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  1. 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.
  2. Sometimes people feel inclined to question why God does what He does. I suggest that it may be that everything that God does can be explained by one of four reasons. They are 1. He loves us and is doing all He can to enable our learning and progression. I suspect that this is the reason that explains the majority of His actions. 2. He is bound by universal and eternal laws to which even He is subject, ie laws that relate to truth, justice, sin opposition, suffering and progression. (The need to comply with such laws is the only reason why I can think of that an atonement was needed) 3. He is bound by covenants that He has made, eg, to His wife, and possibly, to us, and possibly to other beings or Gods with whom He co-exists 4. He has personal preferences on some issues, eg, white, rather than any other colour to symbolize purity, 2, rather than any other number, being the preferred number of counselors in a presidency, 12, rather than any other number being the preferred number of apostles, and olive oil, rather than any other kind of oil, to be the oil that is used for sacred purposes. Is this too few, or too many reasons to explain all of God’s actions? What might need to be deleted or added to give a more accurate understanding of why God does what He does? I look forward to your responses because this is something I have been thinking about a bit lately and I think it would be useful to have an improved understanding of why God does what He does.
  3. Have you ever stopped and contemplated why God does what he does? Yes, and I would say that anyone who comes to the knowledge of God would ask this question. We humans like to know what thoughts, ideas, principles, etc... make us tick. It would be logical then to want to know why God does what he does. Does God have a motive for what he does? God is an intelligent being. All intelligent beings have motives for why they do what they do. What does he get out of what he does? Or does he get anything out of it? Glory upon glory, intelligence upon intelligence. As we have not come to such selfless state as God, I believe it is harder for us to understand that God doesn't care about anything in a selfish manner -- as in the natural man state of mind -- "I get mine." God receives joy and rejoicing, sorry and pain in relation to his sons and daughters as found out with Enoch witnessing the Lord in tears. What do we receive when we are able to view our children growing up in righteousness, and what do we receive when we view them desiring a different path than righteousness. If he loves us, why did he let a third of the hosts of heaven follow Satan, never to be saved? Moral agency exists now as it existed then; otherwise, God would cease to be God. My allowance toward my own children when they act against my desires does in no way dictate a lack of love. The opposite is more true, it dictates my love for them. If I were to provide my children the opportunity to receive one million dollars if they followed and honored specific predicated rules, commands, and laws, and only 4 of the six were to receive that one million dollars, have I shown a lack of love? No. Each child had the opportunity, the same opportunity, to receive one million dollars. Their decision to disobey the rules, commands, and laws predicated is more of show of their lack of love in my direction. Satan and the third of hosts of heaven are the ones who have shown a lack of love. Our Father in heaven has remained loving. If God can do anything, why didn't he just make us all like him? Just clone himself a bunch of times? I am not sure the line of thinking here. If we were just clones then we would not be "sons and daugthers" of God, we would be God the Father. Why would I want to make clones of myself when I have the ability to create children in mine own likeness? Which is more satisfying? "If God can do anything..." questions kinda implode on themselves. Growing up my best friends asked me one time, "If God can do anything, can he make a rock he can't jump over"? A clone of oneself would require multiple "spirit bodies" (intelligences) of oneself. We know we are intelligences that are eternal. This would imply, if God could make a clone of himself, then there would be existing intelligences the same as him, or one would have to come up with a decent theory as to how there would be multiple spirits of God the Father. Why give us the option to fail? Why not design a system that allows for exaltation without the chance of failure? Same reason why teachers give us the option to fail the final test. Does a teacher love his/her students less because they have the opportunity to fail an exam? No. The option to fail, as @Traveler mentioned, "We must be invested to become like G-d." Students are more likely to fail who aren't invested in doing well, or who have not been taught. We all have been taught. The reason for failure is that we ourselves were not invested. As the teacher loves his/her students though they might be able to fail a test, God loves us all also. If we did not have the chance for failure then life would be as the scriptures specify -- one body. The only way we would have no chance for failure is if we remove failure. If we remove failure then we have, by default, removed the opportunity for success. If we remove one, we ultimately remove the other -- one body.
  4. We have four limbs because we are made in the image of God, and that is how many limbs He has. The speed of light is a natural law of the universe and not part of God's creation, and possibly something to which even God is subject. As to why the plan of salvation is as it is, well that is a question I sometimes think about. I'm sure it has an answer. I suspect that two parts of that answer are first, that there are certain natural laws which any plan of any god or God is subject to, so such laws then define the parameters within which any plan must be contained. I suspect that an example of these natural laws are the laws that govern how an intelligence can grow and progress from an intelligence to a god. That is one part of the answer to why the plan of salvation is what it is. The second part of the answer is that within the broad framework of natural laws to which even God is subject, God has designed a plan based on His own personal preferences. The reason why we should ask why is because when it is asked in the right way, and for the right purposes, it can lead to a greater understanding of God and His ways. Having that greater understanding should then lead to an increase in faith and a greater willingness to do His will. I think an informed understanding is better than uninformed faith, and the more informed one's faith is, I think the more likely it is that that faith will grow and that people will then do more to live according to that faith. maintain that if enough people were engaged in an analysis of God's words and actions, a better understanding of God would emerge from that process. I think that in many instances, its possible to come to a more informed understanding of why God does what He does. We know His motives, we know His purpose, we have some knowledge of His methods, we have an (admittedly woefully incomplete and occasionally erroneous) record of His doings covering different groups of people over thousands of years, we have the teachings of modern day prophets, we are surrounded on this earth by patterns and examples, we have some idea of how the idea parent feels about and behaves towards their children, we have the light of Christ and the promise of revelation and inspiration. God wants to be known by His children and I believe that He will help His faithful and sincere children accomplish their righteous purposes. To know God is not only a righteous purpose, it is something that Joseph Smith told us is essential for our salvation. Its' a large task, but I think, doable, and perhaps even desirable. It just takes a willingness, time, organisation, and many people. A man's vision should exceed his grasp.
  5. Perhaps it might be interesting to read this account as just one of many different accounts of the many different ways God has responded, or not, to the hunger of his people. Off the top of my head, some other accounts that come to mind are: Moses and the Israelites being fed manna and the quail falling from the sky Elijah and widow and the cruse of oil Christ feeding the multitudes on several occasions The account in Helaman 11 when the wicked Nephites were about to perish as a result of the famine and the finally decided to call on Nephi to ask him to ask God to end the famine Alma asking Amulek for something to eat in Alma 8 Christ cursing the fig tree when He found that it had no fruit Noah, Lehi and Jared, all making preparations for a long sea voyage Moroni's army in Alma 60, about to perish for want of food No doubt there are many more examples than this of how God has chosen to respond to the desire of His people for food. Now I’m wondering, if we gather enough examples, and then analyse all of them, and the numerous variables involved, would we start to get close to some sort of tentative conclusion or general rule, that would have some predictive power, of how God, in a given set of circumstances, is likely to respond to the desire of His people for food? if the answer is no, we might be left with the conclusions that either a) God is totally random in His actions, or b) we can never figure out why God does what He does. I find both of these possibilities to be unsatisfactory and somewhat unlikely.
  6. Have you ever stopped and contemplated why God does what he does? Does God have a motive for what he does? What does he get out of what he does? Or does he get anything out of it? If he loves us, why did he let a third of the hosts of heaven follow Satan, never to be saved? If God can do anything, why didn't he just make us all like him? Just clone himself a bunch of times? Why give us the option to fail? Why not design a system that allows for exaltation without the chance of failure?
  7. Vort’s question, raised in his post entitled “Fighting on enemy ground” in the General Discussion forum, leads to me think of the “why” reasons that might lie behind the laws and commandments that God has given us. To me, there seems to be four sets of possible reasons, which I think, taken either individually or together, might cover all possible reasons why God has given us the laws He has. These reasons are: 1 Because the laws He has given us must be consistent with some sort of higher, eternal law, which even God is subject to. For example, there must be opposition in all things and we grow by making righteous choices in the face of that opposition, and eternal justice demands that sins be paid for. 2. Because He loves us and knows what is best for us, and wants us to be happy, and He knows from His own experience that obedience to the set of laws He has given us provides a greater likelihood of more people experiencing greater happiness than any other set of laws He could have given us. For example, (Old Testament | Genesis 2:24) 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'' 3. Because the laws He has given us reflect His personal preference, eg, Adam-ondi-Ahman will be the place where Adam comes to visit his people for the last days, rather than my back yard 4. Because God is trying to mold our eternal character to fit an outcome He would like to achieve eg, (Book of Mormon | Alma 7:9) 9 But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. and (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:9) 9 And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me. Of course, in some situations, or for some laws, there is likely to be some overlap between these four possible reasons, in that one law could be explainable by more than one reason. On the other hand, it may well be that there are some laws, or some situations, that can only be explained by one of these reasons. What do you think? Do these four possible reasons for God’s many laws adequately cover all of the reasons for all of God’s laws? Are more reasons needed? Are fewer? If so, what more reasons are needed, or which of these four are not needed? ps After thinking about it during church today, it seems that I need to add another reason that can help to explain why God does what he does. 5. To accommodate the weaknesses of man. For example, Matthew 19: 7 - 8 (New Testament | Matthew 19:7 - 8) 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
  8. My comment is a deviation from the main thread, but I've long been concerned about the kind of attitudes expressed in the above thread and I don't want to pass up on this opportunity to respond. Of course I agree with JayGlad when s/he says we should be accepting His will and conforming to His way of doing things, but we should also be asking lots of questions along the way. I think the kind of questions where we ask why God does what He does, when asked with the proper kind of motive and attitude, are some of the most important kind of questions there are, because if we come to a reliable answer to the "why" questions it moves us closer to a greater understanding of God and His church, and His personality, values, character and attributes, and there are few, perhaps no, types of knowledge that are of greater importance and value. As Joseph Smith taught: “If any man does not know God, and inquires what kind of a being He is,—if he will search diligently his own heart—if the declaration of Jesus and the apostles be true, he will realize that he has not eternal life; for there can be eternal life on no other principle. “My first object is to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and what kind of a being He is. … And this is just a personal gripe, but it often annoys me when I see Isaiah 55: 8-9 being used as a reason to suggest why we cannot, or should not seek to understand the ways of God. God wants His children to understand him. It is true that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. That's WHY we need to find out His ways and thoughts - so that we can lift our own so that they more resemble His. Far more are the verses and teachings in the scriptures that tell us that God is wanting and willing and waiting to pour out the blessings of knowledge on the heads of all those who diligently and faithfully seek it than those verses which seek to dissuade us from doing so. Not only are God and His ways knowable, they must become known, by all of us, in this life, and in the next, because (New Testament | John 17:3) this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. And right now is the best time to start learning them, because (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 130:18 - 19) Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. In this endeavour, we can rely on, and be guided by, the fact that He is willing, nay even bound, to help us know when we do our part and are motivated by faith and righteous desires.
  9. If all one does is focus on "doing what God does" one might miss the underlying reason for why God does what He does. I think the issue is to better understand the reasons behind why God's glory is related to bringing to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man. If God's glory was just dependent on what He does then He could be alone, by Himself and do many great things but obviously what we learn from things like the gospel of charity and the greatest commandments being love God and love thy neighbor as self is that joy is bigger than self. How is that? Why is that? If joy is limited to one's own achievements alone, it is limiting. If joy can be expanded to include receiving joy from someone else' achievement it become limitless. Isn't that what we learn from Christ' atonement - an act from someone else that we can enjoy the benefits of. And isn't that what we learn from the statement that God's work and glory comes from the achievements of His children? It is not so much what God does but where He finds His happiness and source of endless joy. The whole thing only works when one loves another so much that they can feel what they feel. How can one mourn with those that mourn unless one knows that someone is mourning? How can you know that? Sometimes it is not by just what is observed. It is by knowing someone so intimately that one can tell what they are feeling on the inside. What is the purpose of visiting teaching and home teaching - it is a chance to know those that we teach on an intimate level more than what would happen just with the short time in church meetings so that we can "feel" what they feel at some small level. So we start to learn this vital trait and skill that is found in the Celestial Kingdom. This is what is meant by Charity. Can one have charity without understanding what another feels, experiencing what they experience, at least on some level? That is at the core of charity and is what is in abundance in the Celestial Kingdom.
  10. nobody said it was a mistake. as I read the thread people have said "We don't know why God allowed this, but he did. Then he ended it by revelation." God has 'reversed' himself repeatedly. Polygamy was allowed in OT times, then disallowed in the NT, then allowed through Joseph Smith, then disallowed again. The law of Moses was supplanted by the law of the Gospel Christ revealed Tithing was a commandment in the bible, then it wasn't under Joseph Smith, now it is again... The Word of Wisdom was not mandatory, now it is. Now, as for the priesthood, Prior to the Law of Moses, only the Prophets ever held it. Then under the Law of Moses, only the Levites could hold it. Then under Christ, the priesthood was extended only to those men called to leadership roles in the early church. Then the ban began agianst blacks. Now, all men in the church are commanded to be worthy of holding the priesthood. Do you see a pattern in any of this? First of all, holding the priesthood is not an inherited right for any of us. We need to stop acting like it's just as much our right to have as our agency. God is the one who decides who can act in his name. If he did command that blacks could not hold the priesthood, then he had his reasons. If he merely allowed a racist policy to continue in a young church that was found in a young racist nation in order that the young church would be preserved and allowed to move past racism at the right time, so be it. God has no need to explain himself to us if we aren't prepared to follow him in all that we do understand, much less all that he has revealed to us. Priesthood authority does not automatically bring with it a full understanding of why God does what he does. Priesthood holders have to operate on faith just like anyone else (see the story of Jonah for example). Finally, this really comes down to either of two options. A. Picking and choosing which of God's prophets we will accept; for example the ones today that state we don't know why God allowed the ban in the first place as well as the ones that state we don't know why it continued for as long as it did. Then there are the ones that supported the ban, as well as those that ended it. From your perspective, all these chosen men of God are at odds with each other. Or....they were completely right in all they did regarding the ban because they followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Remember that President McKay prayed repeatedly to end the ban only to have God tell him no. B. Accept that God is in charge, and that we cannot (nor should we) see everything as he does. He has his reasons for all his actions, and the day will come that we will see why this happened the way it did. We walk by faith, and we must use that faith when knowlege is short. This is as God intended and I think we need to be more accepting of that. As we strive to grow from faith to knowlege, there will be moments like this, but we cannot become critical of our brothers and sisters because of them.
  11. I think part of the problem with this whole theory is that we are expecting God to act a certain way. We give him rules like, “If God is good then he will prevent bad things from happening.” Or “If something bad happens and God does not prevent it then it proves that God is evil, and if God can not be evil then this proves that God does not exist.” But the problem with these rules is that they are man’s rules. How can any of us hope to understand the reasoning behind why God does what he does? Did he send us to this earth saying that he would make everything easy and wonderful for us? No. This is a learning experience and that means that sometimes bad things are going to happen. Does God cause bad or evil things to take place? I do not believe that he does, instead I think he allows bad and evil things to happen. Does this make him evil because he does not stop bad things from happening? I do not believe it does. Just because God does not fit into your rules of how you think he should behave to make him good does not mean that he is not good. This question over whether God is good or evil or if he even exists falls into the parameters of logic; I keep finding that the logic of man can not always comprehend the essence of God. What this tells me is that logic is not the way to discover the truthfulness of God as we can only know the truthfulness of God through our own experiences, and as those can only be true to us then they can not be proven through logic. When it comes down to it I know that God will not keep bad things from happening to me in my life, but I do know that when the bad things do come that God will be there for me to strengthen me and to help me grow from the experience.
  12. Questions are good. Don't apologize for having questions. Just remember to apply faith to your questions instead of skepticism. Some say that they are naturally skeptical. That may be true, but EVERYONE can choose to exercise faith. The answers will come after faith is tried -- not after skepticism gets proven wrong. Remember that Brigham Young himself wrestled with the truth of the BofM for two years before he was baptized. This is OK too. Everyone of us who has a strong testimony had to gain it the same way you have to. I think it might help to perhaps take one thing at a time. Take the BofM piece first. Then go study the D&C next. Remember to keep prayer woven into your study. And keep your mind and heart listening for the Spirit in patience. Ask God to show you the truth. He will. :) Well, visitations from heavenly beings is a pattern that has been followed by God since the beginning. It's not just a mormon notion. Not all men will have such blessings to their lives, but I think if you learn that the BofM is true, you will then be able to see that it was indeed Moroni who returned and gave the record to Joseph. Until then, you can trust that their are angels and God sends them to men/women and children when there is a need and when the person can be trusted with the experience. You hear varying stories because people are too lazy to check their facts before they speak. Don't take everything you hear to be true. The plates are with God. Joseph was only given them until translation was complete. Don't let that this little thing stop you. BTW.....there aren't mulitple versions. Go read "Truth Restored" or "A marvelous work and a wonder." I think all you need is a little education to lay this one to rest. Do you honestly think that every lesson is simply there to make us feel guilty? There is no doubt that our lessons help us recognize areas that we can improve. But they also teach history and people that came before us gain a proper understanding of doctrine....answer our prayers....and even make us laugh. I wonder, dear Soul_Searcher, if it is the voice in your head that is making you feel guilty. Maybe you know somewhere in your heart that your behavior and your knowledge are not in harmony, and being at church brings that feeling to the surface. Maybe you think everyone is looking at you and knowing that you don't match the molly mormon stereotype. My dear, let it go. No one is looking at you. No one is trying to make you or anyone else feel guilty. If people need correction, then by george, there better be a leader who has the courage to say so. But there is much more love in those lessons and by those teachers than you are giving credit for. Heck...most of the teachers are too nervous to give a guilt trip anyway. Perhaps you need to teach a few lessons and then re evaluate. What do you think? Bet you might even like it. We don't vote on what is sinful or use popular culture to define it either. God decides. Sin is sin because it is either inherently wrong (like lying) OR just because one decides to disobey (like when Jonah refuses God's command to go to the city of Nineva). Part of being committed to God is giving up our will for His. We commit to do His will in trust that His understanding is better than ours. MY kids don't have any problem with putting half eaten gogurts behind the TV. I happen to have big problems with it and it is a rule and if they do it then they get grounded. Make sense? God gives commandments for our happiness and spiritual growth. Sometimes those commands apply to everyone. Sometimes they are just for one. He isn't interested in over indulgences and vain pursuits or in flattering people to feel good so they will follow Him. He wants disciplined, refined, obedient children who are men and women of character and strength and spiritual cleanliness. If one applies themselves to the narrow path of God, it will inherently be a life of discipline AND tremendous blessings. Those who live it will taste the light and live with great privilage. Those who choose their worldly standards and selfish pursuits will enjoy their pleasures and ease.....but will not reap what the obedient will. Accepting "sin" isn't loving, even though our culture really wants to justify it that way. Let Heavenly Father and the scriptures and the words of the prophets open your heart and mind to greater understandings. I don't always get why God does what He does. But I have learned not to argue with Him and to let him govern in his wisdom. My job is to obey and repent and serve. Look....once you have a starting testimony, you will know that following the commandments isn't a waste of time. You will see the blessings in your life and others around you. You will see how using a drug or getting caught up in the world is the real waste of time. And if you worry about feeling guilty, try living in obedience and see how that feels. It is peace and calm and free because ones actions and ones beliefs aren't always at war. It's kinda like flying above the storm clouds. Guilt and shame and crap like that just isn't what God is about and it isn't how he teaches his children. God wants "Godly sorrow" and repentance and commitment to obedience. That's it. Do you really see that happens? I am gonna call you on this one. I think you may have heard a comment here or there or maybe one or two stories. I am not saying it doesn't exist. But I think you need to look a little deeper. I think you'll see a much different picture that your assumptions are leading you to believe. Go get an Ensign and look at the nationalities of all the current leadership. Then go get a list of all the area leaderships around the globe. followed by all the SP's and Bishop's. Then re-ask yourself the question. All these concerns are compelling. I can see why you might struggle. It's ok. I have struggled with the church too. You might want to try embracing the gospel fully anyway. Get everyone else and what they do or don't do out of your head. This is about you and God. Period. People will mess up. The church won't be perfect either. Expecting it to is a waste of energy. The kingdom of God won't be perfect until we get on the other side. You let God teach you and lead your life. Let the rest of the people make their mistakes. It isn't your business what mistakes people make....even if they make them right in front of you.... and your mistakes aren't their business either. Isn't that great news?? :) Then get back to the business of getting the truth into your mind and heart and then living the way God wants you to as good as you can manage that today. The world has need of willing men with hearts that know and feel....come help the good work move along....put your shoulder to the wheel. So you hate hypocrisy? Cool. I think most people do. But you know.....we are all hypocrites. I am sometimes, I am sorry to say. Aren't you? They church does its best and it course corrects when it needs to. The church and its leaders won't be perfect, but that doesn't mean that God isn't leading this church and guiding these people in their service. Joseph Smith had to learn many lessons during his time as prophet. The Lord told him to shape up some days. There isn't a prophet who led this church that wasn't in the same boat. Let it be the way it is. Be ok with it. It doesn't change the truth or the capacity for God to take a very imperfect thing and do great things with it. The choice is whether or not you'll be on board when the great things happen. I can feel that you are trying. I feel your honesty and sincerity. I think you are a really great individual. I just think your thinking is getting in the way of your potential. I think it is a healthy thing to look at your concerns out in the open. I hope you are able to look at your concerns with objectivity and with proper facts and with spiritual enlightenment. Don't let your concerns keep you from the blessings of living the gospel. Don't let the logic of the world confuse you. Don't let your past mistakes make you feel you don't belong. Best wishes.
  13. Coming into this thread late, so I apologize. This is not addressing a specific individual, but what I've gathered from the discussion in general. All too often we have the tendency to question why God does what He does and why can't He conform to our wishes. What we need to understand is that we should be asking ourselves why can't we (collectively and individually) accept His will and confirm to His way of doing things. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). As we move closer to His ways and His thoughts, we are taking upon ourselves the "divine attributes" the apostle Paul spoke about (2 Peter 1). "For if these things be with you and abound, they will make you to be neither empty nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ [and why He does things the way He does]" (2 Peter 1:8).
  14. Five sets of reasons that might explain everything that God does: PC. I think the above 5 possibilities might embrace all the possible reasons why God does what He does although I admit its not a straightforward task to link a specific event to one of these reasons. If you think more reasons are needed, or if you think any of the above reasons are not needed, I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts.
  15. Dude... grow up... and quit expecting things to be handed to you on a silver platter... Quit expecting God to crack open your skull and pour in knowledge when you have not done the work to earn it. You want to know the "mysteries of God" well the price of that is months, years, and lifetimes of fasting, prayer, scripture study and struggle. A few days or even weeks of rummaging the sewer of the internet is not only the wrong place is it not nearly enough time. Quit deluding yourself in thinking that you have done nearly enough prayer, scripture study, and fasting to understand why God does what he does.
  16. This is one of the biggest issues that I struggle with as a Christian... and SF, I know we've had this discussion before. I believe that praying helps the one who is doing the praying, whether we are praying for ourselves or someone else. I think that God is going to do what He is going to do, and a little prayer isn't going to change His mind. What irks me to no end is when people pray for help finding lost keys or something, then say that God helped them find the keys. Yes, God helps people find keys, but doesn't help a small child who was murdered by a sex offender, regardless of all the praying going on. Doesn't make sense. I do pray, but I think the purpose of it is to figure out how to make a difficult decision by talking it through with God. I also pray for people, but it's really just a way for me to keep someone in my thoughts. Yesterday I had a dr's appt. One grandmother was holding her grandchild and talking to another lady in the waiting room. She talked about how prayer had helped the baby get through a health problem she had when the doctor said that she would always have the problem. I just wanted to ask that lady, "What about my friend's 4 year old boy who died a while back from myocarditis? There were hundreds of people praying for him, and he died anyway. Why would God save your grandchild, but take this child?" Yes, there must be some reason why God does what He does, but I think it's obvious that praying isn't going to make a difference. We always hear stories about God's miracles and healing someone, but we also hear about these things from atheists or others who didn't pray to God. You can't change God's will, but He can give us strength to deal with whatever is going to happen, IMO.
  17. Very nice, Maureen. I don't understand most Christian's hesitancy to express works as showing our love and offering our sacrifice of will to God. Those works don't have to earn us salvation. But, they certainly are commandments, and being such they are required for any person who believes in Christ. It's true, if He did not reveal Himself to us, and He did not send His Spirit to help us moment to moment, if it were not for this plan of redemption, we would never be able to even KNOW what to do, much less overcome the darkness in this world enough to actually do it. But, He gives us power to become (and do) more than we can on our own (grace). What would be the grand purpose for us if He took charge of us and overpowered us to do His will? How could He reward or punish justly? Every fiber of His creations KNOWS He can do that. He KNOWS He can do that. No, there is a higher purpose, which purpose is for us. He created this world for US. He sent His Son to die for US. Not only did Jesus die for us, but He lived for us. He showed us a perfect example of how we are to keep His commandments... for US, not for Himself. How can one who claims that Jesus Christ is God's Son ignore the fact that He does these things for US? I feel too many Christians don't take time to relax, sit and ponder about the eternities and why God does what He does. It's for US. He gave us the ability to choose, so why would He not let us exercise that ability (agency)?
  18. You know....I don't know why God does what he does. Sometimes frankly, it confuses me and even angers me. Angers me because I want him to tell me why. I want him to fill in the blanks and take the pain away or remove the mountain from my path. And....sometimes he doesn't. I think all these things teach us how to trust. They stretch us as God teaches us to stand on our own and use the powerful blessings he placed inside us at our creation and the ones we developed in the pre-earth life. Sometimes we need to get angry before we can trust. We need a little rant and maybe frustration before we learn that that doesn't work either. And then we learn to trust ourselves and our God to do what is best and to do it in His time and in His exalted way.