Love and the divine fellowship

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  • ssev Maple Grove, MN
    Oct. 21, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    Professor Peterson writes:

    “’God is love,’ says the New Testament. [D]ivine love is a fundamental theme of Christian scripture. … Remarkably, all of us have been invited to join the heavenly fellowship, and to receive the divine fullness that accompanies it . …”

    Professor Peterson does not state how we can “join the heavenly fellowship.” The Pearl of Great Price reveals the answer, as well as Matthew 25 of the New Testament:

    “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of bone heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.” (Moses 7:18.)

    “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, … before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another ... Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father . ... For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. … Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:31-40.)

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 9:24 a.m.

    Craig Clark. “if we take church to mean a ‘formal organization’, we are likely over-reading the text to find precedent for what came significantly later.” True,

    Paul describes the church in Gal 1:1-2: … and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia.” there were many churches in Galatia ,what we call local churches today like a Baptist church, Lutheran church, Catholic church, .., a body of believers.

    The church is not a building or a denomination. The church is the body of Christ but all those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation (John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13). VS false teachers E.g…,

    Ye are Gods’: Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34’ Mormons can become gods? The passage is about human judges who would “die like men” (v. 7).

    Jesus explains like the judges in the Psalm, the judgments of the Jewish leaders were wrong. Also, it would make no sense for Jesus to identify the Pharisees, whom He called “whitewashed tombs” (Mt 23:27).

    The Bible is very clear that the only God who exists is God Himself, and He knows of no other gods (Is 43:10, 44:6-8). Ye are “gods” is in the present tense, Not even Mormons believe they are presently gods

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:30 p.m.

    sharonna,
    "When Paul joined the following, his communities of adherents in each individual city would come to be called the church. But is that what Jesus actually intended? Yes,"
    ____________________
    Let me phrase it differently. It obviously refers to a local community of followers of the effort begun by Jesus. But if we take church to mean a formal organization, we are likely over-reading the text to find precedent for what came significantly later.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:18 p.m.

    Re; CraigClark Sometimes I feel that Christianity misses the whole point of Christ’s teachings which were centered on love, mercy, and forgiveness. Some good examples:

    The Salvation Army is part of the Christian Church, and follows the mainstream of Christian belief and its articles of faith.
    The Red Cross had its origin in the Christian Faith.
    The Young Men’s Christian association (YMCA).
    FireFighters for Christ: “As a firefighter there is nothing more rewarding than a successful lifesaving attempt. EXCEPT - the experience of telling a person how his life can be saved forever through Jesus Christ (John 3:16) and seeing him receive Christ and become part of God's family (John 3:3 and 1:12)”

    @ When Paul joined the following, his communities of adherents in each individual city would come to be called the church. But is that what Jesus actually intended? Yes,
    Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.(2 Peter 3:15).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    The messianic belief of the Jews was that a messiah would deliver them from captivity and restore the throne of David. Jesus was well aware of that belief as he taught that the kingdom was already here. When no earthly kingdom arrived, the kingdom Jesus had announced would eventually assume a metaphorical meaning among followers. When Paul joined the following, his communities of adherents in each individual city would come to be called the church. But is that what Jesus actually intended?

    Paul pursued an organized social approach he may have seen as in the tradition of Jesus. If Jesus had intended a literal temporal kingdom, it was not likely a challenge to Roman rule. It is more plausibly a kingdom in which Roman rule simply did not matter. Rome might have found that a more dangerous idea than had Jesus been an outright insurrectionist.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    "Such New Testament verses offer a radically different view of God than was common in ancient Greek philosophy."
    ____________________
    I believe that a big factor in why Christianity rose from a local religious sect of the Jews to spread across the Roman Empire to become the dominant religion of Western civilization was because of an ethical void in the religions of the Greco-Roman world. That’s not meant to smear the rich religious heritage of the ancient Mediterranean world. I mean that something was missing which left a hunger for what Christ’s teachings had to offer. It came from the Jews with their own rich tradition of the God of Israel.

    Sometimes I feel that Christianity misses the whole point of Christ’s teachings which were centered on love, mercy, and forgiveness. It was about much more than being our brother’s reluctant keeper as Cain sarcastically put it after killing his brother Abel. It was about loving each other including those we deem our enemies or heathens to be treated as outsiders.

  • CMTM , 00
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    RE: mhenshaw - “The JST *is* not a complete retranslation of the Bible (with, as implied, whole chunks lifted out of the KJV); rather, it is the KJV with some a relatively small number of corrections”?

    The first 6 chapters of Genesis(JST)or The Book of Moses contains 311 verses, While the Septuagint and Masoretic texts contain 184 verses. JST adds “ 127” verses which are not supported by the Septuagint and Masoretic texts or Dead Sea Scrolls . But over 123 N.T. quotes support the existing O.T.

    &“That seer… his name shall be called Joseph and it shall be after the name of his father”. ( Genesis 50:33 JST). JS adds prophecy about himself to his Inspired Version. But NOT found in Greek Septuagint(Apostles Bible) or dead sea scrolls..

    ,” In the very beginning the bible shows there is a plurality of Gods. Beyond the power of refutation”.(Hof C v. 6 p.476)Wrong, Genesis 1:1 Greek LXX In the beginning God (*o Theos, Grk. 2316). Clearly God. *Nominative singular article. JS could not read Greek

  • loweye salt lake, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:19 a.m.

    Skeptic,

    How would holding church meetings under an overpass help? Doing something to help would. The Church and it's members do many things without being accompanied with trumpets, reporters, etc.

    And which of those things do you do?

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:17 a.m.

    >>JS who copied the poor KJV 1611 translation of "charity" for the JST

    The JST *is* not a complete retranslation of the Bible (with, as implied, whole chunks lifted out of the KJV); rather, it is the KJV with some a relatively small number of corrections. Where Joseph Smith made no corrections (the overwhelming majority of the book), the text is straight-up KJV text. So there was no "copying" in the sense you imply. I also think that many would likewise reject the assertion that the KJV itself is a "poor" translation.

    Also--despite the "agape love" explanation lifted verbatim from gotquestions.org--the term "charity" remains far more recognizable to most English-speakers than does the Greek "agape." When addressing everyday people, it's not helpful to use unfamiliar foreign terms (especially when drawing from ancient versions of them) if a more familiar modern term will suffice. Plain and simple is preferable to esoteric erudition when talking to the average person.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:10 a.m.

    There is much good to be said for those who do little more than keep their own house clean and proper. And that is the case with most church going people where like the Mormon church the membership is extremely egocentric. But that is a limited self contained love of family and associates. However, to better understand brotherly or god's love the church should reconvene its church meetings in Pioneer Park or under the bridges where the homeless huddle for warmth. Or messed up veterans beg for hand outs in the street. Love is a word easily spoken, but it can be a very messy and uncomfortable practicing and living it. But, somehow there are some wonderful people in the world like doctors without boarders and other volunteer groups who actually do it. Most others just go around mouthing it.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Oct. 20, 2017 8:27 a.m.

    >>we will love you as our brothers and sisters if you will be like us...

    That is, I think, an overgeneralization. Yes, some people of faith haven't been understanding or kind in their dealings with other who don't practice their faith; but I think most try to be tolerant and kind.

    That said, loving someone does not equate with approving of all the choices they make; neither does disagreeing with others' choices mean that you hate them. You can love others but disagree with the choices they make, the words they say, or the way they live. In fact, as any parent knows, sometimes disagreeing with someone's choices is an expression of love.

  • CMTM , 00
    Oct. 20, 2017 8:23 a.m.

    God is the essence of love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (1 Cor 13:4- NIV, NET,….)

    E.g…, the Geneva Bible 1599 ,1 Cor 13:4- Love suffereth long: it is bountiful: love envieth not: love doth not boast itself."

    Love(Agape, Greek #26) escribed in 1 Cor 13. “Agape love” is different from other types of love.

    Agape love is benevolence, and willful delight in the object of love. Unlike the English word love, agape is not used in the N.T. to refer to romantic or sexual love. Nor does it refer to close friendship or brotherly love, for which the Greek word philia is used. Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character. Vs,

    JS who copied the poor KJV 1611 translation of "charity" for the JST which uses early 17th century from which still had ties to the Latin, as well as (Moroni. 7:47) “But charity (*love) is the pure love of Christ “ ?

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 5:31 p.m.

    Dear skeptic: You wrote, . . . "we will love you as our brothers and sisters if you will be like us and believe and do the same as we do."

    Logically, the opposite of what you say is, "we will NOT love you if you will NOT be like us, etc."

    Pray tell, what official doctrine of the author's Church preaches that? To the contrary, His (and my) Church proclaims that God loves all His children despite our disobedient acts, but does not love those acts. Furthermore, the members of that Church are strongly commanded to "love the sinner, not the sin."

  • Michael_M Scottsbluff, NE
    Oct. 19, 2017 5:21 p.m.

    That God who drowned all but eight of his own children, taught us that human sacrifice was necessary for our salvation and requires us to participate in ritual cannibalism, eating his flesh and drinking his blood? Is that love? No thanks.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2017 3:07 p.m.

    If love is the essence and elan of god's presence then it should be universal and unconditional. But organized religion has imprisoned it into church societies where the gate to acceptance is: we will love you as our brothers and sisters if you will be like us and believe and do the same as we do. Because we are the only true church and keepers of the keys to heaven.