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 Post subject: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:04 am 
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Is this really Mormon Doctrine:

"While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional." Russell M. Nelson http://www.LDS.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?h ... 82620aRCRD

?

Was Mr. Nelson thinking straight? He also said, "Eternal life, or celestial glory or exaltation, is a conditional gift." http://www.LDS.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?h ... 82620aRCRD

So, what is the definition of a gift? "something acquired without compensation"
Does it seem strange that you would give a gift to your child only under certain circumstances? Say, if she went to church? I grew up in a ward where some of the YW would get a new dress if they continued going to church. Some kids even got a new car for graduating from high school. Were those gifts or payment?

So is God's grace a gift or payment for our work? I looked into this and realized LDS doctrines of salvation are A. confusing and conflicting, and B. nonsensical.

I asked this a while back on MA&D (sorry, don't have a link) and most seemed to agree with Russell M. Nelson.

Pres Hinckley said this:

"May the Lord bless you, my dear young sisters; may His blessings attend you at all times and in all conditions."

We are asked as parents to love our children unconditionally: http://www.LDS.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?h ... 82620aRCRD

So, what is the Church's stand on this HUGE issue? This is extremely fundamental to the theology but we don't have a clear stand.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:15 am 
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PS - The Aaronic P. manual says this:

"...this is the kind of love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ give each of us. They love and accept us no matter what we do or who we are. This kind of love is called charity."

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:40 am 
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I love it.

He lists a bunch of scriptures that have absolutely NO bearing on reality...

If thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, … then I will lengthen thy days.

WTF???? Really?? God will make us live longer is we keep the commandments???

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Yeah, right, UNLESS it doesn't fit in "The Plan". God's promises are worthless.

This is a HORRIBLE talk. Now God will only love you IF you keep the commandments. What a great thing to say to someone who is already struggling.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:40 am 
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Goodness gracious! I remember participating in a thread over at MADB and it getting into this very topic. I was shocked to find myself actually arguing for the Mormon side. . . or so I thought, it appears that Russell M. Nelson can come in with his one talk and cause all certainty and all previous Mormon talks to the contrary on the subject to fly out the window. Further shocking to me was the lack of participation from the Mormons that post there. I would have thought there would be overwhelming support for the unconditionally-loving Jesus. This makes me think that they haven't a clue what to believe.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Christian, and I don't believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ, but I understand the symbolism and find it difficult to think anyone would argue that it's not demonstrating "unconditional love". Arguing agaisnt this symbolism is a pretty ignorant position, if ya ask me.

So check it out. . .

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/topic/47533-how-to-handle-those-who-oppose-us/

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:17 pm 
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Thanks for the link, Re.

The way I truly feel is that obviously, Mormon Doctrine teaches conditional divine love no matter what other prophets say. It has to because salvation relies heavily on outward ordinances that must be followed in order to receive blessings and inclusion within the group (inclusion in heaven).

Although, you could say the same thing about all Christianity, could you not? Is there not a condition set upon all Christians to live by some law somewhere, be it baptism or believing in Christ or being moral or following Christ's example? Those are conditions, are they not?

You could also say this: "God loves you but just won't let you enter." Would you agree God loves you even though you can't be with him?

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:19 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
Some kids even got a new car for graduating from high school. Were those gifts or payment?
I give weddings presents too which are not in payments--they are merely a social custom.

Furthermore, most gifts aren't completely obligation free. We are expected to at the least demonstrate our gratitude for the gift. It may not be a condition for receiving or retaining the gift, but it is a social expectation and carries consequences.

Maybe God's gifts are better termed rewards or incentives. I don't think they can properly be called payments or compensation since the value of His rewards far exceeds the value of the individual's efforts.

God loves us unconditionally, but there are some things God cannot give us because we aren't ready for it or wouldn't accept it in the spirit in which it is given. If you give most people a bottle of wine for celebration, they receive it and rejoice. If you give it to Mormons, they do not receive it in the same way (drinking alcohol is not in and of itself evil, but Mormons promise to abstain). If we are not clean from sin, we would not be happy in God's presence.

God loves us unconditionally, but there are some things which displease Him. What then does it mean that God loves us unconditionally? I don't know for sure. I know that God has our best interests in mind. Despite knowing better than us He will ultimately allow us to choose our destinies through our actions. However, God is also merciful and more forgiving than we are. We can obtain more happiness than we deserve through our own merits thanks to his mercy.

I don't think anyone in society disagrees about conditions, consequences, and even feelings. What we disagree about is what things should have consequences or conditions. If one of my children abuses others, there will be consequences. Most of you would support that depending on those consequences. I would also absolutely despise those actions. Some consequences would also be conditional upon how much contrition and change he shows for the abuse.

If one of my children is gay and I refuse to allow his partner into my home, most of you would not support that. That's a bad thing to make conditional by the wisdom here. Ultimately, isn't the dispute about what is or is not okay to have consequences about?

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:20 pm 
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A common response is that the ordinances and such are required to "access" grace.

I never really understood how faith and grace are reconciled with required ordinances, but that's just me.


Last edited by Hoops on Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:24 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
You could also say this: "God loves you but just won't let you enter." Would you agree God loves you even though you can't be with him?

If your child was an unashamed abuser (of women, children, gays, feminists, liberals, etc.) would you love him even if you refuse to let him enter your home (say after he was released from prison)?

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:26 pm 
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asbestosman wrote:
zeezrom wrote:
You could also say this: "God loves you but just won't let you enter." Would you agree God loves you even though you can't be with him?

If your child was an unashamed abuser (of women, children, gays, feminists, liberals, etc.) would you love him even if you refuse to let him enter your home (say after he was released from prison)?

exactly my question as well.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:30 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
Thanks for the link, Re.

The way I truly feel is that obviously, Mormon Doctrine teaches conditional divine love no matter what other prophets say. It has to because salvation relies heavily on outward ordinances that must be followed in order to receive blessings and inclusion within the group (inclusion in heaven).

Although, you could say the same thing about all Christianity, could you not? Is there not a condition set upon all Christians to live by some law somewhere, be it baptism or believing in Christ or being moral or following Christ's example? Those are conditions, are they not?

You could also say this: "God loves you but just won't let you enter." Would you agree God loves you even though you can't be with him?


Well, I guess I'm distinguishing between Jesus and HF. Didn't mean to confuse the situation. So, if we are talking about HF, then I would have to say that I can see how his love would be conditional. As to your last question there, He can't love me that much if he doesn't want me around Him. ;P

And again here, make no mistake, I don't believe in God in the traditional sense, so I'm just speculating.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:41 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
exactly my question as well.

My answer is yes. I would still hope that my child would eventually realize how wrong and harmful the actions are, show contrition, and completely turn his life around. If I didn't love my child, perhaps I'd be satisfied if he died slowly and painfully of cancer as a sort of retribution for his misdeeds.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:46 pm 
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asbestosman wrote:
My answer is yes. I would still hope that my child would eventually realize how wrong and harmful the actions are, show contrition, and completely turn his life around. If I didn't love my child, perhaps I'd be satisfied if he died slowly and painfully of cancer as a sort of retribution for his misdeeds.

The difference here, of course, is whether you would let your child back in the house even though he was a very moral person, but he refused to do the hokey pokey while whistling Ol' Suzanna and all the while praising you. Not to mention that he didn't pay 10% of his allowance back to you (because, I mean, it's all your money anyways, right?) and therefore didn't get the secret password.

Why does he need to do these things? Just because you said so, even though the rules make absolutely NO sense.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Scottie wrote:
The difference here, of course, is whether you would let your child back in the house even though he was a very moral person, but he refused to do the hokey pokey while whistling Ol' Suzanna and all the while praising you. Not to mention that he didn't pay 10% of his allowance back to you (because, I mean, it's all your money anyways, right?) and therefore didn't get the secret password.

Why does he need to do these things? Just because you said so, even though the rules make absolutely NO sense.


ROTFL! :)

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:53 pm 
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Hoops wrote:
A common response is that the ordinances and such are required to "access" grace.

I never really understood how faith and grace are reconciled with required ordinances, but that's just me.


It's the same principle as having to take a girl to dinner and a movie before expecting her to put out.


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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:58 pm 
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Scottie wrote:
The difference here, of course, is whether you would let your child back in the house even though he was a very moral person, but he refused to do the hokey pokey while whistling Ol' Suzanna and all the while praising you.


Of course I agree with this, Scottie. But I must also ask this: who can tell exactly what the difference is between religious hockie pokie and moral laws? Are they ever one and the same? I think I can tell but what about the gray areas?

Here is a list of examples (my opinion- don't argue with me here):

secret temple password = hokie pokie
helping a stranger who crashed on his bike = moral
paying tithing = hokie pokie
supporting cancer research = moral
supporting a church that assists foster care = moral
supporting a church that assists foster care and builds pretty buildings = moral

Seems like each person needs to figure this out on their own - hence a personal relationship with their God. Or a personal relationship with their "self". ...

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:00 pm 
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Hey, where do all the apologists go on these threads about God?

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:00 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
Scottie wrote:
The difference here, of course, is whether you would let your child back in the house even though he was a very moral person, but he refused to do the hokey pokey while whistling Ol' Suzanna and all the while praising you.


Of course I agree with this, Scottie. But I must also ask this: who can tell exactly what the difference is between religious hockie pokie and moral laws? Are they ever one and the same? I think I can tell but what about the gray areas?

Here is a list of examples (my opinion- don't argue with me here):

secret temple password = hokie pokie
helping a stranger who crashed on his bike = moral
paying tithing = hokie pokie
supporting cancer research = moral
supporting a church that assists foster care = moral
supporting a church that assists foster care and builds pretty buildings = moral

Seems like each person needs to figure this out on their own - hence a personal relationship with their God. Or a personal relationship with their "self". ...

In simple terms, treat others ethically before you treat them morally.

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Last edited by Polygamy-Porter on Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:03 pm 
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zeezrom wrote:
Of course I agree with this, Scottie. But I must also ask this: who can tell exactly what the difference is between religious hockie pokie and moral laws? Are they ever one and the same? I think I can tell but what about the gray areas?

Of course there are some universal moral truths. Don't steal, don't murder, don't beat your kids/wives (although this one isn't quite as universal as it should be).

Then there are the blatantly religiously specific rites, rituals and commandments. You listed some of them.

Then there are some in the gray areas.

Mormonism seems worse than many other religions in requiring the hokey pokey type of obedience before one is allowed in the CK. There are SO many nonsensical rules to follow. When asked why we need to follow them, the answer is usually "I know not, save my father commanded me".

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Polygamy-Porter wrote:
In simple terms, be ethical before you are moral.

And, if you're PP, be an ass-hat before you are ethical OR moral!! :)

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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Quote:
It's the same principle as having to take a girl to dinner and a movie before expecting her to put out.


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 Post subject: Re: God's unconditional love
PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:08 pm 
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Scottie wrote:
Polygamy-Porter wrote:
In simple terms, be ethical before you are moral.

And, if you're PP, be an ass-hat before you are ethical OR moral!! :)

IRL I am the nicest kindest gentle'ist-man.

Message boards are off the record :)

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Last edited by Polygamy-Porter on Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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