The Meaning of Atonement


Grunt

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14 hours ago, wenglund said:

I wonder about that. To me, it makes God subordinate to the law--making the law the end rather than the means to the end that is God.

I see it as the other way around, thereby providing the means and justification for properly dealing with paradoxes--not the least of which is willfully and knowingly sacrificing one's son, or sacrificing oneself, for the sins of others. In a sense, the atonement required violation of the law prohibiting suicide, but violation of that law made God no less God, but rather it made God all the more God.

Another paradox is that the sacrament, commanded by God, involves the symbolic violation of the law against cannibalism.

There are others, but this should suffice.

In short, the means that is the law is rightly subordinate to the end that is God.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Wade is absolutely correct.  The easy take from the Atonement narrative is the juxtaposition of Justice and mercy. Ostensibly Justice demands payment according to definitions contained within the law that is breached.  In the Old Testament if one murdered intentionally, the built in payment for justice was that your own life was forfeit. Thus the demands of the law made no allowance for negating the payment of that penalty otherwise Justice would be robbed. 

However, God recognizes the difficulty and so does Christ.  Thus between them they use other laws to overcome the demands of the law of justice. I put this quote up earlier from President Eyring and it gives the clue in the underlined portion as to how you get around the demands of Justice:

Quote

 

Question: What exactly is the atonement and how can I receive its blessings and one thing I have always wondered but have never been able to find my answer to is how do I access the atonement. Is all I have to do is just ask God for the atonement to take place in my life?

President Eyring: Could I … First thing to do is to get a few facts straight.  The atonement was something that Jesus Christ Did.  It's not a thing itself he atoned for our sins and he paid the price to allow us to be forgiven and to be resurrected...alright, so it's what he did that qualified him to give us forgiveness to change our hearts and it's the Holy Ghost that is doing that.It's not the atonement as if it is a thing itself. 

The atonement is something the Savior did and the Father has given Him, because of that great sacrifice that He made for us, the power to forgive us.  And so when you feel forgiveness that is not the atonement - that's the Savior giving you a feeling of forgiveness because of the atonement.(President Henry B. Eyring, Face To Face, March 4th 2017 )

 

Any one care to take a shot at articulating how this might work?

Edited by brlenox
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5 hours ago, Vort said:

Anyway, Skousen thought that Elder Widtsoe had guided him to deep truths about the Savior's atonement. I don't know; maybe he did. But like much of Skousen's writings, his descriptions about this lifelong, ongoing event is very mechanistic. It is my belief that understanding divinity does not primarily take place at the mechanical level. We don't believe or understand God and his relationship to us because we are well acquainted with the mechanics of his creations of the world and of ourselves. We don't know such things. But at this stage, the mechanics are irrelevant. I believe that the mechanics of the atonement in God's plan of salvation are likewise not relevant to our understanding of its meaning and how we invite Christ into our lives.

Interesting observation.  For these many years that I have studied the atonement I have sought the mechanical understandings.  For myself it is the lack of mechanical understandings that prompts individuals to say that we just don't understand the atonement precisely because it doesn't make sense that mercy is not robbing justice when it prevails, it makes no sense that if God the Father can forgive us after the atonement why does his Son have to die.  Why can't he just forgive us if we accomplish the same growth and his Son doesn't die?etc. It is the mechanical that explores these issues and if one successfully navigates the process there are answers to these questions.  I agree though that in the rehearsal of the mechanical one can loose sight of the spiritual and so it is incumbent to pull the two together as once one does grasp the mechanisms God used to bring all these things about one can only grow in ways not accessible through any other venue as one observes how all things are subject to the Father and that he manages the law with flawless brilliance to achieve his goals.

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19 minutes ago, brlenox said:

Interesting observation.  For these many years that I have studied the atonement I have sought the mechanical understandings.  For myself it is the lack of mechanical understandings that prompts individuals to say that we just don't understand the atonement precisely because it doesn't make sense that mercy is not robbing justice when it prevails, it makes no sense that if God the Father can forgive us after the atonement why does his Son have to die.  Why can't he just forgive us if we accomplish the same growth and his Son doesn't die?etc. It is the mechanical that explores these issues and if one successfully navigates the process there are answers to these questions.  I agree though that in the rehearsal of the mechanical one can loose sight of the spiritual and so it is incumbent to pull the two together as once one does grasp the mechanisms God used to bring all these things about one can only grow in ways not accessible through any other venue as one observes how all things are subject to the Father and that he manages the law with flawless brilliance to achieve his goals.

I am convinced that a mechanical understanding of God's works is useless, or at least very, very nearly so. I have many arguments in favor of this, but in my opinion the most convincing is:

Does the man with a 150 IQ have an advantage in knowing God over the man with an IQ of 85?

The answer to the above question must necessarily be "no", based on everything I understand about God. It follows, then, that the advantages we perceive for the high-IQ man must likewise be irrelevant to his knowing God.

If you and I were given the choice of living in one of two villages for the rest of our lives, all other things being equal, we would choose the village full of beautiful people over the village full of ugly people. We would choose the smart village over the stupid village. We would choose education over ignorance, literacy over illiteracy, good oral hygiene over rotten teeth, and so forth

Yet the very fact that we must specify "all other things being equal" demonstrates that we don't really believe these traits to be of fundamental importance. I want to live in the village of kind people, of good people, of people who know how to love and serve, of people I can look up to. If they're unpleasant to look at or unsophisticated or technologically primitive, I will still choose that village over the village full of beautiful/smart/educated people who are unkind and dishonest. I bet you will, too.

Beauty and health and intelligence and education and all those other nice things are Godly, in the sense that God possesses them in their fulness. But such things are a reflection of Godliness, not a definition or proof of it. In our fallen world, such a reflection can be a poor imitation of what the nature of the thing actually is. Hollywood is full of beautiful reprobates.

So when God apportions out his gifts as a part of the eternal law that grants results based on performance, you can be sure that performance does not primarily involve being clever or good at logic puzzles. When God needs a worthy man to be educated, he educates him. Think of Joseph Smith.

This is how I feel about things like LDS youth summer camps such as Especially For Youth. I do believe that such programs might be beneficial; but if such programs make a true difference in the lives of many young people, then it is an unjust God that sees to it that the rich kids get to go and learn saving truths while the poor kids have to be content with ersatz programs or nothing at all. Sure, I send my children to EFY when I can, but if I can't (or if they can't go), I don't worry about it. Because deep down, I don't believe it's really of fundamental importance.

God's truths are learned through humility and obedience. God's truths are ALWAYS learned that way, and in no other way. So perceiving the mechanical workings of divine will is of no importance unless God decides you need to learn that, in which case he will reveal it to you. This is why I find the endless arguments about evolution, with one side claiming. "Here's how evolution works into God's plans" while the other side plugs its ears and chants, "Evolution is evil!", to be an eye-rolling exercise in futility and wasted breath. Ignorance doesn't save you, but neither does the irrelevant sort of knowledge. Nephi did not have a deep understanding of thermodynamics or theater, but I don't think that fact hindered his search for eternal life.

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15 minutes ago, brlenox said:

Interesting observation.  For these many years that I have studied the atonement I have sought the mechanical understandings.  For myself it is the lack of mechanical understandings that prompts individuals to say that we just don't understand the atonement precisely because it doesn't make sense that mercy is not robbing justice when it prevails, it makes no sense that if God the Father can forgive us after the atonement why does his Son have to die.  Why can't he just forgive us if we accomplish the same growth and his Son doesn't die?etc. It is the mechanical that explores these issues and if one successfully navigates the process there are answers to these questions.  I agree though that in the rehearsal of the mechanical one can loose sight of the spiritual and so it is incumbent to pull the two together as once one does grasp the mechanisms God used to bring all these things about one can only grow in ways not accessible through any other venue as one observes how all things are subject to the Father and that he manages the law with flawless brilliance to achieve his goals.

Some very good points.

However, when considering the mechanics of spiritual things, I find it useful to recall the story of Jesus healing a man who had been blind since birth (see  John Chapter 9)  

There are several nuggets of wisdom conveyed in the story, but one of my favorites comes from the healed man, himself. After being questioned extensively by his neighbors as well as the Pharisees about the whats, and hows, and why-fores of his healing and healer,  He essentially answered, "I know not.; one thing I  know, that whereas I was blind, now I see." (v. 25)

What I take from this is that the mechanics (why's and wherefores, etc) are not as  important as knowing that whereas we were once blind (and marred by sin)  we now can see (and have been forgiven of our sins), and believe and seek Christ (v. 38).

This is not said to dissuade people from researching and trying to understand the mechanics, but that such is a lesser pursuit, if not irrelevant,  to magnifying the power of the atonement in one's life. I suspect this may have been what Vort was getting at, but if not, it was the jist of my follow-up comment. And, I trust you are of the same mind.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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4 minutes ago, Vort said:

I am convinced that a mechanical understanding of God's works is useless, or at least very, very nearly so. I have many arguments in favor of this, but in my opinion the most convincing is:

Does the man with a 150 IQ have an advantage in knowing God over the man with an IQ of 85?

The answer to the above question must necessarily be "no", based on everything I understand about God. It follows, then, that the advantages we perceive for the high-IQ man must likewise be irrelevant to his knowing God.

If you and I were given the choice of living in one of two villages for the rest of our lives, all other things being equal, we would choose the village full of beautiful people over the village full of ugly people. We would choose the smart village over the stupid village. We would choose education over ignorance, literacy over illiteracy, good oral hygiene over rotten teeth, and so forth

Yet the very fact that we must specify "all other things being equal" demonstrates that we don't really believe these traits to be of fundamental importance. I want to live in the village of kind people, of good people, of people who know how to love and serve, of people I can look up to. If they're unpleasant to look at or unsophisticated or technologically primitive, I will still choose that village over the village full of beautiful/smart/educated people who are unkind and dishonest. I bet you will, too.

Beauty and health and intelligence and education and all those other nice things are Godly, in the sense that God possesses them in their fulness. But such things are a reflection of Godliness, not a definition or proof of it. In our fallen world, such a reflection can be a poor imitation of what the nature of the thing actually is. Hollywood is full of beautiful reprobates.

So when God apportions out his gifts as a part of the eternal law that grants results based on performance, you can be sure that performance does not primarily involve being clever or good at logic puzzles. When God needs a worthy man to be educated, he educates him. Think of Joseph Smith.

This is how I feel about things like LDS youth summer camps such as Especially For Youth. I do believe that such programs might be beneficial; but if such programs make a true difference in the lives of many young people, then it is an unjust God that sees to it that the rich kids get to go and learn saving truths while the poor kids have to be content with ersatz programs or nothing at all. Sure, I send my children to EFY when I can, but if I can't (or if they can't go), I don't worry about it. Because deep down, I don't believe it's really of fundamental importance.

God's truths are learned through humility and obedience. God's truths are ALWAYS learned that way, and in no other way. So perceiving the mechanical workings of divine will is of no importance unless God decides you need to learn that, in which case he will reveal it to you. This is why I find the endless arguments about evolution, with one side claiming. "Here's how evolution works into God's plans" while the other side plugs its ears and chants, "Evolution is evil!", to be an eye-rolling exercise in futility and wasted breath. Ignorance doesn't save you, but neither does the irrelevant sort of knowledge. Nephi did not have a deep understanding of thermodynamics or theater, but I don't think that fact hindered his search for eternal life.

Whoa...got a live one here...I think there is a certain element of truth to some of your observations but perhaps you might consider some mitigating considerations.  First, what you have stated is an opinion, a robustly presented one, I'll give but not much more than that.   As well you have logic there that may apply to you but does not at all apply to me. But it is yours and thus perhaps it is right for you. The assumption that truths concerning mechanics can't be "learned through humility and obedience" and the subsequent implication that those seeking such are not humble and obedient is a bit whackadoodle for my tastes and I cannot see why that would be a natural perspective for anyone to take.

However, to move my observations from the realms of low valued opinion to perhaps a little higher standard I would like to reference Doctrine and Covenants 19 for it's illustrative contribution to this effort.

Quote

 

Doctrine and Covenants 19:8-12

8 Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

9 I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.

10 For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—

11 Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.

12 Endless punishment is God’s punishment.

 

I'm sure you'll recognize the context here as where God is explaining "eternal" and the implications of how eternal works.  The first thing I want to focus on is the underlined portion where he states essentially that you need to have a more precise understanding in order "that you may enter into my rest.".  "Enter into my rest" is scripture speak for calling and election, exaltation or other such terms which mean you hit the JACKPOT! You win! you da big Kahuna now boy! You get the picture...

The point is there is something they need to understand or they will be found short and in the end unable to enter into his rest. This knowledge is very significant for them.

What is interesting now then is that God introduces them to an remarkably different paradigm.  He removes the word eternal from a time based narrative and he basically brings it back to a mechanical understanding.  Eternal means it is of Me.  It ceases to be time based at all in fact and it becomes a term defined by status. The mechanics of something being declared as eternal is not to be defined as that something is never ending. It is to be defined as this thing is under the umbrella of things authored by an eternal God.   

Now most will stop here if they are lucky to even grasp this much but the implications of this discovery are so profound as to completely allow an individual to realize that if he is to think after the manner of God that he has to completely change his paradigm.  Men live under the onus of a time based paradigm.  We live moving from one chronological marker to the next.  We are born and then from here we make each year by the arrival of a birthday. We turn eight and we are baptized.  We hit twelve and perhaps you remember being ordained a deacon, Sixteen and we date, 19 for a mission and so on and so.  Our entire paradigm is time based. So we hear the word eternal and we bring it through our filter and it means that the events marked by the passage of time will never cease for one subject to eternal damnation.

What's fascinating though is God brings time back to him and makes it subject to his greatness.  He is not subject to time but time is subject to Him. From this perspective he does not see things as we do at all.  Time is only measured unto man is what the scriptures state but if man is going to ever accomplish thinking like God he is going to have to try to crawl out from under the conditions that errant understandings of what things mean to God versus what they mean to man imposes on the limitations of his thoughts.

The final caveat is:

Quote

 

2 Nephi 9:29

29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

 

I do not see a Mechanical understandings notwithstanding clause here in the least. However, I do see an if they hearken to God clause...I think that is the priority here.

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26 minutes ago, wenglund said:

Some very good points.

However, when considering the mechanics of spiritual things, I find it useful to recall the story of Jesus healing a man who had been blind since birth (see  John Chapter 9)  

There are several nuggets of wisdom conveyed in the story, but one of my favorites comes from the healed man, himself. After being questioned extensively by his neighbors as well as the Pharisees about the whats, and hows, and why-fores of his healing and healer,  He essentially answered, "I know not.; one thing I  know, that whereas I was blind, now I see." (v. 25)

What I take from this is that the mechanics (why's and wherefores, etc) are not as  important as knowing that whereas we were once blind (and marred by sin)  we now can see (and have been forgiven of our sins), and believe and seek Christ (v. 38).

This is not said to dissuade people from researching and trying to understand the mechanics, but that such is a lesser pursuit, if not irrelevant,  to magnifying the power of the atonement in one's life. I suspect this may have been what Vort was getting at, but if not, it was the jist of my follow-up comment. And, I trust you are of the same mind.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

This is a good observation and I appreciate that you have added the weight of a resource of merit. Of necessity we all have to make decisions about what a verse or story is trying to teach us. As I think through the one you provide above, I rummage through my head for ideologies that might lend themselves to overlay to the story as I never trust myself or anyone to simply get the proper take aways without considering other words of God that might assist me in proper conclusions.  A daunting task. 

In this story above I can find in my head signs of believers as a caveat of being healed thus I know the man is a believer.  I can see other scriptures that where faith is manifest power can be exercised - this man has faith.  I recall another that acts of healing were to glorify the Father - in this instance Christ has glorified his Father. Another New Testament reference indicates that Christ miracles testified of his divinity - this man has become a witness to those who inquire of him that the Son God has manifest his divinity in his healing.  I also recollect that those who inquire and other like them reject this witness...subsequently Christ is Crucified, a sacrifice wrought and salvation won.

What I cannot find is any overlay that would sustain a perspective that understanding mechanics is a liability of any form.  In fact this is the first time I have ever attempted a thought process in quite this fashion though it is foundational to how I form gospel understandings. I've just never done a in 1 minute how many scriptural potentials can one see in this instance kind of thing.

Frankly I think this is kind of a red herring and perhaps not an issue at all just something we have stumbled upon to debate about. Intent frames all the efforts we make.  God looks upon those things in our hearts and determines if we are truly seeking Him and His Kingdom and moving in the appropriate course to get there.

Perhaps what Vort was saying is that he sees in those who beat themselves into explanations of tedium and facts as those who are seeking to aggrandize to themselves praise and glory for their intellectual prowess. Or those who seek only to possess tools to beat others over the head with their much knowing. In as much as this is their intent, I am in agreement.  However, one of the great things Joseph Smith does so frequently is he addresses mechanics.  His mechanics took a God who was so small that he could fit into a thimble and made of him a being of flesh and bone.  The mechanics of this body was that it is spirit filled and has no blood. Joseph taught us the same of His Son.  He gave us insight into the mechanics of just how the Holy Ghost as a spirit is able to touch our lives in ways that resurrected being was not. The King Follet discourse is a feast of mechanical insights that I guess some would write off for such but for me it is a marvelous, marvelous piece of revelation.

Yeh...I'm thinking this is debate over mechanics is indeed a Non sequitur.

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52 minutes ago, brlenox said:

Whoa...got a live one here...

Was it necessary to write this?  Whatever you meant, it comes off as condescending or at least mocking.  (If that's not what you intended, please consider more careful labeling choices when you're about to completely disagree with someone.)

52 minutes ago, brlenox said:

The assumption that truths concerning mechanics can't be "learned through humility and obedience" and the subsequent implication that those seeking such are not humble and obedient is a bit whackadoodle for my tastes and I cannot see why that would be a natural perspective for anyone to take.

I did not see this assumption in what @Vort wrote.

 

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14 minutes ago, zil said:

Was it necessary to write this?  Whatever you meant, it comes off as condescending or at least mocking.  (If that's not what you intended, please consider more careful labeling choices when you're about to completely disagree with someone.)

I did not see this assumption in what @Vort wrote.

 

A.  It's called having fun.  People take themselves entirely too seriously and should be able to handle a bit of jesting, joviality, and merrymaking.

b.) "God's truths are learned through humility and obedience. God's truths are ALWAYS learned that way, and in no other way. So perceiving the mechanical workings of divine will is of no importance unless God decides you need to learn that, in which case he will reveal it to you." 

If you can see my comments as "condescending or at least mocking" then perhaps it is just a filter issue.  However the sense of the underlined above is what I am specifically referencing. The entire tone of Vort's comments are to denigrate mechanical understandings and that's fine with me. Heck we are just comparing our perceptions and his are wonderful for him and mine a wonderful for me ... and superior as well :P

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3 hours ago, brlenox said:

What I cannot find is any overlay that would sustain a perspective that understanding mechanics is a liability of any form. . . .Yeh...I'm thinking this is debate over mechanics is indeed a Non sequitur.

While I suggested that grasping certain mechanics of the atonement may be less important or perhaps even irrelevant to living the gospel and activating the atonement in one's life, I have not argued that it is a liability. In fact I clarified that my intent was not to dissuade people from pursuing that objective--which I would not have done were I to consider it a liability.

So, I am not sure you are correct in claiming non-sequitur, though I have my doubts about the value in debating the issue at hand.  To me, it is analogous in the secular world to debating whether a person needs to know the mechanics of how a computer works in order to be successful in business. To some it may be of interest and help, while to others, they simply need to know the basics of operation and to work the computer to their advantage. 

To each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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The way something operates can reveal information about the person/Being who set up the system that is being operated. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a line of computer code in my life before, but I suspect that for someone used to looking at computer code, when they look at a bunch of code prepared by someone else, they can get some idea of the way the preparer thinks, the way they have analysed the problem the code is meant to help solve, the various options the code writer could have followed, and the choices and reasoning behind the option they ended up following. When a mechanic decides to put a screw in spot x rather than spot y, he has made a decision that reflects certain values and preferences. It’s a mechanistic action and it reveals something about the actor. When God set up operation atonement He decided to send His son to satisfy the demands of justice rather than some other method, or perhaps even choosing to ignore the demands of justice. He has made a decision that reflects certain values and preferences. I think it is not beyond the wit of man, coupled with prayer and inspiration to examine the operations of God and His systems and come to a greater understanding of His values and preferences and ways of thinking. This is one way of fulfilling Joseph Smith’s teaching that we must come to comprehend God. I see this is being an excellent reason to study the mechanistics of God’s operations. It’s a big task but with enough people, and enough time, doable. And I’m quite confident that if a group of people were to start on this path, with the right intentions, God would help them because I think He wants us to know Him.

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10 hours ago, wenglund said:

While I suggested that grasping certain mechanics of the atonement may be less important or perhaps even irrelevant to living the gospel and activating the atonement in one's life, I have not argued that it is a liability. In fact I clarified that my intent was not to dissuade people from pursuing that objective--which I would not have done were I to consider it a liability.

So, I am not sure you are correct in claiming non-sequitur, though I have my doubts about the value in debating the issue at hand.  To me, it is analogous in the secular world to debating whether a person needs to know the mechanics of how a computer works in order to be successful in business. To some it may be of interest and help, while to others, they simply need to know the basics of operation and to work the computer to their advantage. 

To each their own.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

I agree with this.  I'm not sure the mechanics are even something we CAN comprehend.  That doesn't stop our search for knowledge, though.  Based on that assumption, there are probably better things I could spend my time studying.

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2 minutes ago, Grunt said:

I agree with this.  I'm not sure the mechanics are even something we CAN comprehend.  That doesn't stop our search for knowledge, though.  Based on that assumption, there are probably better things I could spend my time studying.

The Atonement of Christ is a wonderful thing to study (as is any other gospel topic)...  Other people opinions on the subject(s).... maybe not so much.

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55 minutes ago, estradling75 said:

The Atonement of Christ is a wonderful thing to study (as is any other gospel topic)...  Other people opinions on the subject(s).... maybe not so much.

 

I would be very interested in how you study any gospel topic and are able to do so without dealing with other people's opinions.  It would seem that almost always when I pray for guidance concerning a gospel topic (or for that manner any topic) that G-d introduces me to someone with ideas and opinions I have not considered to the depth that they have.  Often, I learn through dealing with “opposition”.  Very seldom do I learn much of anything from those that agree with me.   Many things I did not believe to be true at first – I have come to believe to be true by trying to prove them false.  I have had many friends and acquaintances that have experienced this phenomenon concerning the Book of Mormon.  I do not believe in bad opinions – just in poor consideration of other opinions.  The exception are opinions I have dealt with previously and gleaned or salvaged what the spirit allows or shows me.

 

The Traveler

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1 minute ago, Traveler said:

 

I would be very interested in how you study any gospel topic and are able to do so without dealing with other people's opinions.  It would seem that almost always when I pray for guidance concerning a gospel topic (or for that manner any topic) that G-d introduces me to someone with ideas and opinions I have not considered to the depth that they have.  Often, I learn through dealing with “opposition”.  Very seldom do I learn much of anything from those that agree with me.   Many things I did not believe to be true at first – I have come to believe to be true by trying to prove them false.  I have had many friends and acquaintances that have experienced this phenomenon concerning the Book of Mormon.  I do not believe in bad opinions – just in poor consideration of other opinions.  The exception are opinions I have dealt with previously and gleaned or salvaged what the spirit allows or shows me.

 

The Traveler

You answered the question yourself.  Notice the 'maybe' qualifier on my thoughts about opinion.  When God is guiding you all is well.  Other then that probably not so much.

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15 hours ago, zil said:

Was it necessary to write this?  Whatever you meant, it comes off as condescending or at least mocking.  (If that's not what you intended, please consider more careful labeling choices when you're about to completely disagree with someone.)

I did not see this assumption in what @Vort wrote.

 

For a particular reason this post stayed with me all night and I've decided to give it a bit of play. From the perspective of an outsider looking in it has a class feel to it.  This forum is a small little group of what appears to be a few long timers.  When I first came here just a few weeks back it seemed lucky to get one response in a day.  Of late that has accelerated a bit and there is almost a flurry of posting here. Usually Forum's appreciate a bit of life in the posting patterns as that is what they are there for.  However, to achieve that it usually means you have to have a few different types of personalities and capabilities. I have both.

However, what struck me odd about this little bit of "net nannying" was 2 situations that I have observed while being here. The first was one of my earlier contributions of significant merit of which only @zil even took the time to analyze what was presented. Otherwise I was heaped upon with childish bantering and labeling and even after an invitation to just deal with the material it abated not. No one said a word in defense of the "new guy" no one came to his aid to call the sillyiness of the wolves off...nothing.  I persevered through what I considered small minded responses. I can hold my own even amongst wolves.

However, the one that got me was last week. I watched as @Vort and a couple of others made it a personal vendetta to abuse @Rob Osborn over and over and to the point of idiocy.  Relentless in the unnecessary accusations and pushing and shoving that made you think you were on a fourth grade playground while "the group" was responding to someone who had gotten in their way because they were different.  Where was the net nanny then? And I'm not just meaning Zil but anyone.  Instead there seemed a consensus of crucify him , crucify him, and no one came to his aid. I watched and waited and prepared to say something but I dropped off the forum for a few days as I became quite ill.  So, I say something now.

If all you folks are looking for is to have more people like yourselves, then I suspect this forum can drop right on back to a one post a day forum where no one says anything controversial or even of any spiritual depth or even a touch of the profound for that matter as you gang up and pile on in your derisions and sequestering drive the ones not like you away.  That's not to say that I am implying that Rob and myself (worlds apart on doctrine, but similar in other ways) for instance are not without responsibility. We are a touch off, a tad different, a hair out of place.  Perhaps I should let Rob speak for himself, but at least for me these things are all true and then some. However, the ways I am off are nothing compared to the value of the spiritual insights that I once in a while contribute...but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  

I don't want everyone to think that I think you're all losers and immature little blighters.  I just concluded an interaction with @zlllch which was a delight.  We were frank, direct, could say our piece and never once did he hold up the "you hurt my feelings, you big meany" sign so that all of the sudden you had to start walking on egg shells.  There is nonetheless always room for improvement in my interactions but I really do not see things such as what @zil points out in this post.  If someone said those things to me I would laugh and appreciate the little points of personality they injected into the process and move on through. However, it is obvious that you folks aren't like me and probably equally obvious I'm not going to change anytime soon to be like you.  

Let the fun begin....

Edited by brlenox
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1 minute ago, estradling75 said:

You answered the question yourself.  Notice the 'maybe' qualifier on my thoughts about opinion.  When God is guiding you all is well.  Other then that probably not so much.

 

Some claim that they learn from scripture - I would add that Satan thought to use scripture in tempting Christ.  I do not believe we ever leran of ourselves but that we learn through the Holy Ghost or through Satan - if we are not sure then we are learning flaws.  Truth must be sought for but lies come all by themselves without any or little effort on our part.

Thanks for your input (not just this thread but in may topics)

 

The Traveler

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17 minutes ago, brlenox said:

For a particular reason this post stayed with me all night and I've decided to give it a bit of play. From the perspective of an outsider looking in it has a class feel to it.  This forum is a small little group of what appears to be a few long timers.  When I first came here just a few weeks back it seemed lucky to get one response in a day.  Of late that has accelerated a bit and there is almost a flurry of posting here. Usually Forum's appreciate a bit of life in the posting patterns as that is what they are there for.  However, to achieve that it usually means you have to have a few different types of personalities and capabilities. I have both.

However, what struck me odd about this little bit of "net nannying" was 2 situations that I have observed while being here. The first was one of my earlier contributions of significant merit of which only @zil even took the time to analyze what was presented. Otherwise I was heaped upon with childish bantering and labeling and even after an invitation to just deal with the material it abated not. No one said a word in defense of the "new guy" no one came to his aid to call the sillyiness of the wolves off...nothing.  I persevered through what I considered small minded responses. I can hold my own even amongst wolves.

However, the one that got me was last week. I watched as @Vort and a couple of others made it a personal vendetta to abuse @Rob Osborn over and over and to the point of idiocy.  Relentless in the unnecessary accusations and pushing and shoving that made you think you were on a fourth grade playground while "the group" was responding to someone who had gotten in their way because they were different.  Where was the net nanny then? And I'm not just meaning Zil but anyone.  Instead there seemed a consensus of crucify him , crucify him, and no one came to his aid. I watched and waited and prepared to say something but I dropped off the forum for a few days as I became quite ill.  So, I say something now.

If all you folks are looking for is to have more people like yourselves, then I suspect this forum can drop right on back to a one post a day forum where no one says anything controversial or even of any spiritual depth or even a touch of the profound for that matter as you gang up and pile on in your derisions and sequestering drive the ones not like you away.  That's not to say that I am implying that Rob and myself (worlds apart on doctrine, but similar in other ways) for instance are not without responsibility. We are a touch off, a tad different, a hair out of place.  Perhaps I should let Rob speak for himself, but at least for me these things are all true and then some. However, the ways I am off are nothing compared to the value of the spiritual insights that I once in a while contribute...but of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  

I don't want everyone to think that I think you're all losers and immature little blighters.  I just concluded an interaction with @zlllch which was a delight.  We were frank, direct, could say our piece and never once did he hold up the "you hurt my feelings, you big meany" sign so that all of the sudden you had to start walking on egg shells.  There is nonetheless always room for improvement in my interactions but I really do not see things such as what @zil points out in this post.  If someone said those things to me I would laugh and appreciate the little points of personality they injected into the process and move on through. However, it is obvious that you folks aren't like me and probably equally obvious I'm not going to change anytime soon to be like you.  

Let the fun begin....

 

Just a little observation from an old timer with a lot of experience on internet forums.  I will compare it to something I learned dating many years ago – that many dumb blonds are, in reality, smart brunets.

If you are to contribute something very intelligent with a lot of thought and value – you will not get much attention or responses – maybe some “likes”.  But if you say something incredibly stupid or obnoxious that obviously has not been intelligently thought out – not only will you get everybody’s attention but the responses will be extremely abundant and without end.

Those that garner a lot of negative responses that are not interested in attention seldom last on the internet beyond one or two exchanges.

 

The Traveler

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On 12/29/2017 at 10:30 AM, brlenox said:

  I just concluded an interaction with @zlllch which was a delight.  We were frank, direct, could say our piece and never once did he hold up the "you hurt my feelings, you big meany" sign so that all of the sudden you had to start walking on egg shells.

I forgot to hold up my "big meany" sign dang it! Oh well. Haha it really was a good conversation though. 

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I was discussing this topic with my wife the other day.  Here is our conclusion:

For any exploration into the deep mysteries of God, we are really looking for a certain point where we believe we've gotten to a point of fundamental understanding.  What I mean by "fundamental" is that you can't really ask another "why".  For every why, another because, for every because, another why.  But fundamental points are where we get to a point that lets us say "Ah!  I get it.  That  makes sense."  When I read in the Book of Mormon about the balance of justice and mercy as eternal laws, that was my point.  I've never really felt the need to go deeper than that.  l "got it" with that explanation.  

Others will not be satisfied.  They seek something even more fundamental than that.  Explanations like this tend to answer some questions, but spark others.  Yet those who accept this next step and believe it (even Bro. Skousen) believe they've gone that one extra step and have found their "I get it" point.  If I'd accept his explanation, I'd actually have further questions that would go even deeper.  The answer as given doesn't really tie up everything and leaves more loose ends.  It never really would end.

That may be that we learn line upon line.  And we are supposed to gain understanding eternally.  Or it can mean that the Book of Mormon already has a fundamental point, and anything further is speculation to satisfy the vain (and perhaps well-meaning and harmless) imaginings of the mortal mind.

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16 hours ago, Carborendum said:

I was discussing this topic with my wife the other day.  Here is our conclusion:

For any exploration into the deep mysteries of God, we are really looking for a certain point where we believe we've gotten to a point of fundamental understanding.  What I mean by "fundamental" is that you can't really ask another "why".  For every why, another because, for every because, another why.  But fundamental points are where we get to a point that lets us say "Ah!  I get it.  That  makes sense."  When I read in the Book of Mormon about the balance of justice and mercy as eternal laws, that was my point.  I've never really felt the need to go deeper than that.  l "got it" with that explanation.  

Others will not be satisfied.  They seek something even more fundamental than that.  Explanations like this tend to answer some questions, but spark others.  Yet those who accept this next step and believe it (even Bro. Skousen) believe they've gone that one extra step and have found their "I get it" point.  If I'd accept his explanation, I'd actually have further questions that would go even deeper.  The answer as given doesn't really tie up everything and leaves more loose ends.  It never really would end.

That may be that we learn line upon line.  And we are supposed to gain understanding eternally.  Or it can mean that the Book of Mormon already has a fundamental point, and anything further is speculation to satisfy the vain (and perhaps well-meaning and harmless) imaginings of the mortal mind.

 

The Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon – I do not believe is about doctrine.  Many think that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom or a fullness of the Gospel is all about doctrine.  I see all this very differently.  I have come to believe what many think of in terms of doctrine is a distraction to the Gospel.  I am more of the mind of Isaiah that defines the Gospel as the aggregate of (1) the Law, (2) the ordinances and (3) the covenants.  These three “things” describe both order and specifics of the Plan of Salvation.  They are precise and exact and there can be no variations from the correct path that must be followed by them.

Doctrine – I find to be vague, obtuse and of relative little value. – Little value except in helping to understand the Law, the Ordinances and the Covenants.  I believe it to be an apostate temptation to think and believe that the Gospel is well defined doctrine – again unless it better defines the Law, describes the order and purpose of Ordinances or provides strength in “keeping” the Commandments.

This thread is about the Atonement – I am of the mind that whatever doctrine one believes may damn them but it will not bring salvation through the atonement.  The atonement can bring salvation but only through the Law, receiving the ordinances and keeping the commandments.  Isaiah was very clear to King Ahaz – when he declared that truth is not known and cannot be known if one transgress the law, changes the ordinances or breaks the everlasting covenant.  Specifically, he said that unbelief is a transgression of the law and that if he (king Ahaz) was obedient he would believe.  Believe what? – I think the answer is - to believe truth.

 

The Traveler

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19 minutes ago, Traveler said:

The Scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon – I do not believe is about doctrine.  Many think that the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of the Kingdom or a fullness of the Gospel is all about doctrine.  I see all this very differently.  I have come to believe what many think of in terms of doctrine is a distraction to the Gospel.  I am more of the mind of Isaiah that defines the Gospel as the aggregate of (1) the Law, (2) the ordinances and (3) the covenants.  These three “things” describe both order and specifics of the Plan of Salvation.  They are precise and exact and there can be no variations from the correct path that must be followed by them.

Doctrine – I find to be vague, obtuse and of relative little value. – Little value except in helping to understand the Law, the Ordinances and the Covenants.  I believe it to be an apostate temptation to think and believe that the Gospel is well defined doctrine – again unless it better defines the Law, describes the order and purpose of Ordinances or provides strength in “keeping” the Commandments.

This thread is about the Atonement – I am of the mind that whatever doctrine one believes may damn them but it will not bring salvation through the atonement.  The atonement can bring salvation but only through the Law, receiving the ordinances and keeping the commandments.  Isaiah was very clear to King Ahaz – when he declared that truth is not known and cannot be known if one transgress the law, changes the ordinances or breaks the everlasting covenant.  Specifically, he said that unbelief is a transgression of the law and that if he (king Ahaz) was obedient he would believe.  Believe what? – I think the answer is - to believe truth.

I actually agree with most of what you've written here.  But you seem to be posting this as a "rebuttal" of sorts to my post.  I don't really see how it is.  They're not mutually exclusive.  What is your intent?

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