Webster

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  1. Was the garden of Eden necessary? What was its purpose? Why did God put Adam and Eve there? Interested in your point of view. Short replies best.
  2. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    I have no doubt you can make your view fit, because I can do that as well, and so can everyone else on LDS.net, nevertheless, it will be entertaining and interesting, so here you go. This one has the word 'agency' as per your request: D&C 93 29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. 30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. 31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. Here is one that uses the word 'agent' as well: D&C 58 28 For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward. Since you and I are biased, we'll have to let each reader of this forum decide for themselves whether your meaning is correct and fits the actual context of the revelation, or it you're doing a little 'wresting' of the scriptures.
  3. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    As best as I can gather from your response, you are referring to the concept of agents and agency in a general sense and then applying those principles to the gospel. It seems like you are drawing analogies based on the general (or even symbolic) concept of agency, rather than attempting to look at specifics and context. Very well. Like I've said, I understand the general principle of agency as it applies to the gospel as well. I just didn't want the actual and the symbolic to be mingled. Now that I understand where you're coming from, go ahead and continue.
  4. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    Thank you for bringing this up. I am aware of this verse and even the quote to which you refer. The following is my understanding of this verse, and is not offered as a criticism. D&C 64:29 is often used to suggest that men are agents of the Lord and should therefore seek to do His will, but the original revelation had a more limited context. Verse 26 shows that the agents referred to are actually Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert, and verse 30 goes on to mention the assignment these two men were given. Verse 29 is specifically directed to these two men who were actually appointed and ordained as agents unto the church and given specific duties to perform (See D&C 57:1,3-6 and D&C 63:42-46 respectively). This scripture demonstrates that the Lord both understood and used the concept of agents exactly as defined by the dictionary. This verse is almost always taken out of context. In fact, I can't recall ever hearing anyone mention that this revelation is directed to actual men who were called to serve specifically as agents for the Church. It's almost always used as an example that priesthood holders or Church members in general are agents of the Lord. I do agree that when priesthood holders or members of the Church act according to God's will, they are like agents and they are doing His business. It's just that sometimes in the Church we're good at picking out general principles from the scriptures, but we often lack an understanding of what the scriptures actually say. I guess I'd rather understand the original meaning of a revelation and then draw an appropriate analogy from it, instead of pulling a verse out of context just to get the general idea. I think when we do that, we become too casual with the scriptures.
  5. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    I have for over 20 years, so be careful what you say. Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to understand what you know. In all that you've said, are you referring to the concept of agents and agency in a general sense and then applying those principles to the gospel, or are you referring to the specific way in which our scriptures use those words and not going beyond what is actually said?
  6. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    I definitely agree that the general principle of agency (acting for another) is at work in the atonement. Jesus acts vicariously on our behalf and pays the price of our sins--He acts as our Agent. The baptismal covenant basically makes us His agents--we [should] act on His behalf when we take His name upon ourselves, remember Him, and [strive to] keep His commandments. The general principle of agency is found all over the gospel. I have no problem with that. I'm just pointing out that the way the scriptures use the words agent and agency is something different from the type of agency where we represent God or vice-versa. The scriptures never explicitly say that we are agents unto God, even though that principle does exist within them. The only time that men are called agents in the scriptures is when they are called, "agents unto themselves." That's a different thing and a very unique phrase. If we start to confuse the general idea of agents and agency with the specific way the scriptures explicitly use the words, we're going to cause confusion.
  7. Webster

    Free Will, Agency and Choice

    I like the concept of Agency used above (the legal ability to act for someone). I agree in principle that we do become agents for God or Satan, and we can use the idea of agency to describe that idea. But here's the problem with saying that that's what Agency means: our scriptures never actually use the words agent or agency in that way. The revelations use agents and agency in the legal sense of acting for someone, but they never say that man is an agent for God. (But they do consistently declare the principal in the agency relationship.)
  8. Webster

    Plates of Gold vs. Baby Jesus

    Without the birth of Jesus Christ, what good would 'another testament' of Him be? I vote the baby Jesus is more important than the Book of Mormon (although I'm glad we have both).
  9. Webster

    Agency and laws

    Speaking for myself, I'm trying to understand what the word agency meant as it existed at the time the Lord used it, not how we've come to define it after we mixed in philosophical 'free agency' ideas (which we've tweaked as well). The Lord said He spoke according to our language for our understanding. He chose that word for a reason, and our revelations use the word as is, without redefining it.
  10. Webster

    Agency and laws

    I've read it several times, and I'd recommend it as well. It's fairly close to some of the ideas I've held for the last 20 years, although there are some differences. For instance, he arrives at his conclusions from a completely different angle, but over-all I like his message.
  11. Webster

    Agency

    Justice, I am interested to hear your thoughts about agency, particularly on the significance of D&C 64:18.
  12. Webster

    Agency

    I have provided you with scripture in the past, but then when I don't interpret it according to your liking, you discount it. Apparently you are the only one who can tell us what the scriptures say, and when I point out holes in your theory, you simply ignore them. I'm growing tired of playing with a boy who holds all the toys and tells me how I'm allowed to play with them. I've said what I've said, and I'll let anyone who reads this post decide between what I've said and what you've said. So far it seems like you haven't won many over to your theory (although I suspect you would disagree). To wrap this up, however, I need to cover two things: 1) I could talk on Sunday after 3:30pm MDT if you're still interested. If so, send me a PM, but if the phone call would be like this post, then don't bother. 2) In your original post (where you asked, "What is agency, exactly?") you said: I later included the verse you left out: To which you replied: So, I would appreciate it if you could address that sixth verse before you forget. Since this post began with a question about agency, please tell me what significance (if any) D&C 64:18 holds for the subject of agency.
  13. Webster

    Agency

    So with Adam still on the earth, God can't introduce another couple? Or He can't make another Eden?
  14. Webster

    Agency and laws

    I don't know that anyone can take away law. I believe that eternal law is like justice. If God tried to remove either of them, He would cease to be God. In my scenario, Satan wouldn't be able to tampter with eternal law. I think he claimed he could remove accountability by preventing men from becoming agents unto themselves. I think he tried to convince others that he could suspend accountability and agency (in the legal sense you and I have been referring to) by preventing men from gaining an understanding of good and evil. Even under God's plan, those without this knowledge are unaccountable, and not agents unto themselves in the legal sense. Without accountability he could claim that we could have a mortal experience, make our own decisions, do whatever we wanted, but not be held accountable for anything we did. (I don't believe he could actually do this; he just had to be able to convince others that he could.) I see your point. In that way governments could screw up agency, but in this life only. I was referring to the idea of agency from an eternal perspective. Governments can limit choices, they can screw up consequences so evil is rewarded and good is punished, but from the eternal perspective, God will hold each person accountable for their actions, and all will be rewarded or punished with perfect justice.
  15. Webster

    Agency

    Thank you. I was hoping you'd bring up the other couple scenario. You claim that if Adam had partaken of the tree of life after taking of the tree of knowledge, that God's plan would have been frustrated. Really? To quote you, "...the only flaw to that is that there could have been another couple sent...."