels on if they hadn’t tragically died prior to turning 8 seems more like superstition than clear headed analysis.

There are two main issues I have with all of this: 

1) It seems manifestly unfair that while many are required of God to wade through the fires of hell and be tested tested to the outer limits of their faith and endurance before they can fully learn how to prize the good and appreciate the blessings of salvation, while others only have to die before they lose their innocence in order to remain pure, innocent, holy, and fully fit for the fulness of exaltation. As a consequence of the obvious unfairness of what’s been revealed on this point of doctrine thus far, I can only conclude that the law of the harvest and the indispensable need to overcome the forces of darkness by faith also pertain in some heretofore undisclosed way to those who die before reaching the age of accountability, but that for a wise purpose the Lord it hasn’t as yet been revealed how it all works in perfect fairness.

2) I actually feel sorry for those who are apparently exalted without having to be tried and tested in the crucible of adversity because the scriptures plainly teach that the only way anyone can fully appreciate the blessings salvation is to be a valiant soldier in the eternal war against the forces that stand in opposition to God and his goodness, and that it’s by being valiant participants in that struggle that minds and hearts can be fully converted to the cause of truth and righteousness.

Now you're bringing up mental disorders, which is more of a health issue than of choosing to do stupid things. 

Being valiant is about a person being brave enough to do what is right even when other people are encouraging that person to do something stupid just to fit into a crowd of other people who are making stupid choices themselves.  

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18 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Now you're bringing up mental disorders, which is more of a health issue than of choosing to do stupid things. 

Being valiant is about a person being brave enough to do what is right even when other people are encouraging that person to do something stupid just to fit into a crowd of other people who are making stupid choices themselves.  

So I guess most of the genocidal tyrants throughout history are off the hook because it’s believed most of them had Antisocial Personality Disorder?

 

Edited by teddyaware
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2 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

So I guess most of the genocidal tyrants throughout history are off the hook because it’s believed most of them had Antisocial Personality Disorder?

 

Hmm, I dunno.  Possibly.  I think the nature of the disorder would need to be so bad that it impaired someone's ability to make righteous choices so much that they could not, therefore they should not be accountable for doing the bad thing(s).

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21 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Hmm, I dunno.  Possibly.  I think the nature of the disorder would need to be so bad that it impaired someone's ability to make righteous choices so much that they could not, therefore they should not be accountable for doing the bad thing(s).

Perhaps one day we’ll find out that Satan is a sociopath and he’ll get let off the hook too? It’ll be one big happy family. After all, the devils never make any good choices so they are obviously psychologically impaired as well. It makes sense because if they aren’t impaired you’d think that at least once in a while, even if by default, they’d choose to do something that’s at least somewhat in harmony with the will of God. Perhaps we’ve just stumbled on one of the greatest hidden mysteries of God: to wit that in the end all will be forgiven and redeemed because the most evil among us are actually mentally ill and for that reason are incapable of preventing themselves from doing wrong.

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1 minute ago, teddyaware said:

Perhaps one day we’ll find out that Satan is a sociopath and he’ll get let off the hook too? It’ll be one big happy family. After all, the devils never make any good choices so they are obviously psychologically impaired as well. It makes sense because if they aren’t impaired you’d think that at least once in a while, even if by default, they’d choose to do something that’s at least somewhat in harmony with the will of God. Perhaps we’ve just stumbled on one of the greatest hidden mysteries of God: to wit that in the end all will be forgiven and redeemed because the most evil among us are actually mentally ill and for that reason are incapable of preventing themselves from doing wrong.

There are people who simply disagree that our Father's will is good or that what he wants for us is the best option we have.  People who make what good people would call stupid choices but who think their choices are not stupid at all.  Just different.

You don't seem to be aware of that fact, and if you aren't, maybe that's because you have simply never met a stupid person.  A person who does what you would call evil while he or she thinks it is a very intelligent choice, and maybe even the best option.

Some people would rather rule in Hell than serve or help anyone in heaven, and would rather be evil than good.  Would you call that a mental disorder or simply a different mindset that prefers what you think is evil while thinking evil is good?

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On 11/30/2020 at 12:25 AM, TheTanakas said:

They had neither joy or misery before the fall - "And they would have had no children; wherefore they 
would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, 
for they knew no sin"

Apart from them knowing about death for disobedience, I don't think they were aware of all the
other negative consequences that would happen.

I know what the scripture says.

But your implication has been that Adam and Eve were not accountable until they were tossed out of the GoE. Which implies that God created two adults who were incapable of sinning. And if that were so, He gave two commandments to people who had no accountability for obedience. And then, the first time they inevitably violated the commandments, He tossed them out on their ears. And that is justice?

If you had a puppy, and the first time it messed on the carpet you tossed it out into the backyard, and didn't let it back in, what would you be?

God was not dealing with two clueless dolts who had no idea what the difference was between right and wrong. They knew the difference, and deliberately chose to do what they had been told was wrong, and they were justly punished for it. They were fully accountable, even if they were in a state of innocence.

This "state of innocence" does not mean you are a blank slate. All it means is that you lack experience.  Let me illustrate. I have never killed anyone.  I am in a state of innocence with regard to killing another human being. I can imagine what it might do to me, I can dread the very idea, but I simply have no experience to fully appreciate it. A female acquaintance of mine was forced to kill a home invader (a man she didn't know who, it turned out, had a criminal record a mile long who had invaded her home, not two weeks after he was released from prison on parole) with her legally-owned firearm. She was genuinely in fear for her life, the man approached her threateningly and failed to be put off by the raised weapon, and so she shot and killed him. The DA pronounced her clear of all charges, everyone agreed that she was in the right, but nevertheless she felt horrible. It took her quite some time to come to terms with the whole event. She was formerly in a "state of innocence" with regard to taking another's life, but she is not so now. 

Yes, Adam and Eve were in a state of innocence. But they were accountable for the laws God gave them, because they knew what was right and what was wrong. Once they were out of the Garden they began to appreciate life and find joy in it -- because they had by then experienced misery first-hand. Before that, they were just comfortable.

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