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  1. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in 2 Nephi 2:15-16 - opposition   
    1.  I have (twice) asked what you think God intended for humankind after the fall, and your answer focuses on what He intended before the fall.  Fortunately, you finally sort of get around to answering my question 1 in your latest response to question 2.
    2.  When you say “They experience happiness in their life but
    also experience misery due to consequences which began with the Fall”—I agree with this.  And that’s what changed between Gen 3:16 and Moses 5:10-11:  experience.  That’s why Eve came to understand that the fall was not an unmitigated disaster.  
    It is interesting to me that you ask @person0 what “the curse of Adam” in Moroni 8:8 refers to, and then—without waiting for a response, and in your very next post, carry on as if you know exactly what it means.  Your question to person0 is especially interesting when you have proven in the past to be so industriously resourceful at finding obscure LDS pedagogical materials—but are somehow ignorant of the church-published youth seminary manuals that define this term as the separation between man and God that was a result of the fall.
    What I am concerned about in this particular thread, is that even though Mormonism pretty clearly describes the Fall as a mixed blessing you seem heck-bent on straw-manning the Mormon teaching as pronouncing the Fall as being either all good or all bad—and then you try to play “gotcha” by confronting us with LDS scriptures, sermons, and teaching materials that don’t line up with the caricature of us that you’ve created using hyper-technical semantic interpretations of a language (English) that is neither the original language of the most of the source documents, nor (as I believe you’ve freely acknowledged) is even your own first language.  It all comes across as deeply disingenuous.

    So, let me try to put this as clearly as I can:
    The fall of Adam had both positive and negative effects.
    Positive and necessary long-term effects included:  enabling procreation, permitting spiritual growth by introducing an element of opposition, and heightening humankind’s ability to enjoy the good by making it possible to actually experience the bad.
    Negative short-term effects included allowing humankind to experience pain, despair, and sin; wresting humankind from their innocent state, and bringing about an alienation from God that—if one does not repent and turn to Christ—can become permanent.
    Different scriptures, sermons, and church instructional materials will focus on different aspects of the fall, whether positive or negative; depending on the attitudes, priorities, and praxis that a particular speaker is trying to elicit within a particular audience at a particular moment in time; and may be influenced additionally by whatever secular/literary traditions (whether accurate or errant) that the speaker’s particular culture may have ascribed to the story of the fall.  
  2. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to pam in 2 Nephi 2:15-16 - opposition   
    Romans8 I am glad you are here.  I'm glad that you are asking questions.  As long as they remain sincere and courteous then there is no problem.  Just keep in mind that this particular forum section "LDS Gospel Discussion" is to discuss what we as LDS believe.  It's not the forum to debate our beliefs.  
  3. Like
    romans8 reacted to CV75 in The Great and Abominable Church   
    It seems to me that verses 4-9 are a characterization or description, indicating that it was set up, at least in “in spirit,” from the very beginning of Adam’s civilization, and has fought against God and His people (the saints) ever since. Verse 10 picks up an actual “historical” timeline and goes back and forth in history through the rest of the chapter (“And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations…).
    Verse 26, as part of the historical timeline, shows that this church of the devil intensified its activity against the Church of the Lamb sometime after the twelve disciples carried out the great commission. Verse 28 indicates the church of the devil had some control over the books (which I take to be literal books as well as figurative in terms of proper record or witness, which is the role of the apostles). This could only have been accomplished by force per the description in verses 4-9, by destroying the saints.
  4. Like
    romans8 reacted to CV75 in 2 Nephi 2:15-16 - opposition   
    Adam and Eve experienced a good deal of physical and mental change and development by the time they said those things in Moses 5: 10 -11, they had become far more advanced than in the days leading up to the Fall. I believe Adam and Eve’s experience in physical bodies began with very basic sensations, perceptions and understanding and grew from there, and continued after they fell.
    Subjectively speaking, sweetness and bitterness can be equally enticing, especially when we are exposed to one in excess (I’m thinking of the principle used in culinary pairings), and together they interact at the right time, place and other conditions to create a full experience. Perfumes are another example – they often contain small, imperceptible amounts of foul-smelling ingredients to enhance the overall result). So, one fruit being sweet and the other being bitter allows both fruits to be subjectively enticing.
    God commanded them to eat all but one fruit, and the serpent invited them to eat that one fruit (ignoring the others), but the actual enticement came from the interplay between the couple, these other persons and their environment. God told them they would die (whatever that might mean to beings who knew nothing but immortality), which is more of a dissuasion than an enticement, and the serpent told them they would not die but have knowledge (whatever that could mean to submissive, childlike beings), and subtly prompted their need for independence, but these came from the persons, not the fruit itself. Fruit is an object and does not act, so the enticement is in the eye of the subjective beholders who act for themselves.
  5. Like
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in 2 Nephi 2:15-16 - opposition   
    We have no record of Adam and/or Eve ever partaking of the fruit of the tree of life.  To the contrary, we are told that cherubim and a flaming sword were sent specifically to create a physical barrier to Adam and Eve’s doing so.
    The “tree of life” is a common ancient near eastern motif; and while Nephi was familiar with the Israelite creation narrative, the tree Nephi calls the “tree of life” is first and foremost a symbol of the love of God, to be eventually embodied in the form of Jesus Christ.  I wouldn’t necessarily “retcon” Nephi’s vision to try to extrapolate notions about the tree of life we read of in Genesis.
    I have some private concerns about the way Moses 5:10-11 is phrased.  In general my notion of the decision to partake is that it was the right thing, done at the wrong time and (from Eve’s standpoint, at least) for the wrong reason.  The most handy modern-life analogue I can think of is a couple who breaks the law of chastity and, on learning that the woman has become pregnant, marry and keep the child; over the years finding joy and rejoicing in their child and in parenthood generally.  The Lord turned a bad decision into something that served His purpose and, in His mercy, offered forgiveness and redemption to the sinners.  But His mercy does not mean that the sin was not sin or that, were the sinners given the chance to go back in time to repeat or avoid their sin, they would not be expected to chose a more directly-righteous course. 
  6. Like
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in The Great and Abominable Church   
    Certainly, something very like what we would call a “church” comes up very early in Nephite society; with “synagogues” and houses of worship being established in the promised land during Nephi’s own lifetime.
    But again, the question is whether whatever term got translated for “church” among a highly idiosyncratic group of Hebrews writing in the Reformed Egyptian script as of the sixth century BC, exclusively (or even primarily) meant a religious organization (as we modernists would understand the term) at the time Nephi had his dream.
  7. Like
    romans8 reacted to CV75 in The Great and Abominable Church   
    See Posted July 17 and Quahal.
    2 Nephi 28:3 ("not unto the Lord") seems to refer to contending denominations within Christendom; :12 seems to refer to secular and materialistic philosophies; and :18 to the church of the devil. Mosiah 25 refers to congregations or assemblies of believers under the same covenant Mosiah established under his priest-king authority.
  8. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from Just_A_Guy in The Great and Abominable Church   
    Did the persons mentioned in the Book of Mormon have different concepts as to what "church" represented, for
    example 2 Nephi 28:3,12,18 and Mosiah 25:19,21?
  9. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to Vort in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    You may not be able to find such revelations, but rest assured, they are there, available to all sincere seekers who covenant with God to hold sacred the teachings they receive.
  10. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    Some of these ideas come up in various LDS liturgies that we don’t specifically cite to outside of the temple but which we believe were given by revelation.
  11. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to MrShorty in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    I'm inclined to think of the fig leaves as figurative. "Covering our nakedness with fig leaves" is symbolic of our common, human tendency to try to hide, cover, ignore, deny, etc our sins and shortcomings.
  12. Like
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    The printer’s manuscript of the Book of a Mormon has it capitalized.  As you probably already know, at that time both spelling and capitalization were largely subjective.
    I would *guess* that the 1981 edition renders the term capitalized due to sheer inertia.  At least in modern LDS writing, a capitalized “God” typically refers specifically to God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Ghost; whereas a lower-case “god” is typically used when we are taking about either a human’s ability to attain exaltation or when folks are hypothesizing about other universes run by other exalted beings.  The online version seems to reflect this stylistic usage and also comports better with KJV Genesis 3:5, which the “as gods” verbiage seems to deliberately echo and which also uses the lower case.
  13. Like
    romans8 reacted to Traveler in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    I believe you are getting into some very deep stuff - and shows critical thinking.  There are some posts before this one that are very good - I will try to add some thoughts.
    Death is not a singular thing - The scriptures mention a "second" death and this makes death plural and not singular.  Anciently the term Hell meant death so in essence death is synonymous with hell.  We can assume then that when individual no longer to evolve (which is synonymous with change and repentance) they suffer a death and become bound.  The scientific definition of intelligence is the ability to learn and modify behavior.  Which is another view into being dead or no longer learning.
    Obviously we did not have "knowledge" of good or evil prior to the fall.  We gain knowledge of evil through death - both the physical death (separated from the physical) and a spiritual death (which is being separated from G-d).  We gain knowledge of Good through the resurrection - both the physical resurrection (reinstated to the physical) and a spiritual resurrection where we are brought back to G-d for what is called the final judgement.
    I would also say something about choice.  We cannot make a "True" choice unless we have knowledge of the possibilities.  If we are given a choice for what is behind door "A" or door "B" or door "C" - that is not a true choice but rather a guess.  I would also point out that a "change of mind" means that the initial choice was not a true choice and with the additional information our mind is changed.  I have attempted to explain this concept with agency - that if we do not know what we are doing or choosing - it cannot be and expression of agency.  Under such circumstance it is both merciful and just that we somehow be forgiven.    But if we choose in the full light of truth there can be no forgiveness - in LDS theology this is what happens with a "son of perdition". 
    I personally believe that because man fell without the knowledge of good and evil that it became possible that man could repent and be forgiven.  This makes sense to me and as I understand - Jesus Christ being our proctor in the fall became the means by which we could repent - be forgiven and through his resurrection - death was overcome.
    For me the LDS understanding and doctrine of a pre-existence, agency, the fall, and atonement, repentance, covenants and resurrection are the only religious understanding and doctrine that makes sense as I consider all that mortal life offers.  Without all the pieces - too much is missing and such becomes illogical to me.  This is a primary reason I have remained a covenant member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    The Traveler
  14. Like
    romans8 reacted to laronius in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    #1 Adam and Eve did not come into being when they were placed in the Garden of Eden. They lived, along with all of us, with God in the spirit world where opposition did exist. When they were placed in the Garden their environment, for a time, was pretty sterile. So I guess we could say that the environment was potentially "as dead" in that initially progress was restricted. Whether it was completely dead or just mostly dead (shoutout to Princess Bride fans) we may not know as I will talk about in my answer to question 2.
    #2 While Satan was definitely a catalyst to make things happen in the Garden that doesn't necessarily mean there was no temptation before his involvement. Moses 4:12 tells us "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof..." While Satan definitely enticed Eve to partake of the fruit it is still possible that there was some enticement taking place before that, just apparently not enough to get Eve to partake of the fruit. Perhaps though Adam and Eve were sufficiently ignorant as to not find the fruit appealing at all prior to Satan. But it's very presence in the Garden makes me think that out of curiosity if nothing else Adam and Eve had to have experienced some enticement to partake of it. But that's just a guess.
    #3 Adam and Eve's act is labeled a transgression and not a sin. A law was broken but in ignorance, meaning their childlike state did not allow them to fully understand the consequences of their choice. Once they experienced the consequences they started to gain the knowledge that would allow them to make informed decisions. Man cannot be condemned or saved in ignorance. They must know what they are choosing between and the breaking of any law further drives home that point.
    #4 I think it's a true statement either way. I'm guessing they were only trying to get back to the original with that change but that's only a guess. Generally the capital G version refers to the Godhead whereas the lower case version refers to man's potential to become like them. 
  15. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to Carborendum in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    This is surprisingly fresh coming from you. It is a very insightful question.  The answer comes from 
    Explanation: To the ancient Jews (of which Nephi was one) the word attributed to "living" human beings referred to animated things (not vegetation, for example).  And the fact that Adam and Eve were able to move around, they were living. 
    But Nephi is trying to emphasize that such life has no meaning if there isn't an ability to do something meaningful (duh).  If the only choices they can make are things that don't make a difference, they aren't really alive in the spiritual sense.  So, they simply "exist" as a rock or a tree does.
    So, the fundamental difference between Christ's teachings and mainstream Christianity is that of choice.  Christ taught that we can choose between Liberty and Eternal Life or captivity and death.  The ultimate death is to have no choices at all (Hell).
    You're asking about an inherent ability vs the realization of that ability.  I have the ability to play the piano.  But if I can't find a piano, I can't actually play.
    In the case of Adam and Eve, they could have always chosen to disobey God.  But they simply had no motivation to do so.  It was only after Satan put certain thoughts into their hearts that they discovered a motivation to do so.
    You're misleading now.  Just because something happened after does not mean it was a direct result of (causation vs correlation).
    The thing that made them "as gods" (see below) was the fact that they now had the ability to understand the nature of choice between good and evil.  But they only began to understand it after having experienced a real choice between good and evil.
    What separates us from lower life forms?  Are we any different than apes?  Why?  Think about it.
    The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that we were made "a little lower than angels" (Heb 2:9) and that He created man in His OWN IMAGE (Gen 1:27).  So, we share characteristics of divinity.  And one thing we share is our ability to choose between good and evil.
    Adam and Eve were as little children.  Do children understand good and evil?  Only on an extremely rudimentary level.  But as we grow and become exposed to the differences, we begin to understand the real nature of good/evil and ability to choose between them. 
    Whatever the forbidden fruit was (literal or figurative, doesn't matter) it represents our loss of innocence.  It represents our very real choice between what we know and understand to be good and evil.  Once Adam and Eve went through that process, they had real choices.  And they chose the good over the bad the remainder of their days.
  16. Okay
    romans8 got a reaction from Traveler in Some questions about 2 Nephi 2   
    I am reading the first part of this chapter and have some difficulty understanding its meaning.  
    Rather than break it up into separate threads, it might be easier to group the questions into 
    the same thread.
    #1 - Opposition.
    "For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born 
    in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither 
    holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound 
    in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life 
    neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor 
    Were Adam and Eve considered dead because they had neither happiness/joy nor misery before 
    the Fall?  

    #2 - The timing of their ability to act for themselves.
    "Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could 
    not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other".
    Were Adam and Eve able to act for themselves and perform anything God had tasked them with 
    and to eat from any of the permitted trees *before* Satan enticed Eve to eat from the forbidden 
    tree?  Or could they only act for themselves after being enticed by Satan?

    #3 - The timing of their ability to act for themselves is again mentioned in Alma 12:31.
    "Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments 
    as to things which were temporal, and becoming as gods, knowing good from evil, placing 
    themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and 
    pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good"
    Did they place themselves in a state to act after they ate from the forbidden fruit or were 
    they already in a God-given state to act to obey or disobey before the Fall?
    What commandments (plural) did they transgress to become as gods?

    #4 - Becoming as gods.
    Is there a difference in doctrine by translating it "as Gods" in Alma 12:31 (1981 Book 
    of Mormon which I have) versus the current "as gods" (in the online version)?
  17. Like
    romans8 reacted to CV75 in Tree of Life   
    Adam and Eve knew and partook of the tree of life first, so knowledge of just how good it is was not attained or appreciated until they partook of the tree of knowledge.
    I was saying that the fuller knowledge of just how good the tree of life was did not not come to them until after they partook of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, even by definition according to the names of the trees.
    I think they understandably felt a measure of trepidation and guilt at first, and that this escalated to a spiritually unhealthy level of fear and shame at the behest of the serpent. I take this from Genesis 3 where Adam does not answer the question of who told him he was naked (verse 11), but given that the serpent beguiled Eve, I believe he also coached them both to hide from the Lord by telling them it was shameful to be naked (which was also a lie in contrast to Genesis 2:25).
    Eventually their fear and shame after partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was replaced with the hope of the Savior and the joy of repentance through His merits.
  18. Like
    romans8 reacted to Traveler in Tree of Life   
    As I understand the symbolism is as follows:
    4 faces:  The ability to see all things in all places (directions) and that nothing can be hidden from their view and understanding.
    4 wings:  Power over all things both seen and unseen.
    hands:  The ability to accomplish and do work.
    This symbolism is consistent with most all ancient religions that connect to current religious of the world - including Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism and others.
    The Traveler
  19. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from Anddenex in long absence   
    I was away for a while dealing with family matters in lieu of what is going on in Ukraine.  Things have settled down a bit but we are still doing hospitality work with the hurting.
  20. Sad
    romans8 got a reaction from Still_Small_Voice in long absence   
    All the dispersed Ukrainians we met had a profound sadness in their eyes. They left homeland
    and husbands/fathers. While we provide food, shelter, and comfort to them, they still yearn to
    return to the only home they ever had and to hopefully be reunited with their loved ones. As
    Ukraine survived and recovered after the second World War, let's hope the recovery happens
    again.  It will take time, prayer, and God's provision.
    I especially note the strength and resiliency of their children with all they have gone through.  It
    is almost like they are battle hardened with everything that has happened throughout their history.
  21. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from askandanswer in long absence   
    I was away for a while dealing with family matters in lieu of what is going on in Ukraine.  Things have settled down a bit but we are still doing hospitality work with the hurting.
  22. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from NeuroTypical in long absence   
    All the dispersed Ukrainians we met had a profound sadness in their eyes. They left homeland
    and husbands/fathers. While we provide food, shelter, and comfort to them, they still yearn to
    return to the only home they ever had and to hopefully be reunited with their loved ones. As
    Ukraine survived and recovered after the second World War, let's hope the recovery happens
    again.  It will take time, prayer, and God's provision.
    I especially note the strength and resiliency of their children with all they have gone through.  It
    is almost like they are battle hardened with everything that has happened throughout their history.
  23. Thanks
    romans8 reacted to Just_A_Guy in long absence   
    Welcome back!  We disagree a lot, but I sincerely hope you are well.  
  24. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from JohnsonJones in Liahona article on infertility - to multiply and replenish the earth   
    Regarding this March 2021 Liahona article.
    "While waiting to have children, I learned that I could multiply and replenish the earth in other ways".
    "During my ups and downs, I have found myself often reflecting on the commandment given to Adam and Eve. 
    We believe that this commandment remains in full force today and that we are expected to follow it. 
    However, my husband and I haven't yet been able to. But neither could Adam and Eve, at first. So what 
    did they do? The only thing they knew how-they took care of the garden. While I don't live in the Garden 
    of Eden, I do live in the garden of the earth, the garden of the Netherlands, the garden of my family, 
    and the garden of my ward. These are my gardens that the Lord has asked me to multiply and replenish".
    When God gave the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, did he only have procreation in mind or were
    Adam and Eve being fruitful and multiplying by taking care of the plants and trees in the Garden of Eden?  
    Can this commandment be applied to married couples or single people who do not or cannot have children
    or who remain single?
  25. Like
    romans8 got a reaction from JohnsonJones in First covenant?   
    From reading Galatians chapter 4, I would say law (applied to the Israelites) versus grace (applied to first
    the Israelites and then to all peoples).
    "For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But as then
    he that was born after the flesh [Ishmael] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit [Isaac], even so it is
    now ... So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.".
    I am of not from any of the literal tribes of Israel but I would consider myself a child of the free.