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Why Does God Stay His Hand


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Because a life at 100% followed by a seamless and painless switching over to the other side of the veil, is not in anyone's best interests. 

Pain, suffering, and uncertainty.  Without them, joy, ease, and certainty lose all meaning and relevance.

Can you name a single human advancement that was innovated into existence by humans NOT filled with discontent at the status quo?

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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1 minute ago, pogi said:

So, if humans could find a way to effectively and reasonably eliminate cancer, malaria or all disease from the world, are you suggesting that we shouldn't because it makes us happy?

Not at all.  I'm saying God's children being unhappy lead us to strive and accomplish and grow and learn.  Can you imagine the heavens filled with entitled immature brats who have never strived for anything in their mortal life?  I witnessed enough of that in college - an eternity of it wouldn't be heaven.

 

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I see the necessity of pain and suffering, but why does it have to be SO hard and so unfair/unbalanced?   

"fair" is overrated.  I don't want a fair God, I want a merciful and just God.  

"There's a Man, goin' round, takin' names.   And He decides who to free, and who to blame.  Everybody won't be treated all the same. 
There'll be a golden ladder reaching down, when the Man comes around."

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24 minutes ago, pogi said:

Is that doctrinal?

It involves a lot of doctrinal pieces, which I think are summed up quite well in David L. Paulsen's September 21, 1999 presentation on Joseph Smith and the Problem of Evil.  There's too much there for me to summarize in a simple post, but this is his approach:

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The Prophet Joseph Smith received revealed insights that do address the problem of evil in its broadest terms. His revelations suggest what might be called a soul-making theodicy, centered within a distinctively Christian soteriology (or doctrine of salvation), but both framed within a theology that rejects both absolute creation and, consequently, the philosophical definition of divine omnipotence which affirms that there are no (or no nonlogical) limits to what God can do. The Prophet’s worldview, I believe, dissolves the logical and soteriological problems of evil while infusing with meaning and hope our personal struggles with suffering, sin, and death. To show (albeit briefly) that this is so is my purpose this morning.

Edited by InCognitus
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It doesn’t make any sense in my mind that God would interrupt bad things. I keep repeating myself, so I apologize for what I’m about to say, but if God interrupted bad things, then ultimately, a hangnail would feel like a tragedy.   
 

We cannot grow without the friction that comes from pain.  I don’t know why God ever did create miracles in the past.  I don’t know if He makes miracles happen right now.  if he did, and does, I can see why his withholding would cause distress.

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29 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

Not at all.  I'm saying God's children being unhappy lead us to strive and accomplish and grow and learn.  Can you imagine the heavens filled with entitled immature brats who have never strived for anything in their mortal life?  I witnessed enough of that in college - an eternity of it wouldn't be heaven.

When I seek to alleviate the suffering of others as God commanded, I don't fear that helping to alleviate their suffering would make them "entitled immature brats".

I don't pretend that all suffering could or should be eliminated, but I'm sorry, so, so much is completely unnecessary - at least from a limited mortal perspective.  

I have heard it taught that God suffered so that we don't have to.  If that is true, why do so many suffer unawares of God?   

29 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

"fair" is overrated.  I don't want a fair God, I want a merciful and just God.  

Being unfair is unmerciful and unjust in many ways.  If God is merciful and just, then he is fair and balanced.   The scales/balance of justice is a symbol of fairness.

Some say that the balance will be evened in the afterlife.  If that is true, then he is a fair God.  I don't think we can pretend to have answers as to the why's of all suffering in mortality.  At best, all we can do is hope that it serves a purpose in the next life, but as far as mortality goes...there is no good holistic explanation.  

 

Edited by pogi
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12 minutes ago, pogi said:

At best, all we can do is hope that it serves a purpose in the next life, but as far as mortality goes...there is no good holistic explanation. 

Unless there is no God.  I understand why people go there, the cognitive dissonance of an uninvolved supreme being is painful.  But I do believe that God is there.  And I do believe He will make things right.

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4 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Unless there is no God.  I understand why people go there, the cognitive dissonance of an uninvolved supreme being is painful.  But I do believe that God is there.  And I do believe He will make things right.

Even if there is no God, hoping in one still serves a good purpose.  

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21 minutes ago, pogi said:

When I seek to alleviate the suffering of others as God commanded, I don't fear that helping to alleviate their suffering would make them "entitled immature brats".

Do you remove all the suffering of your children you possibly can though?

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24 minutes ago, pogi said:

have heard it taught that God suffered so that we don't have to

I have always understood that to mean eternally speaking, so we won’t be stuck in a mortal or immortal hell forever.  We suffer as well as hopefully have joy, we die, we go through the final learning stages of salvation, at which point because of God’s atonement our sins can not only be forgiven, but it is as if they never existed.

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, Calm said:

I have always understood that to mean eternally speaking, so we won’t be stuck in a mortal or immortal hell forever.  We suffer as well as hopefully have joy, we die, we go through the final learning stages of salvation, at which point because of God’s atonement our sins can not only be forgiven, but it is as if they never existed.

I have heard both.  I have heard it taught that God not only suffered for our sins ("eternally speaking") but also for our temporal pain and suffering (mortal perspective), so that we can place that burden on Him and be healed from not just sins, but from temporal suffering. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

So, if humans could find a way to effectively and reasonably eliminate cancer, malaria or all disease from the world, are you suggesting that we shouldn't because it makes us happy?  I would choose the elimination of all disease over small and incremental "advancements" over time any day of the week.  Advancements don't seem that great when compared with the alternative.    

I see the necessity of pain and suffering, but why does it have to be SO hard and so unfair/unbalanced?   

All knowledge comes from God. If God wanted to, he could give us the knowledge to cure all manner of diseases.

But his goals and priorities are different than ours.

If it were not for all the trials that we go through in this life, there are many Godly attributes we could not develop. Many of the trials help us to become more like God. 

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

I see the necessity of pain and suffering, but why does it have to be SO hard and so unfair/unbalanced?   

The only way I can reconcile it is to believe that it's not actually unfair or unbalanced, it just appears like it is from our incredibly limited and ignorant point of view.

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Thanks to all for the thoughtful and thought provoking comments.  Reading them provided an opportunity to again ponder principles of eternal consequence (and a welcome respite from 300 comments on who sits on the stand in Sacrament Meeting 🙂).

A few thoughts, in no particular order…

  • Mortality is definitely intended as a crucible for conversion…it is telling to me that when a society as a whole gets it completely right (city of Enoch) or completely wrong (people in the time of Noah) God ends their mortal existence.
  • Our eternal journey includes our pre mortal life, our mortal life and post mortal, pre resurrection life…In the midst of mortality we understandably focus on our personal mortal journey and, hopefully, recognize the importance of mortality in our eternal journey…that said, remembering that for some of God’s children their pre mortal or post mortal life plays a larger role than mortality helps me better understand mortality.
  • It’s telling to me that when the apostles told Christ that the people were hungry, he said “give ye them to eat”…before performing His miracle…I believe Deity wants us to understand both that we are accountable and that we always best meet the challenge of that accountability by seeking Divine guidance and assistance.
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6 hours ago, let’s roll said:

God fed the Israelites with manna from heaven.  Christ healed the lame and raised the dead.  Deity could end hunger and sickness.  Why does God stay His hand?

My feeble answer is far from complete but is the best I can offer.  I find meaning in Joseph’s welding analogy. Welding in his time was not like today, it was essentially a blacksmith heating and pounding two pieces of metal together.  The resulting bond, if done by a skilled craftsman, was stronger than the original metal.

I view the twin purposes of this life as creating eternal bonds with God and creating such bonds with our loved ones. This mirrors the Savior’s great command.  

How is metal bonded? By first burning off the rust and contaminants. But clean metal is not alone sufficient to bond. The natural state of metal is cold.  So the heating and pounding are needed to awaken, activate, and motivate the metal to a state where a bond can form.  The process is very painful.  It comes with risk. But there is no other way.

God himself cannot form eternal bonds without going through the welding process. That’s why the very God who fed the 5,000 and raised Lazarus also had to descend below all things. The fullness of pain was needed to understand and bond with all mankind.

If that process is needed for a God to form eternal welding links, how much moreso for us? The miracles Christ performed (and continues to perform) serve the primary purpose to instill faith in Him.  The miracles are nice, but temporary. They never remove the metal fully from the fire.  The 5,000 were hungry the next day. Lazarus still died.  

One of the keys to life I’ve found is to purposefully use our suffering to build bonds with those we love and with our God. It’s hard. The adversary tries to use suffering for the exact opposite - to stir jealousy, hate, and divorce. But bonds are the only purpose for suffering I’ve found that makes sense. So let’s share in it. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Pyreaux said:

Because most all suffering is the consequences of your or another person's agency. Such as those in high places.

I used to believe this but no longer. The vast majority of my suffering is not a result of others actions. It’s just part of this world. 

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