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This morning, I was reading the parable of the sower from  Matthew 13:1–23 (as mentioned in this chapter).  I had two new (to me) thoughts about this parable's teachings:

First, the four "reactions" to the seed can be seen as a sequence of events:

  • We must receive and understand the seed (v19, 23)
  • We must get root in ourselves (v21) - I think of this as developing a personal testimony
  • We must intentionally nurture the seed (not let other things distract us from it) (v22)
  • We must act on it (bring forth fruit) (v23)

Second, in relation to "understand"... its normal use is sort of passive and past tense (about something acquired prior to the described event, or instantly / easily attained) - e.g. you hear something in your own language and immediately understand.  So if the seed was sown, why didn't they understand it?  Clearly, in this case, they chose not to understand it.  The lesson quotes Elder Packer: “true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior”.  And I realized that in this context, "understand" is used to instruct one to go and do something - the seed is sown and we are to receive it and get understanding - it's a much more active, future thing than the normal use of "understand".

Once we receive (also an active verb), we seek understanding, then we gain a testimony, then through nurturing and acting upon the testimony, we bring forth fruit.

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Continuing from here...

...since this thread is opened up on it.

Day 4: What should I do when I have questions?

The three points made really popped out at me in their own way today, particularly as I'm feeling a bit frustrated with some things.

1. We seek truth through all divine sources and God's appointed means, not just one while ignoring the others. God reveals His truths through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and His prophets and apostles.

2. Trust God and press on living by the truths you know.

3. Keep an eternal perspective. God's ways are not ours.

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9 hours ago, zil said:

This morning, I was reading the parable of the sower from  Matthew 13:1–23 (as mentioned in this chapter).  I had two new (to me) thoughts about this parable's teachings:

First, the four "reactions" to the seed can be seen as a sequence of events:

  • We must receive and understand the seed (v19, 23)
  • We must get root in ourselves (v21) - I think of this as developing a personal testimony
  • We must intentionally nurture the seed (not let other things distract us from it) (v22)
  • We must act on it (bring forth fruit) (v23)

Second, in relation to "understand"... its normal use is sort of passive and past tense (about something acquired prior to the described event, or instantly / easily attained) - e.g. you hear something in your own language and immediately understand.  So if the seed was sown, why didn't they understand it?  Clearly, in this case, they chose not to understand it.  The lesson quotes Elder Packer: “true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior”.  And I realized that in this context, "understand" is used to instruct one to go and do something - the seed is sown and we are to receive it and get understanding - it's a much more active, future thing than the normal use of "understand".

Once we receive (also an active verb), we seek understanding, then we gain a testimony, then through nurturing and acting upon the testimony, we bring forth fruit.

I feel like something about eternal light ties into your idea. Understanding isn't just our brains comprehending. It's our spirits receiving pure truth and knowledge from the spirit. That sort of understanding is like being in the light (hence the use of light as a metaphor) vs walking in darkness. We can truly "see" when there's light. We can truly understand when we truly see. When we abandon the light, we can't see, we stop understanding and we wander off into the mists of darkness wondering why we ever believed.

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Yesterday I ran out of time to write up my thoughts on the day's' study. Incidentally, for anyone who cares, I've decided to approach this by breaking down the weekly chapters/lessons into 6 days (skipping Sat) and doing a 5-10 min Family Study Time every night.

So yesterday we looked at the section with the parable of the sower.

I purposefully haven't read @zil's thoughts on it yet but will as soon as I'm done writing up mine.

The thing I found interesting was the seeds that fall by the wayside representing those who hear the word but do not understand it. This is a phenomenon we see a lot and I cannot, honestly, say I get how some of the most simple and basic teachings in the gospel are so often misunderstood. I don't say that by way of judgement, but by way of consideration to ask the question: why? How can we hear basic teachings and misunderstand them?

That isn't a simple question.

I've thought about some of the principles that I have struggled to understand over the years -- faith, agency, etc. I've concluded (though it's only my current conclusion) that part of the difficulty in understanding them is that we talk about them in terms as if they're different meanings/words than they are. We speak of "faith" as if it is "belief" and we speak of "agency" as if it is "freedom". Where as "belief" and "freedom" are principles and important ones in the gospel, they are different principles than faith and agency, even though they are related in some ways. The church recognized the problem with people's understanding of agency and, accordingly, stopped using the term "free agency", replacing it with "moral agency", but a lot of times the incorrect perception seems to be perpetuated. I'm not suggesting this is or is not a wide problem. I don't know for sure. But it is definitely something I've seen/heard again and again. Someone saying something along the lines of giving their kids rules or punishing them is taking away their agency.

And then, of course, you get the forum here where so-called "faithful" members sometimes disagree vehemently on the meaning of doctrine. I, as should be obvious, and one of those who often gets into these disagreements. From my perspective the plain truths are being misunderstood. From the perspective of those I'm disagreeing with, I'm the one misunderstanding plain truths. Well, the undeniable fact is that if two people are disagreeing on a fundamental principle of the gospel, at least one of them has heard the word and misunderstood it.

So the question is: how?

I know some people might take the view that having different views on fundamental doctrines is a good thing -- and from a certain perspective, that's correct -- in that those who have the wrong idea need to hear the right idea so they can fix it -- but from another perspective, hearing the word and not understanding it is, decidedly, dangerous as we see in Matt 13:19

"When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side."

What's the key to understanding then?

It comes down, I believe, to pride.

The teachings of the church are not complicated. But we, as a general rule, like to infuse our own understanding, intelligence, logic, etc., into the mix. That isn't de facto a problem unless pride is in the mix. When we start defending OUR view as if OUR thoughts and OUR logic and OUR intelligence and understanding are the key to truth we lose.

Of course we all have OUR view and we all, generally, defend OUR view -- but can we ask ourselves -- from whence does our view spring?

I'm a large advocate of humility. I know I often fail in my own life to achieve that humility. But I think that is, ultimately, key.

We may, I believe, note that the other two examples of the seed failing in the parable are also related directly to pride. Getting offended because of difficulties (we see a lot even here on the forum) and being swayed by the lies and riches of the world.

Personally I think everyone will face all three of these challenges in their lives in one manner or another. When we do, do we put ourselves aside and trust in the arm of God, or do we rely upon our own understanding, our own wounded feelings, or our own sense of vanity?

 

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Read @zil's comments now. Excellent. Thanks zil.

I really like the idea of understanding being active. And, related to some of the other ideas we've all had on learning coming from doing, I think that idea fits in rather nicely.

If you want to understand tithing, pay tithing. If you want to understand service, serve. If you want to understand temple worship, attend the temple often. Etc.

Edit: I should point out that I'd obviously browsed zil's post before since I'd replied to it. I just hadn't read it in detail. 

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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On 1/2/2019 at 12:27 PM, zil said:

This morning, I was reading the parable of the sower from  Matthew 13:1–23 (as mentioned in this chapter).  I had two new (to me) thoughts about this parable's teachings:

First, the four "reactions" to the seed can be seen as a sequence of events:

  • We must receive and understand the seed (v19, 23)
  • We must get root in ourselves (v21) - I think of this as developing a personal testimony
  • We must intentionally nurture the seed (not let other things distract us from it) (v22)
  • We must act on it (bring forth fruit) (v23)

Second, in relation to "understand"... its normal use is sort of passive and past tense (about something acquired prior to the described event, or instantly / easily attained) - e.g. you hear something in your own language and immediately understand.  So if the seed was sown, why didn't they understand it?  Clearly, in this case, they chose not to understand it.  The lesson quotes Elder Packer: “true doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior”.  And I realized that in this context, "understand" is used to instruct one to go and do something - the seed is sown and we are to receive it and get understanding - it's a much more active, future thing than the normal use of "understand".

Once we receive (also an active verb), we seek understanding, then we gain a testimony, then through nurturing and acting upon the testimony, we bring forth fruit.

That really is interesting.  Of course, this is a whole lot more clear when juxtaposed with the subject "We are responsible for our own learning."

We're so often told this parable in missionary and fellowshipping efforts as guidance on how to treat investigators or new members.  And the very nature of a seed vs all the effects of the parable are that of external forces effecting a fairly passive seed (and soil).

Now to turn it on its head and say that the soil is the active participant...  That certainly is a new perspective.  Very interesting indeed.

The times, they are a changin'.

Edited by Carborendum

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Day 6-7 GALATIANS 5:22–23; PHILIPPIANS 4:8 

It's really interesting in the context of study and learning to read the difference in Philippians from the 13th Article of Faith where it says "think on these things" instead of "we seek after these things".

Not only is studying these things of worth, but applying these things to how we study is worth consideration. Love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, temperance, truth, honestly, justice, purity, beauty, goodness, virtue, and praiseworthiness.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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So, per @zil's and @mikbone's requests, here's something that popped into my head during Gospel Doctrine yesterday regarding Christ's encounter with the rich young ruler.  The manual gives the cite as Matt 19:16-22, but the vignette actually continues (this is important!) all the way through to Matthew 20:16.  It's all the same vignette, the same story, the same set of teachings; drawing towards a very particular point that I think we (or at least, I) often misinterpret.

My thought process started with a question:  Why does Christ recite to the young man, the specific commandments that He cites?  Of the Ten Commandments, He cites the fifth through ninth; but omits the commitments about having no other gods before Jehovah; not worshiping idols; not blaspheming; and regarding the Sabbath.  (In point of fact, He also doesn't mention the tenth commandment against coveting; though He adds a general injunction to love one's neighbor as oneself.)  This struck me as odd, because here's the thing.  Most of us have heard the distinction between the first four commandments versus the last six--the first four are applications of the first great commandment (love God), and the last six are applications of the second great commandment (love our fellowman). 

Why hasn't Christ told the rich young ruler anything about the first great commandment?  Why does Christ seem to be suggesting that this young man can save himself independent of any grace from God? 

This stuck in my craw, and a few things came at me all at once. 

First, consider our source.  Matthew is writing towards a Jewish audience, specifically.  First-century Judaism had a very strong undercurrent suggesting that one earned one's own salvation by complete fealty to 613 (or whatever it was) scriptural injunctions.  This is of a piece with the mindset of our rich young ruler, who starts out asking "What good thing shall I do that I may have (not "inherit"--there's no element of receiving a gift here--he wants to "have", i.e., "earn" it) eternal life?"  And Jesus goes into this odd aside about why is the young man calling Him good, when only God is good.  It's a subtle prompt, and one I've always missed before.  But consider, for a moment, the possibility that Jesus is subtly saying:  Actually, you need God's/My goodness just as much as you need your own good works.  And then, yes, you also need to keep the commandments.  But this kid latches on to only half of the advice, and wheedles "which commandments, specifically?" 

So Jesus tries again by giving the kid a checklist, and the kid things "yep, doing that--yep, doing that--yep, doing that--look how great I'm doing!"  But he's so obsessed with his checklists that he completely misses the dog that doesn't bark--the things Jesus didn't say:  Every good Jew knows the Shemat Yisrael by heart:  "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might".  And Jesus has just omitted every. single. one. of the Ten Commandments that supports the shema

The young man should have caught this and said "wait--what?"  But again he fails to take the hint, and instead he rotely checks off his to-do list and concludes by asking again, "What lack I yet?"  What else should I be doing so I can earn this?

So Jesus tries a little aversion therapy.  You want to earn it yourself?  You want commandments?  Fine, I'll give you commandments.  I'll give you commandments until they come out of your nostrils, and are loathesome unto you.  I'll give you so many commandments that they absolutely, positively break you; so that you scream out for the mercy that I offer.  And he gives the kid a gut-punch of a commandment, and the aversion therapy works--at least, it starts to--because the young man goes away sorrowing; realizing for the first time that he can't do it all.  It's beginning to dawn on him that he can't earn his own salvation. 

Now, that point--verse 22--is where we often end our lessons, tut-tutting about this young man and all those other selfish, despicable people who just can't find it within themselves to do what it takes, to put everything on the line.  But what hit me Sunday is, we may be missing the whole point.  So, apparently, do the disciples--"golly gee willikers, you really mean a person can't be saved unless they give everything away?  No house, no furniture, no 401(k), no phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury?"--and Jesus replies "well, it's hard; but with God all things are possible".  "With God" is the million-dollar phrase here, because it's the part that this kid didn't get at all.  If he had been half as interested in really getting to know his Heavenly Father, as he was in jumping through hopes and doing outward performances, he would have been okay.  But he was doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons; and that made all the difference.

Peter comes back and says "Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?"  He's still not completely getting Jesus' point, either--he's pointing to the things he's done and looking for that eternal reward--but at least He's brought Jesus into the equation; and Jesus answers in kind.  Yes, you'll get a reward because you followed Me, and everyone who does good things will get a reward.  BUT--"many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first".  In other words--"the reward isn't necessarily tied to how much you materially give, or how much you've done."  And then (blazing past the wholly artificial chapter distinction and moving on into chapter 20) we go into the parable of the day laborers who all received an identical wage because they all, sooner or later, answered the call to the Lord's service.

I'm thinking that Matthew's point in relating this episode isn't necessarily that we need to be continually obsessing over "what else" we can do (or, as some Marxists like to smarmily profess, that the poor by nature of their poverty have some sort of "leg up" in the quest for eternal life).  It's almost the opposite:  that rich or poor, strong or weak, able or incompetent, Jew or Gentile--we can't "earn" our place in the kingdom.  There will always be something more we "could have done".  So rather than dwelling on what reward we can obtain if we can just do "enough", we need to change our attitude and focus more on cultivating our love for God for its own sake.  We then let that love work within us to simultaneously lead us to improve our obedience and charity, while also trusting God to make up for the opportunities that we will inevitably miss because of our own fallen natures.  That's what brings about communion with God and gets us into the Kingdom of Heaven, both in mortality and in the eternities. 

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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9 hours ago, Just_A_Guy said:

we need to change our attitude and focus more on cultivating our love for God for its own sake.

How?

Edit note: I wrote this in a hurry just before bed and did not mean it to be terse as it probably comes across. Stated less brusquely: In your opinion, what are the means we can use to change our attitude and focus more on cultivating our love for God for its own sake?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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1 hour ago, Just_A_Guy said:

But he's so obsessed with his checklists that he completely misses the dog that doesn't bark--the things Jesus didn't say:  Every good Jew knows the Shemat Yisrael by heart:  "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might". 

Thank you for pointing this out.  

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

And I appreciate the Gilligan lyrics.

I think there is still more there with the first and last bit though.  The full interpretation eludes me...

But totally agree we cannot earn it.  We have to follow Christ and our Father because we love them, not because we are seeking a reward.

3 Ne 27:21 <-> John 5:19

I like your insight.

Edited by mikbone

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8 hours ago, mikbone said:

We have to follow Christ and our Father because we love them, not because we are seeking a reward.

I am wondering how one might reconcile this with the literally hundreds of scriptures speaking of our "reward" in heaven.

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4 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I am wondering how one might reconcile this with the literally hundreds of scriptures speaking of our "reward" in heaven.

Check out Stephen R. Covey’s, The Divine Center

Hundreds of pages do just that

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27 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Or....you could summarize for me and we could actually have a discussion on the matter.

/sigh

Ok, but He does a much better job.

There are many reasons why people are motivated to do what they do.

Some follow the Lord’s commandments because they fear hell.  Others go to church because they like the social interaction.  Many may follow Christ because they want a reward.

But if you must be motivated for your actions on the basis of a reward, of fear of consequence, you are not much better than a dog that graduates from obedience school...

The Lord will continue to test us in order to strengthen us and help us to become like Him.  But, at some point the trials will outweigh the rewards.

And only those saints who truely love God and understand the plan of Exaltation will be able perform the required sacrifices.  

Edited by mikbone

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16 minutes ago, mikbone said:

/sigh

Ok, but He does a much better job.

There are many reasons why people are motivated to do what they do.

Some follow the Lord’s commandments because they fear hell.  Others go to church because they like the social interaction.  Many may follow Christ because they want a reward.

But if you must be motivated for your actions on the basis of a reward, of fear of consequence, you are not much better than a dog that graduates from obedience school...

The Lord will continue to test us in order to strengthen us and help us to become like Him.  At some point the trials will outweigh the rewards.

And only those saints who truely love God and understand the plan of Exaltation will be able perform the required sacrifices.  

Thanks.

So I agree with this -- generally. But I have to go back to my "how" question in response to @Just_A_Guy's original post. In the end, I do agree, I believe this is ultimately the test: do we love God or not?

But how do we get there?

Are we suggesting that the means to love God is the simple willing it to be so?

Moreover -- and I think this really digs into my original question to you -- let's assume we could love God simply by willing it to be so; Why would we do that?

What's the motivation for willing it to be so? If the motivation for actions is based on the love of God, then what, exactly, is the motivation for loving God in the first place?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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1 minute ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Thanks.

So I agree with this -- generally. But I have to go back to my "how" question in response to @Just_A_Guy's original post. In the end, I do agree, I believe this is ultimately the test: do we love God or not?

But how do we get there?

Are we suggesting that the means to love God is the simple willing it to be so?

Moreover -- and I think this really digs into my original question to you -- let's assume we could love God simply by willing it to be so.

Why would we do that? What's the motivation for willing it to be so? If the motivation for actions is based on the love of God, then what, exactly, is the motivation for loving God in the first place?

All you have to do is get to know our Hevenly Parents better.  

As you do, your appreciation, addoration, and love will abound.

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7 minutes ago, mikbone said:

All you have to do is get to know our Hevenly Parents better.  

First: Why? You didn't answer that question. Why would I want to get to know my Heavenly Father better so that I love Him?

Second: Putting aside the cavalier "all" here... that's not really telling us how. How do we get to know Heavenly Father better?

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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9 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

First: Why? You didn't answer that question. Why would I want to get to know my Heavenly Father better so that I love Him?

Second: Putting aside the cavalier "all" here... that's not really telling us how. How do we get to know Heavenly Father better?

This is the question.

And I’m positive that other posters will have better responses than me.

There is no secret sauce.  Study, pray, ponder, fast.  That is how I came to my conclusions.

Totally worth the effort.

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15 minutes ago, mikbone said:

This is the question.

Actually it was 2 questions. I'm still not getting a response to the first. And I'm not just bullying you or trying to make a point on this one like I am, a bit, on the second one. I'm honestly trying to learn. I'll restate:

If we should not be motivated by reward, then what's the motivation for loving God? I am driven to increase my love for God because of my hope to return to be with Him some day and gain Eternal Life. In other words, to be rewarded with those things. If you take those motivations away, what are they replaced with?

It seems like the idea proposed is that we should love God because we should. Pretty circular reasoning.

As to the second question:

15 minutes ago, mikbone said:

There is no secret sauce.  Study, pray, ponder, fast.  That is how I came to my conclusions.

I agree. The key to learning to love God is to do His will.

This is what I'm hoping to discuss further with @Just_A_Guy assuming I didn't put him off too badly with my brusque initial reply. The core of his idea seems to break down to this moderately common idea:

Don't concern yourself with obedience, concern yourself with loving God, then obedience will follow.

I pose the question then, if we are to be concerned with loving God, then how do we do that?

The clear answer, as you suggest, is no secret sauce. We study, pray, ponder, serve, attend the temple, keep covenants, etc., thereby getting to know God, thereby learning to love God. In other words, we obey.

Doesn't that put a bit of a kink in the italicized premise above?

It's a cart before the horse type of question and worth discussion and consideration, imo.

I think JaG's insight on the initial post was really good, and has a great deal of merit, but it did open up some questions regarding how it all works. And I'm not entirely convinced that being truly and faithfully obedient can equate to anything but more knowledge and love of and for God. I think there may be more to the story here.

Edited by The Folk Prophet

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12 minutes ago, The Folk Prophet said:

Actually it was 2 questions. I'm still not getting a response to the first. And I'm not just bullying you or trying to make a point on this one like I am, a bit, on the second one. I'm honestly trying to learn. I'll restate:

If we should not be motivated by reward, then what's the motivation for loving God? I am driven to increase my love for God because of my hope to return to be with Him some day and gain Eternal Life. In other words, to be rewarded with those things. If you take those motivations away, what are they replaced with?

It seems like the idea proposed is that we should love God because we should. Pretty circular reasoning.

As to the second question:

I agree. The key to learning to love God is to do His will.

This is what I'm hoping to discuss further with @Just_A_Guy assuming I didn't put him off too badly with my brusque initial reply. The core of his idea seems to break down to this moderately common idea:

Don't concern yourself with obedience, concern yourself with loving God, then obedience will follow.

I pose the question then, if we are to be concerned with loving God, then how do we do that?

The clear answer, as you suggest, is no secret sauce. We study, pray, ponder, serve, attend the temple, keep covenants, etc., thereby getting to know God, thereby learning to love God. In other words, we obey.

Doesn't that put a bit of a kink in the italicized premise above?

It's a cart before the horse type of question and worth discussion and consideration, imo.

I think JaG's insight on the initial post was really good, and has a great deal of merit, but it did open up some questions regarding how it all works. And I'm not entirely convinced that being truly and faithfully obedient can equate to anything but more knowledge and love of and for God. I think there may be more to the story here.

I’m sorry to dissappoint.  I mean no disrespect.  I have been where you are.  And yeah, it sucks.

But life was designed by someone very intelligent to try and test our merit.  It will come through an experience, perhaps theough family, likely during scripture study and prayer.

Illumination is unlikely to come from a website...

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1 hour ago, The Folk Prophet said:

I'm honestly not sure what you mean by this?

I'm not sure where you are in your journey.  And it is difficult to share deep feelings, personal experiences, testimony over the internet.

I follow God because I want to be like Him.  I don't want to have the spoils of Heaven.  I want to obtain the same knowledge and glory that He has so that I can bless my children.  And I want to obtain that knowledge and glory the same way that He did.  I want to live His life.  The glory and the hardship. 

I don't expect or even want to enter into Heaven and be gifted a mansion with servants etc.  I want to learn from him, and eventually obtain the skills to create my own mansion. 

 

I used to wonder if God loved me.  And at times, I had difficulty following Him without seeing the end from the beginning.  And that sucked.

But after many years of experience, study and prayer, I seem to have finally figured it out. 

Edited by mikbone

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:13 PM, Just_A_Guy said:

Why hasn't Christ told the rich young ruler anything about the first great commandment?  Why does Christ seem to be suggesting that this young man can save himself independent of any grace from God? 

Actually, he did.

Quote

21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be aperfect, go and sell that thou hast, and bgive to the cpoor, and thou shalt have dtreasure in heaven: and come and efollow me.

And more clearly in the Mark rendering

Quote

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and agive to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and bfollow me.

 

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On 1/8/2019 at 8:37 AM, mikbone said:

/sigh

Ok, but He does a much better job.

There are many reasons why people are motivated to do what they do.

Some follow the Lord’s commandments because they fear hell.  Others go to church because they like the social interaction.  Many may follow Christ because they want a reward.

But if you must be motivated for your actions on the basis of a reward, of fear of consequence, you are not much better than a dog that graduates from obedience school...

The Lord will continue to test us in order to strengthen us and help us to become like Him.  But, at some point the trials will outweigh the rewards.

And only those saints who truely love God and understand the plan of Exaltation will be able perform the required sacrifices.  

You may be partly correct, and this may touch on what @The Folk Prophet and @Just_A_Guy are getting at. It depends on what reward one is seeking, whether earthly or heavenly, and the type and degree of fear, earthly or heavenly..

Elder Oaks addressed this issue in his first General Conference talk as an Apostle. The talk is titled, "Why Do We Serve?", and can rightly be generalized to why people are motivated to do what they do.

I am of the opinion that varied motivations may be a function of varied levels of faith, and the appropriateness or lack thereof is a function of where one is at on the path of progression.

This principle, I believe, is reflected in the scriptures, not just in terms of the different ways in which the Lord motivated his people in Old Testament times as compared with New Testament and modern days,  but also the notion of "where much is given....," if not also in the parable of the talent, etc.

I believe it is entirely appropriate for young children and new members and saints of old to pay their tithes because they don't want to be burned at the last days or because they have been inspired by stories of the windows of heaven being opened.

However, as they progress in faith in Christ and his gospel, it would be more appropriate to be motivated out of a sense of duty and obedience., or ultimately to be motivated by pure love and a Christ-like character--i.e. they pay tithes because that is who they are, a giving and charitable person.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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