CommanderSouth

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  1. I have been reading over this for the past few days and very much appreciate the insights. One (among many) things that stood out to me was the comment that "It may be that natural law doesn’t require a being or Being for its existence and operation in much the same way that gravity doesn’t." This thought is interesting as it shows the law of Gravity as a behavior, and a law. It exists as a relationship between things, and makes me wonder if that is how the law of God is. Not that it is right or wrong, but just how it IS. I understand going down this road can make good arbitrary, but in a way so does accepting God as the source of good, through it being his essence. In that way we are right by squaring ourselves up to reality and how things "really" are. In that way perhaps we become more like God. We end up with all the same reasons for worship, he is good, he is our father, and he deserves said worship. The thought comes to me that perhaps it is again a way of trying to keep God separated from us. If he isn't like us, if he is the unmoved mover, he can stand alone. Making us like him challenges that idea, and make him a part of something, and not the source of everything. That still doesn't diminish his perfection, it just puts our relationship with him in a different focus. While he may have brothers, or a father, or whatever, that is all sideways. He is perfect, and we are his children, and through the lens of a family we can see our relationship with him. All of that is to also say that in either case, umoved mover, or one God of many (though they be one), we still have something unfathomable to deal with, an eternal realm, whether it is the essence of God, or where he lives, it is outside of us, and is something we can't comprehend. We think of everything as causal, but to a being with no time, that logic falls apart. So as long as we understand there is an eternal SOMETHING, we can have faith. In fairness some of this is still percolating as I type, but I think that seems like a good thought.
  2. I spoke of Catholicism as that is the other thought process I am considering. After seeing the authority question answered in the church, I have problems with the just "do whatever" nature of the protestant denominations (and I know that isn't a super fair way of wording it, but it makes my point). With that in mind the only other place I see as viable is Catholic.
  3. And ironically the thought comes to mind, that "This is life eternal, to know thee the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent" and "It is necessary for us to have an understanding of God himself in the beginning. If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time; but if we start wrong we may go wrong, and it will be a hard matter to get right." So in my mind, the question is, if God is obedient to law, then where did that law come from? I don't think that's a bad question to ask.
  4. Because the relationship with your father doesn't explain the nature of existence itself. I understand that sliding the question one level up IS a valid thought process, but while we believe we know why we're here, we know why we're here at the expense of know why HERE is here. I get that in the end that there are some questions we can't grasp, but I would think the explanation of where existence comes from would be one we should be able to at least understand.
  5. First and foremost, this is a developing thought process for me, so I am trying to hammer out what I actually think My main issue is that our thinking on God, as I now understand it, doesn't make him the unmoved mover, the necessary being, or the source of everything. I have always struggled with the seemingly nebulous definition we have for him (I say that in the sense that we say things, but if there is any pushback or push for real clarification, we acknowledge we don't really know). Glorified man, the Snow couplet, and literally our father. I understand these things, but it leads to other issues. Infinite regression is one usual issue that comes up with this line of thinking, but I just had a thought that there isn't necessarily a problem with it. Really if there are more than 3 people at the station of God (which is how I understand him), they are all eternal, all "one" and all exist apart from the existence we have, this eternal realm they exist in, THAT is the "necessary being" or the source from which we spring. This helps, and makes it a little more understandable. That being said, the euthyphro dilemma begins to come into play (Basically put, is something good because God wills it, or is it good and THEREFORE God wills it). That basic question of is God good, or is good God. Does goodness exist apart from God? If it does, then there's more going on out there than all of our existence coming from God. If good exists apart from God, what made it good, and the whole question of where do we come from shifts up a level. If, on the other hand, it's good because God wills it/God posses it/God IS it, then good becomes arbitrary, it isn't good because it's good, it's good because it's God's will, and then ANYTHING could have been good. So, if, as we seem to believe, good exists apart from God, that is, he is bound by good. Then he isn't the source of everything. He is a product of another existence. I know we can't fully understand his nature, but this logic train is causing me issues to the point that I am doubting the Church. Do we really believe the Snow couplet as presently considered? If there was a time that the father wasn't God, then he isn't the source of all, he is the product of something else bigger, and that poses a problem for me. I hope this isn't too much rambling, I'm just trying to settle this in my heart and mind (hopefully) once and for all.
  6. So I was listening to Testimony meeting this week, and it struck me (as it has often) how strange it is to hear everyone over and over again say "I know the church is true", "I know the church is true", "I know Joseph Smith was a prophet", etc. I've been a member for over 10 years now and it still strikes me as "cultish" (I don't care for the word, but it's the one that most resonantes). I grew up outside the church (as some may know, Pentecostal), and I never heard this type of repetition. Am I thinking about this practice wrong, or perhaps is it just a cultural thing that we do, and not something to get too hung up on. IDK, I just have always found it odd TBH.
  7. Something I’ve been pondering a lot lately Is the question of is all of “this” God’s plan? We talk about the plan of salvation, and describe it as God’s. But when we look at everything in light of the king Follet sermon, we realize that it really isn’t “God’s” plan at all, just what has to be done. This of course simply pushes the question one level up. Who created this “plan” and why. I have struggled with this as long as I can remember. The answer the church provides is more palatable than “God did It” but it still leaves so many questions.
  8. And in fairness I feel like the word telepathy is rough as an analog. That being said when I mentioned physical law I wondered if that was the best word, I agree spiritual is likely better, I was more going after the actual reality of there being a firm law.
  9. An interesting thought I had this week while driving home from a holiday visit. One idea that has been percolating in my mind lately is that God is real (amazing I know). With this being the case, while we don't understand all his ways, they are within the natural order of things, at least this is my feeling on the matter. That in mind, the thought came to me that while talking to my wife that the idea of spiritual communication is very similar to the idea of telepathy. Another thought that has been kicking around for me lately is that language is finite in its ability to communicate, which in turn always makes me think of Moroni lamenting his inability to articulate like the Brother of Jared. This idea manifested itself to me through the discussion of language (specifically Christ's role in it's development), which then got me thinking, the spirit speaks to our mind/heart, how is that not really just telepathy so to speak. I then went a bit further down the road with it and am now thinking that as we live righteously, we put ourselves in a position to "hear" the spirit better, and that isn't just a platitude, it's a physical truth. I say all of this because my whole life growing up as a Protestant was that God basically had no rules, he could just do anything and it was magic. The more I study, the more I think he is bound by rule just as we are. Granted this kicks the whole "who made the rules" can down the road another step, but it makes God far more approachable. Just wanted to throw this out to see what you guys thought about it.
  10. And the cynic in me pops up again, but I was reading this at lunch today. But with Nephi writing this, how would he know these things, unless I am misunderstanding as I thought he lead his people (and not as a king), until he died. With this in mind how does this passage make sense? I do understand you could just play the "prophet" card, but it did strike me as a bit off.
  11. And in fairness, if it all there to begin with, then there would be no need for a restoration. And further down that road, if the Catholic church really had fallen off the log, then something would have to be afoot, and it does seem understandable that a reformation probably wasn't enough.
  12. I apologize if I should have found a better word, but I was applying it to the situation to explain the idea that from the perspective of pretestant christendom, X Y and Z happened, but moving from protestantism to a latter day saint understanding was tha maybe A B C Y and Z happened, but not X. It is the feeling of everything you thought you knew is being changed. And there isn't always historical backing to it. I'm not trying to say all of these things are fiction, just that from an outside perspective it can feel as if history is being rewritten. I understand "plain and precious" has to mean something, but that was the feeling I was trying to articulate.
  13. It's also possible I'm just complaining, I worry about that sometimes...
  14. I know this isn't the most elegant way to approach things, but honestly so often I feel like doctrinally/historically we have retconned so many things and I struggle to find the historical precedent. Perhaps I am not looking in the right places, but normal lamentations of the Book of Abraham aside, I think alot about the temple ordinances, especially for eternal marriage, and why we don't see it anywhere overtly in the bible. Even Paul (I believe it was) said it was better NOT to marry at one point. Perhaps I lack in study, but sometimes things like this give me pause and make me struggle with how much I can trust the history and archeology I see when compared with the Book of Mormon, doctrinal changes in the bible. I don't I feel like I'm rambling by now (thanks for staying with me), just feels weird sometimes.
  15. I guess my biggest thing was when President Nelson said (my best paraphrase) that by embracing nicknames we had unwittingly acquiesced to Satan. I simply don't understand why the Lord would have let President Hinckley/Monson run such PR when we were actually letting the devil win (so to speak). To be probably more blunt than I should, I thought that was the point of having a prophet.