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And there was war in heaven...


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12 hours ago, DispensatorMysteriorum said:

Although we have agency, God has restricted some of our choices.  For example, we cannot choose to forgo mortal death or choose to suspend the law of gravity.  Additionally, we cannot separate choice from consequence. Such consequences are not a limitation on agency, but are essential to it. President Spencer W. Kimball taught this in his characteristically frank manner:

Death, gravity etc. we also chose in the pre existence by accepting the plan which included death and becoming subject to the natural laws of a fallen world. At the time some of us even shouted for joy at the prospect of these new experiences and growth.

Or Father in Heaven always perfectly honours our agency. The fall of Adam and Eve was the only way to concentually introduce them and their offspring(us) to these conditions consequent to a fallen world.

Edited by gav
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12 hours ago, DispensatorMysteriorum said:

In other words, I don't think eliminating choice is the only threat to agency. In defending agency, we must not only honor the right of individuals to make choices, but we must uphold the consequences of choice. Choice and consequence are inextricably tethered to agency; agency cannot exist without both in harmony. Choice detached from consequence is not an ultimate or worthy goal.

Agreed. 

Another way to eliminate agency is to have immediate consequences. Agency is more fully exercised when there is a delay between the choice and its consequence. Hence the need for the creation of a space where time operates.

In our Fathers direct presence it would be harder to be disobedient, a feat it seems only "sons of perdition" are capable of. For the rest of us to truly show our true colours we would have to be placed in an environment fallen from Gods direct presence and where time existed so that there could be a delay between many of our choices and their direct consequences. Because time is the thing that prevents everything happening at once.

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9 hours ago, strappinglad said:

This is where I have a problem with agency. Our life here is guided by genetics and environment, plus whatever we came with from the pre- mortal arena. Where and when we are born must have something to do with how we behave. I always assumed that spirts were innocent as they were born. If so, then a spirit born into the city of Enoch or during the 200 years of Nephite peace would be equivalent to one born in the slums of India or the streets of Pompeii . Did God send only the righteous to Enoch and only the real baddies to nasty times and places? It seems obvious that one time and place would have many more trials and temptations than another. How can we talk about a righteous generation or a wicked one ? The child born of meth -head parents already has a harder road ahead than one born to kind and loving ones. 

As an aside: I have knowledge of a relative who was born in a country where abortion was legal and socially acceptable. Over her life she had 13 abortions. It was her method of birth control. This was over 50 years ago. I doubt she was the only one. 

You have a valid point and it makes a little more sense to me if I try to look at it slightly differently... mortality is meant to be tough and challenging with each individuals circumstances heavily influenced by our first estate.

I suspect that of the many billions of things that could happen to us in our mortal probation the Lord has selected for us to have the experiences that will bring about the most progression for each one of us individually. Tough as it may seem to us here and now we seem to be getting what we need to progress the most eternally. Sometimes the life of seeming ease can be more challenging to a person to maintain faithfulness and diligence than a life of hardship. The Nephites over and over again found it most difficult to maintain faithfulness when times were good.

At the end of it all I am confident we will see that the conditions we experienced in life were perfectly engineered to bring out the best in us, if we would have it. We will all bow the knee and our tongues will confess in hindsight that the Lord did the very best for each and everyone of us, excruciatingly tough though some lives may appear now.

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9 hours ago, Duncan said:

 I couldn't even imagine trying to figure out all this stuff but I guess this is where we just have to trust God and his mercy and justice will prevail

And potentially those who chose not this second estate could not develop such a level of trust... Consumed by fear of the unknown and a potentially horrifying future with no certainties they were prepared to go to war over it.

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4 hours ago, gav said:

And potentially those who chose not this second estate could not develop such a level of trust... Consumed by fear of the unknown and a potentially horrifying future with no certainties they were prepared to go to war over it.

I think that is probably how Satan got them to agree to side with him. In pinning all your exaltation hopes on a man who has never lived in mortality and never ever making a mistake or thinking of making a mistake, it's all or nothing. I think that going with Satan, people thought it was the safer route

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13 hours ago, Ahab said:

Agency is only about having the power to choose among options, usually in relation to good vs evil.  And none of us get all of the same options or make the same exact choices, because none of us are in the same exact situation as anyone else.  

So, yeah, boohoo that I don't get the choice to decide what to do with 1 billion dollars, like some other people get to decide what to do with in this world.  And boohoo that my parents didn't remain married after I turned 4 years old and that none of them saved up for a college fund for me.  And boohoo that nobody taught me what I needed to know to become monetarily very very successful in this world while making sure that I knew what I needed to know what it would take to make that happen.  I could probably cry you a river of all of my boohoos if I felt the need to do that.  But at least God helped to open my mind and fill it with enough light for me to be able to see what the true church of Jesus Christ was when I found it.  And he can do that for anybody.

Boohoo that I was raped as a child. Boohoo that I lived most of my life on the verge of starvation. Boohoo I was born with or acquired a mental of emotional disorder that makes life perpetual agony. Boohoo. Get over it.

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14 hours ago, strappinglad said:

This is where I have a problem with agency. Our life here is guided by genetics and environment, plus whatever we came with from the pre- mortal arena. Where and when we are born must have something to do with how we behave. I always assumed that spirts were innocent as they were born. If so, then a spirit born into the city of Enoch or during the 200 years of Nephite peace would be equivalent to one born in the slums of India or the streets of Pompeii . Did God send only the righteous to Enoch and only the real baddies to nasty times and places? It seems obvious that one time and place would have many more trials and temptations than another. How can we talk about a righteous generation or a wicked one ? The child born of meth -head parents already has a harder road ahead than one born to kind and loving ones. 

As an aside: I have knowledge of a relative who was born in a country where abortion was legal and socially acceptable. Over her life she had 13 abortions. It was her method of birth control. This was over 50 years ago. I doubt she was the only one. 

I sometimes suspect our spirits are not as innocent as some imagine. I do believe the atonement wiped them clean of premortal sins but they still are who they are.

It is a great trier of faith to cope with the horrors that life brings. To put it in perspective if God the Father were to go to a family court with the evidence showing who he let take care of his children and that he knew what would happen to them God would be stripped of His parental rights. I try to believe that all this injustice and horror is necessary but it is not easy.

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4 hours ago, gav said:

You have a valid point and it makes a little more sense to me if I try to look at it slightly differently... mortality is meant to be tough and challenging with each individuals circumstances heavily influenced by our first estate.

I suspect that of the many billions of things that could happen to us in our mortal probation the Lord has selected for us to have the experiences that will bring about the most progression for each one of us individually. Tough as it may seem to us here and now we seem to be getting what we need to progress the most eternally. Sometimes the life of seeming ease can be more challenging to a person to maintain faithfulness and diligence than a life of hardship. The Nephites over and over again found it most difficult to maintain faithfulness when times were good.

At the end of it all I am confident we will see that the conditions we experienced in life were perfectly engineered to bring out the best in us, if we would have it. We will all bow the knee and our tongues will confess in hindsight that the Lord did the very best for each and everyone of us, excruciatingly tough though some lives may appear now.

I seem to be getting worse with my experiences so I hope you are right and my view is just horribly flawed.

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4 hours ago, gav said:

Agreed. 

Another way to eliminate agency is to have immediate consequences. Agency is more fully exercised when there is a delay between the choice and its consequence. Hence the need for the creation of a space where time operates.

In our Fathers direct presence it would be harder to be disobedient, a feat it seems only "sons of perdition" are capable of. For the rest of us to truly show our true colours we would have to be placed in an environment fallen from Gods direct presence and where time existed so that there could be a delay between many of our choices and their direct consequences. Because time is the thing that prevents everything happening at once.

I enjoy your comments and find them insightful.

I would imagine that in order to enable us to have the fullest exercise of agency when we made choices in heaven that there weren’t immediate consequences there as well. If this is indeed the case, then there would likely be some who were more proactively obedient than others. This would help to explain why in the Book of Abraham were are told that there were some in the pre-earth life who more “noble and great” than others. If God graciously and patiently allowed us to grow spiritually at our own chosen pace in the preexistence, it could help to explain why some are made leaders in the kingdom of God on earth, while billions of others have lived and died without any knowledge of Jesus Christ, let alone the restored gospel.

Nevertheless, I do heartily agree that in the end we will realize and gratefully acknowledge that our Father wisely put us in the best time, location, surroundings and circumstances to maximize our own personal spiritual growth, even though that may be exceedingly difficult to see in the here and now.

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5 hours ago, gav said:

Death, gravity etc. we also chose in the pre existence by accepting the plan which included death and becoming subject to the natural laws of a fallen world. At the time some of us even shouted for joy at the prospect of these new experiences and growth.

Or Father in Heaven always perfectly honours our agency. The fall of Adam and Eve was the only way to concentually introduce them and their offspring(us) to these conditions consequent to a fallen world.

The traditional understanding that Adam and Eve had to make the Fall happen so it was all consensual doesn’t make sense. That was their choice. Why does it carry over to all of humanity?

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55 minutes ago, Duncan said:

I think that going with Satan, people thought it was the safer route

And yet by following Lucifer into outer darkness they still managed to effectively give up their agency in a mortal experience. 

This is why I don't think the 'war' can't be so easily summed up as a battle over agency.  Lucifer couldn't care less about our agency, he only suggested it because he thought God cared more about our salvation than the means to get there.  Apparently he didn't count on agency being a sensitive and non negotiable component of God the Father's plan.

Unfortunately we only have one side of the story, and I think it has to do with much more than simply agency.  The results of this mortal test will affect kingdoms, glory, civilizations, governments, resources and possibly the balance of power in the eternities to name a few reasons why taking the role as 'Savior' might have been important to Lucifer.  Look at the praise and glory Jesus now has because of his role as Savior, that's what Lucifer wanted.  Lucifer was a high ranking intelligence judging by heaven's reaction at his fall and he would not have given up his chance for a body and eternal progression lightly.  Instead he took a calculated risk and for all we know (until we hear his side of the story) could be working out for him and his followers.

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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The traditional understanding that Adam and Eve had to make the Fall happen so it was all consensual doesn’t make sense. That was their choice. Why does it carry over to all of humanity?

We agreed to the plan which included birth and death and everything in between. The fact that we have the blessings of the gospel, the priesthood etc. indicate that was more likely our early choice, we then fought proactively in the war, some fence sitters eventually joined our side but they would likely have rather different experiences in their mortal probation as a result.

We chose to be born via natural processes into physical bodies that would be ours to learn and grow in throughout a temporary mortal probation. This was a given by accepting the plan. This was when we made our choice.

Adam and Eve were different, they were the "openers of the way" not born into physical bodies but inserted into previously prepared bodies. These bodies were not born of parents already possessing a spirit. The insertion of Adam and Eve's immortal spirit into these physical bodies rendered these bodies immortal, for it would not be just to change them from an immortal state to a mortal state in one single step. The catch 22 that Adam and Eve must have agreed to be placed into(as Christ had volunteered to be the Saviour) enabled the fall from immortality and the presence of God. This catch 22 involved complete opposites. Eat, introduce mortality and the ability to reproduce. Abstain, live forever and have no offspring. They had already been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. There was no way they could obey all these commandments without being in transgression of at least one of the others.

Once they fell, by choosing to eat, they became mortal and then able to reproduce bodies that would house all the rest of us. These bodies we had chosen for ourselves in the pre-existence when accepting the plan. We would then be able to proceed directly to a fallen state via inheritance and we had agreed to this inheritance.

To Summarise.

Adam and Eve had nothing to inherit but immortality and remaining in the presence of God. It was not JUST to deny them what was already theirs. Therefore a method was available to make it an act of choice, in a new state, where they remembered nothing; and bring about further alterations to that state by their choices. We could then, by choosing to be born as their children, inherit their new state. We are still free from some aspects of the fall until  we reach the age of accountability and our faculties have sufficiently developed. In effect we are born naked and unashamed, have our own little Eden until the age of eight and then begin to exercise our own free wills. Soon thereafter our ability to reproduce begins to develop and eventually we age and die.

Not so different from Adam and Eve after all, but an automatic consequence, through inheritance, after they opened the way. 

Edited by gav
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3 hours ago, Duncan said:

I think that is probably how Satan got them to agree to side with him. In pinning all your exaltation hopes on a man who has never lived in mortality and never ever making a mistake or thinking of making a mistake, it's all or nothing. I think that going with Satan, people thought it was the safer route

We know one of the adversaries prime tools in this life is fear. Fear destroys faith because the two cannot exist together. We know another of his tactics is appealing to our greed for power. It is possible that he promised many prominence and power once he had taken all glory unto himself... For he was so smart in devising a plan that could save all, like no other had before him, that in his mind he deserved all the Glory. So convinced he was of this that he convinced others and led them in open rebellion against great light. Because to become a SOP one must rebel against great light.

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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I seem to be getting worse with my experiences so I hope you are right and my view is just horribly flawed.

It is not called "enduring to the end" for nothing. So it is likely that as we become more refined the abrasives need to do a more painful number on our harder spots and lumps. It's a good sign, if the road gets steeper, it often does the closer we get to the top!

Edited by gav
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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I sometimes suspect our spirits are not as innocent as some imagine. I do believe the atonement wiped them clean of premortal sins but they still are who they are.

I agree with the first sentence, not so sure about the second... I think all we got was a vail of forgetfulness that rendered our mortal minds innocent, not a clean slate. The spirit quickly asserts itself again as we mature.

Quote

It is a great trier of faith to cope with the horrors that life brings. To put it in perspective if God the Father were to go to a family court with the evidence showing who he let take care of his children and that he knew what would happen to them God would be stripped of His parental rights. I try to believe that all this injustice and horror is necessary but it is not easy.

I think hindsight will be 20-20 and none of these horrors will compare to the growth we have undergone through them. A diamond loses much of its weight, that is cut off or ground away in the shaping process. Abrasives further wear away and polish it. Decent amounts of water need to be used to keep the diamond cool in this process, since it is carbon it could catch alight. The end product is rather more desirable and brings out the best the stone has to offer, a real sight to behold.

God is making up his jewels and refining to high levels of purity in the refiners fire.

 

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2 hours ago, echelon said:

And yet by following Lucifer into outer darkness they still managed to effectively give up their agency in a mortal experience. 

This is why I don't think the 'war' can't be so easily summed up as a battle over agency.  Lucifer couldn't care less about our agency, he only suggested it because he thought God cared more about our salvation than the means to get there.  Apparently he didn't count on agency being a sensitive and non negotiable component of God the Father's plan.

Unfortunately we only have one side of the story, and I think it has to do with much more than simply agency.  The results of this mortal test will affect kingdoms, glory, civilizations, governments, resources and possibly the balance of power in the eternities to name a few reasons why taking the role as 'Savior' might have been important to Lucifer.  Look at the praise and glory Jesus now has because of his role as Savior, that's what Lucifer wanted.  Lucifer was a high ranking intelligence judging by heaven's reaction at his fall and he would not have given up his chance for a body and eternal progression lightly.  Instead he took a calculated risk and for all we know (until we hear his side of the story) could be working out for him and his followers.

Yup, pride, praise, power and ultimately glory... His path to all of these was to devise a new plan, which suspended agency, which would make him smarter than all gods before him and smarter than his own Father in Heaven, consequently he deserved all the glory and the "balance of power in the eternities" as you put it.

How calculated his risk was due to being blinded by pride and greed I don't know. If I look at people around me that are blinded by pride... they do pretty stupid things.

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5 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Boohoo that I was raped as a child. Boohoo that I lived most of my life on the verge of starvation. Boohoo I was born with or acquired a mental of emotional disorder that makes life perpetual agony. Boohoo. Get over it.

Yep, we all need to get over whatever hurdles or challenges we get in this life.  Let's all have a pity party with some big cups to catch all of the tears we can shed and make a contest out of it.  The one with the fullest cup of tears wins!

Any suggestions for where we can hold our vast throng of people who will likely attend?  And what about refreshments?  Which bakery do you think might be willing to make all of our cupcakes?

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The traditional understanding that Adam and Eve had to make the Fall happen so it was all consensual doesn’t make sense. That was their choice. Why does it carry over to all of humanity?

Children are reproductions of their parents, so we are reproductions of Adam and Eve just as much as we are reproductions of their Father and Mother and all of their/our other Mothers and Fathers,

Next question please, and please keep your questions limited to less than 50 characters each.

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2 hours ago, gav said:

Adam and Eve were different, they were the "openers of the way" not born into physical bodies but inserted into previously prepared bodies. These bodies were not born of parents already possessing a spirit. The insertion of Adam and Eve's immortal spirit into these physical bodies rendered these bodies immortal, for it would not be just to change them from an immortal state to a mortal state in one single step. The catch 22 that Adam and Eve must have agreed to be placed into(as Christ had volunteered to be the Saviour) enabled the fall from immortality and the presence of God. This catch 22 involved complete opposites. Eat, introduce mortality and the ability to reproduce. Abstain, live forever and have no offspring. They had already been commanded to multiply and replenish the earth. There was no way they could obey all these commandments without being in transgression of at least one of the others.

The Earth before the Fall was a Terrestrial creation.  All living things were Terrestrial beings.  None were subject to physical death. The Gods (Elohim and Jehovah) organized the bodies using Terrestrial materials and already immortal before Adam and Eve were inserted into those bodies.

Terrestrial beings (with the exception of Adam and Eve) were reproducing.  Those creatures had a limited duration of existence in that sphere (at the end they were translated to a different kingdom outside of Earth).  There are scriptures that describe the process, most familiarly in Millennial settings after the Second Coming.  Terrestrial humans will reach the "age of a tree" (100 years) before being translated.  The difference is they will be begetting Terrestrial babies but Adam and Eve could bear children only after their fall into the Telestial state.

The Fall was necessary to usher in mortality along with its attendant chaos, griefs, sickness, violence, perplexing challenges, etc (Pandora's Box).  Thus initiating the Plan of Happiness.

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