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Everything posted by askandanswer

  1. In my former ward, the teacher was the one who decided what they would teach. I think he only made up his mind about what he would teach after he had read through both lessons and decided which one he liked best. I don't believe anybody else had any input into his decision. It seemed to work fine.
  2. I'm amazed that the lake is still green after all those years. There must have been a HUGE amount of icing on that cake!
  3. Did he come specifically to hear your talk?
  4. It either existed physically, in which case it was possible to partake of the fruit, or it existed symbollically, in which case it was possible to take symbollically take of its fruit. In Alma 12:26 Alma discusses the precise scenario and comes to the same conclusion. I believe that the impossibility of Adam taking the fruit after he had eaten from the other tree was not because it was symbolic but because a cherubim with a flaming sword had been placed to keep the tree. 26 And now behold, if it were possible that our first parents could have gone forth and partaken of the atree of life they would have been forever miserable, having no preparatory state; and thus the bplan of redemption would have been frustrated, and the word of God would have been void, taking none effect.
  5. I understand what would have happened if Adam had partaken of the fruit of the tree of life. That's not what I'm curious about. I'm curious as to why the tree existed. You suggest that if Adam had eaten of the fruit of that tree, it would have terminated the whole plan of salvation. I'm a bit puzzled by the idea that God, after having worked so hard to set up the Plan of Salvation and creating the setting in which it would take place, would then risk everything by placing a tree in a garden, whether literal or symbolic, that could have ruined everything if Adam had eaten from it. The idea doesn't seem to make sense to me. I think that all that God does is in furtherance of His plans and that He doesn't engage in self-sabotage or do anything to put His plans at risk. It may be, as you claim, that the tree of life, while in the garden was life, spiritual, but then again, that might also not be the case. I'm not sure what this idea is based on or where it comes from. I'm also not immediately seeing how the existence or absence of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, whether literal or symbolic, had any impact on the nature or degree of opposition that was already in existence well before this earth was created.
  6. Let me point out a few areas where your analogy/interpretation doesn’t seem to fit. In your interpretation, you suggest that the Tree of Life is “symbolic of the spiritual light that and truth that sustains eternal life.” However, in the Genesis account Adam was warned not to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. If the Tree of Life was symbolic of the spiritual light and truth that sustains eternal life then it is more likely that Adam would have been commanded or encouraged to partake of it, as we all have been, rather than commanded not to partake of it and prevented from doing so. God wants all of us to partake to the full of the spiritual light that sustains eternal life and is unlikely to place barriers in our path to stop us from doing so. A second area where your interpretation doesn’t seem to fit well, to me, is the idea that the Cherubim with a flaming sword that turned every way to keep the tree of life is actually Christ. This characterization of Christ doesn’t fit well with how Christ is often characterized in many other scriptures as the one who inviteth and enticeth all of come unto Him, as the good shephard who is out searching in the wilderness for His sheep, and who is forever doing all He can to help us return to Him. He beckons us to Him with a hand of love rather than keeps the way with a flaming sword. In most of the references to Genesis 3:24 that turn up on, almost all of them indicate that the role of the cherubims was to guard, not keep, the Tree of Life.
  7. Does anybody know what the purpose of, or reason for, the Tree of Life was or what its function was? I can't actually think of any good reasons why there was such a thing. I'm guessing that given that access to it was cut off after Adam ate from the other tree, if the Tree of Life did have a purpose, it must have fulfilled that purpose prior to access being cut off.
  8. I tend to agree with the above statement, but all of the various ways in which I have seen this idea worded leave open the possibility that it may be possible to calculate the year, but not the hour or the day.
  9. Thank you all for your thought provoking responses to my question of yesterday, which have helped to increase my understanding. Today I finished Alma 11 and started on Alma 12. In the chapter heading, which I realise is not scriptural, and is only a summary or reflection of scripture, it states that "The wicked will suffer spiritual death." So then I started to wonder how mortality and spiritual death are different from each other and wrote the following thoughts. Again, I would be thankful for people's feedback on this thought. Do mortality and spiritual death share the same characteristic of being seperated from God? Here in mortality, I cannot see or meet with God, I am seperated from Him. He can occasionally visit us, as He has occasionally chosen to do with some of His servants here and we know that He can visit the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms if He so chooses to do. It is also taught that God the Son, who is also God, and the Holy Ghost, who is also God, according to Alma 11:44, will be occasional visitors to kingdoms outside the celestial kingdom, so to that extent, occasional visits from God would seem to be a common characteristic of both mortality and post-mortal life outside the celestial kingdom. In mortality we can have a limited form of access to Him through prayer and I'm not sure if anything would or could prevent someone outside the celestial kingdom from having access to God through prayer. So it seems to me as if limited access to God is a common feature of both mortality and spiritual death.
  10. Could I get some responses/feedback to the notes I wrote to myself a few minutes ago during my morning scripture study please? Alma 11:37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their asins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that bno unclean thing can inherit the ckingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins. I have never understood this frequently referred to teaching. The way I see it, nobody is perfect when we die, therefore we all die in our sin. Our lack of perfection means that we are still prone to sin, still captured by, and enslaved by sin at the time of our death, so I think it can therefore be said that we all die in our sin. If what Amulek said was true - that Christ will not save us in our sins - and that none of us are sinless when we die, then none of us could be saved. But the reality is that some of us, even though we will not be sinless when we die, will be saved. So either I don't understand what is meant by the phrase dieing in our sins, or Amulek was not correct when he said that Christ will not save us in our sins. Of these two possibilities, its more likely that I am incorrect but I don't understand how or why. (After a few minutes of thinking about it a bit more………..) Perhaps I can follow Amulek's reasoning here. It is certain that many people, probably almost everyone, is not sinless when they die, so I think they die in their sins. It is also certain that many of these people will be saved. I'm happy to use Amulek's definition of being saved as meaning to inherit the kingdom of God. I accept the idea that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God and that our sins make us unclean. Taking into account all of the above, it would seem that when we die our sins that we die with make us unclean, and therefore we cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. The fact that many of us will inherit the kingdom of heaven, even though we die in our sins creates the possibility that there is a way whereby in between the time that we die and the time we enter our final reward we can cleanse ourselves of the sins that we die with, thereby meeting the requirements to be saved in the kingdom of heaven. We could call this repentance after death and because probably none of us are sinless when we die, probably all of us will need to repent after death. Could I get some thoughts/feedback/critiques/clarifications/corrections to these thoughts please?
  11. Happy anniversary. I like the idea of spending an anniversary in bed, but I suppose it depends on which bed, and where that bed is. Perhaps the existence of Third Hour might be somewhere on that list of unparalleled blessings God has showered on you? I've just had a closer look at your nickname here and was wondering if you've been experiencing a bit of gender confusion lately, mother of dragons? If you ever start to turn blue, rather than just feeling blue, I would suggest a return to the hospital, annivesary or not.
  12. So once the test is graded, if there are still things we don't know, even though the professor is still sitting nearby in his chair, his knowledge and wisdom can no longer benefit us, is that how it works? Its all good up until a certain time, and after that its no good in terms of helping us learn and increase in understanding?
  13. So is there repentance and forgiveness after the final judgement?
  14. It has been suggested, both in scripture and church teachings, that there is a certain point beyond which it will be difficult, or perhaps even impossible, to repent. This certain point is usually described as being at, or beyond, the day of final judgement. Alma expressed this idea like this, but this is far from being the only place, or the only way, in which it has been expressed. "therefore I say unto you the time shall come, yea, and it shall be at the last day, that he who is filthy shall remain in his filthiness." (Alma 7:21) If this idea is true, would that then place a limitation on either the power or accessibility of the atonement? It almost seems like Alma, and others who have expressed this idea are putting an end date beyond which it either cannot be accessed or will be of no effect.
  15. I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the idea that God is unfathomable. I believe that He greatly desires to be known and understood by His children, and that He is willing to assist anybody to help know Him better if they go about it in the right way. This conclusion is supported by John 17:3 combined with 1 Nephi :7 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. There are also a great many verses of scripture where God promises to give knowledge and truth to those who seek it, and I believe those scriptures to be true.
  16. I suspect that there are at least two primary sources of law. One source is what I will refer to as natural law and the other is what I will call created law. As I see it the existence of natural law is independent of any Being or being, and all Beings, including our God and every other god, are subject to those laws. This natural law has existed for all eternity and it is just a description of how the universe operates. I have no clear idea as to its origins. I believe that the requirement for justice, or the need to maintain some sort of balance, which is closely related to the concept of justice, is the basis for one of these natural laws. I believe that created law, in order to be sustainable and to endure over a long period of time- ie. from the time we were intelligences until the time we enter our final condition in the eternal realm - must be consistent with, or operate within the boundaries imposed by, natural law. If any created law is not consistent with this over-arching natural law, it will either not be established, or it will fail. I believe that the only created law that is sustainable over a long period of time is 1) law that is consistent with the natural law, and 2) law that has been created with the involvement and consent of those who will be subject to it. For God to find some free thinking, autonomous, self-aware intelligences and to then seek to impose His will upon them by creating His own law by which these intelligences would be governed, and which would enable their progression, without their consent and involvement, would be unjust, no matter how well intentioned such law was. This injustice would therefore make God’s created law inconsistent with the over-arching natural laws, meaning that it could not endure. If the above idea is true – that there is a close, causal connection between the longevity of a set of laws and the involvement of those subject to that law in its creation, then it follows that we and God, working together, are the source of the created law to which we are subject. As to origins of the longer lasting, greater natural laws to which created law must be subject, I have no clear ideas. 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.
  17. I've been seeing this in Australia as well, including hair dressing salons and other service=oriented businesses. The problem is greatly exacerbated in out-back areas where employers have relied on backpacker labour. There was a news report about a month ago about a barrista in a popular outback tourist town being paid 3 to 4 times the hourly salary of a city based barrista. In the city, a good barrista could get $30 an hour on a standard work-day, this guy in the outback was on $90 an hour. I have no idea how much they were selling his coffee for or how many cups he could make in an hour.
  18. I recommend you do a search of using the phrase "Why God does what He does." I think the responses you will find to that question might usefully inform your consideration of your question."Why God does what He does" I don't believe that God is the source of everything. I think there is some support for the idea that there are what I call "externally imposed requirements" (that others might call law) that God is subject to. I think that some of the support for this idea is that the process by which god in his mortal form became God was more likely to be determined by law rather than as a result of some sort lof random set of circumstances, and of course, any such law must have pre-dated the existence of God in His current form. Additional support for the idea that God is subject to law is the Atonement. I cannot think of any reason why a loving Father would require such suffering from His Son other than to satisfy the demands of an internally imposed requirement. Surely God is not so cruel as to impose such immense suffering on His own beloved Son unless there was a compelling reason to do so, rather than a mere whim. I do think that as far as you and I and all of God's children are concerned, He is our source of everything. By that, I mean that all the law we are subject to either comes directly from Him, or it comes from somewhere or someone else, and is administered by Him. In either case, the result is the same, no matter where the law comes from - we are bound by it. I think the question of good or not good can be a little misleading because it tends to pose the arguement in moral terms. Perhaps a more utilitarian approach might help. I think it might be more helpful to think in terms of what is required and what is not required. Perhaps it is the case that the determining factor of whether or not any particular act is considered to good is whether or not that act contributes to, or is required for, our salvation, and the extent to which it is consistent with law. The degree of goodness of any particular act might be determined by the extent to which it contribute to our salvation. If an act contributes to our salvation because it is required to meet the demands of law, regardless of whether or not that law comes from God, or is imposed from elsewhere, we could consider that act to be good. If an act does not contribute to our salvation, or is not required, or if it detracts from another person's pursuit of salvation, then we could say that that act is not good. As to who or what it is that determines whether an act is required for our salvation, as noted above, it may be that some of those requirements come from God, and some of them come through God from elsewhere or elsewhen. A possibility that I have occasionally considered about the source of law, and for which I have not found any scriptural support, is that at least one source, or some of the law to which we are subject to, might have arisen as a result of an agreement between God and the raw, undeveloped intelligences that we all once were. I can imagine the intelligences saying to God, we give our consent for you to impose Your will on us, and do with us as you wish, subject to certain parameters, and those parameters then becoming one of the bases for law.
  19. Well, to be fair, there may be some validity to her point that she is already spending a lot of time with the kids through home schooling, and that becaues of your work, you are spending less time with them than her, hence her idea that you, rather than her, needs to spend more time with the kids.
  20. It might or might not be correct to say that Christ did not suffer a legalistic style punishment for our sins, but I think it is reasonable to believe that the amount and nature of His suffering for our sins was not random, and that it was according to law. and that if there had been no sin there would be no punishment or suffering. So there is certainly some sort of relationship between sin, suffering, punishment and the atonement and that relationship is certainly defined by law. I accept that this does not necessarily mean that what Christ suffered was a legalistic style of punishment for our sins, but I think it leaves open the possibility that it was. I think that at some point, the demands of justice meant that an atonement became necessary, and this point was probably when Eve first ate the forbidden fruit. At a second point, those demands were met, probably when Chris said “It is finished” in John 19:30. I’m wondering what it was that defined, or determined, what or where that second point was. I suspect that rather than being randomly located, it was very precisely located, and that where that point was located was probably a function of the operation of eternal law. To suffer either more than was required, or less than what was required would be unjust, and that would be ironic, given that the whole purpose of the atonement was to meet the demands of justice. So I guess the original question could be re-written as what was it that defined, or determined where the end point of the atonement was and the point where it was no longer necessary for Christ’s suffering to continue, and what would we need to know to answer that question.
  21. This reply addresses diverts a little from the main topic, but in the case of the final judgement, I think the term consequence might be more appropriate than the term punishment. For those who have lived their life in such a way that they have separated themselves from God, or at least not drawn as close to Him as they could have, to continue to not be close to Him after this life and for the rest of eternity probably will not seem like a punishment to them, but it will certainly be a consequence of how they have lived.
  22. How can a finite amount of suffering, in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Cavalry, accomplish an infinite atonement? If we don’t know the answer to this question, what would we need to know in order to be able to answer it?
  23. I think that the value of any cultural identities that inhibit or restrict or makes it difficult for a person to come unto Christ needs to be questioned and their continuation could be viewed as a detriment rather than an accomplishment. Whatever other good such cultural identities might be achieving may well be overshadowed by any impediment they may create to bringing people to Christ. I can also see how some might view the fact that many are still waiting for a Messiah who has already been and gone 2,000 years ago as evidence of the failure of the law that was intended to help people prepare for, and recognise, the Messiah when He first came.
  24. Hymn 129 - Where can I turn for peace? Lyrics 1. Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace When other sources cease to make me whole? When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice, I draw myself apart, Searching my soul? 2. Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, Where, in my need to know, where can I run? Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish? Who, who can understand? He, only One. 3. He answers privately, Reaches my reaching In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend. Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching. Constant he is and kind, Love without end See also Mormon 9:27 27 O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. aDoubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and bcome unto the Lord with all your cheart, and dwork out your own salvation with fear and trembling before him.