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Lakumi

The World and its Creation

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There are a number of things I believe we ought to consider.  One is that what ever life happens would not occur without G-d somewhere behind the scenes making it happen.  So if man breeds a donkey with a horse - it is really G-d that creates the mule.  With that in mind - whatever man is able to do: G-d is behind it making it actually happen.  And whatever man is able to initiate, how much more is G-d able to do or has already done?  BTW not all mules are sterile and many individual creatures (including human) are sterile.

 

I agree, G-d is behind all creations upon this earth and all that He created.  As creator, G-d is definitely able to do more than man has already done. Thank you for the correction, I had not come across anything until now regarding mules and some of them being infertile, although I wouldn't agree with the cross comparison of humans being sterile in likeness to a mule.  

 

Another thing to consider:  Many humans with European ancestry have Neanderthal DNA markers.  Very few Asian (like no pure Asians) humans have these markers.  Why is this?  The simple answer is that some humans with European ancestry have Neanderthal ancestors.  Hmmmmmm - this is a conundrum for many religious thinkers that insist that Adam was the first man and there were no other men or men like creatures before Adam - or that Adam was uniquely created without any genetic ancestry.   Why would G-d create diversity among men with such DNA markers?  Maybe we could argue this point if the real G-d was the Norse g-d Loki or Loki like that loves to trick humans??  We know from European research that modern man and Neanderthals existed side by side - and there was inbreeding for many years and that eventually the Neanderthal died off - why or how we do not know.  But the Neanderthal died off - it would appear long before Adam.  So why do some of us have Neanderthal DNA markers and other do not?  So a question for Seminary S. -- are those with Neanderthal DNA more Eden like (superior race - or less superior race) - I personally do not like the doctrine that G-d created a superior race in Eden and the rest of humanity are genetically inferior fallen mud peoples.

 
My first question would be, "What is a pure Asian"?  Is there such a thing?  
 
I can only speak for myself, pertaining to DNA, which I personally do not think humankind with their limited knowledge can even begin to understand the concept of DNA, and what is expressed is in accordance with a limited knowledge.  Again, this is myself, and I personally do not think humankind has even begin to understand the markings of DNA, but specify what appears correct to them.  God, however, does to its fully extent for he is able to create life, such that we even have DNA.  As prominent biologist say there is no likeness to the Book of Mormon and Israelite DNA, yet we know there is to some degree.  Blood DNA test couldn't even provide the Jewish DNA that runs through my father's blood, but interestingly was able to show at some point one of my ancestors is African American.  My grandmother is of the lineage of Judah.  One generation back, but could not produce a DNA result.
 
It is interesting you mention Loki, a trickster, because Richard Dawkins and other prominent Athiest believe exactly this and have been noted to say, if God were real and they met him, they would ask, "Why did you make it so hard to know of your existence."  As to the conundrum you speak of regarding "Adam being first man" -- this doesn't appear to be a statement with any form of confusion from Joseph F. Smith and his Presidency:
 
"It is held by some that Adam was not the first man upon this earth and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declared that Adam was “the first man of all men” (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our Heavenly Father."
 
How does a scientific mind, like yourself, interpret such -- this is a sincere question by the way -- if misunderstood.  I think it interesting the Bible mentions "giants" upon the land, which I have wondered if this meant Neanderthals.  Goliath, being specified as one of the last -- and it appears God has something to do with the giants, who also sought to take away Noah's life.  It also appears these giants lived before the flood, but yet we are told that Noah's children were the only ones left after the flood, but scripture appears to give a different option by which giants were mentioned before the flood, and after.  As to the true understanding of this scripture -- I don't say -- don't know.
 

Another consideration for the pure evolutionists that believe creation can all be explained without any actual intelligence involved....

 

My main point is that G-d has left to us empirical evidence that will testify of divine truth as well as scriptural evidence - that all truth from G-d will have multiple witnesses and that to understand truth one must be willing to accept all of the divine witnesses that G-d gives.

 

 

I couldn't agree more.  

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How does a scientific mind, like yourself, interpret such -- this is a sincere question by the way -- if misunderstood.  I think it interesting the Bible mentions "giants" upon the land, which I have wondered if this meant Neanderthals.  Goliath, being specified as one of the last -- and it appears God has something to do with the giants, who also sought to take away Noah's life.  It also appears these giants lived before the flood, but yet we are told that Noah's children were the only ones left after the flood, but scripture appears to give a different option by which giants were mentioned before the flood, and after.  As to the true understanding of this scripture -- I don't say -- don't know.
 

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I can only speak for myself.  But I realize that we all begin with certain assumptions.  We are colored by our religious and scientific upbringing.  Obviously I have prejudices - I believe we all do.  Even those that are called in the priesthood to positions of presiding have their prejudices.  Sometimes our prejudices spill over into our separate positions of importance or earned respect.   For myself I try to understand what unproven assumptions others are making in order to from their conclusions.  I also often question my own assumptions using what I understand in studying as best I can and asking for divine conformation.  I do this in my work as well as well as my religion. 99% of the time it seems to me that my answers are incomplete - often confirming that I am making progress but have a long way to go.  Sometimes in discussions - as occur on this forum; I try to warn others that appear to be pursuing dead-end incomplete concepts.  I only say this because such concepts seem to prevent them from progressing towards a more complete understanding.

 

Because of our prejudices we tend to filter evidence.  This happened in the scientific community concerning the possibility that dinosaurs are warm blooded and not cold blooded.   After over 100 years of research confirming the warm blooded possibility - many still view dinosaurs as cold blooded.  But even more troubling is that the bone structures of the very large dinosaurs could not support the mass of the creatures with the force of gravity on our current earth.  No one has ever presented a plausible explanation of this paradox.  We are left with conflicting evidence and the fact that the creatures did exist - but some critical an important information is missing. 

 

I believe that same conundrum exist with our religious story of Adam and Eve in Eden.  I honestly believe that the scriptural epoch is incomplete and a great deal of critical and important information is missing.  For example when I encounter those that insist that Adam was the first man - I am convinced that they do not understand that well what man is in that context as it relates to earth empirical history.  I am not saying they are wrong - just that they are making assumptions that are not complete.  That it is possible that being fallen our understanding is corrupted and as we gather more information and revelation those holding to notions out of prejudice will only become more conflicted and confused.  Then when it appears that various prejudices overly colored conclusions we want to discard all that was previously achieved - or as some would say - throw the baby out with the bath water.

 

Religious leaders without scientific background tend toward very different conclusion than religious leaders that have studied science extensively.  Thus we will see very different conclusions from individuals like Joseph Fielding Smith and James E. Talmage.  One error I think we often make is in thinking that being right is associated with being righteous.  I think that being teachable is more important than being right - just as being kind and loving in a marriage is more important than being right.  I am convinced that Prison Chaplin has a lot of goofy ideas about things and that he does not think very much through - but I am also convinced he is a much better person than I am - so for the most part I respect and honor his ideas even though they make little sense to me.  I have a great need to stay connected and develop friendships with people like him to keep my prejudices from spilling over where they shouldn't.

Edited by Traveler

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Traveler, what filter are you using to determine what is "prejudice" (as you call it) and what is revealed truth?  It's easy to say that we all have prejudices. But if we simply label other's thinking as prejudice as an argumentative device it's less useful. To say, for example. that one's testimony as revealed by the Holy Ghost is prejudice is, from a certain perspective, valid, and from another perspective entirely invalid. So I'm wondering, what filter do you use in determining these things? I'm not disagreeing with you that we have prejudices (including inspired, righteous leaders of the church), but how do we determine what is and is not prejudice? Rather, how do you determine this?

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Skipping back to the OP....

 

 

Yes.  

 

I believe that God created the world.  However, my God is not a magician to go *poof* and pull a planet out of thin air.  Rather, my God is a carpenter, whom carves creation stroke by stroke.  He created this Earth one tiny organism at a time, working through evolution to build up to His final masterpiece (us).  

 

Just thought I would throw this out there for thought.  Perhaps we are not observing evolution as many are thinking - both from religious and scientific point of view.  Perhaps G-d uses his own DNA to create mankind and also the same DNA or derivative of such DNA to create all living.  In other words all life has evolved from a single source of divine DNA.  See Genesis 3:20.

 

 

20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

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Traveler, what filter are you using to determine what is "prejudice" (as you call it) and what is revealed truth?  It's easy to say that we all have prejudices. But if we simply label other's thinking as prejudice as an argumentative device it's less useful. To say, for example. that one's testimony as revealed by the Holy Ghost is prejudice is, from a certain perspective, valid, and from another perspective entirely invalid. So I'm wondering, what filter do you use in determining these things? I'm not disagreeing with you that we have prejudices (including inspired, righteous leaders of the church), but how do we determine what is and is not prejudice? Rather, how do you determine this?

 

Good question!!!!

 

I believe there is a prejudice filter involved when someone disregards pertinent evidence.   For example: when someone indicates that because one source says Adam was the first man - that any source that  seems to indicate otherwise must be discarded.   I can understand that the Holy Ghost testifies of truth - but I cannot understand that the Holy Ghost testifies of conflicting interpretations of truth. 

 

For myself - whenever I encounter evidence that seems to conflict with what I believe the Holy Ghost has testified to me to be true; I return to study and inquire divine assistance to resolve the conflict.  Sometimes I ask how it can be that there is such strong evidence contrary to what I was given to understand.  Often I find comfort in the feeling there are many important things that are yet to be revealed and that my personal quest for truth needs to continue before I can understand a resolution.   A good example for me is the question of Adam being the first man.  I have received conformation that Adam was the first man but that there are many things about the empirical history of our earth that remain unknown but that will be known sometime later - That I should be careful as to the conclusions I draw and the evidence I may want to exclude from understanding. 

 

Having received what I believe to be conformation from the Holy Ghost - that I ought to be willing to learn more and consider more - I will hint towards such a consideration to see what others discover and receive as conformation from their divine inquiry.   Sometimes I am left to ponder why others, claiming to be in search of truth (even through the Holy Ghost), will not  even consider some evidence that is available from other divine witnesses????

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Surely my existence is proof of evolution? LDS doctrine, which I passionately believe in, teaches me that I have evolved from an intelligence, to a spirit being, to a being with a physical body, and that if I make the right choices, that I will further evolve/progress to an eternal being and maybe even a god. Is that not a form of evolution: to change from a lower state to a higher state? 

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So you believe that in the resurrection we will all be genetic clones of the same individuals of Adam and Eve????  :huh:

I don't know how that works, it hasn't been revealed.  All I am saying is that we believe that God created one Adam and one Eve in a paradisiacal state.  We also believe that to be in a Celestial realm one would be one with God and Christ as Christ and God are one, Christ being in the express image of His Father.

 

The desire for distinguishing and unique identifying characteristics, from an external stand point is a worldly, corrupted desire.  Why, do you desire to be unique and different than everyone else?  Do you desire to have some kind of proprietary trait that God cannot say He has?  Do you expect to be an inch taller or an inch shorter than He and yet still be one with Him?  How will that work?  If you say it doesn't matter, then great it doesn't matter if we are all the same.  If you say it does matter then you are going to have to make those arguements based in carnal things.

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You asked a question; I answered the question.  Wasn't trying to convince you of anything -- so not sure what I was trying for.  I am not so sure this "significant change" is what I perceive you to be describing.  I agree the change was significant.  The body Adam and Eve had was not a body of "flesh and blood" and the change from not having blood, incorruption, to having blood, corruption, is a significant change in and of itself.  Life forever, changed to death -- that is a significant change, thus the ending comment, "You may not see that as a "significant change" but Russel M. Nelson does, " is unfounded.  I merely do not agree with what I understand you to be describing.

 

In Ether 3, the brother of Jared sees the spirit body of our Savior, which appears to be flesh and blood.  This signifies our spirit bodies were not much different in appearance as to our bodies of flesh and blood.  We know from this quote, and from the scriptures a significant change took place, as to what you describe, not so sure.  Our resurrected bodies will be glorified, flesh and bone, indeed a significant change, and yet Joseph Smith described God in such a manner,

 

“God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make Himself visible,—I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another." (emphasis added)

 

Mark E. Petersen, "He spoke of the Savior and declared him to be in the express image of his Father’s person."

 

Our Savior was born long after the creation of Adam's perfect body, yet through an Apostle we are informed that Christ was in the "express image" of his Father.    The Lord was created in the very likeness and image of his Father.  A body of corruption, which could die, in the express image of his Father's glorified immortal body.  The paradisiacal creation, is not the perfection of our resurrected bodies.  Our resurrected bodies, will be glorified, if Celestial like our Heavenly Father.  Adam and Eve's body were not glorified bodies of a resurrected state.  The atonement is to bring us, if faithful, to the likeness of our Father in heaven to all extents, Adam and Eve were not like unto the Father, but were his likeness and image, and even a corrupted body as we are informed was in the express image of the Father.

Appearance, smearance ... they are not going to be talking about the basal frontal lobe pathways through the limbic system in the scriptures.  They are not going to be talking about the higher cortical functions of the brain that allows humans to reason, to act socially, to have empathy and a sense of duty, loyalty, sorrow etc.  The capacity for those things is limited by what the physical body can do.  Many of those pathways are determined by genetic factors, a few are altered over time by behaviors.  The propensities and capacities start with genetically determined neuroanatomy and are limited by such.

 

Could Christ be Christ in anyone else' body?  I say no.  I say He had to be the Only Begotten to carry out what He did.  Why?  I am not sure about that other then I ponder the reason is that He had to have a certain physical make up to allow His spirit to carry out what He was carried out to do.

 

We say these things all the time but then when it comes to this issue it is hard to accept, I am not sure why.  We tell stories all the time of famous athletes who later give thanks to God for giving them their skill and ability, giving them the body they have to carry out such athletic accomplishments.  That seems to be acceptable.  What about the bodies ability to ignore carnal things.  To not want to turn the stone into bread even though one has been fasting 40 days.  Or when someone has a mind given them to learn a language quickly on their mission.  Should not thanks be given for such gifts and abilities.  Were they given or were they intrinsic to the spirit and would have been there no matter what body the person had?  Could a 5'3'' man play professional basketball just as well as he could have when given a 6'9'' body?  Could Einstein been who he was with someone else brain?  Is that what you want to believe? That the body provides nothing to the soul, that it is purely the spirit alone?  Then why have a body in the first place if it is purely the spirit alone?

 

To understand what in the exact same form and fashion means, take the worlds shortest man and the world's tallest man and then you have your range of what that could mean.  If they differ by 7 or 8 feet, then our image could be off by as much as 8 feet and still be created in the image of God.  Or take the worlds fatest man and the skinniest and the difference between the two is how much off we could be from the acutual structure of God and yet still be called having been made in the image of God.  It is a very vague image.

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The desire for distinguishing and unique identifying characteristics, from an external stand point is a worldly, corrupted desire. 

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Where did you get this doctrine - did you just make it up for discussion sake?

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Where did you get this doctrine - did you just make it up for discussion sake?

Why are you trying to suggest that views of the world are doctrine?

 

I was talking about views of the world.  Don't you realize the world constantly states one should distinguish their self, one should stand out in a crowd one should have a certain outward appearance that says 'look at me, I am special'.  Maybe this is a female thing.  We are constantly hit with what we should look like and are scorned if we don't have a certain outward appearance.  This is called vanity.

 

In the October 2001 general conference, President Henry B. Eyring, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and now First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke about the dangers of vanity: “God is forgotten out of vanity. A little prosperity and peace, or even a turn slightly for the better, can bring us feelings of self-sufficiency. We can feel quickly that we are in control of our lives, that the change for the better is our own doing, not that of a God who communicates to us through the still, small voice of the Spirit. Pride creates a noise within us which makes the quiet voice of the Spirit hard to hear. And soon, in our vanity, we no longer even listen for it. We can come quickly to think we don’t need it.”

The scriptures warn that vanity and pride can separate us from God’s will when we attempt to further our own will. The result is the loss of the Spirit, as is described in the Doctrine and Covenants: “But when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:37).

 

The world sees the outer man, God sees the inner, this is common knowledge, nothing I should have to set out as established doctrine.

 

In a talk during the October 2011 general conference, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “The great deceiver knows that one of his most effective tools in leading the children of God astray is to appeal to the extremes of the paradox of man. To some, he appeals to their prideful tendencies, puffing them up and encouraging them to believe in the fantasy of their own self-importance and invincibility. He tells them they have transcended the ordinary and that because of ability, birthright, or social status, they are set apart from the common measure of all that surrounds them. He leads them to conclude that they are therefore not subject to anyone else’s rules and not to be bothered by anyone else’s problems.”

 

Pride and the outward expression of ones status and the love for that appearance is vanity, it is a desire to put oneself above another by way of appearance.

 

Young Women's General President Susan Tanner (Who I have met and spoken with personally); "

The pleasures of the body can become an obsession for some; so too can the attention we give to our outward appearance. Sometimes there is a selfish excess of exercising, dieting, makeovers, and spending money on the latest fashions (see Alma 1:27).

I am troubled by the practice of extreme makeovers. Happiness comes from accepting the bodies we have been given as divine gifts and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world. The Lord wants us to be made over—but in His image, not in the image of the world, by receiving His image in our countenances (see Alma 5:14, 19)."

 

Moroni 7; " 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."

 

Ezra Taft Benson; "Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)"

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Why are you trying to suggest that views of the world are doctrine?

 

I was talking about views of the world.  Don't you realize the world constantly states one should distinguish their self, one should stand out in a crowd one should have a certain outward appearance that says 'look at me, I am special'.  Maybe this is a female thing.  We are constantly hit with what we should look like and are scorned if we don't have a certain outward appearance.  This is called vanity.

 

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???? So LDS missionaries wearing white shirts and ties - being clean shaving etc... (distinguishing them selves) is an evil expression of vanity????

 

Though I was not talking about how individuals dress but rather other distinguishing physical characteristics - such as eye color, hair color or skin pigment or such things.  Also good grooming - bathing once in a while, brushing one's teeth is all good.  I honestly believe that recognizing one's individuality and taking care of one's physical self - is all good.  I am just wondering where you got the idea that any and all distinguishing one's self, being independent or self reliant is pure evil to the core???

 

BTW - I am short - shorter than my wife but I never thought that to be an actual problem.

Edited by Traveler

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???? So LDS missionaries wearing white shirts and ties - being clean shaving etc... (distinguishing them selves) is an evil expression of vanity????

 

Though I was not talking about how individuals dress but rather other distinguishing physical characteristics - such as eye color, hair color or skin pigment or such things.  Also good grooming - bathing once in a while, brushing one's teeth is all good.  I honestly believe that recognizing one's individuality and taking care of one's physical self - is all good.  I am just wondering where you got the idea that any and all distinguishing one's self, being independent or self reliant is pure evil to the core???

 

BTW - I am short - shorter than my wife but I never thought that to be an actual problem.

You are throwing in a lot of things that I did not say.  I did not say anything about personal hygiene or taking care of one's personal stewardships including the body. 

 

Missionaries dress the same.  I am not sure how that is supportive of what you are saying.  Go to the temple and see how individual everyone looks there.

 

Individuality is not evil, it is the love of it.  The actual appearance of someone could not judge that just like I wouldn't judge someone as evil if they had money.  The love of money is evil.  The desire to outwardly distinguish oneself with a heart full of pride is evil.  This, of course, cannot be judged by looking at someone.  This is  your interpretation of what I said but I said nothing of the sort.  I gave many examples of what I was talking about and you chose to narrow it down to something I never said.  I explained that seeking one's own is not loving God first.  That is at the root of one who believes their self to be unique and therefore special compared to someone else.  Why does God say that He is not a respecter of persons?  For this very issue. He looks at the inner man, not the outer.

 

How can someone want to be one with God in every way at the same time desire to be different?  Go ahead and explain that to me.

 

There is a description of the place where people have desired to be different, the Telestial Kingdom as one star differs from another but for the Kingdoms Celestial and Terrestrial they are of one body.

 

Lets see how Nephi described people that want to be vain and individual and prideful; " 18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever."

 

Lets see what Jacob thought about vain individuality; " 13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they."

 

It comes down to believing in one's heart that one's current look, whether it is height, color of skin, color of eyes, apptitude for certain areas of study, brain power etc is "better than they".  As soon as one says in their heart, I am glad I am this way and not another way, that is pride.  Or if they say I am glad I am this way and hope to remain this way in the next life (talking about external features here) because it is better than another way, that is pride and vanity. If one falls in love with one self, yes, that is evil. Don't stretch that into not taking care of self or taking showers or looking presentable, I am talking about what is in the heart. 

 

Christ is described as no outward features that man should him desire.  He wasn't the most suave handsome man on the block, he wasn't the tallest or the shortest or the most striking while on Earth.  (Yes that is my opinion not doctrine).

 

Moroni; "“I know that you do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel. … For behold, ye do love money, … and your fine apparel, … more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted” (Morm. 8:36–37)."

 

From Edwin Hubbell Chapin, as quoted by Stephen R. Covey, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (1993), 27. "Even though costly apparel was and is a physical manifestation, it is properly placed in a spiritual context: “When money and possessions become the chief marks of distinction in society, then the pursuit of money becomes the only action worthwhile. And if this pursuit requires the sacrifice of honesty, integrity, compassion, and all other virtues, then so be it, for the love of money is indeed the root of all evil. Thus the wearing of costly apparel involves the soul as much as the body.”Our society as well as the Zoramites’ may well be guilty of using fashion as “the science of appearances, [inspiring us] with the desire to seem rather than to be.”

 

Let me also propose that if one loves their neighbor as self then there would be no problem whatsoever if one's neighbor was exactly like one self. If one sees their neighbor as self then one does not see the differences the world sees nor takes pride in the differences.  One loves their neighbor despite the differences.  The differences don't become a goal in that light. There is no love for proprietary anything when one loves their neighbor as self. 

 

 

This is the result of inequality as stated in the Book of Mormon; "12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.

 13 Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.

 14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord."

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You are throwing in a lot of things that I did not say.  I did not say anything about personal hygiene or taking care of one's personal stewardships including the body. 

 

Missionaries dress the same.  I am not sure how that is supportive of what you are saying.  Go to the temple and see how individual everyone looks there.

 

Individuality is not evil, it is the love of it.  The actual appearance of someone could not judge that just like I wouldn't judge someone as evil if they had money.  The love of money is evil.  The desire to outwardly distinguish oneself with a heart full of pride is evil.  This, of course, cannot be judged by looking at someone.  This is  your interpretation of what I said but I said nothing of the sort.  I gave many examples of what I was talking about and you chose to narrow it down to something I never said.  I explained that seeking one's own is not loving God first.  That is at the root of one who believes their self to be unique and therefore special compared to someone else.  Why does God say that He is not a respecter of persons?  For this very issue. He looks at the inner man, not the outer.

 

How can someone want to be one with God in every way at the same time desire to be different?  Go ahead and explain that to me.

 

There is a description of the place where people have desired to be different, the Telestial Kingdom as one star differs from another but for the Kingdoms Celestial and Terrestrial they are of one body.

 

Lets see how Nephi described people that want to be vain and individual and prideful; " 18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever."

 

Lets see what Jacob thought about vain individuality; " 13 And the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches; and because some of you have obtained more abundantly than that of your brethren ye are lifted up in the pride of your hearts, and wear stiff necks and high heads because of the costliness of your apparel, and persecute your brethren because ye suppose that ye are better than they."

 

It comes down to believing in one's heart that one's current look, whether it is height, color of skin, color of eyes, apptitude for certain areas of study, brain power etc is "better than they".  As soon as one says in their heart, I am glad I am this way and not another way, that is pride.  Or if they say I am glad I am this way and hope to remain this way in the next life (talking about external features here) because it is better than another way, that is pride and vanity. If one falls in love with one self, yes, that is evil. Don't stretch that into not taking care of self or taking showers or looking presentable, I am talking about what is in the heart. 

 

Christ is described as no outward features that man should him desire.  He wasn't the most suave handsome man on the block, he wasn't the tallest or the shortest or the most striking while on Earth.  (Yes that is my opinion not doctrine).

 

Moroni; "“I know that you do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel. … For behold, ye do love money, … and your fine apparel, … more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted” (Morm. 8:36–37)."

 

From Edwin Hubbell Chapin, as quoted by Stephen R. Covey, Spiritual Roots of Human Relations (1993), 27. "Even though costly apparel was and is a physical manifestation, it is properly placed in a spiritual context: “When money and possessions become the chief marks of distinction in society, then the pursuit of money becomes the only action worthwhile. And if this pursuit requires the sacrifice of honesty, integrity, compassion, and all other virtues, then so be it, for the love of money is indeed the root of all evil. Thus the wearing of costly apparel involves the soul as much as the body.”Our society as well as the Zoramites’ may well be guilty of using fashion as “the science of appearances, [inspiring us] with the desire to seem rather than to be.”

 

Let me also propose that if one loves their neighbor as self then there would be no problem whatsoever if one's neighbor was exactly like one self. If one sees their neighbor as self then one does not see the differences the world sees nor takes pride in the differences.  One loves their neighbor despite the differences.  The differences don't become a goal in that light. There is no love for proprietary anything when one loves their neighbor as self. 

 

 

This is the result of inequality as stated in the Book of Mormon; "12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.

 13 Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.

 14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord."

 

As always - it is not that I disagree with your primary premise.  It is just that I ask questions to determine how well you have thought through your answers and how well your concepts play in the broad context of understanding and possibilities.  We agree on things at the extreme ends of the spectrum - but when does divine respect for individual effort become evil vanity?  In your post you hint we should not judge others - but is not the accusation of loving money or being vein at some level a judgment of others? 

 

I have found that I tend to think that others are excessive with pride but certainly not me - therefore when I say pride is a problem I intend it to be a problem for others but find some way to make excesses or exceptions for myself.  So in essence I am asking how you tell from your experience - when your dress (even as a missionary); when do you cross over from being pleasantly well disciplined (neat and clean) and respectful of others expectations into being basically prideful?

 

But this easily goes beyond money, dress and grooming to personal interpretations and understandings.  Is the discussion a matter of pride and making one's point known and accepted by others - or is the intent to open up new ideas and possibilities.  Anyway the intent to open up new ideas and possibilities is my excuse.  :)

Edited by Traveler

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As always - it is not that I disagree with your primary premise.  It is just that I ask questions to determine how well you have thought through your answers and how well your concepts play in the broad context of understanding and possibilities.  We agree on things at the extreme ends of the spectrum - but when does divine respect for individual effort become evil vanity?  In your post you hint we should not judge others - but is not the accusation of loving money or being vein at some level a judgment of others? 

 

I have found that I tend to think that others are excessive with pride but certainly not me - therefore when I say pride is a problem I intend it to be a problem for others but find some way to make excesses or exceptions for myself.  So in essence I am asking how you tell from your experience - when your dress (even as a missionary); when do you cross over from being pleasantly well disciplined (neat and clean) and respectful of others expectations into being basically prideful?

 

But this easily goes beyond money, dress and grooming to personal interpretations and understandings.  Is the discussion a matter of pride and making one's point known and accepted by others - or is the intent to open up new ideas and possibilities.  Anyway the intent to open up new ideas and possibilities is my excuse.  :)

Thanks for your response.  I agree with leaving the discussion open ended and I hope not to detract from that.

 

In a broad sense it comes down to loving things that are carnal vs things that are spiritual, in other words things that turn to dust in the end vs things that are eternal.  Where is our heart?  That is the main test of this life.  I think Elder Bednar's talk "We believe in being Chaste" is a good summary of what we are talking about here. In that talk that was given in conference in April 2013 he explained that we are dual beings, natural man and spiritual man, carnal and spirit being.  He said; "The precise nature of the test of mortality, then, can be summarized in the following question: Will I respond to the inclinations of the natural man, or will I yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and put off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord (see Mosiah 3:19)? That is the test. Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop godlike qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh."

 

So, the real question that has to be asked, the real line that is crossed is to know what is from the body and what is from the spirit.  Maybe this is why I focus on this so much.  To me that is the difficulty of this life.  How does one know what is the "appetite, desire, propensity and impulse of the natural man"?

 

Could it be that the desire for uniqueness, standing out, popularity, fame etc are natural man desires?   Isn't that what Jesus was tempted with when he was asked to throw himself down on the rocks.

 

Speaking of that event (the temptations Jesus faced after 40 days of fasting), Elder David O. McKay, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “Nearly every temptation that comes to you and me comes in one of those forms. Classify them, and you will find that under one of those three nearly every given temptation that makes you and me spotted, ever so little maybe, comes to us as (1) a temptation of the appetite; (2) a yielding to the pride and fashion and vanity of those alienated from the things of God; or (3) a gratifying of the passion, or a desire for the riches of the world, or power among men”  Conference October 1911

 

There is a "pride and fashion and vanity of those alienated from the things of God".  Maybe this is something us sisters face more than the brothers of the church.  That vanity and fashion is to stand out, to be unique (can't wear the same dress as anyone else to the dance) and all pretty much based in appearance.  It is the reason for cosmetic surgery, expensive clothing, make up, hair etc. Cosmetics is a $170 billion dollar a year industry, so please do not tell me that the world is not interested in prideful vanity. 

Edited by Seminarysnoozer

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....

 

So, the real question that has to be asked, the real line that is crossed is to know what is from the body and what is from the spirit.  Maybe this is why I focus on this so much.  To me that is the difficulty of this life.  How does one know what is the "appetite, desire, propensity and impulse of the natural man"?

 

 

This is in my opinion, this is an over reach in logic and a misappropriation of prophetic warnings.  It appears to me, from my experience, that the input from the body is not the problem but rather the "appetite, desire, propensity and impulses" acquired by the spirit associated with such physical inputs.

 

 

Could it be that the desire for uniqueness, standing out, popularity, fame etc are natural man desires?   Isn't that what Jesus was tempted with when he was asked to throw himself down on the rocks.

 

 

I agree that there could be a factor - but I also believe that a desire for uniqueness, standing out, popularity, fame etc can have good and divine purpose as well.  I do not think you have succeeded in isolating the difference between righteous and evil ambitions. 

 

Speaking of that event (the temptations Jesus faced after 40 days of fasting)...

 

Just a note - Having returned from my mission to discover that a number of close friends I serve with in the army - some of which joined the LDS church - were killed in Vietnam.   This troubled me greatly.  With the encouragement of a Native American companion from my mission - I went into the wilderness desert of southern Utah for a 40 day fast - eating and drinking only what G-d would provide (mostly insects and grubs and interesting water).  It is mainly from this experience that I learned the difference from divine spiritual input from the subtle spiritual promptings of Satan - the understanding of the difference for me came in bits and pieces over many many years that followed - and is still a learning process of understanding things I experienced in the wilderness.

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This is in my opinion, this is an over reach in logic and a misappropriation of prophetic warnings.  It appears to me, from my experience, that the input from the body is not the problem but rather the "appetite, desire, propensity and impulses" acquired by the spirit associated with such physical inputs.

 

 

I agree that there could be a factor - but I also believe that a desire for uniqueness, standing out, popularity, fame etc can have good and divine purpose as well.  I do not think you have succeeded in isolating the difference between righteous and evil ambitions. 

 

Just a note - Having returned from my mission to discover that a number of close friends I serve with in the army - some of which joined the LDS church - were killed in Vietnam.   This troubled me greatly.  With the encouragement of a Native American companion from my mission - I went into the wilderness desert of southern Utah for a 40 day fast - eating and drinking only what G-d would provide (mostly insects and grubs and interesting water).  It is mainly from this experience that I learned the difference from divine spiritual input from the subtle spiritual promptings of Satan - the understanding of the difference for me came in bits and pieces over many many years that followed - and is still a learning process of understanding things I experienced in the wilderness.

As always, thanks for your response.

 

I happened to be in Salt Lake to visit my sister this week and went to a special meeting they had.  I don't want to talk about things I shouldn't but to paraphrase a sepcific thought that was given in one of the talks, by Elder Bednar.  He stated that while within the temple there is no distinction in appearance, wealth, education and social standing, that there are no "distinctions" within the experience that is most like the Celestial one.  I found it interesting that he said there is no distinction of education as well, the others seemed more obvious.

 

I agree with your statements.  The inputs of the body are not a problem, I agree, unless one learns to love them which is the same thing you said - the things that are acquired by the spirit from the physical. If one loves their level of education, if one loves their aptitude for science or language etc and it is from the brain they have these powers and abilities then how is that any different than one who flaunts a well endowed and sexually attractive body.  There is no difference. Like you said it is all about how it is used and whether the spirit adopts those drives.  Just like money, these blessings from the body can be used for good but if one loves it over the things of the spirit then they are taken off the pathway of humility.  If one is prideful about self as if the stewardships given temporarily are actually theirs, as if they have a right to them, to own them then that becomes unrighteousness.

 

I understand there were differences before this life but most differences that we now see are from physical characteristics.  The spiritual differences are only slight, I assume, as we all had to pass the first estate, we were all righteous before this life, some more righteous than others, some more valiant than others.  I think this is stated by God not being a respector of persons. 2 Nephi 26; " 33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

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As always, thanks for your response.

 

I happened to be in Salt Lake to visit my sister this week and went to a special meeting they had.  I don't want to talk about things I shouldn't but to paraphrase a sepcific thought that was given in one of the talks, by Elder Bednar.  He stated that while within the temple there is no distinction in appearance, wealth, education and social standing, that there are no "distinctions" within the experience that is most like the Celestial one.  I found it interesting that he said there is no distinction of education as well, the others seemed more obvious.

 

I agree with your statements.  The inputs of the body are not a problem, I agree, unless one learns to love them which is the same thing you said - the things that are acquired by the spirit from the physical. If one loves their level of education, if one loves their aptitude for science or language etc and it is from the brain they have these powers and abilities then how is that any different than one who flaunts a well endowed and sexually attractive body.  There is no difference. Like you said it is all about how it is used and whether the spirit adopts those drives.  Just like money, these blessings from the body can be used for good but if one loves it over the things of the spirit then they are taken off the pathway of humility.  If one is prideful about self as if the stewardships given temporarily are actually theirs, as if they have a right to them, to own them then that becomes unrighteousness.

 

I understand there were differences before this life but most differences that we now see are from physical characteristics.  The spiritual differences are only slight, I assume, as we all had to pass the first estate, we were all righteous before this life, some more righteous than others, some more valiant than others.  I think this is stated by God not being a respector of persons. 2 Nephi 26; " 33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile."

 

Yes there can be a similarness and sameness but when ever there are two, one will be greater than the other - See Abraham chapter 3.  And of all the children of G-d - Jesus the Christ is greater than them all.  Why do you think that this notion and doctrine is preserved in the standard works of or our latter-day scripture?

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Yes there can be a similarness and sameness but when ever there are two, one will be greater than the other - See Abraham chapter 3.  And of all the children of G-d - Jesus the Christ is greater than them all.  Why do you think that this notion and doctrine is preserved in the standard works of or our latter-day scripture?

Yes, I agree but you used the words uniqueness and standing out. 

 

On the course to Godhood there can be different levels of progression but the path is one and narrow, it does not vary.  There is no variable way to traverse the path.

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Yes, I agree but you used the words uniqueness and standing out. 

 

On the course to Godhood there can be different levels of progression but the path is one and narrow, it does not vary.  There is no variable way to traverse the path.

So you do not believe that Jesus Christ is unique and stands out?

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So you do not believe that Jesus Christ is unique and stands out?

As the world sees, no.  Spiritually yes.  But we are not talking about spiritually, we are talking about external man, external traits and features, how the world sees.  The reason God is no respector of persons is because he does not see the external man but the inner man.

 

From the Hymn O God, the Eternal Father; "When Jesus, the Anointed,

Descended from above
And gave himself a ransom
To win our souls with love--
With no apparent beauty,
That man should him desire--
He was the promised Savior,
To purify with fire."

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As the world sees, no.  Spiritually yes.  But we are not talking about spiritually, we are talking about external man, external traits and features, how the world sees.  The reason God is no respector of persons is because he does not see the external man but the inner man.

 

From the Hymn O God, the Eternal Father; "When Jesus, the Anointed,

Descended from above
And gave himself a ransom
To win our souls with love--
With no apparent beauty,
That man should him desire--
He was the promised Savior,
To purify with fire."

 

 

 

I do not know what you are talking about???? Just because the world cannot or does not observe something does not mean that it is not so.  Your statement was that we should never try to be unique or stand out because to do so is evil I hoped to demonstrate to be inaccurate - I brought up the example of Jesus Christ to demonstrate that such thinking falls short or is inaccurate - or as you may say; is the world view or excuse.  I am simply purporting that righteousness is by definition a uniqueness that causes a person that embraces truth and righteousness to stand out - and that we should learn to recognize such uniqueness especially in light of the "natural man".  Putting off the natural man is very unique and will cause - by the very nature of such effort - anyone that does so to be outstandingly unique.  Again Jesus Christ is my example that proves that someone can in truth and righteousness be unique and outstanding.  I realize that there are very good arguments to the contrary – I just do not think they are good arguments that should be believed as inviolate or without exception.

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I do not know what you are talking about???? Just because the world cannot or does not observe something does not mean that it is not so.  Your statement was that we should never try to be unique or stand out because to do so is evil I hoped to demonstrate to be inaccurate - I brought up the example of Jesus Christ to demonstrate that such thinking falls short or is inaccurate - or as you may say; is the world view or excuse.  I am simply purporting that righteousness is by definition a uniqueness that causes a person that embraces truth and righteousness to stand out - and that we should learn to recognize such uniqueness especially in light of the "natural man".  Putting off the natural man is very unique and will cause - by the very nature of such effort - anyone that does so to be outstandingly unique.  Again Jesus Christ is my example that proves that someone can in truth and righteousness be unique and outstanding.  I realize that there are very good arguments to the contrary – I just do not think they are good arguments that should be believed as inviolate or without exception.

Its a poor example because Christ wants us to be one with Him.  He does not want to be unique, He wants us to be like Him.  He is the one thing that we all want to be like.  The rest is the world, the variety, the not like Chirst.  Christ is one with the Father, He is not unique, He is as the Father.  To us He is unique because we are a variety and we are less than perfect.

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Its a poor example because Christ wants us to be one with Him.  He does not want to be unique, He wants us to be like Him.  He is the one thing that we all want to be like.  The rest is the world, the variety, the not like Chirst.  Christ is one with the Father, He is not unique, He is as the Father.  To us He is unique because we are a variety and we are less than perfect.

 

Being one does not mean being equal.  See Abraham chapter 3. -- whenever there are two one will be greater (more outstanding and unique) than the other.  Jesus was one with the Father and always said that the father was greater (more outstanding and unique) than him.  If you have a problem with Jesus and this doctrine - I would suggest you take up this point with him.  Trying to make this point with me is not likely the best things to do - since you are most likely greater than I.  At least in the knowledge of this - but then that would prove my point???  :)

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Being one does not mean being equal.  See Abraham chapter 3. -- whenever there are two one will be greater (more outstanding and unique) than the other.  Jesus was one with the Father and always said that the father was greater (more outstanding and unique) than him.  If you have a problem with Jesus and this doctrine - I would suggest you take up this point with him.  Trying to make this point with me is not likely the best things to do - since you are most likely greater than I.  At least in the knowledge of this - but then that would prove my point???  :)

I don't consider one being greater than the other as a distinction of character or being unique.  These are just different points down the same path.  Christ is in the express image of His Father, He does what the Father does, He thinks like the Father thinks, He loves as the Father loves.  I doubt that you can come up with one distinguishing characteristic that one has that the other doesn't or will not have in their path. 

 

D&C 3; "For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round.

 Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;

 For although a man may have many revelations, and have power to do many mighty works, yet if he boasts in his own strength, and sets at naught the counsels of God, and follows after the dictates of his own will and carnal desires, he must fall and incur the vengeance of a just God upon him."

 

The opposite of a non-varied path is the path of men after their own carnal will.

 

D&C 132; "22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me.

 23 But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also.

 24 This is eternal lives—to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.

 25 Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law."

 

There are too many scriptures to even list that suggest narrow is the way, having an eye single to the glory of God etc is the way to Celestial Life, broad or varied is the path that leads to destruction.  That place of exaltation is where God is, not some higher realm or unreachable place or different pathway.  It is narrow, it is straight, it is one, it is single.  Varied, wide the way, broad, will of man etc is used to describe the other pathways.

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