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 Post subject: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:50 am 
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Over at the MD&D board, there is a thread by Calm entitled Apostasy is worse than murder!

Thank God, the laws on this subject are secular rather than religious. Having the freedom to believe or not believe is a treasured gift from the Enlightenment. The idea that exercising that freedom is worse than murder shows how extreme a religiously run state could be if we were all subject to Mormia Law.

Anyway, I would have liked to post that thought on the MD&D board if not for that ban thing. What are your thoughts on this issue?

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/72497-apostasy-is-worse-than-murder/

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:14 am 
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Did you read any of the replies?

"Apostasy is worse than murder" is the quote from Sam Young, and so far as I can see, believing posters and others there disagree with Sam Young. I don't agree with him either, but I have been arguing that such a conclusion can be reasonably drawn by a believing member. The authoritarian and disparate theology of Mormonism lends itself to unfortunate and contradictory notions.

Specifically, if perdition is worse than murder, then LDS teachings can be seen as supporting the conclusion that apostasy can be worse than murder:

Quoting myself there:

"I don't care to defend his actions per se, my point is that I think reasonable believers can come to the conclusion that apostasy is worse than murder. The nature of Mormonism's authoritarianism and theology means that there are varied and even opposing viewpoints on different topics that individuals can focus on. There's also some theological concepts which create confusion and produce very unfortunate conclusions in believer's minds.

Perdition is an example. On the one hand, it is described as rebellion against the Holy Ghost. On the other, especially in LDS descriptions, it is described as a conscience rebellion against an extremely developed knowledge (not mere faith in Him, but) of God, like claiming the Sun is not shining under a shining Sun.

Yet the latter, that one can possibly possess such knowledge of God, is an assumption imo creates confusion. Decades ago, as a believing youth who understood faith to be an eternal principle governing the universe, it occurred to me that we take for granted how much we might "know" in God's presence. It would be one thing if the litmus test for identifying God was something well-defined and demonstrated, but how does God objectively prove His attributes? At a Millennium or Judgment Seat, is unprecedented power a proof of divinity? Are miraculous events evidence of a Perfect Being? They could be persuasive, of course! But proof? I don't think so.

My teen mind realised that an incredible impression in such displays might be knowledge of an impressive being, but not necessarily a divine Being. A thousand centuries with God and creating worlds might prove that much power and competence, but not infinity nor perfection. We'd never objectively know God is God.

Hence the need for faith, even after eons.

That precedent conclusion, that we can never objectively know God is God, precludes the possibility of perdition, or in other words it precludes the ability to rebel against a knowledge of God. We cannot knowingly rebel against that which we cannot know.

And yet, in Mormon culture and speech, the usage of "I know" is used repetitively to the point of being hackneyed. We've created this idea that belief and faith with spiritually-rewarding experiences represent knowledge. We teach children and investigators that the good and warm feelings they feel when having LDS experiences are the Holy Ghost conveying knowledge. A misguided believer might even say "you know" X, Y, or Z to someone who is expressing doubts after previously having a testimony.

I was molested twice as a child, and as an older teen, I felt like I needed to confess to the bishopric member during a worthiness interview. I was familiar with teachings about virtue and fleeing evil, and I was not sure if I was at fault in those experiences of lost childlike innocence. In retrospect, I am very grateful that the counselor, after hearing me recount the events, quickly put a stop to my concerns. But the way he said it was, "You know..." as if there was no faithful reason to wonder if being victimised made me unworthy. Yet there were faithful reasons to not be sure. According to some teachings, I was worthy, but according to others, I might have been guilty of being in the wrong place or not fighting hard enough. So according to him, I "knew" one thing, even though I knew reasons, through faithful readings of the teachings, why I couldn't know it. "Knowledge" in the church is, therefore, in some ways, an ambiguous and confusing concept.

Furthermore, although the prophets and apostles are called as special witnesses of Christ, that witness is also available to regular members. And yet maybe it's not quite as strong, and yet we have the privilege of having their testimonies confirmed to us through the Holy Ghost. They are given to reveal God's words to the church membership, but we also have the right to all manner of revelation, too, according to our faith, just not in an authoritative way for the church.

And so regular members can "know" through the Spirit all things of which the apostles testify and more. Yet some authorities say we can never know enough to rebel on a level of Perdition. These teachings, I think, can represent contradictions for some. A faithful person can easily feel the obligation to choose one possibility as a way to vanquish ambiguity and move forward with faith. But both are faithful positions, conclusions which can be reasonably drawn from church teachings.

Thus it is possible for a believer to conclude that an apostate's rebellion can be very, very serious indeed, somewhere close to perdition."


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:16 am 
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Anyhow, how does a penguin like yourself possibly get banned over there??


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:21 am 
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The thing that always strikes me most about MAD board discussions is how self-absorbed and introspective they are in nature. The one Moksha cites in the OP is no exception.

As for which is worst, Apsotasy or Murder, perhaps the participants on that thread might consider the victims of each before delivering their verdict...

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:33 am 
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I have a question wrote:
The thing that always strikes me most about MAD board discussions is how self-absorbed and introspective they are in nature. The one Moksha cites in the OP is no exception.

As for which is worst, Apsotasy or Murder, perhaps the participants on that thread might consider the victims of each before delivering their verdict...


I don't know if navel gazing can be accurately described as 'introspective'...

Whatever the case may be, I agree with OP's title. Apostasy is actually worse than murder because one thing isn't forgiven by God and the other is. If we're talking about eternal consequences then it makes sense.

- Doc

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:40 am 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
I don't know if navel gazing can be accurately described as 'introspective'...

Whatever the case may be, I agree with OP's title. Apostasy is actually worse than murder because one thing isn't forgiven by God and the other is. If we're talking about eternal consequences then it makes sense.

- Doc


Well, for the sakes of discussion, D&C 132 contradicts that, saying that murder is worse than apostasy.
Quote:
26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the aHoly Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they bcommit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be cdelivered unto the buffetings of dSatan unto the day of eredemption, saith the Lord God.
27 The ablasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall bnot be cforgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit dmurder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be edamned, saith the Lord.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/stu ... 2?lang=eng

That’s clearly saying that, once you’ve been temple married, you can apostatise and still get in, providing you don’t murder anyone. According to D&C 132 murder is worse than apostasy. Perhaps one of the great unbanned could post that reference on the MAD thread so we can watch their heads implode with mental gymnastics...

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:09 am 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
I have a question wrote:
The thing that always strikes me most about MAD board discussions is how self-absorbed and introspective they are in nature. The one Moksha cites in the OP is no exception.

As for which is worst, Apsotasy or Murder, perhaps the participants on that thread might consider the victims of each before delivering their verdict...


I don't know if navel gazing can be accurately described as 'introspective'...

Whatever the case may be, I agree with OP's title. Apostasy is actually worse than murder because one thing isn't forgiven by God and the other is. If we're talking about eternal consequences then it makes sense.

- Doc


Joseph Smith did link apostasy to perdition:

"All sins shall be forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.358)


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:19 am 
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Meadowchik wrote:
Anyhow, how does a penguin like yourself possibly get banned over there??

It happened a long time ago in a galaxy far far away. The orthodox members still wore pioneer garb when they posted and they were undoubtedly making penalty signs (such as crossed fingers behind the back) before hitting enter.

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 8:28 am 
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I have a question wrote:
... we can watch their heads implode with mental gymnastics...


They do love them some mental gymnastics.

- Doc

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:00 am 
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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
I have a question wrote:
... we can watch their heads implode with mental gymnastics...


They do love them some mental gymnastics.

- Doc

It’s like observing a confirmation bias Petri dish.

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:04 am 
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Smac put out a pretty nice post some time back.
http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/724 ... -of-faith/

I agree with is 5 points. I hate to say it because the whole post was a nice gesture, but to me he doesn't do a very good job in following his own counsel.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:33 am 
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Stem wrote:
Smac put out a pretty nice post some time back.
http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/724 ... -of-faith/

I agree with is 5 points. I hate to say it because the whole post was a nice gesture, but to me he doesn't do a very good job in following his own counsel.


SMAC refuses to accept that the statement from Joseph Smith clearly contradicts his claim. Another poster distorts the entire thread as being about Sam Young himself, when it was categorically about the question of whether "apostasy is worse than murder" in the LDS church.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:25 am 
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I would generally agree with the believers on that thread - I don't think, generally speaking, apostasy is thought of as being worse than murder. Joseph Smith and other early church leaders might thought something like that, but I don't think that's generally how it's thought of today.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:00 am 
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Gray Ghost wrote:
I would generally agree with the believers on that thread - I don't think, generally speaking, apostasy is thought of as being worse than murder. Joseph Smith and other early church leaders might thought something like that, but I don't think that's generally how it's thought of today.


Well I agreed with that as well, but I argued that such a belief could be a reasonable conclusion of a believer. I think it's important for members to know that the messaging of the church can create confusion.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:11 am 
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How is apostasy worse than murder in Mormonism? The "prophets" in Utah Territory went to great lengths to show us that it was. Breaking "Temple Covenants" (by any Elder) was to them... a dire thing. I do believe that the penalty for that was disembowelment...or having your throat cut, and those who were done in that way got to the afterlife and were declared "sons of perdition" and then were relegated to being little "Satan's" for the rest of eternity, until they were so used up that they could not be "recycled" anymore and finally faded out of existence. So taught Young and others. Nothing's changed folks, where are the comments from the Authorities? Silent as Sphinx's they are. Same as with Adam-god, etc., it's to precious a pearl to waste casting before swine, or to make a Dodo out of an "Apostle" for bothering to comment on it.

So yeah, apostasy was worse than murder. At least with murder you got a kingdom of glory. Do I need to drag out the plethora of quotes I have?

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:44 am 
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grindael wrote:
Do I need to drag out the plethora of quotes I have?

No. Anyone with half a brain knows that this is the only logical interpretation of the "Sons of Perdition" doctrine.

The doctrine is stupid and doesn't make moral sense. That's why people will come up with all sorts of qualifiers to raise the bar to an impossibly high standard for someone to become a Son of Perdition. It bothers them that apostasy is worse than murder. How many times have we heard people parrot something like, "Yeah but you have to have perfect knowledge and rebel against God, willing to have participated in Christ's crucifixion, yada yada yada?"

Of course killing someone is worse than telling God you don't want to play weird bureaucratic games, even if you had full knowledge of God's plan. Not wanting to play Mormon God's mind games doesn't make you a bad person. Some of us have had more than enough of Mormon God's "goodness" and "happiness" and just want to be left alone and would tell him so even if he appeared right now to us in the flesh.

I have no use for Mormon God, even if he is real and I were to be made sure of it. That doesn't make me a bad person. It makes me a good person, because I am capable of understanding how morally impaired Mormon God is.

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:48 am 
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Gray Ghost wrote:
I would generally agree with the believers on that thread - I don't think, generally speaking, apostasy is thought of as being worse than murder. Joseph Smith and other early church leaders might thought something like that, but I don't think that's generally how it's thought of today.

The historical teachings of the church and the attitudes of the grass roots today frequently diverge. I take comfort in knowing that the average church member today has better moral sense than the leaders of the founding generation of the church. It just annoys me to no end watching otherwise smart people bend their minds into pretzels in an attempt to create consistency where there isn't any.

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:56 am 
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Yeah FF, I have the minutes of the "School of the Prophets' under John Taylor (easy to acquire) where they debated letting young people get their endowments because they might then apostatize and they actually went through the penalties and discussed them. They were proposing all kinds of things, even an Aaronic Priesthood endowment as a trial. (I kid you not). They were well aware of the doctrine and the implications of it. Young and his Danites and B-Boys made use of it for any enemies of the church. So did Smith. Why did Mountain Meadows happen, by the way? Because some were thought of as "apostates". And that was on Sept. 11, the anniversary of the day that Smith claimed that Zion would be redeemed (Sept. 11, 1836). That failed and Young and others always blamed the Missourians (where they thought the Fancher Party was from). And of course there was the revenge for Parley. Blood must be shed.

What would they do if another Brigham Young comes along? Would he have sway over them like a Donald Trump has over the Republicans today?

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Last edited by grindael on Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:58 am 
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grindael wrote:
How is apostasy worse than murder in Mormonism? The "prophets" in Utah Territory went to great lengths to show us that it was. Breaking "Temple Covenants" (by any Elder) was to them... a dire thing. I do believe that the penalty for that was disembowelment...or having your throat cut, and those who were done in that way got to the afterlife and were declared "sons of perdition" and then were relegated to being little "Satan's" for the rest of eternity, until they were so used up that they could not be "recycled" anymore and finally faded out of existence. So taught Young and others. Nothing's changed folks, where are the comments from the Authorities? Silent as Sphinx's they are. Same as with Adam-god, etc., it's to precious a pearl to waste casting before swine, or to make a Dodo out of an "Apostle" for bothering to comment on it.

So yeah, apostasy was worse than murder. At least with murder you got a kingdom of glory. Do I need to drag out the plethora of quotes I have?


And as a historical aside that I pointed out over at that board, it was not unprecedented for spiritual crimes to be seen as on par to or worse than murder in Colonial America. Giles Corey killed a servant by beating him and was fined. He was later accused as part of the witchcraft participants but did not plead, and for not pleading to the witchcraft charge, he suffered a death by pressing.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:37 am 
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Meadowchik wrote:
Gray Ghost wrote:
I would generally agree with the believers on that thread - I don't think, generally speaking, apostasy is thought of as being worse than murder. Joseph Smith and other early church leaders might thought something like that, but I don't think that's generally how it's thought of today.


Well I agreed with that as well, but I argued that such a belief could be a reasonable conclusion of a believer. I think it's important for members to know that the messaging of the church can create confusion.


Yes, I think that's definitely possible. When talking about individual church experiences, your mileage may vary - by a lot! And Sam might have been talking about something from his own experience, or going off by what people actually said to him when he was excommunicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Apostasy is worse than murder!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:40 pm 
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Meadowchik wrote:

SMAC refuses to accept that the statement from Joseph Smith clearly contradicts his claim. Another poster distorts the entire thread as being about Sam Young himself, when it was categorically about the question of whether "apostasy is worse than murder" in the LDS church.


I got booted from three of the current threads over there, so I've decided to give myself a bit of a break. At some point, I guess, they'll have to ban me permanently.

But it was a circular discussion. To me what they ended up doing was shouting down teachings of the past. The teachings pointed out by grindael here. That's a good thing. Who should ever believe that nonsense? I maintain their current view has made mincemeat of the sons of perdition teaching--no one would ever really be up high enough to be a son of perdition today, on their view. If President Nelson turned around and disavowed his belief, they'd still likely conclude he simply didn't know enough and thus could be forgiven. If so, then what's the point of the teaching? Nothing. It's meaningless.


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