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cook

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2019, 02:18:18 pm »
I'm sure Andrew speaks for himself, but I don't see him anywhere saying he believes God put the ban because of worthiness. I think worthiness got attached to the issue only by the false speculations of why the ban existed. I think the point for many is that God may have had a reason we cannot understand. A reason that has nothing to do with worthiness.

For me, my personal experience is I was denied access to the temple at the time I wished. It had nothing to do with worthiness and I don't personally know anyone who knew me, who could have thought so. But if the story was just told to a random person, he might consider that option also. A person I once met, who was certain no one living in Europe, in the world, can stay worthy, would most likely been sure about it being the reason. But still it would not have anything to do with worthiness.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2019, 02:48:39 pm »
Quote
I think worthiness got attached to the issue only by the false speculations of why the ban existed.
Quote
But if the story was just told to a random person, he might consider that option also.

The individual who presented the ban gave the reasons as the policy was being announced and presented and reinforced. This wasn't a long after the fact thing. It wasn't others speculating on a private meeting. It was "Here's the ban. Here's why." There was no, "I was told to do it, no explanation, here's why I think."

We know exactly why Brigham Young did it. Because he told us. Multiple times. We're told the logic why he felt it should always HAVE been there. And he expounded on it multiple times. There's no gap. I don't want to quote them, because they are disgusting. The bad explanations are exactly as old as the policy itself.

Other bad explanations came when it was understood that people were questioning the original bad explanation that the policy came with, and it was acknowledge that it didn't make any doctrinal sense. And because that didn't make any sense THEN it was tied to pre-mortal individual worthiness.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 02:50:45 pm by Taalcon »
 
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Roper

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2019, 06:06:14 pm »
So I'll be blunt, here:

I believe the priesthood ban was wrong. I believe God considered wrong. I believe God did not "step in" and order the ban to be lifted because that's not how God works. God values our agency so much that He "lets" all kinds of evil things happen. God is God because even when we use our agency in ignorance or weakness, He has provided a way we can use our agency to choose forgiveness and redemption through Christ. God is God because he rescues His children who are victims of others' misuse of agency.

The policy was wrong. Those who implemented it and upheld it did so with limited light and knowledge. We shouldn't judge them. But the policy was still wrong. Thank the Heavens for prophets and apostles who sought the Lord's will and were humble enough to change.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2019, 06:11:19 pm by Roper »
 
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LMAshton

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #33 on: June 11, 2019, 02:24:14 am »
For the record, for whatever it's worth, I agree with Roper's statement. That's what's been in my head for decades.
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AndrewR

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #34 on: June 11, 2019, 05:52:50 am »
I have to wonder if the following scenario will ever happen.

A few eternities into the future, when maybe by something we do not understand, inhabitants of the Terrestrial Kingdom will move in to the Celestial Kingdom. We will welcome them with open arms. Then, a few million years later, people in the CK will start to wonder why these wonderful people were ever in the TK. Maybe there were judged incorrectly. And someone will say, "These should always have been with us - it was a mistake."

I believe that we have existed forever. I believe that at some point we became Children of God, given spirit bodies and a chance to progress. I believe we have been tried and tested, over and over, we Mortality is another test.

The cards we are dealt for this test are individual. They will give all of us the same opportunity to pass "our test" and move on to Eternal Progression.

The Blacks being denied the priesthood is no different, albeit in my understanding, from those denied it because of when or where they were born. Their cards did not include holding the priesthood, and receiving temple blessings, in this life.

If any of those denied the priesthood and temple blessings was foreordained to do so in this life then the whole Plan of Salvation is a joke. It is not the plan I understand it to be.

Anything else means God is not in control. IMO And this is my struggle.

The notion that it happened because BY was a racist is fine. Maybe that's the case. But these wonderful members could not have been foreordained to hold the priesthood in life and have that thwarted by BY. To do so makes no sense. God's foreknowledge has to be be better than that. So He allowed it, and He prepared for it.

I don't know why all those born without the opportunity to hold the priesthood and receive temple blessings are born that way. But I do believe it was by design, because they needed it for their progressing/test/whatever.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 05:56:08 am by AndrewR »
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AndrewR

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2019, 06:05:12 am »
I have other, similar struggles with this concept.

On March 13, 1996, a man entered a school gym in Dunblane, Scotland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_massacre

He shot and killed a teacher and 15 children under the age of 8. In our Doctrine these children are gods. They have only the need to receive a body. So they were sent to a body, in a place, where a man would kill them all at the same time?

Is this the case. Is God that calculating? They had to die before the age of 8 - that is what we teach, although in reverse in reality.

If this man had not committed this atrocity they might have had sickness, fatal accidents, death at the hands of parents, siblings or attackers. But they would have died.

So the man's agency was required for these children to have a quick, painless, death.
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Taalcon

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2019, 09:03:01 am »
Quote
A few eternities into the future, when maybe by something we do not understand, inhabitants of the Terrestrial Kingdom will move in to the Celestial Kingdom.
If it's anything like how it's portrayed in the Endowment, you move forward when you've been prepared and are ready to accept the associated covenants. Depending on one's state of mind, that stage of the play might only feel like an eternity ;)

Quote
In our Doctrine these children are gods. They have only the need to receive a body.

I am pretty sure there's incomplete information there. I don't think much more substantial and non-speculative was said on this subject since D&C 76, in 1832 and a vast majority of D&C 76 was later radically recontextualized in our doctrine, both by the introduction of vicarious ordinances for the dead (which those describing what they saw did not have any idea of!), and the teachings of progression in the Nauvoo Endowment (which would not be developed for over a decade!).

D&C 76 is one of those texts (Which is presented as observations of what is seen and understood) which absolutely requires later revelations for interpretation and clarification.

We absolutely do not, as a Church, teach the doctrine exactly as D&C 76 teaches it, because we are very well aware that it, at that stage was incomplete.

I believe the ultimate idea behind this child salvation principle  - don't worry about those children, they are known and loved and are not neglected and will not miss out, and you will see them again - is absolutely true. But I'm also an optimist with the assumption that the vast, vast majority of humanity that DO live will eventually find themselves achieving their full potential at one time or another.

The victims of injustice will receive justice. But those who commit the injustice will need to overcome what it was within them that caused them to perpetuate the injustice. "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!".

The children didn't do anything in the premortal world to "earn" for themselves the mark to be murdered or killed by cancer, any more than did those born with African Black heritage prior to 1978 do anything to "earn" a mark for themselves allowing White Church leaders to disparage and discard them. I do not think the concept of some form of foreordination necesitates this. As much as we go out of our way to say that foreordination is NOT the same as the "false doctrine of predestination", when ideas of what it therefore means are actually described, I often don't see the actual practical difference. I think there's more work to be done on this.

Having children die who find themselves outside the purview of this specific track doesn't require, for me, that it tells us something about their poremortal state, that they've already checked all the boxes, and just needed that fleshsuit box. Otherwise, the murder of children would be presented as a joyous event, and the only sorrow would be for the life of the Murderer. Who, after all, we'd have to acknowledge, was just filling their role in God's necessary plan to begin with, I guess?

Baptism for the Dead was presented to Joseph after he had the vision that Alvin would be with him in the CK, which presented that those who 'would have accepted' are given the chance to show that they would, by actually accepting it. This was new information not contained in the initial observation.

We don't perform ordinances (at this point) for young children who have died. Current understanding also suggests that Marriage Sealings need to be done prior to the Resurrection by someone in mortality for them to be valid. The "auto-exaltation" theory for children suggests they will be sealed. With what we're aware of, this doesn't match up. (Keeping in mind the very idea of sealing and marriage as a requirement for exaltation was SUBSTANTIALLY post 1832! There was no need for it to matchup in 1832!)

I do NOT think the logical conclusion is that murdered children are a special class pre-destined to be murdered or neglected or placed in the path of a car or pool or suffer cancer or whatever.

"It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!" - For children who suffer and die from diseases, the suggestion that God specifically, uniquely designed for this to happen presents God as the person "through whom they come".

I am much more inclined to see God as the developer and approver of a general system through which we all agreed to pass through, with all of the randomness and mutations associated with biological and chemical life - rather than someone who creates specific, individual-specific trials on the micro level for every single instance. (I tend to believe post-mortality continues this experience. I like to think there's still some serious apprenticeship going on.)

But during mortality, I believe God and His Agents are always there to give comfort and guidance to lift us up to teach us who He is, and what We should be.  To "ease burdens that they may be light", but not to remove them. Giving strength, and empowering the strength we already have. But part of this life is "not just to endure the storms but to choose the right as they rage." And also, perhaps even more importantly, to learn to "mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." - those, ultimately, are both categories.

Mourning involves recognizing suffering as real, experiencing compassion, and not just skipping to declaring that you know it's for their own good, part of God's plan, etc. That tends to skip the burden of co-mourning and understanding more about the reality that brings such suffering. It's rarely actually comforting to the subject in the moment.

The biggest part of our doctrine of an open canon isn't to wait to see what will be canonized yet, it's to recognize our understanding is still growing, and to seek to mine what we do have . We shouldn't discard what we have known and experienced, but we should be willing to revisit what we thought we knew in light of new information, and then translate the old understanding of experiences into the new knowledge. Those should be stepping stones to help us advance to the next level of understanding.

"I know that [God] loveth his children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." - this shouldn't be the end. We should seek to learn more, and to seek to learn where we might have had an incomplete picture.

Part of MY process has been listening to other perspectives. I've learned a lot through lurking and listening (and, yes, participating) here. I've learned a lot from listening to those elsewhere who experience things I would never personally experience, and to simply let them share their experience, their pain, their hopes, their own terms. I have learned that an idea that may comfort me might have very valid reasons for not applying or making sense in someone else's experience. And their experience adjusts my understanding of a principle which helps me understand God and his plan a little better. The more we understand the different experiences possible in this life, the more we become like the Savior, who we are told has experienced all things, and that is HOW he knows how to succor us. and understanding suffering can cause us to suffer a bit as well as we try to come to terms with it. And I think that's sort of the point.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 10:22:36 am by Taalcon »
 
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dyany

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2019, 12:01:20 pm »
I do not believe that God's omnipotence leads to micromanagement.  I also believe that, except for rare circumstances, it does not lead to blocking someone's agency.

Example: the 116 pages.  God knew that Joseph Smith would fall prey to his weakness to please his friends, and push and push and push until he lent the pages to Martin.  (Yes, God did eventually tell him he could, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS WRONG.  I believe this quite possibly could have been to avoid the deeper sin of outright defying God, or to move forward in the lesson that needed to be learned).  We lost good information when those pages were lost.  God knew it was going to happen, and DIDN'T STOP IT OR TAKE AWAY JOSEPH'S AGENCY.  He just provided a backup plan (planned millennia in advance) to deliver the most important parts of those pages another way.

I believe that in the same sense, he allowed BY to err and institute the Priesthood ban.  Was potential goodness lost?  Yes.  But he has always had a backup plan, and those men who were denied the priesthood then can be posthumously ordained.

Some things I know:
-men do not become infallible in the twinkling of an eye when they become apostles or prophets.  Yes, they have demonstrated a lot of obedience and learned a lot of things.  But they absolutely, positively, are not infallible, not even in the offices they hold.  God allows this, not just because he won't take away our agency or theirs, but   because he has means in place to rectify or avoid the worst issues stemming from this.
-we are specifically told to pray about doctrines and leaders, NOT to 'accept what the top church echelons say and give you without question.'  Because faith isn't faith if it's a done deal and a sure thing, and we are not only able, but REQUIRED to seek the Holy Ghost's confirmation and inspiration.  Because life isn't for the purpose of teaching us to be proper automatons.  It's teaching us how to listen and grow and become more.
-I can't say that those children in Scotland or the 2nd graders in Connecticut or any of the many, many children who have died before the age of 8 at the hands of evil men were foreordained to do so.  I have heard bits--don't know if they are doctrinal or not--about some children who died young being raised by the childless in the Millennium, and other similar FPRs.  I don't know, and I try not to think of it, in part because of Taalcon's good point that telling anyone that their tragedy is somehow 'for the best' is one of the worst expressions of 'sympathy' ever, but also because most of the time when we in our ignorance try to put a definitive reason on something, I think we're not only wrong, but we are blocking the potential growth.  Do I believe God knows what he's doing?  Absolutely!  But the more I try to give my finite mind the authority to know what that purpose is with these types of events, the more I realize that I'm causing more harm than good.  Which is why my favorite scripture right now is 1 Nephi 11:16-17.  The Holy Ghost asks Nephi, "Knowest thou the condescension1 of God?"  To which Nephi, who has experienced more visions and inspiration and experience in extreme obedience than most of us ever will, replies, "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." 

Nephi could have speculated a ton on what he felt things meant.  Heck, he had left behind friends and family in Jerusalem that he saw good in, and he knew they were going to be destroyed soon when Jerusalem was destroyed.  Just like us trying to find answers to tragedies or mistakes made, he could have tried to figure out reasons why God would do those things or allow them to happen.  But he didn't.  He just said there is basically one thing he knows: that God loves his children.  Everything else is subsumed into that, and he doesn't know the meaning or how or why, but it will not shake him from his knowledge that God loves us.


1According to Webster's 1828 American Dictionary, condescension is defined as "voluntary descent from rank, dignity or just claims; relinquishment of strict right; submission to inferiors in granting requests or performing acts which strict justice does not require.  Hence, courtesy.  It forbids pride and commands humility, modesty, and condescension to others."
 
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Scruffydog

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #38 on: June 12, 2019, 01:11:36 pm »
My personal take on this issue is that if we say that someone was foreordained for something to happen to them, we have lost sight of agency. The Dunblane shooter Hamilton was not foreordained to kill those children, he chose to do so. God did not put the children there for him to kill, Hamilton chose to kill them.

We all know that we are free to choose but not to determine the consequences: you can choose to touch the hot stove but you cannot chose whether it will burn your skin. What sometimes gets missed is that we do not have control over our world through our agency. If the rock bounces down the hill and hits us, we cannot chose not to be squashed nor is it because God is punishing us. It's just physics. Similarly, those children did nothing to merit being shot down by a madman with a gun. They were impacted by the choice, the agency, of someone else. The covenant we made was to come here to get bodies and to learn how to make good choices and be aligned with the will of God. We did that in the knowledge that physics and chemistry ruled the Earth, and in the knowledge that we would need a Saviour to put right the mistakes we were likely to make. If Heavenly Father micromanages everything, then the Plan of Salvation is meaningless and we learn nothing. Agency teaches us right and wrong, and the consequences of bad or poor choices should help us to learn to be better people and to align ourselves better with the will of God
 
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JLM

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Re: Leading Astray
« Reply #39 on: June 12, 2019, 06:03:00 pm »
My own view is that God and the Plan operate more like Hari Seldon and the two Foundations than Gara Kasparov and a chess game.
 
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