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 Post subject: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:36 pm 
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Alma 42:25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.


I am uncertain if I understand this. It seems to be contradicting the New Testament (new covenant - God's eternal mercy, turning the other cheek, etc...) message of Jesus regarding forgiveness and returning instead to Old Testament (eye for an eye) values.

What gives?

Why would God cease to be God?

:question:

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:08 pm 
I have always had a problem with this as well, Mok. It seems to go against all of the other teachings regarding Christ's coming marking the ushering in of a higher law.

Glad I'm not the only one who is confused about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:47 pm 
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Hello Liz and Moksha,

Here are the two Proceeding Verses, From Alma Chapter 42:

Quote:
Alma 42:23-24:

[23] But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice.

[24] For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.




I am not sure if that helps the context that much better.

However, I do really like the Passage, From Second Nephi Chapter 10, Verse 24.
Here is the Scriptural Passage, Second Nephi Chapter 10, Verse 24:

Quote:
2 Nephi 10:24:

[24] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:18 am 
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LDS doctrine on this subject is that Jesus suffered, infinitely, in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and on our behalf so that we wouldn't have to.

Ergo, since someone paid the price, God can extend mercy without justice being robbed.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:06 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
LDS doctrine on this subject is that Jesus suffered, infinitely, in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and on our behalf so that we wouldn't have to.

Ergo, since someone paid the price, God can extend mercy without justice being robbed.


On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
LDS doctrine on this subject is that Jesus suffered, infinitely, in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and on our behalf so that we wouldn't have to.

Ergo, since someone paid the price, God can extend mercy without justice being robbed.



Thanks, For the clarification, Dr. Shades!

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:38 am 
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Quote:
On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?


It has taken me a long time to figure out that this is a personal question between each person and Jesus Christ. It would have been a lot easier had someone told me, but since they didn't or couldn't, this was one I had to struggle with wandering in strange paths for many years to come to grips with. In my view there simply can't be an all encompassing LDS doctrine for the details of this question. And I'm ok with that because I really don't need one, nor did I ever. When I have the spirit with me, what more do I really need? Well, I guess I needed an answer to the question you posed above. And yeah, a lot of time was wasted with me trying to get this answer, but now I have it. But everyone has to find that for themselves. It's one of those things that doesn't seem to be given like so much of the knowledge I've used in this life.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:22 am 
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Perhaps this is one of those "we see through a glass darkly" moments. Prophets have been known to have them, throughout the ages, and it's danged irritating when someone actually writes those moments into the canon. It's one of the reasons we should never forget that prophts are men, and are therefore fallible.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:14 pm 
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msnobody wrote:
On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?

It's predicated on how well or faithfully one obeys the commandments.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
msnobody wrote:
On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?

It's predicated on how well or faithfully one obeys the commandments.

Thanks for that clarification. Just making sure you weren't going mish on me, Shades. :wink: Speaking of which, the mishionaires came today and I missed them.

Note: I was going to correct the spelling of missionaries above, but I kind of like the new spelling. It's an inadvertant typo combo of mishies and missionaries.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
msnobody wrote:
On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?

It's predicated on how well or faithfully one obeys the commandments.


That seems like circular reasoning to me. In all fairness I haven't really allowed you to define the argument so that we can get on the same page, but do you understand where I'm coming from?

You're eligible for mercy only if you give 100% effort, but who can say they give 100% effort, and you're back to nearly the same problem you had before for not being perfect. I've harped on this a lot at MAD and can't seem to get a satisfactory answer. I'm not the only person who seemed to get the wrong impression when reading Stephen Robinson's, "Believing in Christ." I was just as confused at what the terms were when I finished the book as when I started.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:31 pm 
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Quote:
You're eligible for mercy only if you give 100% effort, but who can say they give 100% effort, and you're back to nearly the same problem you had before for not being perfect. I've harped on this a lot at MAD and can't seem to get a satisfactory answer. I'm not the only person who seemed to get the wrong impression when reading Stephen Robinson's, "Believing in Christ." I was just as confused at what the terms were when I finished the book as when I started.


I'd say that 100% effort includes numerous instances of less than 100% effort. In other words, repentance (mercy). Also, why judge according to thoughts and intents of the heart if such were not so?

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 5:16 pm 
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moksha wrote:
Quote:
Alma 42:25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.


I am uncertain if I understand this. It seems to be contradicting the New Testament (new covenant - God's eternal mercy, turning the other cheek, etc...) message of Jesus regarding forgiveness and returning instead to Old Testament (eye for an eye) values.

What gives?

Why would God cease to be God?

:question:




I understand this verse to mean that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and in Gethsemane met the demands of justice for each of our sins. Mercy can’t rob justice because Christ suffered and served the sentence of our crimes on behalf of us. He would cease to be God if the sentence had not been served by his blood and infinite atonement.

Even though Christ extends mercy to all of us, there are conditions we must meet for his sacrifice to pay our debts.
Only by repenting for our own sinful nature and forgiving all who have harmed us are we able to heal from the crimes/offenses of others.
It’s not as if those who commit heinous crimes have an easy way out.

Even after going through the hell and torment of repentance for our sins, justice would not be served to the person who was harmed by our actions.
Think of a mother who has lost her child to a senseless murder. How can this type of sinner ever meet the demands this mother would need to feel justice has been served? By Christ paying the death penalty on behalf of this murderer for example, justice has been met. If I was the mother of that sinner, I would gladly step in and pay the price for my child’s mistakes, but it would never satisfy the demands the victim needs for justice to be served.
Only a perfect God could serve justice on behalf of another.
It is only because we are all sinners and in need of a Savior our self that the justice we require is satisfied through the atonement.
Only then can our hearts be healed by the sins of others and filled with mercy and charity for our fellowman.

I recently studied Luke 15 with my children and was overcome with happiness for the good news of Christ’s gospel and His unconditional love.
Christ rejoices more for the person who was lost and returns, the same way we would feel over a lost child.
The story of the lost sheep and Prodigal son teaches us that there is no place in heaven for demanding that another serve justice by an eternity in hell or a lower kingdom of heaven for not living as faithfully to the gospel as we did. The older son in the parable was angry and bitter when his father celebrated his wild brother’s repentance and homecoming. He felt that after all his steadfastness in living by the rules, that he deserved more of a reward than his brother.

We must rejoice with Christ when any sinner comes home, just as the father did for his rebellious child.

The older brother in the Prodigal son represents many of the self righteous Pharisaical believers I’ve seen who feel entitled to a higher kingdom of glory for their religious works.
They are the types to feel mercy has robbed justice, when a repentent sinner is given the same place in heaven as the faithful saint who "endured to the end."

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:29 pm 
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Seven wrote:


The story of the lost sheep and Prodigal son teaches us that there is no place in heaven for demanding that another serve justice by an eternity in hell or a lower kingdom of heaven for not living as faithfully to the gospel as we did. The older son in the parable was angry and bitter when his father celebrated his wild brother’s repentance and homecoming. He felt that after all his steadfastness in living by the rules, that he deserved more of a reward than his brother.

We must rejoice with Christ when any sinner comes home, just as the father did for his rebellious child.

The older brother in the Prodigal son represents many of the self righteous Pharisaical believers I’ve seen who feel entitled to a higher kingdom of glory for their religious works.
They are the types to feel mercy has robbed justice, when a repentent sinner is given the same place in heaven as the faithful saint who "endured to the end."



This must be a hard part to bear for those who have been self-righteous for self-righteousness sake. Those free souls getting equal consideration, no wonder their justice demands harsh and unyielding judgements. Mercy is seen by them as something that is unearned and thus undeserved.

Thanks Seven.
:smile:

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Msnobody:
Quote:
On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine


Shades:
Quote:
It's predicated on how well or faithfully one obeys the commandments


Ajax:
Quote:
That seems like circular reasoning to me. In all fairness I haven't really allowed you to define the argument so that we can get on the same page, but do you understand where I'm coming from?

You're eligible for mercy only if you give 100% effort, but who can say they give 100% effort, and you're back to nearly the same problem you had before for not being perfect. I've harped on this a lot at MAD and can't seem to get a satisfactory answer. I'm not the only person who seemed to get the wrong impression when reading Stephen Robinson's, "Believing in Christ." I was just as confused at what the terms were when I finished the book as when I started.


As best I can tell, Ajax, I agree with what you are saying.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:12 pm 
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ajax18 wrote:


You're eligible for mercy only if you give 100% effort, but who can say they give 100% effort, and you're back to nearly the same problem you had before for not being perfect. I've harped on this a lot at MAD and can't seem to get a satisfactory answer. I'm not the only person who seemed to get the wrong impression when reading Stephen Robinson's, "Believing in Christ." I was just as confused at what the terms were when I finished the book as when I started.


I also agree with you Ajax.

As a TBM this doctrine made me feel like the atonement would only apply for others who didn't have the gospel but for Mormons we were expected to be as perfect as we could. The atonement would only cover those areas I couldn't possibly achieve perfection in. IOW, the itty bitty sins. Big sins would put me in a lower kingdom despite repenting.
The church gives very conflicting teachings on the atonement and I believe they have misinterpreted the scripture "after all we can do."


I lean much more to the Christian view of the atonement and heaven (I'm not saying LDS are not Christian)
and see works as a reflection of my conversion to Christian principles and not as a way to achieve a forever family, better kingdom or mansion, or God's love.
All of us will die as sinners and are in need of the atonement. The lost sheep who commit the darker sins will have the tougher road back.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:18 am 
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I think that perhaps on one level, the passage in question is meant to address why it is a Savior is needed at all, and why it is that God cannot simply forgive us without an intermediary.

This is a critical question for all Christians, and not just Mormons, in my opinion.

There is only one logical answer to such a question; that God simply is not able to extend such forgiveness absent his Son's sacrifice; and the Book of Mormon seems to acknowledge that fact, adding that the reason God cannot do so is because it would violate the laws of justice by which he himself is bound, and upon absolute conformity to which depends his position as God.

I find this to be an example of how profound the Book of Mormon can be when I take the time to examine it closely.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:49 am 
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consiglieri wrote:
I think that perhaps on one level, the passage in question is meant to address why it is a Savior is needed at all, and why it is that God cannot simply forgive us without an intermediary.

This is a critical question for all Christians, and not just Mormons, in my opinion.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

I agree, a "God" who can do anything could forgive with "Justice", or could he? I think not.


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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:58 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
I think that perhaps on one level, the passage in question is meant to address why it is a Savior is needed at all, and why it is that God cannot simply forgive us without an intermediary.

This is a critical question for all Christians, and not just Mormons, in my opinion.

There is only one logical answer to such a question; that God simply is not able to extend such forgiveness absent his Son's sacrifice; and the Book of Mormon seems to acknowledge that fact, adding that the reason God cannot do so is because it would violate the laws of justice by which he himself is bound, and upon absolute conformity to which depends his position as God.

I find this to be an example of how profound the Book of Mormon can be when I take the time to examine it closely.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri


Hi Consiglieri, :)
I agree with this.

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:10 pm 
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consiglieri wrote:
... that God simply is not able to extend such forgiveness absent his Son's sacrifice; and the Book of Mormon seems to acknowledge that fact, adding that the reason God cannot do so is because it would violate the laws of justice by which he himself is bound...

-Consiglieri


So the laws of justice are predicated upon a need for appeasement which must be fulfilled? I sometimes get the feeling that God was anthropomorphized from a point in time were the nobility of thought for a universal super being was not taken into account. It may simply be my affinity for good Sci-Fi talking, but it would be nice to have a God whose motivation and reasoning was loftier than our own compulsion for broken rules to be satisfied with a huge penalty - this may be okay for professional sports but celestial glory should have a different measure.

By saying this I wish not to be rude, but rather to express my wish that the Old Testament eye for an eye understanding be truly superseded by the teachings of Jesus. We know from the Beatitudes that the Kingdom of God lies open and that through following Him by loving God and loving others we can stick to His narrow path. Mercy makes that happen.

:smile:

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 Post subject: Re: Mercy cannot rob justice?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:37 pm 
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msnobody wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
LDS doctrine on this subject is that Jesus suffered, infinitely, in the Garden of Gethsemane for our sins and on our behalf so that we wouldn't have to.

Ergo, since someone paid the price, God can extend mercy without justice being robbed.


On what is God's extension of mercy predicated in LDS doctrine?


Seeking it.

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