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John Prather

What is the Advantage?

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I am curious to know what is the advantage of being a member of the Church in this life?  It would seem to be a less stressful mortal existence if you lived your earthly life without knowing the Gospel and worrying about following the commandments then dying and have it revealed to you without the physical temptations and mortal distractions.  Sure, you'll be held accountable for what you do know generally, what light and knowledge and whatnot you do hold but for the most part you can say, "Hey, I didn't know."  Plus, if you die young, all the better. It just seems the longer in life you live as a member the more opportunity you have to really screw up and suffer the Wrath of 'Dad' later on. Not quite seeing the advantage. 

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Ignorance is not necessarily bliss.

 

I would rather know what I know now of the gospel (even with my many shortcomings) than to risk not accepting it after I die.  Ignorance in this life does not guarantee anything in the next life.

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It's interesting that I've never ever heard a convert say, "I'm so glad I found the gospel later in life so that I could enjoy a stress free period in life where I didn't know the  commandments". A matter of fact it's always "I wish I would have known about he Church sooner". 

 

So maybe you should ask yourself. why that is. 

 

If you can't recognize the blessings and benefits of living the gospel then perhaps your doing it wrong.

 

Edit.

 

And one more thing, I have a hard time believing people who go thru life without attempting to find meaning or purpose won't experience a measure of accountability for ignoring the most fundamental question. 

 

In my experience age brings wisdom and perspective, dying young is a tragedy. Experience is how we progress and those who exit life early by being reckless,  don't learn in this life or reject what they learn, have set themselves further back on their journey.

Edited by Windseeker

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I am curious to know what is the advantage of being a member of the Church in this life?  It would seem to be a less stressful mortal existence if you lived your earthly life without knowing the Gospel and worrying about following the commandments then dying and have it revealed to you without the physical temptations and mortal distractions.  Sure, you'll be held accountable for what you do know generally, what light and knowledge and whatnot you do hold but for the most part you can say, "Hey, I didn't know."  Plus, if you die young, all the better. It just seems the longer in life you live as a member the more opportunity you have to really screw up and suffer the Wrath of 'Dad' later on. Not quite seeing the advantage. 

It's easier to make changes to yourself in this life. Nor will you want to face justice with a "you could have but you didn't". In the end God has to be just and that trumps mercy, Because of Christ, justice can be put off for a time and a person can get to such a point where the justice for their past action or inaction has been taken care of- but for that you need to take up what Christ directs. If you procrastinate in this life there is going to be far less in the next life that will inspire you to cease procrastinating.

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First of all, being a member of the church is not what makes us culpable.

 

Moroni 3:20-24

 

20 And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of a Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

 

21 And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.

 

22 And even at this time, when thou shalt have taught thy people the things which the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, even then are they found no more blameless in the sight of God, only according to the words which I have spoken unto thee.

 

23 And now I have spoken the words which the Lord God hath commanded me.

 

24 And thus saith the Lord: They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people, at the judgment day; whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil.

 

Second - wickedness never was happiness. Period. It's not - wickedness never was happiness unless you don't know any better.

 

Righteousness is joy. The gospel brings us joy. True, real, honest, lasting joy beyond measure.

 

So what you're really asking is, wouldn't it be better if we could wallow in the mire, trudging through evil and darkness, just a bit longer, because the sunlight and cleanliness is such a burden.

 
It's like saying, 
 
Wouldn't it be better if none of us ever showered, brushed our teeth or shaved, because grooming is annoying?

 

Wouldn't it be better if we can all just be obese because working out and eating right is so hard?

 

Wouldn't it be better if we could all just be lazy and idle all the day long because earning a living is such a pain?

 

Wouldn't it be better if we were all stupid and didn't have to think because thinking is so laborious?

 

The answer is NO! It would not be better.

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And...moreover...

 

This...it would be easier after this life is a big pile of steaming WRONG!

 

Everyone who wishes to come to Christ has to do the work. Those who do not have the opportunity to do the work in this life will still have to do the work, and they will only be that much further behind if they don't have the opportunity in this life. But no one can escape repentance, humility, sacrifice, and good works.

 

The Atonement is the merciful means that Christ has given us to enable us to do this successfully. It makes it possible to actually repent. But everyone who has sinned will still need to repent.

 

We cannot become like God without becoming like God.

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Your question reminds me of the questions Alma's son had...  Alma's answers can be your answers.

 

Alma 41 

 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—

 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

 

Clearly according to Alma we are judged according to both our actions and our intent.  For me I think it is easier to have better actions and intent when I know what at stake.

 

As for those that don't know...  They still establish their desires in mortality.  Are they someone that searched for the truth?  Are then someone that clung to the whatever truth they found?  If so then that is what will be restored to them.  Or were they some one that was unwilling, uninterested in doing God's work... If so then that is what will be restored to them.

 

Thus according to Alma ignorance will not be a free pass to the Kingdom of God(neither is it and automatic close out).  So you have to ask your self what kind of person are you going to become?  And is it easier or harder to do when you understand what is happening?

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I am curious to know what is the advantage of being a member of the Church in this life?  It would seem to be a less stressful mortal existence if you lived your earthly life without knowing the Gospel and worrying about following the commandments then dying and have it revealed to you without the physical temptations and mortal distractions.  Sure, you'll be held accountable for what you do know generally, what light and knowledge and whatnot you do hold but for the most part you can say, "Hey, I didn't know."  Plus, if you die young, all the better. It just seems the longer in life you live as a member the more opportunity you have to really screw up and suffer the Wrath of 'Dad' later on. Not quite seeing the advantage. 

 

The advantage is in individual covenant with G-d.  See post #32 in the thread "Doctrine verses personal covenant".  All the advantage in eternity comes only through personal covenant.  I believe your problem is in putting too much importance in doctrine and discussing doctrine and not in changing and becoming a Saint of G-d through making and keeping personal covenants.

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In every age, among every people, always there have been those who have sought the Royal Road to Heaven. "Those" have likely included each of us, at some time or another. Surely there must be an easier way! Surely I can game the system, figure out a loophole, find a shortcut or a back door!

 

A recent and quite popular "shortcut" is: People should not actually join the Church! That's right, it's actually BETTER not to be a Latter-day Saint! Because then, you see, you aren't responsible for anything. And you can just do whatever you want to in this life, and then after you die, you can accept the gospel in the spirit world! It's brilliant! And God will beat you with a few stripes, and at last you shall be saved in the kingdom of God! What could be simpler?

 

The flaw in this "plan" is, of course, that it is false. It appeals to our "natural man". Anything that allows us to satisfy our carnal, unGodly cravings and yet still enjoy the blessings of eternity is a wondrous thing, to be sought with all diligence. But such a thing is also a lie. Wickedness never was happiness.

 

As TFP says, "We cannot become like God without becoming like God." (I should add that to my sig...)

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I've used this metaphor before, but our lives are like combat on the battlefield.  Different people call our enemy different things: sin, aimlessness, disobedience, unholiness, etc.  Yet I certainly have the sense of battling something greater than the sum of humanity's errors.

 

Religious faith has always illuminated this battlefield.  Who wants to fight in the dark?  (Answer: People I feel sorry for.)

 

As TFP says, "We cannot become like God without becoming like God." (I should add that to my sig...)

 

Yes, that's quite Vortic.  I suppose we should be grateful that God did not choose you to translate the golden plates, Vort.  The Book of Mormon would have been a masterpiece, but inaccessible to anyone without a background in recursion theory.  hahaha

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Not to mention that the ordinances required for salvation and exaltation require a physical body.  People in the Spirit world rely on those of us here in order to receive those ordinances.

 

"Waiting to sort it out in the Spirit world" puts the burden of work on more shoulders. 

 

Righteousness in this life is also of supreme benefit to many people beyond just ourselves.  Through us God is able to be an influence for good in building up strong and righteous families, communities, and nations.  Indeed it has been told to us that for the righteous' sake is the world preserved from destruction that the wicked at this time are meriting. The righteous are a light to the world, combating darkness wherever it is found.  Measuring out love, kindness, peace, and charity in opposition to hatred, cruelty, calamity, and chaos. 

 

The righteous form a bulwark against evil, growing in power and majesty through simple daily acts of goodness.  Once our salvation and exaltation are assured through the atonement we become a force for good in this world.  We are an advantage in God's favour in His work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

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I am curious to know what is the advantage of being a member of the Church in this life?  It would seem to be a less stressful mortal existence if you lived your earthly life without knowing the Gospel and worrying about following the commandments then dying and have it revealed to you without the physical temptations and mortal distractions.  Sure, you'll be held accountable for what you do know generally, what light and knowledge and whatnot you do hold but for the most part you can say, "Hey, I didn't know."  Plus, if you die young, all the better. It just seems the longer in life you live as a member the more opportunity you have to really screw up and suffer the Wrath of 'Dad' later on. Not quite seeing the advantage. 

 

We are all born with the Light of Christ.  And, when we sin, we are going against that Light.  We will all be held accountable for going against the Light.

 

What is so difficult about being a member of the church?  I don't know of any society or church, for that matter, that condones lying, stealing, dishonoring parents, adultery, bad behavior, drunkenness, bearing false witness, etc.  None of those behaviors brings happiness.  And, bringing a child into the world outside of marriage does not give that child the best future.

 

Does our church have "extra" commandments?  There is the Word of Wisdom.  But, I don't see that as an additional burden.  If I have never tried alcohol or recreational drugs because of the Word of Wisdom, I will never have to worry about becoming an alcoholic or an addict.  I don't have to worry about being pulled over for driving under the influence.  To me, that is a blessing not a burden.  And, then there's tithing.  Are we the only church that tithes?  No.  And some churches may not actually tithe, but they still expect donations or they pass-around-the-plate.  Plus, I do not want to forego the blessings of keeping those commandments.  We are promised blessings by obeying the Word of Wisdom and paying our tithing!  I want those blessings.

 

And for me, the greatest blessing of belonging to this church is the comfort of knowing the Plan of Salvation.  I know where I have come from, I know why I am here, and I know where I am going after death.  For those who have lost a loved one to death, that is perhaps the greatest comfort of all.  I know I will see my deceased loved ones again.  And, I know that we won't just be some sort of nebulous being sitting on a cloud playing a harp after death.  I know that husband and wife can be eternal.  This brings me such comfort and joy.  I would not trade that knowledge for anything!!!

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What is the advantage?  Well, what's the advantage of having gps/maps, road signs and traffic laws?  Perhaps it's to help you navigate your way towards your destination and get you there in the safest way possible.  If we didn't have these things, would we be better off (as individuals as well as a society)?  I think not!

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One must understand the nature of the spirit world for those who die without the gospel and those who do.  A person who accepted the gospel in mortality, leaned upon the atonement of Christ, struggled to overcome the flesh, and endured to the end fighting the "good fight" will be free from Satan's influence when he goes to the other side of the veil.  

 

Those who did not are still subject to Satan's influence.  Thus, those who die in ignorance of the gospel are in the same position as they were here.  They have a choice to make.  Those who reject the gospel here must overcome their carnal nature--without a body.  This is difficult.  They took their carnal nature with them.  The absence of a body is looked upon as a bondage of sorts (D&C 45:17 and 138:50).  It is harder to repent without the body.  

 

Keep in mind that, although people in the spirit world do not have bodies, they can commit sin in their hearts and minds.  They have almost infinite ability to move about and view the things of this world.  They delight in those mortals who engage in sin and are drawn to them.  The Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young manual has an excellent lesson on the spirit world.  Here's a point he made in it, speaking of the freedom of movement within the spirit world:

 

"They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or this, that, or the other place—and I presume we will be permitted if we desire—there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface."  (See https://www.lds.org/manual/teachings-brigham-young/chapter-38?lang=eng).

 

I suppose the converse is true--if we wish to view any manner of wickedness from the spirit world, we can likewise view it from beyond the veil.  I have read near-death experience accounts of people who said they saw the wicked spirits who were enslaved to alcohol or pornography in life who gathered around to observe mortals who engaged in those activities.  Such mobility would make it easy for them to continue to seek gratification by proxy.  Perhaps that is why evil spirits (like in the Bible) sought to possess the bodies of mortals, that they might experience the physical gratification associated with fleshly lusts.  

 

To make an end, the Lord has provided us with the best school in which to become like him.  It's hard.  It's stressful.  It's painful.  Mortal life is designed to bring out the worst in us so we can repent of it.  It's not intended to be easy.  The people in the spirit world who embrace the gospel must undergo an equivalent level of difficulty to obtain their exaltation.  The atonement pays for our sins, but repentance is the price.  Obedience is the test that they must pass, just as we must.

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D&C 130:18-19:

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

19 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.

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The problem with most of these answers is that it's all the personal interpretation of the scriptures and the words of the leaders of the church who by all rights are not going to say anything contrary to the established 'party line'. The truth of the matter is, no one knows what happens in the after life, there is no proof of any of this. None, nada, zilch. It falls on your faith and you either have that or you don't. Then you have to decide if you want to find the faith. Then you must establish how you want to live to ensure the outcome you have the faith to believe will happen. It's pretty simple really. I don't have that faith, tried to get it, couldn't, and I've moved on. The scriptures feel dead to me, inert, and filled with contrary ideas, ways of doing things and a ton of double speak. They've been perverted for the use of man to keep those who are of a lesser status down. Now that may sound negative but to me it's not, I accept that idea and I move on. I try to live my life the best way I can, I support my wife who is raising our children in the church and I am willing to let the chips fall where they may. I love, I live, and I help where I can.

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Posted (edited) · Hidden by estradling75, March 9, 2015 - dups
Hidden by estradling75, March 9, 2015 - dups

Sorry I don't know to erase a double post, please read below for my correct post. Thanks

Edited by jman

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Posted · Hidden by estradling75, March 9, 2015 - dups
Hidden by estradling75, March 9, 2015 - dups

The problem with most of these answers is that it's all the personal interpretation of the scriptures and the words of the leaders of the church who by all rights are not going to say anything contrary to the established 'party line'. The truth of the matter is, no one knows what happens in the after life, there is no proof of any of this. None, nada, zilch. It falls on your faith and you either have that or you don't. Then you have to decide if you want to find the faith. Then you must establish how you want to live to ensure the outcome you have the faith to believe will happen. It's pretty simple really. I don't have that faith, tried to get it, couldn't, and I've moved on. The scriptures feel dead to me, inert, and filled with contrary ideas, ways of doing things and a ton of double speak. They've been perverted for the use of man to keep those who are of a lesser status down. Now that may sound negative but to me it's not, I accept that idea and I move on. I try to live my life the best way I can, I support my wife who is raising our children in the church and I am willing to let the chips fall where they may. I love, I live, i treat others with respect, and I help out where I can. we'll see how the after life, f there is one, handles that when we get there.

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The truth of the matter is, no one knows what happens in the after life, there is no proof of any of this. None, nada, zilch. It falls on your faith and you either have that or you don't. 

 

This would be false. 

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I am curious to know what is the advantage of being a member of the Church in this life? It would seem to be a less stressful mortal existence if you lived your earthly life without knowing the Gospel and worrying about following the commandments then dying and have it revealed to you without the physical temptations and mortal distractions. Sure, you'll be held accountable for what you do know generally, what light and knowledge and whatnot you do hold but for the most part you can say, "Hey, I didn't know." Plus, if you die young, all the better. It just seems the longer in life you live as a member the more opportunity you have to really screw up and suffer the Wrath of 'Dad' later on. Not quite seeing the advantage.

Because, if you know the Gospel to be true and reject it, there is no second chance. Also, even if there were no God (which there is) living the commandments leads to true joy. Living a good life, no matter the commandment is always a good idea with favorable outcomes. Even tithing means your money is going to a good cause (as we give so much; not by choice to originations we don't agree with their polices) and "Fast Offerings",mew are helping the poor. Obeying the "Law of Chastity" always means being true to those we love, and setting proper examples to our children. Simply put, there is no reason I can think of not to being obedient to all commandments. Also do what is right and you cannot do wrong. :)

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I didn't read what the others sAid since I'm at work

But for my self, having the gospel in my life is my biggest blessing of all. I know I can not hide from Heavenly Father. And at this time in my life I am grateful that I know that I can't hide anything from him, that he knows the good. bad, and ugly about me. And it's a good thing why, because HE know s the best way to help me, become the best me. Believe me I 've done a lot of things I wish I never did. And still grateful that he know s. It's a blessing to have the gospel..we who do have so Microsoft more advantage s because we have it. Temporal stuff might give us temporary pleasure s that don't last. Having the spirit with us is so much better then any worldly temporary pleasure can give us. We all have struggle s, problems, issues of one kind or another. HF knew this would happen. That's why we have the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, that's why we have the atonement. Living the way heavenly father want s us to will bring us much more happiness, joy and peace, then being tempted by the worldly stuff and that's what Satan and his followers temp us to choose the wrong they want us to be miserable. So who's side do you want to be on? There's a great article I think it was from last general conference which way are you facing to our God who wants the best for us, or the opposite direction. We all have our free agency, this is a gift from God. He will notforce us He lets us choose

For me I testify that I know that Heavenly Father s ways are the best.

Continue to

Learn, grow.

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