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Why was the Atonement of Jesus Christ Necessary?

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I am interested in the answer to this question from a non-LDS perspective.  My personal view, which comes from the LDS perspective is that there are self-existent eternal laws that exist outside of God such as justice, and mercy.  Many attributes we ascribe to God would also fall into the category of self-existent and eternal, such as benevolence, perfection, righteousness, and so forth.

The fact that these laws are self-existent and eternal allow for a principle which is likely considered heretical to many Christian denominations; the idea that God could cease to be God.  Not that it ever would occur, but that it technically could happen.

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Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God.

But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God.

What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God.

(Alma 42:13,22,25)

And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

(Mormon 9:19)

My belief is that God must comply with eternal law; He continuously lives in perfect obedience.  The plan of salvation, and Christ's atonement is His perfectly crafted plan that complies with those laws and enables the salvation of mankind.

If you don't believe that there are laws that God Himself must abide, then why would there be any need whatsoever for a Savior?  Without absolute eternal laws, it seems to me that God could just save anyone based on whatever metrics he chooses.  And then, if He truly is a benevolent being, what would stop Him from providing a way where every single creation could fully repent over time and join Him in Heaven?  If eternal law does not exist independent of God, then it seems to me that God (based on most existing religious interpretations of Him) would be classifiable as a 'respecter of persons'.

I once attempted to explain this idea to my Muslim father, hoping to show him why I could never come to believe in Islam, because their interpretation of God would in fact result in Him being a 'respecter of persons' based on these very principles. However, from my current understanding, this may similarly apply to many Christian denominations.

I hope that I have made my position adequately clear.  Ultimately, the main question is, why was the atonement of Jesus Christ necessary?  However, anything related to sin or death is not really the point of this question, neither is the difference in our understanding of the Godhead.  My inquiry for the non-LDS is more of, why was it necessary for God to use the atonement of Christ to save us?

Edited by person0

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"Christian" is a broad term, and the answers to your questions will vary.

 

Catholic/Orthodox doctrine is that God created us as rational beings, and gifted us with free will. Creation itself emanates from God's love. Our free will allows us to love God in return, freely. As love that is forced, i.e. God creating us to only love God and never sin, would not be us loving God and thus love would be removed from our relationship with God.  "God is love", is central to understanding the Atonement .

Long story made short, the Fall was man's turning away from God. An infinite transgression that required an infinite reconciliation. Only God, our infinite Creator, could reconcile us to Himself, and He has done so out of love for us. We choose to follow God, freely out of love, or not.  We are responsible for our own choices. It is Catholic doctrine that all who follow God according to their conscience and what they understand will be judged according to their understanding and following God's will as they understand it.

This is where different Christian theologies diverge. Some denying free will, others denying hell altogether.  There is some of this among Catholic theologians who have posited that God's mercy and love conquer all and hell will be empty. While this is a theological musing based on Catholic doctrines, this is not a Catholic doctrine  

 

Edited by Blueskye2

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6 hours ago, person0 said:

However, anything related to sin or death is not really the point of this question, neither is the difference in our understanding of the Godhead.  My inquiry for the non-LDS is more of, why was it necessary for God to use the atonement of Christ to save us?

I don't think I can answer the question without relating the atonement to sin or death.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

M.

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18 hours ago, person0 said:

If you don't believe that there are laws that God Himself must abide, then why would there be any need whatsoever for a Savior?  Without absolute eternal laws, it seems to me that God could just save anyone based on whatever metrics he chooses.  And then, if He truly is a benevolent being, what would stop Him from providing a way where every single creation could fully repent over time and join Him in Heaven?  If eternal law does not exist independent of God, then it seems to me that God (based on most existing religious interpretations of Him) would be classifiable as a 'respecter of persons'.

I once attempted to explain this idea to my Muslim father, hoping to show him why I could never come to believe in Islam, because their interpretation of God would in fact result in Him being a 'respecter of persons' based on these very principles. However, from my current understanding, this may similarly apply to many Christian denominations.

I hope that I have made my position adequately clear.  Ultimately, the main question is, why was the atonement of Jesus Christ necessary?  However, anything related to sin or death is not really the point of this question, neither is the difference in our understanding of the Godhead.  My inquiry for the non-LDS is more of, why was it necessary for God to use the atonement of Christ to save us?

The short answer is that if He simply pardoned us, He wouldn't be a just God. I can't really answer the question without mentioning sin and death because that's what it's all about. The following is an excerpt from an article that explains it better than I ever could.

The punishment for sin is death.

God created earth and man perfect. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s commands, He had to punish them. A judge who pardons law-breakers isn’t a righteous judge. Likewise, overlooking sin would make the holy God unjust. Death is God’s just consequence for sin. “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Even good works cannot make up for wrongs against the holy God. Compared to His goodness, “All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6b). Ever since Adam’s sin, every human has been guilty of disobeying God’s righteous laws. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin is not just big things like murder or blasphemy, but also includes love of money, hatred of enemies, and deceit of tongue and pride. Because of sin, everyone has deserved death – eternal separation from God in hell.

The promise required an innocent death.

Although God banished Adam and Eve from the garden, He didn’t leave them without hope of reconciliation. He promised He would send a Savior to defeat the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Until then, men would sacrifice innocent lambs, showing their repentance from sin and faith in the future Sacrifice from God who would bear their penalty. God reaffirmed His promise of the Sacrifice with men such as Abraham and Moses. Herein lies the beauty of God’s perfect plan: God Himself provided the only sacrifice (Jesus) who could atone for the sins of His people. God’s perfect Son fulfilled God’s perfect requirement of God’s perfect law. It is perfectly brilliant in its simplicity. “God made Him (Christ), who knew no sin, to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). 

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Thank you to those who have responded.  I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share.  I have some follow up questions that I feel help get at the heart of my initial inquiry.

On 7/15/2017 at 8:29 PM, Blueskye2 said:

. . . An infinite transgression that required an infinite reconciliation.  Only God, our infinite Creator, could reconcile us to Himself, and He has done so out of love for us. . .

Why was it required?  From God's perspective, why do our sins necessitate the need for Him to provide us with reconciliation through the Atonement?

On 7/15/2017 at 8:29 PM, Blueskye2 said:

There is some of this among Catholic theologians who have posited that God's mercy and love conquer all and hell will be empty.

That could be an answer to the question.  But then, if these people are correct, why should anyone bother trying to be righteous in this life?  Except for not having to suffer in hell for a while, but what's x number of years compared to eternity right?  If I were to believe this way, I would lose motivation to be righteous.

On 7/15/2017 at 10:41 PM, Maureen said:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I agree.  It is clear that as a fallen, sinful, and mortal man, I need salvation.  I can't do it myself by any means whatsoever.  But why does God need to use the atonement of Christ to accomplish it?  Why can't He just forgive us and be done with it?

On 7/16/2017 at 10:17 AM, Larry Cotrell said:

The short answer is that if He simply pardoned us, He wouldn't be a just God. . . . A judge who pardons law-breakers isn’t a righteous judge. . . overlooking sin would make the holy God unjust. . . 

I agree.  But another part of the post seems somewhat counterintuitive to me in that same line of thinking:

On 7/16/2017 at 10:17 AM, Larry Cotrell said:

. . . God’s perfect requirement of God’s perfect law.

If the law is Gods law, why would he create that law in the first place?  Or why wouldn't he undo it?  Obviously God is unchanging, but why is He unchanging?  Why does that even matter?

I sincerely mean no disrespect, because my true desire is to understand other peoples perspectives on what I believe is a critical question.  I can't imagine a reason why God would intentionally choose to bind himself to rules, laws, and requirements, unless he's just doing it for the thrill of the challenge.  In my mind, when we say that we need the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save us from sin, it is the same thing as saying that the only way God is capable of saving us is to provide an atoning Savior, Jesus Christ.  Is it not?

As I hope was clear in my original post, I do not believe the Law of Justice to be God's law, except that he is the perfect eternal exemplification and embodiment of the law, but not that he created it.  I believe the law to exist independent of God, and that He is required to be obedient to it.  This is how I answer this question for myself.  I am wondering if there are other answers outside of this that would quell my curiosity.  Or is this one of those 'imponderables' that simply don't concern you?  If so, and you are willing to share, why not?

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15 minutes ago, person0 said:

Thank you to those who have responded.  I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share.  I have some follow up questions that I feel help get at the heart of my initial inquiry.

Why was it required?  From God's perspective, why do our sins necessitate the need for Him to provide us with reconciliation through the Atonement?

That could be an answer to the question.  But then, if these people are correct, why should anyone bother trying to be righteous in this life?  Except for not having to suffer in hell for a while, but what's x number of years compared to eternity right?  If I were to believe this way, I would lose motivation to be righteous.

I agree.  It is clear that as a fallen, sinful, and mortal man, I need salvation.  I can't do it myself by any means whatsoever.  But why does God need to use the atonement of Christ to accomplish it?  Why can't He just forgive us and be done with it?

I agree.  But another part of the post seems somewhat counterintuitive to me in that same line of thinking:

If the law is Gods law, why would he create that law in the first place?  Or why wouldn't he undo it?  Obviously God is unchanging, but why is He unchanging?  Why does that even matter?

I sincerely mean no disrespect, because my true desire is to understand other peoples perspectives on what I believe is a critical question.  I can't imagine a reason why God would intentionally choose to bind himself to rules, laws, and requirements, unless he's just doing it for the thrill of the challenge.  In my mind, when we say that we need the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ to save us from sin, it is the same thing as saying that the only way God is capable of saving us is to provide an atoning Savior, Jesus Christ.  Is it not?

As I hope was clear in my original post, I do not believe the Law of Justice to be God's law, except that he is the perfect eternal exemplification and embodiment of the law, but not that he created it.  I believe the law to exist independent of God, and that He is required to be obedient to it.  This is how I answer this question for myself.  I am wondering if there are other answers outside of this that would quell my curiosity.  Or is this one of those 'imponderables' that simply don't concern you?  If so, and you are willing to share, why not?

Alma 42 is all about law, and the way it talks about law seems to suggest justice and mercy both come from God himself. 

I personally have never liked the idea of laws external to God. (I mean laws of justice, not laws of nature) If there are laws external to God, we can conclude one of two things.

#1. Our Father is one of many gods in the celestial kingdom and the celestial kingdom has a legal apparatus to which God is beholden. 

or

#2.  There are uncreated forces that simply exist and they have specific moral requirements.

Out of these to the first seems more likely, but I don't care for either of them.

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2 minutes ago, Snigmorder said:

Out of these [two] the first seems more likely, but I don't care for either of them.

For us members of the Church, either what Alma and Moroni say is true, or it isn't, if God could cease to be God, there must be something that would cause that to happen; He wouldn't just be like, 'oh well I messed up, guess I'm going to quit being God now'.  I disagree with your premise that those are the only two possible explanations.  Self-existent eternal truth does not have to imply an organized legal apparatus, nor some other god-like force.  I will leave it at that for now because while I welcome your perspective and will gladly continue this discussion with you, I am mostly seeking answers from the non-LDS perspective, and seeking to determine if there is a possible commonality, or an alternative explanation to my questions that I had not previously considered.

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On ‎16‎-‎7‎-‎2017 at 4:17 PM, Larry Cotrell said:

The punishment for sin is death.

God created earth and man perfect.

Small correction, not perfect, but very good per Gen 1:31. I understand very good as fit for the purpose it was created.

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Not sure if this is an answer but my jumbled thoughts to your query are.

God is only bound by laws that are intrinsic to who He is and are consistent to his character.

God is loving, holy, merciful, compassionate.

So the laws God is bound by must flow from who he intrinsically is.

He cannot be unholy or unloving etc, he is not however forced to act in a manner because of a law, rather he innately is that way and can be no other.

His actions in incarnation, atonement and redemption flowed naturally from who He is.

Edited by AnthonyB2

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11 hours ago, person0 said:
Quote
Quote

 

Thank you to those who have responded.  I sincerely appreciate your willingness to share.  I have some follow up questions that I feel help get at the heart of my initial inquiry.

Why was it required?  From God's perspective, why do our sins necessitate the need for Him to provide us with reconciliation through the Atonement?

 

God does not need, nor is required to do anything.  God's nature is love. It is God's nature that is the cause of our existence and it is God's nature that is the cause of the mercy we receive. 

Quote

That could be an answer to the question.  But then, if these people are correct, why should anyone bother trying to be righteous in this life?  Except for not having to suffer in hell for a while, but what's x number of years compared to eternity right?  If I were to believe this way, I would lose motivation to be righteous.

It is based on viewing righteousness as the individual aligning one's will to the will of God, and the premise being, why would one not want to do that? Free will, being gifted to us in order to freely choose and love God.  To use the gift that God has given to go against God (sin) is an abuse of the gift which God has given us.  It is the concept of Christian Holiness.  Those with the theological view that hell will be empty do not throw away Apostolic teachings or doctrines.  

 

Edited by Blueskye2

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@Blueskye2

Quote

God does not need, nor is required to do anything.  God's nature is love. It is God's nature that is the cause of our existence and it is God's nature that is the cause of the mercy we receive.

Everything in blue, I agree.  The black highlighted section to me brings up the question I mentioned previously and expound on below,  if He does not need to use the atonement of Christ to save us, then why would He not just do something else?  Especially that involves less suffering?  It's entirely possible that there is no answer to my question, that's fine.  I'm just trying to see if there is one.

2 hours ago, AnthonyB2 said:

He cannot be unholy or unloving etc, he is not however forced to act in a manner because of a law, rather he innately is that way and can be no other.

I actually agree with you here for the most part, except I would change all instances of 'cannot' with 'will not'.  Do you believe that God Himself has agency?  In my mind, He could choose to be unholy and unloving, but He never will because as you said, He is that way innately.  I do not believe God is forced to do anything; the laws existence does not mean He must follow it, simply because He has agency.  However, I also do not believe God can circumvent the demands of the law.  If there is a law called justice, He must comply with that law (but also He wants to).  If there is a law called mercy, He must comply (but also He wants to).  I believe His plan is perfectly crafted to fulfill both laws.  The idea I have trouble grasping is that, while God is definitely not forced to follow a law, if we say He simply does not have to follow any law (and there are no resulting consequences), then why would he choose to use sacrifice and suffering as the means to save us?  If it is technically within His ability to successfully accomplish our salvation some other way, why didn't/wouldn't He just do that?  Once again, I possibly am asking you to answer something that for many could be considered an 'imponderable', just trying to see if there is in fact another answer out there.

Edited by person0

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12 hours ago, person0 said:

If the law is Gods law, why would he create that law in the first place?  Or why wouldn't he undo it?  Obviously God is unchanging, but why is He unchanging?  Why does that even matter?

To echo what @AnthonyB2 said, there is not some set of eternal laws and red tape that He must follow but to be a perfect God, as He is perfect, He must be just and loving. This plan of Jesus' death is the only way that works with both of these sides of his character.

He is acting in accordance with his own nature, not some galactic or heavenly law.

Edited by Larry Cotrell

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The following is not an attempt to argue for or against anything.  But I believe some miscommunication is occurring.  I'll attempt to clarify/translate between parties.  Let me know if I'm mistaken.

29 minutes ago, Larry Cotrell said:

there is not some set of eternal laws and red tape that He must follow but to be a perfect God, as He is perfect, He must be just and loving.

...He is acting in accordance with his own nature

1 hour ago, person0 said:

He is that way innately.  I do not believe God is forced to do anything; the laws existence does not mean He must follow it, simply because He has agency.

These statements are pretty close.  Right?

Both are stating that God does what He does because that's the way He is.  A good person will do good things.  A comedian will crack jokes.  A violent person will murder, etc. Correct so far?

Larry is essentially saying that "being just and loving" is part of the "definition" of perfect.  God is perfect, therefore God will have perfect characteristics.  Correct so far?

Person0 is saying that God will follow these laws, and gives two statements about it. "He must comply" and "He wants to comply."  Correct so far?

I believe the concept is the same, but Person0's wording could use improvement.  When he says "He must" and "He wants" means the same thing as what Larry is saying about "it's just his nature."

Whether you're talking about "Eternal Laws" or "Being perfect", you're both saying that there is a standard of what we consider (or what God considers) "good" or "perfect".  And it is his character, his nature, his tendency to abide by that standard of good and perfect.

Yes, there are flavorings, and perspectives, and so forth that nuance the differences here.  But I am hearing some very similar things that will go round and round in circles.

If you can agree that you're both pretty close with minor difference, then you could possibly move on to the real answer to the question.

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1 hour ago, Larry Cotrell said:

to be a perfect God, as He is perfect, He must be just and loving. This plan of Jesus' death is the only way that works with both of these sides of his character.

What about this mechanism instead? If you confess Jesus is Lord [plus whatever else your particular faith requires of the sinner], then you are forgiven and saved. If you do not, then you suffer the full wrath for your sins.

This law is perfectly just because it is consistent. The damned cannot complain that they weren't forgiven while others were because redemption was made available to them but they didn't seize it. It is loving because it saves the confessed sinner from hell.

Why is a proxy death required?

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1 hour ago, mordorbund said:

. . . is not itself a tenet of Mormonism

I made sure that in every aspect of my OP and subsequent posts I only stated this as my opinion rather than as official LDS doctrine.  That being said, I think it is a lot more common, even if not bluntly stated, than what you suggested:

Quote

In scriptural terms, justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions. (LDS Topics - Justice)

Justice and mercy are attributes of deity. They are also eternal principles. The "justice of God" (Alma 41:2;42:14) is a principle so fundamental that without it, "God would cease to be God" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism - Justice and Mercy)

The 'encyclopedia' here seems to distinguish that they are characteristics of God, as well as eternal principles.  Just because they don't clarify by saying self-existent, independent of God, is irrelevant in my mind.  Definition of eternallasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.

1 hour ago, mordorbund said:

Eternal Law itself is the unmoved mover

While I understand what you are saying, I wouldn't necessarily classify it as the unmoved mover, but I can see how that could help other's comprehension of the concept and question at hand.  Eternal Law, as I personally see it, is not a sentient entity of any sort and has no power of itself, it simply is.  I would classify it more as an intrinsic aspect of all existence; not unlike an instinct.

Perhaps what we all have written will make it easier for everyone to understand and address the initial line of inquiry.  Thanks all who have helped me to clarify. :)

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On ‎15‎-‎7‎-‎2017 at 9:48 PM, person0 said:

I hope that I have made my position adequately clear.  Ultimately, the main question is, why was the atonement of Jesus Christ necessary?  However, anything related to sin or death is not really the point of this question, neither is the difference in our understanding of the Godhead.  My inquiry for the non-LDS is more of, why was it necessary for God to use the atonement of Christ to save us?

Excellent question. Allow me to speculate. from the perspective: why this way? why not just forgive people who ask for forgiveness?

My speculation (for what it's worth) is that God wanted to kick the devil into hell when he rebelled. The heavenly creatures who never experienced sin, didn't know the difference between good and evil because they only experienced good didn't understand the harsh measure and maybe the devil put oil on the fire and accused God of being unloving and unmerciful creating doubt.

And so God said, alright I will show my creatures my love, that I am merciful, that my decision to kick the devil into hell is (was) just and I as proof I will give up the most precious I have, my Son Jesus.

So in theory it is possible to reformulate your question as follows -  My inquiry for the non-LDS is more of, why was it necessary for God to use the that God used the atonement of Christ to save us?

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10 hours ago, person0 said:

@Blueskye2

Everything in blue, I agree.  The black highlighted section to me brings up the question I mentioned previously and expound on below,  if He does not need to use the atonement of Christ to save us, then why would He not just do something else?  Especially that involves less suffering?  It's entirely possible that there is no answer to my question, that's fine.  I'm just trying to see if there is one.

 

That is what Christians have reflected on for 2000 years. God can do anything and it is possible our salvation could have come in any fashion. God knows us, and knows our need, and has given us what we need

Another answer is the scriptural answer, that the OT is fulfilled in the NT, also meaning the old covenant is fulfilled the New Covenant. The New Covenant being Jesus. The law and the prophets are fulfilled in Jesus. So there are multiple scriptures that are fulfilled in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus.

There is of course a mystical aspect to Jesus and all the surrounds him.  To enter into the life of Christ is to enter into the mysteries of God.  One spends a lifetime contemplating the profound acts of God among men.

Edited by Blueskye2

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I'm actually quite impressed with @Larry Cotrell's responses on this thread.  I've asked a similar question that person0 asked.  On all three occaisions, none of them could even comprehend the question much less answer it or bring up Bible verses to support it.  So, the fact that you did all three... kudos to you.

You also confirmed something (at least for this particular doctrine) that I've been thinking for a while now.  I believed that every doctrine we can find in the Book of Mormon is at least mentioned in the Bible.  I believe every principle in the BoM can be pieced together from tidbits in the Bible.  It may not be obvious.  It may require a bit of interpretation.  But it is there.  I had wondered where this principle was.  It had to be there -- being the most important principle in all of Christendom.  I believe you found most of it.  Thanks.

@Blueskye2, you also gave another perspective (multiple purposes for any single method God uses).  This is the very same point I've made on a number of occasions when I'm asked the same question by non-Mormons regarding some things in our faith.  And it certainly makes sense to use it in this context.

@ProDeo, while I have to admit that your take is "internally consistent" (which is good) I have no idea how that fits into the context of any faith that I'm aware of.  So, I have no idea how you arrived at that.

Edited by Guest

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1 hour ago, Carborendum said:

@ProDeo, while I have to admit that your take is "internally consistent" (which is good) I have no idea how that fits into the context of any faith that I'm aware of.  So, I have no idea how you arrived at that.

;)

First of all I specifically said: speculation, meaning that I don't make any claim. Having said that it's not a wild guess. It's based on the knowledge that the destination of the devil is the LOF (Lake of Fire). And so I asked myself the question why God did not sent the devil immediately into the LOF but allowed the devil to do so much harm and I realized that (IMO) that is an important question that (as far as I can tell) can not be answered from Scripture. Looking for answers the notion that satan was doing in what he excels -- accusing -- (Rev 12:10, the story of Job) God being unjust, unloving, unmerciful etc. is perhaps (emphasis added) the reason why God delayed his punishment to take away any doubt creatues might develop, or already had developed and proof to all His creatures His love, mercy, by the sacrifice of the most precious God has, His only begotten Son.

I also specifically said I was reasoning from the question why the need for Jesus, can God not forgive us without the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world? I think that's an important question too.

Edited by ProDeo

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2 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I'm actually quite impressed with @Larry Cotrell's responses on this thread.  I've asked a similar question that person0 asked.  On all three occaisions, none of them could even comprehend the question much less answer it or bring up Bible verses to support it.  So, the fact that you did all three... kudos to you.

Thanks, I would never believe something I can't back up with scripture.

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3 hours ago, Carborendum said:

you also gave another perspective (multiple purposes for any single method God uses).  This is the very same point I've made on a number of occasions when I'm asked the same question by non-Mormons regarding some things in our faith.  And it certainly makes sense to use it in this context.

Thanks, it's how I have been taught, regarding the four senses of scripture.  I intuitively read scripture in this fashion, even at first read.  Sometimes a passage I've read 50 times will pop out with something new.  The Word of God does not change but our understanding does.

The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs. 

The allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ's victory and also of Christian Baptism.

The moral sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written "for our instruction".

The anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.

A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses: 

The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith; The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.

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11 minutes ago, Larry Cotrell said:

Thanks, I would never believe something I can't back up with scripture.

Do you believe in the Pythagorean theorem?  Or that a vehicle can quickly transport you between two locations? Or that you can use a small electronic device to communicate with thousands of people across the globe?

I just couldn't resist!  ;)

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2 hours ago, person0 said:

Do you believe in the Pythagorean theorem?  Or that a vehicle can quickly transport you between two locations? Or that you can use a small electronic device to communicate with thousands of people across the globe?

I just couldn't resist!  ;)

Gematriot.

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