Karma or God's will, faith inspires service to those in need

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  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 23, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    So if there is a terrible forest fire that results in death, suffering and loss to millions of deer, bear and other beautiful innocent lives; then it is god's doing? Man is too egotistical to think logical. Get over yourselves! It is not the hand of a personal god. It is nature, nothing more or less than physics at work.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 22, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    I can’t speak for all or even most believers. I can say that many of my non-LDS religious friends here in the south are repulsed by those sorts of statements. It makes them and all believers look bad.

    On the other hand, I think we (believers as a group) can all be prone to that sort of reaction (not as strident as the one you are referring to, but still somewhat subject to it). We worry about the morals of the world and see places like New Orleans as a bit of ground zero and wonder. But we forget that wonderful and wounded people live in the devastated area and when the calls come out for help we react (not just the LDS). As we help, we are reminded that these are mostly good folks. Service is a great salve for us when we are judgment prone. It helps us strip away preconceptions and see the reality.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 22, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    @Twin Lights – “I think a fair reading of Christ's words (and actions) lead to the inevitable conclusion that how we help others is key to God's plan…”

    We should all hope this is the direction (arousing compassion) everyone will be led whether a believer or not; and I’m sure most kind, healthy minded believers are.

    Here’s what I’m curious about though – do most believers experience the same sort of revulsion nonbelievers do when some pious person (typically from a more “Southern” congregation) goes on TV spouting anachronistic nonsense about how this hurricane or that earthquake is God’s wrath over homosexuality or some other supposed wickedness?

    It is mind boggling and you can’t believe you’re hearing this stuff from someone in a suit & tie instead of a scruffy lunatic standing on a street corner.

    And for anyone who entertains even the slightest “well… maybe” thoughts on this, if this is about God’s outrage then why (as one example) would Hurricane Katrina wipe out large parts of New Orleans but leave the French Quarter intact?

    Sorry, but that “wrathful message” was a bit too coded for my moral sensibilities…

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Feb. 22, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Tyler D,

    I personally do not view most disasters as God's will (at least not in the traditional sense). I believe we live on what latter-day saints would call a fallen or telestial world. It is a dangerous place and those dangers are something that we signed up for in the preexistence.

    As I understand LDS doctrine (and I do not claim to understand it perfectly) it does not lead to fatalism and I am not much of a fatalist. I do not ascribe most of the larger events in my life to God's will (again, not in the direct, traditional sense). Rather, I see in many events simple randomness.

    I see the hand of God in what I have been taught, the sense of and direction from the Holy Ghost, and the ability to reach out and help others or even to be helped myself.

    I think a fair reading of Christ's words (and actions) lead to the inevitable conclusion that how we help others is key to God's plan and to his expectations of us. This world provides the opportunities.

  • donn layton, UT
    Feb. 22, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    RE: Tyler D, Karma or God's will.

    Karma, the universal law of cause and effect that governs rebirth and the world of samsara. The sum of actions in life that determines the high or low place of rebirth. Similar to Mormonism.

    God’s will The word of the LORD(Jehovah) came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Sidon; prophesy against her and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD (Jehovah) says: “‘I am against you, Sidon, and among you I will display my glory. You will know that I am the LORD(Jehovah), when I inflict punishment on you and within you am proved to be holy. (Ez 28: 20-22).
    Instead of extinction, this passage points to a bloody future awaiting Sidon. This has been Sidon's lot over time. A quick snapshot of its history is as follows:* In 351BC, some 40,000 Sidonians were killed while fighting the Persians.

    * Many fierce battles were fought here during the Crusades. The city was captured three times by the Crusaders only to be retaken each time by the Moslems.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Feb. 22, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    I wonder what would happen if, en mass, people came to the conclusion that most natural disasters are simply the result of a cooling planet with an unstable outer crust, combined with the fact that most habitable places on the planet now have people living there (i.e., no one loses sleep over an earthquake in Antarctica).

    If the result of this mental shift was a massive decline in our compassionate responses, then perhaps we need to maintain the fairy tales.