Mormon Parenting: Inviting kids (and others) to think about 'deeper gospel'

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  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    Jan. 21, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    @Ahawk89. I'm glad you feel so strongly about your faith in Jesus Christ, I do, too. But we do differ on the details. I notice that you skipped the verse that talks about, "I will make you ruler over many things." Matt. 25:23. Was that an oversight, or does that concept make you uncomfortable? It is a concept supported by Christ's command to ' be ye therefore perfect", also the whole refiner's fire theme repeated many places (If the end result was useless people, what is the purifying refiner's fire about?).

    I'm glad God provided this earth life as an opportunity to get stronger, more patient, kind, good etc. And I'm just as glad that Christ was willing to make up the difference when even after all I can do, I'm not perfect. But even though I know I will fall short I believe God expects me to keep repenting and trying. Have a good day!

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Jan. 21, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    The comment simply asks, "For what does God need from us, His creation?" All we have has been given to us by Him. The problem lies in the word "rely". Yes, we are to worship Him and serve Him, and love Him. Those are things we are called to do, but God does not rely upon Man for anything. We are all broken pots, unreliable and weak. None are strong because all have failed through sin. God cannot rely on broken man. We already leak!!!
    It is only through Jesus and what He did, as the only unbroken man, wholly God and wholly man, without sin, that we can rely upon. That is were our faith must rest, in Jesus. He did it because we cannot. When we stand for judgement, we are seen not as the broken pots we are, but as the unbroken, perfect Jesus Christ. My faith rests in Jesus and the fact that His perfection is imputed to me, through no merit of my own. I cannot be relied upon. My works amount to nothing because whatever I put into myself through works leaks out of my broken self.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    RE: Eastern girl If it were in our immortal state . Not Biblical, Adam=(man H,120) did not come into the garden of Eden with a celestial body he had an earthly body.
    … “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.” The first man(Adam) was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.(1Cor 15 45-47 NIV).

    Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him.

    Jude 1:6 NIV And the angels who did not keep their(first estate) positions of authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to do with pre mortal being..

    God existed before time, implying he created time. (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) . God gives the spirit. Ecc 12:7.

    RE: Bill in Nebraska, question our leaders. Be like,…The Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true(Acts 17:11 NIV)

  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    Jan. 21, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    @Ahawk89 Why would a potter make a pot if he didn't intend to rely on it for the purpose he made it for? Wouldn't he want a good pot that wouldn't leak what he put into it, etc.? Rev. 22:3 (serve him) and Matt 25:23 (ruler over many things) give indications of the purposes he made us for, he wants us to do those things well. Our mortal probation is set up brilliantly to strengthen us for those purposes.

    On the other issue, of course sins are fatal and cause the 'second death'. Sorry I wasn't clear, of course the "way out" involves repentance and not continuing to commit the sin (as all the scriptures detail) so you're right. But I was right in that that repentance process was made possible by the grace of Christ offering us the repentance process (made possible only by His atonement) to change our sinful selves and cleanse ourselves from sin.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Your reference to Moroni's prayer begs the question. If the hard questions are not answered, such as "What is a prophet" then simply relying on prayer to affirm a prayer isn't faith, it is sophomoric. I am sure that you would agree that truth is truth whether you believe it or not. Just because someone believes and affirms something doesn't make it true. What if 2 people affirm and believe something is true? How about 100? How about 1,000,000? 14,400,000? If simply affirming something through prayer makes something true, anything can become true simply by stating it. According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, there are 8,000,000 JWs that are active and another 11,000,000 that attend their meetings and services. That is 19,000,000 that testify and affirm a false belief system. If simply praying and affirming doesn't make something true, there must be something more. Something outside of the individual and personal prayer. Truth is truth. What is true for one is true for all. There is no such thing as personal or arbitrary truth.
    The discussion must start at how we know what we know.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    graybeac: Yes, we are to question our leaders. We are then to ask our Heavenly Father if what our leaders say is TRUE. If our prayer is with a sincere heart with real intent then you will find that yes what our leaders say is TRUE. This is why many faithful members of the Church continue to follow the Prophet. The old questions, Where we came from, Why are we here, and Where are we going are as relevant or even more relevant that what a prophet is or what a prophet looks like. What Sharrona and many critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints miss is that all Prophets are APOSTLES of Jesus Christ first. That many of these men have seen and talked with Jesus Christ on more than one occassion. Though they never talk about it, I believe it to be true just as many of my faithful saints believe it to be true.

    I've seen the mantle fall on every President of the Church since President Ezra Taft Benson. They are all prophets of our day and their words are just as releveant as the words of Peter, James and John.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Jan. 21, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    "Bad decisions" are sins. Sin is fatal, even the BoM teaches that sin is fatal. God does not need to "rely" on His creation, Man. Would the pot say to the potter, "why have you made me this way?" No because the pot is merely a creation completely at the will of the potter. The potter does not rely on the pot.
    What is the "way out"? Repentance? I have studied the LDS faith and there is one point that is consistent throughout the standard works, correlated church manuals, and the teachings of the the modern day leaders, that repentance, in order for it to be complete and true, includes stopping of all sin and obeying the commandments. Until you have stopped sinning and no longer require repentance, then your sins are fatal.

  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    @ sharrona. God didn't "set up" Adam to disobey, but he does know all things, including people's weaknesses and provided a laboatory of sorts where people could respond to the evil that exists independent of God. As people try out choices and strengthen their character they become people who God can rely on, rather than the weak helpless people you see if parents sheild and protect their children from pain or the results of their decisions. And the beauty of this earth laboratory is Christ caring enough to provide a way out of the bad decisions each of us inevitably make. If it were in our immortal state we made these mistakes that man is prone to, we would be forever doomed-- to "live forever in" our " sins". God's wise; we would sin regardless. He just made sure it wasn't fatal.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Jan. 21, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    This article is very enlightening. The traditional Christian Gospel emphasizes Jesus and what He did for wretched Man. This article talks about "we", "our", and "us" 32 times in a few short paragraphs. Only once in the "gospel" do we hear of Jesus Christ and that only to claim he is our eldest spirit brother and "redeem its people". "Its" people? Jesus is God and not an "it". We will not "judge ourselves". For if we truthfully judge ourselves, each of us, myself included, would deserve outer darkness. The Gospel is about Jesus, not Man. Not about what we receive, but what He did.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    RE: Kvnsmnsn, Sharrona, what are the "all things" that Colossians 1:16. OK,

    These are the words of the Amen(Jesus), the faithful and the True witness, the ruler of God's creation.(Rev 3:14 NIV). The Amen(Jesus) is the Arch-itech of Creation.

    The beginning of Gods creation; The best connection is to be found in the prologue to Johns Gospel (1:1-4) where the logos(Jesus) is said to be in the beginning (arche) with God, a reference connected to creation, and v.3 states that all things were made through him. The connection with the original creation suggests the meaning originator for arche here. meaning the first cause. The Uncreated creator of all else. See Aseity.

    Gcrobmd, The big lie ,In Genesis 3 the serpent(devil) tells Adam and Eve "you will be like God."

    Mormons believe Adam,s disobedience was necessary to introduce mortality,(Doctrines of Salvation v. p.115 VS. James 1 13-14 God tempts no one.

    Did God “set up” someone (Adam) to disobey, and then die require his Son to die a horrible death to atone for that disobedience?

  • gcrobmd GADSDEN, AL
    Jan. 19, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    The restored gospel is like a giant castle with inexhaustible rooms, stairways, and secret passages. It is incredibly interesting to explore and ponder. What an opportunity to ask God for wisdom! Like, what does it mean that mercy can rob justice? What has to happen for mercy not to rob justice? The sinner is forgiven, but what about the victim of sin? A deeper understanding of the atonement brings adoration and awe that adds immensely to the doctrine of forgiveness.
    Alexander Campbell, a religious contemporary of Joseph Smith, sarcastically said that Joseph Smith answered all the great questions, like the problem of evil. Indeed, Joseph did answer the questions the great Christian thinkers failed to answer well. Knowledge of these answers makes the restored gospel come alive. A recent book (The God Who Weeps) deals with these issues masterfully.

  • garybeac Chapel Hill, NC
    Jan. 18, 2013 6:35 p.m.

    The writer's intent is good, but the questions are framed by a Mormon interpretation of creation, the godhead, and the purpose of life. Harder questions might include "What is a prophet?" "What is a prophet supposed to be like?" "Why does God depend upon men to serve and protect his flock when most of the hardships and threats to the flock come from men?" Too many of the saints are afraid of questioning authority, a thing that Joseph taught we must always do. The experiment started on such a positive and rational foundation, but somewhere in the past 100 years we've become afraid of asking such questions, afraid of intellectualism. How can we keep the average member of the Church active while maintaining a balanced dialogue with those doubters and non-believers who have the most to gain and offer from and to the restored gospel, the highly intellectual restored gospel that Joseph taught?

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    Sharrona, what are the "all things" that Colossians 1:16 says in Jesus were created? Does it literally mean everything that exists? What about Jesus? Does He exist? Did Jesus create Himself? What about His Father? Does He exist? Did Jesus create His Father?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    RE: What if we were spirit individuals before we were born? What if spirit is matter more refined, with form and recognizability?… The Natural man first then the spiritual. e.g.,

    “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam(Jesus), a life-giving spirit. “The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.” The first man(Adam) was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.(1Cor 15 45-47 NIV)'

    Jude 1:6 NIV And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with pre mortal being...

    Col 1:16, For in him all things( including angels) were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    While these questions are worthwhile, there are many competing answers out there. The answers are worth discussing in the rising light of the restoration, but they are not the meat of the gospel. The meat of the restoration is found in private moments in deep humble and heartfelt prayer coupled with fasting and service and the cleansing receipt of the comforter which testifies of Christ.

    This is life eternal, to know God and Christ. These are the deep, pure and still waters. This is the root of love and joy - to know God and Christ.

    And to begin to see others as Jacob saw Esau after he wrestled and received a new name.